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COINS & BANKNOTES: November 2020 Sale Preview

30th October 2020.

In a challenging year, Tennants Auctioneers’ Coins, Tokens and Banknotes Sales have proved their strength and stability. Auction prices remain buoyant for both collectable coins and gold, and the sale on 18th November looks set to continue the trend. With rarities including a 1951 Commercial Bank of Scotland Ltd £100 banknote, coins from English Civil War mints and an Extremely Fine Oliver Cromwell silver shilling, it is set to be a very exciting event for collectors.

Starting the sale are ancient lots which includes an intriguing contemporary Eastern (Arabian?) imitation of an Athenian diobol (estimate: £200-250 all prices exclude buyer’s premium). With the obverse depicting the head of Athena and the reverse an owl alongside an olive sprig, this type is akin to the Athenian tetradrachms of the 5th - 4th  centuries B.C., however the diobol is a denomination in which this type was never struck by the Athenians. Due to its wide-ranging acceptance, and as is common across successful coinage, imitations appear, not to deceive but to be accepted into circulation.

Another of our ancient highlights is a very attractive example of a Corinth silver stater (estimate: £300-400). Dating from the 4th century B.C. and depicting Pegasus on the obverse and a helmeted head of Athena on the reverse, this is a superb example of Classical Greek coinage.

Moving through the ages we have a fantastic offering of hammered coinage, commencing with late Anglo-Saxon pennies including an Edward the Confessor penny from the scare Warwick mint (estimate: £250-300). The Tudors also have a solid representation with an Edward VI silver groat in the name of Henry VIII (estimate: £300-400) depicting Henry’s famous later portrait and a superb Edward VI, third period shilling (£300-400).

Charles I, the English Civil War, the Commonwealth and Oliver Cromwell also feature amongst the highlights of this sale with a good selection of Charles I silver coinage including coins of the rare Bridgnorth-on-Severn civil war mint. A superb Commonwealth shilling (estimate: £500-700) is perhaps the best of this type that Tennants’ have handled. A further superb example is an Oliver Cromwell shilling (estimate: £2,000-2,500); with minimal wear on its high points and all mezzotint present, this is a truly stunning coin.

Our leading lot in the banknote category is very rare 1951 Commercial Bank of Scotland Ltd £100 note (estimate: £2,000-3,000). With sharp corners and no evidence of handling this is a truly uncirculated note. Another interesting “rarity” is a 1947 “white note” signed K.O Peppiatt (estimate: £300-400). At such a size and being printed on thin paper these notes are rarely found in uncirculated condition. This example shows no evidence of handling and is one of the finest Tennants have ever handled.

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