This was a private issue, struck by Spink & Son, in 1902, to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII, but with the design elements of the Tower Mint Crowns issued under Charles I. The obverse depicts a crowned Edward VII, on horseback, donning coronation robes. The reverse shows an ornate, oval arms. The die work is wonderful, typical of late 19th century British engravers, but with the fields textured and the lettering in the legends hand cut, reminiscent of the cruder style of the Charles I pieces.
These were struck in silver, both normal thickness and double thick, representing half-crowns and crowns; there has been some conjecture that these were struck as proposals for a gold 10 Pound coin, as the weight of this piece is 81.00 grams and the one listed in the Wilson-Rasmussen reference has a recorded weight of 79.98 grams. Where the standard Royal Mint issued 5 pound pieces weigh 39.94 grams, this postulate makes sense. It is also important to note that this is the sole gold pattern struck during Edward VII’s reign.
This lovely and historic piece has a great pedigree, going back to the John H. Clapp Collection, which was sold intact in 1942 via Stack’s. As stated above, the coin was sold by us in the ANR sale of the Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection of World Gold Coins, April 2005. It later appeared in the St. James sale of September 2010, lot 560. This will be a centerpiece in the next cabinet it graces, as it was as part of the most famous collection of coins ever assembled. On behalf of the staff of Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio, we wish you the best of luck in bidding. Catalogs for this event are currently in production; to reserve a copy, please contact one of our auction services associates. The auction will shortly be uploaded to our website, www.stacksbowers.com.