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CNG Feature Auction 124 Catalog is out with my Vespasian aureus


DonnaML

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The catalog for CNG's Feature Auction 124, beginning on Sep. 19, is now available for viewing online at the CNG website; see https://auctions.cngcoins.com/auctions/4-ASP2Q6/cng-feature-auction-124?limit=96 . The print version can be viewed, and downloaded as a pdf, at https://issuu.com/cngcoins/docs/cng_124_virtual_catalog?fr .

My Vespasian aureus, with a 1938 pedigree to the Ars Classica XVIII auction and a 1910 pedigree to the published Vicomte de Sartiges Collection, is Lot 624, at page 149 of the print catalog:

image.png.7f92281dfaa2e4536b0853b6fe2956b5.png

Of course I would have liked more space to be devoted to the description, but I'm content with it, and with the photos of the obverse. I especially like the "headline" calling attention to the pedigree.

I must say, however, that I'm quite disappointed with the photo of the reverse. Perhaps because of the relatively low resolution, the photo makes it appear that the area around 11:00-12:00 on the reverse, including the beading and Victory's face as well as the top of her head, is blurred and/or partly worn away. Which isn't actually the case.

Compare these three photos of the reverse -- the first is CNG's, the second is the photo from the dealer (Arete Coins) from whom I purchased the coin in Dec. 2021, and the third is my own photo, taken shortly before I sent the coin to CNG earlier this year:

1. CNG

image.png.a4ea7973d0bc8873ee6c69612db1b82e.png

(Enlarging the photo just makes it look even more blurry.)

2. Arete

image.png.b9189240b10fb53457812ec071256d6e.png

3. My photo

image.png.8df09a2d030f723d90e0e51d2c13d74a.png

Am I imagining things? Making a mountain out of a molehill? Is there any point my letting CNG know about my disappointment, given that it's almost certainly too late to fix the issue by substituting a better photo of the reverse?

Thanks in advance for any input.

 

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It couldn't hurt but to ask.  have run through many of my coins through CNG and whenever I saw an issue I contacted them in order to deal with the issues being raised.They have generally responded favorably to my concerns. However,  I will say I have yet to comment on a picture though. I would also contact them by phone. I suspect that E mails would simply get lost in the static. 

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Keeping a full coin in-focus is challenging. I just looked on the enlarged pictures of your coin in the sale and I don't mind where the focus is currently placed but if it bothers you, it doesn't hurt to ask. I don't think it will make any difference though, and is consistent with how they photograph other coins. I would imagine the vast majority of collectors and potential buyers wouldn't notice (especially these days where most people are viewing on phones).

Edited by AncientJoe
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I think the photos are pretty par for the course for CNG. I think the coin looks pretty good all things considered. However, with as much time as I spend trying to get just the right photo of my coins I can understand your disappointment.

Another plus for your coin is the clear callout of the provenance and the “featured” box in the online portal. Overall I think you are in good shape. 

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Strange. In their "thumbnail" photo you are absolutely correct - that area appears worn/weakly struck. But if I click the photo to maximize it, it looks better (and even if I do not like to provide grades on ancient coins, I think the grade good VF is exigent).

However what might definitely make the collectors who can afford this type of coin (I am not included in this category) be a little reluctant in bidding is ... Edge marks, ex-mount. 

I do not watch CNG auctions. But hypothetically, let's say I see this coin in one of the auctions I usually watch. If I see "ex-mount" and I also see the 11-12 o clock area,, I would assume it was repaired there and I would not enlarge the photo. Perhaps it's just me. Certainly not the case with the coin. 

Anyway - a person who sees an aureus and wants to buy it will definitely enlarge the photo and see there's nothing wrong. Not sure why this optical illusion appears. 

But yes, comparing even the maximized photo in CNG with your photos, the focus is worse. Including Victory's facial features, flow lines, sharper letters and perhaps it's autosuggestion because of your post, but it simply looks in slightly worse conservation. Not sure if you can ask them to take other pics.

I have the same issue when I take pics of my coins, and sometimes when I am 90% happy with a picture I'm too lazy to take a better pic, but I am not a professional auction house. 

P.S. I hope you are selling your coin for "benefic" reasons - you need budget for some other exceptional coin, not other reasons.  

'

Edited by ambr0zie
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42 minutes ago, Heliodromus said:

If you click on the image there's a much larger version, which in turn is artificially limited in size.

The full size image is:

 

624_2.jpg

Thank you so much! The larger photo visible in the online catalog, which I posted before, is only 28 kb. This one is 226 kb! I feel greatly reassured. I didn't realize that clicking on the original photo and then opening it in a new tab yields a much better photo. (Of course, not everyone knows to do that.) I'm glad I didn't write to Lance Hickman (my contact at CNG) to complain, before posting here first. That would have been embarrassing.

Edited by DonnaML
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46 minutes ago, ambr0zie said:

However what might definitely make the collectors who can afford this type of coin (I am not included in this category) be a little reluctant in bidding is ... Edge marks, ex-mount. 

I do not watch CNG auctions. But hypothetically, let's say I see this coin in one of the auctions I usually watch. If I see "ex-mount" and I also see the 11-12 o clock area AND the term ex-mount, I would assume it was repaired there and I would not enlarge the photo. Perhaps it's just me. Certainly not the case with the coin. 

Anyway - a person who sees an aureus and wants to buy it will definitely enlarge the photo and see there's nothing wrong. Not sure why this optical illusion appears. 

I hope you're right that anyone who might possibly interested in bidding on the coin would take the extra step of clicking on the photo to enlarge it before just passing the coin by. Of course I'm well aware of the edge marks from the old jewelry mount -- which must have occurred well before 1910, given that it was already removed from the mount by then -- and the fact that they affect the coin's market value. I'm sure that in light of the pedigree, the estimate would be considerably higher than it is if those marks didn't exist. I suppose it would have been nice if CNG had pointed out that there are only a couple of them -- after all, they don't really detract from the coin's eye appeal materially (at least to me!) -- but I understand that they had to be disclosed, and perhaps the less said about them the better.

I do wish CNG had sent me a draft of the description, with the photo, to look at before the printed catalog was finalized and ready to be mailed out, so I could have commented on the photo.  Perhaps I should have requested that opportunity. It's obviously too late to change now, and anyone who bids on the basis of the printed catalog alone (are there such people left?) is only going to see thumbnails for all the coins.

As far as my reasons for selling the coin are concerned, the money will be helpful for certain medical expenses I expect to incur before the end of the year that aren't covered by Medicare (which covers many, but certainly not all, medical expenses for "senior citizens").

Edited by DonnaML
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42 minutes ago, ambr0zie said:

However what might definitely make the collectors who can afford this type of coin (I am not included in this category) be a little reluctant in bidding is ... Edge marks, ex-mount. 

I'm curious as to why collectors would care more about edge marks that are believed to be from mounting, as compared to normal edge marks from circulation wear and tear?  When I evaluate a coin's condition, scratches and marks are, well, just scratches and marks.  I've never quite figured out why it would matter how the marks got there.  Can anyone elucidate?

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I don't think somebody is placing bids looking just at the printed catalogue. Not for a coin with this price. 

  

2 minutes ago, idesofmarch01 said:

I'm curious as to why collectors would care more about edge marks that are believed to be from mounting, as compared to normal edge marks from circulation wear and tear?  When I evaluate a coin's condition, scratches and marks are, well, just scratches and marks.  I've never quite figured out why it would matter how the marks got there.  Can anyone elucidate?

What I was saying is that IF somebody just sees the thumbnail where there is the optical illusion that the area mentioned by @DonnaML looks bad

AND

the coin is described as ex-mount, one can be tempted to skip the coin thinking that it is damaged or repaired. And I am certainly not saying that it was. 

Edited by ambr0zie
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4 minutes ago, DonnaML said:

It's obviously too late to change now, and anyone who bids on the basis of the printed catalog alone (are there such people left?) is only going to see thumbnails for all the coins.

I imagine many of the people bidding on the high value items in the sale will be there at the floor auction or will have a representative there to look at the coins in person before bidding. 

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9 hours ago, idesofmarch01 said:

I'm curious as to why collectors would care more about edge marks that are believed to be from mounting, as compared to normal edge marks from circulation wear and tear?  When I evaluate a coin's condition, scratches and marks are, well, just scratches and marks.  I've never quite figured out why it would matter how the marks got there.  Can anyone elucidate?

I agree. The NGC slabbing is mounting. 

 

Sometimes there are concerns about the rim adjustment to fit the mount. If the result is only some scratches, they are just scratches, possibly from removing from the mount.

Edited by Rand
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@DonnaML My initial impression, when I look at the photos, is that, I don't see much difference, between your photo of the obverse of your coin, versus the CNG photos (the small photo and the big photo) of the obverse of your coin. The beading (or the edges of the beads) between 11 o'clock and 12 o'clock looks lighter than most of the rest of the beading, in all of the photos. Also, if I were shopping for your coin type, then I wouldn't mind the different bead appearance at all. It wouldn't affect, what my maximum bid would be.

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1 hour ago, Hesiod said:

To be honest, they'd probably prefer if you emailed them before posting on a public forum

Do you really think they care that I posted that I wasn’t overjoyed with one of their photos? If they cared about my reaction, they could have given me an advance look. They can take my relatively mild expression of concern. Especially given that I've now been reassured by the better CNG photo.

 

 

Edited by DonnaML
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15 hours ago, DonnaML said:

The catalog for CNG's Feature Auction 124, beginning on Sep. 19, is now available for viewing online at the CNG website; see https://auctions.cngcoins.com/auctions/4-ASP2Q6/cng-feature-auction-124?limit=96 . The print version can be viewed, and downloaded as a pdf, at https://issuu.com/cngcoins/docs/cng_124_virtual_catalog?fr .

My Vespasian aureus, with a 1938 pedigree to the Ars Classica XVIII auction and a 1910 pedigree to the published Vicomte de Sartiges Collection, is Lot 624, at page 149 of the print catalog:

image.png.7f92281dfaa2e4536b0853b6fe2956b5.png

Of course I would have liked more space to be devoted to the description, but I'm content with it, and with the photos of the obverse. I especially like the "headline" calling attention to the pedigree.

I must say, however, that I'm quite disappointed with the photo of the reverse. Perhaps because of the relatively low resolution, the photo makes it appear that the area around 11:00-12:00 on the reverse, including the beading and Victory's face as well as the top of her head, is blurred and/or partly worn away. Which isn't actually the case.

Compare these three photos of the reverse -- the first is CNG's, the second is the photo from the dealer (Arete Coins) from whom I purchased the coin in Dec. 2021, and the third is my own photo, taken shortly before I sent the coin to CNG earlier this year:

1. CNG

image.png.a4ea7973d0bc8873ee6c69612db1b82e.png

(Enlarging the photo just makes it look even more blurry.)

2. Arete

image.png.b9189240b10fb53457812ec071256d6e.png

3. My photo

image.png.8df09a2d030f723d90e0e51d2c13d74a.png

Am I imagining things? Making a mountain out of a molehill? Is there any point my letting CNG know about my disappointment, given that it's almost certainly too late to fix the issue by substituting a better photo of the reverse?

Thanks in advance for any input.

 

I reviewed CNG 124 late last night & was impressed with what I saw & placed several bids already ☺️. I had issues with several of the photos from my CNG consignment too that I'm sure had an impact on the price realized. Of the 3 photos you posted I like the Arete photo best. The lighting you chose for your photo obscures details on the left side of Victory. There are 5 Flavian aurei in the auction with only one high grade example, & I think that bodes well for your coin. Your coin has an unusual & artistic reverse, & the provenance dating over 100 years should "over shadow" the problems with the edge of the coin 😉.

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CNG has added to the description of my consigned Vespasian aureus (Lot 624 in the upcoming Feature Auction) an even older published reference than the 1910 De Sartiges Collection and the 1938 Ars Classica XVIII auction: the coin was previously Lot 62 in the 26 May 1909 Rollin & Feuardent auction of the Sir John Evans Collection.  See the revised description at https://auctions.cngcoins.com/lots/view/4-ASP6Q3/vespasian-ad-69-79-av-aureus-19mm-723-g-6h-rome-mint-struck-ad-75-good-vf .

I found the 1909 auction catalogue on Gallica.bnf.fr, with the coin illustrated in Plate III, and it certainly appears to be the same coin! 

image.png.f54ee0e99c3860397a036ec61592c1ba.png

image.png.24f79a55bba9d16af024af78def3111d.png

I can't say that I was familiar with Sir John Evans or his collection, but he was actually quite well-known -- see https://britisharchaeology.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/collections/jevans.html -- and was the father of Sir Arthur Evans.

According to what Lance Hickman tells me, this further pedigree "was discovered by one of our staff in Lancaster that was browsing older catalogs for pedigrees in our sales that are upcoming or already up. It certainly adds an interesting element to an already extensive pedigree. The change has been made on our side and will be a part of our published errata for the sale and will be announced during the live auction."

Hopefully it will increase interest in the coin. I wonder if Numisbids or similar websites would change their descriptions of Lot 624 to incorporate this new information if I notified them and sent them the link. 

 

  

Edited by DonnaML
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1 minute ago, DonnaML said:

CNG has added to the description of my consigned Vespasian aureus (Lot 624 in the upcoming Feature Auction) an even older published reference than the 1910 De Sartiges Collection and the 1938 Ars Classica XVIII auction: the coin was previously Lot 62 in the 26 May 1909 Rollin & Feuardent auction of the Sir John Evans Collection.  See the revised description at https://auctions.cngcoins.com/lots/view/4-ASP6Q3/vespasian-ad-69-79-av-aureus-19mm-723-g-6h-rome-mint-struck-ad-75-good-vf .

I found the auction catalogue on Gallica.bnf.fr, with the coin illustrated in Plate III, and it certainly appears to be the same coin! 

image.png.f54ee0e99c3860397a036ec61592c1ba.png

image.png.24f79a55bba9d16af024af78def3111d.png

I can't say that I was familiar with Sir John Evans or his collection, but he was actually quite well-known -- see https://britisharchaeology.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/collections/jevans.html -- and was the father of Sir Arthur Evans.

According to what Lance Hickman tells me, this further pedigree "was discovered by one of our staff in Lancaster that was browsing older catalogs for pedigrees in our sales that are upcoming or already up. It certainly adds an interesting element to an already extensive pedigree. The change has been made on our side and will be a part of our published errata for the sale and will be announced during the live auction."

Hopefully it will increase interest in the coin. I wonder if Numisbids or similar websites would change their descriptions of Lot 624 to incorporate this new information if I notified them and sent them the link. 

 

  

That's great! Sir John Evans is a very notable and important additional pedigree to find. 

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I wrote to Numisbids to notify them of the change in the lot description, and was pleased to receive the following prompt response:

Hi Donna,

Thanks very much for the note.

We rely on the auction houses to make changes to the lot descriptions on
NumisBids after an auction has been put online. While many of them take
advantage of this facility, some do not (or don't update lot details
consistently).

We've manually updated the pedigree on that lot.

Thank you again for letting us know.

Best regards,

NumisBids, LLC

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