Hamburg coin of 'the greatest rarity' brings €100,000 in Germany
Hamburg coin of 'the greatest rarity' brings 100,000 in Germany
A Portuguese-inspired coin from the reign of King Leopold I was the star lot at Knker's auction
A gold coin "of the greatest" rarity doubled its already-considerable 50,000 estimate at Germany-based Knker's September 29 numismatic sale.
Formerly of the Siegfried Collection, comprising historic coins for the city of Hamburg, the undated coin weighs 17.53g and is understood to have been produced circa 1668-1673. Knker's lot notes describe it as a "very attractive specimen with fine gold patina."
While this specimen was produced during the reign of King Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Germanyfrom 1658-1705 (himself no stranger to the auction block), the origin of this 10 ducat piece actually dates back to the 16th century.
The 17th century coin is emblazoned with symbols of Hamburg's wealth
Back then, the coins were originally introduced to reflect the wealth of Portugal and its healthy trade with India. It was on these designs that this Hamburg-coined specimen was based. Emblazoned on its front are the city emblem and town castle based explicitly on the Portuguese model.
The coin's reverse is decorated with a Portuguese cross, a design which was later abandoned in favour of the city's coat of arms later in the 17th century. Also evident are references to Hamburg's banking, trade and commerce, alongside various political events depicted in its design.
In the end, this exceptionally rare 17th century piece emerged as the favourite in Knker's sale, bringing a remarkable 100,000.