A classic rarity of Brazilian numismatics, a large, 1812 Joao VI Prince Regent gold ingot of Sabara retaining its original issue certificate, brought $199,750 to lead Heritage Auctions
' $10.6+ million World and Ancient Coins Signature® Auction Sept. 25-Oct. 1 in Long Beach, Calif. The ingot appeared as Part II of the RLM Collection of Brazilian Gold, which offered a collector's choice of important ingots and Portuguese colonial era Brazilian coinage.
"Heritage's growth in the World and Ancient Coin market has a bright future," said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Executive Vice President of International Numismatics. "Long Beach Expo has always been a highlight of our hobby, but this year's results far surpassed our expectations. We remain grateful to our consigners and buyers and look forward to offering many special collections in the next year."
The $10.6+ million total, when combined with the more than $17.5 million realized in Heritage's U.S. Coins Signature Auction and the $7.6+ million realized in its U.S. Currency Signature Auction, both also held as part of the Long Beach Expo, adds up to a $36+ million dollar week for the company. That total represents the highest auction realization that the combined Long Beach events have ever realized.
Among the top performing lots was a famed Burgers Pond, a South African rarity from 1874. From a mintage of just 142, the coin is considered one of the finest examples known to exist and it quickly surpassed its estimate to realize $152,750. A Titus Colosseum' sestertius (struck under the Roman emperor Titus (AD 79-81) to commemorate the opening of the Colosseum) more than doubled its high estimate to sell for $146,875. The rare coin, which depicts the Colosseum on the obverse, was the first example of the type ever sold by Heritage and became the third-most expensive such coin to sell at public auction.
A Danzig ducat from 1547, one of a small handful of examples to be offered at public auction in decades, sold for $135,125 against a $40,000 estimate. A dramatic Chinese Empire gold pattern Kuping Tael from 1906, a rare pattern type featuring a facing dragon on the obverse, brought $114,562 and a South African threepence "tickey" struck in gold, a mysterious coin that was made in 1898 by ZAR entrepreneur Sammy Marks, changed hands for $79,637.
Still retaining sharp design features and deeply mirrored fields, a dazzling 1866 Proof Victoria dollar from Hong Kong sold for $70,500 as did a gold double-daric, struck under Alexander the Great's Babylonian satrap Mazaeus. The extremely rare example is one of four known of this type and now carries the honor as the most expensive one to ever sell at auction.
Rounding out the top lots is an extremely rare stater from Pnytagoras, king of Salamis on Cyprus. The example shows two different versions of the goddess Aphrodite on the obverse and reverse. It sold for $41,125, more than three times more than when it changed hands in 2006. A unique issue from the Mexican mint at Hermosillo, an 1835 Republic Cap and Ray 8 Reales, fetched $47,000.