An impressive single-owner collection of 33 Sovereigns from the reign of Queen Elizabeth I is estimated to fetch in the region of £900,000 when they are sold by international coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialists Dix Noonan Webb on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at 2pm. The George Holloway Collection of Fine Sovereigns of Elizabeth I comprises 33 examples of the largest coin produced during Elizabeth’s reign and is thought to be about a tenth of the total number of specimens still extant. Mr Holloway, who lived in the East Midlands, collected these coins over a 60-year period and the collection is now being sold by his family.

As Peter Preston-Morley, Head of Coin Department at Dix Noonan Webb, comments: “The coins in this sale are representative of one man’s remarkable study, over almost 60 years, of all the known examples of Elizabeth I’s magisterial series of fine gold sovereigns. Mr Holloway, fondly remembered by members of the British coin trade as a diligent researcher of these coins, has left an archive detailing no less than 341 different specimens, each of them described in the detail that only a true enthusiast can muster, right down to the most minor striking characteristic.”
 
He goes on to say: “The largest denomination issued by Elizabeth, her predecessor Mary and successor James I, the fine sovereign, a denomination originally introduced by her grandfather Henry VII, was tariffed at 30 shillings and made its debut under Edward VI in 1550; the last such coins, popularly known as rose ryals, were coined in 1624. On 31 December 1558 Elizabeth issued a commission to Sir Edmund Peckham, authorising him to strike sovereigns and other denominations in fine gold (23ct 3.5 grains [= 240 grains]), together with a range of crown gold divisions (22 carat).”

And finishes: “Initially very little crown gold was struck at the commencement of her reign, but by 1562 it had entirely displaced fine gold in the mint output, presumably because its better wearing qualities commended it to the merchants. The second series of Elizabethan fine sovereigns, struck in 1584 and the following years, owe their initial existence to the government authorizing their issue, along with ship ryals, as a means of financing the expedition of the Earl of Leicester to the Netherlands in 1585. The second series is thought to have continued until the Spring of 1593.”


From the very rare First issue Sovereigns, issued in 1559 and 1560, is the most expensive example in the sale. Depicting the Queen seated on an ornamented throne holding an orb and sceptre on one side and the Royal arms in the centre of a Tudor rose on the other, this coin is one of only eight known to exist, and is estimated at £60,000-80,000 [lot 1]. From the Second issue is another depicting the Queen in a similar pose, which is one of 18 known to exist and is estimated at £40,000-50,000 [lot 6] and a later Second issue coin dating from 1592 to 1593 and one of nine known to exist is expected to fetch £30,000-40,000 [lot 33].

FORTHCOMING SALES AT DNW
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10 - ORDERS, DECORATIONS, MEDALS AND MILITARIA
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23 – JEWELLERY, WATCHES & OBJECTS OF VERTU
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25 – BRITISH, IRISH AND WORLD BANKNOTES
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1 & 2 – COINS, TOKENS & HISTORICAL MEDALS
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8 - ORDERS, DECORATIONS, MEDALS AND MILITARIA


Free online bidding is available is
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For more information, please call 020 7016 1700
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
Dix Noonan Webb – a brief history
In 1991, its first year of trading, the company held three medal auctions and sold 1,200 lots for a total hammer price of £553,000, however 30 years later, DNW is established as the premier medal auctioneer worldwide. Two years later, in 1993, it opened a coin department which also auctions commemorative medals and tokens. In 2015 DNW added jewellery to its sales calendar as well as setting up a stand alone banknotes department and expanding into premises next door. In 2020 DNW achieved a total hammer price of £14,256,060 and the total number of lots sold across all departments was 24,400. To date the company has sold in excess of 350,000 lots totalling over £200 million.
For further press information and images please contact:
Rachel Aked - Tel: 07790732448/ Email:
Rachel@rachelaked.co.uk
October 2021