North Yorkshire Moors Collection, Part IV: Coins and Medals

To be Sold on: 21st January 2021

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

XII: Machine-made Coins of Charles II, Crown, undated [1663], a uniface trial striking on thin silver of the obv. die of the Petition and Reddite Crowns by T. Simon, laureate bust right, the details minutely and delicately stippled and shaded, signed simon in script below, carolvs ii dei gra, mounted on a later (19th century?) silver disc, engraved (A proof in thin silver of the finest coin ever engraved in England by T. Simon), edge plain, 16.41g/253.4gr (Lessen, BNJ 2005, pp.102-4 and pl.7, 7, this piece; L & S 9; cf. ESC 435 [–]). Extremely fine but slightly crimped, UNIQUE; of considerable numismatic importance £4,000-£5,000

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XII: Machine-made Coins of Charles II, Crown, undated [1663], a uniface trial striking on thin silver of the obv. die of the Petition and Reddite Crowns by T. Simon, laureate bust right, the details minutely and delicately stippled and shaded, signed simon in script below, carolvs ii dei gra, mounted on a later (19th century?) silver disc, engraved (A proof in thin silver of the finest coin ever engraved in England by T. Simon), edge plain, 16.41g/253.4gr (Lessen, BNJ 2005, pp.102-4 and pl.7, 7, this piece; L & S 9; cf. ESC 435 [–]). Extremely fine but slightly crimped, UNIQUE; of considerable numismatic importance £4,000-£5,000
Provenance: T. Wakley Collection, Sotheby Auction, 6-8 December 1909, lot 157; Helen Farquhar Collection, Glendining Auction, 25 April 1955, lot 191; A Collection of English Milled Silver Coins, Glendining Auction, 4 October 1962, lot 14; F. Willis Collection, Glendining Auction, 4 March 1981, lot 148; H.E. Manville Collection, Spink Auction 140, 16 November 1999, lot 595; L.M. LaRivière Collection, Spink Auction 166, 12 November 2003, lot 26.

This is believed to be the earliest striking from this famous die, with no trace of a flaw visible by the c of carolvs. Since the Farquhar sale this piece has been erroneously catalogued as a cliché, which it patently is not. Regrettably, the black shagreen case, in which it and other contemporary patterns was housed at the time of the Wakley and Farquhar sales, no longer survives.

Early in 1662 Simon submitted drawings for the new coinage, as he had been instructed to do. However, he failed to follow these up with a pattern, although he may have made the new obverse drawing later that year. He may have made the crowns in 1663 (as they are dated) or conceivably even later, intending them to showcase his talent and as a way of registering his annoyance at the turn of events. He still called it his 'tryall piece', as in the original order. He seems to have retained some hope that he could still win the order to strike crowns long after the competition with the Roettiers had made such hopes illusory. In point of fact his coins must have been produced after 8 April 1663, when the new shield types were specified for the reverse, unless he had anticipated the required change. His final accounting of c. April 1665 did not include the crown, but it was specified on a later supplemental sheet. That, and all the related papers which have survived, specify a crown and make it clear that there had been an official warrant for it, that Simon had turned the dies in to the Mint (where they were formally receipted) and that years later the bill was allowed and his widow paid for the work. This would appear sufficient to justify the claim that these crown dies resulted from the official order of 7 February 1662/3 to make patterns, even though they were in fact produced too late to affect the decision as to who should strike the currency issue (BNJ 2005, p.106)