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Solid Gold City Sale
Tristan Nichols

A rare and important collection of English gold 'pattern' coins last seen on the market in 1904 is due to go under the hammer in Plymouth.

The 44 coins had been locked in a vault until recently when their Plymouth owner - a descendant of Evan Roberts who bought them 104 years ago - decided to sell them.

Auctioneer Paul Keen, of Plymouth Auction Rooms, said he expected the coins to sell for thousands of pounds.

"In 1904 a Mr Evan Roberts purchased various rare gold coins from the Sotheby's major four-day auction of the collection of Mr J G Murdoch", Mr Keen said.

"At the time the coins were selling for between £4 and £9. They're now worth thousands.

"Mr Roberts was an important collector of pocket watches at the time.

"In fact, his collection was given to the Victoria and Albert Museum, where curators produced a special book just for his collection.

"We understand Mr Roberts was also given the Freedom of the City of London."

A pattern is a coin designed and proposed for use as regular currency. Apart from genuine trial pieces there were various non-issue pattern coins produced privately which gave full rein to the engraver's skills.

These coins were made in silver, copper, bronze and gold.

A total of 44 high-quality gold coins are on offer including a rare George III pattern twopence by William J Taylor. It was made in 1805, weighs 62 grams and its value is estimated at £3,000 to £5,000.

A Victorian gold pattern crown by LC Lauer, circa 1887, is estimated at £2,500 to £4,000 and a George III double-headed (obverse) five-shilling piece is expected to go for £3,500 to £5,000.

The sale also includes other coins such as a Queen Anne five-guinea piece dated 1709, and a George II five-guinea piece dated 1753.

Both are expected to sell for £3,000 to £4000.

The auction will be held on Friday, April 18, from 2pm.

For more details call 01752 254740, email info@plymouthauctions.co.uk or visit www.plymouthauctions.co.uk .

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