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Royal Mint Museum buys rare English shilling of Henry VII for record £52,800
The coin had previously been in the collection of Dr John Sharp, one of the great British coin collectors of the 17th century.

LONDON.- A two day auction of coins, medal and banknotes held by Morton & Eden in London made a total of £1,570,650 at Morton & Eden in London.

Royal Mint Museum buys rare English shilling of Henry VII for record £52,800
The highlight of the sale was an outstandingly rare testoon (or silver shilling) from the reign of Henry VII, dating from 1502 and bearing a clear portrait of the first Tudor monarch which sold for £52,800 – a record price for an early English testoon at auction. The coin was called a "testoon" because it showed a real likeness of the King's head (from the Latin testa or French tête). It was bought by London coin dealer Christopher Eimer, on behalf of the Royal Mint Museum based in Llantrisant, South Wales.

The coin had previously been in the collection of Dr John Sharp, one of the great British coin collectors of the 17th century. Born in 1644, Sharp became an enthusiastic student of coins and medals. His interest seems to have begun around 1687 when, as Rector of St Giles in the Fields, he ‘found it a good divertisement in the evening’. He later became Archbishop of York from 1691 until his death in 1714. The Archbishop Sharp collection which included some of the rarest and most classic examples of early British coinage made a total of £700,890.

James Morton, Director of Morton & Eden who had catalogued most of the coins said: “This was an exceptional collection with a highly distinguished and famous provenance which thoroughly deserved the excellent and positive response accorded to it by collectors, dealers and museums alike. It is a rare privilege in this day and age to offer fresh material to the market of such interest and indeed importance in a numismatic sense.”

£5 note engraved with micro art work sells for £6,000 on behalf of BBC Children in Need
Also in the same sale was a Bank of England £5 note engraved with a tiny 5mm portrait of novelist Jane Austen and a quote from her famous work Pride and Prejudice by micro-artist Graham Short which sold for £6,000.

The £5 note had been donated to charity, with the wish that it should be used to help young people. The funds raised by the auction will go towards the many worthy causes supported by BBC Children in Need.

The note was bought by an anonymous buyer bidding via the internet.

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