Hackney hoard of coins could fetch �80,000 at auction

American gold coins which were buried in the garden of a Hackney home to evade the Nazis are expected to fetch �80,000 at auction.

They will be sold by specialist London auctioneers Morton and Eden on Tuesday, November 29 and Wednesday, November 30.

The “Hackney hoard” of $20 Double Eagle coins were discovered by residents of a home for people with special needs while digging out a pond in their front garden in Bethune Road.

The 80 glistening coins were carefully wrapped in greaseproof paper and packed tightly inside a glass preserving jar and were the subject of a “treasure trove” enquiry.

Max Sulzbacher, who is one of the sons of the original owner Martin, was traced and the treasure was returned to him.


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The Treasure Act 1996 was intended to deal mainly with older coin hoards, often dating back to Roman or Celtic times. It is believed this is the first time since the Act came into force that an original owner or descendant has been found.

Mr Sulzbacher has pledged to make a donation to the people who discovered the treasure.

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He said: “From the proceeds of the auction we will give a sum to the finders and to the person who made the connection from the previous find. Then we will renovate the graves of our relatives who were killed in the Blitz. We will then have a service of dedication of the graves on the 71st anniversary of the tragedy. The balance will be split between myself and my three siblings.”

One coin was given to Hackney Museum and is displayed together with the jar and wrappings it was found in.

A further two coins are being retained and the remaining 77 coins are being offered for sale. Ten will be sold individually, with an estimate of around �1,000 each, and the remaining 67 coins as a single lot, estimated at �60,000-80,000.

“The sale will be held at Sotheby’s Upper Grosvenor Galleries, Bloomfield Place, off New Bond Street, Mayfair.

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