Noble Numismatics Pty Ltd > Auction 130Auction date: 26 July 2022
Lot number: 484

Price realized: 5,000 AUD   (Approx. 3,479 USD / 3,434 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:

Victorian Police Gold Valour Badge, undated (1916), in 9ct gold and enamel by Bridgland & King, with 9ct gold and enamel suspension brooch bar, reverse of medal inscribed, 'Const Downes/5860'. Good very fine and rare.

Ex Noble Numismatics Sale 122 (lot 589).

Only 22 gold badges awarded.

The above badge was issued at the first public presentation of gold valour badges which had been instituted in 1916. The presentation was made to 17 police officers by the Chief Secretary, Mr McLeod MLA at Russell Street Barracks on 26 September 1916 with about 250 Constables on parade and in attendance was the Chief Commissioner, Mr A.G.Sainsbury and leading officers of the police force.

When presenting the gold badges Mr McLeod said they were a reward for valour. He said men at the front were receiving VCs for deeds not more worthy, perhaps, than some that were performed by the police, and the Government in adopting the innovation felt that a suitable medal should be given to members of the force when exceptional determination, valour, or devotion to duty was exhibited. He eulogised the marked bravery of several constables who had recently faced desperate armed criminals and succeeded in arresting them.

Constable W.Downes along with Constables F.Bresnan and J.Walsh were each recommended for gold badges for displaying great courage and determination when they arrested John Lane, George Rankin and Ernest Watson on 6 May after an exciting chase in the city of Melbourne. The recommendation was made by Inspecting Superintendent L.Gleeson. The constables saw the three men behaving suspiciously in Flinders Lane and followed them. John Lane fired a revolver but nobody was injured. The chase then became exciting with civilians joining in including one soldier who had been wounded at the Gallipoli landing. The three men were captured and then recognised as desperate young criminals who were suspected of having broken into many shops in Melbourne on Saturday afternoons.

John Lane was charged with having shot with intent to murder, with having a housebreaking implement in his possession, and with warehouse breaking. On the charge of having shot at Constable Downes with intent to murder Lane was committed for trial at the Supreme Court. At the trial Constable W.Downes gave evidence regarding the pursuit and capture of Lane. In addition to the revolver, he said a jemmy was also taken from Lane's pocket when he was arrested.

Of the three criminals, Lane was sentenced to five years' imprisonment for having fired at Downes with intent, and Rankin and Watson each received two years' imprisonment for having loitered with intent to commit a felony.

See also lot E3460 for award to Constable F.Bresnan for same incident.

Estimate: 4950 AUD

Match 1:
Noble Numismatics Pty Ltd > Auction 130Auction date: 26 July 2022
Lot number: 485

Price realized: 5,000 AUD   (Approx. 3,479 USD / 3,434 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:

Victorian Police Gold Valour Badge, undated (1916), in 9ct gold and enamel by Bridgland & King, with 9ct gold and enamel suspension brooch bar, reverse of medal inscribed, 'Const Bresnan/6068'. Good very fine and rare.

Ex Noble Numismatics Sale 122 (lot 590).

Only 22 gold badges awarded.

Francis Bresnan, an engine driver, was born 14 July 1893 at Dunbulbalane (on the Nine Mile Creek about 200km north-northeast of Melbourne), Victoria. He was appointed as a Foot Constable to the Victorian Police Force on 17 December 1914 and discharged as a Constable on 1 November 1923 after 'Refusing Duty' during the police strike, along with many other constables, as recorded in Victoria Police Gazette 13 December 1923. Up until this time his conduct was recorded as good. As well as being awarded the Gold Valour Badge, along with two of his fellow policemen, for arresting three armed criminals he was also highly commended on 18 March 1918 for stopping at great personal risk a bolting horse in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne on 4 March 1918. The horse had freed itself from a van to which it had been attached and bolted out of Little Bourke Street and collided with another vehicle.

See previous lot E3459 for award to Constable W.Downes, also for arresting the same three armed criminals and for details of the presentation of the Gold Valour Badge.

With research.

Estimate: 4950 AUD

Match 2:
Noble Numismatics Pty Ltd > Auction 131Auction date: 22 November 2022
Lot number: 449

Price realized: 550 AUD   (Approx. 365 USD / 355 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:

NSWG Railway Ambulance, Life Member Efficient medal in gold (9ct; 10.73g), obverse inscribed, '1943', reverse inscribed, 'A.Irving'; N.S.W.R. Ambulance Corps, Efficiency Medal in 9ct gold and red enamel, reverse inscribed, 'A.Irving/Efficient/1937', with pin-back 9ct gold suspension bar with the reverse inscribed, 'A.Irving/Efficient 1940' (tot wt with ribbon and bar 12.51g); another in silver the reverse inscribed, '1934/Efficient/A.Irving', with pin-back silver suspension bar 'Efficient 1936' and inscribed 'A.Irving' and with a silver clasp 'Efficient 1936'; also The St John Ambulance Association, Hon Instructor badge in silvered and enamel. Good very fine. (4)

In 1934 A.Irving passed his ambulance examinations while based at the Cardiff Railway Locomotive Workshops Ambulance in Newcastle, NSW and was awarded a silver medal.

Estimate: 700 AUD

Match 3:
Noble Numismatics Pty Ltd > Auction 130Auction date: 26 July 2022
Lot number: 466

Price realized: 2,600 AUD   (Approx. 1,809 USD / 1,786 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:

Pair: King's Police Medal (GVR type 1); Queensland Police Medal for Merit (EVIIR). The first medal inscribed, 'John Carrig, Const. Queensland Pol.' but with the last three words ruled through or attempt to erase, the second medal unnamed. First medal buffed on reverse and some scratches on obverse, otherwise very fine - extremely fine.

Ex Noble Numismatics Sale 74 (lot 3926) and Sale 121 (lot 1664).

KPM: Supplement to LG 1/1/1913, p6.

Recommendation: At great personal risk rescued from drowning in the Brisbane River a man attempting suicide.

(With copy of certificate for award of KPM).

Also awarded the Royal Humane Society Bronze Medal for the same incident. The RHS Annual Report records the award details as follows,

'John Carrigg aged 29 and John James Grayson aged 23 years, Constables of Police, Brisbane, who rescued Lionel Hart from drowning in the Brisbane River on the night of September 20th, 1909. Hart jumped into the river in a demented state, and was drowning. Carrigg stripped, jumped in, swam about 50 yards and reached Hart, who struggled violently. He dragged Hart to a pontoon and with much difficulty got him onto it. He waited for nearly half an hour for assistance, during which time he had several struggles with Hart, in which both were many times thrown off the pontoon. Then Grayson came upon the scene and swam to the pontoon. Hart again resisted violently and all three toppled into the river. They again got Hart onto the pontoon but Grayson had great difficulty in regaining it, as his heavy clothes impeded him. Eventually other assistance arrived and all were taken on shore. The Constables were much exhausted.' Bronze Medal to Carrigg and Certificate of Merit to Grayson.

John Carrigg was born in 1879 at Ennrstymon, Ireland. He was a carpenter by trade. He served in the Straits Settlements Police Force 2 June 1902 to 2 March 1905. He was sworn into the Queensland Police Force on 27 November 1908 at the age of 29. He served at Roma Street Station, Brisbane; Toowong; and Breakfast Creek Station, Brisbane. He retired on 1 January 1924 and died 17 July 1937 at age 58.

With folder of research.

Estimate: 2700 AUD

Match 4:
The Coin Cabinet Ltd. > Auction 75Auction date: 10 January 2023
Lot number: 2

Price realized: Unsold
Lot description:

1687 Gold 5 Guineas, Elephant and Castle, ex Slaney, ex Montagu, Single Finest NGC MS 63 #2124443-039 (AGW=1.2291 oz.)

MS 63 | ENGLAND. James II, 1685-88.
Gold 5 guineas, 1687, Elephant and Castle

Second laureate bust left, with flowing hair; elephant and castle below; IACOBVS · II · DEI · GRATIA [James II, by the grace of God]. / Crowned, cruciform shields; sceptres in angles, with French fleur-de-lis struck over Irish harp, and Irish harp struck over French fleur-de-lis; date above, bisected by crown; · MAG · BR · FRA · ET · HIB REX · [King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland].
In secure plastic holder, graded NGC MS 63, certification number 2124443-039.

ex. Slaney Collection, SPINK 3024, lot 70, 15th May 2003.
ex. A.H. Baldwin & Sons, 1951, purchased by Slaney.
ex. Dr E.C. Carter Collection, purchased en bloc by A.H. Baldwin & Sons, 1950.
ex. Lieut. Col. T.G. Carter Collection, purchased by SPINK, 1936.
ex. B.M.S Roth Collection, Sotheby, lot 349, 19th July 1917.
ex. H. Montagu Collection, Sotheby, third portion, lot 842, 13th November 1896.
ex. W. Brice of Clifton Collection, purchased en bloc by H. Montagu, 1887.

Very Rare, Finest Known, Single Finest Graded, ex. Slaney, ex. Dr Carter, ex. Lieut. Col. Carter, ex. Roth, ex. Montagu, ex. Brice

NGC Mint State 63. Extraordinary example, prooflike and lustrous with a standard of definition completely unseen on other examples. Very Rare. Finest graded. Finest known.

- Both the finest graded and finest known example of the issue, as well as the SPINK plate coin for the type.

- Struck to a higher quality than all other examples featuring a unique level of detail and a specimen-like nature.

- Accompanied by a staggering provenance of the most illustrious collections, including Montagu and Slaney, with records dating to 1887

The 1687 Elephant and Castle Five Guinea Piece is among a class of coin that is both highly sought after and seldom offered for sale. Owning any example is a great numismatic feat, more often dreamt than lived. This example is the SPINK catalogue coin and undisputedly the very best example of the issue. Time and time again, collectors who have wished to assemble the finest and most important of collections, such as Montagu in the 19th century, or Slaney in the 20th, have found themselves purchasing this exact coin - and for the first time in two decades this coin is courting suitors.

Despite featuring one of the most artistically rich portraits, coins of James II are somewhat of a rarity for two reasons: firstly, the brevity and unpopularity of his rule led to very few coins being saved for prosperity; and, secondly, the Great Recoinage of 1696 and then a similar recoinage in 1816 saw most of his issues melted down to provide material for the new currencies. The high intrinsic value of gold coins, especially high denominations such as a five guinea piece, leaves them extremely susceptible to being melted down or repurposed throughout their journey to us. The relatively few examples we have left are fought over by collectors and investors alike.

The elephant and castle hallmark gives a historic depth and connection to this coin that is quite exceptional. A hallmark denotes that the metal content of a coin is from a particularly notable source such as war plunder or newly discovered mines. It is a device scarcely utilised in British coinage and evokes thoughts of modern commemorative issues, except in these instances the coins themselves are struck of the very history they wish to commemorate. Similar issues are coins of 1703 wearing a VIGO hallmark denoting they were struck with captured Spanish bullion, and the 'CAL.' quarter eagles of 1848 proudly struck with California gold. The symbol seen below the truncation of this coin however - an elephant supporting a castle upon its back – denotes that its gold content was exploited by the Royal African Company from the newly-discovered gold fields of West Africa. By the time this coin was struck, however, the mining operation was secondary to a far more profitable monopoly that the company held on slave trading along the coast of Western Africa. James II was a majority shareholder in the enterprise and, aware of the cruel, murderous, and dehumanising practises of the company, profited immensely from the booming trade of precious metals and enslaved lives. This coin was struck at the beginnings of centuries of devastation and exploitation to be left in the wake of Western progress. A difference between this coin and most others though is that it does not hide the exploitation it has been birthed from and authentically wears what it is for all to see. To throw a sheet over the prevalent evils of human history would be to repeat these mistakes again and ignore the progress still to be made.

A coin's beauty is in its condition. This coin's striated surfaces exhibit a dazzling lustre, rich tone, and areas of strong mirroring. With only light handling and haymarks, this example is the highest graded by both NGC and PCGS by two full grades, with only two other examples having graded mint state (MS60 and 61, both NGC). But the most striking feature of this coin is how exceptionally well struck it is. The James II bust is a masterclass in fine workmanship and intricate detail executed by veteran engraver John Roettiers (1631-1703). The flowing, regnal locks are each carefully planned and painstakingly engraved. Only with a full and clean strike can the true beauty of Roettiers' efforts be appreciated. The richness of strike is also seen, importantly, in the elephant and castle mark.

Tilting the coin slowly around in one's grasp, centuries of beauty spring to life before the beholder's eyes. A shimmering and full lustre dances over rich, ochre toning as the crisp and fully defined strike appears decades ahead of its time. No photo or video will ever capture the beauty of a lustrous coin in light, let alone a rarity such as this; and only with the coin before us can the presence of its history be felt. This coin was likely struck to grace a court favourite of the King and one can only imagine the noble, valiant, or murderous hands that may have held it.

The coin exhibits just one spot of weakness that is on the lowest tip of the bust. This weakness is ubiquitous and consistently more severe across the issue. Another common problem with the issue is adjustment marks that obscure the '16' of the date. This coin's date, however, is confidently full and quite the pleasing rarity. Taking this into consideration, as well as the fullness of strike and the mirroring of the fields, this coin is most likely one of the very earliest strikes. A fresh strike is further implied by the weakness of the lower truncation being so mild and the clarity in the bust's hair being rendered in a definition completely unseen on other examples.

Any example of this issue, as such an impractically large denomination, may be considered in some ways a presentation piece having been struck to serve a purpose more symbolic than useful. It is quite possible however that this specific example was struck with a greater level of care, and perhaps even with greater intentions. There is a quality about this example that evokes a modern specimen strike. The edge beading is unusually clear and well placed. The locks of hair are unusually well defined. The golden blank on which it is struck is unusually broad. It is in an unusually fine state of preservation showing it has been treated with upmost care since its striking. The exact, unique nature of this piece cannot be described for certain, although it can be said that its beauty is unparalleled within the issue.

It is not uncommon for top dealers and auction houses to have only publicly handled one or two examples of this coin in any grade, or no examples at all. The institutions who have publicly handled an example of this calibre are just those listed in this coin's provenance.

The Samuel King Survey of 2005 found that just 38 examples of this issue had sold over a 45-year period making this the second rarest five guinea piece of James II. SPINK noted in 2003, that this example was not just the finest they had seen of the issue, but the finest of all James II five guinea pieces they had seen. Keep in mind that SPINK, founded 1666, predates this coin.

Milled Coinage of England (1950) describes the issue as 'VR' for 'very rare' and Maurice Bull (2022) awards the issue a rating of 'R' for 'rare'; although with perhaps fewer than fifty examples extant Bull's assessment is overly cautious.

It is a common view that tangible assets, particularly rare and fine coins, perform well in times of economic adversity. However, the highest end of numismatics has consistently seen far superior growth that is vastly out of proportion to the rest of the market. The reason for this is simple: rarity, beauty, and historical importance as traits become exponentially rarer with each step forward in quality. As the most resourceful of collectors and investors jostle for the best of the best, the rest of the market watches on as the upper echelon of coinage drifts further and further ahead of the fleet. This coin has long been aboard those flagship vessels.

NGC Census in this grade: 1, single finest graded.
Total NGC Census: 10
Reference: Bull.312 [R]; Fr.293; GH.43 [this coin]; KM.460.2; MCE.118 [VR]; S.3398 [this coin]
Diameter: 37 mm.
Weight: 41.71 g. (AGW=1.2291 oz.)
Composition: 917.0/1000 Gold.
Edge: • + • DECUS • ET • TUTAMEN • EST • ANNO • REGNI • TERTIO • + • [An ornament and a safeguard, in the third year of his reign].

PLEASE NOTE: 6% Buyer Premium + VAT on this lot. No other fees, including live bidding. Delivery cost will be added to your order.

Starting price: 180000 GBP

Match 5:
Heritage World Coin Auctions > NYINC Signature Sale 3105Auction date: 9 January 2023
Lot number: 32130

Price realized: 120,000 USD   (Approx. 111,732 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:

Victoria gold Proof Pattern 1/2 Sovereign 1856-SYDNEY PR65+ Ultra Cameo NGC, London mint, KM-Pn5, McDonald-003 (this coin), Rennik-pg. 24, Marsh-381B (R6), QM-233 (R6; this coin). Type II. Plain edge. By Leonard Charles Wyon. The absolutely ideal "sister" coin of the same-dated Sovereign in this sale, which, much like that piece, offers the prospective bidder plenty of reasons to stop and pause. Though awarded a technical certification just shy of PR66 Ultra Cameo by NGC, it is impossible not to see this specimen as edging on that designation in every sense. Its fields--mirrorlike from an arm's length--turn from oscillating honey-gold brilliance and jet-black depth to an almost silky texture on the reverse when viewed head-on. Tender die polish fills the open expanses, with hardly a stray mark to be observed anywhere. According to our research, the coin offered here likely belongs to a small body of 3 traceable examples in auction records from the last several decades and likely still held privately--the other two appearing in Noble Numismatics Auction 62 (November 1999, Lot 1420), also ex. Spink Australia Sale 22 (July 1987, Lot 1879), cited by Rennik; and another formerly in the Pretoria Mint South Africa Collection up to 1996, and offered by Noble Numismatics in their Auction 80 (November 2005). One example is held by the British Museum (1919,0512.14), while the Museums Victoria record none among their holdings, nor did Hocking note any in the Royal Mint Museum's collection. Further topping these statistics with its illustrious pedigree and status as the lone certified representative, we can only anticipate the heights to which this offering will soar.

Ex. Quartermaster Collection (Monetarium, Australia June 2009, Lot 233); Winsor & Sons to Tom Hadley (Quartermaster) in 2003; Morton & Eden Auction 6 (December 2003, Lot 521); Spink Australia Auction 6 (November 1981, Lot 985); Farouk Collection (Sotheby's February 1954, Lot 846) [part]; J. G. Murdoch Collection (Sotheby's July 1903, Lot 616) [part] From the Regent Collection


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Estimate: 150000-200000 USD