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Henry VI Second Reign Groat

John Conduitt

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I recently bought this slightly porous groat, since I wanted an example from Henry VI's second reign. Given the brevity of this reign, there aren't as many to choose from as from his earlier stint, and it's not easy to get them in good condition. So, it wasn't cheap, but bidding barely got halfway into the auctioneer's estimated range and that was low enough for me.

Henry VI's restored coins are very similar to his earlier ones. The differences are:

  • The mintmarks are different - cross patée, trefoil, rose, short cross fitchée and a different style of lis. Here, it's a pierced 'restoration' cross (with slightly bifurcated ends) rather than a plain pierced cross;
  • The legend is usually hЄnRICV or hЄnRICVS rather than hЄnRIC;
  • The R looks like a B.

It's also worth noting that the Calais mint had closed by then, so if it's a Calais coin (as most of Henry VI's are), it's from his first reign. Instead, the second reign coins were struck at the mints in London, Bristol (with a B on his breast) and York (with an E on his breast).

Still, I was a bit nervous about paying the extra for a second reign groat without being certain of the attrubition. It helped, then, that the provenance included the late, great, groat expert, Ivan Buck. Only once I'd bought it, I also noticed the references were given as 'Stewartby p.432; B & W 8; N 1617; S 2082, this coin illustrated'. In other words, this coin is the one used to illustrate Spink's Coins of England & The United Kingdom, 2022. So, while I was checking the attribution in my copy, I was looking at my coin. I don't know why they didn't make more of this.

Henry VI Restored Groat, 1470-1471
Tower. Silver, 26mm, 2.72g. Crowned facing bust in tressure of arches, trefoils on cusps above crown, saltire stops; hЄnRICV DI GRΛ RЄX ΛnGL Z FRAnC (Henry by the Grace of God King of England and France). Long cross pattee, trefoils in quarters, saltire stops; + POSVI DЄVm ΛDIVTORЄ mЄV (I have made God my helper); CIVI TAS LOn Don (City of London); mintmark pierced restoration cross both sides (S 2082, this coin). Ex Ivan Buck.

Edited by John Conduitt
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Great looking coin, John.

I have one to share.

Henry VI (1422 - 1461 A.D.)

AR Groat
O: +HENRIC DI GRA REX ANGL Z FRANC / Crowned bust facing, with annulet on each side of neck.
R: +POSVI DEVM ADIVTORE MEVM VILLA CALISIE / Long cross with three pellets in each angle, annulet in two quarters and after POSVI.
Annulet issue. Calais mint; im: pierced cross 2. Struck 1422-1427.
North 1424; SCBC 1836

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