Printed Auction 40 Lot 145

<- Lot 144Lot 146 ->
Winning Losing Won Lost Watching Available in aftersale  
Click image to enlarge
Early Renaissance profile bust
Printed Auction 40 Lot 145

Henry VII. 1485-1509. AR groat, tentative issue. 3.04 gm. 26 mm. Profile bust, type IVa. Upside-down anchor i.m. Tower mint. His crowned bust right, crown with one plain arch, one arch with four crockets each side / CIVITAS LONDON. S. 2254. N. 1743. Mint State.

Bought Spink, 2011, £1750 (tag).

This was a coin that I was shown at Spink a decade ago, back when travel was possible. It is as close to mint state as I have ever seen for this era. Its freshness jumped out and in hand it is particularly impressive. AD


Renaissance portraiture comes to English coinage

The reign of the first of the Tudor kings, Henry VII, was well along before realistic portraiture became a part of the English series. Fine portraiture on coinage had appeared in Renaissance Europe several decades earlier, but other than the 1484-1488 issue of Scotland’s James III with its striking long-haired half-left-facing-bust, realism did not appear in British coinage until 1504 with a testoon and a groat.
The new type of coinage was in part a response to the clipping common with the facing bust issues, and apparently in or about 1504 Henry VII is reported to have ordered a new coinage, with his portrait, “to be impressed.”  At the same time, the world was changing—the Renaissance saw an explosion of exploration by Columbus and Magellan, and a revolution in art by Michelangelo and da Vinci, and this realistic approach to the design of English coins was probably seen as well past due.
This piece in our current sale is a remarkable example of the “tentative issue,” a coinage meant to test acceptance, to prepare the way for a major shift in coinage style. The facing bust issues continued for a while as this new approach to design was being gradually introduced (for comparison, see the last of the medieval facing bust issues in lot 144). In addition to the profile bust, the key design feature is a crown with two bands. When the coin design became fully adopted, the crown was given three bands around the head.
This particular piece occasioned a bit of excitement from a knowledgeable collector and client who observed the unique nature of what appears to be a mustache and beard that extends along the lower cheek and jawline—much like many modern trimmed beards. Would that it were so! There was a brief experiment with the design of the coin when tressures around the portrait were added, but it was unappealing and only four examples of that design survived.
A bearded piece? No. After extensive study of the published dies and close inspection of the coin with my binocular microscope, I have decided that the beard is the effect of a die break on a known die.
But when you think about it, it would have made an even more handsome bit of art on a coin. And it would have predated by 40 years the full bushy beard that depicts the aging Henry VIII.
Nonetheless, this is a spectacular example of a rare and important coin issue.

How Bidding Works


How Bidding Works


Davissons Ltd uses a soft close for its auctions, which means no lot closes until everyone is done bidding. Every time a bid is placed within the final 40 seconds of a lot closing, the timer is reset to 40 seconds. This continues until no bids are placed for 40 seconds, at which point the lot closes. There will never be more than one lot closing at once, as the next lot is not allowed to begin closing until the current lot closes.

To bid: enter your maximum bid into the text box, and click submit. Only round dollar amounts are accepted. You are then required to confirm your bid. Once confirmed, all bids are final. If you have placed a bid in error you must call during office hours and speak to one of us. If you are the current high bidder then it will display “Current High Bidder: YOU” If you are not the high bidder, or if you are not logged in, then the current high bidder will be identified by their 5 digit client ID. You may find your client ID under the Account tab.

Bids are reduced automatically, so feel free to bid your maximum and it will be reduced to one increment over the current high bid. If a user places a bid that is higher than necessary to be the current high bidder on the lot, the displayed bid will reflect one advance over the next lower bid. For example, if a user "A" places a bid of $120 on a lot which opens at $100, "A" will be winning that lot at $100. If another user "B" bids $110, the winning bidder will be "A" at $120, one advance over the supporting bid of $110. If user "B" in this example instead placed a bid at $120, then user "A" will still be winning at $120 because they placed that maximum bid value first.

Increments can be viewed here. The next bid will always be on the next increment, so if a user is winning a lot at $100, or $105, or $109, the next bid will still always be $110.

Connected Disconnected