Gold Abounds in Stack’s International Sale!
Mark your calendars! Stack’s International Sale will be held on January 10, 2011 in conjunction with the New York International Numismatic Convention. The sale will feature Ancient and World coins and World Medals, as well as Paper Money, Orders & Decorations, and much more.
Several important collections will be showcased during this impressive sale, including the Querendon Collection, the Rajj Collection, selections from the Q. David Bowers Collection, the W.L. Carson Collection, the Porteño Collection, Part I of the Syracuse Collection of Ancient Coins, the Douglas Jennings Collection of German Patterns, important Russian Orders and Decorations, and much, much more.
Highlighting the sale is the Querendon Collection, represented by over 275 lots of gold, the focus of which is world coins, though there are about 20 ancient coins, as well as a handful of World medals included for sale. This impressive gathering of coins, assembled by a South American industrialist in the 1940s and 50s, is a new-to-market collection that has remained untouched in a New York City bank vault since 1959. Highlights are numerous throughout this high quality collection, but there are several important standouts.
Among ancient coins is a superb gold Aureus of Lucius Verus, a lustrous beauty graded Extremely Fine. World coins offer a majestic Bohemian Ferdinand III Prague Mint 1648 10 Ducats. A gorgeous AU-55 (NGC) example, this rare, large gold coin boasts a strong strike and beautiful golden lustre. Other European rarities include a Transylvanian 1663 10 Ducats of Michael Apafi, a rare hexagonal gold coin housed in a VF Details (NGC) holder. Large selections of French and Italian gold coins are also offered, with an impressive run of Venetian Ducats as well as a rare, unlisted heavy gold 1540 Osella of Doge Pietro Lando. Latin American issues are nicely represented by an imposing Ecuadorian 1854 Bolívar Head Quito Mint 8 Escudos, a lustrous Choice Extremely Fine coin.
Also headlining the sale is the Rajj Collection, another large collection of world gold coins, formed chiefly throughout the 1980s and 1990s with the goal of obtaining the largest coins from every country then listed in standard catalogues. The collector became a fixture at Stack’s auctions throughout these decades, and many of these pieces have crossed our auction block once before. While the Rajj Collection contains a U.S. coin section that will be offered at a later date, offered here are almost 300 lots of world coins, nearly all gold, though with a few platinum issues thrown in!
Highlights include an impressive run of British coins, punctuated by a gorgeous Victoria Plain Edge Una and the Lion 1839 5 Pounds. A beautiful and classic design, inspired by the epic poem Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser (1552-1599), the present example is graded an impressive Proof-62 Cameo by NGC and will surely make a beautiful addition to any collection. Also of note among British issues is a marvelous George IV 1825 5 Pounds graded Proof-63 Ultra Cameo by NGC. Other European rarities include a rare 1762 MMД Catherine II 10 Rubles, a coin that was struck over a 10 Rubles of the same date by her predecessor and husband Peter III! Traces of Peter’s portrait can be seen on the obverse, and his distinctive nose is visible just to the right of Catherine’s face. Non-European issues showcase a lovely German New Guinea 1895 A 20 Mark. This coin, displaying the beautiful Bird of Paradise design, is one of just 1,500 pieces struck for this one-year issue and is graded MS-61 by NGC.
In addition to the rarities already mentioned, the Rajj Collection contains a great number of modern gold Proofs of the world, many of which are from extremely low mintages and are in truly outstanding condition. The 1970 20,000 Francs of Chad is an excellent representative, a magnificent deep mirror gold Proof containing 2.3 ounces of gold! Graded Proof-68 Ultra Cameo by NGC, it presents fantastic visual appeal. The French 1980 Proof Piefort 50 Francs is another large gold Proof from a low mintage–just 500 pieces! A Proof-67 Ultra Cameo (NGC) example, this classically designed Proof is a lovely example with superb eye appeal.
The Porteño Collection is composed of a small, high quality assortment of South American coins, with an emphasis on Argentine coinage. The indisputable highlight here is a rare 1830 RAP 8 Escudos graded EF-45 by NGC. Throughout history, this issue has proved rather elusive, and even now we can only positively identify two examples that have traded at auction in the past five years!
In our November 75th Anniversary sale, we proudly showcased The W.L. Carson Collection of U.S. Proofs, a fresh collection that saw spirited bidding and heavy participation. Now we are pleased to offer a few world items from this collection—generally Proofs, of course, in keeping with the overall theme of the collection. Watch for the glorious and rare original Gem 1935 New Zealand Proof Set, featuring the famous Waitangi Crown, which is graded Proof-65 by NGC.
The Douglas Jennings Collection of German Patterns contains over 100 coins from Germany’s Empire and Republic eras, and also includes a number of earlier patterns from Prussia and Bavaria.
Asian rarities are undoubtedly topped by the classic Chinese Imperial K’uping Gold Tael of the Cyclical Date 1907. The Tael or Liang was an ancient money of account, a weight unit rather than a circulating coin until the last years of the Great Ch’ing Dynasty when some Silver and Gold Taels were struck primarily as Patterns. No Gold Tael was ever released to circulation. The number struck is not known, but Chinese specialists suggest that a mere handful exist. An issue that has long since fascinated collectors, the present example is graded AU-58 by NGC and will make an excellent addition to any collection of Asian rarities.
Also of note in this sale is the Australian Gold 30,000 Dollars – Lunar 10 Kilo of the Year of the Dog (2006). An absolutely gargantuan coin, this stunning piece contains 321.507 troy ounces of gold and is just over 7” in diameter! It is serial #1 of just seven pieces struck, and it is the first 10 Kilo gold coin ever produced. Also offered as a separate lot is a matching Silver 300 Dollars – Lunar 10 Kilo Year of the Dog, another massive Lunar coin, serial #17 of 78 pieces struck.
Our January International Sale will feature a section of Orders and Decorations, which showcases a number of extremely rare and important Russian decorations. The pinnacle is perhaps Grand Duke Nicholas’ Order of Saint George the Martyr First Class. This First Class badge is the only First Class example available to collectors, and is one of just 25 badges ever awarded from the Order’s institution in 1769 until 1878; nearly all of the surviving examples reside in museums. Also of import here is Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholaevich’s St. George Second Class Badge, a historical rarity among Imperial Russian Decorations in excellent condition. The famed Order of Saint Vladimir makes an appearance as well, in the form of a gorgeous, nearly pristine First Class badge.
Ancient coins comprise the first 185 lots of our January International Sale, and include several notable pieces. Part I of the Syracuse Collection of Ancient Coins is offered here, over 50 lots of mostly Greek coins, highlighted by a silver Tetradrachm of Entella, a Punic issue of Sicily graded Very Fine. Other important ancient coins include a wonderful Syracusan Decadrachm of Euainetos, graded Good Very Fine and exhibiting a full signature of the artist. Undoubtedly one of the most famous of all ancient Greek coins, its size and dignified majesty have always made it the centerpiece of any Greek collection.
Make sure to save the date for our January International Sale! Lot viewing will take place in the Library of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City from Wednesday, January 5th through Sunday, January 9th. For further information, or to reserve your copy of the catalogue, contact us by calling 800-566-2580 or by emailing us here.