Friday, July 19, 2013

Over 200 Angus CTs sold

In a series of six auctions (June 2 through July 7), a collection of Angus CTs were dispersed from one cabinet to many others all across the globe by ebay dealer tomv007.
     Burzinski listed 387 Angus CTs from 68 shires. The six auctions included at least 215 of these from 53 shires: over half completed by piece with over three-quarters of the shires represented.
     Most CTs were round or oval (33% and 32% respectively). Next came the cut rectangles at just shy of a quarter. Squares and straight rectangles completed the mix but for one odd-shaped piece that was rectangular with scalloped sides (from Dundee, dated 1821). This tally accurately reflects that Angus parishes liked their round CTs. Modernity expressed itself with a shift to ovals and cut rectangles.
This piece from Auchterhouse is one
of three rounds used by this parish.
The first was undated from before 1740;
the second was this one; and the third
was dated 1792. This one is interesting
with handcrafted figures and dentils. 
     Burzinski lists 142 round CTs for Angus -- this is 37%. Of course, most of the rounds are early ones, as they were replaced by ovals and cut rectangles later on (not squares or straight rectangles). Some parishes exclusively, or near exclusively, used rounds, such as Auchterhouse and Glamis (three early rounds each). This contrasts with some other shires that favored right angles (Ayr and Lanark come to mind -- not to forget Fife's preference for small rectangles). Angus wins the rounds!
     Most CTs sold for affordable prices, as 60% went for under $20 and another quarter sold below $50. Consequently, only 25 CTs brought more money. Six hot CTs went over $80 -- the top one being the unlisted Panbridge piece that sold for $138 on June 15.
     The other hot CTs were either in great condition and pretty (e.g., Kirriemuir round dated 1831) or from parishes that did not issue many CTs (e.g., Colliston, Aberlemno and Kinnettles -- these parishes with only 1, 2 and 3 CTs respectively). Another winner was the ever popular 1674 Brechin round that appeared to be in superb condition. By the way, the Kinnettles CT, a square dated 1763, was a beautiful specimen pictured with smooth ashen surfaces -- I wish I had bid more!
     All collectors know that the only true way to appreciate how rare and how contested a particular piece may be is to commit to collecting a series. Angus experts (which I am not) ruled the day during this series of auctions. But the rest of us can learn from the sidelines by watching what is wagered. And by not getting carried away.
     Keep in mind that auction figures are confounded by bidding wars and cross-over buyers who just want high-condition pieces, certain shapes, interesting Bible verses, cool designs and the like. Nonetheless, I encourage you to take note of these data, as it provides a snapshot of the Angus series. It is the closest you will get to a price guide. Finally, it is nice to know that many CTs could be had for few dollars.

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