1826 British Proof Set sells for $282,000 to lead $6.38 million auction
One of the most fancied proof sets in British numismatics starred in Heritage Auctions’ CCE World & Ancient Coins Signature Auction. The 11-piece 1826 George IV Proof Set brought $282,000 USD, establishing a new record price for the set. Over 2,800 lots sold during the four-day, $6.38 million auction, with a 94.5 percent sell-through rate by value.
The consigner was thrilled with the sale: “When I bought the set I knew that it was exceptional and thanks to Heritage, when I was ready to sell it, I was able to get the set into the hands of another admirer of rare Great Britain coins. I could never have imagined the astonishing, record price of $282,000 it realized at Heritage’s auction in Chicago. A fantastic result all around!”
The set sold was the first complete set of the type Heritage had ever offered. It. The set is also amongst the finest in existence. Every piece was NGC-certified and none were graded lower than PR62. The 1/2 Sovereign in the set was of particular interest. It displayed the sharp details of a perfect strike and deeply mirrored fields. It was graded PR67 Ultra Cameo, ranking it amongst the finest George IV Sovereigns in existence, let alone in a proof set. The set was sold with its original case of issue, a rare piece in itself.
“The set sold marked just the third time in the past decade a set of the type was offered publicly anywhere in the world,” said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Executive Vice President of International Numismatics at Heritage. “We are thrilled to deliver another world record result for a client.”
An outstanding Claudius II gold aureus led the ancient offerings. Claudius II, the “Roman Savior”, is the emperor to whom most historians attribute the revival of the Roman Empire during the great struggle of the third century. Claudius was hailed as a hero of the nation for his success in battle but died just two years into his reign. Coins bearing his likeness, particularly of such quality, are exceedingly scarce. The coin, graded NGC MS 5/5 – 3/5, sold for $94,000.
Coins of the British Empire filled out the top five lots. Another striking 19th Century proof set attracted six bidders and a selling price of $94,000. The 10-piece 1893 Victoria Gold and Silver Set was certified by NGC, with no coin grading lower than PR63 Cameo. The gold issues exhibited full mint luster, balancing with the silver pieces’ vibrant toning. The set was also sold with its original case.
While the 1684 Charles II Gold 5 Guineas is typically not scarce to the point of unattainability, it is in Mint State. Heritage sold one graded MS61 by PCGS, one of just two Mint State pieces known, for $82,250. It was the first time a Mint State 1684 5 Guineas had ever been offered publicly and a world record price.
Rounding out the top five was an exceptional 1831 William IV Proof Crown, graded PR64 Cameo by NGC. Its contrast between the satin details and mirrored fields defied its three centuries of history. It brought $51,700.
Other highlights include, but are not limited to:
- Bavaria: 1640 Maximillian I Gold 5 Ducat, MS64 NGC – realized $49,350.
- Austria: 1908 Franz Joseph I Gold Proof 100 Corona, PR64 Cameo NGC – realized $49,350.
- Britain – 1911 George V Gold Proof 5 Pounds, PR66 NGC – realized $42,300.
- Japan – 1870 Meiji Year 3 Gold 20 Yen, AU55 NGC – realized $41,125.
Heritage’s next World & Ancient Coins event will be its fourth semi-annual Hong Kong Coin & Currency Auction, June 22-22.
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