In 1932 the Mint had a surplus of penny coins and did not need any more in the following year. A further seven pennies, known as currency coins, were produced in 1933 for ceremonial purposes.
This extremely fine specimen is one of only seven recorded, with five of the other six in institutional collections. The conclusive attribution of these coins to Eadbald was only made in 1998. A date of between 620 and 635 (contemporaneous to the Sutton Hoo ship burial) is thought appropriate as the presence of Christian iconography suggests they were minted after Eadbald’s conversion to the Augustine church midway through his reign.
Previously sold at Bonhams in 2007, and estimated here at £12,000-15,000, it realised £60,000.
Wilkes & Curtis
The financial highlight was this Bombay Presidency 15 rupees piece of 1770 (AH1184) which sold at £110,000 (estimate £65,000-85,000). This coin remains something of an enigma. The inscription, translating as Auspicious coin of the 9th year of Alamgir, the victorious emperor, year 1184, has not been fully explained but may refer to the ninth year after the decisive Battle of Panipat (January 1761), regarded as the turning point for British consolidation in India.
St James’s Auctions
These coins were produced by the Royal Mint in the wake of the Battle of Vigo Bay on October 23, 1702, when Admiral Sir George Rooke attacked a Spanish treasure fleet recently returned from the New World. A total of 4500lbs of silver and 7lbs 8oz of gold was taken – the source of all British gold coins boasting the hallmark Vigo below the monarch’s bust.Boningtons auction house in Epping, Essex, on the outskirts of London, set a house record when it sold a Queen Anne ‘Vigo’ five-guinea gold coin (one of only 20 made) for a midestimate £225,000 on November 16. It was knocked down to a buyer in the room.
The story behind this Royal Observer Corps Medal with Long Service Bar and rosette is revealed by the recipient herself in a note. Both will be sold together in Dominic Winter’s May 12 sale in Gloucestershire.
Observer Vivien Pansy Irene Bedford was born in 1909, and educated at Nuneaton High School for Girls, later living in Tunbridge Wells. Her detailed handwritten account of the Battle of Britain, presumably recounted later in life, details an attack by Ju88s over the Kent town in August 1940.
Bedford wrote: “Dozens of planes were more or less overhead and not at a great height, when one plane exploded in mid-air.”
She added: “Things I shall never forget were the ‘dog fights’ and the contrails they made. I was filled with disgust when I saw the enemy shooting at our men who had baled out of their damaged plane, but I was filled with a certain amount of pride when one of our Spitfires dropped down and encircled the parachute till the man was out of range of the attacker.”
The medals and archive are estimated at £300-400. Dominic Winter specialist Henry Meadows says: “They are part of a collection which has come from a retired general antiques dealer so many lots will have been from house clearances. We’ve sold medals and military documents for him in the past.”