Eight South African Proof Sets at Dix Noonan Webb
One more unusual group set to close in tomorrow's Dix Noonan Webbsale No. 78 is a run of eight South African proof sets. Normally I do not see too many of these at auction, though I know they do trade privately. Some 20 years ago these scarce 20th Century cased sets were a very hot commodity, with high prices and a handful of collectors striving to obtain them. Low minatges and high collector interest made for a volatile market mixture, but once a couple of the higher buyers left the field, market prices dipped a bit.
It will be very interesting to see the bidding activity on these sets, which run from lot 728 to lot 735. Even though the market did soften from those former highs, the last few years there has been a bit more interest and most of the sets have very low mintages especially in the 1930's. In addition some nice South African material has been more available to collectors outside the home market and this has stirred some buyers to look for bargains. We'll see if this translates into more bidders with higher limits again, or if these sets remain somewhat repressed.
Within the last two years I have noticed a increase in individual prices of choice proof pieces and some of the early set prices have gone up on NumisMaster, but this sale will be a good barometer to judge possible future performance for these scarce South African Mint cased sets released from 1923 to the 1950's and beyond.