Dix Noonan Webb are offering an interesting sale of Irish coins, tokens and medals on March 3, 2022.
An intriguing and extremely rare Irish coin dating from 1927 that was designed by an Italian but was never put into circulation is among the highlights of the sale of Irish Coins, Tokens and Historical Medals by Mayfair-based international coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialists Dix Noonan Webb on Thursday, March 3, 2022.
Known as the Free State Penny (1921-1937), the bronze penny in the sale, which is decorated with a harp on one side, and hens and chickens on the other, was designed by Roman sculptor Publio Morbiducci (1889-1963) for the competition to design Ireland's new money in 1928. He was ultimately unsuccessful and the precise numbers of pieces which now exist are uncertain. In 1976, it is believed that only three pieces existed in bronze. It is estimated at £4,000-5,000 and is part of a collection that was amassed between 1972 and 1978 by a gentleman and is being offered at auction for the first time.
Elsewhere in the sale is a large collection of Irish Gunmoney and Emergency Issues of 1689-1691 from the collection of John Rainey. Many of the lots are duplicates from the main study group used to produce the most recent book on the subject, Irish Gunmoney and the Emergency Issues of 1689-1691, A Corpus and Die Study, by Paul and Bente R. Withers in 2020, and is believed to be the most extensive group to ever come up in one auction. These coins were made from metal from cannon and were only produced at two mints in Ireland, Dublin and Limerick. Interesting items in the sale include a silver proof halfcrown from the reign of James II, dating from May 1690 and produced in Dublin. Only five specimens are known and it is estimated at £3,000-4,000, while from Limerick a rare halfcrown, dating from March 1690, is estimated at £300-400.
A further group of tokens from the collection formed by the late Barry Woodside, also features. Belfast-born Mr Woodside had a great interest in numismatics, particularly Irish tokens, which began in the early 1980s. The sale will include tokens from Belfast, Cork and Tipperary, among other locations. A very rare farthing issued by James Armstrong & Co and William Armstrong & Son of Armagh and Lurgan is expected to fetch £150-200; while a very rare copper fourpence from the Moy Hotel in Ballina, Mayo, produced by Parkes [1861-72] is estimated at £120-150. From the 17th century is a lead penny from Tipperary, which is also estimated at £120-150 and a brass twopence-halfpenny, estimated at £100-150, believed to have been issued by Thomas Murphy, innholder of the Apollo, 8 Hawkins Street, Dublin between 1860-78.
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