08-05-2011 – 01-01-1970
Tkalec sale in Zurich: Coins of the finest quality
Auction Tkalec in Zurich: Coins of the Finest Quality
On May 9, 2011, the auction A. Tkalec AG was conducted in Zurich. Experts were able to discover several highly interesting coins. And they were willing to pay enormous prices.
No 15 Stagira(?) (Macedonia). AR-trihemiobol, c. 520-480 B. C. Protome of a horse and three flower buds. Rev. floral pattern within square incuse. Traité cf. 2 / I, 1853 (triobol). M&M 73, 78. Good extremely fine. Estimate: 650 CHF. End result: 10,925 CHF.
Can you imagine how much 1.22 grams of silver is exactly? When you lay it on your thumbnail, it won’t even cover half of it. Despite of that, an enchanting, geometrically designed trihemiobol, probably from the Macedonian Stagira, brought 10,925 Swiss francs1, which, according to the exchange rate of that day, equated the incredible sum of 12,423 $. And all that for a coin that was not not even as big as a thumbnail.
That by now fractions yield the same prices as tetradrachms and staters used to do we know for roughly three or four years. Let us look at a diobol as second example, probably from the Macedonian Mygdones. On the reverse it shows quite a lively he-goat, on the obverse the bridled head of a horse. The piece with its modest estimate of 400 francs changed hands for 3,910 francs.
No 70 Berenike II (Egypt). AR-pentakaidekadrachmon, after 241 B. C. Draped and veiled bust r. Rev. cornucopiae between two pilei. Svor. 988, pl. XXXV, 2. Vagi, SAN XX.1 (1997), pp. 5-10. Extremely fine. Estimate: 40,000 CHF. End result: 50,600 CHF.
But enough of the fractions, let us turn to the heavy silver, to a 15 drachmae piece, a pentakaidekadrachmon, of Berenike II minted after 241 B. C. The very rare and extremely fine piece was sold for 50,600 francs. An almost mint state oktodrachm of the Macedonian king Alexander I (498-454) of beautiful archaic style brought 39,100 francs; a stylistically likewise very appealing tetradrachm from the Sicilian city of Gela from 480-470 B. C. cost 21.850 francs in the end, instead of its estimated 7,500 francs.
Roman coins have always been the speciality of Tkalec AG. This time as well some coins of especially perfect preservation were to be found in the catalog. The “standard average ware”, however, likewise was anything than ordinary. A comprehensive number of Republican denarii were auctioned off. The 63 pieces were estimated at 33,800 francs in total and sold for 56,982, i.e. almost two times the estimate.
No 134 Augustus (27 B. C. – A. D. 14). Denarius, Rome, Brundisium or Ephesos, after 31 B. C. Rev. AEGVPTO CAPTA crocodile. RIC 275a (Brundisium or Rome). FDC. Estimate: 15,000 CHF. End result: 43,700 CHF.
Two times was not enough for the extraordinary denarius of Augustus with the reverse AEGVPTO CAPTA. The very well best specimen of this type we know of achieved the impressive sum of 43.700 francs. Exactly the same cost an extremely fine and extremely rare solidus of Procopius.
234 Carus (282-283). Antoninian, Sicia, 283. Rev. MARTI PACIFERO / T / XXI Mars with spear and branch l. RIC -. C -. FDC. Estimate: 250 CHF. End result: 1,380 CHF.
Anton Tkalec is famous for his good eye which recognizes quality even with those pieces others rate as mass produced goods. Collectors are thrilled by the magnificent portraits he continually assembles together for the coins of the 3rd century. And they reward that effort with high prices. A case in point is an antoninian of Severina from Serdica. Nothing really rare, one is inclined to think, but one hardly comes across this type of coin so well preserved and so extraordinarily cut. That led to a result of 750 francs. Or an antoninian of Carus, this time rare since that variant can be found neither in the RIC nor with Cohen. The piece, estimated at 250 francs, rose to 1,380 francs.
Let us conclude our review with a Byzantine coin of utmost rarity, a silver basilikon of Andronikos III (1328-1341). The extremely fine piece with its estimate of 10,000 francs achieved 16,675 francs.
For a complete list of results please click here.
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1 All prices include a buyer’s premium of 15 %.