Bentley Has The Midas Touch The Great British sping may have been a wash out so far but the sale of The Bentley Collection raised more than a few smiles (as well as hands) as part one of the collection got off to a flying start.
the central vertical. Note also the heavy weight of this impressive pattern.
Lot 3 George III, Proof Sovereign, 1817, engraved by Benedetto Pistrucci, first laureate head right, coarse hair, laurel wreath of 10 leaves, date below, descending colon after BRITANNIAR:, lettering clear of raised rim, legend GEORGIUS III D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:, third I of III missing its top left serif, rev struck with inverted die axis, St George on horseback slaying dragon right with broken lance, helmet with flowing streamer, ground-line with BP incuse to left, all within horizontally ruled garter with buckle, W W P incuse on sides of buckle, garter motto HONI. SOIT. QUI. MAL. Y. PENSE., I of HONI missing its top left serif, edge milled, 8.00g (WR 197 R5; Murdoch 192; Nobleman 47; DM 140; S 3785). Some red tone spots and tiny associated hairline surface marks, otherwise brilliant as struck and extremely rare.
ex Randy Weir Numismatics, Unionville, Ontario, Canada, purchased c.1990 – appropriately the first major proof rarity purchased for the collection.
One of the key features of the design of this proof as adopted and engraved for currency by Pistrucci are the wreath of 10 leaves and the date below the bust, coupled of course with St George slaying the dragon. Some of the letters in the legend lack serifs no doubt due to blockages or faulty letter punches with corner serifs broken off being employed. A discussion about these is highlighted in a note on varieties at the start of this catalogue.
33 Victoria (1837-1901), Pattern Sovereign, 1837, engraved by William Wyon, very small young head left, hair bound with double fillet, rear lower fillet finely ruled with horizontal incuse lines, plain truncation, date below slightly double struck, rosette either side, fine toothed border and raised rim both sides, VICTORIA DEI GRATIA around upper half of field, from 9 to 3 o’clock, rev struck with inverted die axis, engraved by Jean Baptiste Merlen, crowned quartered narrow shield of arms within laurel wreath tied with bow below shield, twelve pearls on each arch of crown, four pearls vertically arranged on central upright, nine pellets visible on ermine below jewel band, laurel wreath each side consists of 30 leaves per side and terminates in three leaves at top, six harp strings in Irish arms, left string emanates from back of female figure, emblems below, rose at centre, thistle to left, shamrock to right, small rosette either side, BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF:, edge plain, 7.75g, 21.8mm (WR 295 R5; Montagu 1564; Murdoch 497/8; Nobleman 261/2; DM 198; Montagu 1564). Striking flaw in obverse field, some light hairlines, otherwise mint state and extremely rare.
ex Bank Leu, Zurich, Switzerland, 26 October 2004, lot 442
This is considered to be the first proposed pattern Sovereign for the young Queen Victoria for which she granted William Wyon multiple portrait sittings. The head is of a small stature, the rear hair fillet lightly ruled with horizontal lines and