Sunday, March 2, 2014

Market Watch

This market watch reviews all ebay sales held between February 23 and March 1. There was little action in the marketplace this week with 21 ebay sales accounting for 27 CTs sold (a lot of seven pieces made for the difference).
     Eighteen CTs crossed the block with little fanfare in the C range (under $20), whereas eight more pieces were bid into the B territory. Only one CT brought BB money.
     The highest price paid was for a Canadian cut-rectangle from Earlton in Nova Scotia (NS-214). It was a modern piece, professionally struck, that was used sometime after 1861 during the ministry of Rev. William McMillan. Two bidders vied for this one on the last day of the auction, casting six bids to raise the hammer quickly to $53. The VF valuation in Charlton is $70, so there was still room at the top. Here is the link: Earlton NS CT.
     I have not profiled many Canadian pieces in this blog, but it bears mentioning that this CT series is popular and has direct links to Scottish history. The area around Earlton was part of a land grant made by the Philadelphia Company in 1765. It was hoped that English pioneers would settle there, but the allure was not there. The Scottish settlers were not so daunted and began clearing the land in 1813. Many settlers from Sutherland, Ross, and Caithness arrived a few years later. Earlton was named for the Earl of Dalhousie. It was frontier farming and logging community.
     Also this week, I want to make some comments about BIN offerings on ebay. Many pieces are priced at the top of the retail range. And a few pieces are listed at outrageously inflated prices. New collectors and readers of this blog beware.
     Over the years, I have found that there are many attractive CTs (including quite a few 18th century pieces) that are offered two and three times a year. With such a thin marketplace (that is, few serious CT collectors), many of these common pieces can be had for C and B money. I have profiled a few hoards; consequently, some pieces survive in bulk -- perhaps the entire church inventory.
     We all know that the collector can ill-afford to be inpatient. You do not want to spend big dollars on a CT only to see a similar piece two months later go for half. I recommend that you check the "sold" archives to get a read on the market. Trust the auction prices except when two bidders get the fever.
     Here is a case study. A high-end retail price of $40 was paid this week for a small Fife rectangle from Kemback dated 1765. This can be an attractive CT, but this specimen was shadowy with granular surfaces that were nicked here and there. A much nicer one sold at auction on February 16th for $23 with only three bids. Plus, an exquisite piece was hammered down two week prior for $33 after nine bids. So be patient, and let the pieces come to you. Of course, if you must have it, then we all understand. Also, watch out for fakes -- bid on the primitive CTs after having studied photographs of real ones.


  1. Can you provide links to any acknowledged or suspected fakes please? I wasn't aware they were out there. Are these copies of existing tokens or spurious fabrications?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.