Thursday, January 1, 2015

Market Watch for November & December

Happy New Year: 2015!
     Last year went out with a bang! The CT marketplace has heated up a bit with 517 CTs sold in the past two months. As I write this, there are over 550 CT listings on ebay. Several big collections are being dispersed, and collectors have noticed.
     In November, 244 CTs were sold on ebay. This number went up to 273 in December. Totals like this have not been seen since the start of last summer. Most of the CTs sold inexpensively: 330 CTs sold for under $20 in the C range (64% of the two-month total). In the $20 to $49 B group, there were 175 CTs sold (34% of the total).  Only eight CTs brought BB prices above $50.  In the A range ($75 to $99), there were two sales, and there were two sales in the AA range above that. Consequently, only 2% of the total sold for over $50. These figures show that CT collecting is still very reasonable.
Here is the listing from Brook for the CT that sold for $190.
The loaf is similar to that found on BK272 Dalmellington
and BK275 Dalrymple; this is probably a regional feature
that comes from the same hand (or brain). On the reverse
the reference is to Psalm 116 (as on BK272 obverse).
     Twelve CTs sold above $50. Topping this group, a round piece from Carsphairn (BK173) was hammered the day after Christmas for $190. This is a whopping price, but it is a rare piece not seen for sale in at least a few years. Six bidders competed for it, casting 30 bids. The top bidder knew it was rare and had entered a high bid early on -- a fury of bids only led to frustration among the rest. It is a nice piece that comes with a loaf of bread!
     A Kirkton heart (BK689), dated 1761, brought a healthy $109 on 12/20. Five bidders vied for it, casting 12 bids; it came down to three at the end. This is one of the more available hearts (only BK336 is more common -- and maybe BK187), as several have sold in the past few years -- all for strong prices.
     Two bidders provided spirited competition for a cut-rectangle dated 1845 from Fairlie FC in Ayr (BZ2496). They went back and forth a dozen times before the piece was hammered down for $97 on 11/15. Prices like this do not come from type collectors: these two were working on an Ayr, FC, or larger set.
     The popular Forgan rectangle, dated 1774 (BK434), brought $79 on 11/23 with seven bidders casting ten bids. The winner showed up with all the money in the last hour. This piece has been up and down in the marketplace -- I have seen prices range from $30 on up to A category dollars. This was a nice clean piece purchased at the top.
     An interesting lead token that could be a CT (or a seal) was placed on the block in late October, selling for $70 on 11/2. The piece was roundish with rough edges; it was styled in the form of a market token (or Glasgow square) with two concentric circles framing the legend: S.Botolphs with WH in the center. The listing suggested that the initials could stand for Willam Hutchinson from a church in Aldgate, London. An estimated date of circa 1590 was given. You decide. Only three bidders took the dare, each entering one bid.
     A trio of BIN sales also brought in $70, $70, and $60 respectively. The first was a cut-rectangle from Popular Grove, Halifax, Nova Scotia (NS-236). The second one was a round CT from Rathillet (Fife), dated 1782 -- the latter token is a common one that typically sells for C money; as such, it over-sold by a wide margin. The listing stated that it was "rare" -- not really. The third was a cut-rectangle from Earlton in Nova Scotia (NS-214) that sold for $60.
     Rounding out the top twelve CTs: a worn Airlie round piece (BK19) sold for $59 with four bidders showing; a very nice round CT from Ardclach (BK53), dated (16)91 sold for $53 with seven bidders showing -- this is a popular one with the Love/Love reverse; a cut-rectangle from Ferrintosh FC (BZ2542) brought $53 from two bidders; and a round piece, dated 1786, from Meigle (BZ4708) just slid over the BB category mark, selling for a BIN price of $51.
     On balance, the holiday season was good for CT collectors. The marketplace seems strong and 2015 appears to be off to a good start with many listings posted.


  1. Thanks for the update, Mike. Although I follow the auctions online, it's always nice to read an expert's perspective of the action.

  2. I am glad you liked it. I enjoy writing them -- I often find out what great tokens I missed when writing the Watch (groan). I hope you got some of them. The real experts are out there somewhere, but then again, if we all link our brains together in a Spock mind-meld, we could create one.