On December 1st, Gadoury will be holding its yearly auction in Monaco, getting the numismatic advent season off to a spectacular start. This year’s offerings are a traditional collector’s dream come true – numismatic rarities of great historical significance at prices that are well within reach.
There are 717 lots coming up for auction on December 1st at 2:00 pm at the Hotel Fairmont / Monaco. And as stunning as the location right on the marina may be, don’t let it distract you from the treasures that lie within – Gadoury’s auction catalogue has something for everyone, appealing to both investors and traditional collectors alike. Some of the coins in this auction were not compiled exclusively by condition, and the resulting assemblage proves a delightful contrast to the streamlined, glossy catalogues so common today that always feature the same well-known, extremely fine coins. Why not take a look for yourself?
Following a few Greek and Celtic coins, there’s an extensive collection of about 400 Roman coins that truly offers something for every aficionado of this field. Among them are numerous very fine and extremely fine aureii at very reasonable estimates, pristine bronze coins of superb toning, rare emperors and their even more rare relatives and imperial and provincial coinage, all of them appealingly preserved and also featuring many rarities and many historically interesting reverses.
The selection of imperatorial coins is particularly noteworthy, featuring such stunners as a rare denarius of Cassius with the tripod on the obverse (22 / FDC / Estimate: 3,300 EUR), an extremely rare bronze coin featuring the portraits of the participants of the second triumvirate from Ephesus (23 / very fine / Estimate: 1,000 EUR) and a denarius of Marcus Antonius with the (exceptionally good) portrait of his brother Lucius Antonius on the reverse (26 / nearly extremely fine / Estimate: 3,800 EUR).
Looking at every piece in this section, you can really understand that the collector’s primary concern was that of attaining completeness of the imperial families. To highlight a few examples, today’s connoisseur has the chance to discover such gems as an extremely rare bronze from Pergamum depicting the portraits of Livia and of the daughter of Augustus, (55 / very fine / Estimate: 1,500 EUR), three bronzes of the third wife of Claudius, Valeria Messalina, and two bronzes of the significantly lesser-known third wife of Nero, Statilia Messalina, as well as two bronze coins of the third wife of Elagabalus, Annia Faustina, whose portrait you barely will find in auction catalogues. With such impressive pieces, it’s almost a given that the ensemble would also feature a very fine hemidrachm from Alexandria in honour of Antinoos (220 / very fine / Estimate: 4,200 EUR).
Connoisseurs are also likely to be quite taken with the reverses of many of the pieces – whether it’s the Praetorian fort on an aureus of Claudius (88 / extremely fine / Estimate: 18,000 EUR), the harbour of Ostia on a sestertius of Nero (122 / very fine / Estimate: 9,000 EUR), the unharnessed mules on the sestertius of Nerva, minted due to a reduction in the duties of the Italian streets (188 / very fine / Estimate: 2,000 EUR) or the two temples with the arriving ship on a medallion of Nicomedia in honour of the young Commodus (281 / nearly extremely fine / Estimate: 5,000 EUR). In short, anyone who’s interested in Roman coins would be well advised to take a very close look at the catalogue.
It’s not just the Roman coins that dazzle however – there are also delightful surprises to be had among the small number of coins from both the Byzantine Empire and the Migration Period. Take, for example, an extremely rare tremissis of the Lombard Desiderius, father-in-law of Charles the Great and Tassilo III of Bavaria, who, through his clumsy politics, prompted Charles to invade Italy to support the pope and annihilate the Lombards (432 / extremely fine/FDC / Estimate: 17,000 EUR).
The second large collection is devoted to Monaco, with 101 coins on offer spanning the years from 1640 to 1974 and prices ranging from 50 all the way up to 10,000 EUR. We’ll just highlight a few pieces here: An extremely rare 12 gros from 1640 (435 / fine/very fine / Estimate: 4,000 EUR), a 1654 half-écu, of which there is only one other known specimen (447 / very fine / Estimate: 10,000 EUR) and a hybrid, heavy-weighted écu stamping from the years 1653/4 (453 / very fine/extemely fine / Estimate: 6,000 EUR).
For anyone with a particular interest in the modern principality coins, Gadoury also has an entire section of piedforts and patterns, like a 5-franc 1945 piedfort of which only 26 pieces exist (520 / FDC / Estimate: 3,000 EUR) or a 1966 illegal pattern of 200 francs in gold in cupro-nickel, of which no more than 3 pieces exist (532 / FDC / 1,000 EUR).
The third part of the auction comprises coins from all over the world, from Afghanistan to the USA, and there are interesting sections to be found here too, in some of the offerings from France, Italy and Russia. Many interesting individual pieces also bear mentioning, such as a 20,000 reis from Brazil (552 / extremely fine / Estimate: 6,000 EUR) or an extremely rare, unnumbered sovereign of the British Queen Victoria from 1863, with 827 below the bust (623 / very fine / Estimate: 6,000 EUR).
There are also some particularly exceptional coins from Savoy: an exceedingly rare, extremely fine gold 5-doppie piece of Charles Emmanuel III from 1755 (657 / extremely fine / Estimate: 25,000 EUR) and a 1773 half-doppia of Victor Amédée, minted in Turin (660 / extremely fine / Estimate: 6,000 EUR).
Whatever your particular area of collecting interest, it definitely pays to order the catalogue or have a look online to see what’s being offered in the various specialty areas. You can order your copy of the catalogue at Éditions Victor Gadoury, 57, rue Grimaldi, 98000 Monaco; Tel: +377 93 25 12 96; Fax: +377 93 50 13 39; email: