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Walter Niggeler, 1878-1964

Walter Niggeler was born in Bergamo, Italy in 1878 but soon moved to his family’s ancestral home in Bern, Switzerland. He studied mechanical engineering and joined the firm of Brown- Boveri in Baden in 1906. He remained at this firm throughout his career becoming a chief engineer specializing in electric transformers and furnaces. He was an avid mountaineer and was active with the Swiss Alpine Club.

His interest in coins began sometime near the end of the 1920's and was sparked by a dupondius of Tiberius that had been found during canal excavations in his neighborhood in Baden. The city had a Roman settlement and was known for its mineral springs. His collecting first gravitated toward Roman coins, then adding Swiss, and finally concentrating on Greek and Greek Imperial coins beginning after World War II until his death.

Niggeler enjoyed attending auctions and participated in many of the important sales of his day including the sale of the famous Haeberlin Republican collection in 1933 in Frankfurt. He later visited many of the significant auctions that were held in Lucerne and Basel. He also bought coins privately for many years from Herbert Cahn of Münzen und Medaillen and later Jacob Hirsch and Leo Mildenberg. He was able to add some important Greek coins from the Jameson collection which were on the market at the time. He spent many hours considering which coins to purchase and then studying and cataloging his collection. The Swiss Numismatic Society in which he had been very active struck a medal in 1958 to celebrate his 80th birthday. He stated in his will that he desired to have his coins presented in a catalog and auctioned so that other collectors could share in his enjoyment. The collection of over 1600 ancient coins as well as a section of European coins was auctioned jointly by Münzen und Medaillen and Bank Leu over four sales from 1965-1967.

Sammlung Walter Niggeler, 1 Teil, Introduction to the auction by Herbert Cahn, Basel, 1965.

Spring, J. (2009). Ancient Coin Auction Catalogues: 1880-1980, Spink, London 2009.

(1 coin)
Pisidia, Selge; ex: Niggeler et al.

AR Stater, 10.78g. 26mm. c.380-370 B.C. Two wrestlers engaged; astragalos below. Rev. Slinger standing to right; triskelis in field to right. SNG BN 1924(dies). Natural flan split from striking. Well struck and in high relief on both sides; fine old toning.


Ex: Walter Niggeler collection, Bank Leu and Münzen und Medaillen, Zurich, Auction, December 3, 1965, lot 33. (for bio see:
Ex: Bank Leu, Zurich, Auction 20, April 25, 1978, lot 145.
Ex: Swiss Credit, Zurich, fixed price list 27, December, 1978. lot 110.
Ex: NAC, Zurich, Auction 1, March 29, 1988. lot 231.
Ex: Matthew Curtis collection, San Diego.

See more detailed image
Extremely Fine $6,500.

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