The Slaney Collection | 14
May 2015 | London
Spink sold the first half of
the Slaney collection in May 2003. The sale was a great success,
many records were broken, and the numismatic world was agog to know
when the second half of the collection would be offered. After a
wait of twelve years the remaining coins are coming, at last, to
the auction block.
The collection was formed
with great care, and at considerable expense between 1940 - 1960.
Several famous collections were dispersed during these decades, and
so many of the Slaney coins have impressive provenances going back
into the 19th
century. The smallest coin in the
collection (Lot 322, an Elizabeth I penny) has the oldest
provenance, stretching back to the Tutet sale in 1786. There are
many highlights, and collectors have a wealth of rarities to choose
from, including early hammered coins, modern milled coins, currency
coins and patterns in gold and silver.
The first of the silver coins in
the sale is extremely interesting, a testoon depicting Henry VII,
which some consider to be the first shilling. It is a remarkable
coin because it displays the King's portrait in profile for the
first time on an English coin. The continental coinages, especially
the Italian coinages displayed similar portraits already because
the Renaissance had already arrived. Being very rare, this is one
of the best examples in private hands. Of course the reign of Henry
VII ended at the beginning of the sixteenth-century, the age of the
Renaissance and the Reformation. This coin could easily be seen as
proof of the European influences trickling through to start the
flood tide of the English Renaissance.
Lot 309, Henry VII testoon,
estimated: £15,000 - 20,000.
Also amongst the silver coins
are two silver pound coins made during the English Civil War when
Charles I had retreated from London to Oxford and erected a mint
there. He needed money desperately to pay his troops fighting the
Parliamentary forces, resulting in these very large pound
A pound of silver had to be a large
coin because the coins' weight in silver had to represent the
amount of one pound. One of these coins is known to have been
designed by the engraver Thomas Rowlins. The obverse shows the King
on horseback trampling arms and armour beneath him, and the reverse
depicts the famous declaration cartouche which symbolises the
issues behind the Civil War. The King protested that he was
defending the liberties and the true religion of the country, and
acting in the name of liberty in Parliament. Of course, these
assertions directly contradict his enemies, making this coin a
fantastic piece of propaganda. The beautiful design, its
interesting history, its rarity and value make it a highly
Lot 345, Charles I
Oxford Pound (1644), estimated: £60,000 - 80,000.
Not everything is so big in the
Collection, and not everything is so silver. The collection
contains a George III gold £5 pattern piece; the first example of
this coin in England. Now of course the £5 is still made by the
royal mint, but during the reign of George III it was an
innovation. The coin was designed by Pistrucci, an Italian
engraver, and shows St George and the Dragon, a design which is
still used today, 200 years later.
Lot 411, George III Five
Pounds (1820), estimated: £100,000 - 120,000.
We are also delighted to offer a
beautiful Queen Victoria £5 pattern piece. The design was inspired
by the humility of the young Queen; when the young princess
Victoria new that she was going to succeed as Queen, she was
worried, saying: 'I am but a young girl, what do I know?'. The
country was very sympathetic towards her. This gave William Wyon,
the engraver, an idea. His design shows Una from Spencer's Faery
Queen as Queen Victoria with crown and sceptre, leading the lion -
the lion of Britain, who is tamed by her beauty and purity. It was
quite a radical idea to represent the monarch as a fairy-tale
character on the country's coinage, so it remained a pattern piece
and the George and the Dragon design was used instead.
Lot 418, Victoria
Five-Pounds (1839), estimated: £40,000 - 50,000.
The total estimate for this
second half is somewhere between £1.5 and £2 million, although many
experienced collectors and dealers are predicting a total even
higher than this. This will no doubt be one of the most important
sales of English coins for many years. The Slaney collection in its
entirety is certainly one of the most important collections to come
to the market in the last 60 years.
For more information
Tel: +44 (0)20 7563 4053 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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