Baldwin's of St. James's   |   Auction 30   |   20 March 2019 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 29

Estimate: 12'000 GBP   |   Starting price: 6'400 GBP Online bidding closed
Edward VII, pattern crown, in silver, 1902, possibly by Frank Bowcher for Spink & Son, crowned equestrian figure of King wearing Coronation robes l., holding sword, LONDONIA monogram in field behind, EDWARD: VII. D:G: BRITT: TERRAR: TRANSMARIN: 1902, with date at top, rev. oval garnished shield of arms surrounded by balance of the royal titles, mm. sun in majesty, at centre top, Q:I:D:S: BRITANNICA. REX. FID: DEF: IND: IMP:, edge plain, 46.81mm; 35.42gms (ESC, Bull 3563 [363, R3]; Linecar & Stone 4), a beautiful coin with rich multi-hued grey surfaces, mint state, bold strike
*ex John J. Pittman Collection, David Akers Auction, 6-8 August 1999 (lot 3869)
The coin was once certified and graded by NGC as Mint State 65; it has been removed from its ‘slab’ but the certifying label is sold with the lot.
The only pattern of this denomination made during this brief reign, this dramatic coin was modelled after the Tower Mint crowns of Charles I, and it was struck without a proper collar seemingly in acknowledgement of the coin that inspired it. Its flan is thick and broad at 46 mm in diameter. The obverse motif presents the king, crowned, upon a horse fitted out in fancy caparison, which consists of an ornamental harness and its covering under the saddle. The steed appears to be prancing and its rider wears a long robe that flows beneath the horse. His right hand supports a long, broad sword that points straight up towards the date in the legend. In the field behind this image is a monogram for London in the Anglo-Saxon style, inspired by the silver pennies of Alfred the Great. Under the ground-line, centred, is a tiny S, for Spink. As well as the size and style of this piece, its legends are unique in the coinage. The obverse Latin legend translates to mean ‘Edward VII by the Grace of God King of Britain and [its] Territories Beyond the Seas’. On reverse, the first letters of the legend remain mysterious, continuing in translation from Latin to mean ‘Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India’. After more than a century, the designer of this glorious coin has never been identified, but an interesting comment appears in Leonard Forrer’s Biographical Dictionary of Medallists, volume 5, published in 1912, a mere decade after this pattern was created. On page 638, Forrer states that Spink’s works are ‘equipped with the latest power and reducing machinery for the perfect manufacture of every kind of die-sinking, medal, badge and ticket-work’. Presumably this machinery was primarily employed to make medals and badges for the Crown, although Spink’s pattern coins of 1887 are mentioned. Forrer goes on to note that ‘The firm, anxious to produce only what should be truly artistic, employed talented artists and designers (in particular, Mr. Frank Bowcher)’, who produced a number of medals late in Victoria’s reign and throughout that of her son and heir. After the death of de Saulles in 1903, Forrer mentions elsewhere (Vol. 1, p. 253) that Bowcher often assumed the position of chief engraver at the Royal Mint. Was it his hand that modeled this spectacular pattern?

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