Baldwin's - 14 April 2021
Baldwin’s are held an auction on 14 April 2021 which includes ancient and British coins, tokens and medals. 350 of the 467 lots are from the Portland collection, which was assembled over the last 50-60 years. You can see the full catalogue here. There is a Buyer’s premium of 20% (plus VAT) on the hammer price.
The two highlights of the auction are Five Guineas pieces, both of which sold for more than £100,000.
There are only six known examples of this Charles II Five Guineas and this one is considered to the best example. Relatively few of these larger denomination coins were issued. They were mainly used in bank or large commercial transactions, rather than general circulation. Most would be melted down to make new coins for future monarchs.
27th year of reign
The coin is engraved on the edge with “VICESIMO SEPTIMO”, meaning 27. This refers to the 27th year of reign following the death of Charles I in January 1649, after which Charles II was recognised as king by Royalists. He was crowned king in 1660, following the restoration of the monarchy.
Charles II began issuing the five guineas in 1668. The minting of larger value gold coins had become possible thanks to the increased supply of gold from the Royal African Company. The elephant below the bust indicating this as the source of the gold.
It is thought that the coin can be traced back to the auction of the the Rev. J. W. Martin collection by Sotheby in 1859, where it made £8 2s 6d. At a later auction by Sotheby in 1908 its value had fallen to £7 2s 6d.
Estimate: £130,000 – £160,000
Total Paid: £198,400
Lot 352, George II, Five Guineas
Photo: © Baldwin’s
George II first issued this series of five guinea pieces in 1746, with gold from Lima. It was only issued again in 1748 (this coin) and 1753. As with the Charles II five guineas, relatively few would have been struck and many would subsequently have been melted down.
Estimate: £100,000 – £125,000
Total Paid: £142,600