The Puddester Collection of Coins of the English East India Company fetches £1,581,800 at Noonans

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The Puddester Collection of Coins of the English East India Company fetches £1,581,800 at Noonans
The only known Bombay gold Half-Mohur, 1765.

LONDON.- A phenomenal single-owner collection of coins of the East India Company fetched a hammer price of £1,581,800 (£1,961,432 including buyers' premium) at Noonans in a two-day sale on Wednesday and Thursday, February 8 and 9, 2023. Comprising 1,246 coins which were sold in 905 lots, the legendary Robert P. Puddester Collection had been amassed over the past 45 years.

As Peter Preston-Morley, Special Projects Director in the Coins department at Noonans commented: “This was a landmark sale which will be remembered for a very long time, as indeed were the sales of the Pridmore and other major collections back in the 1980s, when many of the great rarities here were last on the market. We were very pleased with the overall result, bearing in mind the current economic climate. The 905 lots were acquired by no less than 106 different buyers from almost every part of the globe, with many more individuals involved in the bidding who were ultimately unsuccessful, so it shows the strength in depth in the market for the sort of quality and rarity that Mr Puddester collected. The next auction of Indian coins from the Puddester Collection is now in preparation.”

The spectacular collection comprised coins dating from the inception of the East India Company in London by a group of merchant venturers in 1600, from the Madras, Bombay and Bengal presidencies; the uniform series from 1835 to 1858 and the regal coinages issued by British India down to independence in 1947.

The collection featured many exceptionally rare and unique items from the presidency series. The highest price of the sale was only known Bombay gold Half-Mohur dating from 1765 which sold for a hammer price of £95,000 to an Indian collector [lot 314]; while described as The King of English East India Company coins – the celebrated Bombay gold Mohur from 1765 sold for a hammer price of £80,000 to a UK-based buyer [lot 313] and an exceptional and excessively rare Bombay gold 15 rupees dating 1770 which also fetched a hammer price of £80,000 to an Indian buyer [lot 316].

The first silver coin struck at Bombay exceeded its high estimate and achieved a hammer price of £75,000. Bought by a UK-based buyer, it dated from 1672 and is one of only three examples known, with one being in the British Museum [lot 320] and selling for £75,000 was the only Bombay Pattern Rupee of 1677 in private ownership, which also dated from 1677 and the reign of Charles II. It was purchased by an Indian buyer [lot 324].

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