The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 38, September 17, 2023, Article 27


Here are some additional selections from the Sovereign Rarities Auction 10. -Editor

Sovereign Rarities E-Sylum ad Auction 10 With just over a week to go before our September 26th Auction, we'll be showcasing the very best of the Crowns we have on offer. Mostly from one very well-kept collection accumulated over the last 20 years, the run features numerous standout pieces in remarkable condition. Worthy of particular attention is an iridescent 1700 DVODECIMO of William III, a 1708 Welsh Plumes variety of Anne, a deep prooflike 1821 SECUNDO of George IV, an 1831 Coronation proof issue of William IV, the ever popular 1847 Gothic type Crown of Victoria, an attractively toned 1902 Coronation issue of Edward VII, the rarest of type 1934 Wreath Crown of George V, and lastly the exceptionally rare 1953 matte proof Coronation Crown of Elizabeth II. There are many more that deserve their own time in the spotlight, so please view the full auction available on our website.

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  SR Auction 10 Lot 053 William III 1700 DVODECIMO silver Crown

Lot 53: MS62 | William III 1700 DVODECIMO silver Crown

One of the most attractive Crowns in the entire collection is this mirror-like 1700 DVODECIMO type of William III, graded by NGC as MS62. For whatever reason, the Crowns of 1700 were on the whole of significantly better quality than any other milled Crowns up to that point. Many, including this one, have extremely nice residual lustre.

  SR Auction 10 Lot 057 Anne 1708 Post-Union silver Crown Welsh Plumes

Lot 57: Anne 1708 Post-Union silver Crown Welsh Plumes

A highly appealing portrait with a steel grey tone, light surface marks and flecks, almost extremely fine. The plumes reverse indicate that this coin is made from silver sourced from mining companies associated with Wales.

  SR Auction 10 Lot 086 George IV 1821 SECUNDO silver Crown

Lot 86: MS62 | George IV 1821 SECUNDO silver Crown

After the death of George III in 1820, Pistrucci prepared the coinage bust of the new King, George IV. The King despised Pistrucci's work for its bloated expression, with numismatic historian Kevin Clancy stating that "its full features implies something of the appetites of the monarch". Despite the King's protests, however, one would argue it was actually flattering compared to the real thing!

  SR Auction 10 Lot 090  William IV 1831 silver proof Crown

Lot 90: PF60 | William IV 1831 silver proof Crown "W.W." incuse

The magnificent silver Proof Crowns of King William IV are the largest portrait coins readily available of him. William Wyon produced them to go towards the complete proof sets dated for the year of his Coronation of which some 120+ sets were produced. There were no doubt extra proof coins to sell singly at the time and the Crown exists in two main varieties, the first that had Wyon's name spelt out in full in raised letters on the truncation as Pistrucci had once done in the reign of George III. It seems this initial pattern was not accepted as the coin to go towards the proof set as the die was altered to read merely W.W. incuse on the truncation as we have herewith for the bulk of the coins that exist today. Some very rare transitional pieces show a trace of the W.WYON with lines ruled over the top to erase it on the struck coins and the W.W. incuse to the left, but most show merely the W.W. incuse.

  SR Auction 10 Lot 118 Victoria 1847 Gothic Crown

Lot 118: PF64 | Victoria 1847 UNDECIMO 'Gothic type' silver proof Crown

One of the most spectacular designs for a silver coin in the entire British Milled series, the Proof Gothic Crowns with lettered edge were limited to a mintage of only 8,000 pieces. William Wyon (1795-1851) was the Royal Academy engraver responsible and was at the peak of his career having also designed the equally impressive gold "Una and the Lion" Five Pound pieces dated 1839 also in Roman numerals.

  SR Auction 10 Lot 152 Edward VII 1902 matte proof silver Crown

Lot 152: PF65 MATTE | Edward VII 1902 matte proof silver Crown

Struck for the coronation of Edward VII in early 1902, this Crown was the last to feature the iconic George and Dragon design of Benedetto Pistrucci (with the exception of the one issued for the Festival of Britain in 1951). This particular example is darkened on the reverse with otherwise fantastic surfaces. One of the highest graded examples there is.

  SR Auction 10 Lot 163 George V 1934 silver 'Wreath' Crown

Lot 163: AU58 | George V 1934 silver 'Wreath' Crown

The so called ‘Wreath' Crowns of George V were minted between 1927 and 1936, with the exception of 1935, when the design was replaced by the Silver Jubilee ‘Rocking Horse' Crown. This example, designed by the famed George Kruger Gray, features a wreath of roses and thistles joined together by intertwined shamrocks, each representing the nations of England, Scotland, and Ireland. These Crowns proved popular at Christmas, and rarely ever entered circulation. As a result, most examples retain their beauty, and have proved a popular collector's item in recent years.

  SR Auction 10 Lot 185 Elizabeth II 1953 matte proof cupro-nickel Crown

Lot 185: PF65 MATTE | Elizabeth II 1953 matte proof cupro-nickel Crown

From the advent of photography right up until digital cameras became the norm, the Royal Mint would produce limited quantities of matte proofs for the sole purpose of producing advertisements for their new releases. The issue that mint photographers faced was that brilliant proof coins were too reflective, and couldn't photograph well due to the flash of the old cameras. By producing a handful of matte coins, the mint were able to show off the designs of their coins in far greater detail. Somehow or another, some of these proofs made it out of the mint and into the hands of the public. Since then they've become heavily sought after by collectors.

We once again hope you get time to visit us and view everything on offer, as well as our extensive retail stock. If not in person though, please feel free to visit our website and view the auction digitally at Good luck to all those bidding!

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Wayne Homren, Editor

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