By Jesse Robitaille
The Canadian Numismatic Company (TCNC) will host its second four-session Prominence Sale, the firm’s second major auction of 2021, beginning on Feb. 26.
More than 1,300 lots will cross the block over four days in the follow-up to last November’s inaugural Prominence Sale. This time around, auctioneers are offering the Nova Scotia Collection and the fifth part of the Gem Collection plus material from dozens of other consignors. Bids will be accepted via email, mail, fax and TCNC’s online auction platform – auctions.canadiancoinsandpapermoney.com – through the end of the sale.
“This fantastic Prominence Sale II should make some spectacular moments and active evenings of auctioning,” said auctioneer Marc Verret, the owner of the Québec-based auction house. “We expect this to be one of the most active mail and Internet numismatic events of 2021.”
Following a brief section of U.S. paper money, the sale kicks off with a 34-lot selection of French colonial playing card money beginning with Lot 13, a “jack of clubs” with a red wax seal featuring the coat of arms of the Delecey de Changey family.
The seal – “extremely rare,” according to Verret – is shown beside French text reading, “Ecartelé au 1 et 4 d’azur au chevron accompagné des coquille et enpointe d’agneau pascal Le tout d’or au 2 et 3 d’azur au chevron d’or accompagne de 3 trefle de meme.”
Described by auctioneers as “problem-free,” the lot is estimated at $1,000-$2,000.
A similar item – a “six of clubs” with only a simple wax seal – recently sold for more than $1,300 (including buyer’s premium) as Lot 7 of TCNC’s recent New Year’s Sale.
‘VERY RARE’ CHARTERED NOTES
A trio of “very rare” chartered banknotes will also cross the block this February, with Lot 58, a 1906 $5 note from the Eastern Townships Bank, leading the way.
With a serial number reading “145978,” the note is certified as Very Fine-30 by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) – a condition rarity, according to auctioneers, and the finest example graded by the Florida-based firm.
“Only six issued examples have been graded by PMG,” said Verret, who called the note an “exceptional piece to add to the best of collections.”
It’s expected to bring $17,500-$22,500.
Lot 79 offers another rare chartered note, a 1909 Royal Bank of Canada $10 bill in Very Fine-25 PPQ (premium paper quality), tied for the finest known example. It’s certified by Legacy Currency Grading (LCG), a third-party grading service launched in California in 2019. With a multicoloured frame and serial number reading “156812,” this lot is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.
One of only two known examples, a 1914 Standard Bank of Canada $20 note will also cross the block as Lot 84. With a serial number of “018435,” the bill is certified as Fine-12 by PMG, whose graders noted pinholes and an annotation; however, this piece remains “excessively rare,” according to Verret, who said it’s the only example graded by PMG. It’s expected to bring $7,500-$15,000.
1935 SERIES BANKNOTES
Moving to Bank of Canada paper money, a pair of low-serial-number 1935 Series notes, both in French, will also cross the block in session one.
Lot 148 offers a $2 French note with a serial number reading “F000020.” Certified as Choice Uncirculated-63 PPQ by LCG, the note is described by Verret as a “must-have” and “so attractive.” It’s estimated at $10,000-$15,000.
Another 1935 Series note, this a $5 French note with a serial number reading “F000010,” is offered as Lot 152. Again certified by LCG, this time as Choice Uncirculated-64 PPQ, the note is described by Verret as “very scarce and so attractive.” It’s expected to bring $12,500-$15,000.
Also issued in 1935 (although not with the Bank of Canada’s inaugural 1935 Series), a $25 commemorative note, also in French, will cross the block as Lot 157. With a serial number of “F002643,” this note is certified as About Uncirculated-55 by LCG with “minor restorations” noted.
“The note is bright with great centring and vibrant colours,” said Verret, who called it a “spectacular full-bodied and full-coloured issue – a must for the high-end collector or investor.”
It’s estimated at $22,500-$25,000.
SCARCE & RARE CENTS
In Canadian coinage, an 1859 “Near 9” cent in brass – described by Verret as “very rare” – will cross the block as Lot 441A.
Certified as Very Fine-20 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., the coin is an “attractive circulated example with nice yellow colour” and “totally problem-free,” Verret added.
“A superior example and rarely offered in our auctions, this coin presents an important opportunity for registry set collectors.”
It’s expected to bring $35,000-$37,500.
Auctioneers are also offering what they call “two extremely scarce small cent pieces.”
The first, Lot 470, is a 1921 cent in Mint State-65 Red from International Coin Certification Service (ICCS).
“It’s an exceptional example with superb lustre, and very scarce this nice,” said Verret, who added the estimate is set at $4,000-$8,000.
A similar example – also in ICCS Mint State-65 Red – sold for $6,545 (including buyer’s premium) as Lot 355 of TCNC’s recent New Year’s Sale.
Another cent, dated 1922 and also certified as Mint State-65 Red by ICCS, is offered as Lot 471. A key-date example with “golden perimeter tones, 85 per cent red and fully lustrous,” it’s expected to bring $10,000-$15,000.
Rounding out the highlights is a trio of $1 varieties tucked among what Verret called an “attractive selection of dollars.”
A rare 1982 $1 “Upset Dies” variety – struck to commemorate Canada’s renewed Constitution – will be offered as Lot 784. In Mint State-66 from Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) – tied for the highest-graded example from any grading service – the seldom-seen variety is expected to bring $17,500-$20,000.
“It’s a spectacular example, pristine in all forms, with a light cameo finish,” said Verret.
A scarce 1935 $1 “Short Water Lines” variety is also offered as Lot 728. Certified as Mint State-65 by ICCS, the coin is tied for the second finest known example – “beat by just a single MS-66 example, which arguably lacks the eye-appeal and lustre of this unprecedented rarity,” Verret said.
“This frosty bright white gem exhibits nearly unmarked fields and intense cartwheel lustre that dances across every part of the coin virtually uninterrupted,” he added. “This variety is extremely difficult to acquire in any grade, with high-end examples rarely hitting the marketplace. The opportunity to own this gem example is sure to excite specialists and silver dollar connoisseurs who strive for rarity and quality.”
It’s estimated at $1,000-$2,000.
Rounding out the highlights is a 1947 $1 “Pointed 7 with Dot” variety offered as Lot 754. In ICCS Mint State-63, this example also exhibits “excellent eye-appeal,” Verret said, and the estimate is set at $4,000-$5,000.