World Coins

A.H. Baldwin & Sons to sell Bentley Collection May 8

A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd. of London on May 8 will be conducting an auction featuring the Bentley Collection of British milled sovereigns.

The catalog for the auction provides a brief history of the British gold sovereign, noting that the first issue was struck in 1489 during King Henry VII’s reign and was minted under each subsequent monarch through the reign of King James I in the early 17th century. The denomination was revived by the British Royal Mint beginning in 1816, being the first of the milled pieces (machine struck), and has been struck under the reign of every British king or queen from King George III to Queen Elizabeth II.

The May 8 Baldwin’s auction, Part I of three planned sales, is composed of 381 lots. It begins with pattern and trial issues of 1816 minted during the reign of King George III. The offerings continue chronologically with sovereigns struck through the reign of the current British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

Among the pieces expected to fetch large bids are an 1816 George III sovereign pattern engraved by Thomas Wyon (Lot 2); a Proof 1817 George III sovereign engraved by Benedetto Pistrucci (Lot 3); a unique 1825 King George IV, Plain Edge, sovereign pattern (Lot 16); rare Queen Victoria, Small Bust, sovereign patterns of 1837 and 1838 (Lots 33 and 34); a Proof 1869 Queen Victoria sovereign, die number 64, struck in 24-karat gold (Lot 212); an unpublished 1871 Queen Victoria, Shield Reverse with Plain Edge sovereign pattern (Lot 252); and an 1887 Queen Victoria, Shield Reverse sovereign pattern (Lot 302).

Parts II and III of the Bentley Collection will feature further patterns, Proof coins and trial strikes from George III to Elizabeth II.

Live bidding begins at 10:00 p.m., London time, at 3 Robert St., Adelphi, London, WC2N 6BH, the Council Chamber. Internet bidders can submit bids by visiting the website or

Winning bids are subject to a 20 percent buyer’s fee.

For further information, write to Baldwin & Sons by mail at 11 Adelphi Terrace, London, WC2N 6BJ, telephone the firm at +44 (0) 20 7930 9808, fax the company at +44 (0)20 7930 9450 or contact the firm by email at ¦

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