As I write these words I am contemplating and looking forward to the next Whitman Coins and Collectibles Expo in Baltimore. The show opens to the public on Thursday, November 15, and continues on Friday and Saturday. Our auction sessions begin on Wednesday, November 14. There are several highlights, of which I will mention two in particular.
Rarities Night will be on Thursday and will showcase United States coins and other items of particular scarcity and rarity, with a particular emphasis on quality. There are many Condition Census pieces, prime candidates for Registry Sets, examples at or near the top of the grading services’ population reports, and more. From half cents to double eagles, from colonials to commemoratives and patterns, there will be a lot to enjoy.
For the first time the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4) is having its annual convention in concert with the Whitman Expo. On Friday, November 16, we are presenting a special auction of colonials, highlighted by the Rob Retz Family Collection of Fugio coppers -- indeed memorable -- with many other interesting pieces from Massachusetts silver through the copper state coinages of the 1770s, into tokens and medals of George Washington. C4, which was founded in 1993 by Michael Hodder, has become a dynamic organization with many activities, including the C4 Newsletter, filled with news, discoveries, and other information.
In other sessions there will be many interesting auction items, including more than just a few things from the Civil War era. I enjoyed cataloging the Stephen L. Tanenbaum Collection of scrip notes issued by the same merchants or other entities that distributed Civil War tokens. As a class such things are very rare, but Steve, by dint of 40 years of connoisseurship, was able to acquire quite few dozen. Suffice it to say that the likes of this will probably never be offered again.
All popular series will be represented as well -- large copper cents, Flying Eagle and Indian cents, two-cent pieces, three-cent pieces, nickels, silver early and late, gold varieties and types, and more. All eyes will be on our sale. I hope you will be able to attend in person.
Baltimore is one of America’s favorite numismatic towns. In fact, in a survey taken a few years ago it was the absolute favorite of dealers, who usually know where the action is. Draw a 500-mile circle around Baltimore and you probably encompass the vast majority of collectors and dealers in America. The city is easy to get to, with available transportation by airplane, train, or automobile. It is a nice experience to ride the Acela coaches on Amtrak -- about as close as you can come to luxury travel in America.
Baltimore is steeped in numismatic tradition as well, what with the Eliasberg, Garrett, Newcomer, Fuld, Cohen, and other famous cabinets. As if all this were not enough, the convention center is located in the Inner Harbor district with nice hotels, restaurants, shops and tourist attractions. I look forward to seeing you there or, alternatively, having you participate by Internet. Either way a good time is in the offing.