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New bust of George III identified?

Discovery George III spade guinea of 1788 (cf. KM-609; S-3279) to be offered in EF at DNW’s September sale. (Image courtesy DNW)

For collectors of British milled gold, one lot stands out at Dix Noonan Webb’s scheduled Sept. 13-15 sale: a 1788 spade guinea of George III. What makes it exceptional is the portrait bust of the monarch. As far as the cataloger can establish, it is of an undiscovered and unpublished type.

On the surface it appears to be of a similar style to the fifth bust variety used on the 1787-1799 spade guineas (KM-609; S-3279). However, the king’s neck is noticeably longer and there are some significant differences in the tie-ends of the wreath and the treatment of the hair.

George III’s guinea series features six portraits spanning 1761 to 1813. With some the variation in style and detail is small. With others it is significant.

Over this same period seven portraits of George were used for the half guinea. Of these the sixth bust (1801-1803) is a variation of the fifth bust (1787-1800) but markedly less so than that of the new discovery guinea.

Lewis Pingo was responsible for both the fourth and fifth guinea busts. The style and execution of the new portrait closely resembles that on effigies known to have been executed by Pingo.

The DNW cataloger concludes that the obverse of this guinea can reasonably be assumed to be the work of Pingo or, perhaps, of an engraver working under his tutelage. It, however, appears to have received little or no currency usage.

Graded EF the piece will be offered with an estimate of £6,000-8,000.

Details of it and other lots may be found on the DNW website: www.dnw.co.uk.


This article was originally printed in World Coin News. >> Subscribe today.


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