I am pleased to report
that our recent Winter Baltimore Auction achieved total prices realized of
$15.4 million, more than double the total prices realized of $7.4 million
achieved in 2016. The sale was highlighted by the Cardinal Collection,
the Alexander Collection, and the Murray Hill Collection, as well as many other
fantastic cabinets and individual rarities that created great excitement and
attracted enthusiastic bidding. Feedback from the sale and the prices
realized was overwhelmingly positive as the market again demonstrated its
I’d like to personally
thank each of our bidders and consignors who participated in the auction.
Ten days ago, the major
art houses concluded their New York Fall Auctions that brought astonishing results.
$2.3 billion worth of art was bought and sold at auction through 11 sales of
Impressionist, Modern, and Contemporary art in five very busy days. The
combined total across all three houses (Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips)
nearly doubled the results of the equivalent sales in November 2016, which made
$1.18 billion. The market has not seen such lofty totals since the spring
2015 season when the sales brought a record $2.7 billion.
We saw similar
year-over-year increases at the art houses’ New York Spring Auctions in May
–with $1.6 billion sold versus $1.2 billion the prior year – as well as at
their other headline events throughout the year.
What does the art market
have to do with coins? As I have pointed out on different occasions over
the past year, the numismatic market has been closely following the trends seen
in other major collectibles categories, particularly art, albeit at a much
smaller scale. Numismatics has seen double digit growth in most auctions when
compared to 2016.
It is my opinion that one
of the best gauges of the health of any collectibles market is to analyze the
amount of material coming to and being sold at auction. Collectors are
astute, closely following and analyzing the market and the prices generated for
items that are similar to those in their collections. If prices realized
are strong, more collections and individual rarities come to market. The
double and sometimes triple digit growth seen in art, car, watch and numismatic
auctions year over year is an obvious sign of market strength.
This growth has been
driven by the strength of the U.S. and world economies and the stock market (we
continue to push beyond the last “all time high”). I recently read that
$5.4 trillion of wealth has been created since the presidential election in
November 2016. A certain percentage of that wealth is finding its way
into collectibles and is having a positive impact on the prices of rare coins
and paper money, among other collectibles. Given the fact that the
numismatic market is just a fraction of the size of the art market, a
relatively small influx of money can have dramatic impact on prices.
In the short term, it’s
likely that the numismatic market will be relatively benign through the end of
the year due to the holidays and lack of significant auctions or shows.
However, I expect 2018 to be quite dynamic, with collector demand continuing to
outpace supply. Fresh and choice material should continue to bring strong
prices as more wealth finds its way into numismatics driving prices higher.
We are putting the final
touches on our Official NYINC Auction, with catalogs scheduled to be mailed the
second week of December. Our sale features a diverse and fantastic group
of coins and bank notes from around the globe and is headlined by the Eldorado
Collection of Colombian Coins and Paper Money, the finest collection of its
We are still accepting
consignments for our Spring Baltimore Auction, which is destined to be a
landmark event. The sale is highlighted by the A.J. Vanderbilt Collection
of U.S. Coins and Paper Money (which drew tremendous attention during its first
public display at the Winter Baltimore Show). If you are interested in
consigning, please contact me and I will be happy to work with you.
All the best,