10-01-2015 – 01-01-1970
Extraordinary ancient, Byzantine and world coins offered in New York
On Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 3:20 p.m. Harlan J. Berk Ltd. will conduct the Gemini XII auction sale. It will take place in the Norse Suite at the Waldorf Astoria in association with the 43rd annual New York International Coin Fair. The auction has a total of 537 lots and is comprised of extraordinary ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine and world coins and world paper money.
Some highlights of the auction include:
Sicily. Akragas. c. 408-406 BC. Tetradrachm, 16.32g. (h). Seltman, NC 1948, p. 3, no. 6. Kraay and Hirmer, pl. 61, 178. Rizzo, pl. II, 1. Boston 232. SNG Lloyd 818. De Hirsch Coll. 288. De Luynes Coll. 859 (all from the same pair of dies as our coin). VF/About EF. Estimate: US$125000.
- Lot 32: Sicily, Akragas tetradrachm with an illustrious pedigree dating back to the 1956 Hess-Leu auction. This coin was also part of the Dr. J.H. Judd and Hunt Collections
- Lot 33: Sicily, Camarina. A diamond in the rough. This coin remained virtually unnoticed until Westermark pointed out the unique ¾ facing head of Herakles where even the eyelashes can be seen on the flan. This fascinating unique die variety has a dedicated article on it (see Westermark’s article in Studies in Greek Numismatics in memory of Martin Jessop Price, London 1998, pp. 373-377, pl. 78,1)
- Lot 37: Sicily. Morgantina. The Sikeliotes 12 litrae. This type is one of a few known where the die engravers from Syracuse are thought to have traveled to the pro-Carthaginian city of Morgantina in order to create the dies of this unique coinage. The skilfully executed obverse die is paired with the thunderbolt type seen typically in the coinage of Hieron II and Hieronymos. The Sikeliotes name is in the exergue.
- Lot 82: Thrace, Uncertain Mint hemidrachm from the Kiourpet Hoard of 1930
- Lot 104: Thessaly, Larissa drachm. A high relief and flawless image of Larissa. Also a plate coin in the 100 Greatest Ancient Coins by Harlan J. Berk
- Lot 109: Euboea, Eretria stater. This coin was on the cover of Harlan J. Berk Ltd’s first list in 1974 (pre-Buy or Bid catalog). Not only is the coin a lovely rarity but the story of its wanderings in recent years is equally fascinating
- Lot 110: Aetolia stater. An utterly unimprovable specimen with a long pedigree dating back to 1910
Attica. Athens. c. 500-480 BC. Tetradrachm, 16.47g. (h). Cf. Seltman, pl. XVI (group M). EF for issue. Estimate: US$12500.
- Lot 117: Athens early tetradrachm. A lovely and complete archaic Athenian tetradrachm
- Lots 123 and 126: A sea turtle and land turtle staters from Aegina. Both of incredible detail and style
- Lot 131: Crete, Phaestus stater. A rare and interesting stater from Crete with a 1909 pedigree
Caria. Rhodes. c. 408/7-404 BC. Tetradrachm, 15.09g. (h). Berend, Les tetradrachms de Rhodes de la premiere periode, SNR 51 (1972), p. 13, no. 24, pl. 2 (this coin). Ashton in Meadows & Shipton, Money and Its Uses in the Ancient Greek World, p. 99, no. 4. Struck in ultra high relief. Toned EF. Estimate: US$65000.
- Lot 166: A signed tetradrachm of Rhodes with a high relief ¾ facing head. Also a plate coin in Bérend, SNR 1972, #24 (this coin) and Harlan J. Berk’s 100 Greatest Ancient Coins
- Lot 175: Cyprus. Idalium tetrobol. Ex British Museum and 1869 Idalium Hoard
- Lot 264: A lustrous, high relief Anonymous Quadrigatus
- Lot 292: An exceptional Social War denarius
- Lot 312: An incredibly well preserved ‘Sulla’s Dream’ denarius
- Lot 317: An excessively rare Lepidus Portrait Aureus, only the second in private hands
- Lot 339: A Caligula and Divus Augustus denarius from the collection Sir Hermann Weber, known for his Greek collection. Sir Weber auctioned this piece and others in the 1893 Sotheby’s auction in which it is noted that he was forgoing his collection of Roman coinage in order to pursue other coins of interest, namely Greek. Interestingly enough, J. Spring notes that this was the first ancient coin catalog to have photographic plates
- Lot 360: A sestertius of Trajan with a bird’s-eye view of the harbor at Ostia
- Lot 374: Faustina aureus with an illustrious pedigree of Ex Sotheby’s 1908. Ex Merzbacher 1910. Ex M&M Basel 1960
- Lot 384: A stunning aureus of Septimius Severus
- Lot 396: A rare and beautiful sestertius of Gordian I Africanus
- Lot 421: An unpublished triple alliance medallion of Valerian I and Gallienus
Maximianus. 286-305 AD. Aureus, 5.54g. (h). Rome, 294 AD. Calico 4662 (same dies). Cf. Cohen 255 (Hercules standing left, 300 Fr.). Mint State. Estimate: US$40000.
- Lot 427: Maximianus aureus with the reverse type of Hercules strangling the Nemean lion
- Lot 431: A facing head solidus of Licinius II as Caesar with an impeccable pedigree to match
- Lots 447-449: Three exceedingly rare and fascinating coins surprisingly combine a portrait of the Byzantine emperor on the obverse with the monogram of the serving bishop of Rome (pope) on the reverse, implying that the popes acquired temporal sovereignty long before historians had hitherto suspected. Though a few such coins were already published by Sabatier in 1862, they did not really become known and appreciated until Michael O’Hara published a small find of them in the Swiss Numismatic Review for 1985, and a group of 41 of them then appeared in an NAC-Leu Sale in May 1993, with an introduction also by Michael O’Hara. As O’Hara there wrote, “These small silver coins, to use the rather sensational terminology in the Daily Telegraph item (Sept. 12, 1986), are expected to prompt the rewriting of a chunk of mediaeval (Dark Age) history”
- Lots 454-456 and 460: A selection of coins from the Hunt Collection, ex Sotheby’s New York, 5-6 December 1990
Constantine XI. Palaeologus. 1448-1453 AD. Stavrata, 6.80g. (h). Constantinople, Siege of Constantinople. Bendall, Revue Numismatique 1991, ‘The Coinage of Constantine XI’, pp. 135-142, pl. XV, 93 (this coin). EF for issue. Estimate: US$15000.
- Lots 466 and 467: The last of the Roman (Byzantine) emperors, Constantine XI, Paleologus. These coins were minted during the final siege of Constantinople.
- Lot 474: A rare denier of Charlemagne in beautiful condition
- Lot 475: From the Manchukuo period, a rare gold Chinese Tael
GERMAN STATES. Saxe-New-Gotha 1671 AKH Thaler. Ernest I, called “Ernest the Pious” 1601 – 1675. Thaler, (h). . Saxe-New-Gotha. Davenport 7447. MS64 PCGS 702506.64/30198672. Estimate: US$5350.
- Lot 484: A 1696 Schwarzenberg Thaler. In MS66, this is quite possibly the finest known with superb luster and patina
- Lot 486: A George II British Crown from the Lima mint in uncirculated condition
- Lot 487: A 1926P Sovereign. The hardest date to find in the George V Perth series.
- Lot 494: An incredible 1704 Cosimo III Tollero in superb condition. Davenport 1498
- Lot 506: A seldom seen Turkish medal noting the difficulties during the Crimean War
- Lots 508-509: A USA, Saudi Arabia 1 and 4 pound, struck to assure the continued delivery of Saudi oil through the Arabian-American Oil Company (ARAMCO) during World War II
World Paper Money
- Lot 515: Extremely Rare Palestine Currency Board 1929 Fifty Pound note, the first issued note publicly offered in decades, PMG graded Very Fine -30
- Lot 524: Rare Anglo-Palestine Bank Limited Fifty Palestine Pounds issued note from the 1948-51 period
- Lot 536: Unique Russian American Company 1 Ruble (1816-1852) on Walrus Skin. PMG graded Very Fine -25
- Lot 537: Another Unique Russian American Company 5 Ruble (1816-1852) on Walrus Skin. PMG graded About Uncirculated -50
You may find the complete auction catalog here.