Peter the Great's $50k coin



2015-06-26 11:45:24

Peter the Great's $50k coin

Rare Russian Shestak to head modern and ancient coins auction

A grand numismatic sale will be held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York in January, 2010. It is a joint auction venture conducted by the English auction house Baldwin's and the American coin and medal dealers Dmitry Markov and M&M Numismatics.

Cyzicus stater Cyzicus stater

The first day will begin with approximately 50 lots of ancient Greek coins. One highlight is an extremely fine stater from Cyzicus with its rare reverse showing a lion standing on a tuna fish (estimate: $12,500).

Provincial Roman and Celtic coins follow. Amongst these, some very rare and interesting pieces from Trier and the Rhineland can be found as well as a series of Celtic imitations of Macedonian and Thasian pieces.

A denarius of Labienus from 40 BC, expected to sell for $30,000, is the gem of the Roman Republican coins. Labienus was sent to the Parthian Empire by Caesar's assassins to gain support for their plans against Mark Anthony; after taking the title of Imperator he struck coins in his own name, probably to pay his army.

A number of aurei (gold Roman coins) of the finest grade and bronzes with magnificent patina are included in the Roman section. The enthusiast will recognise an extremely fine bimetallic medallion of Nero from A. D. 64 (estimate: $8,000) and the almost extremely fine sestertius of Aquilia Severa with its fine dark-green patina (estimate: $11,500).

For the collector interested in Roman coins that were struck in Germany, the New York Sale has a magnificent offering.

A small collection of pieces from Cologne, Mainz and Trier will be put to auction, with items for all budgets including pieces depicting rare Late Roman emperors such as Magnus Maximus, Flavius Victor, Eugenius and Valentinianus III are present with their Trierian pieces.

Gold quarter stater Buddha Gold quarter stater

Beginning at lot 289 the Indian and Islamic section starts with coins from the Migration Period. Some extremely seldom rarities are included amongst the coins from Kushan, like the earliest depiction of Buddha on a coin, an extremely fine gold quarter stater of Kanishka I (c. 130-158) estimated at $70,000.

As in previous years the Gupta Kingdom is well represented including some unusual examples, such as a denarius of Samudragupta (c. 335-380 AD) of the 'tiger-slayer' type depicting the king killing a tiger using bow and arrow (estimate: $14,000).

The Indian section of the sale is rounded off by a selection of around 100 coins of the Sultanates, the Moguls and the Independent States.

Two of the highlights of the 73 Islamic lots on offer are an extremely rare and almost extremely fine half denarius from the Spanish Al-Andalus which was struck under the Umayyads, in the reign of Yazid II (723-727 AD) and an extremely rare denarius of the Mirdasids struck under Shibl al-dawla Nasr I ben Salih (1042-1111 AD). Both coins are estimated at $25,000.

Europe takes centre stage in the second half of the sale with a collection of 75 medieval coins ranging from the Merovingians to the High Middle ages. The coins of the Carolingian period contain many exceptional pieces including denarii of Louis the German from Mainz (estimate: $8,250) and of Louis the Pious from Dorestad (estimate: $9,000).

A Frederick I Barbarossa Bracteate from Frankfurt, is the stand out piece from the remainder of the Medieval section (estimate: $3,000).

The World Coins and Medals segment of the auction includes a delectable number of rarities waiting to be discovered. A French 5 franc piece from 1889 struck on the occasion of the World's Fair in Paris of which only 100 specimens were struck and only the 20 that were included in the mint set and sold during the opening days of the Expo remain in existence. (estimate: $48,000).

Some particularly interesting coins are included in the Holy Roman Empire selection. Highlights being an extremely rare Kingdom of Bohemia, Charles IV chaise d'or, struck in Antwerp in 1355/6, (estimate: $18,000) and an attractive and almost extremely fine Maximilian I Ducat (lot 574) struck in Hall in 1511 (estimate: $20,000).

The coins of the free imperial cities are included here as well with a very rare and extremely fine double taler from the city of Nuremberg being the highlight. The coin was struck without a date but with the title of Leopold I 1657-1705 (estimate: $18,000).

The day's proceedings conclude with a comprehensive collection of 116 Portuguese coins ranging from the 12th to the end of the 19th century and an additional 12 lots of Brazilian coins struck under Portuguese dominion.

The first lot of the section, an undated morabitino of Sancho I (1185-1211), is a pleasing and extremely fine example, estimated at $15,000.

The second day of the sale kicks off with a fine selection of around 450 Russian Coins and Historical Medals. Highlights include an extraordinarily rare 1707 Shestak (Half Tymf), expected to sell for $50,000.

Part of a specialized Collection of Russian Tympf Coinage commissioned by Peter the Great, this coin became the plate coin in all standard references of Russian coinage. Research has found no other specimen of its kind being offered for public auction, so this is a remarkable opportunity to purchase a piece of Russian numismatic history.

A superbly preserved 1762 Gold 10 Roubles (estimate: $25,000) would be another delightful addition to any numismatic collection.

Russian Medals, Orders and Decorations are also well represented by a 1770 Catherine II silver Award Medal of the Admiralty Collegium (estimate: $10,000) and a complete set of Imperial Russian Orders of St.Alexander Nevsky (estimate $75,000), accompanied by a letter written by his Highness, the Duke Elimar of Oldenburg.

The sale takes place on January 6-7 2010.

Images: A H Baldwin and Sons

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