LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding. Session one will begin at 10 a.m. GMT, 2 a.m. Pacific, followed by session two at 2:30 p.m. GMT, 6:30 a.m. Pacific.
The auction opens with an outstanding array of ancient Greek and Roman coinage. Among this historical treasure trove is Lot 4047, a silver tetradrachm of Athens, 449-415 B.C., which stands as a remarkable example of the famous Athenian coin and a true piece of art in its own right. The obverse depicting the goddess Athena, patron of Athens, wearing a crested Attic helmet, decorated with three olive-leaves and a palmette is well struck from fresh dies on a broad flan of excellent metal. The reverse presents an unusually handsome, well-centered owl, standing right, its head facing, with olive-sprig and crescent moon in fine detail, all attractively enveloped within the surrounding flan.
During the second half of the fifth century, when this remarkable coin was issued, Athens became a major power in Greece, after the defeat of Xerxes’ invading army. Vast quantities of this iconic silver tetradrachm were produced, with up to 90 percent of surviving coins in present day dating from this period. This design, which remained almost unchanged for over a century, appears in many modern collections; however, unlike other examples, to see a piece of this quality and stylistic beauty is rare.
Lot 4047 is a notable piece of Athenian coinage and ultimately an outstanding example of Classical art. The obverse of the coin depicts a full head, and the reverse a full incuse square, both highly unusual for a coin of this era. With its beautiful tone and extremely fine condition, it would prove incredibly difficult to find anything approaching this high state of preservation, this stunning lot is estimated to sell for £8,000-£9,000.
A lovely selection of British coins forms the second section of the auction and includes the late Alan Miles collection of short cross pennies and their cut halves. This fabulously formed collection features a number of medieval short cross pennies of King John all of the Moneyer “Miles”—a name that appears at the Oxford and Winchester Mints in the first decade of the 13th century. These 45 lots represent over 40 years of careful accumulation and dedication by Alan Miles to create a collection with outstanding provenance and numismatic value, lot 4242, a silver short cross penny, class Vbii, Winchester mint, being a particularly fine example. The piece carries a presale estimate of £120-£150.
This diverse auction also offers a wide selection of world coins, including the Quentin Archer collection of Russian medieval coins. Lot 4605, a Vladimir Sviatoslavich (978-1015), Srebrenik of Type IV, depicts the prince enthroned holding a cross and the reverse shows a trident symbol of Vladimir. Despite the typical cracks to the edge of flan, this coin is otherwise extremely fine and rarely found with this level of preservation. This special coin carries an estimate of £8,000-£12,000.
Elsewhere in the sale is a major collection of coins of Ottoman Egypt; this stunning selection is composed of coins of excellent quality and rarity from a foremost power of Middle Eastern and world history.
The sale closes with a collection of Islamic coins followed by world and commemorative medals including medals with political intrigue and an unusual Wedgwood creamware portrait medallion, circa 1790, Lot 5374, Louis-Marie, Vicomte de Noailles (1756-1804), French general and politicians among other fine examples from across history and the globe. This beautiful piece carries an estimate of £800-£1,200.
This auction is sold as part of a three-day Baldwin’s auction extravaganza alongside the David Fore collection of Indian coins (Part three) and the Arielle collection of British Colonial coins (Part One). The auctions will take place in London during Coinex 2013, on Sept. 24-26 at the CIPFA Conference Centre.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE