Archive for July, 2013

All in: The Regency Auction IV Realizes Nearly $3 Million

July 25th, 2013 by

Headliners: 1893-CC Morgan Dollar PCGS MS66 Jack Lee, 1916/1916 Buffalo Nickel Doubled Die Obverse PCGS Secure MS64 CAC

1885 Morgan Silver Dollar (Front)

LAS VEGAS – Legend-Morphy Rare Coin Auctions recently held The Regency Auction IV in Las Vegas, the fourth under the “Regency” banner and fifth overall for the auction house. Numbers were exceptional across the board, with several noteworthy coins bringing well into six figures. The sale was once again held at the Bellagio during the PCGS Members Only Show, and huge online pre-bidding culminated with over three hours of feverish floor, phone, and online bidding, as a packed house battled over lots. Also for this sale, well known auctioneer Ron Guth returned to the podium at the request of Legend-Morphy partner Laura Sperber, setting the pace and calling the auction, which began at 6 PM PT.

Legend-Morphy partner Dan Morphy “was more than pleased with the sale and results. Lot preview was very strong with nothing but positive feedback on the catalog.

1885 Morgan Silver Dollar (Back)

Laura did a phenomenal job putting together a fresh grouping of exceptionally clean coins. We met a lot of new bidders and buyers, and are already looking forward to putting together a banner sale for December.”

Julie Abrams, Legend-Morphy president, went on to say, “This was our finest auction to date with 380 handpicked lots, many from world class collections. We could not be happier with the prices realized and the sell-through rate. We have been encouraged by the feedback that our bidders, buyers, and consignors have given us. In a relatively short period of time, they have embraced and validated our unique auction model; small, exclusive auctions with the highest quality coins.”

Total prices realized were $2,987,820.75, with several highlights bringing huge numbers:

  • Lot 62 – 5C 1916/1916 Doubled Die Obverse PCGS Secure MS64 CAC, $253,000.00
  • Lot 68 – P5C 1913 J-1950 PCGS Secure PR65 CAC Gold Sticker, $195,500.00
  • Lot 119 – 10c 1931-S PCGS MS67 FB CAC, $34,500.00
  • Lot 185 – $1 1795 Flowing Hair 3 Leaves, B-5, BB-27 PCGS MS61 CAC, $92,000.00
  • Lot 205 – $1 1885 PCGS MS66 DMPL CAC, $5,175.00
  • Lot 208 – $1 1879-CC PCGS MS65 CAC, $34,500.00
  • Lot 212 – $1 1893-CC PCGS MS66 JACK LEE, $161,000.00
  • Lot 294 – $2 1/2 1881 PCGS Secure PR67 DCameo CAC, $63,250.00
  • Lot 310 – $10 1883-CC PCGS AU58 EX Hall/Simpson, $16,100
  • Lot 334 – 25c 1893 Isabella PCGS PR65 CAC, $51,750.00

“We were thrilled that our boutique auction was able to sell nearly $3,000,000.00 worth of coins in just over 3 hours! Both collectors and dealers love the ease at which they can participate in our sales. The other auction companies can be as gigantic as they want, but for us we’re ecstatic to be small, efficient, and performance proven. We had expected the sale to do well, but we were blown away at the results,” said Legend-Morphy partner Laura Sperber. “The sale consisted of fresh, high end, eye appealing coins and many were direct from major collections. It’s gotten nearly impossible to locate true GEM pieces. From day one, we knew this sale was going to be special.”

The 1893-CC Morgan Dollar PCGS MS66 Jack Lee smashed expectations, hammering at $161,000.00, and the 1883-CC $10 Gold Eagle PCGS AU58 EX Hall/Simpson exceeded estimates, bringing in $16,100.00. Many others went for well above expectations, and in addition to the highlights listed above, Legend-Morphy was thrilled to announce the 1831 Capped Bust Quarter PCGS MS65 CAC, which went for $26,450.00, the 1879-CC Morgan Dollar PCGS MS64 from the Rancho CC Collection which realized $18,975.00, and a 1826 Capped Bust Half Dollar PCGS MS64 which went for $7,475.00. Laura went on to say that “the prices realized (many of which were record setting) proved that Legend-Morphy has as much fire power as any other rare coin auction house.” All prices realized are posted on the Legend-Morphy website:

The next Legend-Morphy sale, The Regency Auction V will be held Thursday, December 18 at the PCGS Members Only Show at the Venetian in Las Vegas. They are now accepting consignments.


** For information about consigning to Legend-Morphy’s December Regency Auction V or for more information on any lot in the sale, e-mail Julie Abrams at or call 717-335-3435. You can also follow Legend-Morphy on Twitter at and on Facebook at

Gemologist Josh Cohn joins Morphy Auctions’ team of specialists

July 25th, 2013 by

DENVER, Pa. – Morphy Auctions has announced the appointment of gemologist and art glass expert Josh Cohn to itsteam of specialists.

Gemologist and art glass expert Josh Cohn, GG, newly appointed to Morphy Auctions’ team of specialists.

A graduate gemologist (GG) who spent 20 years at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) – the world leader in the grading and quality analysis of gemstones and diamonds – Cohn is a recognized expert in his field. He will bring his vast knowledge and experience to all Morphy sales that include estate jewelry, diamonds and other precious gems.

Cohn, who lives in a New York City suburb, spent most of his years at GIA in a laboratory environment, identifying and verifying diamonds of all types. He also studied while at GIA and earned his GG accreditation there.

“Although he is very well known in the world of diamonds and gemstones, Josh is also a respected dealer of art glass, silver, jewelry and paintings. His shop in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, The Emporium, is a popular stop for antique hunters in the Berkshires,” said Morphy Auctions CEO Dan Morphy. “We’re very pleased that Josh has agreed to become part of our organization.”

Cohn is currently in the process of gathering precious gem and estate-jewelry consignments to evaluate and catalog for Morphy’s Nov. 2 Fine & Decorative Art Auction. So far, highlights include a 5-carat white diamond, a 5-carat colored diamond in a platinum mounting set with smaller colored diamonds, and several highly desirable collector-quality color-changing diamonds known in the trade as “chameleons.” Cohn also expects to receive auction consignments of mounted and loose colored diamonds, and other fine gemstones, including sapphires, expressly for the Nov. 2 event.


To contact Josh Cohn about consigning to Morphy’s, call 914-907-9385 or email Visit Morphy Auctions online at


Legend Numismatics purchases famous 1894-S Daggett Specimen Dime

July 24th, 2013 by

LINCROFT, NJ – Legend Numismatics has purchased the famous 10C 1894-S PCGS BM PR64+ Daggett Specimen from David Lawrence Rare Coins for a sum in excess of $2 million, a record price for any dime.

While helping fulfill a collecting goal of Legend partner Bruce Morelan, the firm also believes classic rarities like this are still undervalued in today’s marketplace. “We have no problem stocking a classic rarity like this. A classic Mercedes racecar sold last week for nearly $29,000,000.00. Paintings regularly sell for $10-$30,000,000.00. So a classic major numismatic rarity like this is cheap. In all the years Legend has bought and sold great rarities like the 94-S 10C, none have ever gone down in value. This coin was a no brainer for us to buy,” said Laura Sperber, President of Legend Numismatics.

John Feigenbaum, President of David Lawrence Rare Coins, personally handled the transaction with Legend. According to Feigenbaum, “It was an easy negotiation and a pleasure because both parties believe in the rarity and extreme desirability of this historic coin. Laura and I have always treasured the 1894-S dime and it was logical to me that her firm would be a likely candidate to acquire this piece. I wish them great success with the coin.”

There are many theories as to why 24 proof Dimes were minted in 1894 at San Francisco. Only 10 are confirmed to exist today and this coin is likely the third finest known. The most widely accepted theory is that the Mint Superintendent, John Daggett, had high ranking visitors he wanted to impress with special coins. No one knows for sure why he picked the Dime, except that he needed to balance a $2.40 deficit in the Mint ledger, so striking 24 dimes achieved dual purposes. After minting and distribution to his friends and guests, he gave 3 or 4 coins to his daughter, Hallie Daggett.

This story is one of the greatest in numismatic lore, and continues when Daggett’s daughter Hallie eventually sold a couple gem examples, including this very coin, to Earl Parker, a coin dealer in California, around 1950. At the time, she told Parker that she originally spent one of her prized dimes to buy an ice cream cone. That coin is known today in Good-4 as the “Ice Cream Specimen” but has not traded hands publicly since 1981. 1894-S Dimes have long been considered one of the top major classic numismatic rarities, along with the 5C 1913 Liberty Nickel, and the 1804 $1. In fact, the coin is currently ranked #4 in the “100 Greatest U.S. Coins” (Third Edition, Garrett, 2008) — behind the 1913 nickel, but ahead of the 1804 dollar, in importance.

Manatee Galleries’ July 27 auction features distinguished ambassador’s fine and decorative art collection, including exquisite Chinese works

July 12th, 2013 by

400-lot collection includes Asian treasures retained by same family for 100+ years

PALMETTO, Fla. – Only rarely does a collection come to the auction marketplace that can match for quality and provenance the one Manatee Galleries is offering on July 27th. The Ambassador Ragnar Petri and Mrs. Ingrid Burdin Petri collection of European and Asian fine and decorative art is a testament to the connoisseurship of two world travelers driven by a passion for beauty and cultural history.

Chinese Guangxu blue and white dish, 7¼in dia., with underglaze blue six-character mark and of the period (1875-1908), featuring curled dragon and flaming pearl amongst thunderbolts. Est. $2,000-$3,000. Manatee Galleries image.

“Ambassador and Mrs. Petri are both originally from Sweden and now retired in Florida. Ragnar Petri served as Swedish ambassador and consulate to many nations, including Japan, Ecuador, Germany, Spain and Colombia,” explained Adrienne Falconer, president of Manatee Galleries. “Ingrid Petri was born into a family of collectors. Her father was Gylfe Burdin, a prosperous Stockholm businessman and art aficionado who acquired only the finest antique Asian porcelain, which Ingrid eventually inherited.”

Over a period of 65 years, the Petris have formed an exceptional collection that blends the Gylfe Burdin collection with antiques judiciously purchased during their years of diplomatic travels. The collection has remained solely in the Petris’ hands, and they have never before offered it for sale. Everything in the July 27 auction is fresh to the market, and most of the Chinese pieces – which have provenance from the Burdin collection – have been kept within the same family by direct descent for over a century.

Manatee Galleries has opted to place conservative estimates on all pieces. The Petris’ favorite Chinese work is a rare Chongzheng (1628-1643) transitional “Wucai boys” covered jar. The 11½-inch vessel is richly painted with a depiction of genteel ladies seated in a garden, watching boisterous young boys at play. A similar jar sold for HK$275,000 at Christie’s May 2012 sale in Hong Kong. It is entered in Manatee’s sale with a $3,000-$5,000 estimate.

An important famille verte covered jar, 18th/19th century, has a Chinese signature on the side of the jar and an underglaze blue double-circle mark, possibly of the Kangxi Period 1662-1722). Its motif depicts a robed dignitary holding a bolt of silk, followed by a servant with a large hand fan. Standing 8 inches tall, it is expected to make $1,000-$5,000.

Chinese Chongzheng (1628-1643) transitional “Wucai boys” covered jar, 11½in, similar to an example that sold for HK$275,000 at Christie’s May 2012 sale in Hong Kong. Est. $3,000-$5,000. Manatee Galleries image.

Another famille verte highlight is the brightly enameled 17th-century Kangxi Period Chinese plate, 9¼ inches (dia.), with an image of two elegant ladies in a verdant pavilion garden. The wonderfully decorative border features four cartouches with colorful winged insects. A similar example sold for $17,276 at Christie’s South Kensington’s Sept. 19, 2012 Interiors sale. The plate from the Petri collection carries a $2,000-$5,000 estimate.

Manatee Galleries’ catalog describes a rare and important 17th-century Chinese verte covered box as having “the finest-quality painting [we] have seen on a piece that is well over 300 years old.” Its lid is vibrantly filled with the image of two boys – possibly twins – bound together at the waist but running in opposite directions. The 4.1-inch diameter box retains a 1950s label from the Amsterdam gallery “Kunstzalen A. Vecht” and is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.

An eye-filling early 17th-century Ming Zhangzhou (Swatow) polychrome basin has steep flaring sides and is generously decorated in iron-red, green, turquoise and black enamels. Its central image is of a bird in full flight amongst peony blooms, and the medallions at each quarter turn bear Chinese marks. On verso, there are old collectors’ labels and a six-character Chinese mark. With no chips, cracks or repairs, the 15½in-diameter basin is entered in the sale with a $1,000-$5,000 estimate.

Yet another premier lot is a Chinese Guangxu blue and white dish with underglaze blue six-character mark, and of the period 1875-1908, featuring a central motif of a curled dragon and flaming pearl amongst thunderbolts. The 7¼-inch dish is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

A showcase for Chinese artistry at its most appealing, an antique huanghuali wood screen is embellished with jade and hardstone on its panels, each with a lively scene of activities within an imperial or noble court. The multicolored screen measures 72 inches by 72 inches and is estimated at $4,000-$5,000.

Of the Asian scrolls to be auctioned, the most significant is a signed Kanou Motonobu (Japanese, 1476-1559) metallic scroll painting that measures 49 inches long by 19½ inches wide. Centered with an ethereal depiction of three horses standing in water – one of them leaning down to drink – the painting is of particular importance because it was created by the eldest son of Kano Motonobu, founder of the famous Japanese school of painting.

“The Kano family is one of the most important lineages in Japanese history,” said Adrienne Falconer. “They dominated the painting world from the end of the Muromachi Period (1333-1568) to the end of the Edo Period (1600-1868).”

The Motonobu Kanou scroll painting exhibits a technique known as wa-kan, a hybrid of Japanese and Chinese painting that requires careful brushwork techniques. The scroll is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.

The Petri collection also includes an outstanding selection of English Staffordshire, silhouettes and miniature paintings; and even some mid-century modern design. The star of the European antiques section, however, is a 19th-century “blue john,” white marble and slate urn on pedestal that has been electrified to function as a lamp. Blue john, which was discovered by the Ancient Romans nearly 2,000 years ago, is a rare natural variety of calcium fluorite known as “radix amethysti” for its distinctively colored deep purple veins. The only known deposit of this unusual mineral – also known as Derbyshire spar – was found in the hills of Derbyshire’s Hope Valley in England. Highly prized blue john was a favorite mineral of Birmingham silversmith and ormolu manufacturer Matthew Boulton, who used it in the production of candelabra, urns, candlesticks and other decorative and functional pieces.

The blue john mines and seams are now largely exhausted, making the urn/lamp in the Petri collection all the more valuable. Its auction estimate is $3,000-$5,000.

Manatee Galleries’ auction of the Ambassador Ragnar Petri and Mrs. Ingrid Burdin Petri collection will take place on July 27, 2013, starting at 4 p.m. Eastern time. Preview July 24-26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., on July 27 (auction day) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment. The gallery is located at 1007 10th Avenue West in Palmetto, Florida 34221. All forms of bidding will be available, including absentee, phone and live via the Internet through, and The online catalog may be viewed online at any of these three websites.

For additional information on any item in the auction, to leave an absentee bid or to book a phone line, call 941-722-4800 or email Visit Manatee Galleries online at