Ancient Gold Coins
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Scottish & English Hammered and Milled Gold Coins:
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
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:
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
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