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The Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio official World and Ancient Coin and Paper Money auction of the 2013 ANA World’s Fair of Money.

By Greg Cohen, Professional Numismatist and Consignment Director, U.S. and World Coins; with assistance from Kent Ponterio, Todd McKenna, Kyle Ponterio, Chris Chatigny and Bruce Roland Hagen

Author: Greg Cohen / Wednesday, July 31, 2013 / Categories: Events
For the past months, articles highlighting selected rarities from our upcoming ANA world sale have been posted to our website and have been featured in our weekly email newsletters. As the ANA is rapidly approaching, I would like to walk through the three catalogs that will make up the World and Ancient sections of our official ANA sale. There will truly be something for everyone with important collections, individual rarities, and much more in the lots that will cross the block. The historic offerings in all sessions were put together by our team of consignment directors and expertly cataloged by our team of foreign and ancient coin specialists, with our great support and graphics departments putting it all together.

The first session is our World Paper Money session comprising a separate catalog offering nearly 600 lots of classic world banknotes, one of our most impressive offerings to date. World banknotes are a specialty of Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio, and this sale is a highlight of our year, with many fresh and rare notes in the offing, including particularly strong offerings of British Commonwealth notes. Showcased notes from Australia, the Caribbean, African nations, Palestine, and other countries anchor the sale. With notes valued from a few hundred dollars to the mid-five figures, there are notes at every level, for the novice as well as the most advanced collector; we mention a few highlights here. Lot 10013 is a glorious Australian 6-note set of $1-$50 notes from the 1974 series. A rare 1952 British Honduras $5 in PMG AU-55 EPQ is featured as lot 10068. A respectable example of the first banknote issued, the Ming Dynasty Kuan (issued 1368-1399) and graded PMG VF-30 NET is being offered as lot 10122. Lot 10133 is a beautifully presented Specimen 10,000 franc note from the Congo Republic, 1971 series, and is grade Superb UNC-67 EPQ by PMG. One of many of the British Commonwealth notes offered is from the East Caribbean States, 1968 series, $100, a lovely designed Gem note, graded Gem-66 EPQ by PMG (lot 10157). Bright and colorful, the 1968 10,000 Franc Specimen note from the Equatorial African States is quite stunning, despite some minor rust noted by PMG (lot 10195). A colorful pair of face and back proofs for the Ethiopia Bank of Abyssinia 500 Thaler note of 1915-29 will turn heads when lot 10214 crosses the auction block. A rare Imperial Bank of Persia 20 Tomans note, payable at Yezd only and graded as VF-30 NET by PMG is a highlight of our Iranian offering and appears as lot 10298. We are proud to be able to offer as lot 10421, an example of the extremely rare 1927 Palestine Currency Board 50 Pounds Specimen, dated 1.9.1927. This is one of the most important numismatic items of the Holy Land in modern times and will be the centerpiece of the next collection it graces. The banknote session will begin at 9:30 in the morning (Central Time) on Monday, August 12. For more information about these or any of the World banknotes in the offing, please contact Matt Quinn.

Last week, I gave some insight into our Thos. H. Law Collection catalog (Session E). Indeed, this truly historic offering of English gold coins will be crossing the block on Tuesday, August 13, at 6:00 in the evening Central Time. The 459 lots that make up this collection, cover the entire spectrum of English gold, both hammered and milled coinages. (For more information, please see the 7/18/13 article about it http://stacksbowers.com/Blogs/crossing-block-thos-h-law-collection-of.html, internal links in this article refer you to the prior articles about highlights from this collection.) With many important rarities crossing the auction block, if British gold coins are your specialty, be sure to review the coins being offered. For more information about any of the coins in the Law Collection, be sure to contact one of our world numismatic specialists in either our Irvine or New York office.

For our main event, the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio official ANA auction has four sessions: Ancient coins and Orders and Decorations; World Gold Coins; Crowns and Minors; and the Internet only session. Highlights abound, and Chris Chatigny and I have highlighted certain of the coins over the past couple of months. I have included a list of hyperlinks at the end of this article to reference the previous articles for those who have either not read them, or wish to refresh their memories. The main event opens with coins of the ancient world, and is anchored by several collections including the Reverend James Eaton Collection. Eaton was born in 1834 and died in 1897, and during his life he assembled a collection of ancient coins (among others) that remained in his family since the time of his death. Ancient type coins in fabulous condition abound. Other anchor consignments include further selections from the Demarete Collection. This installment is highly diverse and includes Italian Renaissance coins, English minors, medieval coins from across Europe, and a selection of Proof Australian Halfpennies. Collections of Brazilian gold and silver coins, including a specialized collection of countermarked silver coins is important both in its scope and quality. Several collections of high grade Spanish colonial and Latin American 8 Escudos combine to create a varied and comprehensive selection. Important Polish and Russian coins in gold, silver and platinum reflect the strength of the current market for these countries’ coinages.

Session B begins with ancient coins, and lot 11026 is a lovely mid-grade silver Decadrachm of Syracuse. These iconic Greek issues from Sicily, ca. 405-367 BC, are among the most eagerly sought of silver types; the coin offered here is a VF with some light graffiti. From the Professor James Eaton Collection is a superb Aegina silver Stater. With the ever-popular sea turtle motif on the obverse, lot 11065 is a Choice EF, and perhaps exhibiting the most complete details, and described as a “world class Aegina Stater worthy of the most sophisticated collection.” Lot 11138 is a Choice EF Aureus of Nero, ex Bosco Reale, a popular coin from a famous source. A lustrous, nearly Mint State Solidus of Justinian II will be offered as lot 11173. This historic ruler is the first to depict Christ on coins. Session B continues with Orders and Decorations. Reportedly unique, lot 11180, is the Superior Class Order of The Sardar, with diamonds, from Afghanistan. Another diamond studded example, lot 11209 is the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India Knight Commander’s Neck Badge and Breast Star, as issued from 1900-47. The order has an onyx cameo of a young Queen Victoria. Instituted in 1873, the Order of the Sun of Iran is extremely rare. This lovely set, featuring the Badge Sash and Breast Star, was only awarded to reigning queens. The example in lot 11217 is made of silver, gold, enamel and diamonds.

Session C is our offering of gold coins of the world. This diverse offering includes important collections of Spanish colonial and Latin American 8 Escudos, starting with two AU Argentine pieces. These proceed into extensive runs of exceptional quality Brazilian, Chilean, Colombian, Mexican, and Peruvian gold coins. Other areas of special note are important Polish and Russian offerings, with many rarities. Among individual highlights is a stunning Gem Brazilian 12,800 Reis, 1733-M in NGC MS-65; its bright golden luster and surface quality will turn heads. Also highlighting our impressive offering of gold coins from Brazil is an MS-61 (NGC) example of the extremely rare 1824-R 6,400 Reis. This is a key type for any Brazilian gold collection, and is especially elusive in high grade. A lovely, high grade French Angel D’or of Philippe V in AU-58 (NGC) appears in lot 12214, and is the first coin in our offering of French gold; what’s more interesting is our selection of modern French gold coins of the Fifth Republic, including lot 12236, a modern striking from the Paris mint of the famous Libertas Americana Medal in Gem Cameo Proof. One of perhaps 10 known 1757/6 8 Escudos of Guatemala, previously owned by legendary numismatist Louis Eliasberg and graded EF-40 by NGC will make an appearance in lot 12282. An interesting imitative 20 Ducat of Indonesia is offered as lot 12309. This piece was locally produced, likely a 19th century imitation of a Dutch silver Ducaton of 1759, but struck on a gold planchet weighing 74.55 grams. Exceptionally rare and historic, this piece is not listed in Friedberg or KM. We offered an 8 Escudo imitative piece in our ANA sale last year (see ANA 2012, lot 40206). Lot 12414 presents us with the finest certified colonial era milled 4 Escudo of Peru, a lovely 1753-J graded MS-63 by NGC. Purchased by our consignor in the 1960s from Hans M.F. Schulman, and reportedly from the Tolstoi Collection, lot 12484 is an incredible Gem Proof 1833 Platinum 3 Ruble, graded Proof-66 Cameo by PCGS, and is the finest example of the date certified by either service. A condition rarity, a lovely MS-65 (NGC) 1894 Pond of South Africa will cross the block in lot 12523, and for those interested in obtaining the finest specimens available, this is the highest graded example at both NGC and PCGS.

Silver Crowns and Minors make up Session D. Again, the adjective diverse is appropriate for this session. Great selections of coins from all across the globe will find new homes when they cross the auction block in Rosemont. These coins in silver, copper, bronze, and other base metals are becoming very popular, and offer collectors many options. Hailing from the Demarete Collection, a beautiful Red Brown Proof-64 (NGC) Australian Halfpenny, one of 100 minted will be one of the first coins in the session to cross the block as lot 13007. The Piracicaloa Collection of Brazilian silver coins anchors this section of the sale, and features many interesting coins. While not from this collection, lot 13071 is a VF-30 (NGC) example of the rarest reform coinage crown of Brazil, the 1839 1,200 Reis. From an original mintage of a mere 186 pieces, there are an estimated 8-10 pieces extant. A rare and attractively toned MS-61 (NGC) Chekiang 3 Mace, 6 Candareens of 1899 in the Wei Stele style is a highlight of our modest offering of Chinese coins in lot 13088 (note our Hong Kong auction the following week, also posted at stacksbowers.com). A very rare (and historic) official gold medal (gilt silver) 1936 Winter Olympic Medal, one of only 17 pieces produced, is offered in lot 13170. A glorious Proof British Crown dated 1746 (lot 13182), tied for finest certified (graded Proof-65) will surely be a standout in the session. A stunning, premium quality Gem 1847 “Gothic” Crown, graded by PCGS as Proof-67, will inspire drawn out bidding when lot 13195 gets called to the dais. Its immaculate surfaces and pretty toning will long be remembered. Another standout coin from the extensive offering from the Demarete Collection, is lot 13234, a lovely Teston from the Italian State of Ferrara, NGC graded EF-45. This classic rarity is a great representation of the Italian Renaissance “in numis.” The finest of three NGC certified, rare Ansei Trade Dollars (or San Bu), ca. 1859 in MS-62 (NGC) will inspire much spirited bidding when lot 13268 crosses the block. Lot 13285, a lovely Gem Proof striking of the first machine struck crown of Morocco, struck at the Paris mint in 1882, is one of two reportedly known examples in Proof and is not listed in Proof in Gadoury. In recent times, we have had the great honor of offering at auction (and via private treaty) several Yap Island Stone “coins”; lot 13433 is the largest and most impressive example we have offered. Weighing around 220 pounds, this impressive stone is of the “Pre-O’Keefe” type and is sure to be the largest coin its next owner has in his or her collection.

Additional coins and banknotes will be offered in our online only sessions. There are many great collector coins in the online only session, so be sure to review the listings either online or in the catalog. There are many great coins from the Demarete Collection in this session, so it should not be missed.

If you are interested in knowing more about any of the coins in the sale, do not hesitate to contact any of our world numismatic specialists, either by phone or email. Time is running out to get your name on the mailing list to receive the catalogs, be sure to contact one of our auction services associates as soon as possible to get your copy. We hope to see you at lot viewing in either our Irvine or New York offices, or at the convention in Rosemont. If you cannot make the sale, and wish to bid by phone, please make those arrangements as soon as possible by calling 800-458-4646 and asking for an auction services associate.

For additional highlights, please click on the following links to read previous blog articles:
http://www.stacksbowers.com/Blogs/world-coin-of-week-russian-coronation.html
http://www.stacksbowers.com/Blogs/crossing-block-russian-gold-2-rubles-of.html
http://www.stacksbowers.com/Blogs/world-coin-of-week-silver-tertadrachm.html
http://www.stacksbowers.com/Blogs/crossing-block-great-britain-crown-of.html
http://www.stacksbowers.com/Blogs/world-coin-of-week-kushan-empire-gold.html
http://www.stacksbowers.com/Blogs/crossing-block-silver-siliqua-of.html
http://www.stacksbowers.com/Blogs/world-coin-of-week-peru-gold-8-escudos.html
http://www.stacksbowers.com/Blogs/ancient-coin-of-week-silver-tetradrachm.html
http://www.stacksbowers.com/Blogs/crossing-block-mexico-pattern-grano.html
http://www.stacksbowers.com/Blogs/world-coin-of-week-superb-gem-belgian.html
http://www.stacksbowers.com/Blogs/crossing-block-mexico-ferdinand-vi-8.html
http://www.stacksbowers.com/Blogs/world-coin-of-week-beautiful-german-new.html
http://www.stacksbowers.com/Blogs/crossing-block-1829-polish-50-zlotych.html
http://www.stacksbowers.com/Blogs/world-coin-of-week-japanese-gold-oban.html