British Rarities, Lydian Stater Help Set Gold Standard in Heritage’s World & Ancient Coins ANA Event

 

Elusive Meiji gold 20 Yen and Napoleon III gold 100 Francs also among featured attractions in August 17-19 auction

 

Henry VII (1485-1509) “Fine Gold” Sovereign of 20 Shillings ND (1492) AU50 NGC, one of the most storied rarities in all of British numismatics, will capture the attention of the most advanced collectors of British numismatics when it is sold through Heritage Auctions, an Event Auctioneer Partner in ANA’s World Fair of Money, at the World & Ancient Coins Platinum Session and Signature® Auction August 17-19.

“This auction showcases a fine selection of curated material and promises to be one of our most successful ANA-affiliated auctions to date,” says Cris Bierrenbach, Executive Vice President of International Numismatics at Heritage Auctions. “It features one of our strongest selections of high-grade and scarce British rarities, with the Henry VII Sovereign as the keystone.”

The Henry VII Fine Gold Sovereign, which was consigned directly to Heritage Auctions from the collection of the British Royal Mint,  is the first of five distinct Sovereign types featuring decorative differences in the treatment of the throne and reverse shielded rose. Scholars have suggested this issue was used occasionally for diplomatic purposes in connection with significant historical events, which may account for the small mintages and survivorship across Henry’s long reign. The offered coin is the lone Type 1 example, a prize notably absent from the Farouk, Pittman and Terner collections.

Victoria gold Proof “Una and the Lion” 5 Pounds 1839 PR64 Ultra Cameo NGC is from an offering that remains among the most collected types in all of numismatics. It features an exceptional portrait of the young monarch for her delayed coronation Proof set, and its now-iconic allegorical scene inspired by Edmund Spencer’s “The Faerie Queen,” with Victoria as Una guiding the lion (Britain). Only two representatives for this W&R reference, of which there are 38, carry higher grades in the NGC’s census. The auction also features another example from the same year, graded PR63+ Ultra Cameo.

The finest specimen of a Charles I gold Triple Unite 1643 MS64 NGC is a magnificent example of a coin considered by some to be something of a Holy Grail for collectors of early British numismatics. Finding any expansive gold issue of this vintage from such a tumultuous time in comparable preservations is exceedingly difficult, making this a must-have prize for the most serious of collectors.

An extremely rare Japanese Meiji gold 20 Yen Year 9 (1876) MS64 Deep Prooflike NGC is a beautiful example of a coin with an original mintage of just 954. Only four dates exist for these “old type” 20 Yen issues, and they are among the most sought-after coins anywhere, eagerly hunted regardless of condition. The offered example is one of only a handful currently certified, topped only by a single specimen in technical designation only and is likely the finest to come to market in years.A Napoleon III gold 100 Francs 1870-A AU53 NGC, from the Paris mint, is one of no more than a dozen examples known. Just two others have been sold since Heritage last sold the offered example in 2014. This exceptional coin is one of more than a dozen lots of featured French coins, an assemblage that also includes:

•  An Henri V Pretender gold Proof Piefort Off-Metal Essai 5 Francs 1832 PR64 Ultra Cameo NGC

•  A Republic gold 100 Francs 1894-A MS64star NGC

•  A Louis XV gold Proof Pattern Ecu au bandeau 1740-A PR60 NGC

German states coinage is well represented in the auction, with a selection that includes a Münster. Christoph Bernhard von Galen (1650-1678) gold 6 Ducat 1661 MS63+ NGC, an exceedingly rare but highly successful gold issue that features the portrait, name and title of Franz I on the obverse and Regensbyrg’s “City View,” depicting the medieval engineering feat that is the Stone Bridge over the Danube. The offered example is an exceptional specimen that is believed to be the only example to come to market in more than two decades.

Other top selections from the German states include, but are not limited to:

•  A Regensburg. Free City 8 Ducat ND (1749)-ICB MS61 NGC

•  A Nürnberg. Free City gold “City View”1 6 Ducat 1698-GFN MS62+ NGC

Cape Coral Collection
This auction is capped off by 196 lots from The Cape Coral Collection of German Coins, Part III — the culmination of a decades-long passion to create one of the world’s greatest assemblages of German States Talers and 5 Marks, with a focus on eye appeal and conditional superiority. Included among the top offerings from the Cape Coral Collection:

•  A Hesse-Darmstadt. Ludwig III 5 Mark 1875-H MS68 NGC

•  A Hesse-Darmstadt. Ludwig IV Proof 5 Mark 1891-A PR67 Cameo NGC

•  A Wilhelm II 5 Mark 1894-A MS65 NGC

•  A Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. Wilhelm Ernst Matte Proof 5 Mark 1908 PR66 PCGS

Ferdinand VI gold “Milled” 8 Escudos 1755 NR-S XF45 NGC — the first machine-made Columbian 8 Escudos — is hugely important in the world of Latin American numismatics. Prior to the discovery of the Eliasberg 1755 4 Escudos in 2004, “milled” or machine-made coinage from Colombia before 1756 was unknown. The discovery of this 8 Escudos almost a decade later in 2014 offered proof of a pre-1756 milled 8 Escudos to go alongside the Eliasberg 4 Escudos specimen. Now, almost a decade after its first auction appearance, no other milled examples of this date have surfaced, meaning this offering still can be considered unique.

Ancients
Among the top ancient coins in the auction is a Croesus (561-546 BC). AV stater (18mm, 10.75 gm). NGC AUstar 5/5 – 4/5 from the Lydian Kingdom. This magnificent heavy stater shows confronted foreparts of a lion facing right and a bull facing left, each with outstretched forelegs to indicate the beasts locked in battle.Collectors are drawn to dynastic and familial issues like the Plotina (ca. AD 105-122). AV aureus that features two scarce ladies, each with artistic portraits and displaying hairstyles that were popular in the period; Hadrian’s wife, Sabina, can be seen wearing a variant of each style on her coins. This example features Trajan’s wife, Plotina, and his niece, Matidia, who traveled with him on campaigns, assisting with reforming the tax structure and helping the poor.

Among the Sicilian treasures offered in the auction is a Syracuse. Dionysius I (ca. 405-395 BC). AV 100-litrai (14mm, 5.80 gm, 2h). NGC Choice AUstar 5/5 – 5/5, Fine Style. Syracuse is known for its numismatic artistry — see the massive Sicilian silver decadrachms in the sale — including this magnificent gold example, which required the engraver to create a masterpiece on a flan that measured just 14mm.

Images and information about all lots in the auction can be found at HA.com/3109.