The 405 lots estimated at over £2m included this Henry VIII (1509-47) gold George Noble – a new denomination that appears on Cardinal Wolsey’s indenture for the second coinage of November 5, 1526, at a value of six shillings and eight pence.
It was probably made to meet the demand for a coin equivalent to half the continental mark. Featuring the initials H and K for Queen Katherine of Aragon, other legends translate as ‘Henry by the Grace of God, King of England and France and Lord of Ireland; and Consecrated by such a sign the mind cannot waver’, a line taken from a 4th century hymn by Prudentius.
Relatively few were struck between 1526-29 and only a handful survive. This one is perhaps the best in private hands and has a long provenance that begins with its sale at Sotheby’s in 1854 and lists many well-known British coin collectors. The hammer price was £110,000.
The sale took place on September 24-25.