World Coins

Ship gold ryal of Queen Mary highlights auction

A rare Ship gold ryal of Queen Mary, one of five examples offered at auction in 60 years, leads Spink’s Dec. 13 auction, which is dominated by English gold but offers a range of other items as well.

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English gold rarities dominate in Spink’s Dec. 13 auction of ancient, English and foreign coins and commemorative medals.

Highlighting the 497-lot auction is the mdliii (1553) Ship gold ryal of Queen Mary issued during her individual reign. The queen appears “plainly and solemnly dressed, holding a sword and shield and standing in an old fashioned high castled galleon” on the coin, according to the auction house, representing the “militant piety of a monarchy defending the old religious order.”

Ship ryals are rare, with only five examples of the coin issued under Queen Mary appearing at auction in the last 60 years, according to Spink.

This example is struck on “an unusually full round” planchet, according to the catalog. It has an “attractive portrait, light crease, [and] a small striking crack by tassle in centre on obverse,” but is otherwise in Good Very Fine condition.

Spink traces the coin’s provenance to three auctions, the earliest dating back to 1900.

The coin has an estimate of £80,000 to £100,000 ($124,772 to $155,966 in U.S. funds).

The auction is scheduled to be conducted in London.

All successful bids in the Spink auction will be subject to a 20 percent buyer’s fee.

The complete catalog may be viewed or downloaded as a PDF from a link at the firm’s website, The lots also may be browsed online by accessing the auction through

For more information about the auction, telephone the firm in Great Britain at (011) 44 20 7563 4080 or email it at

Some additional highlights:

England, Mercia, Queen Cynethryth (wife of Mercia), circa 757 to 796 silver penny, Canterbury Mint, “the pennies of Queen Cynethryth are the only Anglo-Saxon coins known to have been struck for a woman,” Lot 12, Good Very Fine.

England, East Anglia, circa 796 to 798/800 silver penny, King Eadwald, probably from the mint at Ipswich, “only the sixth example recorded for this issue, of these, three coins are known all from the same dies, this coin is from different dies,” “Eadwald is only known from his coinage,” Lot 70, “full details otherwise Good Very Fine.”

England, Eadgar, circa 959 to 975 silver halfpenny, “the finest known example of an Eadgar halfpenny,” Chichester, “this full example is only the second to have been recorded [for the mint],” Boiga of Wilton the moneyer, Lot 72, Extremely Fine.

England, Edward III, Treaty Period (1361 to 1369) gold noble, 7.7 grams, Spink 1503 (Coins of England and the United Kingdom, published by Spink), Lot 81, “full coin, pleasing detail of king,” EF.

England, Henry VI (first reign) circa 1422 to 1430 gold noble, Annulet issue, York Mint, 6.91 grams, S-1804, Lot 85, About EF.

England, Henry VI (first reign), circa 1431 to 1433 gold noble, Pinecone-Mascle issue, London Mint, 7 grams, S-1824, Lot 87, Nearly EF/EF.

England, Henry VIII, second coinage (circa 1526 to 1544) gold sovereign, 15.44 grams, Lot 91, Very Fine.

England, Mary (sole rule), mdliii (1553) gold fine sovereign, 15.42 grams, S-2488, Lot 93, “good detail, a little weak on face,” VF.

England, Mary (sole rule), mdliiii (1554) gold fine sovereign, 15.28 grams, S-2488, “there are believed to be only five examples of the 1554 sovereign in private hands, this is thought to be the first example to appear at auction since 1993,” Lot 94, “good portrait,” VF.

England, James I, second coinage, circa 1604 to 1619 Spur gold ryal, 6.81 grams, S-2614, Lot 104, “hairline crack ... minor edge split ... otherwise a good example with a pleasing galleon and bust,” Good VF.

England, James I, third coinage, circa 1619 to 1625 Rose gold ryal, 12.34 grams, S-2632, Lot 105, Good VF.

England, Charles I, Siege of Carlisle by the Scots, circa 1644 to 1645 silver 3-shilling coin, 12.91 grams, S-3137, Lot 136, “much weakness but the denomination clear,” About Fine.

England, Charles I, Siege of Carlisle by the Scots, circa 1644 to 1645 silver round shilling, 5.15 grams, S-3138, Lot 137, “flan edge split, Very Fine for this issue.”

England, Charles I, Siege of Carlisle by the Scots, circa 1644 to 1645 silver round shilling, 4.55 grams, S-3139, Lot 138, “Good Fine for this issue.”

Irish Free State, 1927 nickel pattern sixpence, by Publio Morbiducci, “only four known,” Lot 254, “some light stains, as struck.”

Irish Free State, 1927 nickel pattern threepence, by Publio Morbiducci, “only four known,” Lot 255, “light stains, about as struck.” ■

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