Sunday, February 2, 2014

Market Watch

This market watch covers all ebay sales for the week of January 26 to February 1. It has been snowy and cold in Virginia with a few balmy days between storms -- just warm enough to turn snow into ice, making driving treacherous. So too, the CT marketplace has been hot and cold: busy weeks interspersed with slower ones.
     This week has been rather slow, but for a few notable CTs. One of them, an American piece from Florida, New York, attracted many bidders throughout the week with the auction closing on a cold Friday night with one surprise bid. A few nice Canadian pieces sold at BIN prices -- what took so long! These Canadians had been for sale for a few weeks at very attractive prices.
     All together, 63 CTs sold this week. 45 of them traded for less than $20, whereas another 15 brought strong prices in the B range (over $20 but under $50). Two CTs edged past $50 and sold in the BB category. As previewed above, one CT from New York was bid well beyond the AA range.
A rare piece of Americana (B2579).
     We all know that USA CTs are rare. They always bring prices above $200. And that is usually just the start. This piece, cataloged as Bason-87, was from the Florida Associate Presbyterian Church, in Montgomery County, New York.
     This church was located in the Mohawk Valley, northwest of Albany. The first settlement in the area was Fort Hunter, established in 1711.
     Many Scottish immigrants had moved to Albany by the 1760s. The first Presbyterian church was established there in 1762 although meetings have been taking place in homes and at the Dutch Reformed Church. Ministers from Albany served the surrounding areas. In his guidebook, Bason indicated that the Florida APC was organized in 1798 as Currie's Bush APC; the name was changed to Florida in 1801. The Reverend John Banks served from 1803 to 1816.
     This irregular oval was dated 1803. The lettering on the obverse reads: Rd. J. Banks./1803/Florida. The reverse reads: Associate Church within a serpentine border. It is a quaint piece with handcrafted elements that impart a primitive look. And it is quite rare: When was the last time you saw one for sale? I wonder how many of them survive? Ten? Five?
     Ten bidders wanted it. Bidding was steady all week. The piece was hammered down for $331 on Friday. A new bidder came in and offered full price and won the lot at the last moment. This is a market correct price -- I think it was a deal. The last time we saw a CT go this high was in November when a Jamaican oval sold for $338. Here is the link: USA CT from Florida NY.
     There were several other nice CTs to be had this week. A grouping of Canadian tokens from Nova Scotia were sold at BIN prices (best offers were accepted). These pieces were posted a few weeks ago. I particularly liked the Glasgow-inspired square from the Upper Settlement, Pictou, East River Congregation (NS-308A2). It sold for $48 -- it was a beautiful piece. Here is the link: Upper Settlement Pictou East River CT.
     Other Canadian CTs included ovals from the Prince Street and Knox congregations at Pictou (NS), cut rectangles from Noel, New Annan, and Earlton (all NS), plus an oval from Ramsay (Ontario). This was a nice chance to get started on a Canadian set, or a Nova Scotia set. All of these CTs sold for prices between $31 and $58 -- at or below the valuations given in Charlton. I hope the buyer has (or gets) a copy of Laurie Stanley-Blackwell's book: Tokens of Grace: Cape Breton's Open-air Communion Tradition -- this study illuminates the CT tradition in upper Nova Scotia.

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