The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 33, August 13, 2023, Article 16


Allan Davisson published this note about his firm's upcoming E-Auction 47. -Editor

Davissons E-Auction 47 cover - front Ending is a key aspect of this summer's end catalog. Over the past few auctions we have offered two major collections, a handful of smaller consignments, and have been dispersing a large collection of United States coins. Now we are at the end point for our work with much of this and we have come to the final pieces from the groups. For most collectors, acquisition is driven by the pieces themselves—denominations, dates, types, condition. Cost is a factor but it is an instrument of means, not an intrinsic aspect of the actual material in the collection.

Some of the individual pieces from these collections are offered in the first 294 lots in this sale. But the back of this catalog—the end of the sale— offers nineteen large lots. The lots contain very collectible and often important pieces that are of collecting interest, historic significance but modest value. Because of our policy of issuing a print catalog for every sale, every lot we offer carries the related cost of print publication. The cost of offering less valuable pieces as single lots outweighs the extra return the individual pieces might bring.

Every group lot was designed and estimated to offer good value. The savings on preparation and print is effectively passed on to the buyer. In short, expect to find some great coins at bargain prices in the groups. Four of the earlier lots are from the carefully built collection of ancient coins that has provided some of the better Greek and Roman coins in our recent sales. The pieces in the individual lots are internally related: lot 295 contains five coins of Macedon; lot 296 has 13 Thessalian pieces; lot 297 is mostly silver Greek fractionals; lot 300 is a group of seven Roman pieces.

Thirteen of the bulk lots come from the extensive and carefully built Zabel collection. Like many collectors, he had wide-ranging interests. His first love—and strongest investment—was his Anglo-Saxon collection, the centerpiece of our first auction of 2023. His enthusiasm for coins resulted in a huge collection of coins, thousands of which were modern coins of face value or little more that we did not handle.

Davissons E-Auction 47 cover - back We have constructed the Zabel lots so that the pieces they contain are related, specific to a particular aspect of his collection. These are the less expensive pieces from areas other than Anglo-Saxon that he pursued in detail. (The more valuable pieces from all these areas have been offered in our last three auctions.) There are three lots of ancient coins: 298, Parthian issues, 299, issues from Asia Minor, and 301, coins of the Severans. The uniformly high quality of the Severan denarii demonstrate the care and skill he brought to his collection. Two additional lots, 302 and 303 include attractive later Roman issues.

The Medieval to Renaissance lot combines a smattering of Eastern and Western issues from that era where the world was expanding but exploration across the oceans was yet to come. Pat's fondness for Spanish American coins provides coins for the next four lots, 305 to 308. He lived in the San Antonio area and travelled in Mexico—not that many miles away. And he visited relatives living in Costa Rica in the 1940's and 50's. Lot 310 is a trio of larger silver pieces that did not make the cut as individual lots. And the final pair of lots from Pat are American greenback currency—National Bank notes, a gold certificate, and a group of large format silver certificates.

From the same collection that included the 600 silver crowns we offered in our last sale is the substantial lot (312) of the over 6000 minor coins that went with the crowns. These are described in detail in the online listing (and estimated very conservatively). The choice 195 Isle of Man crowns in lot 310 came from the same collection.

Lots of lots of fascinating and highly collectible coins—and a more standard form catalog including many special pieces—it all made this hot summer more interesting putting together this catalog.

I think from time to time about the privilege of working with so many different things in the field of numismatics. It is a part of the job description but that does not make it any less satisfying. But this is exactly what collectors experience. The collections people build offer both satisfaction and an expansion of their knowledge and experience.

Thank you for your interest.

To read the complete text of this article, see:
Welcome to E-Auction 47 (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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