Alan V. Weinberg was at the Baltimore show this week, too. Our paths didn’t cross, but he provided this great report for E-Sylum readers. Thanks!
Late Saturday night I returned from the November Whitman Baltimore show. While most dealers I talked to claimed that attendance was down, I was quite pleased. There was a large group of people waiting to get in at 12 noon the first day and I paid the $50 Early Bird (on line discount) as did quite a few others for a 10 AM entry. It's always worth it.
I rank the March and Nov Whitman Baltimore shows right behind the summer ANA and the winter Orlando FUN show for interesting and rewarding bourse pickings and attendant auctions.
This year the C-4 Colonial convention was in conjunction with the Baltimore show and there was a good attendance of fervent state coinage "nuts". The much-anticipated Siboni-Howes-Ish composed American Numismatic Society New Jersey colonial copper cent book first appeared at the show. A massive and visually impressive book, which approaches the weight and heft of Dave Bowers' California Gold Rush book, made its debut at the show. Cost to C-4 and ANS members is almost $170 but it flew off the shelves at ANS' show booth and all 100 copies they brought to the show sold out! Quite a feat given the cost, specialty interest and the isolated location of the ANS booth way in the back. Reportedly only 500 copies may be printed en toto and it may well sell out.
Is the book worth it? Well, I have a marginal interest in Jersey coppers - much more so in Massachusetts colonial silver and Washingtonia - but I couldn't keep my hands off this book and it filled most of my five hour flight back home . What quality throughout! Lest readers think the text would be boring and technical, not so! There are plenty of engrossing stories about new discovery, acquisition, personality conflicts among dealers and collectors, and histories of prominent and long-dead numismatic personalities. A really engrossing read.
Though printed in China (which kept costs down) I could not find any fault with the strong binding, printing or photographic images, most superbly done by Neil Rothschild. This is, in my opinion, a must-have book for any moderately advanced dealer or collector.
I attended the Stack's Bowers auction of Dave Sundman's Massachusetts silver collection (I'd sold him two of the coins) and it was eye-opening. A full to overflowing auction room, standing room only, and prices were through the roof except for the Willow Tree sixpence which was a good buy at approx. $230K hammer. One dealer representing a new colonial collector dominated the bidding and bought most of the pieces. Dave Sundman was ecstatic over the sale results, given his 10 year-only investment.
I personally acquired six really rare and many borderline unique medals privately and on the bourse floor and was quite pleased. Unique items really do surface at Baltimore, an old numismatic center of activity from many years ago. I just cannot comprehend collectors remaining at home and sitting in front of their eBay when you can learn so much, renew old friendships and acquire such rarities when you attend a show. There is simply no comparison.
To view the full Sundman Willow Tree Sixpence lot description, see:
Lot #4003. 1652 Massachusetts Bay Colony Willow Tree Sixpence. Noe 1-A, Salmon 1-A, W-130. Rarity-6. AU-53 (PCGS). Secure Holder.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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