Baldwin’s London Auction 69

Baldwin’s bi-annual London auctions are always a highlight of the numismatic calendar but this, the first of the year, will be a Great British spectacular! The 2-day auction will be held over the 3rd and 4th May and comprises a sensational array of British rarities, together with a selection of Russian numismatic material, British and World Commemorative medals and an extensive section of World Coins.

Lot 754, a set of four 1937 Gold, Matt Proof finish coins, is sure to be the highlight of the auction. Widely reported on some months ago the set is one of only two known sets struck with an experimental matt finish specifically to be used for pre-production promotion of the coins minted by the Royal Mint to commemorate the Coronation of King George VI in May 1937. The case housing the coins has a blue black velvet pad, inverse in colouration to the normal cream used for brilliant proof sets in 1937. Unlike its counterpart (illustrated individually in Wilson and Rasmussen), this beautifully preserved set has its original and unusual case intact. The set comes complete with a copy of a letter, dated 4th October 1961, from the Royal Mint, Tower Hill, London, outlining the method and process for preparation of the set and confirming that the set was a pre-production example that was not released to the general public. The set carries a pre-sale estimate of £90,000-110,000. Lot 755 offers another interesting piece of George VI numismatic history. The 1950 George VI Pattern Double Florin of Four Shillings was one of the patterns first produced as a suggested coin for the Festival of Britain in 1951. Although it was eventually the Festival of Britain Crown that was manufactured to proof quality for the event, it was the pattern offered here that started the deliberations. The lot is estimated at £20,000-25,000 and is of the highest rarity, being the only example ever encountered by Baldwin’s staff with a value on the edge.

Also included in the 199 lot section are lots 601 and 602 a Richard III Gold Angel, class 1 and a Richard III Halfgroat, London mint, type 3. Both are extremely rare with fantastic provenance and are estimated at £10,000-12,500 and £8,000-10,000 respectively. Lots 622, a 1706 Anne Five-Guineas, Pre-Union type, and 624, a 1733 George II Pattern Two-Guineas, are both extremely fine examples of type. The second of the two comes with an excellent provenance and both are estimated at £25,000-30,000.

Lot 647, an 1862 Victoria Bronze Penny, is particularly noteworthy as this will be the first time that this coin has ever been put up for public auction. This lot is a significant trial strike on a Penny and has been written about extensively by Michael Gouby in his books “The British Bronze Coinage, pence, Halfpence and Farthings 1860-1869” and “The British Bronze Penny, Victoria 1860-1901 struck for use as currency, specialised edition”. Ralph Heaton & Sons had greatly impressed the Italian government, on recommendation from the French, with their efficiency. They helped the Italian government set up their new mint facility in Milan in 1861 and supplied them with over 360 million blanks, which were then struck very efficiently on the machinery that Heaton set up. They built up such trust from this initial work that Heaton was hired to strike the entire issue for 1866 in Birmingham, of which this coin appears to be an initial test or trial striking. It is a very significant part of Numismatic history at the Heaton Mint and dually for the Italian series, as it was produced pre-production of the bulk of the coinage, and was clearly intentional and not a mint error.

Supporting this stellar British section are over 200 lots of Russian coinage, Orders, Decorations and Medals, Military badges and numismatic books. This interesting group includes lots 363 and 364, a 1756 Gold 10-Roubles estimated at £30,000-35,000 and a 1758 Gold 5-Roubles, estimated at £20,000-25,000. Both coins are beautiful examples, in good condition. Coins are followed by a small but exciting section of Russian Orders and Decorations which includes lot 525, a complete set of the Order of St. George, 2nd Class, including Breast Star, Cross and Sash. The Order of St. George is the highest military award of the Russian Empire and one of the most exclusive. Awarded to military officers and generals only it was a mark of extreme bravery and skill when fighting the external enemy. The award was eliminated in 1917 after the Russian revolution but re-established in 1994 by the government of the Russian Federation. This order carries an estimate of £5,000-6,000. A section of 10 lots of books on Russian Numismatics completes the section and includes lot 554, a copy of the very rare work, Monnaies Russes. Compiled by General TF de Shubert and printed in 1857 this is probably the earliest numismatic work printed in (metallic) colour. A superb example of a very useful reference. Lot 554 is estimated at £4,000–5,000.

The sale concludes with a further 369 lots of World Coins, including many British Empire issues in high grade, Share Certificates and Bonds and Coin Cabinets. The 1136 lot sale will be held at CIPFA, 3 Robert Street, London, each day starting at 12.30pm BST. Free live bidding for this auction is available through the services of

For all enquires about the auction please contact Seth Freeman at [email protected] or on +44 (0)20 7930 9808.

For all press enquiries please contact Caroline Newton at [email protected] or on +44 (0)20 7930 9808.

Notes to the Editor:

• Established in 1872 A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd has over 100 years experience in servicing the numismatic industry.
• Baldwin’s auction department was established in 1993 and has grown to hold between ten and twelve sales annually in London, New York and Hong Kong and specialise in all areas of Numismatics.
• Baldwin’s broadcast all of their main auctions over the internet and provide a live bidding service through

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