Stack’s Bowers Galleries is proud to have conducted Part II of the Sydney F. Martin Collection in Baltimore at their Winter 2022 Showcase Auction, the official auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo. Martin was a longtime supporter and enthusiastic member of the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4), and it was fitting that his sale was also the official auction of that club’s Annual Convention. It was a landmark event, realizing prices totaling $4,182,560, building on the success of Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ August offering of Part I of the Martin Collection, which brought $3,172,050.
Strong prices were realized across all four types of material offered in this sale: French colonial coinage, Rosa Americana coinage, 1785 and 1786 Connecticut coppers, and Washingtoniana. The results underscore the demand for exceptional coins with storied pedigrees as well as the broader strength of the market for each of these categories.
Syd Martin was well known for his exceptional collecting acumen and legendary holdings. His research produced authoritative reference works for many of his collecting specialties. He was an active, enthusiastic member of and contributor to numismatic clubs and organizations like the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4).
Martin’s French colonial collection was studded with rarities and exceptional pieces, many of which were plated in his 2015 book published by C4, French Coinage Specifically for Colonial America, now considered the standard reference on the series. Among the most remarkable coins was the unique 1670-A Double de l’Amerique – widely thought to be the first coin to feature the word “America”. The double’s provenance stretches back to 1870, and it sold for $504,000, reflecting its unique status and significant historical value.
Collectors were clearly excited about the Rosa Americana coinage presented in the Martin Collection. His cabinet featured an array of fascinating patterns and regular-issue Rosa Americana pieces, including many unique varieties and legendary rarities.
A 1717 Pre-Patent Twopence set a new price record for Pre-Patent Rosa Americana coinage when it realized $28,800. The famous 1733 Twopence Pattern, graded Proof-62 by PCGS, brought $57,600.
Record-setting prices continued with the 1785 and 1786 Connecticut coppers. Unique pieces and high-quality type coins realized very strong prices, setting records for their respective varieties. Standout coins include the unique 1785 Miller 6.6-A.3 die variety, which realized $43,200 as it crossed the block for the very first time. The 1786 Miller 5.3-N Hercules Head graded AU-55 by PCGS brought $22,200, and the AU-55 PCGS 1786 Miller 6-K Draped Bust Left copper sold for $26,400.
Among the vast array of Washingtoniana offered in Part II of the Martin Collection was a complete set of Seasons medals, numerous Funeral medals in gold, silver, copper, and white metal, choice Success medals, a range of 1832 issues, and many 1889 Inaugural Centennial medals in silver and bronze.
There was enthusiastic bidding for the Seasons medals, as silver versions of The Shepherd and The Home realized $114,000 and $132,000, respectively.
The rare Roman Head cent in PCGS Proof-64 RB brought $132,000, and the AU-55 PCGS Funeral Urn medal in gold sold for $66,000.
The strong results realized in the first two offerings from the Sydney F. Martin Collection are a fitting tribute to his extraordinary numismatic achievements and contributions to the hobby, as well as a reflection of the diligent efforts of the Stack’s Bowers Galleries team. Complete prices realized for the Martin Collection Part II (Session 1 / Session 2), as well as the firm’s entire Winter 2022 Showcase Auction, are available at StacksBowers.com.
More information on the Sydney F. Martin Collection can be found on our Featured Collections page. To consign your coins, medals, tokens, and paper money to a Stack’s Bowers Galleries auction, call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected].