International numismatic treasures highlighted by rare German, Polish and South American coins, as well as the largest gold coin in the world, a Chinese 321+ ounce Beijing Olympics gold 100,000 Yuan
As the profile of Heritage Auctions’ World & Ancient Coins category has continued to skyrocket over the last few years, each consecutive offering has raised the bar significantly. With the Jan. 3-4 New York Signature? World & Ancient Coin Auction at the Waldorf Astoria, coinciding with the New York International Coin Show (NYINC), Heritage has not only assembled its largest World Coin auction to date, it has also once again raised the bar in terms of absolute quality.
“With more than 5,000 total lots in this auction we have literally scoured the planet for the best possible international numismatic offerings,” said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Vice President of International Numismatics at Heritage. “The incredible scope of countries represented, and the depth to which the collections go is so advanced that putting this catalog together was like a getting a graduate degree in world numismatics at a crash course pace.”
More than 240 consignors have placed coins in the auction, most of which will be on display for lot viewing, Dec. 29 and 30, at Heritage’s jewelbox New York space at 445 Park Avenue (at 57th). To further entice International coin collectors, Heritage will have highlights from the upcoming auction the Norman Jacobs Collection of Korean and Japanese Coins, the most important collection of its kind, on display at the NYINC, January 6-9, at the Waldorf-Astoria.
A Polish Sigismund III gold 10 Dukats 1588, Fr-83, XF45 NGC represents one of the superb early highlights of the auction. This exceedingly rare type, with its clean lines and striking imagery is appealing as much for its numismatic value as for its artistic value, and is sure to be the subject of spirited bidding. It carries an estimate of $175,000+.
Collectors of European coins will certainly be interested in a German Bird of Paradise Colonial gold 10 Marks 1895A, Date and value in palm wreath, Fr-2, KM8, MS66 NGC, a superb example of this extremely popular issue, considered by many to have the most beautiful of all modern coin designs, with a $30,000+ estimate. One of the most important Russian offerings in the auction comes in the form of a Choice Uncirculated Peter I Rouble, 1720, Bust right/Crowned Imperial eagle, nails on sleeve in one line, Diakov 16, PETR 4, UZD 0588. MS64 NGC, which comes with a $60,000+ estimate and represents one of the nicer pieces of this type ever seen by Heritage specialists.
An amazing Leopold I (the Hogmouthed) medallic gold 15 Ducats ND (1666-1705), 51.92 gm, AU58 NGC is expected to be one of the most highly sought-after coins of the auction, with an estimate of $150,000+. Leopold reigned as Holy Roman Emperor from 1658 to 1705, a period marked by constant military conflicts, including the Great Turkish War, the Nine Years’ War, and the War of Spanish Succession.
A complete set of the 1646 Brazilian Ducats, three incredible relics of the Dutch siege of Brazil in the early 1600s, have already created quite a buzz within the international numismatic community in anticipation of their being offered. The rarest denomination in the series is the Pernambuco. Geoctroyeede West-Indische Compagnie (GWC) 3 Guilders (Florins) 1646, KM5.3, Fr-3, choice XF,1.81 grams, one of the one of the great Brazilian/Dutch rarities and a coin with tremendous charisma, estimated at $30,000+. A Pernambuco. Geoctroyeede West-Indische Compagnie (GWC) 6 Guilders (Florins) 1646, KM6.2, Fr-2, better EF, 3.69 grams, is estimated at $20,000+, while a Pernambuco. Geoctroyeede West-Indische Compagnie (GWC) 12 Guilders (Florins) 1646, KM7.1, F-1, AU, 7.52 grams, possibly the finest known 12 Florins in existence, is estimated at $30,000+.
One of the most hotly anticipated lots in the auction comes in the form of one of the largest gold coins in the world, a massive People’s Republic 10kg (321.17 ounces) gold 100000 Yuan 2008, KM1842, Gem Proof, struck to commemorate the first Olympic Games in China, the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing in 2008.
The obverse features the title of PRC, the common year date “2008,” decorative design of the Chinese ancient bronze ware and the colored emblem of the Games. The reverse features a myriad of sporting events in the foreground, with the Temple of Heaven in Beijing and dragons in the clouds. The coin carries a pre-auction estimate of $600,000+.
“This is an awe-inspiring coin,” said Bierrenbach, “and the display case only adds to its allure. Crafted from African Blackwood and finished with intricately carved Chinese ornamentation, this is a masterpiece in its own right crowned by a Chinese dragon carved from Shousan stone, the national stone of China. The art of Shousan stone carving traces as far back as the Ming Dynasty, when the carvings were used to create royal seals.”
Further highlights include, but are not limited to:
Vittorio Emanuele III gold 100 Lire 1937R XVI, KM84, Fr-36, MS65 NGC: Reduced size, a superb example with flawless satiny surfaces and full mint brilliance. Very rare type and grade, only 249 minted. Struck following the conquest of Ethiopia depicting a Roman carrying the fasces symbolic of the Italian government. With the issue of this coin, Vittorio Emanule III added the title of Emperor to his stature as King. Estimate: $35,000+.
Empire Silver Pattern Dollar (1910), Kann-219, L&M-24, Proof 62 PCGS: A very attractive example with silvery-gray and gold patina and only faint hairlines in the obverse fields. A rare and ever popular type struck at the central Tientsin Mint. Estimate: $10,000+.
Republic gold 20 Pesos 1888 Go-R, KM414.4, unlisted date and moneyer, MS62 NGC: Semi-prooflike luster, sharp strike with full details except in the very center of the Book of Laws, consistently high rims all around, glowing light-yellow gold color, some abrasions and very faint hairlines, some flattening on the eagle and snake from the rolling process at the mint, and a long deep minting flaw diagonally on the eagle’s left wing. As far as Heritage research can determine, there have been no public sales, or offerings of a 20 Pesos of this date and mint for the last 60-70 years, thus the coin is believed to be unique. Estimate: $25,000+.
Gela. Ca. 415-405 BC. AR tetradrachm (17.22 gm): Quadriga racing left in three-quarter view, third horse with head turned back, eagle flying left above, grain ear left in exergue / ?E?A?, man-faced bull standing left, two barley plants before him, barley grain in exergue. Among the finest known examples of this unique reverse type, represented by only a single die. Ex Gemini V (6 January 2009, lot 331). Ex American Numismatic Society collection (inv. #1997.9.5). From the estate of John D. Leggett, Jr. Estimate: $30,000+.
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