A smattering of interesting gold coinage opens our sale. Most have served their original marketplace purpose, and now they have become an affordable collectible. A bit of ancient and medieval, a bit of British and world, and several more US gold type coins from a couple of collections we are handling fill out this first section of our sale.
The gold 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition quarter eagle introduces a theme that you will find repeated near the end of the sale—the historic completion of the Panama Canal and the celebration that marked this engineering feat. That later section opens with a piece issued at the outset and carried on the maiden voyage through the Canal. The Exposition inspired a great run of medallic art. The first part of our offer of medals, medallions, and miscellany from this huge world-fair celebration begins in this catalog with issues by individual states meant to raise money to help fund state participation in the Exposition. More will follow.
Ancient Greece and Rome are represented by a few exceptional examples of ancient art and coin production—a couple of beautiful tetradrachms, some special BCD Peloponnesos collection coins, a shekel of Tyre, a choice Roman Republican brockage, and a beautiful and well-preserved sestertius of Nero. The ancient section also offers many appealing and historic pieces with modest price tags.
After several medieval pieces, the British section begins with a bit of Celtic and Anglo Saxon, followed by a run of 16 different mints/moneyers of Henry III. High quality shillings and halfcrowns from Frank Robinson’s collection highlight the English coinage section. Much of his collection is so appealing that I occasionally have to remind myself that handling so many outstanding coins does not mean that such quality is always readily available. (It isn’t!)
An attractive Scottish sword dollar precedes an Irish Hiberno Norse penny slabbed MS64. I puzzle at the implied precision of such a hard number for a millennium old hand made coin, “64” from an MS scale of eleven units (60-70 with the possibility of plusses as well).
More numbers, from a collection of 18th century tokens in slabs. For this sale we pulled out a few pieces with the very highest grades, MS64+ or better, a measure of a modern rating for a relatively modern production mode.
The German Empire era between 1871 and 1914 saw a remarkable issue of proof, prooflike, and carefully struck coins and medals reflecting this pivotal period around the turn of the 19th Century through the First World War. Though Germany was officially unified, many of these issues were by German states. Polished flans, proof strikes, artistically exceptional and historically fascinating designs. (Unfortunately, our photos tend to exaggerate minor handling marks.) These gorgeously toned pieces in uniformly exceptional condition are part of a collection that I believe was put together during the era itself.
A bit more—a few Russian pieces, some appealing US type coinage, and some album collections that can be a starting point for continuing to collect or a fascinating investment in a classic approach to collecting. (If you never completed your Lincoln cent collection, now is your chance.)
A few useful and important books complete the sale.
Best wishes for spring and summer,
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