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TWO New British Coronation Medals: AR George IV 1821, PLUS Charles I Scottish Coronation 1633


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About 7 or 8 years ago, I sold all but one (George II) of my pre-Victoria British official Coronation Medals, which had dated back to James I. I've been trying very slowly for the past few years to restore at least some of that collection, and this is the first one I've bought since the 1761 Queen Charlotte medal I purchased last August (see https://www.numisforums.com/topic/899-new-british-coronation-medal-queen-charlotte-1761/#comment-15402).

Great Britain, George IV, Official AR Coronation Medal, 1820, by Benedetto Pistrucci. Obv. Laureate bust left, GEORGIUS IIII D.G. BRITANNIARUM REX F.D. / Rev. King enthroned left, crowned by Victory behind him; before him stand Britannia, Hibernia, and Scotia; PROPRIO JAM JURE ANIMO PATERNO around; in exergue, INAUGURATUS DIE. JULII. XIX ANNO. MDCCCXXI. 35 mm., 16.93 g. BHM 1070 (ill. p. 264) [Brown, Laurence, British Historical Medals Vol. I, 1760-1837 (Seaby 1980)]; Eimer 1146a (ill. Pl. 125) [Eimer, C., British Commemorative Medals and their Values (2nd ed. 2010)]; Wollaston p. 12, no. xv & ill. 24 [Henry Wollaston, British Official Medals for Coronations and Jubilees (1978)]. Mintage in AR: 800 (see Wollaston p. 16). Purchased from Noonans (formerly Dix Noonan Webb) Auction 267, 1 Feb. 2023, Lot 788; ex Sir Gerard Clauson Collection of British Historical Medals [see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerard_Clauson: “Sir Gerard Leslie Makins Clauson (28 April 1891 – 1 May 1974) was an English civil servant, businessman, and Orientalist best known for his studies of the Turkic languages”].*


(The areas of blue and and other dark coloring turn out to be simply iridescence in hand. Noonans noted the "small dig at top of reverse," which I don't think detracts from the coin all that much, but described the medal as "otherwise extremely fine and toned.")

*See Sir Gerard's biography from Noonans, published in connection with an auction of his ancient coin collection in 2022, at https://issuu.com/noonansauctions/docs/coins_13_oct_22:


Of the official coronation medals I once owned, I'm still missing William IV and Anne in silver (I have them in bronze), James II and Queen Mary (separate medals), Charles II's Scottish Coronation, Charles I (either English or Scottish), and James I. Maybe someday! Nice examples have definitely become more expensive in the last 7-8 years, although prices are still quite a bit lower than one would think they'd be, given the low mintages (under 1,000 for most, and no more than 400 for several). Just to show that I'm not prejudiced in favor of the UK, I also have the bronze and miniature silver versions of Napoleon's coronation medal (see https://www.numisforums.com/topic/403-napoleon-bonaparte-coins-on-the-anniversary-of-waterloo/page/2/#comment-26161 ), and -- from the same general category -- the U.S. Presidential Inauguration Medals of Truman and JFK.

Please post anything you think is relevant.





Edited by DonnaML
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Not a coronation medal but other examples of George IV observes. The first obverse engraved by Benedetto Pistrucci and similar to @DonnaML's coronation example, and the second is the bare head design engraved by William Wyon. I appears to me that Benedetto considered that George IV had put on a little weight since his 1821 design. 

I am very  fortunate to have a chest of sample drawers originally used by William Wyon which was rescued from a "skip" ( dumpster) when the Royal Mint was relocated from London to Llantrisant in South Wales. 

I still seek an 1821 first George IV shilling which I believe has the most attractive design of any shilling.





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Most of the AE versions of the official British coronation medals aren't nearly as nice-looking as the AR versions, but in the case of George IV I think the Pistrucci portrait on my bronze example is still quite appealing:


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Here's the "virtual tray" I created -- similar to the one I did for my Roman Republican coins -- for all my small-sized official British coronation medals beginning with the Charles II English coronation medal. I've also included the medal Spink issued for Elizabeth II's coronation (for which there was no official medal), as well as the official 1911 Prince of Wales Investiture medal for the future Edward VIII, and the 1935 George V & Queen Mary Silver Jubilee medal.



First row: Charles II AR English Coronation Medal, William & Mary AR Coronation Medal, Anne AE Coronation Medal

Second row: George I AR Coronation Medal, George II AR Coronation Medal, Queen Caroline AR Coronation Medal

Third row: George III AR Coronation Medal, Queen Charlotte AR Coronation Medal, George IV AR Coronation Medal

Fourth row: George IV AE Coronation Medal, William IV & Queen Adelaide AE Coronation Medal, Victoria AR Coronation Medal

Fifth Row: Edward VII & Queen Alexandra AR Coronation Medal, George V & Queen Mary AR Coronation Medal, 1911 Prince of Wales AR Investiture Medal.

Sixth Row: George V & Queen Mary AR Silver Jubilee Medal, George VI & Queen Elizabeth AR Coronation Medal, Elizabeth II Spink (unofficial) gilded AE Coronation Medal (Buckingham Palace on reverse).


Edited by DonnaML
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  • DonnaML changed the title to TWO New British Coronation Medals: AR George IV 1821, PLUS Charles I Scottish Coronation 1633
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And here's another one:

England & Scotland, Charles I, Official AR Scottish Coronation Medal, 1633, by Nicholas Briot. Obv. Crowned bust left, in falling lace collar, ermine, robes, and collars of the Garter and the Thistle, CAROLVS• D:G• SCOTIAE• ANGLIAE• FR• ET• HIB• REX• [both “AEs” ligate] / Rev. Thistle flower growing out of stem with stylized trellised thistle leaves spreadeagled on either side, and three closed buds among the leaves*; around, legend • HINC • NOSTRAE • CREVERE • ROSAE • [both “AEs” ligate] [translation: “Hence have our roses grown,” a reference to the King’s Scottish birth and parentage, i.e., the English roses of the Royal family growing from the Scottish thistle]; in exergue in two lines, CORON•18•IVNII• | •1633• B• [Coronation 18 June 1633, “B” = Nicholas Briot]. 28 mm., 9.35 g. Eimer 123 & Pl. 12 [Eimer, C., British Commemorative Medals and their Values (2nd ed. 2010)]; MI i pp. 265-266/60 & Pl. xxii, no. 2 [Medallic Illustrations of the History of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. I pp. 265-266, No. 60 (1885, reprinted 1969; Plate volume 1911, reprinted 1979)]; Wollaston p. 6, no. iii & ill. 3; see also p. 66 regarding the reverse design [Henry Wollaston, British Official Medals for Coronations and Jubilees (1978)]. Purchased from Simon Monks, Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK, April 2023.**


* Medallic Illustrations identifies the reverse design as a combination of a thistle flower and a rose bush; Wollaston strongly disagrees (see p. 66), stating that it is solely a thistle flower, and that the three buds among the leaves are thistle buds, not rosebuds. Eimer follows Wollaston.

**For an account of Charles I’s 1633 Scottish Coronation, seven years after his English Coronation in 1626, see Jane Rickard, “Stuart Coronations in Seventeenth Century Scotland: History, Appropriation, and the Shaping of Cultural Identity” (Ch. 12, pp. 241-256 at pp. 243-244), in Stuart Succession Literature: Moments and Transformations (ed. Paulina Kewes & Andrew McRae, Oxford 2019):



See also https://www.burntisland.net/shipwreck/history-1633.htm:

“When his father King James VI and I died in 1625, Charles (pictured left, courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London) became the second king of the United Kingdom. Charles I's English Coronation ceremony was held in February 1626, and there was some debate as to whether or not there should be a separate Scottish Coronation. Although born in Dunfermline, Charles was not keen to visit the land of his birth. He even suggested that he might be crowned King of Scots in London. However, the Scottish Parliament insisted on a Coronation in Edinburgh. It took several years for matters to get to the stage where a date could be agreed. Eventually it was decided that the Scottish Coronation would be held on 18 June 1633 in the Abbey adjoining the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

The King and his vast entourage left London on the 10th of May, and arrived in Edinburgh five weeks later. The Privy Council had spent significant sums of money on upgrading the roads and bridges in advance of the journey. The noblemen with whom Charles stayed overnight during his journey had been ordered to ensure that their castles were, literally, fit for a King. And the same noblemen also had to feed and entertain him in the style to which he was accustomed. So great were the sums involved, that some of the nobles did not regain their financial equilibrium until years afterwards.

The same was true in Edinburgh, where no expenditure was spared. In return, the citizens were treated to a week of royal pageantry, with processions, royal banquets and a host of visiting foreign dignitaries; plus, of course, the Coronation itself.

Old print of Charles entering Edinburgh for his Coronation:


The mood soon changed, however. After the Coronation, the King and the Scottish Parliament fell out on a number of issues. The main bones of contention were the Parliament's growing concern that the King was intent on imposing his will on Scotland, and a conviction that he was paying no attention whatsoever to what members of the Parliament were saying.”

 The resentment of the King by non-Anglicans in Scotland continued relatively unabated until the outbreak of the English Civil War.

Edited by DonnaML
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Here's a question for anyone among you who knows anything about 17th century British dies. On 29 April, 2019, Heritage sold this specimen of the Charles I Scottish Coronation Medal:


It seems clear that it's a double-die match to my example -- which isn't surprising, because the mintage of the entire series of silver coronation medals was quite low (even though the specific number is unknown for this medal). But what puzzles me is that if I were looking only at the reverse, I would be convinced that it was my coin: the wear at the top of the thistle-flower appears to be identical. However, I don't think it can possibly be my coin, because there are slight differences on the obverse, including in the fields and around the rim. How could two different specimens have exactly the same amount of wear in exactly the same places on the reverse? Is it possible that the reverse die was worn to exactly the same extent when the two specimens were struck? But then one would think that there would be more than two specimens that look exactly like this, and I haven't been able to find any others. Hence the puzzlement.

Edited by DonnaML
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