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British gold tops DNW June auction

Top-selling George II 5 guineas of 1738 (KM-571.1) realized $36,366 in gEF. (Images courtesy DNW)

The market would appear unable to satisfy demand particularly for the gold 5 guineas. This was evident at Dix Noonan Webb’s June 14-16 sale.

Star of the show by a very long chalk was a George II 5 guineas dated 1738 and edge-marked DVODECIMO (KM-571.1; S-3663A). Despite minor surface and edge marks it graded gEF and had no problems in achieving $36,366 [£28,800] on a £30,000-40,000 estimate.

Four Georges down the decades in the British succession, the coronation of George VI in 1937 was marked by the striking of a four-coin gold proof set (5 pounds, 2 pounds, sovereign and half sovereign; KM-PS22; S-PS15). Three were on offer in the DNW sale.

The top graded set, “Brilliant, much as struck,” took $18,186 [£14,400]. The second, “Brilliant, about as struck,” made $14,398 [£11,400] with the third, “Extremely fine or better” fetching $12,883 [£10,200].

However, these issues of George VI for the Mother Country had to take second place to one struck in his colonies. An eight coin South African proof set of 1939, KM-PS14, raced away to realize $19,708 [£15,600] on a modest £5,000-6,000 estimate. It is one of just 44 issued sets.

A number of Wyon pattern and proof groats, “the property of a lady,” attracted considerable attention. They included several rarities.

Rare Wyon 1836 pattern groat of William IV in gold that fetched $12,883. (Images courtesy DNW)

Among them a 1836 pattern of William IV in gold with a plain edge (KM-PnC100; ESC-2529) was bid- p to $12,883 [£10,200] on a £3,000-4,000 estimate in EF.

The same price was achieved by an 1837 silver proof of Victoria. It is one of the few survivors of a very small extant mintage estimated at no more than 6 or 7 pieces (KM-unlisted; S-3913).

For those who delight in hammered gold, a Richard II noble (1377-1399) struck at Calais but lacking his French title (S-1661) made an easy $6,947 [£5,500] in gVF.

And the key date in pre-decimal modern Irish coins, a 1943 florin (S-6634) had little problem in claiming a below estimate $9,094 [£7,200] in F.

From slightly out of left field, but perhaps not unexpected, two examples of Warring States Chinese bronze knife money took several times their £1,000-1,500 estimates. Both came from State of Qi (400-220 B.C.E.). Both graded VF.

One was a five character type (AN YANG ZHI FA HUA [Authorized currency of An Yang]) and sold for $9,850 [£7,800]. The other was four character (QI ZHI FA HUA [Authorized currency of Qi]) and took $8,335 [£6,600].

The sale total was $1,460,294. Full catalog details and prices realized can be found in the archives of the DNW website: www.dnw.co.uk. The prices cited include a 20 percent buyer’s premium and have been converted at a rate of GBP1.00 = USD1.26.


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More Collecting Resources

• More than 600 issuing locations are represented in the Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800 .

• The 1800s were a time of change for many, including in coin production. See how coin designs grew during the time period in the Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900 .

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