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Research Coins: Feature Auction


1656 Cromwell Halfcrown

CNG 109, Lot: 945. Estimate $4000.
Sold for $2750. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

COMMONWEALTH. Oliver Cromwell. Lord Protector, 1653-1658. AR Halfcrown (34mm, 14.78 g, 6h). Dies by Simon. Blondeau’s mint, Drury House, London. Dated 1656. OLIVAR · D · G · R · P · ANG · SCO · ET · HIB &c PRO, laureate and draped bust left / PAX · QVÆRITVR · BELLO 16 56, crowned and garnished coat-of-arms. Lessen H25; ESC 446; North 2746; SCBC 3227. Near VF, toned, scratch in reverse field. Very rare.

Ex Clarendon Collection (Part II, Bonham’s, 17 October 2006), lot 1569; Spink 55 (8 October 1986), lot 99.

Marvin Lessen has suggested that the very rare 1656 Cromwell Halfcrowns were ‘circulated in the sense that they were distributed on a high social level (Parliament?), possibly as an experiment for general circulation.’ (M. Lessen, A Summary of the Cromwell Coinage, BNJ XXXV (1966), pp. 163–72). A much larger issue of silver crowns, halfcrowns, and shillings dated 1658 followed, many of which are commonly available.