Ancient Gold Coins

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Scottish & English Hammered and Milled Gold Coins:

 

 

WAu-7157:  Edward III Hammered Gold Noble. Treat-Period, 1361-69.  Class II, Calais mint, voided quatrefoil before EDWARD above sail.  EDW ARD’DI GRA REX AnGL + FRAnC DnS hIB + AQVIT.  7.63 grams, 5h, initial mark cross pattee.  Isladulcie 44, Schneider 1-115, North 1281, Spink 1521.  Good weight, uniformly struck up on round flan – bold VF.  The town of Calais in what is now Northern France was under English rule from 1347 until 7 January 1558, being a bit of a vanity statement for the English monarchs in their claim on the French crown. It cost almost 1/5th of all the revenue collected in England to maintain Calais as an English possession.  The mint closed in 1440 after really only producing limited coinage under Edward III, a tiny amount of gold under Richard II and Henry IV, a miniscule quantity of farthings under Henry V and some of the earlier coinage of Henry VI.  Ex Spink, ex Trajan collection.  £7,895

 

WAu-7147:  Richard II Medieval Hammered Gold Noble.  Type IIB, London mint with French titles omitted: RIC|ARD:DEI:GRA:REX:AnGL:DnS:hIB Z AQT.  Full weight and the fine style variety of Spink 1655.  A good, old VF in grade and problem-free.  Ex Trajan collection, ex Spink.  A choice example.  £6,795 RESERVED (S.H.8-10-21: LayAway)

 

WAu-7097:  Henry V Hammered Gold Noble.  1413-22.  Class C, London.  King standing in his ship, mullet by sword arm, broken annulet on the side of the ship.  6.99g, 8h, i.m. Incurved Cross, Stewartby III, class Ca, Schneider 1, 232.  Spink 1742.  once lightly cleaned, now with a reddish tone.  Uniformly sharp – a handsome bold VF.  Ex Spink, ex Trajan collection.  £7,795

 

WAu-7191:  James II Gold Touch-Piece: Guaranteed to have been personally touched by King James II.  An ancient practice – that of The Devine (the monarchy was seen very much as a physical, tangible extension of God) healing sufferers of Scrofula (Tuberculosis) – dating as far back as Henry II.  All subsequent monarchs took some part in the ceremony (William & Mary refused because William was not of English royal decent) although Henry VIII was the most reluctant.  Interestingly, although somewhat disinclined due to an unwillingness to mingle with the common man, it was Henry who initiated the design of St George and the dragon on subsequent Touching Ceremony gold coins.  Although James’s brother, King Charles II, was an enthusiastic believer in the divine right of kings, James was actually more prolific in his touching, the number of sick being brought to him being as much as 14,364 in one year.  Clearly James II had an extremely short-lived reign, and it must be noted that for the first months of touching, he actually used the left over Charles II gold pieces – some 1,905 of them.  Again, the new touch-pieces were the work of John Roettier.  It is estimated that 1% of the London population suffered during this time), so James was never short of participants.  Interestingly, his ultimately toxic religious views seemed to have mattered very little to the average man in the street who was suffering from this extremely unpleasant disease – if James II could cure him, bring it on!  James II personally attended these ceremonies and physically handed the touch-piece to each and every sufferer.  Sufferers were invited and issued with an official Ticket-Pass to admit them to the ceremony.  You gave your Ticket-Pass in at the door, entered the ceremony, got touched by the king, received your gold coin from the king himself and hopefully left as a cured individual.  The Ticket-Token were collected and re-issued for the next Touching Ceremony.  James II touched no less than 12,000 a year during his short reign.  Touching Ceremonies were scheduled weekly, although never when the weather was warm.  Under Charles II, in 1684 the size of the gold touch-pieces were reduced and this was maintained under James.  The value of these pieces was some 5 shillings so very few would have survived the temptation of being spent as currency and thus quickly melted down upon numerous currency recalls, not least upon the death of monarchs.  Very rare indeed; more so due to the shortness of King James’s reign.  £1,850