Sotheby’s, USA-New York

19. December 2012

Important Judaica

Kagan Maremba Coins and Medals brought over $500,000

Sotheby’s annual December auctions of Important Judaica and Israeli & International Art on December 19, 2012 brought a combined total of $7,908,754 in New York, and many first time buyers participated in both sales, including purchases of some of the major top lots. Collectively, the sales were led by A Magnificent Passover Haggadah by Aaron Wolf Herlingen, which sold for $962,500. The Important Judaica sale totaled $4,056,191, within the pre-sale estimate of $3.9/5.7 million. The sale this afternoon of Israeli & International Art brought a total of $3,852,563, against a pre-sale estimate of $3.5/4.98 million and was highlighted by a group of works by celebrated artist Reuven Rubin.

Internationally renowned as the most important collection of the numismatic history of modern Israel ever assembled, the Kagan-Maremba collection was formed by businessman, collector, publisher, and philanthropist Arnold H. Kagan.

Such is the collection’s distinction that it is the basis of the standard reference in the field: Israel’s Money and Medals. The collection’s world-wide eminence can be gauged by its inclusion in The Coin World Almanac (6th Edition) as one of the most famous collections ever formed by an American, alongside those extraordinary collections assembled by Brand, Garrett, Eliasberg, Norweb, and Hunt.

The collection consisting of about 2.000 pieces is exceptional not only by virtue of its completeness (it contains virtually every issue of the modern state of Israel up to 1996), but by the quality, variety and richness of the rarities contained within.

A few of the great rarities are: the only known Palestine Currency Board, 1947 1 Mil in Proof (fewer than ten examples are known in any grade); a 1927 Double Proof Set in the original case of issue (one of only about fifteen extant sets) …

… a complete set of six denominations of the Palestine Currency Board banknotes, includes the exceptionally rare 100 Pound note, of which less than a half dozen survive. Within the section of modern coins and medals, not only are the series of regular issue and commemorative coins complete, but included are pattern and specimen issues some of which are unique, or nearly so.

While many collections focus on one period, or a single specialized area, such as banknotes, regular issue coins, or medals, the Kagan-Maremba collection is one which encompasses the gamut, and provides a unique numismatic and historic panorama of a modern nation which is the center of so much of the world’s attention. It is, quite simply, a collection which specialists in the field regard with awe, and one which they freely admit could not be assembled again.

Selected Highlights:

  • Palestinian Mandate:
  • 1 Mil, 1947, Proof, unique
  • Double Proof Set, 1927, in original case of issue, 34 struck, fewer than half survive
  • 100 Pound Banknote, 1927, five known (part of a complete type 6 piece set of all denominations.

State of Israel, Trade Coins:

  • 25 Pruta, Specimen issues, 8 examples
  • 250 Pruta, Specimen issue, 2 examples
  • 1 Pruta, Specimen issue, 2 examples
  • 10 Pruta, Specimen issue, uniface
  • 25 Mil, off-metal trial in brass, unique
  • 25 Mil, trials, thick flan and rimless varieties, believed unique
  • 1 Agora, 1960, patterns, five examples, different varieties.


State of Israel, Commemorative Coins:

  • Complete to 1996, including:
  • 1962, Weizmann set in gold, “Mem-less”, ten known
  • 1971, Let My People Go: silver uniface trial; lead trial, all believed unique


State of Israel, Banknotes:
Complete to 1996, including:

  • 1948, Anglo-Palestinian Provisional Set
  • 1948, Anglo-Palestinian Specimen Sets, one in album
  • 1948-1953, Fractional notes, includes 100 Pruta invert


Israel, Medals:
State, Commissioned, and Presentation. Largely complete to 1996, including:
Approximately 75 trials, test strikes, and patterns, generally fewer than 6 known of each

The Kagan-Maremba Israel Coins and Medal Collection brought $572,500 and was sold on behalf of the Jewish Museum, New York to benefit the Acquisitions Fund.

Here you can browse through all lots of the Important Judaica sale.

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