By Auctiones GmbH….
It is a time-honored tradition for world-class collections to offload their duplicates at auction from time to time.
We know of auctions with duplicates from the Royal Coin Cabinet at Berlin, with duplicates from the Coin Collections of the All-Highest Imperial House (also known as Coin Cabinet Vienna), and of the British Museum. Duplicates were sold by the Boston Museum, by Dumbarton Oaks, and the Hermitage. Even though the latter did it to acquire foreign currency for the Communist government, the selling of duplicates is a recognized means to create space in a collection and, at the same time, to generate the financial means needed for new acquisitions. The collectors rejoiced and willingly spent their money in such auctions, because owning an item that used to be a part of a renowned collection was and still is a special feeling.
That is why many bibliophilic coin collectors will be delighted to hear that the collector BCD has checked his huge library for duplicates once again. His initials are known to all those who love Greek coins, with the BCD Collection comprising Greek mainland coins having been sold in several comprehensive auction catalogs. Lesser known is the fact that BCD has assembled a library on Greek Numismatics that is by far the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in private hands. Unsurprisingly, therefore, his duplicates include a couple of little gems. This offer of extremely rare, highly-specialized books is something very special.
Responsible is the young Swiss company Auctiones, who will auction the roughly 238 lots in their upcoming eAuction 39. These lots can be viewed on the Internet as of 22 June, 2015, at www.auctiones.ch. The actual electronic auction will start on 5 July at 7 p.m. sharp.
As always, the books’ provenance and the languages in which they come are a pleasure in themselves. English, French and German are more or less standard today. They are complemented by Bulgarian, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, Finish, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, and Turkish. The spectrum ranges from general publications (lot 1-34), Greek coins (35-56), Roman coins with provincial issues (57-127), Byzantium, Early medieval and crusaders (128-135), offprints (136-174) and auction catalogs (175-238). The estimates are quite modest. For some of the lots, bidding begins with 5 CHF (approx. $5.45 USD).
What makes the manuscript on the BCD Library duplicates so special is the multitude of notes that reveal the profound knowledge and the great care with which the collector has examined his books. Almost every lot has a personal note from the owner.
These notes have been written with much humor. BCD’s comments on a Sotheby catalog from 10 November, 1972, for instance: “The auction that signaled the beginning of the price rally that finally placed ancient coins in the category where they should always belong: small in size but great in value.”
All those who have become curious can find the lots on the Internet as of 22 June, 2015. Further details and the possibility to view the books are provided by Auctiones GmbH, P.O. Box 673, 3000 Bern 8, Switzerland; phone: +41313113948, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will find the auction sale at http://www.auctiones.ch/.
Here are but a few of the highlights:
11. Eckhel, Abbe [Joseph]. Kurzgefasste Anfangsgründe zur alten Numismatik. Vienna, no date (1788). 8vo, Hardcover, blue boards, spine label with gilt letters; 133 pages, 6 engraved plates. Ex-library, covers worn, interior Good. Lipsius p. 110. Estimate: 50,- CHF.
A note from BCD: Rare and in great demand; the 6 folding plates provide us with admirably faithful etchings of Greek and (mostly) Roman coins.
121. Voetter, Otto. Erste christliche Zeichen auf römischen Münzen. Wien 1893. 8vo, recently bound in quarter orange leather, matching linen, brown spine letters; 38 pages, 3 plates, foldout tables of coin inscriptions. Interior Very Good. Estimate: 20.- CHF.
A note from BCD: With many pages of thin card stock bound at the end so that additional photographs and text may be glued on. A scarce and nicely bound publication.
131. Friedlaender, Julius. Numismata Inedita. Commentariis ac Tabulis. Berlin 1840. 4to, brown boards stained and bumped; 50 pages. Some foxing to end papers and title. Pencil title/date on cover. Fair. Lipsius Suppl. p. 45. Estimate: 50,- CHF.
A note from BCD: One of Friedlaender’s rarest works. I have never seen another offered for sale. Excellent and very precise and accurate engravings. A valuable antiquarian book.
196. [Berlin/Imhoof-Blumer] Hess, Adolph. Frankfurt, 12 March 1906. Doubletten des Königl. Münzcabinets zu Berlin aus dem Ankauf der Sammlung des Herrn Dr. Imhoof-Blumer. Griechische Münzen, Nord- und Mittel-Griechenland, Peloponnes, Griechische Inseln. 1169 lots, 58 pages, 3 plates; original paper covers worn and chipped with corner piece missing from back cover without loss of text, excellent plates, interior Very Good. Spring 314. Estimate: 15.- CHF.
221. [Rhousopoulos] Hirsch, Jacob. Munich, XIII. 15 May 1905. Sammlung griechischer Münzen aus dem Nachlasse eines bekannten Archäologen. 4627 lots, 292 pages, 58 plates; recent beige linen with leather spine labels; original card covers and photocopy of prices realized list bound in. Some neat inked prices in text margins and on plates. Very Good. CS 1941, 1979; Kroh p. 34; Spring 371. Estimate: 150,- CHF.
A note from BCD: The catalogue of a great collection, always in demand. My copy was often at my bedside and I never tired of admiring its rarities before going to sleep.