Sunday, October 6, 2013

Market Watch

This Market Watch examines ebay sales for the period of September 29 thru October 5.
     This week, 40 CTs were sold with 35 of them trading hands a prices below $20. The remaining five pieces were hammered down for less than $30. Just your change purse was needed to get in on the action! As such, no HD or D pieces crossed the block.
     Among the bargain lots, a few nice pieces (common ovals and cut rectangles) were available and made nice additions to collections missing some of the newer pieces. A number of older CTs sold cheaply too, but most of them were quite worn and/or corroded.
Here is the reverse of B494. It reads
Minister/James Gillespie/1713.
The obverse reads: ARN/GOSK.
     An American dealer offered 12 primitive CTs on September 29 (plus another 13 were sold by this seller the day before that were not posted in time for my last MW). As a group, the pieces represent an odd mix of primitive -- mostly incuse -- designs: basically, single letters pressed into square and rectangular flans. Ten of the 12 sold this week went to one bidder for very low dollars ($3 to $8), whereas one piece of stamped lead, attributed to Jura, (B3423-24) was run up by two bidders to nearly $20.
     Collectors need to beware of the primitive CTs, as they are easy to fabricate. Among the offerings noted above, there were at least two spurious pieces. Dealers and collectors can be misled -- so be sure to compare primitive pieces with photos or drawings of CTs with known attributions.
     For just under $30, a couple of nice CTs were had by sharp buyers. First off, an attractive upright rectangle from Arngask in Perth-Kinross (and Fife -- the parish borders all three), dated 1713, attracted four bidders, three of them bidding multiple times (16 bids in all) right up to the end of the auction. This is an early and desirable piece that is not offered for sale very often (B494). Of note, this church produced a similar piece in 1721 (also infrequently encountered -- at least in my experience).
     A second CT also deserves mention: a Glasgow-styled square, dated 1819, from Kilmalcoln in Renfrew (B3696). This piece was in great condition and is two-sided -- many of these squares are blank on one side, but this parish adopted a two-sided design in 1788 and 1819. The reverse has the minister's initials in script, so it combines the Glasgow obverse styling with scripted letters on the reverse that were popular for a short while (about 1780 to 1820).

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