Spink London’s fall sale was the place to be in late September. Many choice rarities exited the auction room for red-hot sums.
Top price of the sale of $75,283 [£57,600], or over 19 times upper estimate, was paid for a 10.70 g Mughal Empire gold nazarana mohur, struck at Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi) in AH 1218/46 for Shah Alam II, KM-721. This is an extremely rare coin in any condition. The example is well struck and graded EF.
The Tisbury Collection of Commonwealth Silver Coinage consisted of 49 lots of silver coins struck for the Commonwealth of England between 1649 and 1660. These include patterns, trial strikes and numerous examples of issued coins both hammered and milled (KM-386 to -395). The most contentious of the pattern halfcrowns of 1651 (KM-391.2, ESC-66) was included.
Appropriately that halfcrown of 1651 sold for $72,595 [£54,000] in aEF. This 32 mm, 19.79 g silver piece has been the source of much conjecture as to its origin. It is regarded as being “of the highest rarity” and came with a superb pedigree.
A 32.1 mm, 6.20 g pattern shilling of 1651 struck from the same dies as the halfcrown (ESC-175) realized $66,158 [£49,200] also in aEF. And a second 32 mm, 13.13 g pattern halfcrown of 1651 of distinctly different design, ( ESC-68) in gEF made $41,952 [£31,200].
Meanwhile, among the ancients, a 7.21 g aureus of Marcus Aurelius struck at Rome in 178 C.E. scooped $20,976 [£15,600] in gEF. On the obverse the emperor is shown draped and laureate. Annona decorates the reverse between modius and ship while holding corn-ears and a cornucopia (BMC-771). In June 1965 Spink sold this same coin for £265.
And England’s own ancients were busy doing their bit for the realm with an enigmatic 1.28 g gold thrymsa or shilling struck for King Eadbald of Kent, c. 620-635 C.E. (S-0758). It was a new find having been located in Essex earlier this year. Described “virtually as struck” it realized $41,952 [£31,200]. Just seven specimens including this one are currently recorded. Five are held in institutional collections.
The total for the two days sale was $1,460,113 [£1,089,246]. The Tisbury Collection alone realized $461,218.
Prices realized are available from www.spink.com. A premium of 20 percent is included in all prices shown.
This article was originally printed in World Coin News. >> Subscribe today.
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