Baldwin's to auction multi-million pound collection of Islamic coins On the 25th April 2012 A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd will sell one of the greatest selections of classical Islamic rarities by public auction. The much anticipated sale comprises 150 of the rarest and hig
News-Antique.com - Feb 23,2012 - On the 25th April 2012 A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd will sell one of the greatest selections of classical Islamic rarities by public auction. The much anticipated sale comprises 150 of the rarest and highest quality Islamic coins from the first to the thirteenth century of the Hijri and includes a large selection of some of the finest examples of the coinage of Mecca ever to be offered at auction. A sale of this magnitude is sure to garner interest internationally from museums and institutions as well as private collectors and provides a unique opportunity to own some of the most sought after Islamic coinage known to exist.
Although the auction contains items from more than one vendor, the heart of the sale comprises a collection begun in the 1950s by a private collector. This collector had a passion for only the finest Islamic coinage and a deep-rooted interest in the heritage and historical nature of the coins he collected. As the title of the auction suggests, every single one of the 150 lots is of sublime quality and many are of enormous historical and cultural significance. A few of the most outstanding items are detailed below, but many more will be included in the catalogue which will be available to view online from the end of March.
A dechristianised copy of a Byzantine solidus of the emperor Heraclius and his two sons, struck in the reign of the Caliph ĎAbd al-Alik Bin Marwan in the year 72-72 of the Hijra is the earliest Islamic gold coin to contain the Kalima, the statement of faith, bismillah la ilah illa Allah wahda Muhammad Rasul Allah (no god but God unique, Muhammad is the messenger of God.) Pictured here, the coin is sure to gain a lot if interest. The last example sold by public auction achieving 500,000 Swiss francs.
The rarest of all Islamic coins, the Umayyad Dinar, struck in the first year of Hisham Bin ĎAbd al-Malik and the last of al-Alid II Bin Yazid, at Maídan amir al-Muíminin Biíl-Hijaz (mine of the prince of the believers in Hijaz) in 105 h. This extremely rare dinar is the earliest gold coin which can be said with certainty to have come from the Arabian Peninsula. A coin of this type and of this quality was sold at auction in London in 2011 and achieved a staggering £3.7 million, making it the second most expensive coin to ever be sold at auction.
Umayyad Dinar, time of Hisham Bin ĎAbd Al-Malik, struck in Ifriqiya in the year 122 h. By this time the legends on the gold dinars in both east and west followed the same wording and pattern, with the exception that the Umayyad mints in Ifriqiya and al-Andalus bore their mint names in the reverse marginal legend. It is possible that this coinage was struck to support the first Muslim campaign against the Byzantines in Sicily. Umayyad gold coins with mint marks are excessively rare.