One of the most popular way to collect world coins is by focusing on topical coins: coins with birds (or other animals), Biblical references, mythological beings (i.e. the Wildman and others), and for the subject of this article, city views. From the 17th to the 19th centuries, various German States and Swiss Cantons, Poland, and other locales issued coins that feature intricate depictions of “skylines,” and in many cases, they provide an accurate record of their growth. These beautiful coins make for a wonderful collection and can be found in gold and silver, with Talers the most often collected as they are large sized, but affordable for most collectors. Personally, these coins are among my favorite areas of world coin collecting, because of their masterful engraving and intricate details. The diversity of types, from minor coins struck in billon and silver, to Talers, and gold coins from Ducats to 20 Ducats, means there is room for a City View type coin in any collection of European coins.
Our January New York International Sale has a fine selection, including a very rare Danzig (Poland) Donation (Donatywa) Taler, 1644-GR, struck from the dies of a 10 Ducat gold coin and graded EF-45 by PCGS and housed in a Secure Holder. These Donatywas were struck in the cities of Danzig, Thorn, Elblag and Riga as tribute and gifts to visiting monarchs and other dignitaries. Struck in both gold and silver up to 20 Ducats, they are very interesting and rare. This coin is from an old collection, and is freshly graded and offers a very important opportunity for the collector of rare Polish coins; indeed, less than a handful have sold at auction in the last few years, and those were offered in Polish auctions.
We are also offering the following City View coins in our New York International Numismatic Convention Sale: A Taler of Augsberg, dated 1640, graded AU-58 by NGC; a Taler of Mainz, dated 1795 in AU; a 6 Ducat gold piece from Munster, dated 1661 with AU Details (PCGS); and a Taler from the Swiss Canton of Basil, dated 1741 and graded PCGS AU-50. There are a couple of silver medals that portray city views as well.
If any of these coins are of interest to you, be sure to review their full descriptions in the catalog or on our newly updated website at www.stacksbowers.com. Topical coin collections, such as a collection of City View coins, are a satisfying and challenging pursuit, and make for an interesting and attractive numismatic display. If you are not already on our mailing list, be sure to contact one of our auction services associates to get your name added. If you have any questions regarding this, or any other coins in the sale, do not hesitate to contact any of our professional numismatists. We look forward to seeing you at lot viewing, either in our Irvine or New York offices, or at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. If you have world coins that you are interested in consigning, we are currently soliciting consignments for our April Hong Kong sale (Asian coins and banknotes only) and our August ANA auction. It is never too early to discuss consigning your collection or single rarities to one of our upcoming auction sales, just contact your favorite consignment director.