Sept. 27 auction premiere to be held at Morphy’s Pennsylvania gallery
Two of the country’s most influential and respected collectibles experts, auction house owner Dan Morphy and antique coin authority Laura Sperber, have joined forces to establish Legend-Morphy Rare Coin Auctions. The new firm, which will produce a minimum of two rare coin auctions per year, represents a powerful merger of numismatic knowledge and auction-management experience.
Dan Morphy is the dynamic CEO and owner of Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pa., while Sperber is a renowned US coin expert and founding owner of Legend Numismatics Inc. The third key player behind the new operation is Julie Abrams, who co-founded the groundbreaking digitized coin-auction company Teletrade in 1986, long before Internet auctions existed. Abrams will serve as president of Legend-Morphy, overseeing all executive matters and day-to-day operations.
Morphy said the new company will take an innovative approach to numismatic sales. “As I see it, the coin auction world has always been about business and numbers. What it has lacked is personalized service at both ends of a transaction – for the customer who is buying just as much as for the consignor who is selling. Morphy-Legend will certainly be run like a world-class rare coin business with Laura and Julie involved. They’re consummate professionals, both in their business acumen and knowledge of coins. But the three of us are also committed to injecting excitement and passion into the process of buying and selling fine coins. Morphy’s has an enthusiastic support team on board to help us make that vision a reality,” Morphy said.
Legend-Morphy’s auctions will be conducted live at Morphy’s southeastern Pennsylvania gallery and other venues, with some of the auction dates and locations chosen specifically to coincide with major coin shows. All forms of bidding will be available at the company’s sales, including absentee, phone and live via the Internet. Morphy’s staff will handle pre- and post-event duties, catalog production and shipping.
“I think collectors will react very enthusiastically to our new venture because we’re a fresh enterprise that’s approaching the auction business from a collector’s point of view,” said Sperber, who operates at the highest echelons of the numismatic hobby. Over the years, Sperber’s New Jersey-based Legend Numismatics has owned some of the rarest US coins in existence and has brokered a number of monumental private-treaty deals, including the $36 million private sale of a single intact collection.
Sperber said the concept behind Legend-Morphy has been brewing for several years. “Dan has had a long involvement with coins. He started collecting them as a boy, and by the time he was 12, he was already actively buying and selling coins and other types of antiques and collectibles. He and I collaborated on a few coin sales in the past, and they were very successful, but we knew that in order for our collaboration to be a long-term venture, we needed additional staff and more gallery space,” Sperber said. “Morphy’s has since doubled both its gallery size and staff, and has built a phenomenal customer base of more than 350,000 collectors worldwide. With those points checked off our list, Dan and I felt there was only one item of unfinished business to attend to – signing on Julie Abrams, the person whose Internet coin-trading experience and executive abilities would ensure our success.”
Abrams described the joint venture between Morphy and Sperber as “a meeting of the minds…on one hand you have one of the country’s top auction houses wanting to start a coin division, and on the other hand, the top coin dealer wanting to start an auction division. It’s two fabulous companies joining forces at the right time, and I’m incredibly excited that they asked me to spearhead the venture for them.”
In addition to working with Sperber and Morphy on consignments, publicity and marketing, Abrams will be representing Legend-Morphy at all major coin shows and conventions. Like Sperber, Abrams is impressively credentialed and is a member of the ANA and other prestigious numismatic organizations.
Legend-Morphy Rare Coin Auctions will launch its new operation with a Sept. 27 sale at Morphy’s gallery. Already, several stellar coins have been confirmed for consignment to the event. A preview selection will be on display Aug. 7-11 at the ANA Convention in Philadelphia, and at several other coin shows.
The company’s website, www.legendmorphy.com, is expected to go live in late June. To inquire about consigning, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail [email protected] Or stop by our table 555 at the upcoming Baltimore Show.