Lot 1618, a Tipu Sultan Gold 4-Pagodas from Mysore shone as the star of day one. Against a conservative estimate of $9,714, this beautiful example achieved $35, 620, including the buyer’s premium.
A room full of enthusiastic bidders found fierce competition from buyers on the Internet and on the phone as they fought to take home part of the celebrated David Fore Collection of Indian Coins. This concluding auction was well received and in a buoyant market lots achieved some fabulous and worthy prices. The sale, facilitated by Baldwin’s total reached £1,189,032, including the buyer’s premium (U.S. $1,924,357), which brings the final total for the three auctions to a stunning £3,370,397 ($5,456,510), reflecting the dedication of the passionate collector and numismatist who brought it together, and the reception it has received from the numismatic world.
Coins from the Princely States proved extremely popular, with the highest prices coming from this section. Lot 1618, a Tipu Sultan Gold 4-Pagodas from Mysore shone as the star of day one. This extremely fine coin was struck at the most prolific of Mysore mint-towns, Patan, in Southern India, under Tipu Sultan—a ruler who set himself as a fierce rival to the British and although called “The Tiger of Mysore”—produced vast quantities of coinage with beauty and quality. The fine Persian inscriptions on both sides include the name of the denomination “Ahmadi” (another name for the Prophet Muhammad), as well as the date, in both the Mauludi era and also in Tipu’s new abtath system.
“The Tipu Sultan gold and silver pieces afford indisputable testimony to the decorative value of the Arabic script,” said John Henderson, writer of “The Coins of Haider Ali & Tipu Sultan.” In the case of this coin, when coupled with its preservation and tone, the stunning script makes its numismatic and artistic value unquestionable. Against a conservative estimate of £6,000 ($9,714) this beautiful example achieved £22,200, including the buyer’s premium, ($35, 620).
Auctioneers Seth Freeman and Graham Byfield, drove a receptive room as strong bidding on coins from the East India Company tried to compete with the prices achieved for the Princely States. Lot 2009, a very rare Bombay Presidency, Gold Mohur, in the name of “Alamgir II” from the Mumbai mint, achieved £12,000 ($19,428) and, along with Lot 2130, an extremely fine and rare Madras Presidency Gold Mohur, Chinapatan, in the name of Muhammad Shah, were the crowning pieces in a strong afternoon session.
Despite a few light marks, Lot 2305, an extremely fine and toned silver ½ Rupee, circa 1880, depicting “Victoria Empress” on the obverse attracted much attention selling for $17,485.
Day two brought yet another burst of excited bidders as we saw coins from British and Portuguese India, errors and tokens sell well over estimate. Despite a few light marks, Lot 2305, an extremely fine and toned silver ½ Rupee, circa 1880, depicting “Victoria Empress” on the obverse attracted much attention selling for £10,800 ($17,485). Other silver ½ Rupees from the British India section also proved to be in demand, with lot 2299 selling for £7,800 ($12,628) and lot 2323 achieving £10,560 ($17,097).
“It has been a long and exciting road selling this collection, and both David and I are absolutely delighted with the results,” said Randy Weir, Baldwin’s British Indian coin consultant and principal cataloguer of the David Fore Collection. “We hope that the dispersal of this collection will provide a few key pieces for existing collections and serve as inspiration for those budding numismatists interested in the series.”
The Internet proved to be an invaluable tool providing bidders from all over the world with a platform to log on and bid live. Alongside their regular service provider, Saleroom.com, Baldwin’s used the services of LiveAuctioneers and Artfact for the first time. A total of 33 percent of the total lots were purchased online, contributing 34 percent of the total hammer price.
The catalog from this auction can be found online. A three-part, hard-bound collector’s edition is also available to pre-order from the Baldwin’s website.
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