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980483. HANOVER. George III. 1760-1820. AR Half Dollar (33mm, 13.59 g, 6h). Emergency issue. Struck 1799. Oval countermark of George III on a 1792 M MF Madrid 4 Reales of Carlos IV of Spain. For coin: ME 13715. For c/m: ESC 611; SCBC 3767. VF, toned. ($795) From the D.F. Alder Collection. Ex Spink Numismatic Circular LXIV/5 (June 1956), no. 5452. In the late 18th century, the circulating coinage in Britain was in a pathetic state. Counterfeit coins, both in copper and silver, were the rule, rather than the exception. The Royal mint, rather than competing with the flood of false issues, simply shut its doors. In 1788, industrialist Matthew Boulton stepped in to attempt to reform the copper coinage where the government would not. A wealthy industrialist and partner of the steam-engine inventor James Watt, Boulton had made his fortune manufacturing other small metallic objects. Using the steam technology at his disposal, he created the first modern mint at Soho in Birmingham. Yet Boulton was initially unable to obtain a patent to strike coinage and instead opened his mint to merchants. The vast majority of provincial tokens struck in England at this time originated from the Soho mint. Meanwhile, the Bank of England endeavored to stabilize the silver coinage. Taking Spanish eight reales coins, they stamped on them a small image of King George, valuing them at a dollar of five shillings. This simple solution did not fair well with the public, as they were extremely easy to counterfeit. The failed issue spawned a popular nursery rhyme, “The Bank to make their Spanish dollars pass/Stamped the head of a fool on the head of an ass.” The Bank soon turned to Boulton and his steam presses. By 1805, fully struck dollars from the Soho mint could be seen in change.

980486. HANOVER. George IV. 1820-1830. AR Halfcrown (32mm, 14.14 g, 6h). London mint. GEORGIUS IIII D : G : BRITANNIAR : REX F : D :, laureate head left / Crowned and garnished coat-of-arms; thistle to left, shamrock to right, rose below; ANNO 1820 in exergue. ESC 628; SCBC 3807. Choice EF, toned, underlying luster, a few faint marks. ($695) From the D.F. Alder Collection. Purchased from L.S. Forrer, 1948.

980495. HANOVER. George IV. 1820-1830. AR Maundy Set. London mint. Dated 1826. All coins: GEORGIUS IIII D. G. BRITANNIAR. REX F. D., laureate head left / Large crowned denomination; date flanking; all within wreath. ESC 2430; SCBC 3816. VF to Good VF, faint hairlines from old cleaning, now gently retoning. ($295) From the D.F. Alder Collection.

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CNG CNR July 2014