SINCONA Spring Auctions Surpass the CHF 12M Mark
15-17 May 2023
Two exciting SINCONA auction catalogs awaited collectors and dealers in mid-May – catalog 82 with part 4 of the world-renowned SINCONA BRITISH COLLECTION and catalog 83 presenting world coins and medals on a weighty 640 pages alongside the traditional SINCONA Bullion Auction as well as coins and medals from Switzerland.
But let us begin with some facts and figures. Coins and medals estimated at CHF 5.82m were auctioned off by the Zurich numismatists for a total hammer price of CHF 12.86m. The results can be broken down as follows:
- Auction 82: 446 lots with an estimate of CHF 1.76m were auctioned off for CHF 5.37m; as few as 4 lots remained unsold!
- Auction 83: 2999 lots with an estimate of CHF 4.05m were auctioned off for CHF 7.49m.
Now let us turn our attention to individual highlights, which always leave coin enthusiasts like us in awe – be it due to their special appearance, an event that lends particular historical interest to a piece, or, ultimately, because of the price it realized, which is given in Swiss Francs (CHF). We will start with auction 82, the SINCONA British Collection, part 4.
Auction 82, SINCONA British Collection, Part 4
In addition to those who came in person to Zurich to bid in the auction room, about 100 people participated online via Live Bidding right from the start of this sale; this testifies to the great interest in this special collection. Here are a few outstanding specimens:
- Lot 1519: SINCONA BRITISH COLLECTION. Richard II, 1377-1399. Noble n.d. (1377-1399), Calais. NGC MS66. Estimate: 5’000.-, Price realized: 95’000.-
- Lot 1575: SINCONA BRITISH COLLECTION. Elizabeth I, 1558-1603. Fine Sovereign n.d. (1592-1595), Tower Mint. NGC MS61. Estimate: 25’000.-, Price realized: 100’000.-
One of the most beautiful coins of the early 17th century is certainly the following lot with the crowned lion holding the coat of arms of the United Kingdom.
- Lot 1589: SINCONA BRITISH COLLECTION. James I, 1603-1625. Spur Ryal n.d. (1619-1620), Tower Mint. NGC MS61. Estimate: 30’000.-, Price realized: 120’000.-
- Lot 1617: SINCONA BRITISH COLLECTION. Charles I, 1625-1649. Triple Unite 1642, Oxford. NGC MS62. Estimate: 30’000.-, Price realized: 140’000.-
The only period of republican government from 1653 to 1658 with Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector is of particular historical importance. We present an especially attractive pattern from this era.
- Lot 1634: SINCONA BRITISH COLLECTION. Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector, 1653-1658. Pattern Broad of 20 Shillings 1656, London. NGC PF62 CAMEO. Estimate: 15’000.-, Price realized: 75’000.-
The story about the first 5-pound piece in English numismatics is definitely charged with a peculiar chapter of history. Although King George III was already on his deathbed in late January 1820, the direction of the London mint still wanted to provide him with the pattern for this important coin. As few as 25 specimens of this masterpiece were minted. Therefore, it is understandable that this lot became the record piece of the spring auctions.
- Lot 1843: SINCONA BRITISH COLLECTION. George III, 1760-1820. Pattern 5 Pounds 1820, London. NGC PF64* ULTRA CAMEO. Estimate: 150’000.-, Price realized: 460’000.-
The United Kingdom obviously also wanted to supply its most important colonies with coins. In Australia, the mints in charge of this task were located in Melbourne and Sidney.
- Lot 1922: SINCONA BRITISH COLLECTION. Victoria, 1837-1901. Proof Sovereign 1885 M, Melbourne. NGC PF64+. Estimate: 10’000.-, Price realized: 42’000.-
We will now turn to SINCONA Auction 83 with these three main chapters: world coins and medals, SINCONA Bullion Auction and coins and medals from Switzerland.
SINCONA Auction 83
To ensure that friends of British monetary history could “keep at it”, the coins of the United Kingdom were presented immediately following catalog 82. And, of course, once again a specimen of “Una and the lion” was featured in the sale!
- Lot 2097: Great Britain. Victoria, 1837-1901. Pattern 5 Pounds 1839, London. “Una and the lion”. NGC PF60 ULTRA CAMEO. Estimate: 150’000.-, Price realized: 180’000.-
As another example of a special coin, which was also of magnificent quality, we show you the first “Jubilee head Sovereign” pattern by Queen Victoria of 1880. Edgar Boehm, who created the dies for this pattern, was royal sculptor and son of the director of the Imperial Mint in Vienna. There is evidence indicating that the first pattern was struck in early July 1880, and it is very likely that this pattern is this very silver sovereign.
- Lot 2121: Great Britain. Victoria, 1837-1901. Pattern Sovereign 1880, London, struck in silver. NGC PF64. Estimate: 15’000.-, Price realized: 16’000.-
Some numismatic specialties that are anything, but commonplace will be listed alphabetically, by country.
- Lot 2398: China. Province of Zhili. 7 mace 2 candareens (dollar), year 25 (1899), Pei Yang Arsenal Mint. NGC AU53. Estimate: 1’000, Prize realized: 5’750.-
- Lot 2630: Germany. Silesia, City of Breslau. 1535 gold medal. Commemorating Councillor Nikolaus Jenkwitz. Die by Ludwig Neufahrer. Good extremely fine. Estimate: 7’500, Prize realized: 13’000.-
In 1598, the Edict of Nantes guaranteed France’s Huguenots official religious tolerance and full civil rights. Almost 100 years later, Louis XIV, the Sun King, revoked this Edict. The following unsigned medal shows how dramatically the event was depicted.
- Lot 2755: France. Louis XIV 1643-1715. Silver medal 1685. Commemorating the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 3’000.-, Prize realized: 10’000.-
- Lot 3152: Yemen. Al-Mutawakkil Yahya, as imam and king, 1344-1367 AH (1926-1948). 2 imadi riyal – 10 lira 1358 AH (1939), San’na. NGC MS67. Estimate: 6’000, Prize realized: 13’000.-
- Lot 3273: Nepal. Prithvi Bir Bikram, 1803-1833 SE / 1938-1968 VS (AD 1881-1911). 2 Tolas (4 Mohars, Duitola Asarphi) 1833 SE (AD 1911). NGC MS64. Estimate: 3’000.-, Prize realized: 5’000.-
The following medal from the Netherlands on “successful seafaring” shows a barely visible detail that had great importance in seafaring. The reverse has a distinctive feature regarding the small figure. In its raised hand, it holds a sextant or its historical predecessor, a cross-staff/Jacob’s staff to measure angles in navigation.
- Lot 3299: Netherlands. Silver medal n.d. (17th century). On successful seafaring. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 1’500.-, Prize realized: 7’000.-
The cover piece of the catalog of auction 83 with the stories of Jonah and the Whale and the Resurrection of Jesus obviously attracted great attention! This is probably the only specimen in private possession. The “bidding battle” was correspondingly intense.
- Lot 3380: HRE / Austria. Ferdinand I 1521-1564. 10 ducats n.d. (2nd half of the 16th century), Kremnitz. Depiction of the story of the prophet Jonah (Latin: Jonas). Unsigned, probably by C. Füessl the Elder. Extremely fine show piece. Estimate: 30’000.-, Prize realized 90’000.-
- Lot 3487: Romania. Carol II 1930-1940. 100 lei 1940, Bucharest. Commemorating the 10th anniversary of his reign. NGC MS64. Estimate: 15’000.-, Prize realized: 110’000.-
- Lot 3689: Czechoslovakia, Republic. 10 ducats 1934, Kremnica. Commemorating the re-opening of the Kremnica mine. NGC MS65. Estimate: 30’000.-, Prize realized: 38’000.-
This impressive series of world coins is followed by the well-known SINCONA Bullion Auction, this time with 200 lots. In this sale, bullion gold is sold with its price being determined not based on the currency but as a percentage, moreover, buyers do not pay a premium added to the hammer price. This shows the trend of the gold price development as it is expected by private individuals and investors.
As usual, an overwhelming amount of bids were submitted for the about 1000 lots on Switzerland’s monetary and medal history. Some particularly fascinating specimens include:
- Lot 4605: Switzerland. Basel. City. 3 ducats 1740, Basel. NGC MS61 PL. Estimate: 35’000.-, Prize realized: 46’000.-
- Lot 5106: Switzerland. Zurich, City and Canton. Double ducat 1641, Zurich. NGC AU55. Estimate: 17’500.-, Prize realized: 26’000.-
Coins, medals and shooting issues of the Swiss Confederation round off the wealth presented by SINCONA’s auction sales. Here, too, top pieces saw impressive results.
- Lot 5222: Switzerland. Swiss Confederation. 2 francs 1863 B, Bern. PCGS SP65. Estimate: 5’000.-, Prize realized: 9’500.-
SINCONA was the first numismatic auction house to decide that the post-sale of unsold lots is possible immediately, even still during the auction sale. Therefore, many pieces have been purchased shortly afterwards.
Now it is time to enjoy spring and summer, to take pleasure in the newly acquired pieces and to prepare for SINCONA’s next auction sales in October.