Auction 58 Highlights
Welcome to Smalls Auction No. 58.
This sale contains coins and banknotes rarely offered for sale.
Perhaps one of the more intriguing coins is the 1939 ‘Kangaroo’ Halfpenny in proof which is a unique offering. The Melbourne Mint struck a hundred proof halfpennies with the new ‘Kangaroo’ reverse which were sold to the public to proudly advertise its minting skills but, the coin on offer is not one of those. This coin has unique features which have only ever been sighted on one circulation coin of specimen grade found in the collection of eminent Australian H.C. ‘Nugget Coombs’ and, this proof which was likely struck by the Royal Mint. To understand why this coin is different to the more common variety, we recommend you visit www.benchmarkcoincatalogue.com or download the free app of the same catalogue in the Apple App Store. You’ll find it under ‘Australia Coin Values.’
Another unique offering is the cameo selection of the Turkish-Ottoman banknotes from the ‘State Ministry of Finance Collection.’ In 2016 an amazing collection of unknown ‘specimen’ notes were unearthed in Sydney some representing the only known surviving examples. They are believed to have been originally the property of Huseyin Cahid, the Vice-President of the Ottoman Parliament, who took it upon himself the vet the new banknote designs looking for hidden Armenian propaganda. Cahid was a rabid Turkish nationalist who falsely accused a fellow parliamentarian, the Armenian Voskan Martikaian the head of the Post – Telegraph Service, of conspiring to include secret Armenian codes in their designs. After the defeat of Turkey in the First World War the Ottoman banknotes continued to be heavily circulated until they were replaced by the notes of the new Republic in 1927 and, that is why it is difficult to find any surviving high denomination notes of this era that are not torn or repaired. The ‘specimen’ notes from the ‘State Ministry of Finance’ archive in some instances represent the only intact notes to have survived. A truly remarkable offering.
For collectors of Australian Colonial coins, it is hard to go past Lots 1 & 3. The first lot on offer is a New South Wales ‘Type A1’ Dump in good Very Fine condition. There are an estimated 1,000 Dumps that have survived but most are in in very poor condition. The coin in our sale is a very strong grade that would place it comfortably in the top few percent known. Lot 3 is an 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign PCGS AU detail that sits comfortably in the top 15 of known coins but, it has been penalised by PCGS because it has a small edge file. Collectors of this series should be aware that this was not an uncommon practice that happened during the minting process. It is fair to say ‘gold is money’ and that governments don’t give away either, and so when the ‘Sydney Mint’ gold was struck for circulation a mint worker was tasked with removing with a rasp any high edges that would have put a coin marginally overweight. It is one of the draw backs of an international third-party grading service not be au fait with local history and in our opinion the coin should be fully recognised as an AU55 with a note commenting on this historical practice included in the description.
These are just a few of the highlights on offer but you should also look closely at the fine section of Australian & World Coins and Banknotes for some other notable gems.