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CM03938

Anne 1702 Pattern Guinea, AR monogram centre, rarity R6, AU55

Anne (1702-14), gold Pattern Guinea, 1702, obverse engraved by John Croker, laureate bust left with lovelock of hair on shoulder, legend and toothed border surrounding, ANNA. DEI. GRATIA. rev. inverted die axis, engraved by Samuel Bull, AR cypher at centre of crowned cruciform shields, ornamental sceptres in angles, date either side of top crown, legend and toothed border surrounding, .MAG BR: FRA ET. HIB REG: edge, plain (W&R 59 R6; Hocking 1556; Crowther page 28; Ruding supp. Plate VI, No.27). Some light hairlines and nicks both sides, with pleasing copper red tone and plenty of eye appeal, practically extremely fine, has been graded and slabbed by NGC as AU55 and extremely rare with less than five known examples and the first pattern Guinea ever produced by the Royal Mint.

NGC certification 2735930-001 - only two examples have ever been graded and the coin offered here is the finer by two grades, and therefore finest known to NGC.

This seems to be the very first gold pattern Guinea ever produced for this gold denomination, and certainly the first proposed design for the gold Guinea in the reign of Queen Anne defined by a Warrant dated the 30th June 1702. In this written record the Queen, reacting to the "forms depicted in a draught" (Mint record 19/III.282) requested her cousin Charles Earl of Carlisle, as the Earl Marshall of England to direct the Mint, that they "change the cypher AR into a rose upon the gold monies" which reflects the design change that appears as pattern number 58 in the Wilson and Rasmussen publication, when clearly it should have been placed the other way around chronologically speaking. A further design improvement was also requested to the obverse to give the Queen some drapery below the neck, "like the drapery on the Coronation medals," leading to the proof of the Guinea produced also dated 1702, as number 60 in Wilson and Rasmussen.

At the time that this pattern Guineas was produced the administration of the Mint on a daily basis was under the charge of Isaac Newton (before he was knighted in 1705), the post of Chief Engraver was filled by the elderly Henry Harris who had been at the mint since 1681, but was seemingly infirm for delicate die work by the accession of Queen Anne, he later passes away in 1704/5 period. Therefore, the task of producing the new coinage patterns fell upon principally John Croker for the obverses (which was traditionally the privilege of the Chief Engraver) and the reverses to Samuel Bull.

John Croker, otherwise known by his German birth name Johann Crocker (1670-1741), also worked upon the Coronation Medals which were produced before any new coins of the reign. Queen Anne had acceded the throne on the 8th March 1701/02, with the year end at that time being 25th March 1701/2. The surviving Mint documentation shows that the medals were designed to be struck after the 15th April 1702, and presumably therefore in time for the Coronation on the 23rd April 1702. Croker and Bull therefore must have been straight onto the work for the coinage after the medals dies were finished and it this means that this undraped and AR cypher pattern must have been struck in the period from late April until the Warrant of the 30th June 1702. It must have come first before the pattern piece with the rose at the centre of the reverse and of course before the adopted currency design with the draped bust and rose at centre reverse. This coin is such a numismatically significant Royal Mint production, being the first proposed pattern for a gold Guinea, with Croker later being responsible for all the gold pattern and proof obverses through the reigns of Queen Anne, George I and the early reign of George II, he having become Chief Engraver by 1705.

The abbreviated Latin legends translate as "Anne, by the grace of God" on the obverse and "Queen of Great Britain, France and Ireland" on the reverse.

Provenance:

Ex John G. Murdoch, Part II, Sotheby, 8th June 1903, lot 880 and plate XIV, sold for £17/15/- to Spink.

Ex Virgil M Brand Collection; dispersed post mortem from 1932.

Ex Spink Numismatic Circular, July-August 1972, no. 7312.

Ex Spink Numismatic Circular, April 1981, no. 3027.

Ex H.W. Collection, Triton XXI, 9th January 2018, lot 1505.

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