14 September 2020
A Single-Owner Collection comprising 458 lots of coins of Elizabeth I fetched £275,640 and was 100% sold when it was offered at International coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialists Dix Noonan Webb on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Amassed by the late Walter Wilkinson (1925-2020), this was the first sale in auction history devoted entirely to coins of Elizabeth I, however it was the third part of Mr Wilkinson’s collection. Previous auctions of coins from his collection have been staged at DNW - the milled series on September 18, 2018 and hammered gold exactly a year later, on September 18, 2019 – bringing the total for the three parts of the collection sold so far to £555,365 and a further auction of the balance of his hammered silver is in preparation.
The highest prices were achieved by four issues for the then-fledgling East India Company, founded in 1600 – close to the end of the Queen’s reign. Known as Testerns, the trade coins were coined at the Tower Mint for the first voyage and were struck to the weights of the equivalent Spanish Silver, and they bear the royal arms on the obverse and a portcullis on the reverse. An extremely fine 2 Testern example realised £23,560 against an estimate of £9,000-12,000 and was bought by a European private collector [lot 933]; while a very fine 8 Testern sold for £21,080 against an estimate of £12,000-15,00 to an Australasian buyer [lot 931]. An excellent example of a 1 Testern fetched £18,600 – again to a European private collector – it has been expected to fetch £9,000-12,000 [lot 934] and a very fine 4 Testern realised £16,120 and was purchased by an Australasian buyer against an estimate of £8,000-10,000 [lot 932].
Also of note was quite possibly the finest specimen known of the First issue Shilling which sold for £11,780 against an estimate of £3,000-£4,000. It dated from 1559-60 - early in Elizabeth’s reign - and was bought by a London-based dealer [lot 501].
As Peter Preston-Morley, Specialist and Associate Director, Dix Noonan Webb, commented: “This is the first time not just us, but any auction house has had a sale totally devoted to coins of Elizabeth I and we were very pleased with the result of this flagship auction, which demonstrates that a student collection of coins of a particular period, properly formed over a long period of time, is always going to be warmly welcomed by the market. Many collectors will have been able to fill important and elusive gaps in their collections and the sale catalogue will be a major reference in time to come. Walter’s devotion to, and singular pursuit of, the coinages of Elizabeth I for over 65 years brought together many pieces of quality and rarity, now disbursed among the wider collecting fraternity across the globe.”
***Please note that these prices include Buyers Premium (24%)***
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
Dix Noonan Webb – a brief history
In 1991, its first year of trading, the company held three medal auctions and sold 1,200 lots for a total hammer price of £553,000. Two years later it opened a coin department which also auctions commemorative medals and tokens and in 2015 DNW added jewellery to its sales calendar. In 2018, it set up a standalone banknotes department and expanded into premises next door. In the same year, DNW achieved a total hammer price of £11,676,580 and the total number of lots across all departments was 20,273. To date the company has sold in excess of 300,000 lots totalling £155 million.
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