The World's #1 Numismatic Dealer
Fructuosum et prosperum novum annum vobis exopto! That's "A
happy and prosperous New Year to our friends" for the
Whatever the language, welcome to the January (so named for Janus,
the two-faced Roman gold who looks to the past and future) 2014
edition of Heritage's Classical Coin News. We have a jam-packed
January coming up, so please give this missive a thorough
New York International Signature Auction,
|Our marquee auction at the
grand old Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York is
overflowing with outstanding material — more than 5,000 lots with a
combined estimate of more than $12.5 million. The auction starts
Sunday, January 5, at 1:00 PM ET. The Ancients section, with more
than 350 lots of outstanding Ancient Greek, Roman, Judean, Oriental
and Byzantine coins, goes on the block in Session 2, scheduled for
Monday, January 6, at 10:00 AM ET. The entire auction can be viewed
online and includes the following highlights:
Lot Viewing will open Friday, January 3, at 11:00 AM in the Sutton
Suite on the 18th floor of the Waldorf Astoria, 301 Park Avenue; viewing
will also be held Saturday through Monday, 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM, and
Tuesday 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. If you have any questions about the
coins in this historic auction, please contact David Michaels at
DMichaels@HA.com / (310) 492-8615 or Sam Spiegel
at SamS@HA.com / (214) 409 1524.
NYINC Internet Only Session, January 20-21
On top of the Signature offering, another 296 Ancient lots will be
offered in our NYINC Signature Internet
Session, slated for January 20-21. Please, whatever you do,
don't pass over this auction! It has some terrific coins, chiefly
an amazing run of Roman Republican coinage, 104 silver denarii
ranging from Good Very Fine to Choice Mint State. Here are a few
selections from this exceptional group:
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January 9 All-Ancients Auction
|The first all-Ancients
offering of AD 2014 comprises 180 individual and group lots,
including many attractive Greek silver coins, Roman Republican and
Imperial denarii, and Judean bronzes. It has a particularly strong
group of Roman Provincial coins from Moesia, many of Septimius
Severus, as well as a robust offering of second and third century
Roman silver denarii. The auction opens for bidding Thursday,
January 2 at 10:00 PM CT and concludes exactly one week later, on
January 9. Highlights include:
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International Numismatic Convention (January 9-12,
Held at the fabled Waldorf Astoria Hotel, 301 Park Avenue in New
York City, the NYINC is by far the most important U.S. coin show of
the year for Ancient and World coins. Accordingly, Heritage will be
well represented by the entire Ancient and World Coins team — Dave
Michaels, Sam Spiegel, Cris Bierrenbach, Warren Tucker, Matt Orsini
and Mark Emory. The bourse opens with a "Professional Preview" day
Thursday, January 9th at 12 noon, for all dealers and
customers who pay a $100 early entrance fee. Regular admission is
$10 for a three-day pass and public hours are Friday and Saturday,
10:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and Sunday 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. More information about the show schedule
can be found here.
The show sprawls over the 18th floor of the hotel;
Heritage's table will be in the main Starlight Ballroom. If you're
serious about Ancient and/or World coins, you owe it to yourself to
attend this fantastic show! Please stop by Heritage's table and
spend some time with Sam, Cris, Warren, Matt, Mark and myself.
Believe me, you will want to check this out-our MCICF auction will be
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Pompeia's Pick: Janus, God of Doorways.
Beginnings. Endings. Choices
|By Lorie Ann
"I'm your best friend, I'm your worst enemy, I'm Janus, God of
Doorways. Beginnings. Endings. Choices."
The anonymous issue
coin is one of the principal coins of the Roman Republic, a
numismatic type that continued well into the period of the Second
Punic War. Associated with doorways and gates, Janus is the god of
beginnings and ends and so gave name to the first month of the
Roman calendar — Januarius — which was a reformation of the
Romulan calendar by Numa Pompilius, the second of the seven
traditional kings of Rome in the 8th Century B.C.E, a period of
time in early Roman history in which religious life was marked by
the predominance of the divinity of Janus.
Depicted with two faces in opposite directions, Janus looks from
the past to the future, a gift bestowed upon him by the god Saturn;
in this composite perspective, he is a god of beginning and
transitions and was the divine inspiration for Numa's Ianus
Geminus, an arched passage at the entrance of the Forum
Boarium, essentially, an entrance to the sacred hearth at the
center of the city and a passage which ritually opened during times
of war. In its interior, sacrifices and vaticinia were held
to forecast the outcome of military deeds. It closed when Roman
arms were put down and the city was at peace — during the Republic,
an extremely rare occurrence. In 29 B.C.E Livy wrote in his Ab
Urbe Condita, a macropaedia of Roman history, that the doors of
the temple had only been closed twice since the reign of Numa: The
first time in 235 B.C.E., after the first Punic war, and the second
time after the battle of Actium in 31 B.C.E
In consideration of the earliest possible dating of this coin, 225
B.C.E., a temple of Janus, said to have been consecrated by the
consul and First Punic War hero Gaius Duilius in 260 B.C.E. after
the Battle of Mylae in the Forum Holitorium
("vegetable-sellers' market-[Latin macellum], might well
have been in the collective memory of those anonymous persons
responsible for issuing struck coinage during the early years of
the Hannibalic War. Since Janus looks both ways simultaneously, the
term Janus-faced is used to describe someone who is duplicitous — a
rare bit of irony not lost on the coin collector or the
One might calculate this coin as the price of Hannibal's greed:
Although Hannibal's forces were defeated on the field at the Battle
of Zama (202 B.C.E.), an end unknown to the anonymous issuer(s) of
this coin, the die was cast for Hannibal's failure early on in the
Second Punic when the Carthaginian Senate refused to support the
general on campaign, a tactic they used on Hannibal's father
Hamilcar Barca during the First Punic War, in which it obstinately
refused aid and reinforcements in the hope that he would somehow
defeat Rome without their having to bankrupt the Carthaginian
treasury. So as Hannibal, who resided for some time in Gades
(modern Cadiz), just beyond the 'Pillars of Hercules' or today's
Gates of Gibraltar, mobilized his forces and prepared to pass
through Spain to begin his invasion of Italy, he moved toward a
series of colossal tactical victories that would earn him undying
fame, but ultimate failure and defeat.
On the 'flip side' of the
coin, the historical narrative culminates in a Roman victory,
symbolized by the quadriga, the original chariot of the
gods. You can bid on this coin in our January 5 - 6 World &
Ancient Coin Auction.
What Happened In Ancient January?
|January 1, 153
BC: Beginning of the Civil Year set.
January 1, AD 193: Helvius Pertinax proclaimed Emperor,
replacing the murdered Commodus.
January 2, AD 69: Legions in Germania province proclaim
Vitellius Emperor in opposition to Galba.
January 3, 106 BC: Future statesman Cicero born.
January 6, 1822: Birthday of pioneering archaeologist and
self-promoter Heinrich Schliemann.
January 7, 49 BC: Senate orders Julius Caesar to disband his
January 10, 49 BC: Caesar leads his army across the Rubicon
into Italy, launching Civil War.
January 11, 29 BC: Octavian closes the doors to the Temple
of Janus, symbolizing the restoration of peace.
January 11, AD 349: Birthday of future Emperor Theodosius I
January 14, 27 BC: Senate bestows the name Augustus on
Octavian and approves his First Constitutional Settlement. His
reign as Emperor dates from here.
January 15, AD 69: Galba and his adoptive son Piso murdered
in the Forum by Praetorians, who then proclaim Otho Emperor.
January 17, AD 395: Emperor Theodosius I the Great dies,
leaving the Empire to be divided between his two incompetent sons
Arcadius and Honorius.
January 19, AD 379: Flavius Theodosius named Emperor of the
East by the Western Emperor Gratian.
January 20, AD 225: Future Emperor Gordian III born.
January 24, AD 41: Emperor Gaius 'Caligula' assassinated;
his uncle Claudius is proclaimed Emperor by the Praetorians.
January 24, AD 76: Future Emperor Hadrian born.
January 26, AD 496: Odovacer, King of Italy, is slain by his
successor, Theodoric the Ostrogoth.
January 27, AD 98: Emperor Nerva dies, leaving the Empire to
his chosen successor Trajan
January 29, 282 BC: Ptolemy II Philadelphus dies in
January 29, AD 133: Future (brief-reigning) Emperor Didius
January 30, 405 BC: Death of the philosopher Sophocles.
January 30, 58 BC: Birthday of future Empress Livia, wife of
Augustus and mother of Tiberius.
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Website Tips: Bid Protection for Live Proxy
|If you've ever placed
Live Proxy bids through Heritage Live in one of our live auctions,
you may have used the Bid Protection option, which will raise your
bid one increment if it is necessary to win the lot.
Now, Bid Protection is available in regular Proxy Bidding through
the Heritage website. For all items in auctions
with a Live component (Signature and Grand Format auctions,
Signature Internet Session, Rare Book Internet auctions), you will
see the Bid Protection option whenever you place a bid from the
item's individual page. To use this feature, just click on the Bid
Protection checkbox when you place your bid, as pictured below.
Bid Protection is only available for auctions with a live
component. It can currently only be added through bids from
individual item pages or from Heritage Live; it is unavailable
through Batch Bidding. More Bid Protection features are coming
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As you can see from our recent track record,
Heritage Ancients is really starting to achieve some amazing
results! If you have any thought of selling your collection, there
is no better time than the present and no better venue than
Heritage! Our rates are highly competitive and we offer top-notch
cataloguing, exceptional photography and production values, an
incomparable database of more than 800,000 potential buyers, and a
matchless promotions/PR department that will make sure
everyone knows about your collection. Please contact Dave
Michaels, Director of Ancient Coins, via email at DMichaels@HA.com or phone at (310)
Until next month!
Veritas et vita,
David S. Michaels
Director of Ancient Coins
1-800-872-6467 ext. 1606
Consign to a Heritage
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Reduced Auction Commissions
When You Resell Your Winnings!
When you win any lot worth with a hammer price of $1,000 or more
(or $2,500 for Art and Nature & Science lots), you will receive
a coupon that entitles you (or your heirs) to re-consign that lot
to Heritage at a reduced seller's commission. Selling through
Heritage is a convenient and hassle free way to maximize your
out why). Maybe you'll need to make room in your collection for
something better, perhaps your collecting tastes will change, or
maybe it will be your heirs that benefit; but be sure to save the
coupon, which could be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars.
- Coins: 0% Seller's Commission for all items $1K or
- Comics: 50% of the usual Seller's Commission for all
items between $1K & $10K, and 0% for items $10K and over.
- All Other Categories: 50% of the usual Seller's
Commission for everything else over $1K ($2,500 for Art &
As the fastest growing American-based
auction house, financially rock-solid Heritage Auctions continues
to grow and seek the best talent in the industry. If you are a
specialist or have strong general collectibles knowledge, we want
to hear from you. These specialists will, in some cases, head new
departments and in others will enhance existing department
expertise. We have positions open at our headquarters in Dallas as
well as at our new state-of-the-art galleries in prime locations in
both Midtown Manhattan and Beverly Hills.
Heritage is seeking to hire the world's best specialists in the
If you are interested and feel you have the qualifications we
seek, please email your resume and salary history to
- Asian Art Specialist
- Classic Cars Specialist
- Coin Buyer
- Decorative Arts & Design Specialist
- European Art Specialist
- Modern & Contemporary Art Specialist: (New York,
- World Coins Director: Hong Kong
We are also seeking to fill the following corporate positions:
If you are interested in applying for one of these Corporate
- Client Data Specialist part-time
- Client Services Representative
- Currency Cataloger
- Currency Consignment Director
- e-Publishing Expert
- Graphic Designer
- Maintenance Assistant
- Shipping Associate
- Web Marketing Specialist
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Banknote Designer Collection Featured at FUN
A rare and important group
of $20, $50 and $100 "Big Head" notes signed by principal
designers, ranging from the portrait engraver to the
letter/script engraver, is expected to sell for $4,000+ to lead
Chief Banknote Designer Jack Ruther's private collection at
Heritage Auctions' Florida United Numismatists Currency Signature
Auction Jan. 8-10 and Jan. 13 in Orlando, Fla.
"It's certainly one of the most unique and historically important
collections we've ever handled," said Dustin Johnston, Director of
Currency Auctions at Heritage. "Mr. Ruther trusts us with a very
important keepsake for future generations and we fully expect
collectors will appreciate this opportunity."
Ruther, the long-time Chief Banknote Designer
for the Bureau of Engraving & Printing, personally supervised
the Bureau's design team and was responsible for the most major
design changes on U.S. Currency since 1929. Although his currency
redesign project was first initiated in the 1980s, the serious work
began in 1992, when the Treasury Department authorized the redesign
of all currency above the $5 note. Final approval of the New
Currency Design prepared by Ruther came in 1995 and the new notes,
colloquially dubbed the "Big Head" series in honor of the revised
portraits, debuted in 1996. With the successful release of the
redesigned Series 1996 $20, $50 and $100 notes, attention then
turned to the modification of the $5 and $10 denominations. Ruther
was again the designer for these notes, the first of which carried
the Series 1999 designation.
The culmination of Jack Ruther's thirty years career at the BEP
came when he was called to design what became known as the "NexGen"
or Next Generation Currency, which debuted with the Series 2004
notes. In addition to added new sophisticated anti-counterfeiting
devices, the Series 2004 notes were the first in a century of U.S.
currency production that featured a multi-color design on both the
front and back. A group of four Fr. 2089-E $20 2004
Federal Reserve Notes containing the signatures of designer V.
Jack Ruther, Thomas Hipschen, who engraved both the portrait as
well as the back vignette, letter/script engraver John Smith, Jr.,
and modeler William Krawczewicz, is expected to bring $3,000+. Two
of the star examples also bear the signature of the BEP's former
director, Thomas Ferguson.
Ruther's holdings are literally one of a kind, as he assembled sets
of each design as they were released, with the notes containing the
autograph signatures of the portrait engravers, the letter/script
engravers, the BEP modelers, BEP directors, and, in some cases,
selected dignitaries associated with the notes such as Secretaries
of the Treasury John Snow and Henry Paulson and Treasurer of the
United States Anna Escobedo Cabral, as well as his own.
All of the notes have been certified and graded by PCGS, with each
bearing the title "From the Banknote Designer Collection." Other
than some Educational Notes signed by designer Thomas Morris and
Treasurer of the United States D.N. Morgan we know of no other U.S.
Currency courtesy autographed by its designer, let alone by the
entire design team.
More information about currency auctions.
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