The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 46, November 12, 2006, Article 14


Alan V. Weinberg writes: "For this week's Baltimore Norweb sale,
I had anticipated the same uneven response seen in the Ford Indian
Peace Medal sale in New York City on November 17.

In that sale, there were prices all over the map such as silly-high
prices like $16K hammer for a VF Grant silver Indian Peace Medal and
$5,500 hammer for the 1911 EK Elder silver novelty peace medal. And
silly-low prices like $22K hammer for the finest known Geo III Lion
& Wolf peace medal (congrats to a New Jersey E-Sylum reader) and
$30K hammer for the 2nd VF Geo II Quaker Duffield medal (superior
to LaRiviere's at $53K in 2001).

The factors that contributed to the mixed success of the Ford IPM
sale should apply to Norweb, no? Well, NO!

The Norweb lot viewing was crowded, the auction room atmosphere
electric with a strong attendance from collectors and dealers and
a very active phone bank manned competitively by Larry Stack &
John Kraljevich, among others.  Those two represented some very
strong phone competitors.

Norweb prices were literally jaw-dropping, making many Ford
Washingtonia prices of May 2004 seriously obsolete.

American medals have set three successively higher records in
the past three weeks - first, the $165K hammer for Ford's 4"
Thomas Jefferson shell IPM, and now Norweb's 1889 Centennial of
George Washington's Inauguration St Gaudens gold medal, anticipated
to bring perhaps $75K, sold at an astonishing $340K hammer (plus 15%)
to phone bidder # 572, reportedly a New York collector who specializes
in St. Gaudens and owns seven ULTRA hi-relief $20's, with Jeff Garrett,
Tony Terranova and Larry Hanks in the running. Applause. But this new
U.S. medallic record didn't last for long. The Zachary Taylor
Congressional gold medal hammered for $400K plus 15% - totaling
(gasp)  $460,000 - to a phone bidder ably handled by John Kraljevich
for a world American medal record. Dave Bowers spoke from the podium
introducing the medal. Both he and I had anticipated $250K but there
were eight hands up at that level!

The no-longer really rare (quite an number have come on the auction
block in the past few yrs) 1783 CCAUS Baker 57 silver George Washington
medal sold for an astonishing $74,750 to Whitman's Anderson Bros. -
Ford's two had sold for $19.5K and $35.6K total just a few years ago,
Norweb's being equal to the lesser Ford specimen.  Norweb's 1792 Roman
Head pattern sold for $132,250 total to dealer John Gervasoni where
Ford's Unc (with a spot) sold for $32.2K in 2004. Norweb's Unc slabbed
MS-64 1792 copper pattern "Getz" sold for $299K to Tony Terrranova
whereas a similarly slabbed Ford Getz 1792 copper v. recently
resold at auction by ANR for a bit over $100K.

Norweb's copper 1792 Hancock pattern reached an astonishing $253K
to dealer Stu Levine - Ford's silver had sold for $115K in 2004.
And the Norweb George Washington gold skull & crossbones, 1 of 2
known and the earliest (1882) documented Norweb Family numismatic
possession, sold for $253K to  Stu Levine.

Norweb's 1818 GW silver Chowder Club sold at $48.3K  where a
markedly superior Ford Chowder Club in 2004 sold for only $12.65K
in 2004. Somebody explain this to me! And there were downright silly
results like a 20th Century matte finish GW Baker 91 mint gold
restrike for $4,830!

Finally, perhaps the most intriguing Norweb item - a copper "1794"
GW "dollar" in the fashion of a legit 1794 silver dollar,
optimistically anticipated to bring  $10K as a "cute toy" - sold
with considerable floor bidding for a mind-numbing $46K - for a
handmade fantasy!.

A comment about the Baltimore coin show following the Norweb auction:
I've noticed this at previous Baltimore shows but as I entered the
bourse room Friday and Saturday morning I noticed the huge volume
of public attendance by collectors. I mean the show was busy! The
aisles were crowded and collectors were there buying and selling.
And, to boot, the bourse has expanded to the size of a FUN or ANA
so it's not as if the attending crowd was in a small hall. Baltimore
is clearly now the 3rd largest & busiest numismatic event in the U.S.
I was thinking this hobby of ours has a good future!"

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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