DESIGN FOR THE COINAGE THAT NEVER HAPPENED
The 26th and 27th of June 2013 Spink coin auction in London, set
over two days, will see 875 lots go under the hammer, including a
number of historically significant items.
These include the design for a proposed Crown for Edward VIII
which was never issued - a unique pair of separate tin strikings of
the obverse and reverse designs made in 1936 while Edward was
King. It is expected to fetch £25,000-35,000.
The obverse, by T. Humphrey Paget, depicts the famous
left-facing portrait of Edward VIII, while the reverse, by G.
Kruger Gray, depicts the crowned arms with supporters.
Above: Lot 864
This 39mm design would have been the Crown in the proposed
coinage of Edward VIII, who abdicated before his coronation. Edward
became King in 1936, but formally abdicated in December so he could
marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcée. Edward's reign was one
of the shortest in British and Commonwealth history, ending in the
succession of his brother Albert (George VI). As the design was
never implemented, this is an exceptionally intriguing item, linked
to one of Britain's most controversial royal figures and to the
designer, T. Humphrey Paget, who once owned it. Paget went on to
design the obverse of the coins of George VI, with the Edward VIII
reverse design appearing in the 1937 Crown.
Other items in the auction include one of the most famous and
beautiful medal designs of the 19th century - the Zoological
Society of London Gold Medal.
Above: Lot 741
The 77mm medal is in mint state, and being one of only five gold
medals ever awarded it is a great rarity. With its graceful
depictions of animals, after a design by Thomas Landseer, that
include a proud eagle and an elephant uprooting a tree, it is a
medal of tremendous aesthetic appeal. It is expected to sell for
Speaking of the sale, specialist William MacKay said "the unique
Edward VIII trial strike coin is an intriguing insight into the
efforts being made in 1936 to introduce coinage in Edward's name.
This trial strike has the added value of its connection with the
designers who once owned it and is an insight into the turmoil
caused by Edward's abdication.
"The Zoological Society medal is considered one of the greatest
nineteenth century medals. Examples in gold are exceptionally rare
and almost never appear for sale. The historical and aesthetic
appeal of these two lots is expected to generate much
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