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Occasionally appeal transcends ordinary numismatic prices. The silver coins of the Southern Italian city of Tarentum are relatively common and are famous for their boy on a dolphin. Indeed, many in aesthetically pleasing condition may be had for some £200-300. The one offered here is special in that it depicts a young farrier removing a thorn, perhaps from the hoof of a steed already mounted and about to race. It took SFr8500 (£3700) against an estimate of SFr1500.

A distinguishing feature of this sale was a fine collection of coins of Jewish interest (206 lots) which must be one of the most substantial offerings of recent years. One of the most evocative of all Jewish coins is the series of shekels struck in Jerusalem during the last months of Titus's siege and destruction of the city. It is defiantly inscribed: Jerusalem is Holy and Shekel of Israel. They were struck over five or six years and the later the year the rarer it is. This one is of the very rare Year Five. It fell short of its SFr125,000 estimate, selling at SFr105,000 (£45,650).

The last example of this coin which I can easily recall is the one in the Hunt sale at Sotheby's (New York) in 1990. It made $170,000 (then £101,200).