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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Two Blondeau Patterns

Triton XXI, Lot: 1483. Estimate $2500.
Sold for $2200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

COMMONWEALTH. 1649-1660. Pattern AR Halfcrown (33mm, 14.81 g, 6h). Dies by Simon. Blondeau’s mint, Drury House, London; im: sun. Dated 1651. · (sun) · THE · COMMONWEALTH · OF · ENGLAND, coat-of-arms within wreath / GOD · WITH · VS · 1651 ·, two coats-of-arms; II·VI (denomination) above. On edge: TRVTH AND PEACE 1651 (olive branch) PETRVS BLONDAEVS INVENTOR FECIT (palm branch). ESC 444; North 2732. Good Fine, toned. Very rare.

From the Jonathan O. Rosen Collection. Ex Ian Gordon Collection (Classical Numismatic Group 90, 23 May 2012), lot 2627; Classical Numismatic Group 60 (22 May 2002), lot 2408.

Commissioned by the Commonwealth to improve upon English coinage, Pierre Blondeau arrived from France in 1649 and, with the help of engraver Thomas Simon, immediately began to produce patterns which would focus upon his primary concern: the marking of the edges of coins with either lettering or reeding–an important deterrent to the practice of clipping. This series of patterns was struck for 1651, and presents the first encounter of a lettered edge within English coinage. Opposition to Blondeau increased at the mint, however, and he returned to France in 1656. The Frenchman would ultimately be called back to England in 1662 to oversee the modernization of English coinage and the full implementation of edge marking in 1663.