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    Exquisitely Rare Francis & Mary Ducat - Likely One of Just Two Held Privately

    Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1567) & Francis I of France gold Ducat of 60 Shillings 1558 Fine Details (Tooled) NGC, Edinburgh mint, S-5399, Fr-35 (Very Rare; this piece cited), Burns-pg. 325, 1b (Fig. 888b [same dies]), SCBI XXXV-Unl. 7.28gm. Second period. By Hairt (?). • FRAN • ET • MA • D • G • R • R • SCOTOR • DELPHIN • VIEN •, armored bust of Francis and mantled and veiled head of Mary, wearing ruffled collar, facing one another; crown above. / • HORVM • TVTA • FIDES • 1558 •, cruciform pattern of four crowns and eight intertwined dolphins; cross of Lorraine in each quarter. An excessively rare coin, this specimen is likely just the second piece held privately along with the example emanating from the collection of the late Archbishop Sharp, as the other three known specimens are in public collections (the British Museum, the National Museum of Antiquities at Edinburgh, and the Bibliotheque Nationale). Burns, at the time of his publication in 1887, knew of only two (the first two museums mentioned previously), indicating the ensuing 133 years have only brought to light about three additional examples. Though seeing its fair share of wear along with some degree of tooling, the immense importance of this coin cannot be overstated, as it is the only gold issue following Mary's marriage to Francis before his untimely death in 1560; the unique gold emission during her first widowhood (S-5400) is now simply accepted as a pattern. Truly, a fabled, wondrous, and enigmatic issue within the Scottish hammered series specifically and within the entirety of British coinage in general. It goes without saying that the opportunity to acquire this majestic rarity is a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and we expect that it will clearly be recognized as such.
    Ex. Douglas Collection (Spink Auction 119, March 1997, Lot 290) (where it realized a hammer of £77,000); Privately purchased from Sheldon Fay
    From the Penn Collection




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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2021
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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