Our final preview for the Stack’s Bowers Galleries January New York International Convention Auction is an incredible gold piece from the Austrian Netherlands. Born of insurrection from the 14-month long Brabant Revolution (October 1789- December 1790), this impressive Lion d’Or joins an incredible design with scarcity and pristine quality. The revolt against the Austrian armies reached a violent conclusion at the Battle of Turnhout in January 1790, with a victory for the rebels. These rebels then established the “United Belgian States”. Some older references name this the Belgium Revolution of 1789-90 though Belgium as we know it today would not gain independence until 1830. Ironically, while this revolt took inspiration from the French Revolution it would eventually be swallowed up by Napoleonic France.
With one glance at this coin the ideals and realities of the fledgling state are evident. The rampant lion roars defiantly, while holding a sword and shield (inscribed “Libertas”). The Latin legend: “Domini est Regnum” translates to “The Kingdom is the Lord’s.” This is significant as it shows the allegiance of this would-be state to God rather than a monarch (such as the Austrians against whom they rebelled). The reverse inscription further reinforces this: “Dominabitur Gentium et Ipse” that reads in English as: “He himself too will be Lord of the nation.” The reverse features the coat of arms for the 11 rebellious provinces arrayed evenly around a sunburst. This very high quality coin reflects the wealth and technological advancement of the region at the time it was struck. It is a terrific piece, which holds the distinction of being the single finest certified example, and is wonderfully executed with vibrant honey gold luster pouring from the design and surfaces.
While we are no longer accepting consignments for our New York International Auction, we are accepting consignments of world and ancient coins and world paper money for our May 2017 Collector’s Choice Online Auction and August 2017 ANA Auction, as well as Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our April 2017 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. Time is running short, so if you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.