Numismatica Genevensis VII

Posted on 10/25/2012

Hundreds of high-quality ancient, world, Islamic and US coins will be offered in Geneva, Switzerland, on Nov. 27-28 at the seventh auction of Numismatica Genevensis SA.

Pedigreed coins that have been off the market for 50 or 100 years are represented in large measure, with highlights from the collections of Archer M. Huntington, J.P. Morgan, and Herbert A. Cahn, and from the cabinet of the American Numismatic Society.

“In many ways this is our most impressive sale to date,” says Frank Baldacci, director of Numismatica Genevensis. “We are especially pleased to offer so many important coins in top condition and with desirable pedigrees. The wide range of material no doubt will interest collectors from all segments of the field.”

About one-fourth of the 400-plus ancient coins are from the collection of Herbert A. Cahn, the author of two standard works on ancient Greek coins and one of the towering figures of the ancient coin and antiquity market in the 20th Century. The group contains an excellent mixture of coins admired for their academic interest or their artistic merit, and has many coins with excellent pedigrees, including R. Käppeli and Kunstfreund. Cahn assembled his collection from the early 1950s until his passing in 2002.

Celtic, Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins from other consignments are similarly attractive. Many top-grade Roman aurei and sestertii are offered, with no less than 45 Roman gold coins and two impressive Late Roman silver medallions. The sale also includes 15 Judaean silver coins of the Bar Kokhba War that are cited in the standard reference by Leo Mildenberg.

One coin, a remarkable silver stater struck at Olous on Crete sometime between 320 and 270 B.C., is noteworthy for a pedigree that has been traced back at least to 1730, when it was published as part of the collection of the Dukes of Saxony-Gotha.

Like the ancient coinage, world issues are represented by important collections and outstanding individual coins from various consignors. More than 500 coins are offered from the Archer M. Huntington collection, which includes a significant offering from the Low Countries. In addition to stand-out, individual coins from Huntington’s collection, there is a grouping of nearly 300 siege coins which otherwise would be difficult, if not impossible, to duplicate.

Similarly, a group of nearly 50 gold and silver coins of Besançon in the name of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V is also expected to be the focus of intense collector competition. Strong offerings of German, Austrian, and Italian coinage are offered along with an excellent collection of European crowns of the 18th and 19th Centuries in extraordinary condition, including proof and presentation pieces.

World coinage is rounded out with a 1792 Brazilian gold bar of the foundry of Sabará from the Huntington collection, and a selection of Chinese coins bought between 1930 and 1960, which includes many highlights such as one of the finest known “auto” dollars. Also worth mentioning is an offering of Indian coins highlighted by 17th Century gold “zodiac” mohurs in extraordinary condition, and a varied collection of more than 100 coins of Annam.

More than 60 lots of Islamic coins are highlighted by an important collection of well-preserved Umayyad gold dinars containing all 56 dates in the series, including the exceedingly rare first issue, year 77. Offered as a single lot, the collection has a presale estimate of 400,000 Swiss Francs.

An impressive consignment of nearly 200 duplicate coins from the American Numismatic Society features issues from a variety of nations, and includes a six-piece 1915 Cuban gold proof set and Polish patterns of the 1920s and 1930s. Most of the coins and patterns from this consignment are from the United States, a large number of which are pedigreed to collections such as J.P. Morgan, John Sanford Saltus, and Henry Norweb.

NGC will be represented at the auction by Chief Executive Officer Steve Eichenbaum and Director of European Operations Richard Stein. Numismatica Genevensis may be reached by phone at 41 22 320 4640, by fax at 41 (0)22 329 2162, or by email at info@ngsa.ch. The auction catalog can be accessed via www.ngsa.ch.