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Auction Report - The Clyde Hubbard Collection Sale

pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,278 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited September 7, 2021 1:48PM in World & Ancient Coins Forum

Since I haven't been to a show (and Mexico) since March 2020, I decided to attend the auction sale of the Clyde Hubbard Collection that was held in Mexico City on Saturday 4 September 2021. Since Mexico still has a bit of a COVID problem, I took all necessary precautions--booster vaccine 2 weeks prior, business-class cabin on a direct flight, and no public transportation. Still, I was not accustomed to wearing a mask for long lengths of time (like the few hours in the airport and 5 hours on the flight), but it was pretty uneventful. Even getting the mandatory COVID test before my return flight was a non-event.

As a side comment, most Chilangos, probably 95%, are fastidious about masking, some even wearing them alone in their cars, which I found a bit crazy. Plenty of face shields in public too. All restaurants have mandatory temperature checks and hand sanitizer at the entrance along with one-way traffic and socially-distanced seating. CDMX is taking COVID pretty seriously it seems. The 5% not following masking were tourists (!!!!!) and the homeless.

But the big event was the auction! Clyde kept most of his coins outside of Mexico for tax and security reasons. But this stash was apparently kept in a hidden location within Mexico, so it was easier and more expedient to auction them there. Plus, most of the sale were things that probably ended up doing better in Mexico such as medals and "problem" material. That hidden location must have been a humid environment because as it turned out, many items had unattractive toning and environmental damage.

I arrived on Tuesday, relaxed, and had a good Mexican meal to get in the mood. I spent all of Wednesday, Thursday, and a bit of Friday morning viewing lots. The first 700-odd lots were Hubbard material and about 2/3 of the lots had multiple items per lot. In addition, there was another 700 lots of other non-Hubbard material.

I knew this was going to be a bloodbath, as Mexico, just like the rest of the world has a serious lack of fresh numismatic material, and lots of pent up demand and money. Not to mention the pedigree and the fact that this material had been off the market for decades. Each evening I reviewed my selections and refined my strategy. It was good that I was staying with a friend as I could drive with him to lot viewing and not unnecessarily expose myself to the hoi polloi. There were so many obstacles, it being Mexico and all--serious potholes in Ecatepec, unexplained road closures due to a Presidential speech, torrential rains (and I missed Hurricane Ida), and a power outage. But it was all worthwhile because of the fantastic food (the best bakery I have seen anywhere in the world, for example) and just to be back in Mexico!

The sale was comprised of the following: banknotes, gold and silver medals, counterfeit gold and silver coins, chopmarked coins, tokens, 20th Century silver, some lower-grade Republic gold and silver, Revolution, War for Independence, Carlos y Juana, and some world coins (which seemed like pocket change from vacations to me). Pretty much the full gamut of Mexican numismatics and a great sale if you have varied interests not limited to high-grade coins. I came away from the sale thinking that Clyde was a hoarder like probably most of the rest of us! But there were some gems in there and I was determined to come home with my share of them.

There was only one other gringo at the sale, and many of you can probably guess who that was. But the book was quite strong, though it won only about 10-20% of the lots. In the auction room were mostly resellers from all over the country bidding for their clients. There must have been at least 50 people in the auction room as well as Clyde Hubbard's daughter, the consigner. Many lots went way over "regular" pricing. In fact, my friend commented that many people were bidding as though this was the last auction ever to be held. (Sound familiar?)

When I first saw the catalog, there were a few "must have" lots that were the reason I went to the sale. I will discuss winnings shortly. But the beauty of lot viewing is that you can find hidden gems that were mis-cataloged (and the sale was poorly cataloged), mis-graded (ditto), or not photographed (ditto again). The auction house purposely made multi-item lots so as to move the low-end material along with the better material. In fact, I ended up leaving the dross included in my winnings with my friend to use in his Facebook auctions. The starting bids were stupid low so as to make sure everything sold. And I think 99% of it did. [Edit: this pertains only to the Clyde Hubbard Collection portion of the sale. The other part of the sale was the reverse-maybe 10% sold due to high reserves and stale retreads. Not uncommon for this auction house.]

There were no useful pattern coins in the sale (my primary focus), so I was after choice and rare medals (a secondary focus). I did find one possible pattern coin hidden in one lot, miscatalogued and not photographed, that I snagged for a pittance. That may mean that it really wasn't a pattern (since a lot of expertise was at the sale), or that it was so rare that no one recognized it. I feel it was the latter, but now I have an attribution project on my hands.

In my opinion, my best winning was Grove-93a, described as follows: a silver medal commemorating the first application of steam in the minting of coinage in the Mexican Republic. The medal is dated 1847 and it was struck at the Guadalupe y Calvo Mint under director Tomas MacIntosh. In fact, as far as I know, this is the only mint medal struck at Guadalupe y Calvo. To top it off, the medal was Mint State PL and I won it for less than half my max potential bid. This medal is quite rare and I have only seen 2 prior to this one. My existing example, an XF, and an example in a Stacks auction in VF-XF Details but unslabbed.

Here is the Stacks example.

My next best lot was a lot of 4 rare-extremely rare medals: Grove-184a 1869 Mines of San Miguel Batopilas Chihuahua; Grove-P83 1872 Los Mineros de Guatimotzin a la Señora Doña Inés de Crawley, Pachuca; Grove-234a 1886 Mina de Cata, Guanajuato; Grove-274a 1892 Souvenir Made from the First Bar of Silver Sultepec, Estado de Mexico. All AU-UNC Details. I also got a second of the Grove-274a (There was a bit of duplication in the holdings. See my comment about hoarding!).

Other winnings were an 1881 Centenary of the Academy of San Carlos in silver with a bust of GA Gil, a famous Mexican engraver (don't have the Grove number handy). A Grove-P87a 1881 Visit to the Guanajuato Mint by President Porfirio Diaz. A Grove-95a 1849 First Stone of the Mercado de Mexico. As well as a medal struck on a cap and rays 8R, a medal struck on a Peso Fuerte, and a medal struck on a cap and rays 4R. All of these were UNC and two were PL.

I bid on other rare medals (Maximilian, gold and silver military, etc.), but the competition was fierce, so struck out on those. I have a few regrets on lots that I didn't go higher on, but such is typical for an auction.

I will post photos as they are slabbed and TrueViewed.

Next adventure: the Guadalajara show 8-9 October. I haven't been to Guadalajara in about 20 years!

Comments

  • desslokdesslok Posts: 310 ✭✭✭

    Great report, thanks for sharing. I would love to see the hidden pattern you uncovered (although I know absolutely nothing about this field)

  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 1,755 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am waiting for Duane to tell me if my fax bids won anything. Based on your comments, looks like I did not ... :(

  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 1,755 ✭✭✭✭✭

    BTW @pruebas what were you doing in Ecatepec???

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,278 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Abuelo said:
    BTW @pruebas what were you doing in Ecatepec???

    My usual (cheap) hotel was unavailable, so rather than spend even more money on a hotel in the Center, my friend offered me a room at his house, which I accepted. It was good because I could drive in with him to view lots and he showed me some great places to eat (yes, even in Ecatepec!). But damn, those potholes! He kept joking that we might be able to drop 8Rs down them to China.

    As for your bids, their auction computer program was malfunctioning, so all invoices were going to be computed manually by hand in order of bidder number. It might be a few days before you know. The auction lasted so long that everyone just wanted to go home after such a grueling day.

    Needless to say, they couldn't give me anyone's lots to carry back because they were not ready, so they will be shipped.

  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,834 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pruebas - Do you know who bought the partial set of gem C&R 8 Reales? Looked really interesting!

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,821 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fantastic write-up! Glad it was successful!

  • PillarDollarCollectorPillarDollarCollector Posts: 4,599 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for sharing!!

    Collecting interests: Mexico & Peru early milled 1 reales + 1796-1891 US dimes

    Sports: NHL & NFL

    Thank you Lord for another beautiful day!!!

  • ChopmarkedTradesChopmarkedTrades Posts: 493 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Glad that you picked up some material that you wanted. This lot was interesting, but the combination of the counterstamps plus their rather neat placement seems to be almost too good to be true:


    Lot 210. 8 Reales, 1788, MoFM. (KM-106.2a). Resellos: Uno con Fernando VII y el otro con el busto olvado de Jorge III. Rara. VF/EF. 15,000.

    Anyone have any thoughts?

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,278 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ChopmarkedTrades said:
    Glad that you picked up some material that you wanted. This lot was interesting, but the combination of the counterstamps plus their rather neat placement seems to be almost too good to be true:


    Lot 210. 8 Reales, 1788, MoFM. (KM-106.2a). Resellos: Uno con Fernando VII y el otro con el busto olvado de Jorge III. Rara. VF/EF. 15,000.

    Anyone have any thoughts?

    Lot of discussion about that lot. It was deemed a fake by everyone and announced as such pre sale.

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,278 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Abuelo said:
    Well, looks like without going to Ecatepec as @pruebas did, I got 2 ot the 3 coins I bid on (only bidder) so I got a great deal!

    But you missed out on a great trip! And all those potholes! (I'm kicking myself for failing to take pictures.)

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 9, 2021 1:28PM

    @pruebas said:
    But you missed out on a great trip! And all those potholes! (I'm kicking myself for failing to take pictures.)

    Yes I, for one, would like to have seen not only the countryside you travelled through but also images of those meals you got to eat.

    *spelling edits

  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 1,755 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Cafe de Tacuba? Looks like you pampered yourself @pruebas ...

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That dish looks delicious.

    When I followed the links to learn more about it I was surprised to learn that the dish is "typically served at room temperature". When I think of cream sauces my mind goes to a warm dish. Also I happen to love pomegranates and it seems the timing of your trip worked worked out well for this dish as the write up mentions that the "traditional season for making and eating this dish in Central Mexico is August and first half of September, when pomegranates appear in the markets..."

    I'm happy that you were able to share this, thank you!

  • ELuisELuis Posts: 769 ✭✭✭✭

    and yes that dish looks good, i never try it, i like 'chile rellenos' these are a typical mexican dish.
    ... last time i went (and stay for a month) in mexico was in 1994, some moons ago

  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,834 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pruebas said:
    I did get a shot of my Chile en Nogada, a Mexican specialty this time of year, especially at the Café de Tacuba where this was taken.

    Awesome menu! We're going next time I visit!

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
  • That restaurant looks heavenly.



    I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it - Clint Eastwood
  • 1984worldcoins1984worldcoins Posts: 595 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 10, 2021 12:08AM

    @pruebas , did you see any modern (1984) mexican rarities for sale ?

    Coinsof1984@martinb6830 on twitter

  • ELuisELuis Posts: 769 ✭✭✭✭

    ^ I think this is the site, for that auction, see if helps:
    http://elmundodelamoneda.com/eng/auctions/index.htm

    There is the complete catalog link.

  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 1,755 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pruebas you will not survive long if you keep on eating like that 😂😂😂

  • ChopmarkedTradesChopmarkedTrades Posts: 493 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pruebas, I'm curious - how are chopmarked coins thought of south of the border? Is there interest, has anything neat turned up at shows?

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,278 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ChopmarkedTrades said:
    @pruebas, I'm curious - how are chopmarked coins thought of south of the border? Is there interest, has anything neat turned up at shows?

    Good question. Since I had no interest, I really wasn’t paying much attention, but this auction has a bunch.

    I’ll have to ask around….

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,278 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 5, 2022 7:16PM

    Part 2 of the Clyde Hubbard auction of "lesser material" was held in Mexico City last Saturday. It contained only 462 lots and not very much of interest, so I did not attend this time. But I won 2 medal lots and 1 token lot. Its pretty obvious that the "bottom of the barrel" is now being scraped.

    But of note, Sedwick Coins reported they will be selling Hubbard's collection of Carlos y Juana, which was a specialty of his, so these coins should be great. Obviously these sales will be held in the USA.

  • ChopmarkedTradesChopmarkedTrades Posts: 493 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pruebas said:
    2023 UPDATE: I finally had a few of the medals from the Clyde Hubbard Collection graded.

    Quite the selection, looks great!

  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 1,755 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pruebas never disappoints.

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