The Hispanic Society of America has recalled 38,000 coins from the American
Numismatic Society (ANS) which have been on loan for more than half a
century—and appears to be preparing to sell them. The valuable collection
consists of coins minted in Spain, its dependencies, and the powers that
controlled Spain from the 5th century BC until the 20th century. They were
deposited at ANS by the organisation’s president and patron Archer Huntington
(1870-1955), who was also founder of the Hispanic Society. Ute Wartenberg Kagan,
executive director of ANS, estimates that the collection may be worth $30m-$40m,
with the Roman gold and silver and a rare 50 excelentes of Ferdinand V and
Isabella—the world’s largest struck-gold coin—alone worth perhaps $15m—$20m.
Sotheby’s and the London-based coin firm Morton & Eden began creating an
inventory and appraising the Roman, Visigoth and Islamic gold coins last month.
A Hispanic Society spokesman says that the trustees “have decided to explore a
deaccession [but] no decision has been made on going forward”. But The Art
Newspaper has seen a copy of a letter that the Hispanic Society’s director
Mitchell Codding sent to Ms Kagan on 25 January 2008 in which he informs her
that “the board of trustees adopted a resolution to deaccession the loan
collection” with the assistance of Sotheby’s International.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
From The Art Newspaper:
Posted by Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento at 3:32 PM