Led by a highly prized “Una and the Lion”, more than 400 rare pieces from a phenomenal collection fetched CHF 5.8 million (about $5.8 million). Presented by Swiss auction house SINCONA, the sale included gold rarities spanning nearly 600 years of history. SINCONA Auction 75: SINCONA British Collection Part 2 took place on May 16, 2022.
The top lot was a Great Britain 1839 Una and the Lion 5 Sovereign graded NGC PF 62+ Cameo (lot 339), which fetched CHF480,000 (about $478,000). The obverse of the coin shows the young Queen Victoria, while the reverse features a figure of her leading a lion, the symbol of England. The scene is inspired by the one involving Lady Una in Edmund Spenser’s epic poem “The Faerie Queene”.
Meanwhile, an England 1658 Gold Pattern Half Crown graded NGC PF 63 Cameo (lot 124) fetched CHF312,000 (about $311,000). Only six examples are known of this off-metal strike, according to the auction house. The coin shows Oliver Cromwell, whose death in September 1658 marked the beginning of the end of the Commonwealth of England, a period of just over a decade in which the monarchy was abolished.
Another highlight of the sale was a Great Britain 1768 Gold Pattern 2 Guinea Graduated NGC PF 65 Cameo (lot 243). From the start of King George III’s reign, this coin was one of the few minted; these were never intended for wide use as smaller denominations of gold were desperately needed at the time. This coin made 264,000 CHF (about $263,000).