An Auction with an Ancient and World Coin Focus
Preparing for this year’s Chicago Coin Expo has brought with it new faces, new goals, and, of course, new world coin rarities. We have assembled over 4,200 carefully-selected lots, including several fantastic specialist collections, for our April 20-23 event in order to provide our bidders with yet another diverse selection of exceptionally collectible coins.
The two most celebrated past sales of collections containing Canadian Pre-Confederation tokens are the W.W.C. Wilson sale of 1925 and the John McKay-Clements sale of 1976.
However, as great as the Wilson and McKay-Clements collections of Canadian tokens were, The Doug Robins Collection of Canadian Tokens, featured in Session One of this auction, is better. There is hardly a major rarity in the series that is not included. This collection will be covered by its own catalog.
Our Ancients selection kicks off with a number of notable pieces spanning the trio of classical metals (bronze, silver, and gold), beginning with an enormous 69mm cast bronze minted in Olbia in Scythia circa 470-450 BCE, one of approximately 15 known specimens.
Our journey next takes us to the crib of coined money, where we find an extremely rare Ionian gold Stater struck at Ephesus and graded a stunning MS by NGC.
Next, to the north, we find one of the true gold gems of the sale: a beautiful lifetime Lysimachus Stater, boasting an impressive MSstar designation from NGC.
Slightly further east, we become embroiled in the civil strife of the Seleucid Kingdom, nicely embodied in a striking Tetradrachm featuring the jugate busts of Antiochus XI and his brother Philip I Philadelphus.
As always, the Roman period offers some spectacular rarities, with a gold Aureus of Augustus, struck in Spain circa 18-17 BCE to commemorate the recovery of standards leading the way.
Amidst a strong selection of gold Aurei of Galba, Antoninus Pius, Caracalla, Aurelian and Constantius II, we encounter one of the seldom-appreciated great rarities of the sale: an unpublished Judaea Capta Sestertius of Vespasian with the hybrid legend IVDAEA AVGVST.
A lovely Choice MS solidus of Irene highlights the Byzantine section.
As is always the case, our current world coin offerings feature a particularly spectacular British section, beginning with a Triple Unite of Charles I, struck at Oxford in 1642 and graded XF Details by NGC.
We are also excited to auction a splendid gold 5 Guineas of William III. Minted in 1701, this date is a widely acknowledged collector favorite, not only because of its wonderful artistic style, but because of the key role played by Sir Isaac Newton in its production.
Finally, with the arrival of the Victorian Age, we are delighted to offer an extremely well-preserved 11-Piece 1887 Proof Set from the fabled Murdoch Collection and a gold Proof Pattern Double Florin dated 1868 and graded a stunning PR65 Deep Cameo by NGC.
From Norway we encounter the thing of legend: a massive Triple Speciedaler of Frederik III dated 1666. Though graded a mere VF Details by NGC due to some graffiti on the reverse, this may be one of only three extant examples (and the sole survivor with this date), and certainly the only piece in private hands to come to auction in recent memory.
Moving south, we next come to one of the nicest groups of German Talers we have offered in many years, containing over 50 pieces from a diverse range of states rarely encountered.
From slightly further west, we arrive in Holland just in time to catch a glimpse of yet another massive issue, this time a gigantic 1687 gold Rider of 10 Ducats. Likely struck as a presentation piece to impress foreign dignitaries, it still astounds to this day.
Finally, we witness the first gold and silver coins of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire, an extremely crisp Sultani struck by Mehmed II “the Conqueror” in his new capital of Constantinople just 15 years after he took the city, and an equally impressive Onluk of 10 AkΣes minted contemporaneously.
The Latin America selection is also a true treat, thanks largely to the second-to-none Selections from the Isaac Rudman Numismatic Cabinet that we have to offer. Rarely do Mexican 3 Reales come to market, but here we have not one, but four distinctive varieties to offer with at least one being unique.
150 years later comes the first dated Cob of Mexico — a 1680 4 Escudos of Charles II bearing the distinctive MXo mintmark.
Another “first” soon follows, with an exceptionally-rare Philip V Milled 8 Reales “Pillar Dollar” of 1732 graded AU58 by PCGS.
In Brazil, we have the pleasure of offering one of the few Dutch colonial issues of South America, a MS63 gold 6 Guilders Klippe from Pernambuco dated 1646.
This world coin auction is now open for bidding at HA.com/Coins.