Some remarkable collections of world coins have appeared at auction in recent years. Few can match the broad appeal of the Bob Lyall collection of cut and countermarked coins. It is scheduled to be offered on Sept. 25 by the London auction house of Dix Noonan Webb.
Lyall is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on these issues. His collection has long provided an essential reference for museums and historical societies. Along with comparatively common pieces, the catalog comes charged with excessively rare coins that can be expected to realize significant five-figure sums.
While the collection is dominated by Caribbean pieces, it also includes numerous examples from South America, Gibraltar, the Ionian Islands and West Africa, among others. Only two or three can be listed here.
For many, the sale will be highlighted by the only recorded specimen of an Essequibo & Demerara 22 guilders countermarked under the Ordinance of August 1798 (Pridmore 1; cf. KM-3). The host coin is significant. It is cataloged as a counterfeit 6,400 réis of Joseph I dated 1771. The countermark is in script ED within, remarkably, a rectangular indent. The coin comes VF but with “countermark better.” The estimate is a conservative $8,000-$10,000.
Also from Essequibo & Demerara is a very rare 3 guilders countermarked on a Charles IIII 8 réales of 1796FM. It comes with a circular piercing having 19 crenulations and the E.&.D/3.G.L countermark raised within a beaded oval indent (Pridmore 2; KM.-2). The coin’s provenance includes both the J. Guttag and J.J. Ford Jr collections.
The Guadeloupe section of the catalog is extensive. It contains examples from both the French and British administrations. Among the French offerings comes a lightweight counterfeit 6,400 réis of Joseph I made to the Leeward Islands weight standard but then countermarked on Guadeloupe as 20 livres. Don’t go looking for it in any regular reference. It ain’t there. As explained in the DNW auction catalog, it is a contemporary counterfeit, not a modern one.
The range is vast. All told, 327 lots are in the sale. For U.S. collectors, there is even a Rufus Farnam quarter dollar c. 1796-1833 – countermarked on Charles IIII, 2 réales, 1795FM.
Details are at www.dnw.co.uk.
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