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My nomination for the best auction catalog ever!

We Americans are used to “telephone book” style auction catalogs of massive sales with little in the way of information besides flowery hyperbole and the occasional provenance, but unless you are a bibliophile, you may be unfamiliar a truly quality auction catalog. And it seems like most auction houses worldwide have followed this model, unable or unwilling to devote the time and money necessary to produce one.

Important US sales tend to be better in this regard, but world sales, even the important Dr Norman Jacobs sale (as an example), lacked much detail.

In my opinion, Noonan’s (in the UK) has produced what I consider the best auction catalog ever (or at least that I can recall). And yes, they do charge a hefty BP to compensate.

Not only are the coins incredible, but the photos, the detail, and background provided are first rate.

The Puddester Collection of Indian Coins, Part 1
https://www.noonans.co.uk/auctions/calendar/690/

Granted Mr and Mrs Puddester greatly aided the cataloguers by keeping detailed provenance information on their coins, something most collectors dismiss. But Noonan’s did a fantastic job in producing a such comprehensive catalog. This one is a keeper (and I don’t even collect Indian coins)!

Comments

  • ExbritExbrit Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 17, 2022 5:29PM

    Very impressive. I also like the Baldwins limited edition Bentley collection hardcover catalog that includes all three auctions and the Quartermaster, also a limited edition hardcover catalog.

  • WCCWCC Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For me, the catalogs of most interest are UBS #20 (Sellshopp), UBS #27 (Ortiz), and Bonhams of Patterson's.

    The biggest deficiency in all three is the limited images. UBS images are much better than Bonham's, but they sold most of the coins of interest to me in group lots (all five denominations) and only imaged one or sometimes two. It was usually the 8R which is of least interest to me.

    My assumption is that this was due to the value at the time.

  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,373 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Looks like a great sale!

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 1,667 ✭✭✭✭✭

    90% of catalogue descriptions in regular auctions: "Nice lustre. Two coins graded higher (or top pop)"...

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 7,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nothing like a great catalogue to get ones thoughts racing! Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, Ricko, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, Jzyskowski1, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister

  • 7Jaguars7Jaguars Posts: 6,844 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Honestly the Spink Norweb Great Britain (4)catalogs must have their place amongst the very best, and I agree with Abuelo.

    Love that Milled British (1830-1960)
    Well, just Love coins, period.
  • bosoxbosox Posts: 1,474 ✭✭✭✭

    The Bowers & Morena Norweb Catalog of Canadian Coins in 1996 was a real keeper also. Great forward by QDB and lots of pedigree info on the individual lots.

    I have met Puddester. He is a very interesting guy.

    Numismatic author & owner of the Uncommon Cents collections. 2011 Fred Bowman award winner, 2020 J. Douglas Ferguson award winner, & 2022 Paul Fiocca award winner.

    http://www.victoriancent.com
  • SFPandaSFPanda Posts: 20 ✭✭

    Which Dr Norman Jacobs sale catalog are you talking about ?

  • farthingfarthing Posts: 3,355 ✭✭✭

    Noonans (renamed from Dix Noonan Webb) does produce some great catalogues. I looked through the Puddester catalogue when it was first posted, great information!

    R.I.P. Wayne, Brad
    Collecting:
    Conder tokens
    19th & 20th Century coins from Great Britain and the Realm
  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 3,804 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 10, 2023 9:35PM

    OK, so I studied and studied this catalog because it was so interesting. And then I thought to myself, since he invested 45 years in seeking and buying one of everything in the best condition, why not take advantage of that effort and buy something. The last time I did something similar was with the Dr. Norman Jacobs collection of Japanese coins where I bought patterns that Jacobs acquired direct from the Osaka Mint in 1945 (meaning I was only the second private owner, which was kind of cool).

    So, as a student of Matthew Boulton and the Soho Mint, i picked a few interesting patterns and went after them. And of course, it wouldn't be me if the coins weren't rarisimo.

    Here is my first win. Matthew Boulton's first coin made for India. An extremely rare (and rather nice looking) 1.5 Pice pattern for the Bombay Presidency of the British East India Company. The catalogers have traced only 3 examples of this pattern, one being in the British Museum via Sara Sophia Banks.

    Next up is a unique plated trial 1.5 Pice struck on a planchet meant for a halfpenny token (lettered edge: PAYABLE IN DUBLIN OR LONDON .....). This was probably an intermediate design on the way towards the final design below. Ex. Wolfson Trust Collection via Sotheby's auction in 1986.

    And finally, the final 1.5 Pice pattern design which never made it into production. (This isn't rarisimo, but I purchased it to show the final state of the design.)

    If there's any interest, I can show you more that I bought from the sale.

  • ExbritExbrit Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭✭

    @pruebas said:
    OK, so I studied and studied this catalog because it was so interesting. And then I thought to myself, since he invested 45 years in seeking and buying one of everything in the best condition, why not take advantage of that effort and buy something. The last time I did something similar was with the Dr. Norman Jacobs collection of Japanese coins where I bought patterns that Jacobs acquired direct from the Osaka Mint in 1945 (meaning I was only the second private owner, which was kind of cool).

    So, as a student of Matthew Boulton and the Soho Mint, i picked a few interesting patterns and went after them. And of course, it wouldn't be me if the coins weren't rarisimo.

    Here is my first win. Matthew Boulton's first coin made for India. An extremely rare (and rather nice looking) 1.5 Pice pattern for the Bombay Presidency of the British East India Company. The catalogers have traced only 3 examples of this pattern, one being in the British Museum via Sara Sophia Banks.

    Next up is a unique plated trial 1.5 Pice struck on a planchet meant for a halfpenny token (lettered edge: PAYABLE IN DUBLIN OR LONDON .....). This was probably an intermediate design on the way towards the final design below. Ex. Wolfson Trust Collection via Sotheby's auction in 1986.

    And finally, the final 1.5 Pice pattern design which never made it into production. (This isn't rarisimo, but I purchased it to show the final state of the design.)

    If there's any interest, I can show you more that I bought from the sale.

    I just finished reading a book on Mathew Bouton and the Soho mint along with some recent articles on the East India Company coins. Interesting and a great area to collect.

    I wish someone would publish a book on Bouton’s son Matt and his time running the Soho mint - along with the engravers during that period.

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