Rare Greek Coin Sets Record Price for Modern Issue.
An 1876, George I Greece, Gold 100-Drachmai broke the world record for any Modern Greek coin selling for £216,000 in A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd’s sale of European Coins from the Åke Lindén Collection on Wednesday 7th May 2014.
This exceptional rarity was from the collection of Swedish numismatist Åke Lindén, one of the world’s most prolific coin collectors. It sold in the latest of a calendar of worldwide auctions hosted by Baldwin’s presenting Lindén’s vast and esteemed collection.
Dimitri Loulakakis, Director of World Coins at A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd said: “Baldwin’s are pleased to see the continued successful dispersal of Åke Lindén’s collection, the price this George I 1876 Gold 100-Drachmai achieved illustrates the rigorous attitude Lindén had towards collecting top quality rarities and also the buoyancy of the current European coin market. We are thrilled with the outcome of the sale.”
With a mintage of only 76, the George I 1876 Gold 100-Dramchai is the very rarest of all regular issue coins of Modern Greece. It bears the Order of the Saviour on the reverse below the royal arms, the oldest and highest decoration awarded by the Modern Greek State.
Competitive bidding from buyers online, in the room and on the phone sent the exceptional coin sailing past its pre-sale estimate to sell for £216,000 to an anonymous internet bidder. [Lot 1391]
Also achieving an exceptional price was an 1864 Vittorio Emanuele II, Gold 50-Lire, struck in Torino. It was the rarest one-year coin of the whole Italian Kingdom series, with a mintage of only 103, and was one of the last coins to be minted in The Kingdom of Italy before it joined the Latin Monetary Union (LMU).
A precursor to the Euro, the LMU attempted to unify the countries of Europe under one currency that would be interchangeable across the nations.
Also from the Kingdom of Italy and achieving a large price tag was the smallest coin in the sale. The 1863, Vittorio Emanuele II, silver 20-Centesimi, which was struck in Torino, sold for £90,000 [Lot 1432]. Known in Italian as the “Stemmino” this coin is missing from almost every serious collection as all examples were withdrawn from circulation. Of the seven known survivors, this example was by far the finest in private hands.
Topping the Germany section was the rarest Empire, post 1871, coin, which sold for double its pre-sale estimate of £30,000-40,000. The 1917, Friedrich August III, Silver Proof 3-Mark, was one of only 100 pieces minted and after a fierce bidding battle, finally sold to an internet bidder for £76,800. [Lot 1256]
Elsewhere in the sale coins from Romania achieved excellent prices. Of particular note was an 1868, Carol I Gold Pattern Proof 20-Lei. This, the most celebrated coin of the Romanian series had a mintage of only 100, a portion of which were deposited into the foundations of Prince Carol I’s Peles Castle in 1875, the remainder being distributed to his friends and VIPs. This example was the finest known survivor and sold for £78,000 [Lot 1543]
The Åke Lindén Collection of European Coins was part of Baldwin’s three day May auction calendar which included The Arielle Collection Part Two, The Hemisphere Collection of Gold Sovereigns and Indian Coins from the collections of Dr Paul Stevens and Åke Lindén. The catalogue and results can be found online at www.baldwin.co.uk
With a history dating back to 1872 Baldwin’s is one of the largest and longest established Numismatic dealers and auction houses in the world. Our dedicated team of specialists have over 300 years combined experience covering all areas of numismatics including English, Ancient and Foreign coins, military and commemorative medals, tokens, books and banknotes.
Launched in 1993 Baldwin’s auction department has grown from strength to strength hosting more than eighteen prestigious international auctions each year in London, New York and Hong Kong.
The merger of Baldwin’s with Noble Investments (UK) PLC in 2005, and the acquisition in early 2008 of Apex Philatelics and of Dreweatts & BloomsburyAuctions, has seen the company expand to become a formidable market player offering a complete package for any collector of coins, stamps, fine art and collectables. In more recent times (2013), Baldwin’s has become a part of the Stanley Gibbons Group plc and is now a more powerful London Stock Exchange listed collectables retailer and ‘top 5’ UK auctioneer.
Established in 1856, The Stanley Gibbons Group plc is the world’s leading rare stamp and prestige collectibles merchant with offices in the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Channel Islands.
Holders of the Royal Warrant as philatelists since 1914 and AIM-listed in London, the Group is debt-free and has shown consistent double-digit EBIT growth through the recent economic downturn in the UK and Europe.
Baldwin’s broadcast all of their main auctions over the internet and provides a live bidding service through www.the-saleroom.com/baldwins