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Wonderful Selection at Heritage World Auction

Heritage World & Ancient Coin Auction January 6-7, 2008

The first auction on hand is taking place on January 6-7 in New York. You'd have to consider this one, from Heritage Auction Galleries, a pre-NYINC sale, but given the current strength of the Euro, I am sure many European dealers will be on hand to keep prices buoyant.

In running over this sale, I had to stop often to take a closer look at special lots. From the letter A on through Z this auction offers outstanding material and many items I have not often seen offered for public sale. At the top of my interest list were the following; several Bolivian Royals and Heart-shaped cobs, including a seldom seen and very rare Heart-shaped 4 Reales, a number of Heaton Mint proofs from various countries spattered throughout the sale, an odd little 1/4 Real with the LIMAE monogram which begs form more research, a set of Haile Selassie white metal trial strikes, a full set of French West Africa token coinage from 1883, an attractive example of the 1811 Isenburg Taler, a wonderful array of British coinage, some super high grade examples of scarce coins from Mexico, Japan and Italian Somalia, a whopper sized Polish Pope John Paul II gold coin, three scarce 1920 aluminum Reunion tokens, a great selection of Russian coins including the rare offering of two types of the 1 1/2 Family Rouble, some very choice South African items, a scarce Caracas Un Real holed, but never-the-less desirable, and a nice selection of the few coins issued for Zanzibar.

For this auction I could only narrow my personal selections of interest down to two coins. First is lot 50111 from Entre Rios, Argentina. This lot is cataloged as a "1/2 Real of 1867, similar to KM1, but with an obverse highly similar to the circulating USA $1 gold pieces of the era". This is a good verbal description and the lot write-up also includes some excellent historical information about the Entre Rios issues authorized by general Urquiza and created by Pablo Cataldi during a coinage shortage in 1867. What it does not explain can be learned from Hector Carlos Janson's excellent book La Moneda Circulante En El Territorio Argentino 1767-1998. Janson lists the one 1/2 Real coin as CJ#2, which matches our KM#1. As far as I know this is the only coin struck for circulation in this area at this time period. Janson lists the piece in the Heritage sale as CJ#3, one example of eight different types of monetary based medals struck using the obverse or reverse dies of the circulating coin combined with distinctly medallic pairings. Not to say that this piece is not a rarity, on the contrary, it jumped out at me because it is the first time I have seen one offered fro sale in an auction. Janson places the medals at values about twice as high as the coin, but they may be even scarcer than that, as his book used line drawings or rubbings for several illustrations. I will be anxious to see how this lot does tomorrow! Also of interest in Janson's book is a beautiful an ultra rare Peso sized medal with a great portrait of Urquiza on the obverse.

The second coin I could just not pass up saying a little more about is cataloged as lot 51755. It starts off a small run of Hookneck coins from the beginning of the Republic of Mexico. Most Hookneck coins are very desirable and both rare and pricey in high grade, but this little 1 Real of Durango is a big find for any collector and should command great attention in any grade. The 1 Real Hooknecks were only struck at Durango and this variety is the only one within most collectors reach. It's estimate range of $5500-$6500 is quite reasonable and I would expect this coin to see some spirited bidding.