11 Apr 2021
May 24, 2012 - Filed under: Antique Chests — David

In Lancashire, antique desks are often used to house coin collections, though it’s doubtful there’s an antique mahogany partners desk large enough to accommodate the Bentley Collection – part of which was auctioned off by Baldwin’s of London on 8th May.

Baldwin’s is one of the largest and oldest numismatic auctioneers in the world, and the Bentley Collection has nothing to do with vintage automobiles. Baldwin’s specialise in coins and medals, and the sale is a particularly fitting event for the Queen’s diamond Jubilee year as the Bentley Collection represents one of the largest accumulations of British gold sovereigns in the world. What began as a casual gold investment in the late 1970s rapidly became a hoard of over 1,200 sovereigns, with a total estimated value of at least £3 million.

To allow coin collectors time to plan their purchases, Baldwin’s decided to divide the sale into three parts. The first auction of 381 lots achieved almost £900,000, with the most valuable coin being an 1887 Victoria Pattern Sovereign, realising £33,600 against an estimate of £12,000 – 15,000. The second auction, scheduled for 27th September 2012, will include the most valuable coin in the collection; a rare 1920 Sovereign from the Sydney Mint which could realise in excess of £1 million. The third sale takes place in early May 2013.

No doubt many antique cabinets in Lancashire have the odd gold sovereign tucked away, as they are often given as wedding and christening gifts. If you are thinking of cashing in your own collection, remember that, just as with antique chests, coin auctions charge high commission rates to vendors. Instead, look for a specialist antique dealer in Preston.

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