On April 28 Spink London offered a choice collection of modern Greek coins. They were part of a comprehensive collection assembled by Greek Australian, George Cassim, between 1976 and 2015.
Cassim was known to refer to his collection as his “mistress” and his holdings were very much a labor of love. He had an eye for quality, rarity and variety, but also a profound sense of modern Greek history. He was forever upgrading. One consequence was that many of his pieces sold for well in excess of their estimates.
The top price went to a remarkable sleeper: a 1845 10 lepta of Otho (Otto) struck at Athens, KM-25. Given its cleaned aVF condition the cataloger had very reasonably given it an estimate of £50-60 commensurate with Standard Catalog of World Coins assessment for that grade. Clearly collectors knew something no one else did. They bid it up to $15,539 [£12,000].
Some distance back came a second Otho coin: a half-drachma of 1846, KM-19, graded Professional Coin Grading Service AU-48. This time the cataloger got the £4,000-5,000 estimate spot on when it sold for $6,215 [£4,800].
An Otho lepton of 1834 struck at Munich, KM-13, realized $5,749 [£4,440] graded PCGS MS-65 RB on a £500-600 estimate, while a similar lepton of 1837 struck in Athens, KM-13, in Numismatic Guaranty Corporation MS-63 BN took $4,040 [£3,120] on a £200-250 estimate.
Otho was also to the fore with a 5 lepta of 1846, KM-24. In PCGS MS-62BN and a £300-400 estimate it galloped to $3,884 [£3,000].
But Otho did not have it all his own way. George I came to the party with a 2 drachmai dated1868A (Paris), KM-39. It made an easy $4,195 [£3,240] on its £1,500-2,000 estimate. The price was no doubt helped by the superior NGC MS-62 grade.
Full catalog details and prices realized are available from www.spink.com.
A premium of 20 percent is included in all prices shown here. These have been converted at a rate of one British pound at $1.29.
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