JeandAcre Posted August 10, 2022 · Member Share Posted August 10, 2022 (edited) 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.) ...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.) 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. 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 August 11, 2022 by JeandAcre 16 1 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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