|Auctions Abound at Heritage
The Long Beach numismatic auctions are winding down as you
receive this newsletter, but that doesn't mean that we at Heritage
are idle. The Palm Beach Signature Auction is right around the
corner, and the other Heritage venues are offering great material
for bidding even now.
come as no surprise that Heritage, the World's Largest Collectibles
Auctioneer, is interested in the fast-growing regional market of
Texas Art. We believe that the historical importance and impressive
quality of this material as well as the dedication of the Early
Texas Art collecting community, makes these treasures worthy of a
larger place on the artistic stage. We are proud to offer these
fabulous works to the attention of art collectors worldwide in our
October Heritage Texas Art Signature Auction, to be
offered October 1 in our Dallas headquarters.
Over half of
the lots in this auction have a provenance directly traceable to
the artist's studio. Much of this material comes directly from the
artist themselves, their representative, or their estate. Included
in this category are groups of paintings by Rolla Taylor, Carl
Hoppe, Merritt Mauzey, William Lester, Kelly Fearing, Xavier
Gonzalez, Robert Preusser, and Ralph White.
One of the most exquisite paintings being offered in this
auction is the Texas-sized
(44" x 100") bluebonnet painting by Porfirio Salinas that is
featured on our catalog cover. It is joined by two wonderful pieces
from the epic Texas Centennial celebration of 1936, the original
mural study for the
North Wall Mural of the Great Hall of State by Eugene Savage,
and the stunning
"Josephina" by Clinton King. Equally exciting is our selection
of Texas Modernism, which has an abundance of masterful
treasure trove of music and entertainment memorabilia will be
available in our upcoming
Music Memorabilia Signature Auction to be held October
8, 2005 in our Dallas, Texas headquarters.
One of the premiere
pieces in this auction is an exquisite
oil painting by the Chairman of the Board himself, Frank
Sinatra. Although Sinatra painted for most of his adult life,
his creations have never before been offered for sale. We're proud
to offer this bold and striking work - the last painting that
Sinatra ever did - in our upcoming auction.
Another great item is a
1963 White Fender Stratocaster Guitar, one of Jimi Hendrix's
first Strats. This historic instrument, used early in Hendrix's
career, was given to Skip Juried, one of Hendrix's closest friends
and chief engineer at Juggy Sound Studios, by the legendary
musician, and came to our consignor directly from Skip. The
provenance is impeccable, making this museum-worthy piece a true
There are lots of people
out there claiming to have Hendrix guitars, but few have the
documentation of this classic instrument.
Of course, we're extremely proud to offer
Johnny Carson's Tonight Show Desk, featured on the show from
approximately 1974 through 1981, as well. In our last auction, we
sold Johnny's on-air Shure microphone for $50,787, so I'm excited
to see where the bidding on this historic piece goes.
We're very pleased to be
able to offer several pieces from the collection of the Blackstone
Estate. Father and son, Harry Blackstone Sr. and Jr., were two of
the 20th Century's greatest magicians, their combined careers
spanning over 70 years. From costumes to fully functional stage
props, including the classic
'Sawing a Lady in Half' illusion, there are some real treasures
We've had a blast assembling this auction. It's great to find
these items, and we're excited to now offer them to collectors all
over the world.
Heritage Comics Auctions (HCA) will hold their latest
auction of rare and collectible comic books, original comic art and
related memorabilia on October 14 & 15, 2005, in our Dallas,
One of the highlights of this
upcoming auction is the staggering collection of high grade Mile
High comics that we're offering, including such significant books
More Fun Comics #53 and
Adventure Comics #72, CGC-graded NM/M 9.8 with White pages.
That's not the extent of our Golden Age offerings, however, as
we're also pleased to present some of the most desirable Timely
books in existence. Start with the legendary 'Pay Copy' of
Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1, which featured the first
printed appearance of Bill Everett's Sub-Mariner, CGC-graded VF/NM
9.0 with Cream to off-white pages, and one of the nicest copies of
Captain America Comics #1 we've ever seen, the Windy City copy,
CGC-graded VF+ 8.5 with Cream to off-white pages. The crown jewel
of this section, though, has to be a stunning copy of the seminal
Marvel Comics #1, one of the finest copies known to exist,
CGC-graded VF/NM 9.0 with Cream to off-white pages. There's only
one other copy tied with this one for the title 'highest-graded,'
so this is a significant opportunity for collectors of true
Silver Age collectors will have
plenty to be excited about, as we're offering several stunning DC
The Flash #105, CGC-graded NM 9.4 with Off-white pages. And
Marvel enthusiasts will want to take a look at a beautiful copy of
The Amazing Spider-Man #9, CGC-graded NM+ 9.6 with Off-white to
white pages, featuring Electro's first appearance. With rumors
circulating about Electro's possible inclusion in Spider-Man 3,
this is definitely a book to consider!
Certainly no Heritage auction would be complete without a strong
selection of original comic art, and this one is no exception. Our
premiere offering in this category is the unforgettable John
Byrne/Terry Austin artwork for the cover of
cover of X-Men #138, the book that immediately followed the
landmark ?Death of Phoenix' storyline. Who can forget the image of
a brooding Cyclops leaving behind the team he helped to found?
This is our last auction of 2005, and it's one that collectors
won't want to miss. We've pulled out all the stops on this one, and
we've come up with an event that the comics' community will be
talking about for some time to come.
Meanwhile, our latest
Decorative Arts Signature Auction was held on September
17, 2005 in our Dallas, Texas headquarters. 1,107 bidders competed
for 1,078 lots, 210 of them successfully, for a final total of
nearly $1 million.
This was a very successful event for us. Prices across the board
were strong, especially in the area of decorative silver. We had a
good turnout, and some aggressive bidding, both on the floor and
over the phone and Internet. This is a fascinating area of
collecting, and we're looking forward to our next auction, to be
held December 10, 2005 in Dallas.
There are still great opportunities on some items that didn't
sell in this auction. For a limited time, these items are available
for direct sale at fixed amounts. This offer will end Wednesday,
September 28, 2005 at 10:00 AM CT.
View the Post Auction Buys.
Auction highlights included:
A Russian Silver Tea Service
Mark of Antip Ivanovich Kuzmichev, Moscow, Russia, c.1900
A Pair of German Silver Knights
I. F. & Son, Ltd., Germany, Nineteenth century
An Austrian Porcelain Plaque
Maker unknown, c.1900
An American Art Glass Vase
Tiffany Studios, c.1900
An American Reverse-Painted Glass Lamp
Pairpoint Corporation, Early Twentieth Century
An American Bronze D'Ore and Enamel Carriage Clock
Mark of Tiffany & Co., c.1890
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Found Treasures: 1885 Three Cent
by Stewart Huckaby
week's Found Treasures subject, the
1904-S Half Dollar, was an example of a key and possibly
underrated coin in a fairly recent but not terribly popular series.
This week's coin is similar in many respects — it's a key coin in
an obscure series and relatively unknown if not underrated — but it
also serves to illustrate the value of doing one's homework before
purchasing a coin.
The 1885 Three Cent Nickel is the unquestioned key to the Three
Cent Nickel series - among circulation strikes, at least. The date
is common as a proof, but only 1000 circulation strike pieces were
minted, the lowest total in the series and a tiny total for any US
Three Cent Nickel collectors are few and far between, so this
piece does not have the notoriety of its Five Cent Nickel
counterpart. The circulation strike 1885 Three Cent Nickel is,
however, far rarer than the 1885 Five Cent Nickel. The catalog
description for lot 1326 in our Long Beach auction, an 1885 Three
Cent Nickel graded MS66 in a first-generation PCGS holder (pictured
above), mentions that only 77 coins have been graded in all grades
by either major grading service, and a little research shows than
none of these has been graded lower than VF30. In contrast, the
major grading services have seen nearly 700 1885 Five Cent Nickels
in grades all over the spectrum, and of course this figure doesn't
include the innumerable ANACS-graded coins of the date.
If you're familiar with Red Book prices, you'll know that they
tend to be not only retail, but on the high end for most coins.
Usually, coins will sell at auction at or near wholesale prices,
which might run at about 70% of Red Book as a rule of thumb. 2006
Red Book prices for the 1885 Three Cent Nickel in various grades
look like this:
- VF20: $535
- XF40: $600
- AU50: $675 (the book actually says $575, which is probably a
- MS60: $900
- MS63: $1100
Wholesale guides for this coin in these grades are in the 70-90%
of the above figures depending on both the guide and grade of the
coin. The Red Book does not cover this coin in MS65, but common
wholesale guides range from roughly $1600 to $2000 and other retail
guides show figures of $3000-$4000. MS66 listings are a bit tougher
to find, but one on-line wholesale listing shows a figure near
$2800 and another retail listing is at about $8500.
Based on the history of Heritage auction sales of this coin in
the last five years or so, I believe none of the figures above is
accurate; in fact, every one is probably way too low. I would
estimate that the retail figures above for circulated coins are no
more than two-thirds of what this coin legitimately will bring at
auction today, and that the price guide figures for uncirculated
coins are a mere fraction of what they should be.
Here are actual auction results from each of the Heritage
auction sales of this coin since 2001:
- 7-04: ANACS XF Details, Corroded, net VF20, $472. This is the
only result in the last five years that falls below Red Book and
it's for a problem coin, which will often bring far lower prices
than a problem-free coin in the listed net grade.
- 9-04: ANACS XF40, $891
- 2-02: ANACS XF45, $748
- 5-01: NGC AU55, $776. Reasonably close to today's price guides,
but this sale is from over four years ago.
- 1-05: PCGS MS64, $4,025
- 5-05: PCGS MS66, $16,100
- 6-05: PCGS MS66, $16,100
- 2-05: PCGS MS67, $19,119. Tied for the finest known.
The Long Beach coin follows this trend. It shows a current bid
of $13,000 as I write this, which equates to a sale price of at
least $14,950 after we add the Buyer's Premium, as is customary. It
has no reserve, so we already know it will sell for at least this
amount. When you receive this, the auction will be over and you'll
be able to click on the image of the coin above to find out exactly
how well the coin fared.
As a collector, two of the series I collect avidly are Seated
Half Dimes and Seated Dimes. I like circulated coins, and I'm at
the point in my collections of these series where the vast majority
of the coins I wish to add to this collection, particularly in the
Half Dimes, are semi-key dates or something even tougher on the
pocketbook, and most of the time I simply can't find a coin in the
grade I want regardless of how hard I look. (Naturally, the rest of
the time I can't afford the coin?) When a coin from one of these
series that would fit in my collection does turn up, I've learned
through hard experience and a great supply of e-mail outbid notices
to take the price guides with a healthy supply of salt. A series
may not be popular, but the people who collect it seriously will be
aggressive if they see something they want, and they are by
definition far more accurate in their pricing than the guides will
The Three Cent Nickel series is, if anything, even more obscure
than the various Seated Liberty series, but the same principle
applies. Sure, there are plenty of common circulation strikes early
in the series and proofs regardless of date are always available
for a price, but there are some legitimately tough circulation
strike dates out there, like the 1885, and you may have to look
pretty hard to find one at all. If you want a coin like this, make
sure you check auction results before you place your bid in order
that you know what people are actually paying. Sometimes you just
have to throw away the price guides!
The Heritage Permanent Auction Archives are available to all
HeritageCoins.com members free of charge.
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Website Tips: Tracking Lots In
As part of our commitment to staying on the cutting edge of
auction technology, Heritage has added an exciting new feature to
our award-winning websites.
Currently, all items that are described or imaged for an
upcoming auction automatically appear on the appropriate web site,
where users may browse the contents to preview auction items of
interest. This auction preview feature has proven extremely popular
with our bidders, as it's given them a 'heads-up' on items they
might want to bid on.
You have the ability to track items in auction previews. Once an
auction goes from 'preview' to 'live' mode, the tracked items will
automatically carry over into the normal auction tracking section
and allow easy access for customers to view and bid.
To find Heritage auction previews, just scroll down the home
page below the current auctions and Post Auction Buys, if any. We
will usually be previewing at least the next Signature Auction, and
often two or three auctions into the future. You are encouraged to
check these previews regularly to see what might have been added to
an upcoming sale.
To track an item in an auction preview, just page through the
auction or do any search from within the auction preview until you
find an item that interests you. Here, I've done a search for
"1927-D", knowing that we have the exceptionally rare 1927-D Double
Eagle in the upcoming Morse Collection Signature Auction. Just as
if you were in an ordinary search page, click the "track" box on
the right of the search listing, and then click on the "Track"
button at the top. We also now offer the option to track from
within the individual item preview page, exactly as if the page
were in a live auction.
To review your tracked lots, go to MyTrackedLots from the
MyHeritage page, from the drop-down menu on any of our pages, or
from MyBids. Once there, you will have the option to see your
tracked lots in current auctions, in closed auctions, and now in
Auction Previews. To see your tracked lots from an auction preview,
just click on the Auction Previews link at the top of the page.
Most importantly, once the auction goes live, you will still be
tracking the lot. You need not worry about finding it again; the
site will remember it for you!
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Short Snorter: A piece of currency autographed to a
serviceman by his buddies or comrades in arms. This was a common
practice during World War II. When there was no room left on the
note, another would be stapled to the original to make it longer;
longer short snorters would be rolled, rather than folded. By
tradition, if someone asked to see your short snorter and you did
not have it, you would buy the first round of drinks.
Roll: A fixed number of coins wrapped in paper or plastic
for easy storage and transportation. Some common numismatic coins
trade by the roll; other times, collectors will buy rolls of coins
from the bank in order to search them for individually interesting
pieces. The standard number of coins found in rolls is as
Cents and Dimes: 50
Nickels and Quarters: 40
Half Dollars and Silver/Ike Dollars: 20
Susan B. Anthony/Sacagawea Dollars are found in rolls of either
20 or 25. Make sure you know the number of coins in your roll
before you buy... or sell!
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