CLASSIC AMERICAN TYPE AND HIGH-GRADE RARITIES DOMINATE MIKE COLTRANE PART I PRICES REALIZED
When a collection such as Mike Coltrane’s is offered at auction, it serves as a perfect barometer for the health of the market.
In summary, the Nov. 4-5 sale was a well-curated assemblage of banknotes spanning nearly every major category of United States currency. It was built by a collector who studied numismatics with passion. Because all lots opened at $1, Heritage Auctions reported a 100 percent sell-through.
There are many factors contributing to today’s market strength, but condition and eye appeal remain the top attributes sought by collectors. Across all categories and price points, the notes grading wholly original Choice Uncirculated 63 or better realized an aggregate 41 percent over estimate.
The classic American rarities that Coltrane selected for their historical perspective were also heavily favored by bidders. Among them were the Fr. 167a $100 1863 “Spread Eagle” Legal Tender, which realized $87,000 against an estimate of $50,000. The exceedingly rare First Charter $50 and $100 National Bank Notes were among the finest offered in years, with the $50 1875 from Danville, Ill. reaching $78,000 against the $50,000 pre-auction estimate. The top lot in the auction, the unique War of 1812 $3 Treasury Note attained $168,000; the only known Federally issued $3 note, it was last offered publicly in 2005, when it topped $70,000.
The April 2021 offering of The Mike Coltrane Collection Part 2 will feature more classic American banknotes, some of which have been unavailable for decades. The market will once again look favorably on quality and rarity.