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Spink – Frank Viles’ Sixpences

Frank Viles Collection of Sixpences

Spink’s e-auction of Frank Viles Collection of Sixpences closed on 12 January 2021. The full catalogue and bidding is available here.

Hammer prices are subject to a Buyer’s Premium of 20% (plus VAT, where applicable).


The sixpence was first minted in 1551 during the reign of Edward VI. Sixpences were minted during the the reign of every monarch since then, as well as during the Commonwealth. This collection contains examples from most of those reigns and shows the history of changing designs and production methods.

Below are some of my picks from the auction. I said in my preview that some of the auctioneer’s estimates appeared a bit low to me and indeed most lots sold for above their estimates, some significantly so. In particular, see lot 3678 below, which sold for £1,200 against and estimate of £150 – £250.

Click an image to enlarge

Lot 3676, Edward VI (1547-1553)

Third period, Tower mint. 

On the obverse is the Tudor rose and denomination VI.

Obverse legend: EDWARD VI D G AGL FRA Z HIB REX – King of England, France and Ireland

Estimate: £80 – £120

Hammer: £210

Lot 3678, Edward VI (1547-1553)

Third Period, fine silver issue, York mint.

Edward VI is the last to have a full face portrait. Subsequent reigns would usually alternate between left and right facing monarchs. 


Estimate: £150 – £250

Hammer: £1,200

Lot 3688, Elizabeth I (1556-1603)

This coin is milled (rather than hammered) using a machine developed by Eloy Mestrelle.

Year of minting is stamped on the reverse and the denomination removed from the obverse.

Estimate: £50 – £80

Hammer: £350

Lot 3723, Elizabeth I (1556-1603)

Sixth Issue

Although better quality, Mestrelle’s milled sixpences were more expensive to produce and their production ceased in 1572. Until the Commonwealth only hammered sixpences were produced, as in this example.

Estimate: £60 – £80

Hammer: £100

Lot 3731, Elizabeth I (1558-1603)

Sixth Issue

The reverse legend on most sixpences till now read some variant of POSVI DEVM ADIVTORE MEVM, “I have made God my helper”

Estimate: £30 – £40

Hammer: £130

Lot 3756, James I (1603-25)

Second coinage

The Tudor Rose is gone and the reverse legend is now QVAE DEVS CONIVNXIT NEMO SEPARET, “What God hath put together let no man put asunder”

Estimate: £80-£120

Hammer: £320

Lot 3767, Charles I (1625-1649)

Minted in 1633-1634. After 1630, the date is absent from the coin.

Reverse legend is now CHRISTO AVSPICE REGNO “I reign under the auspices of Christ

Estimate: £30 – £50

Hammer: £90

Lot 3777, Commonwealth (1649-1660)

A wreathed shield featuring St George’s Cross instead of a portrait on the obverse.

Reverse has combined arms of England and Ireland. The legend reads GOD WITH US, in English instead of Latin

Estimate: £100 – £150

Hammer: £400

Lot 3781, Charles II (1660-1685)

Milled coinage had begun again during the Commonwealth and continued now.

The Monarch’s titles are now spread over the obverse and reverse legends.

The basic design of the coin would remain unchanged until George III.

Estimate: £50 – £80

Hammer: £160

Lot 3791, William and Mary (1688-1694)

Estimate: £100 – £150

Hammer: £270

Lot 3803 - William III (1694-1702)

York mint

Estimate: £20 – £40

Hammer: £90

Lot 3809, Anne (1702-1714)

Roses and plumes in angles 


Estimate: £60 – £100

Hammer: £210

Lot 3823, George II (1727-1760)

Estimate: £30 – £50

Hammer: £65

Lot 3830, George III (1760-1820)

Estimate: £40 – £60

Hammer: £130

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