One of the highlights of our January 2024 New York International Numismatic Convention Sale was consigned to us from the Karl and Gertrude Pfatschbacher Collection. Extremely active in the art and antique trade in Europe, these collectors’ holdings of art and rugs were extensive. A small group of ancient and world gold coins were also included and were consigned to us recently through our New York City office. One important piece is an impressive 10 Ducat gold coin from the Teutonic Order. Dated 1610, this coin weighs in at a hefty 34.27 grams, more than one troy ounce of gold. It was produced at the Hall Mint in Austria and struck under Maximillian of Austria as the Grand Master of the Order.
The design is simple, but at the same time ornate. The obverse depicts the Grand Master of the Order, standing wearing a crown, armor, and holding a sword, with a legend around. The central device on the reverse is a knight on horseback, with the order’s arms below, surrounded by a circle of heraldic shields. In gold, this is listed as Fr-3379a and is unlisted in the KM reference.
These massive coins were struck from the same dies as the Talers, and were used either as a store of bullion, for use in large transactions, or most likely, as a presentation piece for some important person, perhaps even the Grand Master himself. As a type, these are extremely rare; in fact, our experts have been unable to locate another 1610, making the present piece potentially unique. Graded AU-55 by PCGS, it displays lovely and lustrous yellow gold color with only the barest trace of wear on the high points. This important European rarity carries an estimate of $40,000-$60,000, and with such a dearth of examples of this denomination being sold, that level may well be exceeded.
The Teutonic Order is a Catholic religious institution, a military order founded during the Crusades in 1190. It established to aid Christians on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. They also forced conversions in the Baltic in the Middle Ages, as well as protecting Catholics in Eastern Europe. At the time this coin was struck the order was headquartered in Mergentheim, Germany. The Teutonic Order still exists today, awarding honorary knighthoods and administering hospitals.
While the deadline to consign to the 2024 NYINC Auction has now passed, we are always looking for consignments for future sales, including our Hong Kong and Showcase auctions as well as our Collectors Choice Online Auctions. If you have a consignment specialist you already work with at Stack’s Bowers Galleries, give them a call or email them to discuss your holdings. Otherwise email [email protected] or call one of our offices to speak to a consignment specialist today.