$7 Million of World & Ancient Coins Sold at NYINC

by Heritage Auctions on January 8, 2009 · 0 comments

ROMAN EMPIRE. Hadrian, A.D. 117-138. AR Medallion Dallas, TX – Heritage Auction Galleries has just posted prices realized approaching $7 million on its Signature Auction of Ancient and World Coins, held as an official auction of the New York International Numismatic Convention in New York City (NYINC).

At the conclusion of sales of Post Auction Buys and non-floor session material (ending Jan. 13), total prices Realized are expected to well exceed $7 million. This was the lead event in a week of Heritage auctions that will see more than 18,000 lots of rare coins and currency valued above $50 million sold in New York City and Orlando, Florida. Prices realized information on all auctions can be found at www.HA.com


"This auction, Heritage’s seventh Official NYINC event at the Waldorf-Astoria, featured nearly 3000 lots of ancient and world coins from 225+ consignors," said Warren Tucker, Heritage’s Director of World Coin Auctions. "This could well be our most valuable auction ever of ancient and world coins. Our prior record of $7,157,933 was set only last year at our June Long Beach Signature Auction, so this will be very close. It speaks well of the strength of the world coin market and our global marketing outreach wherever the final numbers fall."

"Rarities were included from around the world," continued Tucker, "but the auction was strengthened by several impressive specialty collections. Among the outstanding consignments were the Grundy Collection (one of the top collections of silver world crowns ever assembled, with 600 crowns renowned for both diversity and quality collected over 35 years), selections from the Deb-Ann Collection (from a serious collector for more than a quarter century), and the Don Kagin Collection of Multiple Thalers (formed over half a century with guidance from his father, Art Kagin, and focusing on specimens of historic importance, rarity, and quality).

We were especially gratified to see continued growth in our HERITAGE Live! online bidding system, which was kept constantly busy winning lots for clients around the globe."


The top lot in the auction at $109,250 was a unique ancient silver coin/medallion of Hadrian Augustus (minted A.D. 135-137). Considered a masterpiece of ancient portraiture (by the ‘Alphaeus Master’, most likely a member of Hadrian’s inner circle, and perhaps the sculptor Antonianus (Antoninianus) of Aphrodisias) at 33.5 mm in width, the obverse has been judged one of the finest among the entire Roman coinage. The reverse features a delightful mythological scene that speaks of Hadrian’s patronage of the Greeks, with Poseidon standing, his left foot on a rock, holding a trident upright; at right, Athena stands with her left hand on her hip, and her right hand on an olive branch with a snake coiling from the base of the tree.

Second place honors at the auction were won by another Roman coin, a gold Aureus of Aelius Caesar, minted in 137 A.D., formerly from the John Whitney Walter Collection. In "Fleur de Coin" condition, Lot 20077 Realized $103,500 against a pre-auction estimate of $40,000 – $50,000. Minted in Rome, the obverse feature a bare-headed and draped bust of Aelius facing right, while the reverse features Pietas holding a box of perfumes and sacrificing over an altar.

Additional rarities featured at NYINC include:

Lot 20430: Canada: George V, 1921 50 Cents, KM25a, MS64 PCGS. One of the legendary coins of the Canadian series and rarely available in mint state. Realized $74,750.

Lot 21925: Mexico, Republic Cap and Rays 8 Reales 1827-Pi JS, San Luis Potosi Mint, KM377.12, Pi-02, MS63 NGC. In total, 14 different mints struck these coins, and they became hugely popular in world commerce; this may be the finest extant specimen. This masterpiece in Mexican silver held a pre-auction estimate: $35,000 – $45,000. Realized $63,250.

Lot 22210: Russia, Peter I 1714 Novodel gold 2 Ducats (Double Chervonets), Bust of Peter I right/Triple Crowned Imperial eagle, Sev 39, UZD 0022, Diakov p21 N, AU58 NGC. Realized $63,250.

From the Deb-Ann Collection, Lot 22211: Russia, Peter I (the Great) 1702 Medallic gold Novodel in the weight of 7 Ducats, Laureate and armored bust of Peter I right with the inscription in Russian reading, Tsar Peter Alexeexich Ruler of All Russia/Russian Double-headed eagle, F-81, Diakov 11.3 (R5), Reichel 917, 20.8 gm., lightly cleaned UNC. Realized $57,500.

From the Deb-Ann Collection, Lot 21900: Mexico: Philip V 1733-Mo F Portrait gold 8 Escudos, KM148 (listed as rare), Cayon-10030, Calico-422, MS64 NGC. A majestic coin with a medallic strike, almost perfectly centered on each side with deep denticled rims, broad on the obverse and serving to offset the magnificent portrait as if in a cameo. In 1732, the design of gold coins was changed at the Mexico City mint from the medieval style featuring a huge cross and the royal crest to the portrait type, and the initial dates of 1732 and 1733 are very rare. Realized $54,625.

Lot 22381: Russia: Alexander II 1879 gold 3 Roubles CПБ-HФ, Triple crowned Imperial eagle/Date and value in circle, Bit-41 (R2), MS62 Prooflike NGC. Bitkin lists the mintage as 5 (which may be low), but this date is quite rare. Realized $48,875.

Lot 22381: Japan: Showa 5 (1930) gold 20 Yen, KM-Y52, MS65 NGC. A very rare type which was unattainable before the release of the Japanese Finance Minister holdings. Realized $48,875.

From the Grundy Collection, Lot 20861: France: Louis XV Ecu 1715W, D-1325, G-316, 30.26g, AU50 NGC. Lille mint. Ecu aux 3 Courounnes. One of the great rarities of French numismatics; of the four mints which struck this type, Lille is the only collectible mint. Realized $46,000.

Lot 21860: Japan: Showa 7 (1932) gold 20 Yen, KM-Y52, MS64 NGC. Realized $43,125.

Lot 21860: Russia: Russian Federation gold 10,000 Roubles 2002, Works of Dionissy, KM-Y784, 32.152g AGW, Choice Proof in the original case with certificate from a mintage of 100. Realized $43,125.

Lot 22476: Russia: Nicholas II Bicentenary of the Victory of the Russian Fleet at Gangut Rouble 1914 BC, Bust right with date/Imperial eagle with value, Bit-337 (R2), Uzd-4202, MS65 NGC. Realized $40,250.

Lot 21858: Japan: Showa 5 (1930) gold 5 Yen, KM-Y51, MS67 NGC. Essentially unavailable to collectors for more than 70 years until the Japanese Finance Minister hoard was released for public auction. Realized $37,375.

Lot 22287: Russia: Alexander I Pattern Rouble 1801 CПБ-AI, Bust right/Imperial eagle with date, Bit-632 (R3), Severin-2497, Julian-941, MS61 NGC. Realized $35,938.

Lot 22270: Russia: Paul I Albertus Rouble 1796 БM, Crowned Imperial eagle with date above/Tablet with legend, Bit-14, UZD-1257, MS63 PCGS. Realized $34,500.

From the Deb-Ann Collection, Lot 21895: Mexico: Philip V 1715-Mo J gold cob 8 Escudos, Cayon-9950, MS64 NGC. Realized $32,200.

From the Deb-Ann Collection, Lot 21901: Mexico: Felipe V 1743-Mo MF gold 8 Escudos, KM148, MS62 NGC. Ex Norweb (as “proof”) with the original flip included. Realized $32,200.

From the Deb-Ann Collection, Lot 22692: Spain: Carlos III (1759-88) 1772-S CF gold 8 Escudos, KM409.2, Cayon-12836, MS64 NGC. Realized $32,200.

Lot 20552: China: Empire Hu Poo gold Pattern Tael Year 29 (1903), KM-Pn296, LM1019, plain edge, Brilliant Uncirculated. The dies were produced by the Osaka Mint. Realized $29,900.

Lot 21452: Great Britain: George V bronze Pattern Penny by Lavrillier 1933, P2284, Fr786, exceedingly rare, only 4 pieces believed to exist, struck by the Royal Mint (at Tower Hill). The initials of Bertram Mackennal (the official mint engraver at this time) appear on the king’s truncation, just to the right of the initials A.L. (for the French artist to whom this pattern is attributed, Andre Lavrillier). Realized $29,900.

Images, descriptions, and prices realized from Heritage’s previous numismatic auctions – some two million lots – are available in the Permanent Auction Archives at the Heritage Web site, www.HA.com.

About Heritage Auction Galleries

Heritage Auction Galleries is the world’s third largest auction house, and by far the largest auctioneer of rare collectibles, with annual sales over $700 million, and 400,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage’s auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit www.HA.com

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