1638 Geonese 12 1/2 Doppa Realizes $242,981|
October 24, 2013
Results from Spinks’ Oct. 1 sale of world coins and commemorative medals fulfilled expectations. Before the auction coin specialist Richard Bishop had observed, “This full day sale will be the best auction devoted to world coins held at Spink for many years.” He was right on the money.
Interest had been intense since it was known that a collection of extremely rare gold coins, had come back onto the marketincluding the appearance of the splendid and legendary Geonese dodici doppie e mezza or 12½ doppia of 1638.
Although this coin was included in Volume III of the Corpus of Italian Coins published in 1912 that entry relied on a description from a 19th century sale catalog. With no other example known, experts had concluded that either the piece was unique and had “gone to ground” or the 19th century cataloguers made a mistake and the coin did not exist.
It had indeed gone to ground but had emerged to become Lot 258 in Spink’s sale. Catalogers pondered long and hard over the estimate they should give. Their sole guide was £90,000 fetched by an EF Geonese 10 doppie of 1641 sold by Spink in September 2007. In the end they settled for a conservative £60,000-80,000. They need not have worried. When the hammer fell, the 1638 coin had made an easy £150,000 [USD 242,981].
Also in the sale was a Spanish 100 pesetas of Amadeo I. Cataloguers settled for a £60,000-80,000 estimate that again proved conservative. The price-realized was £120,000 [USD194,389].
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