Cope Coin Collection Up for Sale


11 April 2024
The Cope Collection, amassed by numismatist Geoffrey Cope, is set to be auctioned later on this year and has been described as the most significant dispersal of a British coin collection since the Norweb sales in the late 1980s.

Every Era Represented

Assembled over the span of more than 50 years, the collection features 170 ancient Roman bronze coins and over 800 British coins and commemorative medallions. With an eye for quality and the means to pursue the best specimens he was able to find means most of the coins and medallions in the Cope Collection are in high states of preservation with a significant number in the collection considered the finest examples known. 

Testoon showing Henry VIII's imageTestoon showing reverse side

Every era of coin production in the British Isles is represented within the collection. There is a particular strength in the silver and copper coinage of the Tudor, Stuart and Georgian periods. Among the rarities feature are the Petition Crown of Charles II, a Henry VIII Testoon and the only Philip and Mary halfcrown in a private coin collection. Mr Cope had a particular fondness for the coinage of Charles I, and he was fortunate enough to obtain many pieces of this ill-fated king to add to his collection including Crowns and ‘fine work’ Shillings. 

Observe side of coin showing Charles Ireverse side of coin

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Roman Age Coins 

Some other highlights in this collection include a sestertius of Agrippina Senior, issued posthumously by her son Gaius Caligula. The coin is in superb condition, the reverse of which depicts in carpentum drawn by two mules. The coin collection also includes the famous sestertius of Hadrian commemorating his visit to Britain in AD 122. This very rare coin features an elegant portrait of Hadrian with the reverse showing the emperor addressing legionary soldiers serving in the province of Roman Britain. As with other coins in the collection, this rare coin is incredibly well persevered and accompanied by a provenance over a century long.

The Sale Details

The Cope Collection is being sold in a collaboration by leading coin firms Numismatica Ars Classica, Classical Numismatic Group and Numismatica Genevensis. The Roman coins and the first part of the British coin collection will be offered in a sale in Zurich on 7 May 2024 and the second and final part of the British coin collection will be offered in Zurich in October. Viewing of the collection will take place at the London offices of Classical Numismatic Group (British collection) and Numismatica Ars Classica (Roman collection) in April and September, and prior to the auctions in Zurich.