Unique 1839 rupee leads British Indian rarities in David Fore Collection

Baldwin's has announced that it will offer the outstanding David Fore Collection of British Indian coins over three auctions in 2013, the first - held on May 8 in London - starring a unique 1839 rupee.

1839 Indian rupee
The rupee was introduced by Sher Shah Suri (1485-1545) and continues to be used today

The inaugural sale from this impressive holding focuses on rare proofs, restrikes and off-metal strikings. The Fore Collection is the result of a four-decade passion for Indian coins that began with a proof restrike ¼-Anna.

The 1839 rupee was produced by an Indian die cutter as a result of the increasingly desperate need for coinage, which was caused by the time it took dies to travel from London. It was subsequently rejected from issue which, according to the auction house, has made it the most sought after coin of the whole British Indian series.

As Baldwin's correctly states, the rupee is not a beautiful coin but its rarity and historical importance will undoubtedly make it one of the most valuable in the sale. The example at auction last sold through the same auctioneers in 2000 for £28,000, providing the top lot of the Sir John Wheeler Collection sale.

Also highlighting the auction will be the 1860 pattern piedfort rupee, showing the crowned and robed bust of Queen Victoria. The one rupee coin was produced as a demonstration of what the Royal Mint had planned for the coinage of the Indian colonies, though the actual coin would not be put into circulation for a further two years.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fantastic selection of rare coins for sale, including the William IV proof crown from 1831, which is a new variety previously unrecorded in the English Silver Coinage guide.

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