Showing 1-20 of 32 items.
INSIDER 29 | SPECIAL FEATURES | Ninfa, Caetani and Coins
Jan 24 2018

By Esme Howard

The romantic garden of Ninfa, just 65 miles south of Rome, was created by the Caetani family almost one hundred years ago, and lies among the eloquent ruins of a small but affluent medieval town, which in turn grew out of Roman and papal settlements, and passed to the Caetani in the early fourteenth century. Their family history marks every stretch of the Tyrrhenian coastland – from Pisa, Rome, Cisterna, Ninfa, and Sermoneta and on down to Fondi, Gaeta and Naples. In the family history Domus Caietana, the ninth-century Anatolio, Lord of Gaeta, is the first of the Caetani to gain regional prominence.

INSIDER 29 | SPECIAL FEATURES | Some Talk of Alexander
Jan 24 2018

By Jack West-Sherring

Alexander the Great’s victory over the Indian king Porus at the River Hydaspes (326 BC) was celebrated in commemorative Decadrachms known as ‘Porus medallions’. Discovered in Afghanistan in the late 19th century and bequeathed in 1926 to the British Museum, the example known as the ‘Frank medallion’ (see below) features on its obverse a Macedonian cavalryman locked in mortal combat with two Indian warriors astride a large elephant.

Dec 06 2016

Professor Dr. Philippe Taugourdeau was a French geologist who specialised in the study of microfossils. He started collecting coins at a very young age. His first collection focused on the Roman Emperors and the sale of this enabled him to buy his first microscope.  His decision to focus on Indian numismatics came while participating in a geology congress in India in 1977 with his wife who was also a geologist. For more than 25 years after that first visit he built up his collection throu...

The East Harptree Hoard
Nov 28 2016

East Harptree is a small village some 16 miles south-west of Bath and it was the site of the discovery of about 1500 largely mint-condition Roman silver coins all dating from the 4th century which is known as the 'Harptree Hoard'. It was discovered on the land of Mr William Kettlewell of Harptree Court - used as the filming location for Series 3 and 4 ofThe Great British Bake-Off. During the dry summer of 1887 the water supply to the village of East Harptree had run very low and it was decided...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 26/8/14
Aug 26 2014

A Gold 2-Mohur Coin of the East India Company, issued in the name of William IV The 2-Mohur gold coin was one of the first, and certainly the most magnificent, coin issued by the Calcutta mint to bear an effigy of the then British king. Weighing over 23g, and featuring an attractive design it soon became popular as a presentation piece.  So much so, that re-strikes were commissioned right up until 1970, and the original issues, such as this example, are exceedingly scarce.   Altho...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 23/7/14
Jul 23 2014

An extremely fine Solidus of Constantius II, the second son of Constantine the Great, showing a realistic and attractive portrait of the emperor, and on the reverse the seated figures of Rome and Constantinople. The coin was minted at Sirmium, Constantius' home town on the banks of the river Sava. One of the largest and most important cities of the Roman Empire, Sirmium was intended to be the new capital city of the whole Empire until Constantine changed his mind and built his new city of Con...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 16/7/14
Jul 16 2014

A very fine and rare gold Sovereign of Edward VI (1547-53). The young king is shown enthroned, holding sword and sceptre, his boyish features clearly recognisable. On the reverse the Royal Arms are supported by The Lion and The Dragon. The Red Dragon of Cadwaladr was the banner of Henry Tudor when he marched from Wales to defeat Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth.  Henry was not the first English monarch to adopt the Dragon as supporter, but as part of the Crown's persistent campaign...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 9/7/2014
Jul 09 2014

A very attractive gold 'Rider' of James III of Scotland (1460-88). This reign saw the introduction of several new denominations in Scotland, including the 'Rider' and the 'Unicorn'. The Rider was reminiscent of many European gold coinages with a depiction of the ruler, fully armed, galloping on horseback. Unfortunately James' nobles were not impressed, and after a prolonged rebellion they defeated him at the battle of Sauchieburn. The king had been given a magnificent great grey horse, the sw...

Jul 02 2014

A Roman Aureus, struck in Lugdunum in 46-47 A.D. This scarce gold coin of Claudius celebrates his invasion and partial conquest of Britain. The triumphal arch in Rome, dedicated in 51 A.D.,  bore the inscription DE BRITANN and the Emperor himself was depicted on horseback between trophies of arms. The inscription on the arch stated  'He received the surrender of eleven kings of the Britons, defeated without any loss, and first brought barbarian peoples across the ocean into the dom...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 25/6/2014
Jun 25 2014

An extremely fine Sixpence of the young king Edward VI, the only son of Henry VIII. To his left is the Tudor rose and to the right the value is given in Roman numerals. The legend on the reverse, from Psalm 54, translates as 'I have made God my helper', an appropriate motto for a boy king ruling England during the most turbulent time of the English Reformation.  The coin will be offered at auction at Spink in London on 25 June. 

COIN OF THE WEEK - 19/6/14
Jun 19 2014

An attractive 5-Franchi from the small Italian Duchy of Lucca and Piombino, with a double portrait, this one showing Felice Pascuale Baciocchi Levoy and his wife Elisa, the younger sister of Napoleon, who, thanks to her older brother's largess, delighted in the grand title of Anna Maria Elisa Napoleon Baciocchi Levoy, Princesse Française, Princess of Lucca and Piombino, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, and Countess of Compignano.   The coin will be offered at auction at Spink in London on 25 J...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 11/6/2014
Jun 11 2014

This superb detailed portrait of Alexander the Great is on a silver Tetradrachm from the mint of Kaunos in Turkey. The iconic head of Alexander, with god like features and wearing the lion's skin headdress, is forceful and arresting. If you want a portrait of the most famous ruler of the ancient world, this would be a very good choice.   The coin will be offered at auction at Spink in London on 25 June. It is currently available for viewing in our London showroom.   

COIN OF THE WEEK - 4/6/2014
Jun 04 2014

A gold coin of the Gupta king Samudragupta depicting a  4th century horse sacrifice ceremony The early Hindu rulers of India respected the traditional ceremonies passed down to them orally by means of the vedas and the purānas. The Guptas were exemplars of these traditions and it is widely thought that Indian culture and art reached its apogee under their patronage. Attractive as it is, this coin can only be fully appreciated when the rationale behind its choice of subject is...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 28/5/2014
May 28 2014

  Silver Denarius issued by Sextus Pompey, the Commander of the Roman fleet in the Western Mediterranean in the First Century B.C.  After falling out with Octavian and Mark Antony he retreated to Sicily and turned to piracy. With a strong fleet, Pompey was for a time unstoppable, raiding and pillaging up and down the coast of Italy at will. Eventually he was defeated, and was executed on Mark Antony's orders in 35 B.C. The coin will be offered at auction by Spink in London on 26...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 21/5/2014
May 21 2014

  An extremely fine gold Ducat of 1741 from the Swiss city of Bern. The shield shows a bear, the symbol of the city. There is still a bear park in the centre of Bern, the setting for the Mary Plain children's books. The reverse shows the city's Latin motto, dating from the time of the great Religious Wars that followed the Reformation of the 16th century.   The coin will be offered at auction by Spink in London on 26 June 2014. It is currently available for viewing in our London...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 14/5/2014
May 14 2014

  Scotland, James VI, 1567-1625, fourth coinage, Thirty Shillings, 1585, half-length crowned and armoured bust of the young King, rev. Scottish arms crowned, good very fine/  very fine, an attractive portrait.   Son of Mary Queen of Scots, James VI succeeded to the Scottish throne aged 1 in 1567 at a time of political and religious discord.  The Protestant faction took charge of the young king and he was brought as a Protestant.  His rule brought a period of peace...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 7/5/2014
May 07 2014

    Eadred, king of England, 946-55, Penny, south eastern mint, by the moneyer  Burhelm, symmetrical floral device with berries, rev. two line inscription divided by a cross between two anchors, extremely fine,  unique and the first recorded of this type for Eadred, for auction, June 26th 2014.   Eadred, a grandson of Alfred the Great put an end to the Norse kingdom of York and completed the unification of England. The exceptional  ornate design is only recor...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 30/4/2014
Apr 30 2014

  Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, 1653-58, Gold Broad, 1656, laureate head right, rev. crowned arms of the Protectorate, extremely fine, for auction June 26th 2014, a warts and all portrait by Thomas Simon, the finest engraver of the time.   Oliver Cromwell, leader of the victorious Parliamentary armies in the English Civil War, signed the death warrant of Charles I in 1649 and became Lord Protector of England in 1653. Offered the crown in 1657 he turned it down and d...

Coins of the Ancient Silk Road Issued at Chach and Khwarezm (9)
Feb 04 2014

Written by Barbara Wears It is always exciting to see something new. For me, the biggest thrill of collecting is finding that mystery coin, puzzling over its attribution then finally placing it in its historical context. Following the success of the Rhodes Tibet auction, Spink Hong Kong  are offering another one-off collection of intriguing coins, this time from the pre-Islamic Silk Road states of Chach and Khwarezm (Choresm). Khwarezm, Bivarsar (c. late 3rd -4th century AD), Tetradrac...

Important Indian coins to be offered at the March 27th Sale at Spink
Feb 20 2013

Lot 105: Vijayanagara, Krishnadevaraya(1509-30), AV presentation Double-Pagoda, 7.79g, Venkateshwara standing facing under arch ornamented withmakaras,rev.  Devanagari legend sri krishna raya. This coin is unusual firstly because of its weight, double that of a normal pagoda orvarahacoin, and secondly on account of its obverse image. Krishnadevaraya identified strongly with the Vaishnava deity Krishna, and went to some lengths to promote himself as the representative of this god on...