The world paper money highlights from live Session A included five incredible items, beginning with lot 41, a rare Danish West Indies Den Dansk Vestindiske National Bank 20 Franc note. Currency collectors took note of its quality and remaining detail, and valued this piece well above its estimated value at $32,900. Lot 54, a 1000 Markkaa note from 1918, featured a winning combination of an intricate design and impressive PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 grade. This Finnish bank note realized more than double its estimated price with a winning bid of $15,275. Lot 80, a 50 Kronur note from Iceland also doubled its expected high value, realizing $16,450. Lot 86, also from Iceland, featured a Gem Uncirculated 100 Kronur note with sensational detail and design. The final highlight from the world currency live session, lot 119, originated from the Republic of Panama. This rare note realized over two-and-a-half times its estimate, with a winning bid of $15,275.
Following the world paper money session, ancient coins were offered, among which were six exceptional prices realized. The first, lot 235, an Electrum Agathocles 100 Litrae, greatly exceeded its estimate value of $10,000-$15,000 when it realized over $25,000. Lot 341 from the Seleukid Empire, a gold stater, realized five times its high estimate. Another amazing gold piece, a Ptolemaic Octodrachm (lot 363), performed admirably well. The seldom seen Roman Republic AV 60 Asses gold piece presented as lot 376 also brought splendid results. A gold Aureus of the emperor Nerva realized over double its high estimate. Finally, a remarkable Severus Alexander Aureus (lot 400) brought over $11,000.
The first half of the world coin session covered coins from Afghanistan to Germany and also contained an exceptional list of auction highlights. A finest certified and very scarce Costa Rican 4 Escudos countermarked piece, lot 558, brought more than $16,000. A commemorative set of gold coins from Czechoslovakia from The George Gund III Collection exceeded its estimate, realizing $32,900. This prestigious collection also provided a gold 5 Dukatu, which nearly doubled its high estimate, bringing $44,000. Lot 623, a French 20 Franc of Napoleon from The Hundred Days, realized over $11,000 — nearly four-and-a-half times its high estimate. Lot 662, a Bavaria 5 Ducat of impressive quality crossed the auction block and doubled its high estimate, realizing an extraordinary $24,675. This piece was also pedigreed to The George Gund III Collection, which will certainly be added to the list of exceptional collections sold at auction. Lot 687, a Saxony 2 Taler realized nearly twice its high estimate when it sold for over $8,200. These exceptional coins comprise just a short list of the impressive results from the first session.
The second half of the Stack’s Bowers Galleries world coin auction commenced with lots from Great Britain and continued through mixed lots. A total of 680 lots crossed the auction block, many of which commanded very competitive bidding. Lot 1197, a Japanese Manen era Oban, realized nearly $45,000. The next big-ticket item to cross the auction block was a Mexican “Hookneck” 8 escudo, the first gold coin of independent Mexico, which brought $35,000. Another impressive Latin American gold rarity, the Peru 2 Peso Pattern in gold, the only one known in private hands, realized more than $21,000. One of the many stellar Russian pieces from the vast grouping of over 300 pieces offered, an exceptional Peter the Great 2 Ruble, hammered for $47,000 (lot 1411). A Mint State ruble of Catherine I realized over $35,000 (lot 1426). Lot 1458, an extremely rare heavy weight standard gold 5 Rubles of Catherine the Great realized over $150,000. Impressive Russian highlights continued with lot 1502, a Mint State Imperial Russian platinum 12 Ruble, which brought $58,750. A trio of exceedingly rare “Russ” pattern coins (lots 1545, 1546 and 1547), pedigreed to The George Gund III Collection, brought a collective $622,750. These three lots will certainly add prestige to the collection they now reside in, and it could be another decade or two before they surface in an auction. Among other highlights, a Mint State Multiple Ducat of Zurich from The Ervin F. Bickley Collection of Swiss Coins brought $51,406 (lot 1640), easily exceeding its estimate. The final highlight from Session B is a Transylvanian 10 Ducat, a large gold piece offered as lot 1656, which realized $152,750, tripling its expected price.
More world coins from the August 2014 Stack’s Bowers Galleries ANA World’s Fair of Money auction can be found in Session D — the Internet-only Session. Visit StacksBowers.com to view and bid on this session, which ends Tuesday, August 12, at 3 p.m. (PT).
About Stack’s Bowers Galleries
Stack’s Bowers Galleries conducts live, Internet and specialized auctions of rare U.S. and world coins and currency and ancient coins, as well as direct sales through retail and wholesale channels. The company’s 80-year legacy includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable United States coin and currency collections to ever cross an auction block — The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Norweb Collection, The Cardinal Collection and The Battle Born Collection — to name just a few. World coin and currency collections include The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection of World Gold Coins, The Kroisos Collection, The Alicia and Sidney Belzberg Collection, The Wa She Wong Collection, The Guia Collection, The Thos. H. Law Collection, and The Robert O. Ebert Collection.
Topping off this amazing numismatic history is the inclusion of the world record for the highest price ever realized at auction for a rare coin, the 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar graded Specimen-66 (PCGS) that realized over $10 million, part of their sale of the famed Cardinal Collection. The company is headquartered in Irvine, California, with offices in New York, Wolfeboro, Hong Kong, and Paris. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is an Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic conventions, including American Numismatic Association events, the New York International Numismatic Convention, the Professional Numismatists Guild New York Invitational, the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring, Summer and Winter Expos, and its April and August Hong Kong Auctions.