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585798

Choice Blondeau Pattern Halfcrown

585798.

COMMONWEALTH. 1649-1660. Pattern Milled AR Halfcrown (33mm, 15.11 g, 6h). Dies by Simon. Blondeau’s mint, Drury House, London. Dually dated 1651 and year 3 of the Commonwealth. · (sun) · THE · COMMONWEALTH · OF · ENGLAND, coat-of-arms within wreath of palm frond and olive branch / · GOD · WITH · VS · 1651, two coats-of-arms; II · VI above. Edge: IN · THE · THIRD · YEAR · OF · FREEDOME · BY · GODS · BLESSING · RESTORED · 1651. ESC 443; North 2731. Richly toned. EF. One of the finest known examples of this important and rare pattern.


Ex H.E. Manville (Spink 154, 14 July 2001), lot 21; M. Hughes (Spink 139, 16 November 1999), lot 207; H. Selig (Spink 70, 31 May 1989), lot 232; ‘Agricola’ Collection (Spink 31, 12 October 1983), lot 254; Spink 1 (11 October 1978), lot 204.

Hammered coinage in the medieval and early modern period was plagued by the endemic problem of clipping. In 1651, Commonwealth officials invited the Frenchman Peter Blondeau to London to introduce the techniques of milled coinage to the mint. Patterns for the new coinage were produced both by Blondeau and by the Englishman David Ramage. Blondeau’s coins, carefully struck from dies cut by Thomas Simon, were technically far superior. The Halfcrowns bore the first appearance of a lettered edge in the English series.