Rare 17th century penny from Carrickfergus sells for £6,200

image copyrightDix Noonan Webb

A rare 17th century penny struck in County Antrim has broken an auction record after selling for £6,200.

The penny from Carrickfergus had been expected to fetch £240 to £300, but the price rocketed.

The coin sold for more than 20 times its estimate in a live online auction of historical medals.

International coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialist Dix Noonan Webb (DNW) said it had set a worldwide auction record.

The buyer was a collector from the United States.

The auctioneers said the Carrickfergus coin was a "very fine and very rare penny".

They said it set a new world record for the sale of a 17th century British trade token.

Half crown and sixpence

DNW is based in Mayfair, London, but under Covid-19 restrictions, auctions are online.

The auctioneer stands in an empty room - in stark contract to the packed room filled with keen bidders - and people bid online or leave a commission bid.

However, a spokesperson said business remains brisk.

Elsewhere at the auction on Tuesday, a 19th century copper half crown dating from 1812, which was struck in Sheffield, sold for £8,680 to a private collector and a 19th century sixpence dating from 1813, from a workhouse in Birmingham, sold for £4,464.

The sale also included a collection of 18th and 19th century horseracing tickets and passes.

The highest price was achieved for an extremely rare copper-gilt pass from Richmond Racecourse in North Yorkshire, stamped Lord Dundas, which sold for £1,240 against an estimate of £200-£300.

Peter Preston-Morley, specialist and associate director at DNW, said: "The market for quality was very strong in this sale and all the horseracing material was keenly bid on, mostly acquired by private individuals in the UK."

DNW is donating 5% of buyers' premiums to NHS Charities Together.

A total of £24,879 has been donated since the lockdown started.

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