Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    The Pattern Considered "Too Frivolous" For Issue

    Confederation gold Specimen "Stirnlocke-Vreneli" Pattern 20 Francs 1897-B SP65 PCGS, Bern mint, engraved by Fritz Landry, KM-Pn39, Fr-500, Divo Proben-35. An excessively-rare Confederation Pattern, one of a mere 12 pieces struck, this phenomenal Specimen remains in an outstanding state of preservation, the devices needle-sharp and velvety in contrast with bright and reflective fields. The barest hint of a reddish patina is visible in hand as are a couple of tiny surface marks, primarily visible only with the aid of a glass. This Pattern type is easily distinguished by the edge lettering, which is the same as the previous "Helvetia" type with 13 Stars (the standard issue would have 22 stars) and, most famously, the loose forelock of hair which gives the illusion of a mountain breeze. The only recent example of this type that we have traced at auction appeared in an NGSA sale (Auction 6, November 2010, Lot 926) where it realized CHF 130,000 hammer (approx. $129,800). A singular piece of Swiss numismatic history and destined for the most advanced of cabinets.

    The pattern for what would become known as the "Vreneli" type, dubbed after the Second World War for reasons unknown, as Vreneli or Verena were neither the names of the artist nor model, was designed and engraved by Fritz Landry. The portrait for this was actually his second version, as the first was considered too youthful. In this version, he made the bust more mature, with braided hair and the addition of a strand of Edelweiss flowers around her collar. However, the famous forelock of hair was deemed "too frivolous" by a magistrate in Bern and had to be removed before final approval of this type could be placed into full production.

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    11th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,205

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Sold on Aug 11, 2016 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 16 days left to consign to the 2021 June 16 - 20 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction !

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thank you so much for your yeoman effort to showcase the Julius Reiver collection to its greatest advantage.
    Betsy Reiver DeMarino, V.M.D. ,
    Unionville, PA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search