51 Gallery, BE-Brussels

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11-06-2013 – 01-01-1970

June Auction

From ancient coins to the French revolution

Brussels-based auction house 51 Gallery offers in their June auction hundreds of objects from Europe and the Middle East. You will find Celtic and Greek coins but also Roman and Greek antiquities, Byzantine pilgrim souvenirs, memorabilia of the French Revolution, and numismatic literature. These are some of the numismatic highlights.

Lot 195: A gold stater of the Vindelici. Tradart 1993 no. 4. Estimate: 4,000 euros. Starting price: 3,000 euros.

These staters entered German folklore as Regenbogenschüsselchen, which means ‘little rainbow cups’ and refers to the belief that where a rainbow touched the earth, it left a treasure of gold … The strongly convex/concave form of these coins with their odd designs of stars, crosses, wreaths, torques and pellets confirmed their other-worldly strangeness in the eyes of their simple finders. Now we can see how these odd designs have descended from the types on the gold staters of Philip II, so prized by the Celtic mercenaries to whom they were paid hundreds of years before the Vindelici produced their gold pieces.

Lot 164: Commodus. Aureus, 181. Calicó 2325. Choice extremely fine. Tradart 1991 no. 331. Former Montagu (1844-1895) and Ponton d’Amécourt (1825-1888) collections. Estimate: 15,000 euros. Starting price: 10,000 euros.

Whereas the reign of Marcus Aurelius had been marked by almost continuous warfare, that of Commodus was comparatively peaceful in the military sense but was marked by political strife and the increasingly arbitrary and capricious behaviour of the emperor himself. In the view of Cassius Dio, a contemporary observer, his accession marked the descent ‘from a kingdom of gold to one of rust and iron’ – a famous comment which has led some modern historians, notably Edward Gibbon, to take his reign as the beginning of the decline of the Roman Empire … Upon his death, the Senate declared him a public enemy.

Lot 124: Syracuse, Decadrachm. Unsigned work by Euainetos. ca. 405-400 BC, 43.223g. Gallatin R.XIV/F.IV. Good very fine. Schulman 2004 no. 2596 (cover coin). Estimate: 30,000 euros. Starting price: 25,000 euros.

Lot 139: Kyzikos. Stater. Early 5th century, 16.075g. Fritze 67. Insignificant flan cracks, otherwise, extremely fine. Private collection, England, acquired privately. Estimate: 10,000 euros. Starting price: 8,000 euros.

You can bid online and find the online catalogue here.