Heritage Auctions, USA-New York

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07-03-2012 – 08-03-2012

Shoshana Collection of Ancient Judaean Coinage, Part One

Trio of Judaean coins brings nearly $3 million

A trio of historic Judaean coins realized nearly $3 million on March 8-9 as part of The Shoshana Collection of Ancient Judaean Coin, offered by Heritage Auctions in a special event at The Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion (Ukrainian Institute of America). The collection, consisting of more than 1,800 coins in total, is expected to realize more than $10 million over multiple auctions this year, the first of which began with this auction.

Jewish War (66-70 AD). AR shekel (24 mm, 13.34 g, 10 h). Year 1. Estimate: $950,000. Realized: $1,105,375.

The trio of rare and important coins consisted of The first silver shekel struck in Jerusalem by Jewish forces rebelling against Roman oppression in the first century AD, one of only two specimens known, which brought a world record price for any ancient Judaean coin of $1,105,375; …

Titus as Caesar (79-81 AD). AV aureus (18 mm, 7.49 g, 12 h). Undated c. AD 70, Judaea or Antioch. IMP T CAESAR VESPASIANVS. Estimate: $475,000. Realized: $956,000.

… an incredibly rare gold aureus of Titus as Caesar (69-79 AD), struck at an Eastern mint in 69 AD, likely Tyre, anticipating the subjugation of Judaea, which the Romans achieved with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, which realized $956,000 …

Jewish War (66-70 AD). AR quarter-shekel (16 mm, 3.13 g, 9 h). Year 1. Estimate: $850,000. Realized: $996,250.

… and one of only two known surviving silver quarter-shekels of Year 1 (May 66-March 67 AD), which brought $896,250.

“The Year 1 silver shekel, the gold aureus of Titus as Caesar and the silver quarter shekel of Year 1 are all incredible pieces of history,” said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Executive Vice President of Heritage Auctions, “That history, as evidenced by the impressive international attendance, spirited bidding both online and in person and the superb prices realized, shows that this history obviously continues to resonate today, more than 2,000 years later.”

The Shoshana Collection was assembled over the course of four decades by an American collector and is the greatest assembly of ancient coins related to the foundation of ancient Israel ever offered, spanning more than 11 centuries.

Other highlights from the collection include a Half-Shekel of Year 4 (66-70 AD), one of just six recorded specimens, which realized $358,500; a silver shekel of Year 5 (April-August 70 AD), pedigreed to the famous Nelson Bunker Hunt collection and found at the mountaintop fortress of Masada, one of the most holy Jewish pilgrimage sites, that brought $262,900; A magnificent IVDEA CAPTA (“Judea Conquered”) sestertius of Vespasian (69-79 AD), which went to an advanced collector for $262,900; a Divus Vespasian (69-79 AD) AV aureus, depicting Vespasian deified, that realized $131,450 against a pre-auction estimate of $70,000 and a Titus as Caesar (79-81 AD) AV aureus, depicting Titus in triumph over Judaea, which more than tripled its $30,000+ pre-auction estimate to finish at $101,575.

Part Two of The Shoshana Collection is slated to come up for auction at Heritage this fall.