A gold pattern five pound, made in 1830 when William IV (1765-1837) took the throne at the age of 64, was hammered down at a double-estimate $425,000 (£326,500) plus 20% buyer’s premium, at Classical Numismatic Group’s sale on January 15.
The coin, among the hardest to find from the post-Restoration series, was once owned by collector John Gloag Murdoch who had bought it in 1887 from Alfred Evelyn Copp, treasurer of the Numismatic Society of London.
During the convention, the New York Sale at the Grand Hyatt hotel that ran from January 14-16 was hosted by a quartet of international firms: Larry & Ira Goldberg, Dmitry Markov, M&M Numismatics and Sovereign Rarities. An Edward VIII silver pattern crown (five shilling) topped the three-day auction at $250,000 (£192,000) plus 20% buyer’s premium.
The Royal Mint reports for 1935-36 reveal that at the time of the abdication, in December 1936, some 200 dies for Edward VIII coins, medals, and seals were scrapped.
This crown, with the monarch’s portrait facing left as Edward requested (he deemed it his best side), is one of six known examples and one of only two available to commerce (another is currently for sale as part of a set). It was at auction for the fifth time – the last outing was at Spink in November 2000.
Famously, the Duke of Windsor tried to obtain a set of the British proof coins featuring his portrait from the Royal Mint. The request was referred to George VI himself who was quick to refuse his elder brother.
On January 19 Spink sold one of the few surviving Albrecht Dürer Charles V silver medals made for the newly crowned Holy Roman emperor on his abortive 1520 visit to Nuremberg.
Seven ver sions of this northern Renaissance masterwork are owned by museums and just four are in private hands, although another had appeared for sale at a Künker auct ion in Germany in October, taking €260,000 (£234,000) – see ATG No 2413.
The Spink example, with a provenance to dealer Nomos at TEFAF Maastricht in 2014, sold at $325,000 (£249,600).