Circa 1860 Gold Taylor Pattern Sixpence
Circa 1860 Gold Taylor Pattern Sixpence
COIN
Circa 1860 Gold Taylor Pattern Sixpence
QUALITY
Brilliant FDC
PROVENANCE
Spink Auctions 1981, Barrie Winsor private sale 2000, Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$ 350,000
COMMENTS
This 1860 Gold Taylor Sixpence is a rarity of the highest order with genuine national and international significance. Unequivocally this offer is a genuine investment opportunity.
SOLD
October 2013
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This 1860 Gold Taylor Sixpence is a rarity of the highest order with genuine national and international significance.

Unequivocally this offer is a genuine investment opportunity.

Within our industry there are some truly ‘great’ coins. And then there are those coins where the word ‘great’ simply falls short in adequately describing them. They are the absolute elite coins of our industry. Historically powerful they sit at the pinnacle.

This 1860 Gold Taylor Pattern Sixpence is one such elite coin.

It is a stunning piece, one of the most impressive coins you will ever see, presented in a brilliant state of preservation. The coin is a work of art with magnificent proof-like fields, the design beautifully etched.

It is history that you can hold in your hands. The historical implications of this coin become more compelling because it is also unique.

The Gold Taylor Patterns come with an impeccable track record at auction. They are extremely scarce and are very rarely offered.

The infrequent appearances coupled with the demand have always fuelled competitive bidding at auction, the coins consistently realising prices well above their pre-auction estimates.

The most vigorously contested area in the famed Quartermaster Auction in 2009 (Sydney) was that devoted to the coinage of W J Taylor. Several world records were broken amongst both the gold and silver coins on offer.

The demand for the Taylor Patterns was seen again in 2012 when a Gold Taylor Pattern Shilling was offered at auction. The most heavily contested item of the entire auction, four bidders underpinned a new record price smashing that which had been paid just three years earlier.

This Gold Taylor Pattern Sixpence is highly historical and represents an important era in Australia’s currency history. It is unique and as such very prestigious.

Australia’s first privately struck coins – the Taylor Patterns

W J Taylor, a British entrepreneur, pursued a plan in the mid-1850s to establish Australia’s first privately owned Mint.

His aim was to buy gold at greatly reduced prices from the gold fields and release it at full value in the form of gold coins in denominations of a shilling and sixpence, quarter-ounce, half-ounce, one ounce and two ounce. He also pursued the issue of silver and base metal coins.

Taylor’s Mint, known as the Kangaroo Office, was to be located near Melbourne’s Flagstaff Gardens in what is now Franklin Street West. £13,000 was invested in the enterprise, involving the charter of a fully rigged 600 ton vessel (aptly named ‘The Kangaroo’), the delivery of machinery and dies, and the employment of manpower.

Taylor had the dies made in England and utilised them as a showcase to convince potential investors of the viability of his operation.

‘The Kangaroo’ duly arrived at Hobsons Bay on 23 rd October 1853, and the huge coining press was deposited on the wharf. And there it sat. Unfortunately, it was too heavy to transport. The only option was to take it apart and move it, piece-by-piece, to the Kangaroo Office, where it was reassembled and put into working order.

The whole process took six months. By the time it was finally operational, the bird had flown. There was now a glut of English sovereigns in circulation and gold, which had been £2/15/- per ounce when the plan was hatched, had moved up to £4/4/- an ounce. There was just one penny per ounce difference between the English sovereign and their sale price.

With all hope of a profit gone, the dispirited promoters in London issued instructions for the Kangaroo Office to be closed.

On departing from Melbourne, Rignold Scaife, the Manager of the store, left strict instructions that “the dies should be taken out into the bay and sunk”.

However, back in London Taylor was unconvinced that his days as a coin designer and manufacturer were at an end. He pursued the issuing of silver and base metal coins, striking patterns of a sixpence and shilling in a variety of metals that included silver, aluminium and pewter.

Though the enterprise itself proved a failure, the Kangaroo Patterns and the Taylor Patterns that were produced are now viewed as rarities of the highest order, with genuine national and international significance.

Past performance of investments and other financial matters is no indication of future returns or performance.

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