As is tradition, the time has come for me to walk you, the world and ancient coin enthusiast through the Stack’s Bowers official auction for the 2015 ANA World’s Fair of Money. This year, we are proud to present a diverse group of coins and banknotes for your consideration. Among the many consignments you will notice some familiar collection names, including the Demarete Collection, the Q. David Bowers Collection, and the Doug Kaselitz Collection; other collections include the Atteck Family Collection of West Indies Holey Dollars, and the Kramer Collection of Mexican 50 Pesos. Colleagues of mine have already written blogs focusing on specific highlight coins and these will be linked at the bottom of this one for you to refer to.
The auction begins with the coins of Ancient Greece and Rome including classic type coins that are always popular. A beautiful Decadrachm, struck during the reign of Dionysios I (406-367 BC) in Syracuse (lot 30015) is a prize, a highlight of the coins consigned by Q. David Bowers to this sale. It was a highlight of Lawrence R. Stack’s Collection of Ancient Greek Coins a pedigree that speaks volumes for the quality of this piece -- it has graced the cabinets of two of the world’s foremost numismatists. While not the most valuable example of the popular Athenian “Owl,” lot 30045 features a very well centered example with virtually a full crest, on an interesting heart shaped flan. A selection of large Aes Graves of Skythia offers coins that are interesting and impressive. A among gold highlights is lot 30102, a unique Solidus of Honorius.
World coins begin at lot 30117. Nine lots in is offered a modern rarity from the Bahamas, a massive 1985 2,500 Dollar gold coin, with a net 11.9296 AGW, and an inversely impressive minuscule mintage of 37 pieces. It is essentially perfect with an NGC assigned Proof-69 Ultra Cameo grade. As usual, we have a diverse selection of Brazilian gold coins, which are always popular among collectors of Latin American colonial era coins. Collectors of the finest Canadian silver minors will be focused on lot 30185, a 1902-H 5 Cents, graded a superlative MS-68 by PCGS, and is “a resplendent superb gem…with spectacular multi-color tone…” A Mint State Pei Yang Arsenal Dollar of 1897 graded NGC MS-64 will cross the block as lot 30202. Among my favorite world coins are those of the Central American Republic. The iconic types have a sun face rising over a series of five mountains and a Ceiba tree on the reverse. Featured as lot 30214 is a very wholesome, nearly EF example of the popular 8 Escudos from 1828, graded VF-35 by PCGS.
The Q. David Bowers Collection focuses on world crowns, mostly German and Swiss Talers depicting City Views, this is another one of my favorite areas. Struck in various cities, principalities, and cantons, the first example is a gem 1800 Taler from Bamberg (lot 30299). A rare 5 Mark from Hesse Darmstadt dated 1888 is from a small mintage of 8,940 pieces, and is one of the finest graded as MS-65 by NGC. Another German States rarity is Pfalz-Electoral taler of 1611. This is an extremely rare coin, missing from most specialized collections of the coins of Pralz. Among British coins is lot 30367, a near gem quality Guinea, 1687, graded MS-64 by NGC.
Session B commences with the coins of Mexico and lot 31024 is a very handsome 1850-GCMP 8 Escudos graded MS-63 (NGC). The Kramer Collection of 50 Pesos is complete 1921-1931, and the coins range in grade from MS-63 to MS-65. Mexican 50 Pesos are large, weighing 1.2057 ounces each, thus most examples are in lower grades, due to bagmarks. A pair of rare Norway Specidalers is offered as lots 31081 and 31082. A small offering of Polish coins includes a fabulous 25 Zlotych of 1824, struck under Russian rule, and extremely rare especially in the lofty AU-58 (NGC) grade being offered. An extensive offering of Russian coins includes a monumental 1720 Peter the Great Ruble, graded MS-63+ by NGC (lot 31132), a lovely AU-55 “baby” Ivan Ruble graded by NGC (lot 31139), and a MS-62 (PCGS) Platinum 6 Rubles (lot 31180). An impressive presentation of Swiss talers, anchored by the Q. David Bowers Collection, offers popular and interesting types, affordable to most serious numismatists.
The final section of Session 2 is the Atteck Family Collection of West Indian Holey Dollars. A very interesting cabinet of over two dozen examples of these rarely offered coins, the collection has been long off the market. The collection was started by Louis Atteck in the mid-1800s and is among the more fascinating specialized collections we have had the pleasure of offering at public sale.
Session C, World Paper Money features a wide array of notes from popular issues and rare varieties. Notes from the Douglas C. Kaselitz Collection highlight the offerings of Canada. World banknotes are a wonderful area of collecting that has been overlooked for many years, and now is coming into its own, with specialized collections being formed and important rarities being recognized and appreciated. If you have not begun to collect world notes, review the notes in our ANA auction and perhaps find one or two to add to your holdings.
Sessions D and E are the Coin and Banknote Internet Sessions, and feature over 900 lots. Ancient coins, are anchored with selections from the Demarete Collection, and other consignments provide many possibilities for the more budget minded collector. Following are selections of world coins and banknotes, with much to entice collectors.
Below are links to blog posts written by Chris Chatigny focusing on specific highlighted coins from the sale:
Prussia Gold 2 Frederick d'Or
Ptolemaic Egypt Octodrachm
Norway Specie Daler
German Taler from Trier
Czechoslovakia Gold Kremnica Mines Set
German Pfalz Electoral Taler
Russia Platinum 6 Ruble Overdate
Outstanding Euainetos Decadrachm