Basel (1680-1700) 2 ducats Fr-85

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Heritage sale 3029, lot 30294
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries

This specimen was lot 30294 in Heritage sale 3029 (New York, January 2014), where it sold for $10,575. The catalog description[1] noted, "A Late Baroque Masterpiece Basel. City gold 2 Ducats ND (1680-1700), MS62 NGC. This impressively designed issue has the obverse intricately depicting an elevated view of the city, with the iconic arms of Basel in the radiant clouds above. The imagery on the reverse depicts the popular narrative of the birth of Christ - with three gift-bearing magi greeting the newborn Jesus. It is from this depiction that the present type has been named the Christmas ducat. And a finer one, one will likely not find. The surfaces maintain fully reflective flash in the fields, and soft blushes of tone add to the character. The strike is also remarkably rendered. This coin has great eye appeal. Ex: 'Colonel' E.H.R. Green; Green Estate' Partnership of Eric P Newman/B.G. Johnson." This type rides the border between coin and medal; struck for presentation but doubtless spent when need pressed.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 7 g, .986 fine gold.

Catalog reference: KM-unlisted, Fr-85.


  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 7th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2003.
  • [1]Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Stuart Levine and Bruce Lorich, Heritage World and Ancient Coins Auction 3029, featuring Selections from the Eric P. Newman Collection, Part III, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2013.

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