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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Heritage steals the show at Chicago ANA

Ancients:Greek, Ancients: SICILY. Syracuse. Time of Dionysius I (405-367 BC). ARdecadrachm (33mm, 43.30 gm, 6h). ...     China:Republic of China, China: Republic of China. Yuan Shih-kai gold Pattern 10 Dollars1916 with L. GIORGI MS63 NGC,...

Syracuse Decadrachm                       Giorgi Pattern 10 Dollars MS63 NGC
in the Style of Euainetos                       Sold for: $282,000.00
NGC Choice AU? 5/5 - 5/5,
Fine Style.           
Sold for: $340,750.00 (includes BP

 Heritage Auctions stole the show at this year's Chicago ANA with a Platinum Night Auction devoted to High Value Ancients and World coins.  It was a relatively small auction with only 412 lots, but most were of very high quality.  

The Ancients section with anchored by a beautiful Dekadrachm in the style of Euainetos that was quite nearly perfectly centered and preserved (above.)  An NGC Gem Mint gold stater of Eukratides sold for $141,000:

Ancients:Greek, Ancients: GRECO-BACTRIAN KINGDOM. Eucratides I the Great (ca.171-145 BC). AV stater (20mm, 8.46 gm, 11h). ... while a beautiful aureus of Augustus though only in NGC XF condition, sold for $44,000, proving that American bidders are indeed able to see beyond the grade to some extent:Ancients:Roman Republic, Ancients: Octavian, as sole Imperator (31-27 BC). AV aureus (22mm,7.96 gm, 1h)....Ancients:Roman Republic, Ancients: Octavian, as sole Imperator (31-27 BC). AV aureus (22mm,7.96 gm, 1h).....  The Chinese section was filled with rarities that routinely sold in the 100,000 dollar range.

Meanwhile, out on the floor the action was once again lackluster.  With most top dealers saving their best material for auction, the selections offered were thin.  And many top dealers have stopped setting up altogether.  Noticeably absent were CNG, Freeman and Sear, Amphora, and it is to be feared that with dealers like John Kern sellng his collections at Heritage, they'll also be soon be absent from the large US shows.

On the brighter side, the auctions are drawing in ever widening circles of collector/investors as is clear from the auction prices realized.  Top material which is even thinner than most participants realize is being bid up to higher and higher levels with each successive auction season.

And for those who fear a bubble forming, consider that over in the US market Lincoln Pennies are still selling for greater prices than many of these gold Greek and Roman rarities.  And then compare the ancient art market to the modern and post-modern art markets and you realize that the ancients markets can continue to appreciate at tremendous rates before even beginning to attain commensurate values. 

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