Auction of the Week: Catawiki World Money Fair Coin Auction, February 2, 2019
Our featured auction this week is the Catawiki World Money Fair Auction, featuring a treasure trove of rare and historic coins spanning more than 2,000 years of history.
The sale takes place on Saturday February 2, to coincide with the start of the 48th annual World Money Fair in Berlin, one of the biggest events in the numismatic calendar. Here are just a few of the top lots to look out for...
The Draped Bust dollar was one of the earliest silver dollar coins produced in the United States, between 1795 and 1803.
The coin features an image of Lady Liberty, along with 13 stars which represent the 13 original colonies.
The design is widely believed to be the work of the American portrait artist Gilbert Stuart, and legend has it that his depiction of Lady Liberty was based on Ann Willing Bingham, a socialite regarded as the most beautiful woman of her age.
This rarer variant of the coin features the 1799 date struck over the previous 1798 date on the die.
This striking $250 gold coin was issued by the New Zealand Mint in 2018, as the second design in their officially-licensed Star Wars series.
The 1oz gold bullion coin was produced in a limited issue of 25,000 pieces, and depicts an Imperial Storm Trooper, one of the most iconic images from the Star Wars universe.
This Ancient Greek Tetradrachm, dated circa 350-295 BC, bears a depiction of Athena, the Goddess of wisdom, war and handicrafts.
The reverse depicts an owl, a bird commonly associated with Athena, which became regarded as a symbol of knowledge and wisdom.
According to the Greek historian Philochorus, the Athenian tetradrachm was commonly referred to as the "little owl" throughout the ancient world.
This new commemorative 1 oz gold coin has been issued by the Australian Mint to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Pig, which begins on February 5.
In Chinese culture pigs are associated with wealth, and the Chinese Zodiac suggests 2019 could be a good year for investment and financial success.
The golden guinea was a coin initially minted in Great Britain between 1663 and 1799, when gold reserves became scarce due to The French Revolution and the Revolutionary Wars.
Production ceased in 1799 and banknotes became legal tender, but 14 years later the final issue of golden guineas was minted during the Napoleonic Wars.
This 1813 example is known as a 'Military Guinea', as it was produced specifically to pay soldiers in the Duke of Wellington's army
The Duke's army was engaged in the Peninsular War against Napoleon, and his men were stationed in the Pyrenees mountain range between Spain and France.
Locals would only accept gold as a form of payment, and so the British government was forced to strike 80,000 new guineas for their men, who were reluctant to receive their wages in banknotes.
This rare limited-edition medal was issued in 1973 by Sweden's archaeologists' society, to celebrate the King's 75-year lifelong passion for archaeology.
Gustaf VI Adolf participated in archaeological expeditions in China, Greece, Korea and Italy, founded the Swedish Institute in Rome, and was admitted to the British Academy in 1958 for his work in the field of botany.
This Ethiopian $20 gold coin was minted in 1966 to celebrate 50 years of leadership – and the 75th birthday – of Emperor Haile Selassie.
With his royal lineage tracing back to 950 B.C, Selassie served as the official ruler of Ethiopia from 1916 until 1930, when he was officially crowned as Emperor.
Throughout his rule Haile Selassie helped establish Ethiopia on the world stage, and led the country to become a charter member of the United Nations.
Following a devastating famine in 1973, Selassie was eventually removed from the throne after 44 years, and he died in 1975 at the age of 83 following a coup d'état.
Today Selassie is revered as one of the most important figures in Ethiopian history, and is worshipped as a deity by members of the Jamaican Rastafari movement, who believe he was God incarnate and will one day return to Earth and lead them to the promised land.
Marc Anthony (83 – 30 B.C) was one of Julius Caesar's generals, who later ruled over the Roman Empire as part of a three-man dictatorship along with fellow general Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and Caesar's heir Octavian.
Anthony married Octavian's sister, then engaged in a famous love affair with Queen Cleopatra of Egypt, sparking a civil war between two parts of the empire in 31 B.C.
Between 32 and 31 B.C these silver coins were produced to pay the soldiers in Anthony's army, with each example including an inscription denoting the specific legion it was paid to.
The obverse features an image of a galley, often described as Marc Anthony's flagship, and reverse depicts an eagle between two military standards which were carried by each army unit.
It's believed that more than 25 million examples were struck by a mobile unit that travelled with Anthony's army – and more than 2,000 years on, they offer a fascinating window into the world of Ancient Rome.
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