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The Brian Boyce Collection of Victorian Pennies

9th December 2020.

Victorian pennies represent one of the most popular areas of numismatics. With pennies issued most years from 1841-1901 and with three main obverse types, each having its own varieties, the scope for collecting is vast.

Most Victorian pennies are relatively inexpensive coins due to some years having such large mintages, for example 36,449,000 pennies were issued in 1861 and 50,534,000 in 1862. However, because of the long lives some coins see in circulation it is rare for these to survive in very high grades.

Another popular area is die varieties. These occur when new dies are produced and when existing dies are re-punched because of either a defect like a letter in the legend being misaligned or inverted, or a die still being in good order when a year ends so the next year is punched over the previous. Evidence of these earlier mistakes is clear, often without the need for magnification.

Tennants is delighted to be offering The Brian Boyce Collection of Victorian Pennies for sale in the Coins and Banknotes Sale on 17th February. Put together over a period of 25 years, this collection is a near comprehensive representation of dates in the Victorian penny series.

The first offering in this collection is an 1841 “young head” penny, with an obverse and reverse design by William Wyon in Extremely Fine condition with traces of mint lustre. This is the first year in Victoria’s reign during which pennies were issued. This coin (ref: S. 3948) will be offered with an estimate of £180 – £220 (estimates exclude buyer’s premium).

A scarce offering is an 1848/6 penny. It is assumed that an 1846 die was still in working order and was repurposed for use as an 1848 die by simply re-punching the last digit in the date. This example, attractively toned and in Extremely Fine condition with some spots on the obverse, will be offered with an estimate of £250 - £350.

This 1851 penny is a noteworthy example, having an E punched over a misaligned E in ‘DEF’ on the reverse. This type is not published in Coins of England and the United Kingdom by Spink, and in addition being in Extremely Fine condition makes this a very interesting lot with an estimate of £100 - £150

The 1869 “bun head” penny, which had a mintage of only 2,580,000, represents one of the rarest coins in the Victorian penny series. This example in Near Uncirculated condition with approximately 50% of its mint lustre will be offered with an estimate of £1,500 - £2,000.

‘The Brian Boyce Collection of Victorian Pennies’ will be sold in 30 lots comprising 36 coins in Very Fine to Uncirculated condition.

There will be further lots from Mr Boyce’s collection throughout the sale, including Stuart hammered silver, James II Irish gun money coinage and a rare Edward VII 1905 shilling with a mintage of only 488,300, which is offered with an estimate of £250 - £350.


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