OTD: Two gold ‘Tudor’ sovereigns bring $1.3M with one setting world price record

Realizations include buyer’s premium.

On today’s date in 2014, a pair of gold Tudor sovereigns issued during the reigns of Henry VII and his son Henry VIII sold at auction for a combined price of £732,000 (about $1.3 million Cdn. at the time).

Henry VII, who reigned from 1485-1509, and his son Henry VIII, who reigned from 1509-47, were two of the five sovereigns from the “House of Tudor,” an English royal dynasty with Welsh origins. Also included in the dynasty are Henry VIII’s three children, Edward VI (1547-53), Mary I (1553-58) and Elizabeth I (1558-1603).

Henry VII originally issued the “Type III” sovereign offered by Spink London on Dec. 18, 2014, as Lot 540.

“A masterpiece of renaissance art, it’s vaunted as one of the issue’s finest examples,” according to auctioneers.

The coin sold for £372,000 against a conservative estimate of £120,000-£160,000, setting a new record for the highest price realized for a Tudor coin at auction.

A Henry VIII ‘fat face’ sovereign also highlighted the 2014 sale, bringing £360,000.


Equally impressive was the “fat face” sovereign of Henry VIII’s third coinage, which was offered as Lot 541 with another conservative estimate of £120,000-£150,000.

It sold for £360,000 (nearly $655,000 Cdn., at the time).

Its provenance includes first being recorded in the 1854 Cuff sale and passing through eminent hands such as Lord Hastings, Bernard Roth and finally the Ryan Collection, through which the coin was last offered 64 years earlier.

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