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Research Coins: Printed Auction

 
Triton XXI, Lot: 1539. Estimate $3000.
Sold for $6000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

STUART. Anne. 1702-1714. AV Medal (35mm, 12h). Coronation. By J. Croker. Dated 23 April 1702 (in Roman numerals). ANNA · D : G : MAG : BR : FR : ET · HIB : REGINA ·, diademed and draped bust left / VICEM GERIT · ILLA · TONANTIS · (she is the vice-regent of the Thunderer), Anne (as Pallas-Athena) standing right, holding shield and hurling thunderbolt at two-headed and four-armed serpentine monster (James ‘III’ and Louis XIV) to right, holding rocks and clubs; in two lines in exergue, INAVGVRAT · XXIII · AP/MDCCII ·. MI 228/4; Eimer 390. In NGC encapsulation graded AU 58.


From the Jonathan P. Rosen Collection.

Recent evidence has illuminated the full meaning of this reverse design, as well as its creator, through the discovery of a 50-page manuscript overlooked for many years. Then Master of the Mint Isaac Newton was aware of the real threat posed to England at the outset of the eighteenth century in the form of Anne’s half brother James (James ‘III,’ the Old Pretender) and King Louis XIV of France. Rather than simply being a two-headed monstrous figure, the fantastic creature, which was the object of Anne’s wrath, was specifically designed to be the menace forged through this Stuart-France Catholic alliance. Maybe even more surprising than the hidden iconography, however, is the fact that Newton himself proposed the symbolism. Already accomplished in the fields of science and math, his role at the mint allowed him to utilize his talents for the betterment of England’s coinage, while also giving him a political voice heretofore unknown.