medal and ingot
1460 MEHMED THE CONQUEROR
The Byzantine Empire had lost all its splendor, but Constantinople was still powerful. Wonderfully situated to control the trade routes, the city could expect to retain the support of Genoa and Venice.
In 1453, Sultan Mehmed II is 21 years old. His capital is Edirne (Adrianople) in European Turkey. He knows he can win the big city. His daring frightens those around him, but he is a very good strategist. The capture of Constantinople is one of the important dates in history.
Constantinople was sacked and emptied of its inhabitants, and immediately repopulated by the Sultan. It became the capital of the Ottoman Empire.
Admirer of Alexander the Great, Mehmed was impregnated with Western culture. His bronze medal made around 1460 is inspired by Italian medals, whose development was still very new.
Seen in profile and wearing a beautiful turban, the Sultan is young. No other document is showing his image at the time of his greatest glory, and a single specimen of this medal is known.
This piece with exceptional historic interest is estimated £ 300K, for sale by Baldwin's in London on April 25, lot 129 here linked on Sixbid.
1554 Gold Medal for Bloody Mary
2009 SOLD 276 K£ including premium
The daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, who received the best education of her time, had been promised for marriage to princes of Spain and France but was thrown out of court and declared illegitimate when her mother was repudiated.
The reign of her half-brother Edward VI added to the chaos. Driven by the Spanish Catholics, Mary succeeded in 1553 to Edward and the Protestants opposed her with the anti-queen Jane Gray.
The new Queen was married in 1554 to the future King Philip II of Spain, son of the Emperor Charles V. On this occasion, Philip commissioned Jacopo da Trezzo with a medal bearing the portrait of her wife. Edited by the end of that year, it is a superb gold medal 68 mm in diameter. We see the face already exhausted by the ordeal of this woman who thought until her death in 1558, aged 42 years, that she could become a mother. This image is shared by News-Antique. The reverse shows various symbols of peace and justice, at the same time as the religious persecutions increased in intensity.
Two pieces are known in gold. One is in the British Museum. The other, sold 243 K £ by Morton and Eden in 2005, comes back on December 9 in the same auction house in London with an estimate of 200 K £.
POST SALE COMMENT
Very good result, perhaps the highest price recorded for a Renaissance medal: 276 K £ including premium. The catalog stated that the gold edition had probably been made exclusively for members of the royal family. The dignitaries were relegated to a silver medal.
The result is not yet available on the website of the auction house, but they published a sale report on CoinLink.
1622 THE GOLDEN CHAIN OF THE LOST GALLEON
2009 SOLD 115 K$ INCLUDING PREMIUM
In 1622, trade was flourishing between Spain and the Spanish West Indies, but the waters of the Florida Keys are too dangerous for navigation. On 6 September, the galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha sank, precipitated by a hurricane on a coral reef near Key West. It was carrying copper, silver, tobacco, jewelry, indigo and several tons of gold and silver.
The same year (or about it), another galleon, Santa Margarita, knows the same fate.
Mel Fisher, the treasure hunter who discovered in 1985 the sinking location of the Nuestra Señora de Atocha, opened a museum in his name in the Florida Keys.
After being loaned to the museum, a money chain taken from the Santa Margarita is estimated at $ 75 K in the sale of Heritage at Long Beach on May 29. It is a chain of 407 removable links of pure gold, forming a line of more than three meters and weighing nearly 1800 grams.
The purpose of this easy to divide object was certainly to make trade with tribes that did not know the currency. No other copy is larger than this one. That makes sense: only a catastrophic event, like a wreck, could maintain such a piece designed to be dismantled.
POST SALE COMMENT
This lot was particularly interesting for the studies on this network because the only asset to overcome its low estimate was cultural: how we imagine its use.
I am very happy with the result: K $ 115 including premium.
FROM 1783 AUGUSTIN DUPRE FROM EAGLE TO MARIANNE
2014 SOLD 350 K$ INCLUDING PREMIUM
On April 2 in New York, Bonhams sells as a single lot a large archive made throughout his career by Augustin Dupré, and which had never been published.
Dupré was one of the best medalists of his time, responding to the request to express political and social concepts by strong allegorical figures. He had the chance to attract the attention of Benjamin Franklin, Ambassador of USA in France, always careful to find the best skills for promoting the republican virtues.
Made in 1783 on commission for Franklin, the medallion Libertas Americana was a success for Dupré who realized afterwards many projects for the most famous American patrons including Jefferson. A drawing included in the archive even suggests that Dupré worked for the iconographic definition of the American eagle (which does not mean that he had a prominent role for it).
The French Revolution was a career opportunity for Dupré, master of the symbolism. He was appointed Graveur général des monnaies in 1791, just in time to design the Louis of the Convention. The holder of this important position was responsible for defining the official figures of the coinage and to monitor the implementation of the tools for use in the factories dispersed on the French territory.
When the decimal currency system was introduced in France, it was left to Dupré to design the franc and its divisions in 1795, which he did with such a success that his Hercules and Marianne sustainably influenced the iconography of the French coins.
The archive is estimated $ 300K, lot 1000 of the catalog. It includes manuscripts led by important prescriptive letters by Jefferson, drawings and sketches, uniface trials on metal. This set is for the historians an important addition to the documents kept by the Archives Nationales Françaises.
POST SALE COMMENT
This important lot of archive was sold for $ 350K including premium.
1815 the medal of lake champlain
2017 sold for € 200K before fees
Two years later the failure of the British counter-offensive on Lake Champlain was one of the last skirmishes between two ill-trained and ill-equipped armies. The battle of Plattsburgh was won by the Americans thanks to a more skillful strategy from their officers, fleet captain Thomas Macdonough and brigadier general Alexander Macomb on land. Macomb had used the tactics of abattis to trap a British army much superior in number.
After this great achievement in a decisive battle Macomb was awarded with the Congressional Gold Medal by a resolution from the US Congress dated November 3, 1814, two weeks after the similar reward to Macdonough. This medal is the highest civilian honor in the United States.
The medal in its original presentation holder is estimated € 150K for sale by Künker in Berlin on February 2, lot 214. The lot includes a handwritten letter from the US Secretary of War dated May 26, 1815 informing Macomb of his promotion to the rank of major general and of the imminent execution of his gold medal. Here is the link to the website of the auction house.
The 64.7 mm diameter gold medal executed by the US Mint and signed by M. Furst shows on the obverse the bust in uniform of Macomb facing the right and on the reverse a mixed scene summarizing the land and naval action of the battle of Plattsburgh. The images are shared by Wikimedia :
1832 AN INGOT AND ITS GUIA
2011 SOLD 220 K$ INCLUDING PREMIUM
2013 SOLD 188 K$ INCLUDING PREMIUM
On October 25, 2011, Daniel Frank Sedwick, specialist auctioneer of the treasures from shipwrecks, sold $ 220K including premium a Brazilian ingot. This piece is relisted at auction on January 6 in New York, this time by Heritage with an estimate of $ 150K. Here is the link to the new catalog.
Fifteen months ago, I introduced this lot as follows:
Ancient ingots are rare due to their usual fate of being melted. One of them has a still much rarer feature: it is accompanied by the certificate issued at its creation.
This is a Brazilian ingot guaranteed at 1.5 ounces (about 40 grams). The certificate, which bears in Brazil the name of "guia", is in poor condition but it is complete.
It is better to define it as a gold bar instead of ingot. Indeed, Brazil used these pieces as currency between 1778 and 1833. The specimen for sale dates from the end of this period, in 1832, during the minority of the Emperor Pedro II.
POST SALE COMMENT
The Brazilian gold piece was sold this time $ 188K including premium, within the range of estimates defined by Heritage.
1857 the treasure of the ss central america
2017 sold for $ 560k including premium
The gold is carried by boat to New York via Panama. In September 1857 the sinking of the SS Central America caught in a hurricane off the coast of Carolina with a load of 9.1 tons generates a catastrophic gold shortage.
The assayers were working in discretion and their companies were often short-lived. The exploration of the wreck after 1986 brought unprecedented information about their achievements.
Three assayers dominate the treasure of the SS Central America. The top two are Kellogg & Humbert and Harris, Marchand. Also known for his creations of coins, Augustus Humbert had previously been involved in the creation of the official administration, the US Assay Office of San Francisco. A brick valued at $ 17,433.57 by Kellogg and Humbert was sold for $ 8M in private sale in 2001.
In addition to weight, purity is an essential feature that demonstrates the expertise of the assayer. An ingot valued at $ 3,389.06 by Harris, Marchand from a weight of 174.04 ounces and a sensational purity of .942 was sold for $ 900K including premium by Stack's Bowers on August 9, 2012.
The operation of the third assayer, Justh and Hunter, was very brief, from 1855 to 1858. With a very limited prior experience in metallurgy, they had succeeded in obtaining industrially one of the best purities by importing a Parisian process with hot gas.
On January 5 in Fort Lauderdale, Heritage sells five ingots recovered from the SS Central America. The most important are an ingot of 327.97 ounces and fineness .909 valued at $ 6162.78 by Justh and Hunter, lot 6146, and an ingot of 152.96 ounces and fineness .886 valued at $ 2801.49 by Kellogg and Humbert, lot 6148.
Also by Justh and Hunter, an ingot of 179.50 ounces .886 fine of unusual proportions 124 x 51 x 47 mm offered as lot 6145 retains significant iron incrustations from the rusted hull of the wreck.
RESULTS INCLUDING PREMIUM :
Lot 6146 (Justh and Hunter, tweeted below) : $ 560K
Lot 6148 (Kellogg and Humbert, tweeted below) : $294K
Lot 6145 (Justh and Hunter) : $ 376K
1857 GOLD RESCUED FROM WATER
2010 SOLD 172 K$ INCLUDING PREMIUM
In the mid-nineteenth century, gold plays an outstanding role in the history of the United States. The key year for the gold rush in California is 1849. Once the chips out of the bags of miners, it is melted into ingots.
The ingot was not designed to be retained. Fortunately for collectors, disasters have preserved some specimens.
On February 5 in Long Beach, California, Heritage sells a copy which sank
in 1857 with the SS Central America en route to New York. It measures 42 x 112 x 20 mm, which is an important size for this type of object, and it is estimated $ 150K.
The four characteristics of an ingot are marked on its upper surface: weight
(55.05 oz), purity (graded 875), financial value ($ 995.73)
and the name of the office of " assayers ", in the terminology of the time, which guaranteed all of that: Harris Marchand from Sacramento. It also includes, of course, a serial number.
It is believed that 13 to 15 tons of gold had been lost with the SS Central America. The amount recovered in 1987 was estimated at between 100 M$ and 150 M$. An ingot of 80 pounds of that provenance was sold $ 8 million in a private sale in 2001. It had been produced by a main competitor to Harris Marchand: the assayer Kellogg & Humbert from San Francisco.
Release shared by the auction house (this lot not illustrated but linked).
SS Central America article in Wikipedia.
POST SALE COMMENT
Same for ingots as for coins, the price estimates of Heritage Auction Galleries are reliable. This lot was the top among four gold bars highlighted in this sale. It has been sold 172 K $ including premium.
1858 the bengal horse artillery
2017 sold for £ 290k including premium
The Indian Mutiny is triggered on May 10, 1857. It is a civil war complicated by the impossibility of differentiating friends and enemies who wear the same uniform. Major Henry 'Harry' Tombs, in charge of a troop of the Bengal horse artillery, is immediately involved in the field.
Tombs is one of those exemplary soldiers whose old armies so badly needed. Impeccable in his handsome bearing, he will display an unstoppable bravery and a cold lucidity of decision in action throughout his career that he will finish in the rank of Major General.
The Victoria Cross rewards his heroism in a defensive action on July 9, 1857 during the siege of Delhi. The rebels attack the camp, so sneakily that they cheat the infantry picket. The Second Lieutenant Hills of the horse artillery remains alone in resisting the enemy. He is ridden down and has no chance to survive the hand-to-hand combat. In heavy rain Tombs hurries out of the mess tent, takes a revolver and a sword and twice saves his subordinate.
The camp had resisted. In his report Tombs misses to tell his own exploits. In admiration, the lieutenant-colonel re-establishes in all its details the heroic truth and obtains the Victoria Cross for Tombs and Hills.
“for besides being an "Adonis," he was clever, fascinating, and recklessly brave” Major General Sir Henry Tombs, Victoria Cross. Read his story at https://t.co/BVEjF9OxHC Lot 1 of the 6-7 December Medal auction #warmedals #warstories #warhero #artillery #bengalhorseartillery pic.twitter.com/yj7XtouKSM— Dix Noonan Webb (@DixNoonanWebb) November 30, 2017
1922 transition from atomic to nuclear physics
By studying with Rutherford the transmutation of radioactive elements, Frederick Soddy set out the theory of isotopes in 1913. In the previous year J.J. Thomson seconded by Aston had separated two beams of neon atoms by deflection in an electro-magnetic field.
After the war, Aston can finally continue his work. He correctly assumes that the two populations of neon atoms are isotopes. More accurate measurements are needed to go further. Aston improves the mass spectrograph in 1919 by focusing the electromagnetic beam. He starts a systematic study of the chemical elements and discovers more than 200 non-radioactive isotopes.
Considering that a Nobel jury appreciates the experimentation, the award to Aston after only 3 years of personal work is highly deserved. His measurements with an unprecedented accuracy in that field led to assess the relative mass of the atoms on a scale centered on the value 16 for oxygen and to know the proportion of natural isotopes for all elements.
The results of Aston are irrefutable and conclusive. In 1920, he demonstrates the whole number rule. The arithmetic falls every time to an integer, solving one of the mysteries of chemistry: the atomic weight of an element is not an integer because it results from a mixing of isotopes, each of them matching a whole number.
Aston still manages to improve the accuracy of his measurements and discovers small variations around 1% from the integers. With a remarkable insight, he assumes the existence of forces ensuring the stability of the nucleus and the duality between energy and matter. This achievement opens the way for the nuclear physics.
In 1932, Chadwick discovers the neutron, an electrically neutral particle slightly heavier than the proton, fully explaining the deviations observed by Aston.
A large lot of memories around Aston's scientific work including his Nobel medal and diploma is estimated £ 200K for sale by Bonhams in London on June 15, lot 112. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
A similarly constituted lot including the Nobel medal and diploma awarded to Chadwick in physics in 1935 was sold for $ 330K including premium by Sotheby's on June 3, 2014.
1925 X-Ray Spectroscopy
On July 9, 2018, Sotheby's passed a lot constituted by the medals and diplomas of both physicists. I introduced their work as follows before the sale. Kai Siegbahn's medal and diploma are not included in the next RR sale.
The suite of scientific works rewarded by the Nobel Prizes provides an excellent historical vision of the most promising openings brought by the discoveries. The Nobel Prize in Physics highlights the cathodic rays twice, in 1901 and 1905, followed by X-ray spectroscopy in 1914 and 1917 and X-ray crystallography in 1915.
Henry Moseley, killed on the field of honor in 1915 at the age of 27, did not get the Nobel Prize. He would have deserved it by the importance and variety of his contributions including the empirical law connecting the X-spectrum of an element to its atomic number.
From 1914 Manne Siegbahn studied X-ray spectroscopy with Rydberg at Lund University. A brilliant engineer, he greatly improved the resolution of the measurements, resulting in a classification and mapping of the Moseley spectra. In 1922 he became a professor at the University of Uppsala. He published his results in 1923 under the title Spektroskopie der Röntgenstrahlen.
In 1924 the Nobel Committee failed to appoint a laureate in physics. In 1925 this prize is awarded retroactively to Siegbahn.
Kai Siegbahn followed in the steps of his father. Using the photoelectric emission, he obtained high precision measurements of the energy levels in the atoms. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1981 with two specialists in laser spectroscopy.
1936 nobel prize in a balloon
A young Austrian scientist named Victor Franz Hess rightly considers that these experiments are not sufficient. In 1912 he uses a free balloon to carry out measurements at higher altitudes. At 5300 meters, the signal had become twice as intense as on the ground.
Hess knows that his intuition was correct : the radioactivity at high altitudes comes from outer space, and when coming down it is attenuated by the dense layers of the lower atmosphere. This irrefutable experiment is improved by Hess himself who demonstrates that his result remains unchanged at night and during an eclipse.
Around Millikan the physicists are now convinced that new particles of various mass and charge are still to be discovered. Millikan himself coins the wording Cosmic rays for this new family of physical objects. The teams perfect their experiments in the labs : in 1932 Carl David Anderson working for Millikan identifies the positron, a particle of same mass as the electron but of opposite charge.
Millikan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1923 for his measurement of the charge of the electron which is one of the most fundamental bases of modern physics and for his work on the photoelectric effect. Hess and Anderson shared the same award in 1936.
The Nobel medal and diploma of VF Hess, offered as usual in one lot, are estimated $ 300K for sale by Bonhams on June 7 in New York, lot 182. Let us remind that the Nobel medal and diploma attributed to James Chadwick in 1935 for the discovery of the neutron were sold for $ 330K including premium by Sotheby's on June 3, 2014.
1944 Three Days in Normandy
2017 SOLD for CAD $ 660K including premium
For this battle of tanks Currie has with him 75 soldiers of his reconnaissance squadron of the Canadian army and 55 Canadian infantry men. After three days of intense fighting the village is taken and the Germans surrender.
Through his intelligence of action and his personal involvement Currie was the Leonidas of this important battle. His timidity was transformed into an unfailing heroism during these three days without any rest. He will report that he only had one fear : "the possibility that I might not measure up to that which is asked of me". He received the Victoria Cross from the hands of the King on November 30, 1944.
The group of 9 medals of Major (later Lieutenant-Colonel) Currie including his Victoria Cross will be sold on September 27 by DNW (Dix Noonan Webb). The VC requires an export permit to leave Canada and the sale will be made in London UK in Canadian dollars. The group is estimated $ CAD 500K, lot 495. Here is the link to the press release.
On July 28, 2011, the group of medals of an Australian soldier also including a Victoria Cross was sold for A $ 1.16M including premium by Noble Numismatics. Also from the second world war the group of medals including the George Cross posthumously awarded to Violette Szabo was sold for £ 310K including premium by DNW on July 22, 2015.
1944 radioactive tracers
In the following year de Hevesy met Niels Bohr in Manchester. Bohr's new conceptions about the atomic model led to the separation in 1923 by Coster and de Hevesy of hafnium from zirconium. Hafnium was the last non-radioactive element to be discovered, filling a miss in Mendeleev's periodic law.
Also around 1923 de Hevesy began to use radioactive tracers for the study of chemical reactions. His analysis of the proportions of stable elements in beans paves the way for medical radio-chemistry. The Nobel Prize in chemistry was reserved for him in 1943 for this work before being formally awarded in the following year.
On November 23 in London, Morton and Eden sell as lot 77 four medals received by de Hevesy, including the Nobel Medal dated 1944 and two other rare and prestigious awards : his 1949 Copley Medal attributed by the Royal Society and his 1958 Atoms for Peace medal. This set is estimated £ 120K. Here are the links to the website of the auction house and to the release shared by Artdaily.
De Hevesy spent most of his career at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. In 1940 the Germans invaded Denmark and it was then forbidden to own gold in that country. De Hevesy dissolves in aqua regia the Nobel medals of von Laue and Franck that were stored in the Institute. Once peace is restored, he regenerates the gold and sends it to the Nobel Committee which re-strikes the two medals and returns them in 1952 to their original laureates.
1950 THE SOUTHERN ACCENT
In 1949, the Nobel committee had not been able to decide: can they award the prize for literature to William Faulkner? The author is odd and alcoholic. But their role is to devote to the glory of the greatest. On the following year, the vacant price of 1949 is attributed to Faulkner.
On June 11 in New York, Sotheby's sells a group of archives retrieved by Faulkner's family. The Nobel medal and diploma are presented as a single lot along with the draft of his acceptance speech.
The catalog is convincing on the importance of this draft, and includes several stories about the unconventional attitude of the recipient. This lot unique of its kind is offered with a very open estimate: $ 500K to 1M. Here is the link to the catalog.
The writer of the Mississippi was especially passionate about his own quest to express the deepest feelings of the people of the South. His work reached a clear and authentic approach on the human condition, especially welcomed in the post-war years of doubt, and he absolutely deserved the Nobel honors.
He immediately accepted the price but tried to waive the ceremony. He finally agreed for pleasing his daughter Jill, who accompanied him and helped him to rent a suit at their stop in New York. His speech was long reworked. He gradually removed social criticism and negative thoughts for expressing an optimistic humanism.
When the great day came, he mumbled his speech in an inaudible voice with a terrible Southern accent. It was not until the next day when, reading the written version, the participants appreciated the importance of this text.
Disoriented by this representation, Faulkner accumulated the blunders. The day before the ceremony, the draft of the speech was found in a waste basket, and at the time of his departure from Stockholm an agent in charge to help him retrieved after a difficult search the Nobel medal hidden in a palm pot.
1953 Microscopy of the Transparent
Its inventor Frits Zernike was studying since 1930 at the University of Groningen the modifications of spectral lines by diffraction gratings. He observed that the image errors in the concave networks are due to a phase shift of the diffracted rays.
Zernike had the idea of visually revealing that loss of coherence by producing an interference with a reference beam. He published in 1933 in a congress its application to microscopy. Nobody was convinced.
During the war Nazi scientists endeavored to exploit all inventions that could bring them some technological advance. They finally understood the practical interest of the concept proposed by the Dutch physicist. Commissioned by the German power, the Zeiss company manufactured from 1941 this phase contrast microscope which will become after the war an indispensable instrument for the microbiologists all over the world.
The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded to Zernike in 1953. His medal is estimated $ 100K for sale by Bonhams in New York on December 6, lot 98.
1956 THE SYNTHESIS OF WATER
2017 SOLD FOR $ 128K INCLUDING PREMIUM
In 1934 the Soviet physicist Nikolay Semenov manages to quantify the chain reaction. This kinetics is studied independently by the English chemist C.N. Hinshelwood from the University of Oxford who applies it to the synthesis of water.
The principles of kinetic chemistry go further than the study of explosions. Hinshelwood himself applied them to bacterial cell biology from 1946. He was knighted in 1948.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Semenov and Hinshelwood in 1956. Hinshelwood died unmarried in 1967 and his Nobel medal surfaced shortly afterward on the market. It is estimated $ 200K for sale by Julien's in Los Angeles on November 17, lot 162.
1959 The Nobel Prize of Salvatore Quasimodo
2015 SOLD for € 100K before fees
His passion for lyric poetry occupies all his life. He is a poet, translator, compiler of anthologies, literary critic, lecturer. His mastery of ancient languages opens his creation of a hermetic language accompanied by fiery outbursts. Openly anti-Fascist, he does not neglect the life of his time.
The Nobel prize for literature is awarded to Quasimodo in 1959. He is the fourth Italian and second Sicilian to receive this recognition. The jury appreciated that beyond the classic influence the poet expressed the torment of modern life, without neglecting the mysteries of death and religion.
The Nobel medal and diploma of Salvatore Quasimodo are sold in a single lot by Aste Bolaffi in Turin on December 2, lot 401 here linked in the Invaluable bidding platform. Here is the link to the auction house's website.
The lower estimate at a very reasonable € 100K enables to predict that it will be the first successful sale of a Nobel medal in literature. On June 11, 2013, the medal of William Faulkner went unsold at Sotheby's with a lower estimate of $ 500K.
1975 Nuclear Models
2019 sold for $ 108k including premium
Niels Bohr's basic publications, in the follow of Rutherford, describe the atom as a nucleus around which electrons gravitate with the variations of energy that generate the photons. This theory paving the way for quantum mechanics is one of the most fruitful in the history of physics. He received the Nobel Prize in 1922.
In the next decades, physicists look for the intimate properties of the nucleus. The first models are essential to refine the theories but remain incomplete. Gamow's model of the liquid drop had the merit of explaining the nuclear fission.
Physicists are then looking for exceptions in the symmetries. The 1963 Nobel Prize goes to Wigner, Goeppert Mayer and Jensen. In 1975 it rewards the work done between 1950 and 1953 by Aage Bohr, Ben Mottelson and James Rainwater on the movement of nucleons, culminating in the ellipsoidal deformation of the nucleus by centrifugal force.
Aage Bohr's medal was the first ever Nobel medal to appear in recent auction history. Accompanied by several documents related to the celebrations of his prize, it was sold for kr 280K by Bruun Rasmussen on November 13, 2012. This set will be sold by Heritage in Chicago (Schaumburg) on April 26, lot 31879. Please watch the video shared by Heritage.
Ben Mottelson's medal was sold by Bruun Rasmussen on May 2, 2013 and listed again at auction by Pantbanken Sverige on March 25, 2015.
1979 Promising Liaisons
2016 SOLD for $ 274K including premium
On October 19 in Dallas, Heritage sells together as lot 49227 five medals awarded to Wittig : his Nobel medal and four other medals from 1953 to 1973. Among them the Otto Hahn Prize is the highest award in Germany for physics and chemistry. Wittig received it in 1967.
Alkenes are molecules organized around a carbon double bond. When the four peripheral atoms are hydrogen, this simplest alkene is ethylene. Such carbon based molecules are highly useful in pharmacology.
The production of alkenes is difficult by subtraction. Wittig's merit is to have obtained them in an organic synthesis. The combined presence of an aldehyde and a triphenylphosphine oxide creates the desired double bond of carbon by breaking the carbon-oxygen double bond of the aldehyde. Wikimedia provides the formula:
1994 life is not a game
John F. Nash, Jr. is a brilliant mathematician and thinker at Princeton University where he has the opportunity to meet Von Neumann. His first observation is of the highest relevance : no economic theory before him has considered the behavior in bargaining.
His thesis dissertation in 1950 focuses on his own new model within the game theory allowing for a non-cooperative behavior between players and assuming that the conclusion is a state of equilibrium. The undisclosed behavior of a negotiator can be either friendly or hostile. A set of initial conditions can lead to various Nash equilibria and the prediction takes into account a probability factor. Extended to several players, the calculation of a Nash equilibrium reaches an extreme complexity.
Life is not a game. After these exceptional beginnings, Nash becomes schizophrenic. His work is recognized but his person is forgotten. It is to the credit of the Nobel Committee to have retrieved and rewarded the scientist. The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences is awarded to him in 1994, shared with two mathematicians who had extended his theories.
This event is important. For the first time a Nobel Prize is awarded for contributions to the game theory. Nash, unemployed at the time of his prize, is proud that his work is highlighted and starts a new life.
Life is definitely not a game. John Nash and his wife died in 2015 in a taxi accident on an American highway back from Norway where he had just received the Abel Prize. On October 17 in New York, Sotheby's sells in one lot his Nobel medal and many associated documents, lot 1 estimated $ 2.5M.
Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's.
2005 The Game of Conflict
2018 Sold for $ 187k including premium
Mathematicians have proposed models for situations involving several cooperative or non-cooperative players. The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded in 1994 to Harsanyi, Nash and Selten for work performed in the 1950s and 1960s.
Thomas Schelling was not a mathematician but an American expert in political behavior. In his seminal book The Strategy of Conflicts published in 1960, he reorients the game theory into practical considerations, studying the impact of promises, threats, surprise attacks and mutual mistrust.
As advisor to several US presidents, he is particularly interested in the fact that nuclear deterrence actually leads to a balance of cooperation between antagonistic parties without increasing the risk of open conflict. The influence of his theories on the strategies of contemporary foreign policy is considerable, even if the press that reports events for the general public cannot appreciate it.
The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded in 2005 to Aumann and Schelling. Schelling's Nobel medal and certificate are sold by Nate D. Sanders in an online auction ending on May 31, lot 1.
2007 the divided civilisation
2017 sold for £ 187k including premium
Relying on her own experience with her feminine sensitivity, Doris Lessing studies dogmas and mysticisms from the inside before rejecting them one by one with the calculated risk of disconcerting her readers. She brings to our sick civilisation her own healing potion : the book. Managing for the poorest an access to reading will improve their life.
Her eclectic and prophetic passion is above compromises. Rejecting the British Empire that had paved the way to the apartheid, she refused the OBE in 1977 and the Damehood in 1992. It would be of no use to her to be Lady Doris for continuing to identify the obsolescences and abuses of the society and shout out her rebellions.
She was not fooled by the artificial nature of fame. In 1983 and 1984 she sent two new novels to her usual publisher while hiding herself under a pseudonym. Both were rejected and she exploited her hoax to denounce the lack of attention of the literary world towards the new writers.
In 2007 at the age of 88 she accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature without reluctance but also without enthusiasm, regretting to spend more time in interviews than in support of her great causes.
On December 13 in London, Christie's sells the Nobel Prize medal and diploma of Doris Lessing, lot 51 estimated £ 150K.