Auctions at the Whitman Summer Expo made a vigorous showing in Baltimore last week, boasting larger-than-expected sales on the strength of some record-breaking bids.
In a market report for Legend Numismatics, Laura Sperber noted that she was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm she encountered. Having seen a summer lull in online sales, her team found themselves “under-prepared” for the eagerness of the attendees. Legend, which deals primarily in rare coins of high-end quality, prepared for modest demand, but found itself having to adjust pricing rubrics to accommodate a slew of unexpectedly high bids.
From the Douglas C. Kaselitz Collection, Legend paid $32,900 for lot 5095’s 1912-S Liberty Head nickel, graded MS-66 by PCGS and stickered by CAC. Sperber described this vibrantly colored Mint State example of the sought-after 1912-S as “the best ever.”
One coin that got away from Legend was the 1837 Capped Bust half dollar with a reeded edge, graded MS-66 by PCGS and stickered by CAC. A uniquely lustrous and well-preserved example, lot 5174 sold for $38,187.50, prompting Sperber to admit, “We’re kicking ourselves badly for not bidding more” to secure the purchase.
On Thursday, the Twin Leaf Collection of United States large cents generated enough interest to propel its auction late into the night, finally wrapping up around 4 a.m. on Friday. One indefatigable buyer managed to walk away with lot 2620’s 1853 Braided Hair cent rated MS-66 RD by PCGS, with rich orange-red surfaces and no handling marks, for the price of $14,100.
For her part, Laura Sperber was impressed by how many coins Legend sold in the $10,000-$40,000 range and expressed regret at having to return to the “slow sales” of the Web after the big bids of the Whitman Expo. “We did not come to this show thinking we would meet our goals,” Sperber wrote. “No question we left pleasantly surprised.”