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Elizabeth I shilling, and other fun stuff


JeandAcre
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After what, for yours truly, was the major coup of @GregH's Charles I shilling from The Cabinet (still the only 'British' listing in the thread), I was inspired to go trawling for shillings from the same neighborhood.  ...I'd forgotten how fun shillings from this period are, for their sheer heft, along with the ensuing detail.

First, @GregH's example, with his pictures, which are better than the dealer's.  (His full attribution, with provenance, are in the Cabinet listing.)

43AF2547-3BC0-4E51-B3B7-C715E29DA54A.jpeg.5091acd70473b83556159a0c5e9da3f1.jpeg

8B48E590-25AB-4C25-89B1-CA049A018D02.jpeg.e01b62e77c6d73beab1fdf6813456cba.jpeg

...So next, I had to get an example of Elizabeth I.  This is from the relatively common second issue; martlet mintmark, c. 1560-1.  But Elizabeth's reign was eventful enough from the onset that anything nearer to the fireworks of the Spanish Armada, or the earlier adventures of Francis Drake, or even Shakespeare isn't really necessary.  ...And @GregH's example had already won me over to appreciating the 'mere' aesthetics on their own merits.  I bought this one from a dealer on French ebay.  Not only was the price less, er, ambitious than listings on UKebay, it was very good to correspond with him again, after three years of Covid, etc. etc.  (Full disclosure: his English will Always, Always be orders of magnitude better than my French.)

image.jpeg.8c49aced071cb098e60be16a5e9d7238.jpeg

image.jpeg.f79a432e7627f6343b08965c9dc11f1f.jpeg

Obv.  Elizabeth, crowned, with a ruffed (versus Charles I's lace) collar (...this will feature later...).  Martlet (/bird) mintmark; ELIZABETH D[EI]. G[RATIA]. ANG[LIE]. FR[ANCIE]' ET. HI[BERNIE] REGINA

Rev.  The quartered arms of England and France, going back, anachronistically enough, to Edward III's claim to the French throne that set off the Hundred Years' War in the 1330's.  The legend, likewise going back to Edward's groats: POSVI DEV[M]: ADIVTOREM: MEV[M]: ('I have made God my helper.')  

(Spink 2555.)

...Naturally, at that point, I needed to go trawling for an example of the intervening reign, James I.  This was when I found something really fun on UKebay.

Here are the dealer's pics, with some of his description.

Image 1 - 1620-25 Simon Van De Passe Workshop Engraved Silver Gaming Counter 26.3mm 2.6g

Image 2 - 1620-25 Simon Van De Passe Workshop Engraved Silver Gaming Counter 26.3mm 2.6g

Beautifully engraved portraits of James I and his son Charles, heir apparent and soon-to-become King Charles I, on this silver gaming token, originally a coin of the realm, most likely a shilling. It was probably made in the London workshop of Simon van de Passe, master engraver, shortly before he moved to Copenhagen as royal engraver and designer of medals to the Danish Royal family.  Diameter: 26.3mm Weight: 2.63g.  [...Close enough for the mere plausibility of this having begun life as a shilling.]

One thing I need about this is how James I has a ruff collar (like Elizabeth), while Charles has a lace one, as in his shilling as king.  It's a funly visual demonstration of the generational transition.  For me, it immediately evokes the literary shift, from Shakespeare to the Metaphysical Poets.  (Right, I'm kind of a fan of both.) 

I'd only seen these van de Passe pieces in person once, at the biggest coin show I ever attended, in the late 1980's.  The dealer just might have been Spink; you have my solemn word and bond that, thanks to the very congenial staff, visiting the booth was very educational.  (Another lasting memory is having seen 'my' very first facing-portrait penny of Edward the Confessor.)  But at the time, all I was able to show up with was something to either side of $20.  Buying this example was yet another instance of it's being a moot point how cheap anything was when you didn't have the money.

Anyway, as a student of the art of the period, I really need how this evokes yet a third kind of engraving; early copperplates.  Not to mention the attendant convergence of the media.  The net aesthetic effect is why English speakers need to thank Germans for the word, 'Gestalt.'

(Late-breaking edit:) Since I've been in correspondence with both of them only over the last few days, and they're both demonstrably solid people, it eventually landed on me to include links to the sellers of the Elizabeth shilling (yes, his English is Very, Very ...No, Really, Very Good), and of the 'School of van de Passe' counter (no, his English is just that, but very unpretentious; if American is your first language, you'll easily get by.)

https://www.ebay.fr/itm/194948932253

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/144674923857

 

Edited by JeandAcre
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Really nice. The portraits are great. Shillings are pretty common but try to find one with a face on it... The patinas are good too, especially the Charles I.

I have no shillings of Elizabeth. Here's James I, found in the Netherlands.

James I Second Issue Shilling, 1605-1606image.png.4b24d23f2aa679ad876b82dce684c611.pngTower. Silver, 31mm, 5.77g. Crowned fourth bust to right, value to left; ·IACOBVS·D·G·MAG·BRIT·FRA·ET·HIB·REX·. Quartered arms, privy mark rose; QUAE·DEVS·CONIVNXIT·NEMO·SEPARET (S 2655). From the Kempen (North Brabant, Netherlands) Hoard c2020. Buried in 1616, it contained various European gold and silver coins, suggesting it belonged to a Dutch merchant.

I have a couple of Charles I shillings to choose from. He was a terrible king but the Civil War meant a lot of his coins (and to a lesser extent those of Elizabeth I and James I) were buried for future generations to enjoy 😉 

I don't know what to make of this portrait. It doesn't reach the quality of Simon van de Passe.

Charles I Group D Shilling, 1636-1638image.png.f25f1bdd94dbadcf92493cd94beaf6fd.pngTower. Silver, 5.87g. Fourth bust type 3a left with double arched crown, no inner circles, value in field behind, mintmark tun; CAROLVS DG MA BR FR ET HI REX. Oval shield garnished quartered shield of arms in frame, no CR either side; CHRISTO AVSPICE REGNO (S 2791). Ex Michael Trenerry; Ivan Buck. From the Messing [Essex] Hoard 1975.

Edited by John Conduitt
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6 hours ago, JeandAcre said:

After what, for yours truly, was the major coup of @GregH's Charles I shilling from The Cabinet (still the only 'British' listing in the thread), I was inspired to go trawling for shillings from the same neighborhood.  ...I'd forgotten how fun shillings from this period are, for their sheer heft, along with the ensuing detail.

First, @GregH's example, with his pictures, which are better than the dealer's.  (His full attribution, with provenance, are in the Cabinet listing.)

43AF2547-3BC0-4E51-B3B7-C715E29DA54A.jpeg.5091acd70473b83556159a0c5e9da3f1.jpeg

8B48E590-25AB-4C25-89B1-CA049A018D02.jpeg.e01b62e77c6d73beab1fdf6813456cba.jpeg

...So next, I had to get an example of Elizabeth I.  This is from the relatively common second issue; martlet mintmark, c. 1560-1.  But Elizabeth's reign was eventful enough from the onset that anything nearer to the fireworks of the Spanish Armada, or the earlier adventures of Francis Drake, or even Shakespeare aren't really necessary.  ...And @GregH's example had already won me over to appreciating the 'mere' aesthetics on their own merits.  I bought this one from a dealer on French ebay.  Not only was the price less, er, ambitious than listings on UKebay, it was very good to correspond with him again, after three years of Covid, etc. etc.  (Full disclosure: his English will Always, Always be orders of magnitude better than my French.)

image.jpeg.8c49aced071cb098e60be16a5e9d7238.jpeg

image.jpeg.f79a432e7627f6343b08965c9dc11f1f.jpeg

Obv.  Elizabeth, crowned, with a ruffed (versus Charles I's lace) collar (...this will feature later...).  Martlet (/bird) mintmark; ELIZABETH D[EI]. G[RATIA]. ANG[LIE]. FR[ANCIE]' ET. HI[BERNIE] REGINA

Rev.  The quartered arms of England and France, going back, anachronistically enough, to Edward III's claim to the French throne that set off the Hundred Years' War in the 1330's.  The legend, likewise going back to Edward's groats: POSVI DEV[M]: ADIVTOREM: MEV[M]: ('I have made God my helper.')  

(Spink 2555.)

...Naturally, at that point, I needed to go trawling for an example of the intervening reign, James I.  This was when I found something really fun on UKebay.

Here are the dealer's pics, with some of his description.

Image 1 - 1620-25 Simon Van De Passe Workshop Engraved Silver Gaming Counter 26.3mm 2.6g

Image 2 - 1620-25 Simon Van De Passe Workshop Engraved Silver Gaming Counter 26.3mm 2.6g

Beautifully engraved portraits of James I and his son Charles, heir apparent and soon-to-become King Charles I, on this silver gaming token, originally a coin of the realm, most likely a shilling. It was probably made in the London workshop of Simon van de Passe, master engraver, shortly before he moved to Copenhagen as royal engraver and designer of medals to the Danish Royal family.  Diameter: 26.3mm Weight: 2.63g.  [...Close enough for the mere plausibility of this having begun life as a shilling.]

One thing I need about this is how James I has a ruff collar (like Elizabeth), while Charles has a lace one, as in his shilling as king.  It's a funly visual demonstration of the generational transition.  For me, it immediately evokes the literary shift, from Shakespeare to the Metaphysical Poets.  (Right, I'm kind of a fan of both.) 

I'd only seen these van de Passe pieces in person once, at the biggest coin show I ever attended, in the late 1980's.  The dealer just might have been Spink; you have my solemn word and bond that, thanks to the very congenial staff, visiting the booth was very educational.  (Another lasting memory is having seen 'my' very first facing-portrait penny of Edward the Confessor.)  But at the time, all I was able to show up with was something to either side of $20.  Buying this example was yet another instance of it's being a moot point how cheap anything was when you didn't have the money.

Anyway, as a student of the art of the period, I really need how this evokes yet a third kind of engraving; early copperplates.  Not to mention the attendant convergence of the media.  The net aesthetic effect is why English speakers need to thank Germans for the word, 'Gestalt.'

Wonderful engraving on that gaming token 🤩!

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Posted (edited)

Congratulations, @JeandAcre! Really nice.

I have a half-groat of Henry VIII, and sixpences of Edward VI and Elizabeth I, but the earliest shilling I have is this one:

Charles I, AR Shilling, Second Milled issue by Nicholas Briot (late bust), 1638-1639, mm. anchor, S.2859. Purchased at a Dix, Noonan, Webb (now Noonans) auction earlier this year.

image.jpeg.676dfb551b533e731f5fd72c7b41b91a.jpeg

 

Edited by DonnaML
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41 minutes ago, DonnaML said:

Charles I, AR Shilling, Second Milled issue, 1638-1639, mm. anchor, S.2859. Purchased at a Dix, Noonan, Webb (now Noonans) auction earlier this year.

image.jpeg.676dfb551b533e731f5fd72c7b41b91a.jpeg

 

Really great coin. I've been after a Briot shilling for a very long time. I need one with enough detail like this, but not so much I need a mortgage.

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This shilling of Edward VI has a great portrait, but the rest of the coin has seen better times.

1549_EdwardVI_Shilling_2ndPeriod_obv.png.99b88e5d904dd92c2e9010e00438efdb.png
1549_EdwardVI_Shilling_2ndPeriod_rev.png.fb112e97c932771c0cebf1353b7a4e3d.png

Edward VI - Shilling Second Period, debased - Tower Mint
Spink 2466
1549 (MDXLIX on reverse)
Obverse:
EDWARD VI : D • G • AGL • FRA • Z : HIB • REX
Reverse: Arrow Mintmark, TIMOR • DOMINI • FONS : VITÆ • M : D : XLIX; E - R across fields


The opposite is almost true of this later shilling in my pile:

1551_to_1553_EdwardVI_Shilling_Obv.png.7130b9bd7b28ae443f7887a342fc65ac.png
1551_to_1553_EdwardVI_Shilling_Rev.png.66ab60c1fcde1c80266649ad79082cd4.png
Edward VI - Shilling Third Period - Fine Silver Issue
Spink 2482
1551 - 1553
Obverse:
Tun Mintmark, EDWARD . VI: D . G . AGL . FRA . Z: HIB . REX:
Reverse: Tun Mintmark, POSVI DEVM:A DIVTOR E . MEV .

I think these represent my only Shillings.

Edited by ewomack
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2 hours ago, JeandAcre said:

@GregH got into Briot in correspondence here.  It was very educational for me.  And the one he kept is another stunner!  (Shout out to @GregH: why not post it?)

Hey there! Ah yes I will definitely be posting mine shortly. And I’ll throw in a couple of Edward VIs for good measure! I’m in Jakarta at the moment working. I’ll be back home in a day or so, and I’ll post my treasures then 😊

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I corrected my post above about my Charles I shilling by Briot: obviously it's milled, not hammered (it says so right in my description!), so my post now describes it as my earliest English shilling, not as my only hammered shilling.  I actually do have a hammered shilling, but it's from the Commonwealth and I don't have a photo. (The Elizabeth I sixpence by Eloye Mestrelle that I bought and posted in June is milled; the Henry VIII half-groat, the Edward VI sixpence, and another Elizabeth I sixpence I have, are hammered.) Since I didn't really bother selling off "minor" silver back in 2015 when I sold most of my British gold coins and silver crowns, I still also have at least one shilling per monarch from Charles II onwards, except for James II. I have no photos of those either.

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I'll post my Commonwealth shilling. I think we're only missing Philip and Mary and Charles II for hammered shillings.

Commonweath Shilling, 1651image.png.56747838fcb2f51f5777daad66638278.pngTower. Silver, 32mm, 5.8g. English shield within laurel and palm branch; mintmark sun; THE. COMMONWEALTH. OF. ENGLAND. English and Irish shields, value .XII. above, beaded circle, date at top; .GOD. WITH. VS. (S 3217). The first English coin with legends in English.

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1 hour ago, DonnaML said:

I corrected my post above about my Charles I shilling by Briot: obviously it's milled, not hammered (it says so right in my description!), so my post now describes it as my earliest English shilling, not as my only hammered shilling.  I actually do have a hammered shilling, but it's from the Commonwealth and I don't have a photo. (The Elizabeth I sixpence by Eloye Mestrelle that I bought and posted in June is milled; the Henry VIII half-groat, the Edward VI sixpence, and another Elizabeth I sixpence I have, are hammered.) Since I didn't really bother selling off "minor" silver back in 2015 when I sold most of my British gold coins and silver crowns, I still also have at least one shilling per monarch from Charles II onwards, except for James II. I have no photos of those either.

@DonnaML, just, may the record show that for anyone acquainted with your level of erudition, the initial oversight instantly registered as exactly that.  I, for one, didn't blink.

Serious condolences on all the English you sold --you've mentioned that before, much more fleetingly, but I never knew either that there was so much, or that it was that recent. 

(...Weird how coins can occasion the kind of grief that inhibits talking about them in any detail.  Like, for instance, my unattributed Robert I obole, from French ebay, that easily made it to New York ...and then vanished.  The USPS and Customs wound up blaming eachother.  And my congressman --an annoyingly centrist Democrat-- did exactly nothing about it.

(...This is when you can redeem the net effect by doing some photography of this wild-sounding stuff that you still do have, and posting it!  Yesssss, I still owe you the same favor, for my late Tudor-early Restoration pennies and halfgroats.  Some day, I'll either persuade my aging camera to work, or get a new one.)

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1 hour ago, John Conduitt said:

I'll post my Commonwealth shilling. I think we're only missing Philip and Mary and Charles II for hammered shillings.

Commonweath Shilling, 1651image.png.56747838fcb2f51f5777daad66638278.pngTower. Silver, 32mm, 5.8g. English shield within laurel and palm branch; mintmark sun; THE. COMMONWEALTH. OF. ENGLAND. English and Irish shields, value .XII. above, beaded circle, date at top; .GOD. WITH. VS. (S 3217). The first English coin with legends in English.

@John Conduitt, to resort to some old-fashioned British slang (probably picked up from the Narnia Chronicles), Just, Brill!!!!

I can't make myself be a fan of Cromwell (acres of New England Puritan descent notwithstanding), but the coins are Very cool.  Especially in between the successive Charleses, the relative minimalism is a fun departure.  ...And that example, between the strike and the toning, is really phenomenal.

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I have collected Shillings since the age of 12 when my grandfather gave me a George IV 1823 shilling that he found in his change. He learnt that I had just started collecting ancients after a spell in hospital when the man in the next bed gave me some Seaby Catalogues and a denarius. In my 20's I formed a collection of George 111 pattern shillings including a Dorrien and Magens Shilling. I hit some hard times and sold the rare stuff and exchanged the more common items for military medals and that eventually evolved into collecting Polar medals now gone.  I still have the 1823 shilling and would never part with it but have collected Shillings erratically over the past 40 years. 

Here is a my Philip and Mary Shilling @John Conduitt  I really like your Commonwealth Shilling and an example has been on my "wish list" for many years, usually I miss out on these. 

image.png.1b529dd03fa27c32ca6209e97005a005.png

 

Philip and Mary (1554-1558), Shilling, undated, full titles and mark of value, 6.08g/11h (N 1967; S 2498). Surfaces slightly rough, otherwise about very fine with reasonable portraits

 

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I know I'm late to this party, but thank you for inviting me @JeandAcre! I've been in Jakarta all week working, and have finally arrived back home.

I see everyone's shillings and i raise you:

- 2 x Edward VI shillings. I particularly love the profile bust from the earlier "base" shilling. In fact, the boy king has such a great coin series, i might start a specialist collection!
- 1 glorious Charles I shilling -  a divine portrait
- 1 Charles I half-crown - these are typically double/triple struck, but i'm happy to have one with a clear Charlie on horseback
- 1 Henry VIII groat - with the king looking very grumpy! I need a testoon!
- 1 Lizzy sixpence - nothing special about her, i really want to upgrade to one of her impressive crowns (the coin denomination i mean!)
- 1 James I shilling

I have full attributions for anyone who is interested - but i am foremost a history-lover and portrait collector.

Unfortunately I lack Bloody Mary and Cromwell - these have been on my shopping list for a while. As for post Cromwell, i have a solid run of milled crowns/half-crowns/shillings all the way up to Elizabeth II (but cheating a little with fantasy crown of Edward VIII).IMG_4763.jpg.addf10e592ee83fecf437d9826cd38fe.jpg

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2 hours ago, Severus Alexander said:

As we try to match @GregH's marvellous handful raise, I'll add this Charlie halfcrown:

image.jpeg.ed814d50dd361f144984119c9669d0cc.jpeg

It has a nice pedigree too: ex Christopher Blunt and ex John Shirley-Fox R.B.A. (1860-1939).

 

Hot damn. What a beautiful half-crown 😍! And none of the double/triple strike issues. A treasure!

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Yes that is a stunning halfcrown. Mine has Charles riding through the fog 🤣 They're great coins to hold, though.

Charles I Group 3a1 Halfcrown, 1636-1638image.png.c5c804797e849e4f654caf1e5cf44355.pngTower. Silver, 15.02g. King on horseback left with scarf flying from waist, sword upright, larger horse, mintmark tun over crown; CAROLVS DG MA BR FR ET HI REX. Oval scroll garnished shield of arms; CHRISTO AVSPICE REGNO (S 2773). From the Bledington Manor House (Gloucestershire) Hoard c1910 of 11 halfcrowns.

Edited by John Conduitt
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It's a little later, but this is one of my favorite shillings:  1711 Queen Anne Love Token

1217672269_QueenAnneShilling1711LoveToken.jpeg.f37e6379d10280f72001562946dc0170.jpeg

And here's a Commonwealth half crown from 1653.  The reverse is rotated at some strange angle compared to the obverse.  It was mistakenly listed as a 6 pence, which is the only reason I was able to get it in my price range.

25241486_Cromwellhalfcrown1653.jpeg.5656b6317f77d21897a926c37709845b.jpeg

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And after Anne died, leaving no children, the next in line was the German guy:

56E77841-AF48-49C1-9013-B7449D515B3C.jpeg.31f6d55a9280f9591ee508f4ba1716aa.jpeg0F125CDD-5752-4984-9E55-029BDFCD5CF3.jpeg.ee15e2eeba82a3d7263dc570f8d47ef9.jpeg

The “SS” and “C” letters between the arms on the reverse of this shilling indicate it was struck from South Sea Company silver. 
Much as I like the coin, I always feel that bigger is better, and a half-crown & crown of George I remains on my shopping list!

 

Edited by GregH
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12 hours ago, GregH said:

And after Anne died, leaving no children, the next in line was the German guy

Next in line if you were desperate to avoid another Catholic, of course.

Since we're going forward a little...

William III Shilling, 1700image.png.5678f1d6975617dbcada2db83caa6dca.pngTower. Silver, 26mm, 5.98g. Laureate and draped Type V bust right; GVLIELMVS·III·DEI·GRATIA. Four undivided cruciform shields around lion of Nassau with surmounting crowns of similar width, plain angles; MAG·BR·FRA·ET·HIB·REX·. Edge diagonally milled (S 3516).
 

George III New Coinage Shilling, 1816image.png.e8c0c8cd3159afe320963556e60cd772.pngLondon. Silver, 24mm, 5.62g. Laureate bust with date below; GEOR III D G RRITT REX F D (broken B punch). Crowned Royal shield overlaid with smaller crowned shield, all within Garter; HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE (S 3970).

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On 8/11/2022 at 10:23 PM, GregH said:

I know I'm late to this party, but thank you for inviting me @JeandAcre! I've been in Jakarta all week working, and have finally arrived back home.

I see everyone's shillings and i raise you:

- 2 x Edward VI shillings. I particularly love the profile bust from the earlier "base" shilling. In fact, the boy king has such a great coin series, i might start a specialist collection!
- 1 glorious Charles I shilling -  a divine portrait
- 1 Charles I half-crown - these are typically double/triple struck, but i'm happy to have one with a clear Charlie on horseback
- 1 Henry VIII groat - with the king looking very grumpy! I need a testoon!
- 1 Lizzy sixpence - nothing special about her, i really want to upgrade to one of her impressive crowns (the coin denomination i mean!)
- 1 James I shilling

I have full attributions for anyone who is interested - but i am foremost a history-lover and portrait collector.

Unfortunately I lack Bloody Mary and Cromwell - these have been on my shopping list for a while. As for post Cromwell, i have a solid run of milled crowns/half-crowns/shillings all the way up to Elizabeth II (but cheating a little with fantasy crown of Edward VIII).IMG_4763.jpg.addf10e592ee83fecf437d9826cd38fe.jpg

@GregH, with apologies, I didn't comment on these initially because, well, they defy comment.  The sweep of history, and the relentlessly stunning examples, really are a little overwhelming.  Only in the best way imaginable, of course!

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These are all fantastic. One of these days I'm really going to have to try to take individual photos of what's left of my collection of British coins and medals -- I do still have most of the minor silver -- in addition to the small number I've bought in the last couple of years to try to reconstitute it in a very small way.

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2 hours ago, JeandAcre said:

@GregH, with apologies, I didn't comment on these initially because, well, they defy comment.  The sweep of history, and the relentlessly stunning examples, really are a little overwhelming.  Only in the best way imaginable, of course!

Yes, that profile Edward VI is particularly beautiful, as @GregH said. Edward VI is the latest British monarch for whom I have no coins, precisely because I'm waiting for a coin like that. The fact that the only other monarchs I'm missing after 1066 are Edward V, Richard III and William I shows how hard it is to find one.

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