The Heritage Auctions April 20-23 Chicago Coin Expo World Coins Signature Auction features, among many other treasures, a 1666-dated 3 Speciedaler from Norway that is, quite simply, a once-in-a-lifetime offering.
This extraordinary denomination is never seen at auction, and only two 3 Speciedalers of Frederik III of any date known to be in private collections (1652 and 1668). Until this example recently surfaced in Maryland, this date was presumed unique in this denomination, the only known specimen purchased in 1831 and forming part of the Royal Collection in the National Museum of Copenhagen.
This present specimen is consequently only the second of the type known to exist, and the first to be offered for sale in nearly two hundred years.
This 3 Speciedaler specimen is remarkably attractive for its certified VF Details grade, boldly-detailed and alight with a red-gold patina over dove-gray surfaces, the central devices gifted three dimensions through a darker tone in the recesses. At 10 and two o’clock around the central reverse shield two words have been lightly inscribed in contemporary style, appearing to the cataloger to read ‘Jens’ and ‘Pham’, possibly a name and certainly deserving of further research, possibly even a clue as to its provenance. From most angles this graffiti fades into invisibility, only noticeable when turned towards the light, and certainly not a detraction from the overall appearance of this piece.
To the best of our knowledge, this particular example has never before been offered at auction, and so we are excited to be able to debut it here. This is likely the only chance collectors will have to obtain a 3 Speciedaler of any date (let alone one of 1666), and we expect serious collectors to bid accordingly. This coin is deserving of centerpiece status in any elite collection of the Norwegian numismatic series.
This coin is one of many important and seldom offered world coins that will be offered for sale by Heritage Auctions at the Chicago Coin Expo World Coins Signature Auction.