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Coin collection of Danish butter magnate going on sale after being sealed for 100 years

A Danish butter magnate's collection of coins could fetch close to £60m on auction, a hundred years after he passed away.

Lars Emil Bruun, who was born in 1852, said in his will that a 20,000-piece collection he built throughout his life must be safeguarded for 100 years before it could be sold.

More than a century on, New York-based coin auctioneer Stack's Bowers will sell off the collection this autumn.

Several sales of what the auction house calls the "most valuable collection of world coins to ever come to market" are planned to be held over the coming years.

In the 1800s, Mr Bruun's dairy enterprise made him rich and allowed him to hoard coins, medals, tokens and banknotes from Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

After the First World War, he insisted in his will that the collection must "serve as a reserve for the royal Coin and medal collection in Copenhagen" if they were destroyed.

Since his death, the collection was held at former Danish royal residence Frederiksborg Castle, before it later made its way to Denmark's National Bank.

Vicken Yegparian, vice president of numismatics at Stack's Bowers Galleries, called the collection "the best open secret ever".

"When I first heard about the collection, I was in disbelief," he added. "We've had collections that have been off the market for 100 years-plus."

Some pieces in the collection are valued at £40, but others could go for more than £800,000. All told, the coin collection could fetch up to £57.4m.

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Denmark's National Museum, which had the right of first refusal on part of the collection, purchased seven of the rare coins before they went to auction.

The seven coins - six gold, one silver - were all minted between the 15th and 17th centuries by Danish or Norwegian monarchs, and cost more than £877,000

Senior researcher Helle Horsnaes, a coin expert at the National Museum, said: "They are described in literature as the only existing specimen of this kind.

"The pure fact that this collection has been closed for a hundred years makes it a legend. It's like a fairytale."

Sky News

(c) Sky News 2024: Coin collection of Danish butter magnate going on sale after being sealed for 100 years

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