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George IV, 1821 Proof Half-Sovereign Extremely Rare, R3 NGC Proof 63 Ultra Cameo

- Extremely rare. Rated R3 by both Wilson & Rasmussen and Marsh.

- A stunning example of the highly sought-after Pistrucci proofs, featuring one of his most revered busts.

- This coin has been awarded the Ultra/Deep Cameo designation so coveted on these proof issues.

Condition
NGC Proof 63 Ultra Cameo. Struck in full definition with virtually no wear. Full lustre on devices and a deep mirroring to fields. Scattered ribbons of maroon tone. Very attractive to the eye. Extremely rare.
Obverse
Laureate head left, with B.P. below truncation; GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D: [George IV, by the grace of God, King of Britain, defender of the faith].
Reverse
Heavily garnished, crowned shield of arms, with W, W, and P [William Wellesley Pole] hidden in shamrock leaves; ANNO [year] right and date left.
Edge
Milled.
Provenance
ex. SINCONA British Collection, SINCONA 75, lot 315, 16th May 2022.
Our Price:
£12,250.00
Weight
3.99 g
Diameter
approx. 19 mm
Metal
gold
Fineness
22 carat (91.67%)
Fine weight
3.658 g (0.1176 oz t)
Production method
milled
Designer / engraver
Benedetto Pistrucci (1783-1855)
General References
Fr.378 [type]; KM.681; Marsh.403A [R3]; S.; WR.244 [R3]
Collection References
British.II.315 [this coin]; DM.147; Hocking.1864; King.-; Montagu.932; Murdoch.384 (part); Nobleman.132/5 (part); Schneider.-; Slaney.415; Stratos.53; Waterbird.-
Certification number

This coin is an extremely rare proof of the iconic engraver Benedetto Pistrucci. The first year of issue for George IV, 1821, saw Pistrucci debut one of his most accomplished and striking designs: the laureate bust of George IV. This intricately precise, yet strong and powerful, bust accompanies a reverse of detail beyond belief.

Moving the coin around under light, a strong cameo springs to life. Deeply reflective, subtly olive fields accent the vibrantly lustrous devices. Frenetic swathes of lustre dance over the fine slopes of the King’s face perfectly accenting and breathing life into the engraving. The hair and wreath, much more intricately cut, explode with a lustre that oozes from each of the seemingly infinite intricacies. The reverse of the coin is equally a masterclass in fine style. A standard motif of British coinage, the Royal coat of arms, has been joyfully reinvented here by Pistrucci. The edges of the shield are alive with rose, shamrock and thistle. Each with an unbelievable realism achieved only with the absolute highest level of skill. So intricate is the design that close examination of each shamrock will reveal a W, another W, and a P: the initials of master of the mint Sir William Wellesley Pole.

Interestingly, a problem arose out of this half-sovereign’s design being near identical to that of the concurrent sixpence. Fraudsters would take the similarly sized and weighted sixpences and gild them to pass off as the far more valuable half-sovereigns. This design was quickly changed in response to this issue, making the design of this coin short-lived and rare thusly.

George IV (1762-1830)

George IV was the personification of the decadent Regency period. Although the technical span of his reign was from 1820 to 1830, he had been in control of the country since early 1811 when his father’s debilitations forced a retirement in all practical senses. George, as Prince Regent, led (or was supposed to lead) the country through the Napoleonic Wars and 1816, and The Year Without a Summer - when one of the most violent volcanic eruptions in 1,300 years plunged half of the world into a false winter with very real consequences. Nothing grew. And as such poverty was rampant. The tastes of the Prince however became more and more repugnant in their resplendence, growing almost as quickly as the public’s resentment of their deluded and gluttonous leader. Civil unrest bubbled and foamed only to be crushed with new, authoritarian laws such as the death penalty for unlicensed public meetings. Parliament agreed to clear the Prince’s debts if he would take a wife; which he did, only to disown and treat her with the cruel and cold brutality he had become so accustomed to.

With his coronation, this story only continued. King George IV fiercely fought parliamentary reform while defending religious intolerance. Towards the end of his life, ashamed of his bloated physical appearance and diminished public appeal, the King eschewed public life and preferred to live his hedonism in private. He died in 1830, deranged, grossly overweight and a laughingstock.

The British Collection

This coin graced the illustrious British Collection, sold by the Swiss auction house SINCONA in two parts. The collection is one of the most complete and important collections of British coinage ever to exist. Assembled over 50 years of collecting with pieces spanning nearly six centuries and all of astounding quality, the collection sold for $5.8 million and stands as a momentous event in British numismatics, likely not to be bested for years to come.

It is worth noting however that most of the coins in the sale were sold without their provenances, much of which were of the highest prestige. Independent research on our part has been successful in reuniting some of these significant pieces with their history.

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UK

All UK orders are shipped via DHL Express. Insurance cover at 0.1% of order total will be added. Prices are excluding VAT.

Country 
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UK £8.50 £16.00
Channel Islands £10 £17.00
Isle of Man £10 £17.00
Gibraltar £22 £45.00

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Royal Mail

DHL

 

Country

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DHL

Albania

£15.00

£45.00

 

Liechtenstein

£15.00

£45.00

Andorra

£15.00

£40.00

 

Lithuania

£15.00

£40.00

Austria

£15.00

£35.00

 

Luxembourg

£15.00

£35.00

Belarus

£15.00

£55.00

 

Malta

£15.00

£40.00

Belgium

£15.00

£35.00

 

Moldova

£15.00

£55.00

Bosnia Herz.

£15.00

£45.00

 

Monaco

£15.00

£35.00

Bulgaria

£15.00

£40.00

 

Netherlands

£15.00

£35.00

Croatia

£15.00

£40.00

 

Norway

£15.00

£45.00

Czech Rep.

£15.00

£40.00

 

Poland

£15.00

£40.00

Denmark

£15.00

£40.00

 

Portugal

£15.00

£35.00

Estonia

£15.00

£40.00

 

Romania

£15.00

£40.00

Finland

£15.00

£40.00

 

Russia

£15.00

£55.00

France

£15.00

£35.00

 

San Marino

£15.00

£35.00

Germany

£15.00

£35.00

 

Serbia

£15.00

£45.00

Greece

£15.00

£40.00

 

Slovakia

£15.00

£40.00

Hungary

£15.00

£40.00

 

Slovenia

£15.00

£40.00

Iceland

£15.00

£45.00

 

Spain

£15.00

£35.00

Ireland

£15.00

£35.00

 

Sweden

£15.00

£40.00

Italy

£15.00

£35.00

 

Switzerland

£15.00

£45.00

Latvia

£15.00

£40.00

 

Ukraine

£15.00

£55.00

Rest of the world

Orders to rest of the world are shipped via Royal Mail up to an order value of £2,500, via DHL on order values over £2,500. Insurance cover at 0.5% of order total will be added. Prices are excluding VAT.

Country

Royal Mail

DHL

US

£15.00

£50.00

Canada

£15.00

£50.00

Australia

£15.00

£55.00

Japan

£15.00

£55.00

Singapore

£15.00

£55.00

China

£15.00

£55.00

Rest of World

£20.00

£55.00

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