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Lot
24518

India: British India. Victoria Silver Type Set Struck in Gold 1862,... (Total: 4 coins)

2014 January 5 - 6 World & Ancient Coin Signature Auction - New York #3030

 
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Auction Ended On: Jan 6, 2014
Item Activity: 6 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Waldorf Astoria - Norse Suite
301 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Description:
Ex: Farouk Collection, Likely Unique as a Set
British India. Victoria Silver Type Set Struck in Gold 1862, 1) 2 Annas, Prid-484, W&R-4.146, PR65 Cameo NGC. Plain edge.

2) 1/4 Rupee, Prid-375, W&R-4.132, PR64 Cameo NGC. Reeded edge.

3) 1/2 Rupee, Prid-257, W&R-4.121, PR64 Ultra Cameo NGC. Reeded edge.

4) Rupee, Prid-68, W&R-4.53, PR63 Cameo NGC. Reeded edge.

Struck during the first year of production for the crowned head Victoria type and the first instance of gold off-metal strikes in British India. The reason for the existence of this type is not entirely known, but several reasons can be hypothesized.  Possible reasons include:

    - Distribution to departments of government prior to official adoption of a design.

    - Distribution to government officials for personal keepsake.

    - Usage as an exhibition set at fairs and the like.

    - Usage by India Office for information or distribution.

Whatever the actual reason, we know today that 1862-dated gold strikings are incredibly rare, and as a set, most likely unique. In fact, after a search of archived auction records, we were only able to find a single instance of a 2 Annas striking in gold with none of the other denominations being represented. As a whole, the set remains in breathtaking condition with all examples being Choice to Gem with attractive cameo contrast. Adding the appeal is the impressive King Farouk pedigree; where it sold as lot 870 in the 1954 Sotheby's Palace Collections auction as, "a brilliant and pretty set, very rare." A custom Capital Plastics holder now accompanies the set and details the coins and their provenance. For the collector of British Indian coinage, this set, with its magnificent history and charm, is bound to become an instant collection centerpiece and it must be considered among the finest trophies that one could think to acquire.
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