24-09-2018 – 01-01-1970
Lyall Collection of cut and countermarked coins
Lyall Collection of cut and countermarked coins at Dix Noonan Webb
The magnificent collection of cut and countermarked coins assembled by the leading British numismatist Bob Lyall is to be auctioned by Dix Noonan Webb in London on 25 September 2018. The collection includes many rarities, some of which are the the only recorded specimens, and is expected to fetch up to £270,000 in the stand-alone auction with its own catalogue.
Over several decades, Mr Lyall has established himself as one of the world’s leading authorities on cut and countermarked coins, which had additional marks and symbols punched into them, and in some cases were cut down, while they were still circulating. This was done for a variety of reasons to address specific currency and marketplace issues on the various islands. His collection is mainly from the Caribbean, although it also includes specimens from Gibraltar, the Ionian Islands and West Africa. Mr Lyall has decided to sell the collection because it has gone as far as it can go and it is increasingly difficult to find additions. He also wants to give other collectors the chance to own such special coins.
“Bob Lyall has been a cornerstone with respect to research on the West Indies cut and countermarked series for many years,” says his friend and fellow expert Ken Eckardt, who catalogued the collection for the sale. “It is gratifying to see that in the past eight to ten years there has been a marked increase in interest by collectors and students, and a genuine recognition of the rarity of the coins in general.”
Mr Lyall developed a collecting interest at an early age, starting off with artefacts and objects of interest given to him by family members. By the age of 12, his interest focused primarily on numismatics. He was already on his way to forming a significant collection of the coinage of Charles I (sold by Dix Noonan Webb in 2015 and 2016) when he had his first exposure to the West Indies whilst doing National Service with the Royal Navy in 1958.
He developed a particular interest in the cut and countermarked coins of the West Indies and over several decades built up a huge fund of knowledge. He focused on study and research, writing hundreds of letters to museums, historical societies and individuals who might have useful information and visiting libraries and museums in the United Kingdom and the Caribbean.
Lot 5263: The only recorded specimen of the countermarked 22 Guilders from Essequibo & Demerara could fetch up to GBP 8,000.
Among the highlights of the sale will be the only recorded specimen of the Essequibo & Demerara 22 Guilders countermarked under the Ordinance of August 1798. This handsome gold coin, originally minted in 1771 during the reign of Joseph I of Portugal, has the Essequibo & Demerara countermark under Joseph’s chin on the obverse and is expected to fetch £6,000 to £8,000.
Lot 5140: The rare Guadeloupe 22 Livres countermarked by authority of the French administration is estimated at GBP 5,000 to GBP 6,000.
Another gold coin which was minted in 1784 during the reign of Maria I and Peter III of Portugal was subsequently countermarked by the French administration in Guadeloupe with a value of 22 Livres under the authority of April 1804. This specimen, which the Lyall catalogue describes as being “of the highest rarity”, is expected to sell for £5,000 to £6,000.
Lot 5264: Essequibo & Demerara 3 Guilders countermarked by the authority of December 1808. A Charles IIII, 8 Réales, 1796, Mexico City, with a circular piercing with 19 crenations. Scholten 1441, this coin; Guttag 918c, this coin; KM. 2). Coin and countermark very fine or better, very rare, estimated at GBP 4,000 to GBP 5,000.
Other rarities include an Essequibo & Demerara 3 Guilders countermarked under the authority of 1808 which had first gone into circulation in Mexico City in 1796 bearing the head of the Spanish king Charles IV. In addition to the countermark, this piece has a circular piercing with 19 crenations. It carries an estimate of £4,000 to £5,000.
Lot 5144: Guadeloupe British Administration. Decree of May 1811, Eighty-Two Livres Ten Sols, a Maria I and Peter III, 6,400 Réis, 1786, Rio, obv. countermarked with crowned g raised within an oval indent and 82 10 raised within a rectangular indent. Coin polished but very fine, countermarks better, of the highest rarity; only two other specimens with these same countermarks recorded setimated at GBP 3,000 to GBP 5,000.
Only two other specimens of a Guadeloupe British administration coin authorised in 1811 have been recorded. The Maria I and Peter III Portuguese gold coin dating from 1786 has an 82 Livres 10 Sols countermark is and is expected to fetch £3,000 to £5,000.
For more detailed information on the auction visit the Dix Noonan website.
To browse through the complete auction catalogue please click here.