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Spencer Collection George IV Proof Sovereign Set with Extremely Rare 1825 Plain Edge Sovereign - The Number One Finest Set of All Time

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About This Set: The story goes that King George IV disliked the portrait on the 1821 that had been designed by Pistrucci (Type I, 1821-1825) as the King appeared too corpulent. He commanded a redesign based on a medallion that was done for him by Sir Francis Chantrey. Pistrucci, apparently, refused to copy another artist's work so William Wyon, who was not 'handicapped' by such 'moral dilemma' was commissioned to redo the King's bust based on the Chantrey medallion. In 1825 William Wyon produced a new obverse based on the Chantrey bust, with a bare-headed profile and a much shorter legend, also restoring the date to the obverse. The reverse was an entirely new design showing a garnished heraldic shield surmounted by a crown designed by French engraver, Johann Baptiste Merlon, who originally had been employed as Pistrucci's assistant. Therefore for the year 1825, both types of Sovereigns exist -- the Pistrucci design with the St. George & the Dragon reverse (but with the obverse bust that the King hated), AND; the Wyon's Chantrey design with the crowned shield reverse (with the obverse bust that the King apparently thought more flattering).

Spencer Collection George IV Proof Sovereign Set with Extremely Rare 1825 Plain Edge Sovereign

Image Item PCGS # Date Denom Grade PCGS # Pop PCGS # Pop Higher Pop Pop Higher Comments
1821 206907 1821 Sov PR63 4 1 41
Great Britain, Proof Gold Sovereign of George IV Laureate Head, Ex Spink and GBIE, R3, 1821.
1825 163387 1825 Sov PR63CA 1 35
Great Britain, Sovereign Proof Gold Dated 1825. PCGS PR63. Plain Edge (Rarest Variety) WR-235, R5, only six to ten examples exist, one sits in the British Museum. This is the finest known. At a Spink Sale a few years back, a similar 1825 plain edge realized 14,950 pounds ($23,600).
1826 206915 1826 Sov PR64 8 3 83
Great Britain, 1826 Gold Proof Sovereign, WR 237, Ex Spink, R2