On October 16th, 2009, the Gorny & Mosch concluded a successful auction sale week: in the four sales (180-183) roughly 5.700 lots were on offer altogether ranging from the earliest coins from antiquity to modern Euro coinages. The overall result was approximately 4.1 million Euros.* Gorny & Mosch once again asserted its rank as German market leader in ancient and Russian coins. As was to be expected auction sale 183 (Russia) attracted especially wide interest.
Auction sale 183 – Russia
Sale 183 was split into two parts: on Thursday high-quality coins and medals from the Russian tsar era were put up for auction which came from the collections of different suppliers. For Friday the auction of the Russian copper coin collection of the Norwegian Tom Willy Bakken was scheduled in cooperation with Oslo Mynthandel – Bakken personally did the honors and was happy to sign autographs.
The first part of Thursday’s sale proved that demand for rare and well preserved gold coin from the tsar era is continuously high. Prices of 77.000 Euros for a ducat of Peter I of Russia from 1716 or fantastic 132.250 Euros for a five rouble piece of Catherine II of Russia from 1763 testify to the motion the market for collecting Russian coins is still in. Further examples are: a two rouble piece from 1721 brought 34.500 Euros (estimate: 15.000 Euros), an extraordinarily rare rouble made in the Kadashevsky mint in Moscow in 1710 was sold for 14.950 Euros (estimate: 5.000 Euros), its deformed planchet and the related imperfect image notwithstanding. For an equally rare rouble from Saint Petersburg from 1724 (no. 6050), “only” fine to very fine, a buyer paid 9.487,50 Euros (estimate: 2.500 Euros).
On the following morning it became apparent that not only the “big” rarities were destined to reach a high price but the very special coins from the Bakken collection as well.
The experienced collectors realized what rarities they were offered and were willing to pay incredible prices for these treasures. After all, who could knew when – or rather if – a similar piece would show up on the market again. Many collectors and dealers were present in person, others made a bid either in written form or via the telephone. Prices were accordingly.
A kopeck of Peter I of Russia, 1711 MD, caused the first surprise: estimated at only 100 Euros, it reached nothing less than 1.725 Euros. A rare 5 kopeck piece, struck in Avesta in 1764 under Catherine II of Russia as war currency, turned out to be more spectacular. The end price added up to 36.800 Euros (estimate: 25.000 Euros). An extremely rare polushka of Alexander I of Russia from Yekaterinburg from 1804 managed to surpass over its estimate more than a hundred times: from 250 Euros to unbelievable 26.450 Euros.
All in all then, on Friday evening the estimates of auction sale 183 adding up to 950.000 Euros faced a total 1.5 million Euros hammer prices.
* All prices include 15% additional fee.