News-Antique.com - Jan 14,2011 - Photo caption: Peter II, 1729 gold Ducat. Estimate: US$75,000, Realised US$200,000
The market for Russian coins and medals proved to be as robust and vibrant as ever at this years New York Sale XXV-XXVI. A combination of high quality rarities and enthusiastic buyers ensured high prices were achieved for key pieces with the sale totalling just over US$6,000,000 at US$6,008,774 (including buyer’s premium at 17%), up over US$1,000,000 on last years combined sales. Of the 801 bidders that registered to take part in the auction 221 bidders registered participated online across two live bidding platforms and a total of 6.5% of the 1378 lots were sold online to bidders all over the world.
The diversity of the lots on offer attracted buyers from every continent with bidders flying in from Asia, Russia and Europe. Viewing was also well attended with some people simply wanting the chance to see some of the amazingly rare coins for sale. Bidding on both days of the sale seemed focused with buyers going high in order to secure the most desirable pieces. As in past years the bidding on the Russian sections was fast and furious with 10 or 20 people trying to bid for lots that were far exceeding estimates. Buyers were intent and selective in their bidding driving prices up in order to secure certain key rarities with exceptional provenance.
The sale commenced with Ancient, leading into Indian and Islamic, coinage which achieved predictably high prices for the top lots offered. The rarity and artistic beauty of the catalogue cover piece, lot 96, an Electrum Stater of Phocaea, contributed to the lot achieving US$81,900, well over its estimated US$40,000. Lot 172 in the auction proved to be most sought after item with two buyers in the room (one on the phone) forcing the price up from the estimated US$2,500 to a sensational US$117,000. The piece eventually sold on the phone to a private collector, who was obviously extremely keen to secure the piece. The Al-Sayyed Collection of Indian and Islamic Coins attracted a lot of pre-sale attention and was widely viewed, especially the central piece, lot 380, the Shah Alam II, AH 1173-1221; 1759-1806 A.D. 10 Rupees, which sold at auction for US$187,200. Other highlights from the collection and from the Indian and Islamic section as a whole included lot 307, an interesting Diodotos I and II stater from the Kingdom of Baktria, which sold for US$18,720 (estimate: £12,000) and lot 470, a Mughal Jahangir gold Mohur, which sold for US$37,440 (estimate: US$28,000).
The first day of the auction concluded with a selection of world coins and medals. Strong prices were achieved in the Hungarian section with prominent pieces including lot 613, a Maria of Anjou 1385 Goldgulden and lot 622, a Wladislaus I 1441 Goldgulden, both lots carried a pre-sale estimate of US$1,500 and sold for US$2,808 and US$3,510 respectively. Lot 672, a Romanian Christoph Báthori 1577 gold Ducat, estimate US$3,000, also attracted a lot of interest realising US$17,550.