The Birth of the Gothic Florin. Victoria had a long reign, a concluding article in a year-long series on England’s silver coinage in the 1924 Spink Numismatic Circular notes. Thus, while “there were a considerable number of designs for the coinage, several of these never passed the first stage and the majority of those that were struck at the Mint are of considerable rarity. William Wyon was chief engraver at the Mint…and he is responsible for all the patterns until his death in 1851.”
Sometime prior to 1848 Wyon was asked to submit proposals for a coinage that reflected a decimal system, a topic that had been under discussion since the 17th century. He provided a set of superbly conceived coins to establish the denomination that became the Gothic florin. There were three obverse portraits of the young Victoria: a laureate head, a head with a fillet headband (very similar to the young head design used on the currency series), and a crowned head. The crowned head won out and it is this portrait that graces the 1847 Gothic crown as well as the florin series begun in 1848.
The reverses offered a mix of denomination proposals. The coin that was ultimately adopted reads ONE FLORIN — ONE TENTH OF A POUND. But Wyon had other terms and combinations of terms in his proposal as well: ONE DECADE; ONE TENTH OF A CENTUM; ONE DIME; 100 MILLES; TWO SHILLINGS. Bull in ESC lists 27 combinations: three different portraits appearing with nine different denomination wordings. He lists almost all these as “very rare,” an apt designation given how seldom these are offered. In 1925 Spink rated FDC examples of the patterns as worth £2 10. In that same publication, Spink rated a plain edge proof young head Victoria crown in FDC at £10. As a point of comparison, the current Spink Standard Catalog prices Victoria’s plain edge proof crown at £26,500 in FDC.
We try to have a few very special pieces in each of our small E-Auctions. The exquisite laureate head florin graces our cover. But there are other things that merit attention: a well used but not unattractive 1804 U.S. gold piece, an appealing and scarce and exceptionally well centered Theban stater just after the mythological Calydonian boar triobol listing, a rare penny of Edward the Martyr, a well-above-average Exeter crown, some choice Victoria material, a beautiful Scottish 12 shillings of Charles I, two cute 17th century farthing tokens, some high grade “Conders”, and a smattering of foreign silver including some high grade German pre-WWI issues and and several gorgeous prooflike WWI personal medals. (We recently had two similarly graded and valued pieces from this group graded by PCGS for a client, they came back SP63 and SP64.)
Our U.S. type coinage is offered almost all unslabbed, and all with estimates—unlike formal American auctions offering American coins. Most of our American coins show use, an appealing characteristic if you think about the history of the piece and want to stretch your collecting funds. The section on the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition offers issues of the expo itself, and the sale concludes with some attractive and unusual medals.
Enjoy this summer-time sale. We enjoyed putting it together.
Allan, Marnie, & Lief Davisson
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.Close