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Heritage World Coin Auctions
CICF Signature Sale 3019  25-28 April 2012
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Lot 24745

Estimate: 30 000 USD
Price realized: 28 000 USD
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Victoria Pattern gold Sovereign 1837, Young Head, plain edge, WR-295, Rarity-5 (6 to 10 known), PR63 Ultra Cameo NGC, a choice example of this elusive and very rare pattern, struck in gold, having a lovely frosted or contrasting effect on both the portrait and the royal shield, the fields bright and deeply mirrored, the short-toothed borders crisp with a high unblemished rim on each side, the surfaces lightly hairlined and showing a few tiny contact abrasions as well. All in all, a very pleasing "63" coin. Also a very important coin among the issues of this monarch, not only as the first pattern for her sovereigns but also as one of the finest executions of William Wyon's image of her as a young lady (Princess Victoria was 18 years old when this pattern was created, and not yet coronated). On this pattern, Wyon did not sign the piece, and the truncation of the portrait is plain. Victoria's portrait here is the so-called Small Young Head, her hair pulled back into a ponytail and bound by two fillets, which are each "plain" or unornamented. The rear portion of the lower fillet is textured with parallel raised lines, a subtle feature. A tiny rose appears in the field on each side of the date, about 4 mm distant from each tip of the bust. The most distinctive feature of this first head, however, is the spacing of VICTORIA DEI GRATIA over the top portion of the field: the portrait does not intrude into it, as it does on the following two patterns (WR-296 and 297), and this serves to give the visual impression of a smaller image, albeit the portrait is in fact about 1 mm smaller in dimension as well. This bust was also used on WR-298, where Wyon signed it in tiny incuse letters. It would seem that this piece, WR-295, was the first creation of this style. The reverse features the Shield used on millions of sovereigns made for commerce in succeeding years, and was engraved by J. B. Merlen. The edge is unmarked, struck within a polished collar without striations. All in all, then, this is nothing short of a gorgeous specimen, superb save for the faint signs of handling, and of utmost importance for advanced collectors of either Victorian coins or sovereigns. It appears for sale at auction only occasionally. (The landmark Terner Collection contained the signed piece, WR-298, but not this version.)

Estimate: 30000.00-35000.00 USD
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