The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 22, Number 36, September 8, 2019, Article 18


There are some interesting British coins pedigreed to major U.S. collections in the Sovereign Rarities Auction 2 closing September 24, 2019. -Editor

Steve Hill of Sovereign Rarities writes: writes:

We have just over 300 lots of British coins, nearly 60 world coins and finishing with 45 ancient pieces. The British is our strength, and the sale includes more than a few highlights that have once been in famous American collections of the past such as J.P. Morgan, Louis Eliasberg, John Jay Pittman and Mrs Norweb.

Lot 94: 1642 Gold Triple-Unite

1642 Gold Triple-Unite

Charles I (1625-49), gold Triple-Unite of Three Pounds, dated 1642, Oxford Mint, half-length crowned armoured figure of King left, holding sword and palm branch, Oxford plumes in field behind, all within beaded circle, legend and outer toothed border surrounding, initial mark Oxford plumes, CAROLVS: D: G: MAG: BRIT: FRAN: ET: HI: REX, rev. Declaration inscription in three wavy lines at centre, RELIG: PROT / LEG: ANG / LIBER: PAR, date below, three Oxford plumes over .III. value above, legend commences upper left within beaded and toothed border surrounding, initial mark five pellets, :EXVRGAT: DEVS: DISSIPENTVR: INIMICI:, weight 27.05g (Beresford-Jones dies III / S2; Schneider 286; N.2381; Brooker 832; S.2724). Struck on a full broad flan, toned, a little weak on elbow hands and crown, otherwise good very fine.

The gold Triple Unite represents the largest hammered gold denomination ever produced in the English series of coinage at a face value of Three Pounds. Such coins were produced at a time of duress, when the King had moved his Capital from London after the Battle of Edgehill, to the Royalist Universities of the City of Oxford, where he made a state entrance on 29th October 1642. The King lived at Christ Church, with the Queen installed at Merton; the Royalist Parliament met in the Upper Schools and Great Convocation House; the Privy Council at Oriel; and the Mint worked at New Inn Hall from the 3rd January 1642/3. These magnificent gold coins were struck for only three dates, 1642, 1643 and 1644 with some variation as there are 24 different varieties of obverse and reverse across these three dates, plus an extremely rare 1642 piece struck in Shrewsbury. Today, it is estimated the 25 different combinations exist in a mere surviving sample of some 250 pieces.

When the Triple Unite was introduced as currency it was more than double the value of any previous English coin produced, and would have been seen as a magnificent piece of propaganda against the Puritan cause, to show that though the King had moved from London, Oxford was a rich alternative City. Perhaps the King was inspired by similar large extremely rare Scottish coins produced some 70 years earlier by his father, King James VI of Scotland in 1575-6. The King had introduced the first regular newspaper printed in Oxford the "Mercurius Aulicus" from the 1st January 1642/3 (1642 old calendar style), and the introduction of the new Triple Unite as currency is featured in the edition produced around the 18th February 1642/3, and features a woodcut illustration of the new denomination (dies 1/S1 combination). This is thought to be the first ever illustration of a current coin of the realm in contemporary print. As the new year in the old calendar style commenced on the 25th March this means all the 1642 dated coins were produced in only a very limited time from mid-February to probably April at latest when 1643 dated pieces were no doubt produced. It seems the issue of this great coin ceased with the great fire of Oxford as reported in the same newspaper of 6th October 1644, as there are only three reverse types known of 1644.

Ex Louis Eliasberg Sr., American Numismatic Rarities, New Hampshire, USA, 18-19 April 2005, lot 367.
Ex Spink Numismatic Circular, April 2008, item HS3351.

Impressive coin. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

Lot 101: 1644 Oxford Mint Silver Pound

1644 Oxford Mint Silver Pound

Charles I (1625-49), silver Pound of Twenty Shillings, dated 1644, Oxford Mint, King on horseback left with raised sword and flowing scarf, spirited horse trampling over arms and armour, Oxford plume in field behind, all within beaded circle, legend and outer beaded circle surrounding, initial mark Oxford plume, CAROLVS D: G: MAG: BRIT: FRA: ET HIBER: REX, rev. Declaration in three lines in lion headed cartouche, RELIG: PROT / :LEG: ANG: / LIBER: PAR:, value and Oxford plumes above, date and OX below, beaded circles and legend surrounding, .EXVRGAT. DEVS. DISSIPENTVR. INIMICI, smaller lettering than obverse side, weight 117.81g (Brooker 865; Morrieson A-1; N.2402; S.2943). Triple struck on obverse side with associated weaknesses, but consequently giving a very well-defined strike of the cartouche side, a few light rim nicks and bruises, metal impurity flaw in obverse field with pleasing dark tone and a good provenance, good very fine but practically as struck, very rare, has been graded and slabbed by PCGS as XF40.

PCGS certification 868426.40/35764244 with "Ex J.J. Pittman Coll." cited on label.

This silver Twenty Shillings or silver Pound was struck at the Oxford Mint where Charles I had moved his capital from London after the Battle of Edgehill, to the Royalist Universities of the City of Oxford; where he made a state entrance on 29th October 1642. The King lived at Christ Church, with the Queen installed at Merton; the Royalist Parliament met in the Upper Schools and Great Convocation House; the Privy Council at Oriel; and the Mint worked at New Inn Hall from the 3rd January 1642/3.

These coins are the largest British hammered coin ever made weighing in at near 120 grams and were made from donated silver plate from the colleges and silver mined at Aberystwyth. This large denomination, and its smaller companion denominations were used to pay the Army to boost morale, with certain denominations being given to the various ranks within the army hierarchy. Regular soldiers would have received a Halfcrown, their superiors a silver Crown, the next rank up a silver Half-Pound and finally the highest ranks of the army the silver Pound. The costs of war were huge and Charles let it be known that the pay for his army was greater than that of the Parliamentarians, as cavalrymen for Parliament received two shillings a day, whereas Royalist cavalrymen received a Halfcrown, (Maurice Bull, Charles I Halfcrowns volume III, page 5).

As a further morale booster, if the viewer of the coin was literate and knew their Latin, the abbreviated legends translate as on obverse "Charles by the grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland," and on the reverse the cartouche Declaration, as Charles I gave to the Privy Council at Wellington, Shropshire on 19th September 1642 as "The Religion of the Protestants, the Laws of England, the Liberty of Parliament" which when shown in full Latin should read "Religio Protestantium Leges Angliae Libertas Parliamenti," the outer legend translates as "Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered," a Psalm from the Bible. OX for the City of Oxford is shown below the date.

Another impressive coins - great history. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

Lot 163: 1691 William and Mary Half Guinea

1691 William and Mary Half Guinea

William and Mary (1688-94), gold Half Guinea, 1691, second conjoined busts right, legend surrounding, GVLIELMVS. ET. MARIA. DEI. GRATIA, toothed border around rim both sides, rev. second crowned quartered shield of arms, date either side of crown, MAG. BR. FR. ET. HIB. REX. ET. REGINA. weight 4.19g (Schneider 476; MCE 163; S.3430). Lightly toned with underlying brilliance, has been slabbed and graded by NGC as MS62.

NGC certification 4862558-006

The year 1691 represents the second lowest calendar year output of gold coin across all the denominations that year and was perhaps a result of a fluctuating gold and silver price level as war had broken out with France in 1689. The total output for the year was £54,497. The Roettier brothers James and Norbert, were responsible for the engraving of the coin dies and the joint portrait of William III and Mary II facing right together.

Ex Mrs E. M. H. Norweb Collection, part 2, Spink Coin Auction 48, 13th November 1985, lot 463.
Ex Samuel King Collection, Spink Auction 173, 5th May 2005, lot 133.

Beautiful coin. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

Lot 198: 1663 Silver Pattern "Reddite" Crown

1663 Silver Pattern Reddite Crown

Charles II (1660-85), silver Pattern "Reddite" crown, 1663, engraved and signed by Thomas Simon, struck from the same dies as the famed "Petition" crown, "fine work" laureate and draped bust right, Simon italic below, legend and toothed border surrounding, CAROLVS II. DEI. GRA, rev. struck en medaille, crowned cruciform emblematic shields, interlinked Cs in angles, St. George and dragon in ruled Garter in centre, French inscription in garter, HONI. SOIT. QVI. MAL. Y. PENSE, date either side of top crown, legend and toothed border surrounding, .MAG BRI. FR ET. HIB REX. edge inscribed in raised letters, last two words half size font, REDDITE . QVÆ . CÆSARIS . CÆSARI & CT. POST, followed by depiction of the sun appearing out of a cloud, weight 31.39g (L&S 7; Bull 431 R5; ESC 73 R5; S.3354B).

This is the actual coin illustrated in the 1974 edition of 'English Silver Coinage'. PCGS certification 34313450.

The Latin legends translate as on the obverse "Charles the second by the grace of God" and on the reverse "King of Great Britain, France and Ireland. The French words on the garter translate as "Evil to him who evil thinks."

The Latin inscription on the edge is what gives this pattern its name and translates as "Render to Caesar, the things which are Caesar's," with the smaller font abbreviation for "POST NUBILA PHOEBUS" meaning "After the storm, the sun shines" alluding to the Restoration of the monarchy after the Commonwealth period.

Celebrated Victorian numismatist J. B. Bergne published the whereabouts of ten examples of the Reddite crown in silver in his 1854 article in the Numismatic Chronicle, three of which were institutionalised and seven in theory still privately held if they all survive till today. Four examples of these seven have appeared in the last forty years for sale whether privately or through auction. The other three have either not surfaced since Victorian times, or may have been last offered over 90 years ago, and are all examples that are apparently in lower grade. The choices of Reddite Crowns available to the market are few and far between, and the finest one from the Glenister collection, hammered at auction for £330,000 in March 2014, representing a total price including premium of £399,000.

It is interesting to note that Bergne recorded the whereabouts of fifteen examples of the companion "Petition" Crown piece in 1854, and at least one though perhaps as many as three may have emerged since then of this more highly coveted piece. In summary these "Reddite" Crowns are much rarer than the "Petition" crown with only ten examples known as of 1854 and seemingly less known today.

Steve adds:

This coin was once owned by Sir John Evans from whence it passed to J. P. Morgan then from 1915 on to a number of famous English collectors like R.C. Lockett, winding up in American ownership once again from 1962-85 with the Norwebs. In 1996 it found its way to Australia in the custodianship of Rowley Butters, so this is truly a well travelled coin.

The full Provenance is listed online. Great coin! -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

For more information on the sale, see:

Stacks-Bowers E-Sylum ad 2019-08-18 Adams sale

Wayne Homren, Editor

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