On 6 and 7 December Aste Bolaffi will be offering more than 2,500 lots of coins, banknotes and medals at its Turin headquarters, for a base value exceeding 2.8 euros; collectors will be able to preview the catalog (but not on Saturdays and Sundays, when the office is closed).
We highlight some lots, in particular number 404, which brings to mind one of the best-known passages in the history of Greco-Roman civilisation: it is a rare tetradrachm dating back to 36 BC minted by the mint of Antioch in Orontem – in present-day Turkey – after Antony’s return to the East; proclaims the new political alliance between the triumvir and his beloved Cleopatra. The starting price is set at 15,000 euros.
Another peculiarity to underline: lot 885, dated 1858, was minted by the Venice Mint during Austrian rule, with the laureate effigy of Franz Joseph I of Habsburg. Although it is an Italian coin in all respects, it has the legend and value in German, precisely to denote the belonging of Lombardy-Veneto to the Habsburg Empire. Here too the starting price is 15,000 euros.
Lot 933, dating back to 1868, is among the last coins of Pius IX minted by the Papal State. After the Porta Pia breach in 1870, coinage was only resumed in 1929 by Vatican City. The 100 Lire auctioned by Bolaffi have a starting price of 10,000 Euros.
Again 100 lire, but this time from the first king of Italy Vittorio Emanuele II, for lot 1079. Minted in gold in 294 examples in 1878, the last year of the reign of King Galantuomo, they are extremely rare and excellently preserved. They have a starting price of 30,000 euros.
Lot 1161 is the top of this numismatic auction. Another 100 lire, in this case from 1927, minted in only 30 copies for collectors. It features the effigy of King Vittorio Emanuele III on the obverse and an allegory of agricultural Italy with a plow and sheaf of ears of corn on the reverse. Hence the definition 100 lire Aratrice. The starting price is 50,000 euros.