British Colonial Coins in Arielle Collection auction

Baldwin’s will hold the first auction of British Colonial Coins in Africa from The Arielle Collection on 26 September at the CIPFA Conference Centre, United Kingdom. The collection include coins of British West Africa and East Africa, extending across the continent to Rhodesia and to Mauritius and Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean, one of the most impressive British Colonial coin collections to be sold by public auction.

Nickel-Brass

This collection offers the perfect introduction to British Colonial Coins in Africa, assembled at a time when the area was relatively unexplored by many numismatists. The pinnacle of the British West Africa pieces is lot 3202, a Nickel-Brass 1928 George V 2-shilling (pictured). This uncirculated piece is a rare survivor, as it is believed that as many as 22,000,000 of these 2-shillings and shillings were melted down in 1929, following economic hardship. The rarity too of the 1928 date, and semi-prooflike condition, ensures that this is a very desirable coin and is sure to attract significant interest. The coin carries a pre-sale estimate of £6000-£8000.

The collection is further strengthened by an almost complete run of dates in the British West Africa section, any dates absent from this run are largely made up for by the high volume and quality of proofs presented. Among those offered in this sale are several complete sets including lot 3220, a George V, 1913 Double Royal Mint Proof Set, in its original box, and lot 3483, a 1932 Southern Rhodesia Uniface Reverse Proof Set, of which there are only two known. These two lots are estimated to sell for £2,000-2,500 and £3,000-5,000 respectively.

Ackey coin

Collectors of British Colonial Africa are spoilt for choice with the array of proofs and rarities including lot 3270, an 1818 Gold Coast Silver Pattern ½-Ackey (picture above) of which only five examples are known. This stunning piece, in brilliant mint state, is excessively rare with only four or five other examples known. This pattern is quite distinctively different from the currency pieces. The planchet is thinner and wider at 26.6mm vs 25.3mm for the currency piece. The portrait is more in line with the English coins being produced at this time. Other differences include the placement of the denomination “1/2 TRADE ACKEY” under the bust. This lovely coin is estimated to sell for £2,000-3,000.

Silver Florin

1921 George V cupro-nickel cent

The East Africa offering boasts lot 3663, a George V pattern Silver Florin, 1921, as well as lot 3534, a rare George V cupro-nickel cent of the same year, a date of cupro-nickel cent which was never released for circulation. 

Sierra Leone

Lot, 3253, a 1791 Sierra Leone Silver proof Dollar is a standout piece from elsewhere on the continent. These three lovely lots are estimated at £3,000-5,000, £3,000-4,000 and £6,000-8,000. 

Zanzibar

Lot 3694 is a very rare and extremely fine AH 1299 Gold 5-Riyals from Zanzibar with an extremely fine estimate of £8,000-10,000.

"The second part of this outstanding collection will sold in London in May 2014. More details of all Baldwin’s forthcoming auctions can be found online at Baldwin’s website, www.baldwin.co.uk. and the catalogue for this sale can be found at www.baldwin.co.uk/auction-85. Baldwin will held another auction for Ancient and World coins and medals in Baldwin Auction 83 on the 24th of September at Coinex 2013. The Coinex exhibition is organised by the British Numismatic Trade Association and more information can be found on their website at www.bnta.net.

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