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    Ex. King Umberto II Collection 5 Ducat - Presumed Unique in Private Hands

    Saxe-Jena. Bernhard II gold 5 Ducat 1673-ABC MS63 NGC, Eisleben mint, KM-A16 (Unique, though stated as having ABK initials from the dies of KM14), Fr-2981 (Unique), Merseburger-Unl., Reimmann-Unl., Wilmersdörffer-Unl., Vogel Collection-Unl., Köhler Collection-Unl., Schnee-407 (this coin cited). 17.12gm. Anton Bernard Koburger as mintmaster. Struck from Taler dies (cf. KM13). It's not uncommon for gold multiples to be missing from even the finest-assembled collections, though many of those rarities are trademarks of this very collection. Even further, specimens with this level of provenance are truly outliers, not only for the Paramount Collection, but among privately held coins in general. This offering is likely the sole representative in private hands, (with just one other example known in the Herzogliches Münzkabinett in Weimar), and it has been pedigreed to the collection of King Umberto II of Italy. To say that this Choice Mint State 5 Ducat represents a unique opportunity for even the most refined collectors of the German series would be a serious understatement.

    Lavishly struck on a lustrous flan, the surfaces appear as fresh as the day they were struck. Closer inspection reveals hardly a stray mark of any serious consequence, while the Duke's portrait and reverse arms preserve a lightly stippled, frosty finish. The appearance of doubling is nearly absent from the design motifs, with the impression of the legends along the peripheries producing a gold foil-like quality to the surrounding luster.

    A clear exemplification of baroque-style coin engraving, this second largest denomination produced in Saxe-Jena stands in stark contrast to the lower denomination issues of Bernhard II, which were produced with a relatively low fineness in order to profit the mint, following the minting principles of the second Kipperzeit (a period of rampant inflation and debasement of German coinage). Based on the generally higher standards of engraving and fineness of his talers, Tentzel and Frede have postulated that this particular 5 Ducat was likely produced on the occasion of the imperial enfeoffment of the houses of Gotha and Weimar with the Principalities of Altenburg and Coburg on November 24, 1673.

    Ex. Künker Auction 80 (March 2003, Lot 2656); King Umberto of Italy Collection (Hans Schulman New York Auction, November 1967, Lot 532)

    From the Paramount Collection




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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2021
    25th-27th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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