Oliver Cromwell

"The Commonwealth" (1649 - 60)


You may find this comprehensive information website useful:  http://www.SunandAnchor.com




Oliver Cromwell (Milled) Read about Oliver Cromwell


WCom-5686:  1658 Oliver Cromwell Milled Silver Halfcrown.  Rare Dutch copy, late 1600’s to very early 1700’s, cast from the Simon dies.  The coin is unusual in two aspects:  Firstly, the amount of wear indicates the coin was passed into circulation.  These Dutch copies were intended to supply collectors with Cromwell coins rather than be used as currency.  Very few coins were available at this time due to the unpopularity of Cromwell after the Restoration.  It is recorded that of the small number of coins that were not recalled by the mint, many were deliberately defaced.  Interestingly, I have never seen such a defaced Cromwell coin, in the same way that I have never seen a contemporary counterfeit Henry 1st penny (BMC 6-14), although the mint at the time obviously thought it was a problem because they officially cut every coin leaving the mint to show the public the coin was silver.  Being cast after the Protectorate, the Cromwell halfcrown would not have circulated in the UK so presumably passed into European circulation, being just a lump of silver in that market place.  Secondly, and more interestingly, this coin is 11.98 grams.  It is also a smaller flan by a mm or so.  As a cast silver coin, it is difficult to understand how you could create a smaller, lighter coin from the original.  The nature of casting dictates like for like.  Double shillings or Florins were issued in this later Dutch / Tanner period.  Although they are recorded as being double thickness shillings, it is extremely interesting to note that the weight of these florins was 12g, exactly the same weight as this coin.  Further research required on this intriguing coin.  £995


WJC-6796:  1642 Earl of Essex (Robert Devereux) Military Reward Silver-Gilt Medal.  Designed by Tomas Rawlins.  The reverse shows BOTH Houses of Parliament and the King speaking.  Robert Devereux (1591 – 1646) was the third Earl of Essex and was Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentary General.   After a long but undistinguished military career fighting for the Protestant cause in Holland and Germany, the Earl of Essex was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Parliamentary army under Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil War. These badges were issued in gold and silver and given as rewards for commendable action by various ranks in his army. Though the army was fighting against the king, he is still represented on these medals for Essex hedged his bets somewhat by swearing to promote the Protestant religion, the security of the king and freedom of parliament. He thus found himself in a difficult position regarding treason but squared his action in that he was fighting, not against the king but against the king’s ‘papist and malicious advisors’, so effectively for the king!  A very similar medal with virtually no original gilding remaining is currently on sale (October 2019) at £4,500 by a leading London dealer (see here).  That same link shows you the Medallic Illustration entry (M.I.296(i)/114).  It is rare for so much gilding to be present, as it is for BOTH rings to be intact.  I have illustrated the medal on different backgrounds and under different lighting conditions.  Rare and choice.  See Charles 1st section




Commonwealth (Hammered)


Half Crowns


WCom-5815:  1653 Commonwealth Hammered Silver Halfcrown.  Clear date, full flan and unusual in that the reverse is clearly 1653 (it is in fact one of the last dies used in 1653) but the obverse is actually a 1652 die.  £535


WCom-6496:  1654 Commonwealth Hammered Silver Halfcrown.  High grade and good weight (14.51) so more an irregular flan than excessive clipping, although there has been a degree of clipping as 15g was the standard.  An interesting coin in that the obverse is an earlier 1653 die and the 5 in the reverse date looks to be over a 4, although this is definitely not a modified 1649 die.  Of the many variations of 1654 halfcrowns listed on Sun&Anchor, this appears to be a new, unlisted variety.  £1,295


WCom-6720:  1656 Commonwealth Hammered Silver Halfcrown.  A very nice grade coin struck on a round flan with minimal, if any, clipping.  The coin has most likely been sat in water for all of its life which would account for the surface pitting and weight of only 14.07g (15g was the standard).  Spink 3215.  An interesting coin in that the obverse is an earlier 1654 die and the reverse die is not 1656, rather an altered 54 or 55 die.  Technically, this is not a 1656 coin!  Thanks as ever to Sun&Anchor for their excellent research which they have generously made freely available to all.  £545






WCom-6439:  1651 Commonwealth Hammered Silver Shilling.  A straight 51 obverse and reverse but no stop after THE making this the rare E.S.C 984.  £725


WCom-6440:  1652 over 1 Commonwealth Hammered Silver Shilling.  A 1651 obverse with a 1651 altered date (51 to 52) reverse.  Also no stop after GOD making this an unlisted and unrecorded variety (see www.sunandanchor.com).  £785


WCom-6199:  1653 Commonwealth Hammered Silver Shilling.  Clear date, decent grade and unusually, a straight ’53 obverse with a ’53 reverse and no overdate.  £495


WCom-6362:  1653 Commonwealth Hammered Silver Shilling.  Clear date, decent grade.  Unusual double striking and the O in COMMONWEALTH looks altogether too small.  £395


WCom-6403:  1653 Commonwealth Hammered Silver Shilling.  Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth, initial mark Sun, 5.42g.  The obverse reads: COMMONWEATH [L missing] and there is no stop after THE.  The ticket states this is the recorded COMMONWEALH [T missing] variety which is E.S.C.989 (I’m told E.S.C. 130 in the revised edition?), rated at R4 rarity which means 11-20 known examples.  This coin is actually an E.S.C. unrecorded “missing L” variety.  If you look at the definitive guide to Commonwealth coinage (http://www.SunandAnchor.com), you will see both varieties listed and both having six star rarity values.  The COMMONWEATH die (this coin) also has the missing stop after THE whereas the missing T variety doesn’t.  A great rarity in the Commonwealth series being unrecorded in E.S.C. (Spink don’t bother listing any variations), full of flan and nice grade.  £895


WCom-6792:  1655 Commonwealth Hammered Silver Shilling.  5.82 grams / 89.8 grains, 30mm at its widest.  Of the sun initial marks, 55 and 57 are many, many times rarer than the other dates with 57 being twice as rare as 55.  1655 is actually rarer than both 58 and 60 anchor shillings – as usual, Spink fail to reflect this in their pricing.  There are less than 20 extant 1655 shillings in national and private hands compared to getting on to 30-40 each of the 1658 and 1660.  The problem with this issue is that the 5 looks remarkably similar to a 3 and so when these coins are clipped, 1653 can look for all the world like 55.  There are many “1655” shillings residing in date collections all over the world that are actually the much more common 1653 dates.  This coin is in excellent grade, nicely toned and although slightly clipped – more likely just a thick, small flan due to the good weight – there is enough of the 55 showing to unambiguously attribute it to 55 – see here.  If you go onto http://www.SunandAnchor.com (an excellent reference site), you wouldn’t even need to see the date to attribute this coin to 1655.  An extremely rare coin that seldom comes up for sale – in fact I couldn’t find a true 1655 that has been sold, recently or otherwise – and in outstanding grade.  I can only locate three other examples, this one being better than all those three coins in terms of grade.  £1,875 RESERVED (LayAway “N” 1-1-20)






WCom-6328:  1651 Commonwealth Hammered Silver Sixpence – Rarer Variety.  Full of flan with a very clear date.  No stops at the initial mark (sun) – see SunandAnchor.com.  Spink 3219 var.  £445


WCom-6483:  1651 Commonwealth Hammered Silver Sixpence – Rarer Variety.  Full of flan and with a very clear date.  Rarer no stop after COMMONWEALTH variety. A straight 1651 obverse but paired with a 1651/50 reverse, possibly indicating an early 1651 issue but utilising an old, but still perfectly good 1650 reverse which they then put to good use early 1651 but replacing the 0 with a 1.  Spink 3219 var.  Ex Spink (see here).  The 1650 obverse was problematic so effort was put into the 51 obverse in terms of improvements.  This is an interesting die combination.  £595


WCom-5912:  1654 over 3 Commonwealth Hammered Silver Sixpence.  Relatively full of flan – minimal clipping with an unusually clear date.  This is the rarer 4 over 3 variety which E.S.C. rates at R2.  The coin has slight creasing probably due to the practise of biting the coin to see if it was genuine silver in the 1650’s.  Some toning.  £495






WCom-6601:  Commonwealth Hammered Silver Halfgroat or Twopence.  1649-60.  Spink 3221.  A high grade coin that was unevenly struck (ie angled strike).  £125