A British Rarity Rediscovered in Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ August Global Showcase Auction

When considering the entire British Milled Coinage series, a few select issues stand out above all others, with the 1663 Petition Crown of Thomas Simon scoring high on both the desirability and rarity scales. This masterful piece was engraved by Thomas Simon, an engraver for the Royal Mint, and serves as the high point of Simon’s work at the Tower Mint in London, serving as a masterclass in engraving and artistry. Likely produced as an attempt to get back in the good graces of the Monarch after Simon’s service during the Commonwealth Period, this Pattern Crown was produced in extremely limited numbers and is avidly sought by both British collectors and those seeking rarities for their collections. Opportunities are few and far between to acquire one, with specimens arising at auction only infrequently. A survey undertaken a few years ago suggested that perhaps 19 examples Petition Crowns survive to the present day. Of these, eight are presently impounded in museums, leaving the number of potential specimens for collectors at fewer than a dozen.  

When any example resurfaces, much celebration should be in order, and lot 51042 in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries August Global Showcase Auction provides such an opportunity. This specimen has been off the numismatic market for decades, with its last public offering occurring as part of Sotheby’s 1931 sale of Augustus Thelluson’s Collection of British coinage. A.H. Baldwin purchased this lot in the Thelluson auction, and later sold it via private treaty for $1,125. After this transaction, the Crown remained held in a private collection, off the market for decades, while a few other examples of the type traded. The piece was matched to the Thelluson collection specimen via markings that it shares with the plated example in the 1931 sale.

Prior to Thelluson’s ownership, it was sold in 1898 as part of the Henry Clark Collection and before that was presented in the 1893 Arthur Briggs Collection (both sales conducted by Sotheby’s). Now offered as part of the Lucius S. Ruder Collection, this coin’s rich history of ownership is enhanced by the story of its rediscovery more than 90 years after the last time it sold. As it enters a new chapter in its journey, this fabled British rarity serves as a highlight of the entire August Global Showcase sale.

To view our upcoming auction schedule and future offerings, please visit where you may register and participate in this and other sales.

We are always seeking coins, medals, and paper money for future auctions, and are currently accepting consignments for our NYINC auction in January 2024 and for our spring 2024 Hong Kong auction. Additionally, we are accepting consignments for our Collectors Choice Online (CCO) auctions, the next for which we are accepting consignments being in November 2023. If you would like to learn more about consigning, whether a singular item or an entire collection, please contact one of our consignment directors today and we will assist you in achieving the best possible return on your material. Call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected].

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