New auction record set for ancient Greek coin
NEW YORK – The eight-hour auction of the renowned Prospero coin collection concluded at 3:30 this morning, and when all was said and done, the team at Baldwin’s auction house had a lot to smile about.
Although results are still in the process of being confirmed, initial figures released by the company state that the sale total for all 642 lots is approximately $25,000,000 (inclusive of 17% buyer’s premium at 17%). The gross more than doubled the total presale estimate.
Lot 213, the catalog cover coin set a new world auction record for an ancient Greek coin, when it sold for a phenomenal $3.25 million on the hammer. This beautiful example of a gold stater from Pantikapaion depicts the head of a satyr, a character from Greek mythology. The coin is one of the most important numismatic objects to have survived from the classical world and is one of the most admired of all Greek coins.
Around 200 bidders were in attendance at the auction venue, the Vanderbilt Suite of the Waldorf Astoria hotel. Anticipation was high prior to the sale, and bidders appeared unrestrained as they offered three, four and five times the presale estimates on various coins in the sale. There was a noticeable presence of bidders from Europe and the United States.
“The sale of the Prospero collection has far exceeded our expectations. It has truly been a once in a generation auction and one that will go down in numismatic history, said Paul Hill, Baldwin’s ancient coin specialist. “It was an honor and a privilege to catalog this collection…”
Additional highlights included noteworthy sales included lot 149, a 5th century silver tetradrachm of Naxos, $850,000; and lot 411, a stater of Phaistos with exceptional provenance, $650,000 against a presale estimate of $40,000.
Some say the Prospero auction, which was the highest-grossing event in Baldwin’s 140-year history, may very well set the benchmark for ancient Greek coin prices going forward.
# # #
ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE