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EI16926

Victoria 1893 10-coin proof Set Old head PF60-65 with case

Regular price £47,500
Regular price Sale price £47,500

Victoria (1837-1901), Proof set consisting of four gold and six silver coins, 1893, obverse design by Thomas Brock, gold Five-Pounds, Two-Pounds, Sovereign, Half-Sovereign, silver Crown, Florin, Shilling, Sixpence, Threepence, all with older veiled head obverse (S.PS7). Attractively toned and slabbed by NGC as follows:

Proof Five Pounds PF60 Cameo, NGC certification 5879391-001.

Proof Two Pounds PF63 Ultra Cameo, NGC certification 5879391-002.

Proof Sovereign PF62 Cameo, NGC certification 5879391-003.

Proof Half Sovereign PF63 Ultra Cameo, NGC certification 5879391-004.

Proof Crown PF63, NGC certification 5879391-005.

Proof Halfcrown PF65 Cameo, NGC certification 5879391-006.

Proof Florin PF61, NGC certification 5879391-007.

Proof Shilling PF62, NGC certification 5879391-008.

Proof Sixpence PF64, NGC certification 5879391-009.

Proof Threepence PF63, NGC certification 5879391-010.

All labels in slabs provenanced to the "Gemini Collection" with original deluxe case.

Only 773 complete sets were originally sold by the Royal Mint.

The new coinage of 1893 was by all accounts immediately well received, the direct result of the apparent ineptitude of the Jubilee series placed the fresh designs in good stead. In the Spink monthly numismatic circular of March 1893 there contains an article by Max Pemberton which summarises the mood at the time. "-the humorously hideous Jubilee coins is now nigh forgotten - the obverse of all the new coins will bear the new head of her majesty which Mr Brock has designed. It is as you may see, an infinitely artistic thing." There are several other quotes which on the whole can be interpreted or framed into two schools of the thought, a) these older bust portrait coins executed by Thomas Brock and Mr Poynter are genuinely innovative, stylish and well executed and b) the new coinage was seen as a much-needed change to then disliked Jubilee series. The Queen with coronet and lace veil were particularly appealing, some of the Silver pieces were subject however to a myopic scrutiny relating to the amount of words in the legends and accusations of "ill balance" and a "want for rotundity" were put forward. One must consider, these were criticisms of the day and were role specific to a certain point in time, also the new coinage of 1893 would have still been set side by side with other older Hanoverian coins and Latin legend standards. All in all, the 1893 series was a huge success then, as it is now.

The 10-coin Proof set, as is the case with all the Royal mint gold and silver Proof assemblages follows a display of the denominations, from large to diminutive. A Gold Five and Two-pound piece, a Sovereign and its half, into the Silver, a Crown to Threepence. The Gold pieces and the Crown with the Pistrucci reverse die, the other pieces with armorial and imperial Heraldic designs fastened and connected to the United Kingdom. Quintessential late Victoriana.

The Royal Mint annual report of 1894, volume 25 (p.33-34) outlines some interesting information on the volume and the way in which these proof sets (referred to as Specimen coins) were struck. Specially prepared specimens of the 1893 new coinage began to be prepared in September of 1893 - brought to a halt in 1894. In accordance with their lordships directions the following statistical data is at hand as a primary reference point, for these sets.

Complete sets of gold and silver coins: 756

Sets of Gold coins : 17

Sets of Silver : 556

In today's market the older head Brock portrait coinage does hold a premium, they are always it seems in great demand especially when Proof struck types or sets, the price guides also reflect this; especially with the Five Pound pieces whether currency or Proof, an 1893 is considerably more difficult to procure than an 1887 Five-pound coin.

Biographical note:

Sir Thomas Brock (1847-1922), sculptor. KCB Royal academy 1891. In 1891 commissioned to design the new effigy of Victoria, what became known as the old-veiled bust, a numismatic sea change to Boehm's small crown tiara Jubilee series. Brock received several plaudits, the Times newspaper on 31st January 1893 had stated "the likeness is good [Queen Victoria] and as was to be expected from so scholarly a sculptor as Mr Brock, the modelling is excellent." He also went on to design the diamond Jubilee medal of 1897. The Pall Mall gazette, 20th April 1892, also records that Brock and Edward Poynter were the successful winners in the competition to design the new coinage (ie; the old head coinage of 1893-1901).

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