Baldwin’s London Auction 70 Preview
The first of Baldwin’s two official Coinex auctions will be held on the 28th September this year and will include a spectacular selection of Ancient and British Coins, Military and Commemorative Medals and South African Banknotes, Coins and Medals. Numerous lots in the sale carry some fascinating historical references and are sure to attract a great deal of interest from collectors. Taking place at the CIPFA Conference Centre the auction will be well attended as buyers fly in from around the globe for the Coinex fair arranged by the BNTA.
The auction begins with a beautiful array of Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins. Lot 7, a Thrace, Maroneia (c.386-348 BC), Silver Stater, a very fine piece has an exceptional pedigree dating back to the sale of the Bompois Collection by Hoffman in 1882, this piece carries an estimate of £3,500-4,500. Lot 20, an Ionia Electrum Stater (c.650-600 BC) is an important and extremely rare stater as it is an example of the first true coin, bearing an obverse type as well as a reverse punch. Prior to this, small ingots with blank surfaces had been produced, followed by the addition of a reverse punch and eventually the striated obverse. On the basis of hoard evidence, it is likely that these issues were struck at Ephesos and possibly Sardes. This lot is estimated at £6000-8000. From the Byzantine section lot 72 is the most notable example, a well struck and extremely rare Annastasius II Srtemius (AD 713-715) Gold Solidus with an excellent portrait, estimate £5,000-6,000.
British coins are, as usual, well represented in the sale and include an interesting collection of English copper and bronze, the property of an English gentleman. The highlight of this section being lot 122, an 1867 Victoria, Bronze Penny, with experimental numbers 570 / 357 hand scratached in to the obverse field by face. This piece is unique, having been selected for the Pyx trial (a procedure used in the UK to ensure newly minted coins adhere to the required standards) and the numbering indicative of use at the trial. This particular numbered striking was predicted to exist in Gouby’s “The British Bronze Coinage Pence Halfpence and Farthings 1860 to 1869”. Lots 349-365 consist of a small group of Anglo-Saxon coins, a number of which are from the West Country Mints and are quite rare. Lot 361, a Harthacanute (1035-1042) Penny, jewel cross type, Northman of Lewes, is the most notable amongst them. This distinctive piece is unusual as the reverse of the coin is die linked and shared with the obverse of Harold I.
Most mints of the period were either producing coins with the head of Harold I or the head of Harthacanute, to show their allegiance to either the British or the Danish half brothers who were jointly ruling at the time. The Moneyer Northman of Lewes mint however, produced coins with obverses of both kings but used the same reverse die. The piece is estimated at £3,000-4,000. Other highlights of the section include lot 366, an Edward III (1327-1377) Gold Noble, fourth coinage estimated at £7,000-9,000 as it is extremely rare to find in such excellent condition; Lots 368-377 a run of hammered gold Angels from Henry VI –Charles , estimates range from £1,200-6,000 and lot 382, an impressive and rare representation of 21 Silver Maundy Sets in a glass frame, estimate £6,000-7,000.
The auction continues with a superb selection of South African banknotes including lots 405-428, a selection of Mafeking paper currency issued by authority of Col. R.S.S. Baden-Powell, Commanding Rhodesian Frontier Forces. Robert Baden-Powell is most famously known for his involvement in the formation of Scout Troops throughout the British Empire and other countries, through his book ‘Scouting for Boys,’ published in 1908. Baden-Powell served in the British army from 1876-1910 in India and Africa, joining as a young Officer specialising in scouting, map-making and reconnaissance. In 1899, during the second Boer War, he was involved with the Siege of Mafeking. The most famous British action of the war, Commander Robert Baden-Powell is credited with masterminding much of the defence of the garrison. The Mafeking Mail on 25th January 1900 carried an announcement that paper currency for Threepence, Sixpence, Ninepence, 1-Shilling, 2-Shillings and 3-Shillings was to be i ssued in an attempt to overcome the scarcity of coinage. The smaller values never appeared but notes for 1-Shilling, 2-Shillings and 3-Shillings were issued. They carry an embossed revenue stamp of Bechuanaland Protectorate with the facsimile signature of Captain H Greener (Paymaster General). The facsimile signature of Mr R Urry (Manager of the Standard Bank) was added to the next denomination for 10-Shillings and when £1 notes were finally printed it was decided that they should be handsigned by Mr Urry and Captain Greener. Estimates for these lots range from £80-1,500.
Lots 501 and 593 from the Commemorative Medal section of the sale comprise, a Captain Cook 1779 Royal Society Medal by L Pingo and a 1779 Death of Captain Cook Bronze Medal and are of particular interest, both in fantastic condition and rare. The first of the two was commissioned by The Royal Society in gold, silver and bronze to commemorate the death of Captain James Cook when he did not return from his final voyage in 1779. The society had planned his three voyages and Cook was made a fellow of The Royal Society in 1775 on return from his second expedition. Lewis Pingo was a member of the Free Society of Artists. In 1776 he succeeded his father as assistant engraver at the mint quickly becoming chief engraver in 1779 where he remained until his retirement in 1815. Whilst working at the mint Pingo engraved the dies for the shillings and sixpences of George III in the issue of 1787 and the second variety of the Maundy money of George III. He was also responsible for engraving the dies for the three-shilling Bank token and for the East India Company’s copper coinage and the patterns for the guinea, seven-shilling piece, penny and halfpenny of George III. In addition to the Cook medal mentioned here Pingo is well know for, amongst others, the 1773 medal of Dr. Richard Mead and the 1780 Freemasons’ Hall medal, ‘Defence of Gibraltar. His medals are signed L. P. and L. PINGO. Cook’s third voyage, to search for the a north-west passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic, was to be his final. During the voyage Cook discovered the Hawaiian islands where he was murdered by natives in 1779. Little is know about the second of the medals to be included in this sale, the obverse depicts the bust of Cook in naval uniform and the words ‘CAPT: JAMES COOK,’ the obverse is inscribed with the words ‘Courage and Perseverance / Born 1728 Died 1779.’ The item is extremely scarce and was struck soon after the news of Cook’s death reached England, it carries an estimate of £4,000-5,000.
A small but perfectly formed selection of Orders, Decorations and Medals completes the first day of this exceptional sale. Lot 897, a fine and early George Medal, was awarded to Volunteer Frederick Dainty Cox a Telegraph Lineman’s Assistant with the Great Western Railway, and member of the Forest of Dean Home Guard, awarded for bravery in clearing two unexploded German time bombs immediately following an air raid, comprising: George Medal, George VI (Frederick Dainty Cox), engraved in upright capitals, mounted with pin for wear, in original box of issue. The lot is estimated to achieve £2,500-3,000. Lot 907, the rare and interesting Naval General Service Martinique and Arctic Exploration Pair was awarded to Boatswain Robert Silvers. A Scotsman captured aboard the American vessel Elizabeth in 1806, he then impressed to serve aboard HMS Cleopatra, being present at the capture of Martinique; reaching the rank of Boatswain and serving the Royal Navy for nearly 30 years. He was personally requested by Commander D C Clavering to serve as Boatswain aboard HMS Griper during the expedition to East Greenland in 1823. The lot comprises: Naval General Service Medal, 1793-1840, single clasp, Martinique (Robert Silvers.); Arctic Medal, 1857 (Robert Silvers 1823), suspension once repaired; the first officially impressed, the latter correctly engraved in italic capitals, and is estimated to sell for £4,000-5,000.
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