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Category: Baldwins Auctions

Baldwin’s Ancient and World Coin Auction 67 & 68: The Official COINEX Auction

September 2010 brings with it “Coinex”, one of the most exciting events of the numismatic calendar and the largest Numismatic coin show in the UK. This year Baldwin’s are proud sponsors of the occasion and, as hosts of the official Coinex auction, a spectacular event awaits.

Baldwin’s two day auction is to be held over the 28 th and 29 th September and begins with the third part of the Michael Hall Collection of Renaissance and later medals, of which, parts one and two were sold earlier this year through Baldwin’s.

New York based collector and art expert Michael Hall spent over fifty years putting together an awe-inspiring collection and this, the final part, offers an array of choice pieces. Lot 2090, a 1671 Louis XIV Damascened Medal (estimate £800-1,000) by Jean Warin II is a beautifully crafted piece by arguably the best and most powerful French engraver of coin dies of the 17 th Century.

Warin (or Varin) came from a family of artists and distinguished himself primarily as a painter and sculptor. He was one of the first engravers to use the power of the medallic form for propaganda purposes in France. Carrying the title of controleur general Warin imposed strict controls over artists that they were allowed no artistic license, but were instead forced to reproduce official designs that commemorated the magnificence of the state.

This lot is a prime example of the effectiveness of his creations to this end. Lot 2614, a Gustav II Adolf Silver medal of 6-Riksdalers by medallist Sebastian Dadler, estimate £1,200 – 1,500, is another one of the stand out pieces of the sale and distinguished by the intricacy of the artwork on both the obverse and reverse of the medal. Dadler was one of the leading medallists of the 17 th Century, working widely throughout the courts of Germany and princely houses of Europe, amassing an array of high profile supporters at the time.

The Hall Collection is immediately followed by a diverse selection of commemorative medals and a section of Orders, Decorations and Medals. The extensive Commemorative medal section includes lot 3005, a fantastic 1666 Dutch silver Medal (estimate £1,500 – 2,000) depicting the “Four Days” Naval fight on the obverse and crafted by medallist Jerian Pool. The medal commemorates the famous action and carries a poem on the reverse by the Dutch writer and playwright, Joost van Vondel, which appears to have been written especially for the medal.

Commemorative and historical medals have become a feature of Baldwin’s flagship London auctions and the variety on offer in this sale is testament to the accurate cataloguing and historical referencing that assure Baldwin’s achieve the highest possible prices.

A small collection of military medals and decorations from the Seddon-Brown family are some of the most interesting pieces in the sale, most notably lot 3196, The Order of the Nile group of awards to Lieutenant Colonel Seddon-Brown J.P.O.N. the lots includes three attractive copied pictures, one of which portrays Sir Winston Churchill, with whom he worked closely and was personal friends with through his role as chairman of the Conservative party in the North East. (more…)

Baldwins UK to offer Part Two of the Michael Hall Collection of Renaissance Medals

A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd will offer an extensive collection of Renaissance and later medals formed by the New York connoisseur and fine art collector, Michael Hall. The Michael Hall Collection comprises in excess of 2000 items, making it by far the largest sale of this type since the Max and Maurice Rosenheim (Sotheby 1923) and Henry Oppenheimer (Christie’s 1936) sales.

Michael Hall has been a prolific collector of art for more than 60 years amassing vast collections with a focus on sculpture. Michael was inspired in his youth by the Kress Collection, a phenomenal collection of medals housed in the National Gallery of Art in Washington that are of artistic importance, not just of historical or archaeological interest. It is therefore unsurprising that the focus of the numismatic part of the Hall collections has always been on the artistic and sculptural aspects of the medals which have augmented his interest in sculpture of all origins and periods.

The aim of the collection is to share the artistic legacy of Europe with the American people, a sentiment which still resonates with Michael. He offers his collection to the public at large with generosity and well meaning and with ‘the hope that you will be as successful as I have been in my most satisfying endeavors.’

The auction of the second part of his collection begins with a large and impressive group of Papal medals from the 15 th century onwards, from which highlights include a group of six prize medals of the Accademia di san Luca (lots 1227-1232). Founded in 1593, the academy was setup as an association of artists in Rome for the purpose of elevating the work of “artists”, including painters, sculptors and architects.

The image on the reverse of the medals was designed by Giovanni Hamerani in 1694 and was taken from a painting by Guercino. Hamerani came from a family of celebrated artists and engravers and was appointed as medallist to the pope. It has been said he possessed a purer and far superior style to other engravers of his time.

Intended as an annual competition, although it was not always the case, these medals were given in three classes and in three disciplines, painting, sculpture and architecture. The most significant of the group are lots 1227 (which carries a pre-sale estimate of £800-1200) and lot 1232 (pictured above) which is the only lot to be engraved by Bernhard Perger and has an estimate of £700-900. Other stand out pieces from the section include lots 1245 and 1246, two Clement XII medals. The first is a choice, extremely fine, 1753 Damascened Bronze Complimentary Medal, estimate £300-400 and the second is a 1733 Silver Fountain Medal of San Giovanni in Laterano, estimate £600-800. (more…)

Baldwins to Sell The Strickland Neville Rolfe Collection of Ancient, British and World Coins

Baldwin’s is delighted to announce the addition of yet another rare collection to their May 2010 auction, to be held on the 4 th and 5 th May at the CIPFA Conference Centre, Robert Street, London.

The Strickland Neville Rolfe Collection is an amazingly conserved compilation of Ancient, British and World coins, tokens and Commemorative medals that has been untouched and out of circulation since 1852. This numismatic collection has remained in the hands of Rolfe’s descendents since his death and brilliantly represents a snapshot of the tastes and interests of an educated English country gentleman and divine of the Victorian era.

Strickland Charles Edward Neville Rolfe was born in 1789, eldest son of General Neville of the Royal Artillery. He assumed the name and arms of Rolfe by royal warrant in 1837, upon receiving the bequest of the estates at Heacham and Sedgeford, from Edmund Rolfe, a distant relative who had no issue.

Educated at Wadham College, Oxford, BA 1812, MA 1816, he was ordained in 1814. He became domestic chaplain to the Duke of Kent in 1814 and to the Duke of Somerset in 1825. He was appointed vicar of Heacham in Norfolk in 1838. His first wife, Agnes, was the only daughter of Henry Fawcett, MP for Carlisle. They married in 1814 and had five sons and four daughters. In 1833 he married Dorothy, widow of the Rev TT Thomason, Chaplain to the Honourable East India Company.

It is known that he was an enthusiastic collector of both natural and archaeological items, as well as having a keen interest in art. Rolfe had had a number of artists staying for long periods to study artistic endevours at Heacham Hall. It is said that he had a large coach built in which he took these artists on excursions to draw and paint buildings or articles of interest in and around the area.

He was especially interested in the area of Norfolk and part of his collection of portraits of Norfolk celebrities, original drawings, topographical and antiquarian, were sold by Sotheby’s. Some of these pieces were used to extra illustrate ‘Blomefield’s History of the County of Norfolk’ (compiled by Francis Blomefield and published in 1805). Later, in 1929, a number of water-colour drawings from the collection were also used to illustrate a publication compiled by his great grandson, Clement Rolfe-Ingleby, and entitled ‘A supplement to Blomefield’s Norfolk.

Strickland Rolfe died in 1852. Heacham Hall was destroyed by fire in 1941, whilst being occupied by the
RAF.

The English coins from the collection span three centuries and include some key rarities, such as the pattern “Incorrupta” crown (lot 1405), one of only eighteen known to have been struck, and the “Three Graces” crown, one of the most important and majestic coins of the English series (lot 1406, pictured above). Both the “Incorrupta” and the “Three Graces” crowns were struck by the renowned medallist, William Wyon. (more…)

The Bishop’s Wood Hoard of Roman Coins To Be Sold By Baldwins

Baldwin’s are delighted to announce that they will be offering for sale by auction a portion of Roman coins from the Bishop’s Wood Hoard of 1895 as part of their 4-5 May 2010 London event.

The extensive hoard was unearthed at Bishop’s Wood, near Ross-on-Wye, just across the Herefordshire border and within the surroundings of the Forest of Dean. Several other, smaller finds, of similar coins had also been found along this route but none as vast or as interesting as this. It was discovered in a rough walling built against the hillside by workmen who were in the process of repairing a road and who struck an earthenware vessel containing the coins. The accidental strike from a pick broke the jar and scattered its contents in various directions.

Details of the hoard were first published in the 1896 edition of the Numismatic Chronicle, and also in the editorial of the Numismatic Circular in November of that year. In both publications a total of 17,550 coins were listed, although a number had already been lifted and dispersed around the region by the time the coins were rescued. Many of these coins were subsequently given to local museums and the portion now being sold by Baldwin’s (containing 1,661 coins and the restored jar that contained them) has remained in the family of the original landowner since they were found in 1895.

Included with the hoard is a reprint of the article from the Numsimatic Chronicle of 1896 and a reprint of ‘Notes on a Great Hoard of Roman Coins found at Bishop’s Wood in 1895’ from the “Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society”, vol. XIX, pp. 399-420, both written by Mary Bagnall-Oakeley. The latter also includes the author’s handwritten annotations and a list, dated March 1898, of the museums and institutions that she was aware had received portions of the hoard. (more…)

Baldwins 48th Hong Kong Coin Auction Results

The 48th Hong Kong Coin Auction is taking place a little earlier than usual this year, in-line with the Hong Kong International Coin Convention and Antique Watch Fair. As usual the sale will be held at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile, Kowloon, Hong Kong, at 10.00am on the 25 th February, and will feature two sessions (868 lots in total) of predominantly Asian coins and banknotes.

The auction opens with lot 1, a Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) 1-Kuan banknote. The Baldwin’s – Ma Tak Wo auction group sold a similar piece in their last sale for a record breaking US$19,000 and, although this note isn’t in as good condition, they are hopeful that this piece will attract as much attention.

The banknote section continues to show promise with lot 39 a 1908 Hio Lung Kiang Government Bank, Branch Office $5 note in extremely fine condition and leads into an extensive selection of Indian banknotes, the most unique and desirable being lot 227 the 1000 Rupees, first issue note of Hyderabad.

Following the success of the Chinese medals and orders section of the last sale the Hong Kong sale this year offers a smaller but equally as interesting selection. The highlight of the orders is lot 560 – The Order of the Stripped Tiger, First Class Set.

Founded in 1912 by President Yuan Shih-Kai as an award of merit to Chinese Navel and Military Forces, the award cam in nine classes and is no longer awarded. The class is indicated by the number of stars appearing above the tiger’s head and also by the size of the badge itself. Three stars denotes a first class award, two a second class award and one for third class. Lot 560 holds three stars and is in extremely fine condition and estimated at US$12,000 – 15,000. (more…)

A.H Baldwin January Ancient and World Coin New York Auction Results

Held as part of the 38th annual New York International Numismatic Convention, A.H. Baldwins & Sons New York Sale proved to be a welcome move away from the subdued bidding of 2009. The majority of the interesting lots offered during the course of the week were from the Baldwin’s/Dmitry Markov/M&M auction and the high prices achieved reflected the recent trend for buyers paying well above estimate for quality and rarity.

Peter_1_1707_Half_Tymf_baldwin2010In marked contrast to last year’s event the bidders appeared to be out in force. Seth Freeman of Baldwin’s commented that there was a real buzz around this years event, both the convention and the auction and buyers ‘seemed to be focused on one thing, spending money to secure key items’.

The results from the sale this year reflected the more optimistic view of the financial markets for 2010. Across the board bidders seemed less cautious than last year and prices realised on particular items were substantially higher.

Highlights from the first day of the sale included the catalogue cover piece (pictured above), lot 128, a Roman Empire Drusus Sestertius which sold for $17,250 USD against a pre-sale estimate of $8,500 USD; and lot 251, a Constantinus II Solidus, Treveri, which achieved $34,500 USD.

As ever the Indian section was strong and attracted a lot of attention, the most interesting lot being 304, a very rare Gupta Dinar, Tiger-slayer type depicting the goddess Ganga standing on an elephant-headed fish, sold for $21,850 USD.

Bidding interest and excitement centered on the Medieval, Portuguese and Russian sections and this is demonstrated by the incredibly strong prices achieved. Highlights of the section incorporate lots 470 and 628, a Carolingian Denarius of Toulouse, and a Portuguese Sancho I Morabitino which sold for $13,800 USD and $25,000 USD respectively.

Lot 1027, a 1707 Shestak Half Tymf, was one of the most unique and interesting pieces in the sale. This coin was first recorded in 1897 where it was the only image available of this very rare coin and soon became the plate coin in all standard references. The groups research produced no other specimen of this particular coin offered at public auction and this was reflected in the realised price of $97,500 USD. (more…)

Unique Collection of Renaissance Medals Go Under The Hammer

A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd are delighted to announce that they have been chosen to auction the extensive collection of Renaissance and later medals formed by the New York connoisseur and fine art collector, Michael Hall.

Hall_medal_collection_baldwinThe Michael Hall collection comprises in excess of 2000 items, making it by far the largest sale of Renaissance pieces since the Max and Maurice Rosenheim (Sotheby 1923) and Henry Oppenheimer (Christie’s 1936) sales. The first auction is scheduled for May 2010.

Before turning to the world of antiques, Michael Hall’s earlier years were spent in Hollywood. Most memorably, in 1946, he was cast as Fredric March’s son in William Wyler’s “The Best Years of our Lives”. The majority of the collection was formed in the 1960s and ‘70s, a period when Hall was living for much of the time in London.

The medals were purchased from the dealers of the day, in London and other European centres, rather than at auction. Over the ensuing years the collection has remained mostly unseen. Michael Hall gifted most of his British medals to the Los Angeles County Museum some years ago, though some important pieces were retained and will be offered in the sales. The strength of the collection is in early Italian medals, otherwise it remains very comprehensive in the medals of later Italy, France, Germany, the Holy Roman Empire and the Netherlands.

There are extensive groups of Papal medals, many of which featured in the 1981 publication Roma Resurgens, Papal Medals from the Age of the Baroque; and a group of Florentine Baroque medals that will be seen as a match to the Lankheit Collection sold by Morton & Eden (May 2003).

One of the most important pieces to be included in the first sale will be Pisanello’s cast bronze portrait medal of Cecilia Gonzaga. Antonio Pisano, called Pisanello (c. 1395 – c. 1455), was the pioneering artist who, from around 1435, turned his portraiture into a medallic format, the first artist so to do. (more…)

Baldwin’s Auction 62 & 63 to Feature Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine Coins

The latest auction organised by Baldwin’s auction department begins with an impressive selection of Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins featuring a very rare Greek Medallion (lot 105, pictured below). It is presumed that this medallion was produced to commemorate an African victory of the emperor Commodus, although it appears to have few details of any specific campaign, and it is thought that this could be the specimen illustrated in Gnecchi.

baldwins_commodus_medalThe British section of the auction comprises over 400 lots and includes a collection of 69 Maundy Sets from the period 1660 – 2008, 38 lots of Anglo-Saxon Pennies and a fine selection of 5 Guinea pieces. Alongside these coins are a selection of high grade British 19th Century copper tokens, including some rare and unpublished varieties. A small but well-formed group of rare English banknotes, includes as the highlight, an Isle of Man, Bank of Mona Specimen £5 from 1867 (lot 596).

The first day of the auction concludes with a highly comprehensive range of world coins including an outstanding collection of Danish coins and an interesting group of South American and Spanish American coinage. The Danish collection of coins features many incredible rarities, including lots 605 and 652, a Christian III (1535-1559) Gold Gulden and a Christian VII (1766-1808) Gold Ducat, both desirable pieces, and an exceptionally rare square gold 6-Daler from 1604 (lot 606), which is possibly a unique die combination. The highlight of the South American/Spanish American collection is lot 706, a gold 8-Escudos which is among the “top five known” in quality for this date. These two collections are complemented by nice groups of coins from modern Cyprus, medieval Georgia and modern Greece.

An outstanding collection of Scottish gallantry and campaign medals forms the basis of the first part of the second day of the auction. Awarded, in the main, to soldiers with the surname Rennie, the most notable amongst the group is lot 1104, an extremely rare Great War Military Medal with two bars (pictured above). This particular medal was awarded to Private W. Rennie Gordon, a member of the Gordon Highlanders who were renowned for their bravery. (more…)