Sunday, August 11, 2013

Weekly Market Watch

This market watch examines ebay auctions and other public sales from August 4 to August 10. CTs that sell for over $100 (labeled: highly desired or HD) are described, and CTs that sell for over $75 (labeled: desired or D) are mentioned. Of course, as collectors we desire most of them!
     Overall, 27 CTs were sold on ebay this week with eight of them trading for under $20. Eleven CTs sold in the low middle range (under $50) with seven more breaking the $50 barrier. A token from the latter group brought $77, so we have one piece crossing the D barrier. One American CT was sold at a BIN price of $225, so we have an HD token this week. One lot of 19 battered CTs sold cheaply at just under $20 (two CTs from Delting in the Shetland Islands were included in the lot: B1828 & B4779).
     The bidding action was brisk this week, as cobwrightfortishe offered up a hotly contested group of 16 CTs: some rare, some in utmost condition, and nearly all old. Even strong bidders took home no more than three CTs. It was a battle that underscores the strength of the CT market. The auction played out on August 8, and when the hammer fell on the last one, the group of 16 had been dispersed into 10 collections.
     A CT from Eaglesham in Renfrew (BK365) from the 1790s was the king of the Scottish auction (but not by much). Six bids from 5 bidders were recorded. This CT is a square one with a jaunty script E placed within a pair of concentric circles. Although not a Glasgow-style piece, it can be considered a distant cousin, as it is from the same region and time period and is of similar size with a prominent circle as an organizing motif. It appears to be struck on hammered stock and cut to its squarish size, but I have not studied it in-hand. Here is the link:
Here is the molded CT from the 2nd UPC
of Allegheny City. Comparing it with the
struck piece that sold on Ebay, you can see
"striking" differences.
     The American CT that sold for two C-notes was a relatively common one from the Second United Presbyterian Church from Allegheny City located just across the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh. This oval CT is one of two from this church: one is cast (Bason 186A) and this one is struck (Bason186) -- I think the struck one is prettier with sharper devices and the addition of a few more ornaments. This church was established in 1837 and was re-christened as the Second UPC in 1858. Since this CT has this latter name, the tokens were probably used after this date. In 1889, the congregation numbered nearly 800 parishioners. From this figure, we can estimate that many CTs were probably made. Still, they are offered infrequently.

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