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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
88002046

Extremely Rare Richard III Penny

CNG 88, Lot: 2046. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $6000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

YORK (Restored). Richard III. 1483-1485. AR Penny (15mm, 0.48 g, 7h). Type 2b. London mint; im: boar’s head 1/-. Struck 1483-1484. RICΛ[RD DI GRΛ R]ЄX ΛnGL, crowned facing bust / [CIV]I TΛS LOn [DOn], long cross fourchée, with three pellets in each quarter. North 1684; SCBC 2165; Richard Cyril Lockett Collection (Part II, Glendining, 11 October 1956), lot 1663 (same dies). Near Fine, toned, somewhat rough and clipped. Clear initial mark and mint signature. Extremely rare, as the Lockett specimen was listed as possibly unique.


Prior to the discovery of this coin the only recorded specimen was the Lockett piece, illustrated in the catalogue of the October 1956 sale of his collection. This coin was subsequently acquired by the dealers, B. A. Seaby Ltd. On the weekend of 10-11 February 1962, a daring robbery took place at the Seaby offices at 65 Great Portland Street, London. Later known as the “Brisbane Raid”, the target of the robbery was gold bullion, but many numismatic treasures were taken as well--and subsequently melted down. Among these items was the highly important Peninsular War Gold Cross and other medals and decorations which were awarded to Major-General Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, from whom the capital city of Queensland, Australia, takes its name. The Lockett Richard III Penny, which, at the time, had a staggering asking price of £100, was among the items stolen, has never been seen or recovered since. To this day the reward remains unclaimed. The coin offered here is therefore the only example available to own lawfully and is perhaps the only specimen now extant. Full details of the items stolen can be found in the April edition of the Seaby Coin and Medal Bulletin of 1962, where a reward of £2000 was offered for their safe return.