Rare 17th century ‘Battle of Khotyn’ gold coin set to fetch eye-watering 1 million USD at auction
A rare 17th century gold coin from the reign of King Sigismund III is set to fetch a whopping 1 million US dollars when it goes up for auction in New York next month.
Described by auction house Stacks & Bowers as ‘unique’, the 80 Ducats coin is thought to have been minted at the Royal Mint in Bydgoszcz to commemorate the Polish victory at the Battle of Khotyn in 1621.
On the front side it features the armoured bust of King Sigismund III without his crown, wearing a shoulder plate with a lion’s head on the front, whilst the reverse features the coat of arms of the Republic of Poland.
Due to be a highlight of the auction at leading numismatics auction house Stack's Bowers Galleries’ New York in January, the coin has a pre-sale estimate of between US$ 300,000 US$ 600,000, but is expected to fetch a much higher sum.
Brian Kendrella, president of Stack’s Bowers said: “We think the 80 Ducats coin is unique. We are not familiar with other examples.
“Some collectors may have one, but none has turned up in the past 100 years or so…It has a decent chance to break seven figures.”
Describing the 80 Ducats coin, the auction house said: “This exceptional beauty is among the finest pieces ever created and reaches into the metaphysical form of beauty where words can scarcely describe the grandeur.
“This medallic coin was likely struck to commemorate the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's claimed victory over the Ottoman Empire at the battle of Khotyn in 1621, as the date is featured 3 times on the design.
“While the battle was far from decisive, it was the first time in which the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's army had stopped further expansion by the Ottomans”.
According to the auction house, the coin was engraved by a ‘master engraver’ of the time, Samuel Amman and there is a possibility that the coin was commemorative, ‘as their extreme rarity makes it inconceivable that they were ever meant to circulate’.
The lot description also details that the coin was part of the private collection of Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, a Polish polymath, who is known today for his contributions to literature and his work as a statesman.
The coin will be auctioned at a sale held between the 14th-20th January, as part of a special auction to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the New York International Numismatic Convention.