SINCONA British Collection 1 and Other Highlights of Modern Numismatics
SINCONA, the auction house in Zurich, looks back on an extraordinary and exciting series of auctions that that took place over the past 10 years, and the anniversary publication released in May shows how much pride the team takes in its achievements. Indeed, much has changed over the course of this decade – whereas public auctions in hotels with on-site bidders were usual in the early days, today the Internet with live bidding is occupying an almost indispensable place in the context of auction sales. Innovation, expertise, new technological offers, certification by specialised grading firms and special auction forms such as the SINCONA Bullion Auctions are booming; the Zurich experts always have their finger on the pulse of international numismatic developments.
Four catalogues, various subjects and one success story after the other – this is how SINCONA’s fall auctions could be described. This is demonstrated in an impressive way by the total estimate of the 3800 lots of about 6.1 million Swiss francs climbing up to a total result of 16.55 million Swiss francs. More than 90% of all lots were sold after those three days. Here is an overview that won’t leave any lover of numismatics indifferent:
Auction 71 on 21 November 2021 – Russian Coins and Medals
There is no SINCONA fall auction without collectors of Russian coins and medals looking at Zurich to find important pieces of Russia’s rich monetary history. Already the first lot, a 1703 poltina of Tsar Peter I from the Kadashevsky Mint evidenced what was to be expected from this auction.
- Lot 1: Peter I. Poltina 1703, Kadashevsky Mint. Very rare. Estimate CHF 25,000. Hammer price CHF 75,000.
But things were to become even more exciting. As many as 8 lots exceeded the mark of 100,000 Swiss francs, in some cases by far.
- Lot 45: Peter II. 2 roubles 1727, Red Mint. Extremely rare. NGC 61+. Estimate CHF 70,000. Hammer price CHF 120,000.
The top seller turned out to be a 1808 polupoltinnik by Tsar Alexander I from the St Petersburg Mint with a hammer price of 390,000 Swiss francs. By the way, this piece is the one shown in Bitkin No. 82.
- Lot 162: Alexander I. Polupoltinnik 1808, St Petersburg. Extremely rare. Estimate CHF 50,000. Hammer price CHF 390,000.
Given the total result of 2.9 million Swiss francs – compared to an estimate of 1.5 million Swiss francs – it can be said that Russian numismatics remains one of the most popular fields of collection out there.
Auction 72 on 21 November 2021 – The SINCONA British Collection, Part 1
Of course, for the past two months the guild of English coin enthusiasts hasn’t been talking about anything but the SINCONA BRITISH COLLECTION and what results these pieces would realise. On Sunday, the first part was auctioned off, a cross-section of all rulers from Edward III to Elizabeth II. All pieces were graded and certified by NGC. The NGC label, which was specifically designed for this purpose, is adorned with the British flag and the Matterhorn, underlying the importance given to this collection. The interest and the participation in this collection were very impressive, the hammer prices even more so since they added up to 6.9 million Swiss francs after the last lot was sold.
Only very few highlights can be mentioned in this review:
- Lot 513: Edward III. Noble n.d. (1369-1377), Tower Mint. Splendid coin of excellent quality. NGC MS64. Estimate CHF 2,000. Hammer price CHF 28,000.
Almost 200 years later, England’s rulers presented themselves in a more modern form, as evidenced by the following Sovereign, and, another 100 years after that, these coins were again highly attractive.
- Lot 556: Henry VIII. Sovereign n.d. (1544-1547), Southwark. Third coinage. Fine gold patina. NGC AU55. Estimate CHF 10,000. Hammer price CHF 140,000.
- Lot 613: Charles I. Triple unite 1643, Oxford. Very rare and NGC MS64. Estimate CHF 25,000. Hammer price CHF 225,000.
Revered by some and highly controversial for others, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector also minted gold and silver coins in the mid-17th century.
- Lot 623: Broad of 20 shillings 1656, London. Very rare. NGC MS61. Estimate CHF 20,000. Hammer price CHF 34,000.
We will see two other exciting coins until we finally get to the set with Una and the Lion, which simply cannot be left out of a review like this.
- Lot 709: Anne. 5 guineas 1706, London. QVARTO. Post-Union type. Very rare in this quality. NGC AU58. Estimate CHF 25,000. Hammer price CHF 80,000.
- Lot 815: George III. Proof Sovereign 1818, London. NGC PF64+. Estimate CHF 10,000. Hammer price CHF 75,000.
- Lot 852: Victoria. Proof Set 1839 with 5 pounds “Una and the Lion” and 14 additional gold, silver and bronze coins in original case. All coins certified. Estimate CHF 250,000. Hammer price CHF 440,000.
At the end of this sale, the 426 coins achieved an increase in price of impressive 293 percent. Rhe 2nd part of the SINCONA British Collection will be offered in May 2022.
Auction 73 from 22 to 23 November 2021 – World Coins and Medals, SINCONA Bullion Auction, Banknotes as well as Swiss Coins and Medals
The catalogue of auction 73 comprises 575 pages and weighs as much as 1.85 kg, and those who attended the auction for two and a half days can claim to have enjoyed a lot of numismatics in the most concentrated form. Here everyone found something that was missing in their collection, regardless of their budget, from investors looking for gold ingots to banknote specialists. Many coins and medals tell a story, witnessed political events, document inflation and raise questions about their creation. So no-one should maintain that numismatics is not one of the most interesting hobbies in the world!
One of the top pieces of this catalogue was a Chinese gold dollar of year 10 (1923) from the Tientsin Mint commemorating the appointment of General Hsu Shih-Chang as President of the Republic. The coin was one of the specimens auctioned off from the holdings of the Bernisches Historisches Museum.
- Lot 1060: Republic of China. Gold dollar year 10 (1923), Tientsin. Extremely rare, and with the highest NGC grade ever. NGC MS63. Estimate CHF 30,000. Hammer price CHF 290,000.
Let’s have a look at some individual coins from the German-speaking area:
- Lot 1637: Liechtenstein, Johann II. 5 korona 1898, Vienna. Silver pattern with edge inscription, not frosted. Very rare and FDC. Estimate CHF 5,000. Hammer price CHF 8,500.
- Lot 1695: Poland, Sigismund III. Taler 1630, Bromberg mint. Extremely rare and of excellent quality. NGC MS 64. Estimate CHF 8,000. Hammer price CHF 12,500.
- Lot 1710: Holy Roman Empire, Interregnum 1619. Gold gulden 1619, probably Frankfurt mint. So far completely unknown. Estimate CHF 35,000. Hammer price CHF 43,000.
- Lot 1814: Czech Republic, Albrecht von Wallenstein. 10 ducats 1629, Jitschin mint. Extremely rare. Estimate CHF 50,000. Hammer price CHF 160,000.
Following the well-known Bullion Auction, there was the section of banknotes with large parts from Albania, China (2nd part from 1948 onwards), Italy, Poland, and – especially noteworthy – issues form Austria and Switzerland. Enjoy three examples.
- Lot 3124: China, People’s Republic. 50,000 yuan 1950. Pick 855. Extremely rare. Estimate CHF 1,500. Hammer price CHF 8,000.
- Lot 3284: Austrian Empire. 500 gulden 1800. Very rare and extremely fine. Estimate CHF 3,500. Hammer price CHF 24,000.
- Lot 3417: Switzerland. National Bank. Reserve banknote series. 1000 francs 1950, design by Hans Erni. Specimen banknote. Extremely rare. Estimate CHF 10,000. Hammer price CHF 21,000.
Following the banknote auction, Swiss coins and medals were auctioned off on the morning of 23 November. Here, too, enthusiasts of Swiss numismatics could experience how rich in motifs Swiss issues can be. We will demonstrate this by means of a few examples:
- Lot 4003: Bern, 5 ducats 1701. Very rare, extremely fine to FDC; this too is a specimen from the holdings of the Bernisches Historisches Museum. Estimate CHF 20,000. Hammer price CHF 55,000.
- Lot 4462: Uri, Schwyz and Nidwalden. Half taler n.d. (around 1562), Altdorf mint. Extremely rare. Estimate CHF 10,000. Hammer price CHF 32,000.
- Lot 4776: Shooting medal 1892, Zurich. Free shooting tournament of the city’s shooting association. Rare, FDC. Estimate CHF 400. Hammer price CHF 1,200.
The total result of 5.3 million Swiss francs compared to an estimate of 2.26 million Swiss francs is really impressive.
Auction 74 on 23 November 2021 – Switzerland / The Luthiger-Holzgang Collection
To round off the four auctions, SINCONA presented a special collection of about 800 coins and medals collected several decades ago. Therefore, many pieces were discovered that had not been seen for a long time including rarities with a magnificent patina that was formed over the course of this period. The estimate was 532,000 Swiss francs, 95% of the lots were sold and amounted to a hammer price of 1.39 million Swiss francs.
- Lot 5016: Aargau, Muri Abbey, Placidus Zurlauben. 5 ducats 1720, on the golden jubilee of priesthood. Extremely rare. Very fine to extremely fine. Estimate CHF 15,000. Hammer price CHF 50,000.
- Lot 5043: Appenzell Innerrhoden. Bluzger 1738; imitation coin of the Bluzger by the Diocese of Chur. Very rare and very fine to extremely fine. Estimate CHF 1,000. Hammer price CHF 2,000.
- Lot 5152: Bern, silver medal 1653. For services in the suppression of the peasant revolt. Very rare. Fields polished, otherwise extremely fine to FDC. Estimate CHF 500. Hammer price CHF 5,000.
- Lot 5233: Diocese of Chur, Joseph Mohr von Zernez. Taler 1628, year in Roman numerals. Extremely rare and extremely fine to FDC. Estimate CHF 5,000. Hammer price CHF 24,000.
- Lot 5311: Lucerne. Ducat 1715. Engraver: J. C. Hedlinger. Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate CHF 7,500. Hammer price CHF 36,000.
- Lot 5551: Valais, Diocese of Sion, Matthäus Schinner. Dicken n.d. Very rare in magnificent extremely fine to FDC. Estimate CHF 5,000. Hammer price CHF 24,000.
All further results are available in the online catalogue.
We are therefore curious to see which precious items will come up in the auction in May 2022. In any case, the auction house in Zurich is sure to present high-quality numismatics and excellent catalogues with coins, medals and other numismatic objects, which are always fun for friends of monetary history. Let’s wait and see!
You can find more information on the auction house on the SINCONA AG website.