A flawless 42.80 g decadrachm of Dionysios I signed by Euainetos of Syracuse stood head and shoulders above all other coins at Gorny & Mosch’s spring auction. Its provenance included the legendary Comte René Philipon and the Édouard Aynard collections. It has been described as one of the most famous, beautiful, and universally admired of coins. This example came graded EF complete with a breath-taking patina. It seemed only reasonable that when the dust settled it had sold for $138,298 or double its upper estimate of 50,000 euro.
It was by no means the sole outstanding result at the Gorny & Mosch sale. There were four catalogs. The first on March 6 consisted of 673 lots of “High-quality Ancient Coins” followed next day by a further 1,000-odd lots of ancients. On March 8 a substantial catalog of “Medieval and Modern Coins” was on offer.
Then on March 10 G&M conducted their very first numismatic e-auction. This was one for the specialist: the Laurent Bricault Collection of depictions of the Egyptian deities Isis and Sarapis on coins. Bricault is the internationally acknowledged numismatic expert on Isis as well as deities related to her from Greco-Roman times.
Notable prices among other top ancients included a gold octodrachm of Arsinoe II, Princess of Egypt, struck in Alexandria. In EF-FDC it took $30,174 on an estimate of 20,000 euro, while from Rome an aureus of Septimius Severus struck at Rome in 209 made $31,431 on its 20,000-euro estimate in near FDC.
Many lots sold for well over estimate. These included a Celtic imitation tetradrachm of Philip II, c. 100-50 B.C.E. made $6,286 on a 3,000-euro estimate; an Alexander the Great posthumous tetradrachm from Miletus took $7,544 on its 1,500-euro estimate in VF-EF; a tetradrachm from Cyme realized $7,394 on a 2,000-euro estimate in gEF with another in EF from Cnidus taking $13,830 on a 5,000-euro estimate.
But it was not all gold and silver that saw prices to soar. A bronze of Augustus from the African city of Achulla with a portrait of Proconsul Publius Quinctilius Varus in F and dating from 8-7 B.C.E. realized $5,532 on an estimate of just 800 euro. Quite a price for the corroded portrait of a general who managed to lose his life and three legions in Germany after achieving a reputation for extreme brutality in Judaea.
A buyer’s premium of 17.5 percent has been added to all prices that have been then converted to dollars at a rate of $1.07 per euro. Full catalog details and hammer prices can be found at the Gorny & Mosch website: www.gmcoinart.de.
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