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Breaking Up Hispanic Society’s Collection: Price List Published for Recent Madrid Sale of 1,004 Coins

Logo for Jesús Vico, S.A., the Madrid dealer/auctioneer selling the ex-Archer Huntington coins

For those of you who have followed my investigative reports on the Hispanic Society of America’s deplorable coin disposal and its aftermath, there’s a new development.

Results are at last online for the first resale-auction, June 26, organized by Jesús Vico, the prominent Madrid coin dealer. Vico was part of the otherwise anonymous consortium that purchased the entire group of 37,895 coins collected by Archer Huntington, founder of the Hispanic Society of America. The HSA sold them in March through Sotheby’s, New York, in a sealed-bid auction. Some 1,004 coins from this trove were offered in the first of three sales announced by Vico.

Ute Wartenberg Kagan, executive director of the American Numismatic Society (ANS), New York, told me she had “heard from a number of people” that the winning bid for the 37,895 coins at
Sotheby’s had been “slightly over $26 million.” This incomparable collection embodied the entire history of Spain, from the 5th
century B.C. to the early 20th century, stamped in gold, silver and

From my quick scan of the price list, it appears that nearly all of the 1,004 coins found buyers, often for amounts that doubled or more than doubled minimum prices. The star lot, the Ten Excelentes, (scroll down) sold for its published minimum, 450,000 €.

No word yet whether the ANS succeeded in acquiring any of the Vico-sold coins. The collection was removed from long-term loan at the ANS by their owner, the HSA, in advance of the Sotheby’s sale. A benefactor of the ANS recently purchased some 10,000 of the coins, including the highly important Visigothic examples, putting them all on long-term loan at that institution.

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