But of course, the world-wide pandemic of Coronavirus – COVID-19 – has changed things in ways that the vast majority of us never thought would happen: now we have an invisible plague that is everywhere, effecting everyone. All manner of manifestations and assemblies were cancelled and put off, including sporting events, movies, plays, exhibitions, lectures, parties and celebrations with more than just a few people in attendance, and, of course, long awaited cultural events such as coin auctions held with a room full of eager bidders.
It certainly would be very disturbing if one of the results of this crisis would be a turning inward of the numismatic community, now lacking actual conventions, coin shows and auctions where collectors, dealers and scholars could meet, socialize and get to know and understand each other, into an online world where each participant is seated before her or his own screen, safe from bacterial or viral infection, but deprived of the kind of human contact and direct exchange of knowledge and points of view that make numismatics the wonderful field that it is. Let’s hope.
But, once again, to Nomos 20, the auction begins with fifteen lots of Celtic coins, ranging from Britain to a rather uncommon, and very attractive 1/4 stater struck by the central European Vindelici (lot 15, est. CHF 1 500). Lots 16 - 292 are Greek coins – from Gaul to Egypt. Among the many exciting pieces are an unpublished 1/4 obol from Etruscan Populonia, found in a “junk box” nearly thirty years ago but never properly identified (lot 17, est. 1 250); an exciting and beautiful tetradrachm of Amphipolis (Lorber 15, lot 90, est. 175 000); a lovely drachm of Pheneos (ex BCD, Gillet, Jameson, Benson and Sir Arthur Evans!!, lot 162, est. 14 000); a very nice group of electrum coins from Kyzikos, including many amusing fractions (lots 170 - 192); and an intriguing silver stater, from an uncertain mint, bearing a dolphin leaping over a rosette (the sun?) with a crescent above (lot 249, est. 2 500 – struck from the same dies as pieces in the ANS and Oxford).
Lots 293 - 399 contain Roman Republican, Imperial and Provincial coins, as well as a few stamps and weights. Lot 317 (est. 10 000) is an aureus of Nerva that does have a few marks and bangs, but also has the distinction of not only having been in the collection of the British Museum, but also in that of the Duc de Blacas, one of the greatest of all 19th century French collectors! Then there is a bronze medallion of Florian (with traces of the original gilding: lot 375, est. 95 000) and, for something completely different, a bronze wine amphora stamp in the name of Jakob the Scribe (lot 396, est. 7 500). Byzantine and related material fill lots 400 - 457, including a hitherto unknown donative silver hexagram of Leo III (lot 425, est. 1 000), and a thirteenth century lead seal showing the Prophet Daniel (lot 457, est. 2 000).
The sale ends with some Crusader and Islamic coins, but also with a surprising (for us) group of early modern gold coins (lots 463 - 476) ending with an extremely rare 4 Ducat of 1653 from Regensburg from the Trausnitz Collection (Lot 476, est. 7 500).
We are sure that you will all find Nomos 20 a sale well-worth waiting for, and we truly hope that it finds you and yours safe and in good health.
Do take the time to go through the 476 lots in this sale, you will be pleased you did!
Download catalogue here