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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 2, January 13, 2008, Article 16

AUCTION ANTICS: JOHN LORENZO'S FRONTENEC SALE PURCHASE

[Tales of collector and dealer behavior at coin auctions
are entertaining glimpses into the dynamics of relationships
among people in our hobby.  U.S. colonial coin collector
John Lorenzo published the following account of his "most
memorable & unusual purchase" this week in the Yahoo Colonial
Numismatics forum.  I'm reprinting it here with minor edits.
It concerns a coin in his collection which is now up for
sale in the latest Stack's Americana auction. -Editor]

With the sale almost upon us and I guess with basically all
the talk & private queries about the coins completed and
answered I will give my most memorable & unusual purchase
within the collection which surrounds the NJ Copper M.15-J
variety.

Entering Frontenac I knew this was the most under-catalogued
coin in the sale from the Boyd duplicates. At that time and
still today in my opinion it is the Second Finest Known and
tied with the Fourth C4 Coin which was graded AU in the Fourth
C4 Sale. I had not discussed my research with Bill Anton Jr.
on this sale but he would generally call me a week before
most sales and ask me what coins I thought were good or no
good or over catalogued, etc. - he always tested my knowledge
but I guess he always wanted to hear my opinion - just in
case there was something EXTRA - he may have overlooked
(not often) - which was fine.

During the day of the sale one regular bidder of Colonials
who was of Bill's generation who I had seen all the time but
never got his name since he never bought much and never
really interfered with my purchases in the past - always
sat next to Bill. His catalog was always COVERED with notes
so I knew this guy did his homework. When the bidding started
on M.15-J it when up the normal expected path and as usual
if I really wanted a coin and if it was not a R7/8 Bill would
generally let me have it - (but then again usually in most
cases once a coin went above $1,000 I would generally pass
as that was my mental/budget limit).

Then something strange happened - this gentleman next to
Bill kept nagging him & loudly - telling him - Bill - what's
wrong with you - BID! - BID! After about 30 seconds of this
ORDEAL as I was only two rows behind hearing all of this -
Bill got up and at the top of his lungs right in the middle
of the auction yelled out SIX inches from this guy's ear
"I AM GIVING THIS COIN TO JOHN LORENZO BECAUSE HE IS A COLLECTOR!"

The auctioneer started laughing, this guy turned RED as
a tomato - I started laughing - and Bill almost missed
sitting back in his seat - no one else picked up on the
scene in terms of the significance of this coin although
the auction stopped for at least a minute. I won the coin.

With each coin of course having its own unique set of
circumstances, U.S. Colonial collectors from my experience
over the years unquestionably have a higher passion and
knowledge base than collectors of any other coin series
within U.S. Numismatics. Usually, when a numismatist arrives
in U.S. Colonials - he never really leaves ... even after
his collection is sold.  It was after this sale that J.Griffee
initially came to me and pressured me to publish the initial
New Jersey Condition Census in Penny Wise - the rest is history.

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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