Baldwin’s auction 71, the second of two official Coinex auctions, contains an array of high quality, interesting pieces from the Indian, Ancient and Islamic worlds and is set to be one of the most spectacular sales of the Coinex season. Held in the CIPFA Conference Centre on the 29th September the auction starts at 10.00am promptly and runs in conjunction with the BNTA organised Coinex numismatic convention.
The first section of the auction comprises The Yashoda Singh Collection of Indian Coins. A collection collated over the course of 25 years by a collector with a true passion for the history of the coinage of India. Twenty five years ago when Yashoda Singh first started to collect coins there were no coin shows, auctions or dealers specialising in Indian coins. In the US a couple of dealers became more prominent but Baldwin’s have blazed the trail as far as auctioning Indian coins are concerned, beginning with The Sir John Wheeler collection of coins of the East India Company and British Imperial India and more recently the sale of the Diana Collection of Coins of the British Empire. The Singh collection is formed of historically significant and artistically beautiful coins from every period of Indian coinage, all of which have an emotional resonance with the current owner. In the introduction to his collection Mr. Singh draws particular attention to the coins from the mints of Patliputra (also known by other names in different periods – Patna or Azimabad or Hazrat Rasulpur), Rajgriha, Chunar, and Tirhut. All these mints lay in the state of Bihar or eastern Uttar Pradesh, the region in which Mr. Singh was born. He says of his collection ‘I
did not collect these coins specifically for profit but for my emotional satisfaction. It so happens that Indian coins are now sought by Indians and non-Indians from all over the world and prices have skyrocketed.’
Lots 1228 and 1233 are the two main pieces in the collection. The first, an 1835 Proof Restrike Gold Mohur is an unusually nice piece estimated at £3,000-5,000. The second, an 1835 Gold Proof Re-strike 2-Mohurs is estimated at £5,000–8,000. Other highlights from this collection include lot 1005, a Vima Kadphises, gold Dinar in extremely fine condition, estimate £1,200 – £1,500; lot 1147, a Bengal Presidency Gold Mohur, Year 31 in extremely fine condition, estimate £1,000-1,500; lot 1221, a 1939B Silver Rupee, estimate £1,000-1,500; lot 1226, an 1870 Gold Early Proof Restrike 10-Rupees, estimate £1,500-£2,500 and lot 1238, one of only 10 know specimens this Marathas, Silver 1/5-Rupee or “Velli Fanam” is estimated to sell for £1,000-1,200.
The Indian section continues with a further array of coinage from other properties including a small selection of coins from Hyderabad, lots 1472-1476. Lot 1472, a Mir Mahbub Ali Khan II (1868-1911), Copper Pattern Rupee, AH 1301, estimate £15,000-25,000 is of particular interest. A major article by Jan Lingen, recording some of the AH1312 Hyderabad coins, was published in the Oriental Numismatic Society Newsletter No. 153 (Summer 1997), under the title: “The Introduction of Machine-Struck Coinage in the State of Hyderabad.” When the Imperial mint at Madras was closed in 1869, its machinery was sold to the state of Hyderabad. The equipment does not appear to have been used, possibly because the ruler of Hyderabad at the time was a minor. He came of age in 1301 (1883) and an investiture ceremony followed. Lot 1472, the 1301 Rupee in silver, is believed to have been struck as a presentation piece for this ceremony. The copper piece was not known to Lingen. New machinery was supplied by the Heaton Mint in Birmingham, England as early as 1891 and again during 1893-1894. The AH1312 coinage appears to be mostly experimental productions using the new Heaton equipment.
Lot 1489 is the first of three major pieces in the sale. The 1834 East India Company, Bombay Presidency, VIP Proof Set from the Bombay Mint comprises three silver and three copper coins and was possibly struck to mark the first complete coinage in 1834 by the new Bombay Mint, or in 1835 for the end of local Presidency coinage. This lot is estimate at £25,000-50,000. Lot 1529, an Edward VII, 1904 unique VIP presentation proof set in it’s official case contains eight coins and the set is previously unrecorded and totally unique, estimate: £80,000-120,000. The final piece, lot 1609, a 1949 Republic of India Pattern set by Patrick Brindley was a set for an entirely new proposed coinage for the new republic. This is a highly important and excessively rare set of eight pattern coins, only four sets in total are recorded as having been struck. Estimate £100,000-150,000. No coins were struck for circulation dated 1948 or 1949. However a distinct new series of designs were, required due to partition and Independence. After partition in July of 1947 and the achievement of Independence by both India as well as the newly-created Pakistan, both countries thought to create new and distinctive coinages. The Spink Numismatic Circular of 1954 reports that only four sets of these charming patterns were struck. A complete set in a custom case was contained in the Barrett collection during the 1980s. This set included a ticket making reference to the 1954 Spink statement that only four sets had been struck and priced in 1954 at the then substantial value of £100. The occasional single coin has surfaced in past years, suggesting that at least one of the four sets has been
The Alan Harley collection of Countermarked Latin American coins forms the next part of the sale and comprises 194 lots. Alan Harley began
collecting this series in the late 1970’s when his interest was sparked by the Gilt Dragon (Vergulde Draeke) wreck cobs in Perth, Australia where he was working as a hydrologist. Examples from nearly all of the major shipwrecks are included among the countermarks with the largest section being Indonesian. This makes a change from the usual Caribbean collections and is probably the largest offering of Indonesian countermarks ever. As a group they provide a further insight into Indonesian local practice from 1800 to approximately 1850. The provenances of the coins in this collection are global although the majority have been bought through mainstream auctions house in the US. Highlights from the collection include, lot 1769, a Cartagena mint, 8-Reales, partial date (1)52(?), extremely rare and possibly unique, estimate £1,000–1,500; lot 1773, a Madras Presidency, East India company, ½ Pagoda (1807-1809) overstruck on portrait 8-Reales, a very clear overstrike , estimate £300-500; lot 1842, a Base Silver imitation of Mexico Philip IV 8-Reales, the piece is of great interest because it has no localised provenance and may be an Eastern copy, estimate £150-200; lot 1860, Mexico City, Philip IV, 8-Reales (1634-1665), this coin has a milled edge which may have been added as an experiment, the technology was well established having been used on the Spanish coins from the early 19th century, estimate £600-800; and lot 1949, a 1730 R, Indonesia, Bartadip, Mexico City, 4 Reales, countermarked in Arabic Bartadip, estimate £200-300.
A selection of Foreign coins completes the sale and includes some beautiful coinage from around the world. Some of the most interesting items include, lot 1952, the first of a small selection of Crusader coins, is a very fine example of an Achaia, Robert of Anjou Tarentum (1346-1364) and is estimated at £1,000–1,200.; lot 1973, a Bhutan: Jigme Wangchuck (1926-1952), Silver ½ Rupee is estimated at £1,500-2,000. This item is a Royal Mint VIP proof. Until the mass production of commercial sets of Bhutan coinage in 1996, the only known proofs from this country are the two 1928 Royal Mint struck coinages, the Pice and the ½-Rupee. Both are extremely rare; lot 1987, a 1786 Louis XVI, ecu de Calonne, Pattern Ecu, by J-P Droz, depicts a very desirable pattern of refined style and is estimated at £3,000-4,000; lot 2047, a Milan, Giovanni Galeazzo Maria Sforza Duke and Bona di Savoia Regent (1476-1481), depicts the veiled head of Bona di Savoia and is a very important coin as it features the only portrait of a woman in the Italian Renaissance coinage. This is a beautiful example and is estimated at £5,000-6,000; and lastly, lot 2064, an Alexander I (1815-1825) Gold 25-Zlotych Polskich 1833 KG is an extremely fine example with much original brilliance and is estimated at £8,000-10,000.
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For all enquires about this or any future auctions please contact Seth Freeman at [email protected] or on +44 (0)20 7930 9808.