Two rare Irish coins from the 1920s smashed their estimations at a recent auction held by international specialists Dix Noonan Webb.
The bronze pieces, designed by Italian sculptor Publio Morbiducci, were created as part of a competition to select the Irish Free State’s new money in 1927.
The pattern Halfcrown featuring a rearing horse was described by the great Irish coin collector and expert Gerard Brady as having “an ageless character and beauty”.
It was estimated at £4,000 to £5,000 but fetched more than twice this amount, selling for £13,200.
The Threepence, which is adorned with a hare, performed equally well, taking £7,200 when it was expected to sell for £2,800 to £3,200.
The coins, which, according to the auctioneers, are of “the highest rarity” and boast a “virtually as struck” appearance, were bought by two different private collectors.
Morbiducci gifted the pieces to the vendor’s grandfather in Italy before the Second World War and they were then passed down through the family.
Referring to this style of coin, Mr Brady said that during the 1970s he knew of only one Halfcrown, then in a private collection in Dublin, and four Threepences.
Several British coins produced a strong showing, with one of the principal collections, a set of English hammer coins belonging to a Cambridge scholar, selling for a total of £159,348.