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January 2018 NYINC Auction  11-13 Jan 2018
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Lot 20350

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Starting Price: 42 000 USD
Lot unsold

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GREAT BRITAIN. Pattern Crown, 1818. George III (1760-1820). PCGS PROOF-64 Secure Holder.
28.25 gms. ESC-241; Bull-2051 (Plate coin); L&S-193. EXTREMELY RARE, listed in English Silver Coinage as R6 (Three or four examples known). A pattern issue for an unadopted type. This pattern features larger lettering in the obverse legend and the back of the truncation is chamfered sharply. The reverse differs from the standard type with fine horizontal lines within the garter. Obverse: "GEORGIUS III D: G: BRITANNIARUM REX F: D: 1818" (George III By the Grace of God, of Britain, King, Defender of the Faith) Laureate head of King George III facing right, "Pistrucci" below bust; Reverse: "HONI . SOIT . QUI . MAL . Y . PENSE ." (Evil to him who evil thinks) Saint George and the Dragon, the ground line occupies the whole space between the garter which surrounds the design, garter ruled with fine horizontal lines, "Pistrucci" in exergue. Edge: "DECUS ET TUTAMEN ANNO REGNI LVIII" (An ornament and a safeguard, in the 58th year if our reign) in raised letters with rose stops.

According to L. Forrer author of "Biographical Dictionary of Medallists" London 1909 vol. IV pg. 589-591, who was supplied extensive documentation from Pistrucci's family, namely Major Serafino Poggioli, husband of his granddaughter. During the new coinage manufacture in 1816 Pistrucci was employed at the mint as an outside assistant. On 22 September 1817 Thomas Wyon died and Pistrucci was offered the post of Chief-engraver. Since he was a foreigner this was highly contested. While at the mint he made a friend by the name of W.R. Hamilton who was a staunch defender of him. Pistrucci performed his duties as Chief-engraver, though the office was kept in abeyance at least until 1828 when a compromise was made. The second engraver at the mint, William Wyon, was made Chief-engraver and Pistrucci was designated as "Chief Medalist". Among his opponents were Mr. Hawkins, the Keeper of coins and Antiquities at the British Museum, and Nicholas Carlisle, Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries. The latter who practically accused Pistrucci of extorting money from the Master of the Mint. Of course this was refuted by Mr. Hamilton who ended his relationship with Mr. Carlisle. In a letter from W. D. Haggard to Mr. Carlisle that was in the possession (as of 1909) of Messrs. Spink & Son Ltd. occurs the passage "Wyon could no more cut the beautiful gem in which Pistrucci excels than could Pistrucci engrave dies equal in beauty to those of Wyon". Hawkins further states that "Pistrucci's work is beautifully executed, and its appearance was hailed with pleasure, and with the hope, that those who were in authority were weaning themselves from their attachment to armorial bearings, and becoming alive to the beauty, interest, and importance of classical reverse".
It is clear that the present specimen is truly a work of art with fantastic style, execution and is a testament to the artistic ability that Pistrucci was endowed with. Lovely deep old cabinet tone throughout with hints of blue, red and golden hues when tilted in the light. An important offering of a magnificent Pistrucci pattern. PCGS PROOF-64 Secure Holder.

Likely Ex: Glendining & Co. Sale, October 1962, lot# 121.

Estimate: $70000.00- $90000.00

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