The David Fore Collection — "The Jewel in the Crown"

Posted on 3/12/2013

The David Fore Collection is the most impressive collection of coins of British India ever to be sold at public auction.

[LONDON, UK] - Baldwin’s are delighted to announce the sale of yet another multi-million pound collection in 2013. The David Fore Collection is the most impressive collection of Coins of British India ever to be sold at public auction. Comprising coins of British India, The Presidencies and Indian Native States, this collection will be sold in London in three parts, commencing 7th May 2013. The collection of over four thousand coins was formed over twenty five years by Dr. David Fore and Baldwin’s Canadian representative, Randy Weir. A plan to build a monumental collection took them on an amazing odyssey as the pair created a collection to rival the world famous collection of Fred Pridmore.

David began collecting coins as a child when he watched his father, who owned a small store in a rural town of two thousand people, search his change looking for the elusive US 1909 SVDB Penny. At age nine, David’s first job was delivering newspapers. Instead of buying comic books, he would take his weekly earnings of a few dollars to the bank and get rolls of pennies to search through, also looking for that 1909 Penny. His very first foreign coin purchase was an Indian Proof Restrike ¼-Anna. This coin was the beginning of a love affair with Indian coins that was to last for forty years. Randy was privileged to introduce David to the fascinating world of colonial coins some fifteen years later and David found the minor differences and array of patterns in the series so fascinating that Randy describes each purchase as being like prospecting for gold.

A symbiotic relationship between client and trusted specialist and a mutual fascination for Indian coinage inspired these two to create the collection that is being sold today. The focus for the collection was always to find the best quality coins and over four hundred of the coins contained in the collection originated from 25/02/2013 the Pridmore collection which was catalogued by A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd and sold by auction by Glendinings between September 1981 and October 1983, the Indian part being sold in October 1982 and October 1983, around the time the pair met. Other coins have similarly fine provenance, having been part of such celebrated collections as the Sir John Wheeler Collection, the Ken Wiggins Collection and The Diana Collection, all sold by Baldwin’s.

Randy Weir comments: “The last few years have seen many changes to the coin collecting hobby and, in particular, to the Indian coin market. Auctions have become more international and better communications have allowed more collectors direct access to auction houses, where the internet has revolutionised bidding. This has led to much more interest in the Indian series amongst others.”

“What good auction houses can offer collectors today is our knowledge of the coins being sold. We have an opportunity here with the Fore Collection to add to the knowledge from a few hundred years of experience here at Baldwin’s. We want to make our catalogues a source of information and a reference work that can be used, and will be useful, for years to come.”

Part one will consist of rare Proofs, Restrikes and Off-Metal Strikings and will include Proofs and Off-Metal Strikes of the Victorian Portraits from the States of Bikanir, Dewas, Dhar and Sailana. It will also include all the dates of the Gold Mohur series including an early Restrike Gold Proof 2-Mohurs, 1835C (pictured here), one of the most valuable pieces in the first part of the collection.

Part two will contain Patterns and Proofs of British India, The Presidencies and the Indian Native States and will be sold on the 31st May. Amongst the exceptional offerings will be a unique Bengal Gilt Pattern Pice of 1795, Pridmore No. 382 and the stellar piece of the entire collection, an 1839 Calcutta Mint Pattern Silver Rupee from the Wheeler Collection. Pictured here, the Rupee is one of only three known, the other two being held by the Calcutta mint. The Pattern was produced by a native die cutter due to a delay with the dies coming from London and the need for coinage. The fact that the Pattern was rejected makes it the most sought after coin in the whole British Indian series. It is anticipated that it will prove to be the most valuable coin in the collection.

Part three of the collection will be sold on the 26th September as part of a 2-day auction in conjunction with the UK’s largest numismatic exhibition, Coinex, of which Baldwin’s are the official auction sponsor. The third part of this collection will comprise circulating coins of British India, the Presidencies and the Indian Native States, including two 1911 George V coins, a ¼ and a ½ Rupee (pictured here). Both coins sold here are in mint state and are one of the key type coins in the British India series. The ½ Rupee is the most difficult type coin of the whole series to find in mint state and so this auction offers a unique opportunity for the collector.

For more details, visit Baldwin's.

The thoughts and opinions in the piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.

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