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.
coins in this auction broke records across the board but the most noteworthy sales included lot 149, a Silver Tetradrachm of Naxos, a wonderful example of one of the greatest of all fifth century Greek coins, which sold for US$850,000 against it’s pre-sale estimate of US$125,000 and lot 411, an outstanding Stater of Phaistos with an exceptional provenance, which achieved a staggering US$650,000 against the pre-sale estimate of US$40,000.
Ian Goldbart, Managing Director of Baldwin’s commented:
‘The auction has just concluded after eight hours. We are delighted to have sold this important and comprehensive Prospero Collection for a total of approximately $25 million, making it the largest auction in Baldwin’s history.’
In the year that sees Baldwin’s celebrating their 140th anniversary the sale of the Prospero Collection has put the company firmly in the centre of the international numismatic stage. A packed auction schedule for 2012 should see them go from strength to strength.
Top Ten Selling Lots
Black Sea Region, Pantikapaion (c. 350-300 B.C.), Gold Stater, 9.12g., . Head of bearded satyr facing, inclined slightly to left, with long dishevelled hair and pointed horse’s ear. Rev. Π-A-N, winged griffin standing to left, with its horned head facing, its right forepaw raised, holding a spear in its jaws, a large grain-ear below on which the griffin stands (Locker Lampson 122 (ex Grand Duke Alexander Mihailovich collection) = Gulbenkian 583 (these dies); Gulbenkian 584 (this obverse die), 580 (this reverse die); K. Regling, ‘Der Griechische Goldschatz von Prinkipo’, ZfN XLI, 1931, 165 (this obverse die); BM Principal Coins III. B, 1, pl. 21, 1; Jameson 2143). One small area of softness at top of the head, otherwise well-struck and extremely fine, fantastic style, one of the greatest and most admired of all ancient Greek coins, a true masterpiece and excessively rare, a coin of the highest importance.
Sicily, Naxos (c. 461-430 B.C.), Silver Tetradrachm, 16.98g., . c. 460 B.C. Bearded head of Dionysos facing to right, wearing an ivy-wreath, his hair tied in a krobylos at the back. Rev. N-AXI-ON, naked, bearded and ithyphallic Silenos squatting facing, his head turned left towards the two-handled drinking-cup he holds in his right hand, he supports himself with his left hand propped on the ground (Cahn 54 (V39/R45); Antikenmuseum Basel 384; BMC 7; Gulbenkian 230-1; Randazzo 227-31; Rizzo pl. XXVIII, 12; SNG ANS 515; SNG Lloyd 1150). A wonderful example of one of the greatest of all fifth century Greek coins, struck on a broad flan, superb cabinet tone, about extremely fine.
Crete, Phaistos (c. 350 B.C.), Silver Stater, 11.60g., . ΦAIΣΣTION, youthful, naked Herakles seated facing three-quarters to left on a lion’s skin spread over a low rock, his head turned to the right and gazing outwards from the coin, he holds his club before him with his left hand and rests his left elbow on his left knee, in the background is a tree set on a base, from which hang a bow