Roma Numismatics Ltd
Auction XXVII  22-23 Mar 2023
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Lot 1094

Estimate: 120 000 GBP
Price realized: 95 000 GBP
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Great Britain, Hanover. George IV AV Proof 5 Pounds. 1826. Willian Wyon and Jean Baptiste Merlen, engravers. GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA, bare head to left, date below / BRITANNIARUM REX FID: DEF:, shield of arms set upon crowned ornate mantle. Edge inscription: DECUS ET TUTAMEN ANNO REGNI SEPTIMO. KM 702; SCBC 3797; Friedberg 373; Numista 13191.

NGC graded PF 63 Ultra Cameo (#3589810-006). Very Rare; only 150 minted.

Ex Heritage World Coin Auctions, NYINC Signature Sale 3097, 10 January 2022, lot 30254.

This coin is an exceedingly beautiful specimen of this much sought after type. One of only 150 minted, this coin is in near top state of preservation with the superior "Ultra Cameo" designation. This coin was previously described at its last auction appearance as "undoubtedly a crown jewel for even the most advanced British coin cabinets".

It compares very favourably against other recently auctioned examples:

Heritage 3089, lot 31215 (Jan 2021), PF64 Ultra Cameo: USD 190,000 / GBP 138,491
Heritage 3085, lot 30189 (Aug 2020), PF62: USD 165,000 / GBP 125,549
Heritage 3096, lot 30321 (Mar 2021), PF63 Ultra Cameo: USD 160,000 / GBP 116,608
Heritage 3105, lot 32219 (Jan 2023), PF63 Deep Cameo: USD 140,000 / GBP 114,814

George IV lived an excessive lifestyle from a young age, with extravagant spending that resulted in his accumulating large debts. These were later pardoned by Parliament on the condition that George marry his cousin, Caroline Brunswick in 1795, following his illegitimate and unpopular marriage to Maria Fitzherbert 10 years prior. In 1820, George ascended the throne when his father, King George III, died, having been de facto ruler as Prince Regent from 1811 when his father was declared mentally unstable. He did not abandon his lavish lifestyle when he became monarch, indeed his later life continued to be characterised by vast banquets and profligate expenditure. He had expensive taste in all aspects of life, extending beyond food and fine wine, investing considerably in art and interior decoration much of which the Royal Collection now houses. This bust type of George IV graciously shows none of the effects of his lifestyle and presents him with a strong portrait, perhaps to emphasise his renowned style and intellect, rather than his proclivity for excess.
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