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British Talent & Polish Belzberg at Stack's
April 23, 2008

British Hammered and Classic Polish Coinage at CICF

Back in 1988, Stack's held a spectacular auction of gold coins in conjunction with the annual Chicago International Coin Fair. CICF was co-founded and grown into one of the largest foreign coins shows in the U.S. by Chicago coin dealer Ed Milas. By 1989 Stack's was offering another fine sale at CICF, now owned by Krause Publications and three years after that Ed Milas sold his outstanding collection of Multiple Talers through Spink Zurich.

This week will see the 33rd incarnation of the annual CICF, this time at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare and Stack's will be returning with two excellent offerings to be held at the Doubletree Hotel on Thursday the 24th.

As friend and fellow blogger, George Cuhaj, noted in his posting yesterday, the first catalog will offer the Michael S. Tallent collection of British hammered coinage. This is an outstanding offering of classic British hammered and offers something for every collector in this field. I was most impressed by the vast array of rare Sovereign types, which includes two Henry VIII sovereigns, second and third coinage issues, two Mary I fine sovereigns of thirty shillings, and a James I Rose Ryal of thirty shillings from the second coinage issue, amongst others. In silver coinage the collection offers many varieties of the horseman Crown's, including a good selection of those struck at both the Shrewsbury and Oxford mints. Of particular interest to me was the extensive offering of Civil War issues. Tallent built an excellent collection of Ormonde coins from the Great Rebellion, in which is contained one of the true rarities for the Ireland collector, the Ormonde twopenceor half groat. This is a very tough coin to acquire and the Tallent piece is very attractive. If however, you already have one in your Ireland collection, perhaps you might consider the less attractive, but also quite rare Cork sixpence also offered in this sale.Poland arms.jpg And if both of these are leaving your bored, maybe you will perk up when you learn that this sale also offers an imitation Blacksmith's Halfcrown of the confederate Catholic's at Kilkenny? Three very rare coins offered in consecutive lots just about midway through the sale, which begins at 4pm on Thursday afternoon.

As George also mentioned in his blog posting, the second sale, which begins directly after the close of the Tallent Collection, presents the Polish collection of Alicia and Sid Belzberg. This sale offers a dazzling compilation of Polish and Russian rarities, a list of which would be way too long for me post here. On the other hand I do feel the need to note one particular gold piece of special interest. The Belzberg collection contains an extremely rare example of the 1772 2 Ducat of Princess Isabella Czartoryska. This is the first time I can recall seeing this type offered for public sale. Neither the Standard Catalog of World Coins nor Friedberg have this type listed.

After the Belzberg collection the remainder of the second auction catalog is devoted to various other coins from around the world. There are many medieval coins, ancients, Latin American, Italian and lots of this and that, such as this platinum 25th Anniversary medal of the Sultan of Brunei from 1992. And of course, to tie things up in a nice little package, you should note that in the Tallent catalog Stack's put together a nice little offering of Multiple Talers. I wonder what Mr. Milas would think of that?

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About the Author
Tom Michael has been Krause Publications primary market analyst on more than 80 world and United States coin catalogs produced over the last 20 years. He came to KP in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in history, a master of arts degree in economics and a history of coin collecting stretching back to the 1960s. He began collecting world coins as a child by asking friends and relatives to bring coins back from overseas trips, visiting flea markets and having his mother watch for foreign coins in her register at the local grocery store. Today he works with a dedicated base of over 200 contributors to provide accurate market values for the five-volume Standard Catalog of World Coins series, as well as many specialty catalogs, including Coins & Currency of the Middle East and the fifth edition of Unusual World Coins.

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