USD 100000 - 150000
POLAND. Medallic 10 Ducats, 1595. Vilnius Mint. Sigismund III. PCGS Genuine--Tooled, AU Details. Fr-Unlisted; KM-Unlisted; H-C-Unlisted cf. 934; Dutkowski-27 (R8); Srebra/Zlota-Unlisted; Kop-Unlisted. Weight: 34.48 gms. Obverse: Bare bust of Sigismund III facing left; Reverse: Thetis seated at left facing right, holding Neptunes trident; Ceres seated on oxen at right facing Thetis, cornucopia at feet; between: the arms of Sweden, Poland, and Lithuania, all under a single crown.
This magnificent and generous gold issue, straddles the line between coin and medal. Struck in the weight of a 10 Ducats, Dutkowski places this piece in the medals section and assigns it as a Vilnius issue. The date on this issue of 1595 has special significance, being that at the end of 1594 the Kingdom of Sweden became part of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth. Probably struck to mark such a momentous political change, the fantastic reverse alludes to the recent unification by having the respective arms of Sweden, Lithuania, and Poland all under the same crown. This unification lasted only until 1599, though Sigismund III retained the title of king of Sweden on his coinage thereafter.
This particular example was in a Felix Schlessinger sale, from the Frankiewicz Collection, in September of 1930, as lot #185. The coin is plated in that catalog, and Salton also attributes it to a later Christian Zinck Collection. Two years prior to the Schlessinger sale, this issue was in a Sally Rosenberg sale (11/1928) as lot #293 [Incorrectly plated as 292]. Both Rosenberg and Schlessinger were based in Frankfurt, so there seems to be a logical connection between Schlessinger and Rosenberg, though it is mere speculation as to how it ended up into Saltons hands from this pedigree.
As the PCGS encapsulation notes there is some tooling present, at some point in the past there was an attempt to make Sigismunds beard radiant. Some very light wear is present on the mustache of the portrait, and on the borders of the arms on the reverse. These drawbacks should be considered minor when compared to the overall beauty, history, and nature of the piece as a crown jewel. A beautiful light honeycomb tone exists across the surfaces, with plenty of original mint sheen and bloom present. Perhaps the highest pinnacle of the Salton Collections lofty assemblage of Polish gold, this type of piece comes to market perhaps even less than once a generation. Fierce bidding should reign when this stunner crosses the auction block, perhaps far exceeding the bounds of the estimate.
From the Mark and Lottie Salton Collection.
Ex: Christian Zinck Collection.
Ex: Frankiewicz Collection (Schlessinger-9/1930).
Ex: Rosenberg (11/1928).