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Category: Spinks

Spink World Coin Auction Realises over £3.2 Million

Over the past 48 hours, Spink auctioned their highest grossing coin sale to date. The fantastic catalogue of over 1300 coins totalled over £3.2 million in sales and generated interest from collectors around the world. Dozens of phone bidders, a standing only room and hundreds of participants on Spink Live contributed to a bidding frenzy in the room.

William Mackay, specialist at Spink, had this to say about the sale:

“This sale demonstrates the strong market for top quality, rare historical gold coins. It definitely showcases the extent to which the value of these sorts of coins have appreciated in the last few years. We are extremely pleased with the results of this sale which demonstrates continued confidence in the marketplace.”

Top lots included the following:

Lot 895
Henry VII (1485-1509), Sovereign, type IV
Sold for £180,000

Lot 949
Charles I, Civil War issues, Oxford,
small module type Triple Unite
Sold for £161,000

Lot 5
Mughal Empire, Jalal ud-Din Muhammad Akbar,
AV 5-Mohurs
Sold for £150,000

Lot 948
Charles I, Civil War issues, Oxford, Triple Unite
Sold for £120,000

Lot 975
James VI (1567-1625), second coinage,
Twenty-Pound piece
Sold for £102,000

About Spink

Spink is the world’s leading auctioneer of coins, stamps, medals, banknotes, bonds, share certificates and autographs, with offices in London, Singapore, New York and Dallas. Since its foundation in 1666, the Spink name has become synonymous with tradition, experience and integrity. Holders of three royal warrants and numerous records for prices achieved at auction, Spink offer an unparalleled range of services to collectors worldwide.

For more information, pictures or to request an interview with the specialist please contact Emily Johnston, ejohnston@spink.com , 020 7563 4009.

Rare 1903-R Italian 100 Lire Gold Coin to be Sold at Spinks Sale

Sale 304 Lot 355 – Italy. 1903-R 100 Lire, Vittorio Emanuele III. NGC MS63. KM-39. FR-22. Mintage: 966.

Numismatists won’t want to miss out on Spink Smythe’s November Collectors’ Series Sale, which is taking place tomorrow (November 20) in New York.

A colossal rarity and an ultimate collector item, as the present coin stands as the largest and highest denominated Italian gold coin of the era. The type, produced during 1903 and 1905, saw limited production, with 1903 yielding a mere 966 coins and 1905 slightly besting that amount with a production of 1,012 coins – today, relatively few of either date exist.

The surfaces of the present example, unlike its few surviving brethren, have been lovingly preserved through the years and maintain full prooflike mirrors on both sides.

Few marks are visible anywhere, and none are worthy of singular notation. Inspection of the grading services population reports confirm this example as exemplary – being the single finest graded and the only one to merit MS63 status. In fact, it is only the fourth specimen to have been graded in the 25 plus years of PCGS and NGC grading.

To further illustrate the rarity of the present example, when the Eliasberg Collection of over 3500 world gold coins was sold in 2005, neither the 1903 or 1905 date of this type was offered as a part of this collection.

For the Italian specialist, one can only stretch to imagine a more important opportunity to acquire a true collection linchpin. An opportunity that should not be missed.
Estimate $ 10,000-12,000

First Gold Coin Struck in the Name of an English King to be Sold by Spink

[CoinLink News] The UK auction firm of Spink has announced the upcoming sale of an Anglo-Saxon gold Shilling of King Eadbald of Kent dating from c.620-635. This is the first gold coin struck in the name of an English King and a rare and important piece of English history. Found near Deal Kent in 2010, this coin will be sold at auction on June 24th and is expected to fetch upwards of £8,000. (Editor: Seems very Inexpensive)

This type was long known to be amongst the earliest of Anglo-Saxon gold coins with a single example present in the important Crondall hoard found in Hampshire in 1828 and dating from c.670. The conclusive attribution of these coins to king Eadbald of Kent, reigned 616-640, though was only made in 1998. This followed the emergence of new finds which enabled the obverse inscription to be confirmed as avdvarld reges, and translated as ‘of King Audvarld’.

The name ‘auduarldus’ appears in Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica completed in 731 in which he wrote about king Eadbald of Kent. Given this and the presence of one of these coins in the Crondall hoard, the attribution to Eadbald is now accepted

While the Kentish Shilling or Thrymsa seems to have sought to match the Merovingian Tremissis, the design of this coin is peculiarly Anglo-Saxon using neither motifs found on Merovingian coins nor seeking to copy Roman types. In common with some other coins (e.g. the so called ‘Witmen’ and ‘Londiniv/Londeniv’ types), this coin has an inscription on the reverse. This can be clearly read on a example in the Ashmolean Museum as containing the word londenv indicating London as the mint or die source for these coins all of which share the same obverse die.

The real significance of these coins though is in the obverse inscription naming the historical figure of king Eadbald. This is exceptional for a coin of this period and is only certainly found again at the end of the seventh century with the Sceattas of Aldfrith of Northumbria (685-705). As such the Eadbald Thrymsa is the earliest coin issued in the name of an English king.

Eadbald succeded Aethelberht as king of Kent in 616. Aethelberht is principally remembered for having accepted St. Augustine into his kingdom and his subsequent conversion to Roman Christianity. It seems, according to Bede, that after his accession Eadbald fell foul of the young Church, rejecting Christianity, ejecting its Bishops and incurring the wrath of the Church committing ‘such fornication as the Apostle Paul mentioned as being unheard of even among the heathen, in that he took his father’s (second) wife as his own.’

Whatever Eadbald did, this situation did not last for he repented and was duly baptized, rejecting his wife and thereafter favouring the Church within his kingdom. (more…)

Record Set at Spink Auction for a Chinese Banknote, $990,000 HKD

On the 23rd and 24th of January 2010, Spink held a magnificent sale of Stamps, Banknotes, Coins and Bonds of Hong Kong and China, at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong.
The sale featured a number of rare and valuable items which resulted in fantastic prices at auction including a new record for a Chinese banknote.


This note was the first one yuan note available for public purchase and it caused quite the bidding frenzy on the day of the sale. A Taiwanese Collector was the lucky buyer in the end.

The highly valuable note features 2 black dragons signifying the prowess of the Emperor and Monarch and accordingly named as the “Ooi-Long note”, in the middle “Xuan Tong Yuan Bao”.

The Kwangsi bank existed for a brief stint of less than 2 years before being reorganised in 1911 and the notes were subsequently recalled.

To date, only 3 examples of this note have been discovered, and it is noteworthy that all 3 are believed to be in the hands of collectors outside Kwangsi.

Barnaby Faull, Director of Banknotes at Spink, commented, “This was an absolutely fantastic auction. We offered a fresh collection of Chinese notes from an English collector and the new material resulted in great interest from collectors around the world. The Chinese market is very buoyant and potentially unlimited and this was without doubt the finest sale to be held in Hong Kong for banknotes. The sale also featured a wonderful collection of coins and bonds. In the end, nearly HK$11 million was sold at auction on the day.” (more…)

Superb Set of Australian Banknotes sold by Spinks for £350,000

spink_aus_notes_092309_1lbOn September 29th, Spink held a sale in London of A Superb Set Of The 1913 – 1914 Commonwealth of Australia Banknotes.

The notes were found in a chest of drawers in the North Yorkshire home of an elderly man when his home was being cleard out for an estate sale. He had been unaware of their existence until he was told by the auctioneer who was clearing his house, that a windfall might be coming his way.

Recognising that these notes were a rare find indeed, an astute Rodney Tennant of Tennants of Leyburn asked London coins and banknote specialists Spink to sell the six notes – all with early serial numbers and all marked Cancelled.

Spink offered them (in the separate catalogue) as lot number one of their banknotes sale of September 28. They did not quite make their £400,000-450,000 estimate, but the vendor’s family was delighted to learn that they had sold to an Australian private collector at £350,000.

Background from the Catalog:

From May 1913, the first distinctive Commonwealth of Australia banknotes were issued. They were controversial in that no portrait of the reigning monarch, King George V, was included in the design. It was also feared that the release of a ten-shilling denomination (reportedly the first by any government within the British Empire) would spread diseases from the lower to middle and upper classes. Specimen notes were prepared from regular note stocks by perforating them horizontally with the word ‘CANCELLED’. Such notes were taken at random from the print runs as required, so many bear relatively high serial numbers. It wasn’t until the issuance of the 1923 series bearing George V’s effigy that low numbers were reserved for specimen notes.
(more…)

Spink to Sell Extremely Rare Anglo-Frisian Solidus from 9th Century

UPDATE June 25, 2009: Today at auction Spink sold the Anglo-Frisian Solidus coin from ninth century England for £9,300. The coin was purchased by anonymous bidder in the room.

Spink are pleased to announce the sale of an extremely rare Anglo-Frisian Solidus coin from ninth century England. The coin will be sold at auction in London on the 25th of June 2009. The Solidus is truly rare with only one other coin of this type known.

Anglo-Frisian SolidusEarlier this year the coin was brought in by a lady who discovered it in a field near Salisbury. After dusting the earth from the face of the coin the lady, who wishes to remain anonymous, knew that she had tripped upon something very unusual.

William MacKay, coin specialist for Spink, stated, “It’s always thrilling to see the face of the owner when you share that their coin is incredibly rare and valuable. In this case we know that these coins are highly desirable as so few exist and collectors will pay any price to add such a gem to their collection. It is estimated to fetch £8,000-10,000 at auction in June but such rarities are often times very difficult to price.

Spink sold an example from the same time period in 2004, the Coenwulf penny, which fetched an incredible £230,000 and now has a home in the British Museum.”

Lot Detail from The Spink Catalogue

Found March 2009, near Salisbury

Whilst coinage in Northern Europe and England in the ninth century was predominantly silver there is substantial evidence for a smaller gold coinage. In all around 100 examples of gold coins exist from this period with most from continental find spots, however a small number have been found in England, with two in the name of the English rulers, Coenwulf of Mercia and Archbishop Wigmund of York. Gold coins from this period are all very rare, with examples from England extremely rare. (more…)

Jim Fitzgerald to Head Spink Smythe Auctions

As part of its international expansion in collectibles auctions, Spink Smythe of Dallas, Texas, New York City and London, England has hired Jim Fitzgerald as Senior Vice President of Auctions.

Jim Fitzgerald“We are delighted to add such a knowledgeable and well-respected numismatist to lead the Spink Smythe team. We are extremely proud of our past and look forward to continued success in the future with our new, truly global presence,” said Tracy L. Shreve, Chief Operating Officer of Spink USA.

The former Director of Currency Auctions at Heritage Auction Galleries, Fitzgerald also has extensive management experience in the travel and hotel industry. He started collecting coins as a child when his grandfather helped him fill Whitman folders with Lincoln cents found in circulation. In addition to coins, he collects small-size U.S. notes, Texas obsoletes, Confederate and National Bank Notes.

He has presented educational seminars for the Texas Numismatic Association (TNA) and the Tarrant County Historical Society, and recently served as Chairman of the TNA Convention in his hometown of Fort Worth. He and his wife, Sheli, have a son born this past December.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity with Spink Smythe, and look forward to blending two distinguished names both firmly established in their fields into the marketplace,” said Fitzgerald.

“Emphasizing a boutique, more personalized service to our clients is the main goal here at Spink Smythe. In these uncertain economic times people want to know their collection is important and that it will be sold with the same care and dedication that they have given it over the years,” he said.

In January, Spink Smythe launched its Collector’s Series Sales that will feature coins, banknotes, antique stocks and bonds, autographs, ephemera, photographs and tokens and medals.

“Under the Spink banner, Spink Smythe now offers a truly global experience for both buyers and sellers. Additionally, Spink Smythe is pleased to offer the world’s leading online bidding platform, SpinkLive.com. This innovative and easy to use system offers real time bidding featuring audio and streaming video so that bidders may participate as though they were on the auction floor,” explained Shreve. (more…)

The Greatest Collection of Costa Rican Coins Ever Auctioned (Part 1): The Event

Frederick R. Mayer (1928-2007)On Oct. 23, the late Frederick Mayer‘s collection of Costa Rican coins, tokens and paper money was auctioned by the firm of Spink-Smythe in New York City. The day before, Oct. 22, Spink-Shreves sold Mayer’s collection of Costa Rican stamps at the same location. The Shreves stamp auction firm and Smythe are now integrated and owned by Spink. This first part of my review concerns the setting and atmosphere of the auction, the general importance of the material that was sold, the consignor, and the participants.

In parts 2 and 3, I will discuss Costa Rican silver coins. This series of articles is designed to be clear to those who know nothing about Costa Rican coins. There will be a good deal of explanation. Hopefully, collectors of U.S. or world coins will find my discussions to be interesting and will be amazed by Mayer’s collection.

1873 Twenty Peso GoldThe highest priced coin in the auction was Mayer’s Costa Rican 1873 Twenty Pesos gold coin. The issue is a Great Rarity. The Mayer 1873 realized $43,225. Curiously, it weighs substantially more than two Costa Rican Ten Pesos coins, and almost as much as a U.S. Double Eagle ($20 gold coin). It will be discussed in part 4, along with other gold coins from the collection, a few of which are incredible.

Some of the rarer, most famous, and more interesting of Mayer’s coins were minted when Costa Rica was part of the Central American Republic, which was really a loose federation that was founded in 1823 and began to fall apart in 1838. These coins will be discussed in part 5.

Costa Rica is a stable democracy in Central America. It borders Panama and Nicaragua. El Salvador, the Honduras and Guatemala are also in Central America, which is a landmass that is connected to both North America and South America. World coin collectors in the U.S. and Europe often aim to build type sets of all Central American or of all Latin American societies. (more…)

£1,000,000 Bank of England Note to be Sold by Spink’s

Famous Bank of England Number Eight £1,000,000 noteSpink has announced the sale of the famous Number Eight £1,000,000 note. It is believed that only two notes of this high denomination exist in the world today, the other numbered 000007.

The million pound note was issued in connection with the Marshall Aid Plan after World War II and was intended for internal use as ‘records of movement,’ for a period of six weeks only. It is believed that nine examples were produced and only two, Numbers Seven and Eight, survived.

The two notes were given as mementoes to the respective U.S. and U.K. Treasury Secretaries. The Number Seven was first sold in 1977 and is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as being the highest denomination note in private hands.

The 8-inch-wide green banknote, numbered 000008, was issued by the Bank of England on Aug. 30, 1948, in connection with the Marshall Aid Plan in the aftermath of World War II. It bears the signature of E. E. Bridges in the lower right hand corner and is cancelled over the signature and stamped 6 October 1948, Bank of England.  Spink’s  said the defunct note, entered for sale by the U.K.-based banknote collector Bill Parkinson, may fetch 35,000 pounds to 40,000 pounds at its Oct. 1 sale of world banknotes.

“This is the highest denomination of banknote we’ve ever sold,” said Barnaby Faull, director of banknotes at Spink. “There are hyperinflation Weimar-period notes for 10 billion marks, but they would only have bought a cup of coffee.” (more…)

Spink to Sell $1000 ‘Discovery Note’ in Singapore July 5th

$1000 Govt of the Straits Discovery NoteA unique discovery note will be auctioned by Spink’s in its Asian Banknote Sale to take place in Singapore on July 5th.

Sale 8014 Lot 0A: The $1000 “Government of the Straits Settlements” of 17 March 1911 has serial number A/1 000001. It is grey & black with crowned arms top centre flanked by a lion and a unicorn. The $1000 value in located in a black tablet at center of the note. The signatures of currency commissioners Brockman, Michell and David are visable and the notes value is also translated into  four languages, English, Chinese, Malay and Arabic around the edges of the note.

The Straits Settlements were a collection of territories of the British East India Company in Southeast Asia, which were given collective administration in 1826 as a crown colony,They were distinct from the native princely states, some of which later formed the Federated Malay States.

Initially, the Straits Settlements consisted of Penang, sometimes officially named Prince of Wales Island, Singapore with about a score of islets of insignificant size lying in its immediate vicinity, the islands and territory of the Dinding, Province Wellesley, the town and territory of Malacca and the islands of Labuan.

The colony was dissolved in 1946, when Singapore became a separate crown colony (ultimately independent), while Penang and Malacca joined the Malayan Union, which eventually became Malaysia.

The note was discovered by the consignor with an envelope titled SPECIMEN/ON HIS MAJESTY’S SERVICE and listing the serial number of the note in ink. (more…)

Spink Acquires Smythe, New York’s oldest dealer and Auctioneer in coins, paper money, Antique stocks and bonds and autographs

Spink Acquires SmytheLondon, England – Spink, the world’s leading auctioneers of Coins, Stamps, Medals and Banknotes, Bonds and Share Certificates, based in London and established 1666, has acquired R.M. Smythe & Company, specialists in Antique Stocks and Bonds, Banknotes, Coins, and Autographs, based in New York City and established in 1880. Both Spink and Smythe are known around the globe for their illustrious histories, impeccable reputations and unparalleled expertise. The merging of these two companies is the next logical step in line with Spink’s strategy for the future and will create the first truly global, fully integrated, collectables house.

Spink is pleased to announce that John Herzog, owner of R.M. Smythe & Company since 1967, has become a shareholder in Spink. Mr. Herzog will act as Chairman Emeritus of Spink USA and will participate in the development of the combined entity which is valued in excess of $100 million by this deal.

Mr. Herzog stated, “I could not think of a better company to acquire Smythe. My wife, Diana, and I have been at Smythe’s helm for 40 years, and have tremendously enjoyed building the business and working with clients and collectors. I look ahead with great excitement to the opportunities presented by this joining of forces.”

Since their founding in 1880, R.M.. Smythe and Company has developed into one of the world’s premier auction houses, specializing in Antique Stocks and Bonds, Banknotes, Coins, Autographs and Photographs. In 2007 Smythe hosted six major auctions setting record prices for historical autographs, currency, coins, stocks, bonds and antiques. (more…)