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Auction LIII  14 Jan 2021
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Lot 3125

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Starting Price: 20 000 USD
Price realized: 29 000 USD

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Elizabeth I (1558-1603), fine Gold Sovereign of thirty shillings, sixth issue (1583-1600). Full facing robed figure of Queen seated on large throne, lis headed pillar either side, throne back of pellets in hatching, five small pellets up each side of throne back, portcullis below Queen, tressure and beaded border surrounding, Latin legend and outer beaded border on both sides, initial mark tun (1592-93), +ELIZABETH D; G; ANG; FRA; ET. HIB; REGINA. rev. quartered shield at centre of ornate rose, beaded circle surrounding, +A; DNO' FACTV; EST. ISTVD. ET. EST. MIRAB' IN OCVL; NRS; weight 15.16g (Brown and Comber A26; Schneider 783; N.2003; S.2529). Weak part on face and shoulders, otherwise quite well struck and crisp around legends, has been graded and slabbed by NGC as AU55, becoming hard to find, very desirable. Estimated Value $25,000
NGC Certification 5880656-018.We note currently at time of writing this is the second highest graded Elizabeth I fine Sovereign of this mint mark across both services. The abbreviated Latin legend translates as on obverse "Elizabeth by the Grace of God, Queen of England, France and Ireland" and on the reverse "This is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes", a Psalm from the Bible. The fine gold Sovereign of Elizabeth I was a highly respected coin at the time, and was famed in the acting world of the time of William Shakespeare, as the coin of choice to be honoured with should the Queen attend a performance personally. Traditionally the Queen would honour the playwright and the star of the show with her favour reflected in the presenting of a fine gold Sovereign. We have such evidence of this in the will of the Gentleman Actor Augustine Phillips of Mortlake Surrey who was one of the first to rise to such a social status in his profession. From his will dated 13th May 1605 we can see fine gold Sovereign presented described thus "I give and bequeath to my fellow William Shakespeare a XXxs piece in gould, To my fellow Henry Condell one other xxxs piece in gould." Such a coin of honour being highly revered and not to be spent in the lifetime of the recipient. The usage of mint mark tun for fine gold can be assume to have started production around the 1st February 1591/2 until the 10th June 1593 which is a known date from the surviving pyx trial records for the end of the production of the fine Sovereign, before giving way to the gold Pound in the next issue. It is estimated that some £12,000 worth of fine gold coins were struck for this mark in this issue which includes the gold Angel and its fractions.
Purchased from A H Baldwin and Sons, February 2006.
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