A H Baldwin & Sons Ltd was the centre of the numismatic world on September 25, as Auction 96, held at 399 Strand in London, saw no less than TWO world records broken
A packed and palpably excited standing-room-only auction room watched on as two major lots, both pertaining to Queen Victoria, garnered bids from all over the world. Bidders in the room, on the phones and across the web went up against each other for some spectacular items, making history in the progress.
The pick of the lots was undoubtedly the 1839 Victoria Proof Set – the highest quality set to ever have passed through our sale room, and most probably the highest quality of its type in the world.
Previously, the world record for a set of this calibre stood at £225,050 (US$342,076). Today saw that figure retreat into the past as the 1839 set sold for a cool £504,000 ($766,080).
The final price certainly surprised our specialists, who had given the lot a conservative estimate of just £120,000 ($182,400). Baldwin’s director Seth Freeman said “[W]e believed the set would sell well simply because it is the finest we have ever encountered. We also knew that there were a few people interested in the item, but the final total was a bit of a surprise to us all.”
The final bidder was in the room at the time of sale, but chose to remain anonymous.
The other record to fall on this extraordinary day was for the Gold British Trade Dollar. Previously, Baldwin’s had also held this record, which stood at £154,700 ($235,144). Today’s item saw a number of bidders on the phone and in the room push the final total to £222,000 ($337,440) – by far the highest total for a coin of this type.
Queen Elizabeth II may have recently become the longest reigning Monarch the UK has ever seen, but it is her great-great-grandmother that today has grabbed the headlines once more.