Edward VI gold sovereign heads off Charles I to triumph at rare coins sale

Last week, St James's Auctions and Baldwin's held a significant sale of rare British and foreign coins, especially gold coins. The results have only recently come through, but it's proved to be worth the wait.

All three of the lots we focussed on performed well against their estimates, though they did not sell in the order expected

A triple unite coinfrom the reign of doomed king Charles I had been estimated at £35,000-45,000. Dated to 1642, it shows him holding a sword and olive branch on the obverse. Very rare, and in really good very fine or better condition, it sold for an impressive £58,000.

Charles I gold triple unite coin
Charles I gold triple unite coin

Also notable was a Charles I, pattern angel showing St. Michael slaying the dragon which cruised past its £25,000 listing to bring £50,000.

A 1902 pattern crown in gold from Edward VII was styled after the Tower crowns of Charles I (and before them, the horseman crowns of Edward VI), showing a crowned equestrian figure of king wearing coronation robes on the face.

This just squeaked past its £30,000-35,000 estimate to bring £36,000.

However the overall winner on the night was a fine sovereign from the third period of the reign of Edward VI, dated to 1551. The obverse displays the crowned figure of the king enthroned facing out, holding orb and sceptre and with a portcullis at his feet.

The reverse shows a shield of arms at the centre of a full-blown rose. Previously having received minor repairs, it is otherwise a full and well struck piece, almost very fine and with a clear portrait.

It is believed that only six examples are in private hands with this example having been part of the famous E J Shepard collection.

It was listed at £30,000-35,000 but frenetic bidding from collectors and investors around the world buffeted it all the way up to a stunning £70,000.


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