England (1551) sovereign Fr-185

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Ponterio sale 176, lot 20080
Eng c1551 sovereign rev P176-20080.jpg

This specimen was lot 20080 in Ponterio sale 176 (Chicago, August 2013), where it sold for $329,000. The catalog description[1] noted, "GREAT BRITAIN. Edward VI, 1547-1553. Fine Sovereign of 30 Shillings, ND (1551). Ostrich Head. Southwark. Exceedingly Rare and Choice Fine Sovereign Style of Henry VII Fine Sovereigns. King seated on throne with orb and scepter, portcullis at feet; his boyish appearance is questionable (he looks like James I in fact). Rv. Tudor rose with square topped shield at center. Exceedingly rare and important. An exceptional type and a key piece for a Fine Sovereign collection of the Tudor Dynasty. This museum item has been off the market since it was last sold at Spink’s Reverend Mallinson Sale in 1984. Here is a well pedigreed piece that has been appreciated by two devoted scholars over the course of six decades. Excellent color on a virtually round flan, the legends short in just a very few spots. Though it is tough to spot, there is a faint crack near the ostrich head (as mentioned by Spink). Conservatively graded in 1984 as ‘About Very Fine.’ Extremely Fine. Ex: Spink's 1984 Mallinson Sale, No. 39, Lot 86; previously Glendining Auction 29-30 September 1941, lot 318. [Spink tag note: “I had to fight Ryan for this” A.[rnold] M.[allinson]." This sovereign was tariffed at thirty shillings instead of the usual twenty. This specimen is a product of the Southwark mint.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: gold, 240 grains; this specimen 236.7 grains.

Catalog reference: S-2446; North-1926; Fr-185.


  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 7th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2003.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, and Bruce Roland Hagen, Ponterio sale 176: The Thos. H. Law Collection of English Gold Coins, Irvine, CA: Stack's Bowers, LLC, 2013.
  • Lobel, Richard, Mark Davidson, Allan Hailstone and Eleni Calligas, Coincraft's Standard Catalogue of English and UK Coins, 1066 to Date, London: Coincraft, 1995.
  • Skingley, Philip, ed., Standard Catalogue of British Coins: Coins of England & the United Kingdom, 46th edition, London: Spink & Son, 2011.

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