An George I 1876 Gold 100-Dramchai broke the world record for any Modern Greek coin selling for £216,000 in A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd’s sale of European Coins from the Åke Lindén Collection on Wednesday 7th May 2014.
This exceptional rarity was from the collection of Swedish numismatist Åke Lindén, one of the world’s most prolific coin collectors. It sold in the latest of a calendar of worldwide auctions hosted by Baldwin’s presenting Lindén’s vast and esteemed collection.
Dimitri Loulakakis, Director of World Coins at A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd said: “Baldwin’s are pleased to see the continued successful dispersal of Åke Lindén’s collection, the price this George I 1876 Gold 100-Drachmai achieved illustrates the rigorous attitude Lindén had towards collecting top quality rarities and also the buoyancy of the current European coin market. We are thrilled with the outcome of the sale.”
With a mintage of only 76, the George I 1876 Gold 100-Dramchai is the very rarest of all regular issue coins of Modern Greece. It bears the Order of the Saviour on the reverse below the royal arms, the oldest and highest decoration awarded by the Modern Greek State.
Competitive bidding from buyers online, in the room and on the phone sent the exceptional coin sailing past its pre-sale estimate to sell for £216,000 to an anonymous internet bidder. [Lot 1391]
Also achieving an exceptional price was an 1864 Vittorio Emanuele II, Gold 50-Lire, struck in Torino. It was the rarest one-year coin of the whole Italian Kingdom series, with a mintage of only 103, and was one of the last coins to be minted in The Kingdom of Italy before it joined the Latin Monetary Union (LMU).
A precursor to the Euro, the LMU attempted to unify the countries of Europe under one currency that would be interchangeable across the nations.
Also from the Kingdom of Italy and achieving a large price tag was the smallest coin in the sale. The 1863, Vittorio Emanuele II, silver 20-Centesimi, which was struck in Torino, sold for £90,000 [Lot 1432]. Known in Italian as the “Stemmino” this coin is missing from almost every serious collection as all examples were withdrawn from circulation. Of the seven known survivors, this example was by far the finest in private hands.
Topping the Germany section was the rarest Empire, post 1871, coin, which sold for double its pre-sale estimate of £30,000-40,000. The 1917, Friedrich August III, Silver Proof 3-Mark, was one of only 100 pieces minted and after a fierce bidding battle, finally sold to an internet bidder for £76,800. [Lot 1256]
Elsewhere in the sale coins from Romania achieved excellent prices. Of particular note was an 1868, Carol I Gold Pattern Proof 20-Lei. This, the most celebrated coin of the Romanian series had a mintage of only 100, a portion of which were deposited into the foundations of Prince Carol I’s Peles Castle in 1875, the remainder being distributed to his friends and VIPs. This example was the finest known survivor and sold for £78,000 [Lot 1543]
The Åke Lindén Collection of European Coins was part of Baldwin’s three day May auction calendar which included The Arielle Collection Part Two, The Hemisphere Collection of Gold Sovereigns and Indian Coins from the collections of Dr Paul Stevens and Åke Lindén. The catalogue and results can be found online at www.baldwin.co.uk