Bank of Ireland 1804 Proof Six Shillings

Bank of Ireland 1804 Proof Six Shillings

Ireland, George III (1760-1820), silver Proof Bank of Ireland Six Shillings, 1804, laureate and draped bust right, engraved by Conrad Heinrich Kuchler, initials C.H.K: on truncation, top leaf of wreath points to right side of E in Latin legend surrounding with toothed border, GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA REX. rev. struck en medaille, Hibernia left with palm branch and ten string harp, date in exergue, value in words below, legend in English surrounding, BANK OF IRELAND TOKEN with toothed border, edge plain, weight 26.79g (DF 615; Dickinson D; S.6615). Lightly hairlined with flecking on obverse and a couple of blemishes on reverse, toned good extremely fine and very rare.

The Soho produced Bank of Ireland Proof "Dollars" of Six Shillings are much rarer than their Bank of England counterparts due to so many being melted down in 1809 four months before Matthew Boulton died. David Vice in his article on the coinage in 1994 showed that 48 proofs were produced for the private use of the Soho Mint as well as 52 more for Paget and Bainbridge the London agents of the Bank of Ireland. Matthew Boulton himself held the design of the Irish Dollar in such high regard that he ordered 1,000 Proofs for himself to either give as presents or sell on to interested parties. Of this latter group 200 were sent for sale in Dublin but proved slow to sell with some 94 pieces remaining unsold presumably by 1809. Six more pieces were later converted to Haitian coinage, but by far the biggest cull was the cashing in at face value of 650 of these examples presumably to be re-coined or melted at the Bank of Ireland just four months before Matthew Boulton died. Therefore the Irish Proofs are much, much rarer today than the counterpart Bank of England pieces.


These Irish pieces are additionally interesting via the fact that they have a Latin legend on the obverse that translates as "George III, by the grace of God, King" and on the reverse carry an English language legend.