Sincona AG, CH-Zurich

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15-05-2017 – 17-05-2017

Auctions 37-40

Sincona auctions with rarities and special collections

Four different auctions – four times enjoyment of numismatics, history and histories. That is the credo for this review of the Sincona Auctions 37-40 of May 16-18, 2017.

Lot 318: Byzantine Empire. Artavasdus, 742-743. Solidus, 742/743, Mint of Constantinopolis. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 30,000 CHF. Result: 40,000 CHF.

Auction 37: The Placidia Collection – Coins of the Eastern Roman and Byzantine Empires

1000 years of coin history were collected with loving care over a period of half a lifetime. An interesting cross section of the monetary history of the Eastern Roman Empire was gathered, beginning with the splendid and attractive gold coins of the 4th century and ending with the silver Hyperpyrons of John VIII Paleologus, the second to last Byzantine emperor in 1448. The once great empire was reduced to the city of Constantinopolis and some islands and territories in Greece. The new Ottoman rulers under Mehmed II conquered the city in 1453 thus bringing the Byzantine Empire to an end. This varied and exciting history finds special interest with the collectors of Byzantine and related coinage, so seen in lot 318, a solidus of Artavasdus and Nicephorus 742/743 that realised CHF 40,000.- and went to a private collector in England.

Lot 1223: Germany. Regensburg. 10 Dukaten undated (1742). Title Charles VII. Of the highest rarity. Extremely fine. Estimate: 30,000 CHF. Result: 130,000 CHF.

Auction 38: Gold Coins and Medals and the Sincona Gold Auction

Almost 1100 gold coins and medals from many different countries, including several specialized sections, enticed collectors and dealers to acquire new pieces for their collections. It is worthwhile to note the magnificent multiple ducats: Prussia (lot 1156, 6 ducats 1741, homage of the Silesian estates – CHF 15,000); Regensburg (lot 1223, 10 ducats n. d. with a wonderful city view – CHF 130,000); Riga (lot 1686, 5 ducats 1645 – CHF 65,000); Holy Roman Empire, Ferdinand III. 10 ducats 1638, Prague mint – CHF 110,000); Sweden (lot 1924, 6 ducats 1632, death of Gustav Adolph II – CHF 32,000). Not only are their stories worthwhile to investigate, but also that of the many other coinages ranging in price from CHF 500 to 5,000.

Interlude! At lot number 1641, the auctioneer Jürg Richter suddenly stopped the auction and invited all participants to a glass of champagne. The special reason was that Sincona AG after 6 years of existence just auctioned its 50,000th coin.

Of special interest was the 2nd Sincona-Gold Auction at which private buyers as well as dealers had the possibility to purchase investment gold. The third such auction will be held within the Sincona fall auctions. 

Lot 3171: Germany. Nurnberg. Silver medal 1649. Cabinet piece. Good extremely fine. Estimate: 5,000 CHF. Result: 16,000 CHF.

Auction 39: Coins and Medals from throughout the World & Swiss Coins

This catalogue offered the numismatic world in gold, silver and nonprecious metals. Along with coins it included many medals. It offered in its scope something for almost every collector.

Of high interest were the special sections of Nurnberg, German Empire coins in gold and silver and the special collection of Zeppelin and aviation medals (lot 3608 – CHF 9,000), and the collection of the Holy Roman Empire/Austria. Representative for all the wonderful items in this catalogue was the magnificent silver medal of 1649, commemorating the Preliminaries to the Peace of Westphalia (lot 3171 – estimated at CHF 5,000, sold for CHF 16,000). It shows on the obverse Emperor Ferdinand III on horseback before the city view of Vienna and on the reverse a city view of Nurnberg under the arms of France, Sweden and the 8 German Electors. Hardly any other medal can be as handsome as this piece.

4893: Switzerland, Confederation. 20 Franks 1897 B. Pattern. Of the highest rarity. FDC. Estimate: 75,000 CHF. Result: 125,000 CHF.

After almost 1400 lots the Swiss collectors finally came to their metier. After many interesting cantonal coins and medals, the great highlights of Swiss Federal numismatics surprised the collector’s world. The rarest 20 Franken Helvetia (precursor of the Vreneli) of 1887, in stupendous quality was knocked down for CHF 120,000 at an estimate of CHF 60,000. The mintage of this coin was 176 pieces. The Gondo-Gold 20 Franken Helvetia 1893 (lot 4853) brought 70,000 at an estimate of CHF 50,000 and the so-called “Stirnlocken-Vreneli” of 1897 (lot 4893) went for CHF 125,000 at an estimate of CHF 75,000.

Lot 5692: Switzerland. Neuenburg/Neuchatel. Silver medal 1820. Unique. Very fine-extremely fine. Estimate: 2,500 CHF. Result: 6,000 CHF.

Auction 40: The “Wilhelm-Tell-Collection – Swiss Shooting Medals and Memorabilia

The thickest of the four catalogues was delegated to the theme of shooting and marksmanship in the form of shooting medals, cups and watches. Highly sought after were medals from Neuchatel (lot 5692 – CHF 6,000) and from the Italian speaking canton of Tessin (Ticino). Many of these were often only engraved and not minted, but so rare that they represented a once-in-a-lifetime-chance for prospective buyers.
But the non-plus-ultra item of this catalogue was the 5 Franken 1865 “shooting taler” in Gold (lot 5778). Only 2 specimens of this coin exist. At an estimate of CHF 100,000 it sold for CHF 140,000 to a telephone bidder!
The shooting cups and watches received mixed interest. While some went for excellent prices, others remained unsold. Cups and beakers are not so easy to store as coins.

Thus three days of auction with many highlights, champagne and bidding battles came to an end. The total knocked down sum came to CHF 7,500,000.-
In October Sincona AG will present a very special collection of Swiss coins (the Dr. Ruedi Kunzmann Collection), Russian coins, Banknotes and historical stocks and bonds.

Catalogs, Prices Realized and other information about the sale you will find at Sincona’s website.