Baldwin's Smash World Record in New York The sale of the spectacular Prospero Collection shook the foundations of the ancient coin trade last night setting a new world record for the highest achieving ancient Greek coin.
News-Antique.com - Jan 05,2012 - The much anticipated sale of the spectacular Prospero Collection concluded at 03.30 EST this morning and, after a phenomenal eight hour ‘white glove’ auction, the team at Baldwin’s 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 US$25,000,000 (including buyer’s premium at 17%), more than double the pre-sale estimate.
Lot 213, the catalogue cover coin, broke all previous world records for an ancient Greek coin, selling for a phenomenal US$3,250,000 (hammer). This beautiful example of a Gold Stater from Pantikapaion depicts the head of a satyr, a character widely used in Greek mythology. The coin is one of the most spectacular numismatic objects to have survived from the classical world and is one of the greatest and admired of all the ancient Greek coins. This miniature work of art is an incredibly rare artistic masterpiece and it was no surprise when bidding soared past the pre-sale estimate of US$650,000.
The magical worlds of Greek history and mythology depicted in the coins from this dazzling collection certainly captured the imagination of the collectors, dealers and investors bidding in the room and online via the services of www.the-saleroom.com . Around 200 bidders were in attendance in the magnificent Vanderbilt suite at the Waldorf Astoria hotel (a fitting venue for the most significant auction of ancient Greek in the last 20 years) with an additional 156 registered to bid online. Anticipation was building prior to the auction and an electrifying buzz filled the air when the auctioneer opened the first lot at US$450 and was immediately bid up to US$1,700. Excitement grew as lots proceeded to sell for three, four, five times their pre-sale estimates, it became clear that the prices achieved in this landmark auction would be the new benchmarks for high quality Greek coins.
A good stalwart group of international collectors with an eye for the highest quality Greek coins took the bidding to new levels never seen before in this market. Bidding from start to finish was extremely strong and lots were selling to many different bidders from around the world, with a noticeable presence from European and America dealers and collectors. The internet too played an important role in the success of the auction with a total of US$1,400,000 selling to bidders online from around the globe. The most expensive single coin sold online went under the hammer at US$150,000 and the internet was responsible for a great deal of underbidding throughout the sale.
Paul Hill, Baldwin’s ancient coin specialist and cataloguer for the Prospero Collection, commented directly after the auction:
‘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. It was an honour and a privilege to catalogue this collection and the results achieved are testament to the dedicated team at Baldwin’s.’