Sunday, August 07, 2011

Prospero Collection

Next year Baldwin's will auction The Prospero Collection. Baldwin's site doesn't yet have the catalog but it does have a 19 page Flash animated brochure featuring many rarities including an Alexander the Great Poros dekadrachm and the unique Abydos gold stater (?) shown here.

If I had time I would “review” the brochure website, which uses a strange Flash viewer with lots of scrolling and zooming. Try it.


Paul Barford said...

For the sake of us who are not coin collectors, can you explain who put this collection together? Why has it "not been added to for twenty years"? They certainly are very pretty.

Ed Snible said...

Presumably “Prospero” is a codename inspired by the character from Shakespeare. Most likely the collector merely values his privacy, a cynic could imagine someone whose fortunes were reversed by the 2008 financial meltdown or the recent revolutions in the Middle East. Perhaps we will see more details in December when the catalog is published; perhaps we will have to wait decades for the codename to be explained.

Many of the coins in the brochure have a provenance listed. The gold coin I chose to illustrate the blog post with is "ex-Kunstfreund"; I don't know of that collection. The Syracusan dekadrachm is from the Nelson Baker Hunt sale (Sotheby's 1991). None of the listed provenances is later than that. Some of the other provenances listed in the brochure are Countess de Behague Collection (1984), R. C. Lockett (Glendening, 1958), Jameson (all published by 1932), Garrett (Bowers, 1980), Arnold Mallinson (Spink, 1984), and Giesecke (I couldn't find his auction but he collected in the 1930s and 1940s).

Dirk Drijver said...

Beautiful collection. Obviously the highlight of the decade.
The Kunstfreund auction was a very important auction held in 1974 by Bank Leu and Munzen & Medaillen and had a total of 253 lots, all ancient Greek coins. The coin you used for your blogpost was listed as nr. 161 and sold for 62.000 Swiss franks (hammerprice).
It will be interesting to see what it will do in todays market.

Anonymous said...

The Abydos unique gold was bought by Joel Malter for an undisclosed collector.