Exquisite Pieces for Exquisite Tastes Posted by Adam King on October 19, 2012
The Geneva auction house Numismatica Genevensis is preparing to set new records. In 2008, the Genevensis sold the most expensive Roman coin to date for 2 million francs. In 2012, the NGSA has assembled a massive display of exceptional coins for its catalogue.
Few auction houses in the world can boast Greek coins from the Herbert Chan Collection, let alone a complete series of the first 56 Umayyad gold dinars from 77 AH to 132 AH or large sections of the Huntington collection. These are just a few of the coins on auction with the NGSA.
Most collectors would be thrilled just to see the Greek coins from the Herbert Cahn collection. Herbert A. Cahn took a primary interest in Greek coins as a founding member of Coins and Medals AG as well as being a professor of Archaeology at both the University of Heidelberg and the University of Freiburg. In 1998, Cahn’s collections of European portrait coins were auctioned to an overwhelming success. Even more interest, however, is anticipated for his Greek collection.
The archaeologist is regarded as having a near-sixth sense for exquisite craftsmanship and artistry, evidenced by such pieces as a tetradrachm from Camarina once part of the Kappeli Collection. A tetradrachm from Gela, a tetradrachm from Amphipolis that once sold in 1921 as a part of the Engel-Gros Collection, as well as others account for Cahn’s unique interests.
Additionally, a small collection of Celtic coins account for a new artistic direction on the part of the NGSA. The near-perfect condition of the coins, combined with their amazing quality and the modernity of their die-cut contributes to a truly eclectic and well-rounded offering.
The NGSA anticipates breaking new records on this current auction, possibly with the sale of the most expensive cistophor in the history of coins. The NGSA is offering the piece, the most attractive of the entire issue, at an estimated cost of 10,000 francs. Two extremely fine cistophors are being offered at 800 francs.
Included in the auction is an extensive collection of U.S. coins, from a 10-dollar piece dated 1803 with a liberty cap to a half-cent coin from 1797. The offering also includes rare coins from Russia, Vietnam, Switzerland, France, China, as well as rare offerings from Byzantium and Islamic coins. The coins offered in the collection possess astounding pedigrees, including the collections already mentioned and the J.P. Morgan collection.