Victoria 1844 Pattern Crown

Victoria 1844 Pattern Crown

Victoria (1837-1901), silver "Pattern" Crown, 1844, struck from an unfinished obverse die, young filleted head left, unfinished square of metal present at tip of hair terminal "chignon," W WYON. RA raised on truncation for engraver William Wyon, date below, Latin legend and toothed border surrounding, VICTORIA DEI GRATIA, rev. crowned quartered shield of arms, within laurel wreath, Latin legend and toothed border surrounding, BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF: edge inscribed with incuse letters and star stops, DECUS ET TUTAMEN* ANNO REGNI VIII* weight 28.25g (Bull -; ESC 338 R2; L&S 40; Davies 456). Once cleaned with a number of small nicks and surface marks, otherwise good very fine and a rare variety of the currency crown.

The Latin legends translates on obverse as "Victoria by the Grace of God," and on the reverse "Queen of the Briton's, Defender of the Faith" and on the edge "An ornament and a safeguard, in the eight year of the reign".


The unfinished die variety is an intriguing piece, which when first discovered in late Victorian times was thought to be an extremely rare trial piece. This vision of the rarity continued up until the 1980s with Linecar and Stone giving it a Rarity 6 rating in the late 1960s and Davies rating it on par value wise with other extremely rare pattern Crowns. However by the publication of the English Silver Coinage revision in the early 90s the rarity had been revised to R2 which was a fairer indication at that time of how many more examples had turned up in commerce being a small but significant variety. It would be fairer today to call it merely rare as it seems a number of the earliest currency pieces have the unfinished obverse die. Unfortunately the variety was missed out of the latest English Silver Coinage book by Maurice Bull where a confusion of the older ESC number has been lost in transcription to the new edition so no unfinished die variety is listed!


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