Highlights of our Autumn Auction (#5)

We are happy to welcome you to our 5th auction, this being a “work of art” - a nicely developed and balanced selection of high quality items covering a selection of different but related subjects: numismatics & exonumia, Judaica, Israeliana, militaria and philately. The sale numbers 661 lots, and there is something for every taste and interest, from single-item displays to multiple-item lots.


The display opens with an attractive selection of over 30 ancient coins, covering Judea, Rome and Greece plus others, and includes a rare Neptune-countermarked 10th Legion coin, an overstruck Nabatean piece and lovely examples of a Thurium stater, a Chersonesos hemidrachm, and an Antiochian tetradrachm. Supplementing these pieces is a series of intriguing replica and fantasy pieces, many unlisted in Hendin, and highlighted by a curious coin depicting “the Spies”. These issues form a segueway to a series of celebrated Paduan forgeries and Krauwinkel imitations, and false Shekels. This display of Biblical-inspired medals is highlighted by an unusual Jesus medal bearing the portrait of Charles V, a rare strike of a Jesus medal (per Hill 2b) and a pair of large and small “conversion medals”, the smaller of them being very rare.


The next segment of our numismatic offering includes almost 70 rare and high-grade Judaic tokens and medals of various fields - community tokens; Synagogue medals; commemorative medals of institutions, events and personalities; medals pertaining to Jewish rituals; and a series of Jewish merchant tokens.


Highlights include a struck 2nd Zionist Congress medal, a Circumcision medal by Aaron Kohn, a Prussian calendar medal by Daniel Loos, an exquisite (and celebrated) token of the Rosenbaum/Hamburger wedding, a ‘feather Jew’ anti-Semitic medal, a token of the Santa Isabel (Argentina) Jewish colony, a Harbin (China) Jewish Music-Drama society token, tokens from the Balta & Sheptivka (Ukraine) Jewish communities, a Mattersdorf Jewish community token, a Prussian Jewish Wilhelm School token, an overstruck Napoleonic medal of the Bordeaux Synagogue, a Bezalel pin from the opening of the Hebrew University, and important medals commemorating Jewish individuals: Salomon and Nathan Rothschild, Mahler, Herzl, Joseph Wertheimer, Dreyfus, Daniel Itzig, Montefiore, Mendelssohn and others. Important medallists include Abramson, Beer, Kormis, Pawlik, Radnitzky, Stiasny and Wertmuth.


Our selection of coins includes a fantastic display of 186 British silver coins arranged into multiple-item lots, plus a series of exquisite Italian 19th and 20th Century silver coins, a rare 1942 issue 5 pfennig coin of the Lodz Ghetto generally considered a trial piece, Krauss-unlisted 18th C. Tunisian hammered gold coins + an intriguing lot of various Islamic coins.

Our militaria display includes over 70 rare badges from Jewish units, the pre-State ‘Yishuv’, Israel and Arabian + world armies. Highlights include an undocumented “Zion” pin with crossed swords which we believe belongs to a post-WWI Jewish veterans organization, an undocumented numbered pin of the Irgun/Etzel, a genuine Jewish Brigade flag patch, an unusual copper Palestine Police hat badge, a rare PP sweetheart pin, a very rare pin of the Palmach’s “mechanized attack battalion”, a pin presumed to be of the Lechi underground, 1948 documents of “occupied south Jerusalem”, a rare early version of the IDF artillery corps emblem (with crossed cannons), a Jordanian Wisam al-Iqdam al-‘Askari order of gallantry, a hat badge of the WWII Belgian Free Forces and a patch of the Belgian Korea Battalion.


Our offering of Israeliana features an array of both exonumic and ephemeral materials: several multiple-item lots of pins related to the Israeli scouts, and pins from political parties, transportation companies and medical organizations. Ephemera includes WWII & 1948 era gas rationing coupons, paper emblems of the 1939 White Paper protests, signatures/handwritten messages of Vera Weitzman, Hugo Bergman, Gerald Ford; childrens’ books - highlighted by the rare “Eshkolot” booklet.


Our display of Judaica covers a rich selection of religious books, Rabbinic letters and signatures, Hassidic items and ephemeral pieces. This section is led by a unique set of 32 pages of lithographed handwritten transcriptions of Rebbi Sholom Dovber Schneersohn’s (“Rashab” of Chabad) sermons (1901), which would form the basis of the published writings in the series "Sefer HaMa'amarim & Sichos"; an original mezuzah parchment from Yeshivat "Etz Hayim", c. 19th to early 20th C.; and a rare triple-Menorah "Shviti", printed on card by Meir Maloul, 1955. Other highlights include a lovely copy of the 1725 edition of Deuteronomy from the ‘Tikun Sofrim’ Pentateuch, featuring an illustrated plate by Picart; Chabad’s “Drushey Chatuna” from the occasion of the Rebbe’s wedding, 1928; Midrash Pliah & the Megilat Yochsin of Kobriner Rebbe Baruch Yosef Sack; “Aspaklariya Ha Meira” ex libris R. Dr. Aharon Neuwirth; “Seder HaDorot HaHadash” of Satmar; Chanukka Gelt issued by the Lubavitcher Rebbe; a rare 1894 Krakow print of "Tzavat Naftali"; a complete & mint ticket for a performance by Cantor Rebbe Josef "Yossele" Rosenblat’s scheduled 2 days after his death; various colored illustrated holiday greeting cards; a unique example of handwritten 'doodles' & images on Marcelle Brunswig’s personal card; significant handwriting & signatures include: R. Leo Jung in a copy of “A Book of Jewish Thoughts for Jewish Sailors and Soldiers”, R. Isser Zalman Meltzer, R. Yehoshua Kaniel, R. Moshe-Zvi Neriah, R. Yaakov Chai Pinto, R. Yechiel Michel Tukachinsky - and much more.

The philatelic offering of this sale is the proverbial giant elephant in the room, drawn from a number of prestigious collections including those of Dr. Yirmiyahu Rimon, Dr. Josef Wallach & Capt. Yaakov Shabtai; various Gold and Large Gold collections; a 50-year old collection of rare British EEF covers & one of the 3 most complete Jerusalem postmark collections in existence, and highlighted by an extraordinary assembly of postal history (of over 100 items) documenting the Arab-Israeli conflict from 1947 to the present time, where every cover is a highlight unto itself. We also present a series of rare WWII postal links between Palestine and the world, highlighted by a unique cover of the “Etz Hayim” Yeshiva to Germany – and returned to sender during the war; other highlights include wartime era covers from Australia, Belgian Congo, Bulgaria, Chile, Ethiopia, Panama, Trinidad + Arab/Middle Eastern locations. We offer a selection of interesting Baghdad overland mail covers, including Palestine-bound mail and undocumented routes; a rare selection of 1948-era mail covering the Israeli interim-period, emergency postal links (SS Kedma, Peltours, Box 18, Gilgil camp, Jewish Agency), early foreign postal links, besieged towns, early postage dues (using “provisional” franks), mail of Arab armies in Palestine – here specifically a potential discovery item, of a Mandate stamp franked cover tied by Jerusalem “rosette” interim postmarks, addressed to Baghdad and very likely delivered. Among our Mandate postal history is an extraordinary mixed EEF/Pictorals franking cover where one of the franks is a double overprinted 1m London II (plate B). Among the Red Cross and POW covers is a rare 1941 correspondence between German occupied Poland & Palestine and a censored Italian Jewish internee cover containing Imperial Censorship Palestine PC39 form w/mimeograph. Our selection of WWI Egyptian EEF covers include a slew of rare short-used and undocumented postmarks. The section also includes rare Jerusalem postmarks, Jewish/Zionist stamps and Jewish Brigade & displaced persons mail. This is our best philatelic offering yet.


Acknowledgements: all things technical - “the French Connection”, Patrick Kohl (st42.fr); German - Rimma Kehr; French - Isaac Pradel Leal; Arabic - Samah Moddather; special graphics work - Batya Eisen; advisor - Hodaya Ben-Arieh; cataloguer - Alex Ben-Arieh. We extend our thanks to our consignors for helping make this a special presentation.


We wish all our customers and visitors a happy Rosh HaShana: this coming year will be the year of Redemption – we encourage as many Jews as possible - secular and religious, on the outer fringes and in the mainstream - to settle in Israel and observe the Shabbat, and to ask for the ‘Mashiach’ at every opportunity. He is coming, but preferably when he is wanted and not when he is needed.