Sunday, August 4, 2013

Weekly Market Watch

This market watch examines ebay auctions from July 28 to August 3. This week one CT sold for $78, but I do not have any HD (Highly Desired, that is over $100) tokens to report. I do have some other auction news to report: good things on the horizon, but it will cost you!
     Overall, 17 CTs sold on ebay this week. There were no large offerings. Most of the CTs sold for under $20, whereas three sold in the middle range ($21 to $49). Two CTs from the Orkney Islands (Evie & Rendall and Kirkwell) sold for $59 and $78 respectively.
     The D (for Desired) token from Kirkwell was not particularly pretty, as it was blotchy with dark corrosion and dinged here and there. It is a somewhat narrow oval, dated 1827, from the Associate Church. Many narrow ovals sell in the $20 to $40 range, so why did this one bring in the dollars? Well, for one, it appears that two bidders (out of four total) really wanted it. Ten bids were recorded, but it appears that two players went back and forth several times in the final days.
     There is more to the story. Apparently, the congregation and its minister, Reverent Ebenezer Richie (who is named on the token), were in a contentious position in Kirkwell. They were part of a small group of "protesters" that abruptly broke from the parish church of Kirkwell in 1820 due to disagreements with the minister there. They formed a new church nearby that lasted only 23 years when they merged with the "disruption" movement in 1843. Consequently, this token has an interesting history. It is probably a rare piece, as it is from a small congregation! The link to this token is here: .
     A story is always worth a few more dollars. The Kirkwell CT is a small, but significant chapter, in the history of the Presbyterian Church.
     Also relevant to the marketplace, CTs from the islands are fewer and are apt to bring out the few that are focused on them. The other piece from Evie & Rendall is a primitive round (BK401) with a single letter, designating the parish, placed on each side. The parishes were separate until the early 1800s, so this CT might reflect a joint communion service, or it could be an early nineteenth century piece. More research is needed here.
     On the horizon are some interesting CTs coming up for sale. A significant auction of tokens is being offered by StacksBowers in conjunction with the ANA World's Fair of Money in Chicago on August 16 (only two weeks away). Most of these tokens are from the John J Ford, Jr. collection of American medals and tokens. Although merchant and political tokens comprise the main group, there are four CTs from New York mixed in. These are rare items (Bason 83, 106, 106A, and 106?). We can explore them together sometime next week. So get your wallets out!

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