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CM06530

Ireland, George III 1804 silver proof Six Shillings Bank of Ireland

Ireland, George III (1760-1820), silver Proof Bank of Ireland Six Shillings, 1804, struck on a 42mm flan, laureate and draped bust right, top leaf of laurel wreath points to end of E, C.H.K on truncation, legend and toothed border surrounding, GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA REX., rev. struck en medaille, Hibernia seated left, holding spray of leaves, harp to right with 10 strings, ground-line extends into legend, date and value in exergue, 1804 / SIX SHILLINGS, legend around upper half, BANK OF IRELAND TOKEN, the whole coin struck over a Spanish Empire Eight Reales, weight 26.95g (Vice 41 dies 1s/A1; D&F 616; S.6615). Toned with underlying proof brilliance a little impaired, some light digs, extremely fine.

26.95 grams of .925 silver. Made in the UK.

Provenance:
Ex Spink Numismatic Circular, February 2004, item IM0595.

These Irish pieces interestingly 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.

David Vice recorded the different dies and varieties of these Bank of Ireland pieces in his 1993 article in the Format list. There he detailed all the original Soho pieces of which this is one of the original proofs stuck on a 42mm flan with the reverse ground extending nearly to the border either side. There was a total of 1,100 of these proofs struck by the Soho Mint, 1,000 of which mint-master Matthew Boulton acquired for his own use. Of the 100 pieces not taken by Matthew Boulton, 48 were preliminary patterns which may have been of the other obverse variety where the front leaf points to the centre of E. 52 pieces only were actually for the use of the Bank of Ireland to supply to their customers. Amazingly Boulton did not find new homes for all the coins he had taken on and ended up cashing in 650 proofs with the Bank of Ireland to melt down and refine. Therefore the maximum population of these proofs was no more than 450 pieces and surviving numbers will no doubt be much less with over 200 years elapsed since issue.

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