More Good News about the Huntington Collection

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August 9, 2012 – Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous friend of the ANS, approximately 9,000 additional Huntington coins (6,159 Islamic, 400 French, 2,496 medieval and later Spain) have been purchased and will be placed on long-term loan to the ANS. This brings the total return of the Huntington coins to 19,206, or more than half of the Huntington Collection, which breaks down as follows (note AV=gold, AR=Silver, AE=copper/bronze):

  • All of Huntington’s Islamic coins (6,159) (606 AV, 5,553 AR and AE) – making this one of the largest Spanish Islamic coin collections in the world;
  • All 400 French coins (300 AV, 100 AR);
  • 6,316 medieval Spanish coins;
  • All Visigothic – 1,004 AV coins;
  • Celt-Iberian and Roman Provincial – 2,178 AE coins;
  • Roman Republican and Roman Imperial – 3,098 AR and AE coins;
  • US-Admiral Vernon – 51 AE medals.

In addition, the ANS is proposing to the Trustees, the purchase of approximately 144 of the Ancient Greek and Iron-Age Gallic coins from the Huntington Collection. This section includes a beautiful group of Carthaginian coins plus over 70 coins from the famous Auriol Hoard of 1867.

The ANS extends gratitude and appreciation to Dr. Alain Baron of NGSA for his assistance in preserving this treasure.

ANS Executive Director, Dr. Ute Wartenberg Kagan, stated: “It is a remarkable thing that this person, who wishes to remain anonymous, has made it possible for the ANS and all museums, academics, and collectors in the numismatic community to have access to these important collections for future study, publication, exhibition and enjoyment.”

The 38,000 coins and medals of the Huntington collection, relating to the history of the Iberian lands and peoples had previously belonged to the Hispanic Society of America. They had been placed on long-term loan to the ANS in 1949 by Huntington himself. However, in 2008 the trustees of the HSA resolved to de-accession the entire collection which was recalled from the ANS trays. The single-lot sale of the Huntington collection was conducted by Sotheby’s on March 8, 2012. Since then, a generous benefactor of the American Numismatic Society has purchased over half the collection by private treaty from the consortium that had bought it at the Sotheby’s auction. All 19,000 purchased coins are now on loan to the ANS. It is the ANS’s intention to place a record of the coins online in a dedicated catalogue, to ensure that Huntington’s generous gift is not forgotten, and that the material remains available for future scholars of Hispanic numismatics.”

More information about the history of the Huntington Coin Collection can be found in the ANS Magazine issue, Winter 2008 “Truth and Dealing: The Fate of the Archer Huntington Collection of Spanish Coinage” by Robert Hoge, Andrew Meadows and Ute Wartenberg Kagan.

You can read a comprehensive article on the collection’s dispersion here.

For more information on the ANS visit its website.