Stack’s Bowers Galleries rang in the New Year with tremendous results at the January New York International Auction. An excellent array of coins was anchored by several superb collections, including Selections from the Estate of Richard Doty, Selections from the Michael Druck Collection, The Mezo Toth Kalman Collection, The Dr. Michael Popoff Collection and Selections from the Richard Stuart Collection. In total, the World and Ancient coin sessions realized nearly $4.9 million (all prices reported include the standard buyer’s premium).
Ancient coins saw great results when, after just eight lots, an incredible Akragas Tetradrachm featuring two massive sea eagles and the fearsome Scylla brought $22,325. In lot 2010, an interesting and scarce Naxos Hemidrachm realized $3,995 (nearly quadrupling the low estimate).
Soon after, nearly 20 Silver Tetradrachms of Syracuse – exhibiting a large swath of styles – collectively realized over $35,000.
A rare Bar Kochba Revolt “Large Bronze” (lot 2063) nearly quadrupled the firm’s estimate by realizing nearly $20,000.
In the Roman section, there were great results throughout the Republic and Imperatorial portions. In the Empire section, lot 2098, a Titus as Caesar “Judaea Capta” AE Sestertius, which featured the collector’s mark of the renowned d’Este Collection establishing its provenance back nearly half a millennia, brought $18,800, shattering the estimates.
The second portion of Session B began with Selections from the Richard Stuart Collection, which featured Central American coinage. A run of 21 Central American Republic 8 Reales struck at the Guatemala Mint collectively realized just over $50,000.
The third and final portion of Session B offered coins of Albania through Great Britain. The first of a great run of gold issues from the Low Countries, a gem Insurrection Lion d’Or from the Austrian Netherlands, realized $16,450 (lot 2240). A Belgian 100 Franc from 1853 (lot 2245) brought $21,737.50, more than doubling the high estimate.
With over 45 lots the Chinese section of this NYINC sale was one of the largest the firm has auctioned in a domestic sale, and resulted in prices totaling over $100,000. Coins of France also enjoyed a strong showing, with 56 lots realizing combined prices of nearly $140,000.
Session B closed in a big way, with over 60 lots of Great Britain coinage that realized over $875,000. A Half Pound of Elizabeth I was offered at lot 2445 and brought $11,750. The Michael Druck Collection of Oliver Cromwell Pattern Coinage achieved tremendous results. Lot 2457, a Pattern Half Broad with a plain edge, realized $64,625, nearly doubling the high estimate. Each subsequent pattern achieved incredible prices, with the 12 lots bringing a total of nearly one quarter of a million dollars. By far the outstanding result for this sale was the $376,000 realized for lot 2477, the iconic “Una and the Lion” Proof Set.
On Saturday Session C kicked off with a nice run of Hungarian coinage, most of it from the Mezo Toth Kalman Collection. All told, the 20 or so lots realized nearly $75,000.
Lot 3070, an Italian 1912 100 Lire, more than doubled its high estimate to realize $25,850. A Martinique 20 Livres countermark (lot 3112) brought $12,925 – more than quadrupling its high estimate. Similarly, lot 3120, a Mexican Cob 8 Escudos of Philip V realized $15,275, well above the high estimate. A choice Mint State Philip V bust 8 Escudos (lot 3127) brought $18,800.
One surprising result from the Mexican section was lot 3144, an 1821 4 Reales in MS-65 that was estimated to bring between $4,500 and $6,000 but sold for $15,275.
Among coins of the Netherlands, a rare first year of issue 1818 10 Gulden brought $14,687. Lots 3227 (a 10 Gulden issue of 1850) and 3228 (a 10 Gulden struck in1895/1) each hammered for over $15,000. Lot 3244, a Netherlands 1746 2 Ducat of Utrecht realized nearly $20,000 (more than double the high estimate).
Russian coins provided some incredible results. The gorgeous “Capture of Azov” gold medal of Peter I (lot 3303) brought $32,900. The Latin Inscription Peter I Ducat (lot 3311) blew past the high estimate of $50,000 to realize $117,500. Lot 3319, a possibly unique gold Coronation medal of Empress Anna realized an astounding $76,375. Empress Elizabeth provided lot 3322, the finest certified St. Andrew Ducat that realized $64,625, more than doubling the high estimate. Empress Catherine II (the Great) was featured on lot 3335, a brilliant 1779 10 Ruble that realized $21,150 and on lot 3338, a tremendous “Peace with Turkey” gold medal that realized $21,150.
Overall the Russian material performed exceptionally well, with several pieces hammering far above their high estimates. Two 5 Ruble pieces from the Dr. Michael Popoff Collection (lots 3339 and 3342) sold at $23,500 each (more than triple their respective high estimates). An extremely rare 1841 6 Ruble platinum issue rocketed beyond its estimates to fetch $54,050.
Among coins of Switzerland, lot 3409, a gem 1925 Helvetia 100 Franc brought $21,737.50. Ample offerings of Swiss coinage and medals were well received in this sale, especially the multiple gold offerings.
A Transylvanian Klippe Taler of Michael Apafi I sold for $21,150 as lot 3441.
Rounding out the highlights of the live auction was lot 3444, a Venezuelan 500 Bolivares that commemorated the nationalization of the oil industry and realized $22,325.
The firm’s Internet only sessions also realized some exceptional prices.
A Judaean First Jewish War ¼ Shekel (lot 5096) sold for $3,290. The Roman emperor Vitellius was featured on lot 5176, an AE As that realized an astonishing $6,462.50 surpassing the high estimate by a factor of 10! A Hong Kong 50 Cents piece from 1902 (lot 6704) brought $2,350, while lot 6781, an 1895 Iranian Toman, brought $2,820. Finally, lot 6955, a Bronze State Council medal of Mexico from the Empire of Iturbide realized $2,350.
This sale proved to be quite exciting for bidders in the room as well as those watching and bidding online through our website. Focus on quality certified pieces was apparent and will no doubt be a trend in future sales. Currently Stack’s Bowers Galleries is accepting consignments of world and ancient coins for the August ANA World’s Fair of Money Show and Auction in August, the May 2017 Collector’s Choice Online Auction and their next Hong Kong Auction in April. Consignment specialists can be reached at (949) 253-0916 or via email at [email protected].