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Sale 46

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Lot 438

Great Britain. Gold Proof Sovereign, 1831. S-3829; Fr-383a; KM-717. William IV, 1830-1837. Bare Head right. Reverse: Crowned, ornately garnished shield. Plain edge. WR-261 as R3. Only about 225 struck for the Coronation sets. Exact mintage uncertain. Gem Proof with a great cameo image of the king; on the reverse, the royal shield shimmers in deep frost against the mirror field around it. Among the finest known, elusive in this state. NGC graded Proof 65 Ultra Cameo.

William was an older man by the time he came to kingship (born in 1765, third son of George III) and had led a rather eccentric life: he joined the navy at age 13, commanded his own ship in 1786, became a rear-admiral at 24, and retired from active service in 1790, whereupon he took a mistress -- an actress with whom he had 10 illegitimate children (which is why, when he died in 1837, no heir of his succeeded to the throne). Although his own reign was marked mostly by political squabbling, he nevertheless supported the military adamantly during his entire political life, and came to be called The Sailor King in his lifetime. The build-up of the British military that occurred under his rule would figure heavily in the geopolitical success of young Queen Victoria's reign, and figured heavily in the creation of the British Empire at its zenith.
His coinage portrait, in frosted cameo relief on the Proof gold, is realistic and finely engraved. Most of his coins are, at the very least, scarce, as the reign was a short one.
Estimated Value $8,000 - 9,000.
Ex Dr Jacob Y. Terner Collection.

Realized $16,100

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