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HM30451

George V 1927 6-coin proof Set with original case, NGC graded PF63-PF66

George V (1910-36),Proof 0.500 silver Set of the new coinage of 1927, Wreath Crown, Halfcrown, Florin, Shilling and Sixpence, with original case of issue (S.PS14).Coins lightly toned practically as struck, have all been slabbed and graded by NGC between PF63 and PF66 as detailed in footnote below.

NGC Certifications:

Proof Wreath Crown = PF63 NGC 2130750-002.

Proof Halfcrown = PF63 NGC 2130750-003.

Proof Florin = PF65 NGC 2130750-004

Proof Shilling = PF66 NGC 2130750-005.

Proof Sixpence = PF63 NGC 2130750-006.

Proof Threepence = PF66 NGC 2130750-007.

The George V (1910-36) 1927 new coinage sets struck in 0.500 silver were limited to a mintage of 15,030, many have since been broken up and sold as individual Proof coins, equally many remain in their specimen cases; they have been steadily popular in the last decade, especially when in their original cases or card outfits. The sets follow the traditional denomination down formula; in this instance Crown to threepence, a six-coin set with red leather box and black felt cushion and a beige silk inlay or alternatively a standard cardboard boxed case.

Obverse designed by Betram Mackennal and the reverse by George Edward Kruger Gray, legends again formulaic and consistent when translated as "George the Fifth by the Grace of God, King of all the Britain's, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India." The 58th annual report of the Royal Mint in 1927 announced the sets would cost fifteen shillings at the time when housed in cardboard, an additional six shillings for the red leather case. Between the 1st December 1927 and Christmas day 9,492 sets were sold, an unprecedented figure - all the 1911 sets of varying arrangements managed to sell a grand total of approx. 6,000 sets, sold over a nine month period, this juxtaposition shows a huge pull for the new 1927 coinage sets, even with the run up to Christmas factored in.

Notably, it seems the Half-crown employed a shield design that seemed to be based upon or at least had its rudiments in the Henry VIII Irish first harp issue groat. Kruger Gray may have been personally aware of this elongated shield design or had it put forward to him by one of his team.

The reception to the coins was a mixed bag, there were repeated criticisms of the sixpence, however much of the debate was to be expected, popular opinion is almost invariably spread into two camps when a new coinage is declared, perhaps even today as it was then. The 'debate' is probably best epitomised with a correspondence in the Times newspaper between C. W. C. Oman and M. H. Spielmann [see, Spink Numismatic circular - December 1927 pages 622-633], where 'artistic heresy' is one of the insults articulated, much of the wider discourse is centred around the Crown design and aesthetic technicalities. The wreath Crowns continued to be minted as currency for each from 1928 to 1936 bar the Silver Jubilee design of 1935, directly due to the success of the 1927 proof set and as the Bank of England requested them for their customers at Christmas time to obtain to present as gifts.

Ultimately, the 1927 Proof sets appear to be steeped history and are both accessible and popular at the time and still today, numismatically important as new designs that mark a change in the evolution of coinage.

Sir Bertram Mackennal (1863-1931), An Australian sculptor and medallist, making coins, medals and sculptures of George V, signing his work B. M.

Kruger Gray (1880-1943), Medallist and seal engraver, designed reverses for George V and George VI, the great seal of George VI and the Gold medal of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Provenance:

Ex Dr Rolf Baumhauer Collection, part 4, Sincona, Auction 82, 15th May 2023, lot 1932.

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