A number of rare gold 10 ducats in superior grade provided a highlight of Spink’s NYINC Numismatic Collector’s Sale held over Jan. 13-17.
Earning the top bid was a 34.62 g Transylvanian issue of the Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold I. Struck at the Klausenburg [Cluj] mint and dated 1696, it shows the monarch laureate, draped, and cuirassed, wearing the Badge of the Golden Fleece. The reverse carries a crowned double-headed eagle bearing on its breast the coat of the Principality of Transylvania (F-482; Huszár 835; Resch 16).
The coin came in a desirable EF and had little problem in racing past its somewhat conservative $20,000-25,000 estimate to realize $186,000.
Other top-selling 10 ducats included an undated, 35.43 g Hamburg, Freie Hansestadt, gold portugaloser c. 1578-1582 (Gaedechens vol.II, p.213, no.1; F-1091). This is one of the earliest examples of the Hamburg 10 ducat series and one of the finest examples known of this very rare issue in private hands. Graded gVF, it fetched $69,000, near double upper estimate.
A second Hamburg portugaloser from 1689 and weighing 34.83 g arrived in BU. The obverse shows the initials I / R divided by HAMBURG in exergue for engraver Johann Reteke. At the bottom of the reverse are the initials H / M / B for Hinrich Burmeister, the ältester Bankbürger or senior merchant citizen of the Hamburg Specie-Bank (Gaedechens vol. III, p.103, no.1643; Forrer v, 95). The Burmeisters were one of the more important merchant families in Hamburg in the 17th century.
On an estimate of $25,000-30,000, the bidding raced away to finish at $48,000.
Empress Marie Theresa contributed a 10 ducat look-alike: her 34.66 g, 1741 gold coronation medal as King of Hungary engraved by Andreas Vestner. As no Queen could rule Hungary, Maria Theresa was crowned King. Like all her coronation medals, the reverse shows her on horseback brandishing a sword.
This medal is extremely rare in gold. No such example is listed among most major medallic collections of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
This remarkable piece came graded EF and on an estimate of $12,000-15,000 made a very comfortable $57,000.
Full catalog details and prices realized can be accessed at: www.spink.com. Prices cited include a buyer’s premium of 20%.
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