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Until about two years ago Glendining’s (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) had rather hospitable offices on the ground floor of Phillips. Then they were banished to overcrowded offices somewhere upstairs. But now they have been moved into the more pleasant offices recently vacated by the jewellery department. We can predict a resurgence of this firm (founded in 1900) to its old self.

This prediction began to be fulfilled by their sale on April 25. This sale offered what was traditional to this firm; namely good English material.
The gold noble of Edward III is a relatively common coin but it is some time since there has been a really nice example at auction. There was just such in this sale.

The estimate (£600-700) was prudent and anyway irrelevant. It made £1200 as it deserved. Likewise, a much better than usual example of the Elizabeth I pound with an excellent portrait was estimated at £2000-2500. This soared to £4200.

Rather outside the general run of numismatics was the silver plaque with the portraits of the Nobel brothers (of Prize fame) depicting their industrial concerns. What was of interest is that it was executed by no less than the celebrated Russian jeweller and goldsmith, Carl Fabergé. A difficult thing to sell, you might think, because it falls into no particular category. Consequently, the estimate represented a guess – £400-500. It took a final bid of £2100.

One failure was the Queen Anne 1703 ‘Vigo’ five-guineas described as “possibly the best existing example”. Less than 20 are known. It was estimated at £48,000-50,000. Glendining’s sold another example in October 1992 for £40,000 – the estimate was then £45,000-55,000. More recently, in February 1998, Dix Noonan Webb sold one for £40,000.

The sold total (hammer) for the 873-lot sale was £198,000.