The Phoenix Rising from the ashes, The George Cassim Collection of Modern Greek Coins and Banknotes
SPINK LONDON | April will see a very exciting pair of numismatic auctions. The George Cassim Collection of Modern Greek Coins and Banknotes will be spread over two days; the 27th being dedicated to the Banknotes portion of his collection, and the 28th to his vast array of Coins. Cassim aspired to the highest standards, constantly upgrading pieces from his collection whenever possible. He had a keen eye for quality, rarity and variety. His collection, affectionately referred to as his "mistress", gave him great pride and joy, and Spink is sure that this passion and zeal will be reflected in the bidding during the auction.
George was a very proud Greek Australian. The son of Greek migrants from the island of Kythera, who introduced him to his heritage. He nurtured a love for Greek history, culture and traditions throughout his life. He loved visiting Greece and formed a strong bond with his Greek relatives. When in Athens, he formed life-long friendships with dealers and collectors who shared his passion for Modern Greek history. The Sunday morning collectors' gathering in Plaka was a highlight. George's odyssey of collecting Modern Greek coins and banknotes began before 1976. He acquired a few pieces from the famous Louloukakis Collection in 1979 (Spink No 5).
In the 1980's and 1990's his quest continued with purchases from major auction houses all over the world. The advent of the internet opened up many new corridors in his journey, as he was able to personalise his relationship with international collectors and dealers. He acquired many prized pieces from them up until 2015.
When Greece finally achieved its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1828, the phoenix was introduced as the monetary unit; its use was short-lived, however, and in 1832 the phoenix was replaced by the drachma, adorned with the image of King Otto of Greece, who reigned as modern Greece's first king from 1832 to 1862. This sale boasts of a very striking silver phoenix produced under John Capodistrias (1828-31), in 1828 at the mint of Aegina (lot 2852).
Lot 2852, estimated: £600-800
There are many stunning coins in this collection produced after the phoenix series, one of which is lot 2934, a half-drachma from the reign of King Otto (1832-62), produced in 1846, it bears the young bare head of the king on the obverse, and the crowned shield in wreath on the reverse. PCGS AU 58, a very rare and highly attractive coin.
Lot 2934, estimated: £4,000-5,000
From the banknotes portion of the sale (on the 27th from 5pm) are some extremely pretty notes, and some very interesting pieces of paper money. However, one of the most important notes in the sale is lot 2601, which may not be much to look at, but is extremely rare. It is a Priviledged Bank of Epiro-Thessaly, 10 drachmai, from the 31st March 1882, serial number Z3-053, VG. It is exceptional because there are no examples listed on 'Track and Price' at time of cataloguing.
Lot 2601, estimated: £3,000 - 4,000
For more Information about the banknotes portion of the sale, please contact Andrew Pattison:
Tel: +44 (0)20 7563 4044 | Email: [email protected]
For more Information about the coins portion of the sale, please contact Richard Bishop:
Tel: +44 (0)20 7563 4053 | Email: [email protected]
Spink is the world's leading auctioneer of stamps, coins, banknotes, medals, bonds & shares, autographs, books and wine. Since its foundation in 1666, the Spink name has become synonymous with tradition, experience and integrity. Holder of royal warrants and numerous records for prices achieved at auction, Spink offers an unparalleled range of services to collectors worldwide. Headquartered in London, with offices in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland, Spink holds over 70 auctions a year. Catalogues can be accessed through the Spink website (www.spink.com) or via the Spink App for iPhone and iPad.