Auction 67 Highlights

Welcome to Auction 67.

I hope you all enjoyed the Holiday break and now it’s back to regular business. We are returning to our regular format of overlapping weekly sales running from Friday to Sunday.
In this sale we have pulled to together some very important Expeditionary Medals that relate to the South Seas and more particularly Australia.

In 1772, at the urging of Sir Joseph Banks, Captain Cook set out on a Second Voyage to build on his earlier discoveries. Banks sponsored the voyage and had intended to sail with Cook but withdrew in a fit of pique when the British Admiralty removed the cumbersome living quarters that had been installed on the vessels to accommodate his tour party. Banks had already commissioned very handsome commemorative medals in gold, silver and platina to commemorate the departure of the ships the ‘Resolution’ and the ‘Adventure’ and these were put to good use. Two gold medals were struck for himself and King George III whose portrait appeared on the obverse of the medals. The silver medals were available to his friends and members of the Royal Society while the platina (bronze) medals were meant to accompany Cook and be distributed to those he encountered on the voyage. In our sale we have a virtually Uncirculated example of the Silver Medal and an Extremely Fine example of the Bronze Medal still with its suspension loop attached. It may seem a little thing but, like a coin which is diminished by a significant edge bump, the vast majority of the bronze medals are missing this fragile loop and are thus incomplete. The attached loop lifts this medal from extremely rare to exceedingly rare being one of only a handful known.

In 1785 the French King Louis XVI took a direct interest in the voyage of the Compte de la Perouse to the South Pacific and, mimicking the British, commemorative medals were struck with his portrait on the obverse. Only 100 double-sided medals were stuck split between silver and bronze and, like Cook, a further 600 uniface medals were struck in bronze to be distributed on the voyage. These medals presumably went down with the ship when La Boussole and L’Astolabe were shipwrecked on the reefs of Vanikoro with all lives lost. This sale we offer a very rare La Perouse medal in Bronze in about Uncirculated condition.

Not to be outdone the First Consul of France and soon to be Emperor Napoleon appointed Nicholas Baudin to sail to the South Seas in 1800 to survey the West and Southern Coasts of Australia. Napoleon likely had hidden designs on these unsettled parts of Australia for future conquest but to commemorate its supposed scientific purpose medals were struck featuring his Caesar-like portrait. In this sale we have a very rare Bronze Medal in about Extremely Fine condition.

The sale concludes with a very strong selection of world coins from A to Z. There are extremely rare proof sets from Iceland and the Faeroe Islands from the Melbourne Mint Museum Duplicate Sale as well as some single proof record coins of Panama, Peru and Yugoslavia from the same source. There are also some high-grade and well credentialled coins from the renowned Jerome Remick collection.

We hope you find something to interest you.

Smalls Auctions.