Coins fit for an ex-king: the currency rendered obsolete by Edward VIII


2015-06-26 12:05:13


Coins fit for an ex-king: the currency rendered obsolete by Edward VIII

A private collection of collectibles relating to the troubled king offers some real rarities at Spink

This coming Thursday, Spink will be carrying out a sale of collectibles relating to Edward VIII under the heading 'Portraits of a Prince'. The 250 lot auction is based on a single collection: that of Joseph S Giordano.

The auction is primarily a numismatic one; we've already mentioned one of the best medal lots, those of the King's valet Jack Crisp. Three coins lead the sale, however, all from 1937 (whether marked at that date or not).

Readers will probably be aware that Edward abdicated in December 1936, so coins showing his face are necessarily rare.

Edward VIII Pattern Silver FlorinEdward VIII Pattern Silver Florin

Firstly, there is a Pattern Silver Florin, (undated but from 1937). Created by T H Paget for the Royal Mint, the obverse shows the head facing left, whilst the reverse is milled flat to the outer edge of the legend, though the trace of the crown is still clear in the centre.

The piece is extremely fine and of the highest rarity, as only seven complete Florins are known and this is the only example of a Florin with the reverse officially milled in this way. (A Halfcrown that has been subjected to the same procedure is in the Royal Mint collection.) It is listed at 8,000-12,000.

There are joint contenders for top lot status: a 1937 Bronze Pattern Halfpenny and a Pattern Silver Threepence.

Edward VIII 1937 HalfpennyEdward VIII 1937 Halfpenny

In each case, there are only seven examples known, and the coin on offer is the only matt proof example of its kind in uncirculated condition. The halfpenny shows the Golden Hind on the reverse whilst the Threepenny has intertwined signet rings.

Sadly the latter has some unsightly dark spots on both sides, but it is still a highly covetable piece and both are expected to achieve 15,000-25,000. Spink's auction takes place on October 21 in London, with online bidding available.

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Images: Spink

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