The fourth part of the epic collection created by Lord Stewartby is
coming to auction in London on Nov. 29.
Spink will auction the selection, coins from the reigns of Edward
III to Richard III, issued from the 14th to 16th centuries.
Lord Stewartby was a banker by profession. From 1974 to 1992 he was
a member of Parliament and held various offices in government.
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In 2009, Spink published Stewartby’s masterpiece, English Coins
1180-1551, which intersects with this collection. An academic
collection, it was built for the study of die varieties and mints. Its
value is in education and completeness, not rarity.
One “possibly unique” highlight, however, is a silver penny of Henry
VI, who reigned from 1422 to 1461. The annulet issue (named for tiny
rings connecting pellets in two quadrants on the coin’s reverse) is a
“mule” from the London and Calais mints. A mule is coin resulting from
an unintended pairing of dies.
The coin could represent an interim period between the issues of
Henry V and Henry VI. The mint at Calais was authorized six months
before the death of Henry V. The mint’s early output appears to have
been gold, but exactly when it started to coin silver is uncertain.
This rarity combines one bust and shoulder style obverse of Henry V
and a standard Henry VI initial cross and Calais penny reverse, and
“as such adds further fuel to the debate on the divide between Henry V
& VI and the annulet issues which appear to bridge the
succession,” the firm said.
The coin is graded Fine by the auction company, and has an estimate
of £80 to £100 ($98 to $123 U.S.).