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ALAN WEINBERG'S REPORT ON THE NOVEMBER 2008 BALTIMORE COIN SHOW
Alan V. Weinberg forwarded this report on the weekend's coin show in Baltimore. Me, I was watching my sons play basketball on Saturday. But I had my fill of numismatic fun Saturday night opening a shipment of several boxes of numismatic literature. So how did other readers fare at the show? -EditorI've just returned from the Baltimore coin show. The third largest coin show in the U.S. after the summer ANA and the January FUN show, the activity and atmosphere did in fact reflect the current economic "slowdown". I did not overhear nor was I advised in the hundreds of conversations I had, that any dealer was pleased with the selling activity. Indeed, quite a few dealers commented to one extent or another that sales were pretty dismal, but not disappointing as they all anticipated it. Money was visibly tight. Attendance appeared decent but whether the public was spending is another matter.
That evidently did not impact Bowers and Merena's auction of the recently discovered Sheldon 79 reeded edge "Good" 1795 large cent. Hardly an attractive piece (none are), it opened at $75K and closed at a rousing $350K plus 15% (totaling $402, 500) with phone and multiple floor bidders still over the $200K mark. It's quite an impressive figure , particularly when you realize the finest known VG-7 Sheldon 79 will be auctioned next September by McCawley-Grellman / Goldberg's in the sale of Dan Holmes' legendary large cent collection.
Doug Bird won the S-79 on the behalf of a large cent client. Why would a large cent collector pay $402,500 for a low grade Sheldon 79 when a "much finer" piece will sell next September? 'Cause that finer piece may be sought and bid upon by "Registry collectors" - that was the expressed rationale. These collectors may be prepared to pay more than "purist" large cent collectors.
George Fuld showed me the nearly finished manuscript for the forthcoming Peter Getz 1792 George Washington pattern book and it is impressive with numerous plates, many in color. Excellent research and some real surprises therein. Alan Mehgrig's graphic capability and George Kolbe's publication capabilities are participating in the project, a massive extension and updating of the late Jack Collins' Getz manuscript. This will be some book, appealing to pattern collectors, colonial collectors and George Washington collectors, among others.
Thanks, Alan, for your reports. These kinds of first-person accounts of numismatic events are always welcome in The E-Sylum, particularly when numismatic literature is involved. We'll look forward to George's new book. -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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