Over 7,000 coins from Huntington Collection return to ANS as long-term loan

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February 7, 2013 – The American Numismatic Society has received a long-term loan of another group of some 7,291 coins and tokens from the collection of Archer M. Huntington. An anonymous friend of the Society bought the group with the kind assistance of Dr. Alain Baron of Geneva, consisting of c. 5,923 bronze and silver tokens from various European countries (c. 1300-1800) and 1,368 ancient bronze coins of Spain of the Pre-Roman period. Previously, another friend of the Society had already put on loan over 19,000 coins.
The Society has now again over 26,500 coins of the original c. 38,000 objects of the great Spanish collection of its benefactor Archer Huntington. The Executive Director, Dr. Ute Wartenberg Kagan, expressed her gratitude to the purchaser of this group of coins, “I am overjoyed that the Society has two such good friends, who realized the importance of saving as much as possible of this collection for the public. We will do our best to honor Archer Huntington’s intention of keeping and publishing his amazing collection of coins.”

Spain. Philip V (1701-1746). AR 8 reales, Seville, 1701, assayer mark on right, mint mark on left. AU58. This is the only known specimen. (From HAS Huntington collection-1001.1.26223) (ANS 2013.7.1, purchase) 34mm

The ANS has also just purchased both varieties of one of the world’s greatest crown series rarities – the first issue “piece of eight” of King Philip V of Spain, from the mint of Sevilla. Utilizing the designs of his predecessor, Charles II, this was a one-year type of which only three specimens are presently known.

Spain. Philip V. AR 8 reales, Seville, 1701, assayer mark on left, mint mark on right. MS64. Only two specimens are known, of which this is the finest. (From HAS Huntington collection-1001.1.2560) (ANS 2013.7.2, purchase) 36mm

ANS Curator Robert W. Hoge observed “These 1701-dated coins feature the mint mark and assayer’s mark (ensayo) on their obverse, with the assayers’ mark either to the left (two known) or the right (one known) of the crowned Spanish coat of arms.” The two coins were highlights of the magnificent Huntington collection, sold off last year by the Hispanic Society of America.

At this point, the Society’s staff has placed 19,000 coins in their original boxes and updated computer records. An ongoing program of photographing all Huntington coins is underway, and almost 2,000 digital records of coins have been added to the ANS’s database of the Huntington collection. Thanks to the generosity of the two donors, the Society will have sufficient funds ultimately to create a complete online catalogue of all available Huntington coins.
A couple of small exhibition projects of Huntington coins are underway. One of the most famous ancient coins, a silver denarius of Caesar’s assassin Brutus from the Huntington Collection, has gone on display in the ancient galleries of the Metropolitan Museum. The French town of Auriol (near Marseille) will mount an exhibition about the famous Auriol Treasure of over 2100 Archaic silver coins, found in 1867, to which the ANS will send a number of pieces originating from the Huntington Collection.

For more information on the ANS and the online searchable collection please click here.

As to estimate about what it meant when the Huntington Collection was auctioned in March 2012 just read this text where the whole Spanish history passes by illustrated by coins from the collection: Huntington Collection For Sale.

We reported about the first loan of August last year here.