Rapp Auctions has been active in the service of philately and numismatics without any abatement in our enthusiasm for more than 45 years. Over the course of these more than four decades, we have steadily built up and expanded our auction sales from modest beginnings. Rapp Auctions has long been one of the leading addresses in the world for the auction sale of stamps and coins, assuring returns commensurate with the value of the items.
Since substantial financial sums as well as intangible values are at stake on the marketplace of philately and numismatics, an auction company is obligated to especially high standards of diligence and quality — a responsibility to which we have been strongly committed from the start. Confidence and trust cannot be assured without this commitment, nor could the consistently outstanding results on behalf of our clients be achieved.
Olivier Chaponnière, born in 1977, studied economics before he decided to turn his passion into a profession and become a coin dealer. He started to work for a renowned international coin auction house in Geneva. In 2000, he started up his own business. He has been the head of the Chaponnière & Firmenich SA auction house which he runs in Geneva together with Sebastien Firmenich since 2010.
Olivier Chaponnière never stopped his scientific work. The two catalogues «Antoine Bovy and the Swiss Franc» and «The Gold of Switzerland» are the result of many years of studies. At present, he is working on a complete record of the genevoise coinage, from antiquity to the present. As the president of the numismatic society of Geneva since 2001, it is his main concern to introduce his enthusiasm for numismatics to the general public.
In 2016, the first French edition of «Antoine Bovy and the Swiss Franc» was honoured with the Jean-Paul Divo award of the Swiss association of professional numismatists.
Sébastien Firmenich was born in the USA and completed his biochemistry studies at the University of Geneva.
As a passionate numismatist he founds «Chaponnière & Firmenich SA» together with Olivier Chaponnière in 2010.
Firmenich is specialized in investment and capital gold as well as American coinages. He is also a member of the well-known «Société Genevoise de Numismatique» (SGN).
CHAPONNIÈRE & FIRMENICH
Exhibition from 28 April to 12 May 2017
In spring 2017, Rapp Auctions will be presenting a comprehensive exhibition of Switzerland’s most precious coins in cooperation with the numismatist Olivier Chaponnière. «L’Excellence Suisse» documents the birth and the development of the Swiss franc and presents the gold coins minted by the Swiss Confederation from 1873 to the present, including all rarities. The additional presentation «The Money of Our Ancestors» focuses on coins from Eastern Switzerland. Its highlights originate from an important private collection and have never been displayed before.
Two exclusive publications in German will be issued for the exhibition.
Accompanying the exhibition, two comprehensive catalogues are published:
Antoine Bovy & the Swiss Franc / The Gold of Switzerland
This catalogue documents the history of Swiss Confederate coinage after 1850. In a first part, it explains how the first coins were designed and what major role the Geneva-based medalist Antoine Bovy played. Discovered only recently, Bovy’s sketchbooks and some rare working models allow to trace how the Sitting Helvetia was created first, followed up by the Standing Helvetia. In the second part, the book tells of our gold coins, outlines their creation and reconstructs the historical background for every single type. You will find all great rarities of Swiss Confederate gold coinage illustrated here. Furthermore, this book offers a catalogue of modern Swiss commemorative coins.
The Money of our Ancestors
This booklet summarizes the exhibition’s everyday backdrop. It is not about numismatic details, but about practical examples of how coins were used by our ancestors. An agrarian society, as Switzerland used to be right up to the 19th century, has a different attitude towards money than we urban residents today, as we have to buy everything we need for money.
Based on rarities from one of the most important collections of Swiss coins, the booklet elaborates on the practicalities of money and thus offers many an opportunity to be astonished and to wonder.
You can acquire the catalogues at the exhibition or place an online order here.