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BI02008

Sovereign 1891 Melbourne, short tail (DISH M15)

Victoria (1837-1901), gold Sovereign, 1891, Melbourne, Australia Mint, Golden Jubilee style bust facing left, small crown and veil on head, pearl earring and 13 pearl necklace, raised J.E.B. initials close on truncation with right angled J, initials of engraver J Edgar Boehm, second abbreviated Latin legend, G: closer to crown, toothed border surrounding, VICTORIA D:G: BRITT: REG: F:D: rev. struck en medaille, St George and dragon right, horse with short tail, broken lance to left on ground-line, tiny WWP under lance, initials of William Wellesley Pole, Master of Mint when design introduced, M mint mark at centre of ground-line, date in exergue, initials B.P to upper right, for engraver Benedetto Pistrucci, edge milled (DISH M15 R4; Marsh 135; S.3867B). Surface marks in the fields, otherwise good very fine and very rare.

There was, until recently, much confusion about this variety of coin. Both the "Spink Standard Catalogue" and "PCGS" had incorrectly listed the long tail as rarer than the short tail, when the inverse was true. This has now been corrected by both, and now at last being more widely acknowledged as the very rare coin it is. We would also take this opportunity to revise the rarity rating to R4 as clearance of the confusion has revealed a truer picture of examples available.

Provenance:

Ex Reserve Bank of Australia auction, Downies, Australia, sale 290, 29th November 2005, lot 2133.

Ex Quartermaster Collection, Monetarium, 4th June 2009, lot 144.

Ex George Collection, St. James Auction 25, 5th March 2014, lot 131.

On each occasion above the coin has been described as the finest known.

Sold as part of the David Iverson Collection on the 130th anniversary of the Jubilee head Sovereign - coin JH38

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