Baldwin’s, GB-London

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24-09-2013 – 25-09-2013

The David Fore Collection Part III

The Climax of a Monumental Project Leaves Worldwide Collections More Impressive Than Ever Before

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 total reached £1,189,032 (inc. buyers premium) which brings the final total for the three auctions to a stunning £3,370,397, reflecting the dedication of the passionate collector and numismatist who brought it together, and the reception it has received from the numismatic world.

1618: Coins of India. Princely States. Mysore. Tipu Sultan. Gold 4-Pagodas, AM 1218 Year 8, struck at the Patan mint. KM B129. Good extremely fine. Starting price: 3,200 GBP. Sold for: 18,500 GBP.

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. Tipu Sultan was 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. John Henderson, writer of The Coins of Haider Ali & Tipu Sultan states that “The Tipu Sultan gold & silver pieces afford indisputable testimony to the decorative value of the Arabic script.” 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 this beautiful example achieved £22,200 (inc. buyers premium).

2009: Coins of India. East India Company. Bombay Presidency, Gold Mohur, in the name of ‘Alamgir II. Year 9 (posthumous), Mumbai mint. Pr 8. Good very fine, small edge test cut, very rare. Starting price: 4,000 GBP. Sold for: 10,000 GBP.

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 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.
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 1/2 Rupee, circa 1880 depicting ‘Victoria Empress’ on the obverse attracted much attention selling for £10,800. Other Silver 1/2 Rupees from the British India section also proved to be in demand with lot 2299 selling for £7,800 and lot 2323 achieving £10,560.

Baldwin’s British Indian coin consultant and principal cataloguer of the David Fore Collection, Randy Weir, commented after the auction:
“It has been a long and exciting road selling this collection, and both David and I are absolutely delighted with the results. 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. It is a great credit to the Baldwin’s team that this collection has been so successful and the prices achieved further cement Baldwin’s standing at the forefront of the Indian numismatic scene.”


  • Lot 1352: Cooch Behar, Jitendra Narayan (1913-1922 AD), Gold Mohur, CB 404 (= 1914 AD), obv arms supported by lion and elephant, the lion and elephant have more detail and are more realistic looking than the coin in the previous lot, the centre of the shield is filled in with vertical lines, the flower is larger and covers more than just under the base of the shield, it seems that a more talented die engraver was used this time, rev inscription and date 404, 8.00g (KM XM10; RB 78). A number of light marks, otherwise mint state. Sold For: £19,200
  • Lot 1503: Jaipur, Nazarana Gold Mohur, 1887 AD, Year 8, struck in the names of Victoria and Madho Singh (1880-1922 AD), decorative border on both sides, 36mm, 10.93g (Fr 1194). Good extremely fine and very rare. Sold For: £13,200
  • Lot 1543: Karauli, Gold Mohur, Year 2 (1886), struck under Bhanwar Pal, 1886-1927 AD (which makes this coin more likely struck 1888), obv inscription, rev central dot, eight dots around, a circle of dots and semi cross hatch at the border, 10.95g (KM X2; SAC X2, plate coin in this new book South Asian Coins and Paper Money). Extremely fine, a choice obverse but the reverse has quite a few light marks in the central surface that are hard to explain, there is no hint of a mounting, rare. Sold For: £20,400

1703: Coins of India. Princely States. Tehri Garhwal, Sudarshan Shah (VS 1872-1906; AD 1815-1859), Mohur. KM A2. Extremely fine and very rare. Starting price: 2,400 GBP. Sold for: 16,000 GBP.

  • Lot 1703: Tehri Garhwal, Sudarshan Shah (VS 1872-1906; AD 1815-1859), machine-struck Gold Mohur, VS 1872, rev mention of Badrinath 11.65g (KM A2). Extremely fine and very rare. £3000-4000. Sold For: £19,200
  • Lot 1704: Travancore, Rama Varma V (ME 1057-1062; 1880-1885 AD), Gold 1/2-Sovereign, ME 1057/1881 AD, obv bust of Rama Varma V three-quarters right wearing an ornate turban, 1881 below, rev arms of Travancore with two elephants, trunks raised over conch shell, inscription around, 3.992g (KM 31). Good extremely fine. Sold For: £15,600

Estimates do not include buyer’s premium and prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium.

A three part hard bound collector’s edition is also available to pre-order from the Baldwin’s website.

You can find the auction at Sixbid

… and together with a list of all prices realised on Baldwin’s website.