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Victorian Novelty Silver "Godless Florin" Pile of Coins Vinaigrette
UNMARKED c1880
A rare and unusual Victorian novelty silver Vinaigrette made to simulate a pile of coins, with screw-off lid revealing a pull-out grille and hinged opening below to the body. The cover and base formed from an 1849 "Godless Florin", depicting a crowned young Victoria and the emblems of England, Scotland, Wales & Ireland in a cruciform surrounded by the legend 'one florin, a tenth of a pound'.

Unmarked c1880

Stamped with the retailers mark of Percy Edwards & Co, 71 Piccadilly.
Price £1450.00
Condition In good condition with no damage or repair
Length 73  mm (2.87 inches)
Diameter 30  mm (1.18 inches)
Weight 104.00 Grams (3.34 troy ounces)
Country England
Stock Code MSC224
Medium Silver
Literature In 1847 a proposal was put forward for decimalisation of the pound, with the introduction of coins worth a tenth and a hundredth of a pound. As a consequence a tenth of a pound coin was introduced to test public opinion.

The first coin, issued in 1849, was unusual in two respects. First the queen, Victoria, was portrayed wearing a crown for the first time since the reign of Charles II, and secondly because the coin omitted the Dei Gratia, or even DG in the inscription, so it became known as the Godless Florin. It's diameter was 28 mm.

The obverse of the Godless florin has the inscription VICTORIA REGINA 1849, with Victoria's crowned bust draped left. The reverse is inscribed ONE FLORIN ONE TENTH OF A POUND, with cruciform shields with rose, thistle, rose and shamrock in the angles and a rose in the centre.

The type was issued with only that one date (although scarce proofs exist dated 1848), and was superseded by the Gothic florin in 1852. In the meantime production of the halfcrown ceased to allow the new coin to become established.

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