The Bentley Collection In the year that Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee Baldwin’s are delighted to be selling at auction the most British of coin collections. Formed over 34 years by a private collector, t
commissioned by the Master Engraver (William Wellesley Pole) at the Royal Mint to produce designs for the new Gold and Silver coinage of George III. This portrait of exceptional classical atristry is still used on the reverse today and more recently has been used on all five coins in the Sovereign group. Pistrucci's involvement with the coinage ceased in 1825, but he continued at the Mint until 1849 as a Master Medallist and was responsible for the equally famous design of the Waterloo medal.
An 1821 George IV (1820-30), Proof Gold Sovereign, 1821, also engraved by Benedetto Pistrucci, depicts St George slaying the dragon right with sword, no helmet streamer, horse’s tail with three terminal strands, broken lance on ground to left. The second incarnation of the St George and dragon reverse design has proven to stand the test of time, and become the most iconic and long-lived depiction of any coin design in the World with little change over the 190 years of issue till 2011. This Proof version from highly polished dies is very rare and highly desirable as the first date this design was issued. The coin is estimated at £4,000 - £4,500.
An 1831 William IV (1831-7), Proof Gold Sovereign is engraved by William Wyon using a model by Francis Chantrey. The reverse is struck with a crowned shield of arms, quartered, with the arms of Hanover as an escutcheon by Jean Baptiste Merlen.
The bust is of the second type showing a slightly different ear profile and the proportion of the bust to the legend is different from that of the first bust type. This second bust type was used in currency from 1832-7. This Proof struck from highly polished dies is very rare, especially in top quality condition, as many were handled or polished as they were part of commemorative proof sets issued in relation to the Coronation of William IV, which took place on the 8th September 1831. This item is also estimated to achieve £4,000 – 4,500.
An 1853 Victoria (1837-1901), Proof Gold Sovereign, 1853, engraved after William Wyon, depicts the second larger young head of Queen left, with double fillet, W.W incuse on truncation. The reverse engraved after Jean Baptiste Merlen depicts the crowned shield of arms within laurel wreath tied with bow below shield. The 1853 Proof Sovereign struck from highly polished dies is a coin that was included in the very rare “proof sets” of all the coinage that were available for purchase from the Court Jeweller “Hunt and Roskell”. The coins were available to purchase singly too and are among the rarer Proof Sovereigns of the reign. This particular coin is of superlative quality and very rare. As a highly desirable coin it carries a healthy estimate of £10,000 – 12,500.
Other highlights in this almost complete date run will include George III Patterns and Proofs of 1816-17, the George IV 1825 first head type proof and early Victorian shield obverses including the 1869 24 carat piece and