Lovely George IV 1826 Proof Set

The Stack’s Bowers Galleries August ANA World’s Fair of Money Auction is
now less than a month away. I invite you to browse through the sale online
here. The preview for this
week is another amazing British numismatic property: an impressive
George IV 1826 Proof Set. George IV ascended the throne in 1820
after the death of his father, King George III, though he had served as Regent
during his father’s mental illness. George IV lived an extravagant life with
mistresses and extensive spending. This lifestyle resulted in massive debt
(which his father refused to forgive) though it did bring about an impressive
art collection, with many works now in the Royal Collection.

Artistry is evident in this set, with the coins all featuring the stately
bust of George IV facing left as engraved by William Wyon after Chantrey. The
obverse legends state: “GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA” (George IV, by the Grace of
God). The King’s title is continued on the reverse legends: “BRITANNIAR: REX
FID: DEF:” (King of the British, Defender of the Faith). There are four reverse
designs throughout the set, with the largest denominations (5 Pound through Half
Crown) displaying the King’s coat of arms. In the first and fourth quarter are
three lions passant guardant (for England). The second quarter shows a single
lion rampant within a border representing Scotland. The symbol for Ireland, a
harp, occupies the third quarter. A smaller crowned coat of arms is centered
atop the larger, displaying four separate sections: two lions passant guardant
for Brunswick, a single lion rampant surrounded by hearts for Luneburg, a horse
running left for Hanover. Atop that is an even smaller display of the crown of
Charlemagne. The gold denominations display this coat of arms wrapped in a rich
mantle and crowned while the Crown and Half Crown denominations feature the
coat of arms surmounted by a crowned crest. Just below the design is a banner
with the motto of the British monarch: “DIEU ET MON DROIT” (God and my right).
The Shilling and 6 Pence reverse designs feature the Imperial crown surmounted
by a crowned lion. Just below, a Tudor rose (England), a thistle (Scotland) and
a shamrock (Ireland) all grow from the same stalk. The copper designs in this
set (Half Penny and Farthing) display a seated Britannia facing right with
trident. The same floral design can be found below. Unfortunately the set is
missing the Penny. The Proof Set includes a red leather case marked inside
“SPINK & SON, LONDON”, which is likely newer than the coins. The Farthing
and Half Penny each display a lovely smooth glossy rich chocolate patina with
just a hint of blue amongst the devices. The silver issues each display lovely
slate grey highlighted with beautiful blue, red, purple and golden hues in
varying degrees over hard flashy surfaces and frosted devices. The gold issues
remain bright and highly lustrous with just a hint of honey gold tone. This
handsome set is pleasing to the eye and sure to be a welcome addition to the
next collection it enters.

While we are no longer accepting for our August 2018 ANA Auction, we are
accepting consignments for our October 2018 Collector’s Choice Online Auction and
the January 2019 New York International Auction. In addition, we are taking
consignments of Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our April 2019
Hong Kong Showcase Auction. If you are interested in consigning your coins and
paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) contact one of
our consignment directors.

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