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British proof sets top DNW bidding

Hammered gold sovereign of Elizabeth I c. 1583-1600, that fetched $17,556 in Dix Noonan Webb’s June sale. (Images courtesy DNW)

For a long time now, historic proof sets have been blazing a white-hot trail across the British numismatic landscape. No more so was this evident than at Dix Noonan Webb’s June 12-14 sale.

Leading the charge was a veiled-head Victorian gold and silver set of 1893 comprising five pounds to threepence (KM-PS13; S-PS7). A superb set in an official fitted red leather case, it raced away to take £66,000 [$87,780] on its £28,000-£32,000 estimate.

Queen Victoria was also to the fore with an 1887 jubilee 5 pounds to threepence 11-coin set (KM-PS10; S-PS5). The coins graded slightly below superb but it still managed to match upper estimate with a price £36,000 [$47,880].

Victoria’s grandson, George V, proved sufficiently historic to take £18,000 [$23,940] for his coronation 12-coin set of 1911, five pounds to Maundy penny (KM-PS17; S-PS11). The coins came virtually as struck and in official case of issue.

A choice but scarce George VI coronation gold set of 1937, five pounds to half sovereign (KM-PS22; S-PS15), realized a respectable £12,000 [$15,960].

Top prices among individual British coins included the £13,200 [$17,556] paid for a sixth issue Elizabeth I hammered, 15.02 g gold sovereign in VF (S-2529), while a type I Charles I Pontefract siege shilling of 1648 (S-3148) in aEF sold above upper estimate for £12,000 [$15,960].

Rare silver Russian commemorative struck to mark the second partition of Poland. It realized $19,152, or well over three times upper estimate in EF. (Images courtesy DNW)

Among an offering of historic medals, one stood out: a massive, 179 mm, 170.60 g silver Russian commemorative by C. Leberecht and J.B. Gass struck to mark the second partition of Poland.

The obverse features the laureate bust of Empress Catherine II and, on the reverse, the crowned double-headed eagle of Russia that holds two maps in talons. Despite showing signs of cleaning, although otherwise in EF, at least two bidders wanted this rarity. It took off like a rocket to realize £14,400 [$19,152] on a £3,000-£4,000 estimate.

The 2,333 lots of the sale grossed £1,073,628 [$1,427,925]. Prices cited have been converted at a rate of GBP1.00 = USD1.33.

Find full catalog descriptions, including prices realized, at www.dnw.co.uk.


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More Collecting Resources

• 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 .

• The Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700 is your guide to images, prices and information on coins from so long ago.

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