Not all coins are round . . . as Künker's upcoming Spring auctions highlight
Not all coins are round . . . as Knker's upcoming Spring auctions highlight
The German numismatic specialist is offering a $103,000 Swedish rarity next week
Last week, we wrote about an extraordinary set of Celtic coins which will be sold by Knker later this month, as part of its Spring auctions series. We at Paul Fraser Collectibles thought we would take some time to tell you about more of the remarkable numismatic gems on offer in Germany.
One of the most unusual lots is also one of the most expensive - and its shape will be rather unfamiliar to coin collectors used to the traditional disc. The item is a 1659 Swedish 8-Daler silvermynt copper plate; extremely rare now and in great condition.
The 'coin' is rectangular in shape, measuring 34 by 62.5cm. Plate money was legal tender in Sweden between 1644 and 1777; during this time, the Swedish Empire needed money for its various military campaigns. However, it had a shortage of the traditional silver used for coins.
In contrast, it had an abundance of copper available. Unfortunately, the copper used for coinage after 1624 was overvalued, and worth much lessthan corresponding silver coins. Thus, the decision was made to produce large copper plates, some weighing nearly 20kg, to use as currency.
The 1659 8-Daler plate
From 1646, 8-Daler plates were issued, but this only lasted until 1682 when production of the 14.5kg currency ceased. Most of the existing 8-Daler plates are nowin museums, with a few in private hands. This isa wonderful opportunity for a collector or investor to get hold of a bizarre numismatic rarity; it has an estimate of 75,000.
A more conventional lot is a Greek decadrachm, dating from around 405 BC. On the obverse, a Quadriga carrying the Goddess Nike, drawn by four horses, is depcited. The reverse pictures the head of Arethusa - a nymph who was turned into a fountain, according to Greek mythology.
This striking coin is in fantastic condition, considering it is nearly 2,500 years old - as such it carries an estimate of 40,000. It would make a unique addition to any collection of ancient Greek coinage, which often depicts the Greek Gods and mythological figures in fine detail.
These are just a couple of highlights from a large and wide-ranging set of auctions, spread over four days. It really is a must-see for any serious numismatic collector.