TCNC New Year’s Sale tops auctioneers’ expectations

By Jesse Robitaille

Realizations include buyer’s premium.

The Canadian Numismatic Company (TCNC) hosted its first sale of the new year on Jan. 8-11, when about 1,400 lots crossed the block for nearly $1 million in total realizations.

The New Year’s Sale – an annual offering from the Québec-based auction house – featured the McFaden Collection, the fourth part of the Gem Collection, and hundreds of other lots from more than 90 consignors across four sessions.

“The market remains active and strong,” said TCNC owner and auctioneer Marc Verret, who expected the sale’s total realizations to hit $500,000 – not $1 million. “We basically doubled our initial estimate.”

It’s a sign collectors are eager to buy material, Verret added.

“Even the participation of coin dealers was higher than usual. My guess is there hasn’t been a coin show in the last 10 months or so, and people are looking to buy fresh material and reload their inventory.”

The bidding action – strong across the board, according to Verret – echoed TCNC’s Prominence Sale held last November.

“Paper money was extremely strong; large cents were strong; small cents went to the roof,” he said, adding there were “not really any weak sections.”

Among the sale’s first highlights were two pieces of Canadian colonial history: a pair of French colonial playing card money issues crossed the block as Lots 7-8.

The first example – and the only one known by auctioneers – was a “six of clubs” with a red wax seal on the back. It brought $1,309, topping its $200 estimate by more than six times.

The second example was an “eight of spades” with French handwriting on the back.

In 1685, colonial authorities in New France found themselves short of funds after a mismanaged military expedition against the Iroquois, who allied with the English, and decreased tax revenues after the beaver trade was restricted. To remedy the situation, card money was issued to pay the colony’s troops at the Québec garrison until New France fell to the British in 1760.

PAPER MONEY HIGHLIGHTS

Among the top paper money highlights was a 1904 Crown Bank of Canada $5 note certified as Very Fine-25 by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG).

With a serial number reading “23965,” the note offered in January – described as “extremely rare” by auctioneers – is one of just six examples recorded in the 2019 Canadian Paper Money Society Note Registry.

“A U.S. auctioneer sold a similar example in 2019 graded PMG Choice Very Fine-25 for $15,600 US (about $21,500 Cdn.),” said Verret, who added the example sold this January was “much better-looking … with no stains and/or pinholes.”

It brought $26,775 as Lot 20.

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