By Jesse Robitaille
The Canadian Legacy Sale II, presented by Canadian Coin & Currency and Moore Numismatic Auctions, starts Feb. 11 in Toronto Hilton Hotel’s Osgoode Room, where more than 3,200 lots and $6 million in coins, tokens, medals and banknotes will be auctioned.
The four-day auction represents what the two firms are describing as ” a colossal selection of quality coins, tokens and banknotes from three landmark collections, as well as numerous other superb consignments”.
The sale runs with live and online bidding starting each day at 5:30 p.m. Lot previews are held daily, starting at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
SESSION ONE (Feb. 11)
Session One starts with a small group of Dominion of Canada banknotes and is not to be overlooked as it contains several premium pieces, including an 1897 $1 DC-12, BCS AU-50. An offering of more than 200 lots of Canadian tokens follows, including an E.A. Cardinal Numismatic token — one of only 11 struck — in Uncirculated condition.
The first session’s main course and the topic of many conversations is the Canadian coinage, particularly the selection making up the estate of George F. Landon, a Winnipeg carpenter and collector who, in the late-19th and early-20th century, amassed an astonishing collection of high quality Canadian coins and tokens as well as a significant quantity of U.S. coins., including a rare Liberty Seated 25-cents 1870-CC. After his death in 1916, this collection was handed down through Landon’s family before being bequeathed to the Church of the Advent by his grandson.
Charles “Chuck” Moore, president of Moore Numismatic Auctions, said he didn’t believe a collection of this quality and quantity had ever existed.
“It is one of the highlights of my 45-year career in numismatics to be chosen and blessed to handle the sale of the collection.”
It would seem Landon had a great affinity for cents, and with the benefit of having brand new coins available to him at the time of issue, he was able to select and set aside coins of unparalleled beauty — and in sizable quantities. The centrepiece of the Landon collection is this piece in the 10 cents section: a staggering 1893 round top (one of only two graded by ICCS as MS-64).
SESSION TWO (Feb. 12)
Session Two of the sale presents the Victoria North Collection, a handpicked and near-complete assemblage of ultra high-grade Canadian coins as well as hundreds of ancient and world coins sharing the same dazzling eye-appeal.
Compiled over the past 20 years by a prominent Canadian businessman, the collection is one of the most significant in recent memory. When selecting these coins, the collector maintained a stringent set of standards, passing over inferior pieces in pursuit of perfection. Acceptance into this collection meant a coin wasn’t just one of the finest graded examples — it had to be well struck, entirely problem-free and, most importantly, it needed superb eye-appeal. This labourious process resulted in a consistently beautiful and breathtaking collection.
The centrepiece of the Victoria North Collection is the stunning Gem Uncirculated-65 1921 50 cent, formerly of the collection of John J. Pittman and one of the finest examples known to exist. The estimated value of this phenomenal coin is $175,000 (with bidding expected to start at $120,000).
Although auctioneer and Canadian Coin & Currency president Steven Bromberg sourced some of the Victoria North coins himself over the past two decades, seeing the entire collection together for the first time was an experience beyond his expectations.
Bromberg said after nearly three decades in the coin business, it’s “unusual for my jaw to drop in awe when viewing a collection. While the rarities are amazing, it is the consistent dazzling quality and eye-appeal of the collection that takes your breath away.”
SESSION THREE (Feb. 13)
Session Three offers even more selection, much of which was absent from the first two sessions. Tokens are in good supply with a rare and interesting Weir & Larminie encased postage token (Breton -568), a MS-62 Magdalen Island token (Breton-520) and a nice array of world coins and U.S. gold.
Silver dollars are presented in rare form, with roll-quantities of King George V coins in Gem Uncirculated condition offered up in lots from five to 20 pieces each. A stunnng Specimen 1947 Maple Leaf dollar (PCGS SP-67) is shortly followed up by the solo finest example of the 1951 Arnprior in PCGS MS-66.
Error coins and specimen sets round out the third session, including a stupefying 1992 $15 flip strike error that incorporated the designs of two different coins.
SESSION FOUR (Feb. 14)
The fourth and final session of the sale is comprised strictly of paper money. At the outset is an intriguing 1795 $1,000 U.S. treasury certificate, followed by Canadian scrip and municipal issues, including a group of exactly 400 Alberta Prosperity Certificates.
A complete 1937 specimen set in Choice Uncirculated condition highlights the more-than-150 lots of Bank of Canada issues, leading into the final offering of chartered bank notes, which also includes the second instalment of the Ron Greene Collection, the first portion of which set records at last year’s Canadian Legacy Sale I.