Arthur M Huntington coin collection goes under the hammer at Sotheby's auction



2015-06-26 12:40:50

Arthur M Huntington coin collection goes under the hammer at Sotheby's auction

Sotheby's is set to auction the world famous Arthur M Huntington collection of Hispanic coins

The world famous Archer M. Huntington Collection of coins from the Hispanic world is set to go to auction in a sealed bid auction ending on March 8 2012.

It is set to be sold by the Hispanic Society of America (HSA) in a slightly surprising move, withdrawing the coins from the American Numismatic society after a half-century loan.

Assembled more than a century ago, the 37,895 pieces form the most spectacular collection of coins relating to the entirety of Spanish history that is housed outside of Spain.

The ambitious collection is among the finest and most comprehensive ever to be assembled, either by an individual or institution. Proceeds will be used for future acquisitions and collection care.

Clients will be invited to place written bids on the collection as a whole, which is expected to realise $25m-35m. To help bidders decide, the whole hoard will be on public exhibition in its entirety at Sotheby's York Avenue galleries during February 2012.

Fifty Excelentes Ferdinand and Isabella coin The Fifty Excelentes coin created byFerdinand and Isabella

Of the tens of thousands of coins in the collection, the likely top lot is the monumental and unique example of the Fifty Excelentes struck under Ferdinand and Isabella.

Created during the period of Christopher Columbus's expeditions to the New World, the massive gold coin - weighing nearly five ounces - was likely minted as a special presentation to an individual whom the king and queen wished to honour.

Huntington's Fifty Excelentes is arguably the most important and valuable European coin in existence, and the largest gold coin from the 15th century that survives today.

"Archer M. Huntington's collection represents something truly remarkable," said David Redden, Vice Chairman of Sotheby's and Head of the Special Projects department.

"In a very real and tangible way, the nearly 38,000 coins provide a comprehensive view of world history - from the 5th century B.C. to the 20th century - with Spain as the primary focal point. The breadth of the material is simply astonishing.

"Mr. Huntington's lifetime passion for the peoples, culture, and history of the Iberian Peninsula is represented in a collection not of sections, but of collections, each one of which could stand on its own as a world class cabinet of museum quality and consequence."

Watch this space for more news on the Arthur M Huntingdon collection - there is much more to tell.

Some collectors specialise in particularly large issue coins, finding them more satisfying. We're pleased to be offering a very rare example of the 17th century Gold Five Guineas - the largest denomination British Coin ever produced in the pre-decimal era.

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