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New British Coronation Medal: Queen Charlotte 1761


DonnaML
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Posted (edited)

This medal arrived today. Nicely toned, I think.

Great Britain, Queen Charlotte, Official AR Coronation Medal, 1761, by Laurence Natter. Obv. Draped bust right, CHARLOTTA. D.G. M. BR. FR. ET. HIB. REGINA, beneath truncation, initials L.N. F. [Laurence Natter Fecit]. / Rev. The Queen standing facing, holding left hand to heart and scepter in right hand, crowned by Fame hovering above; to right, flaming altar with globe beside it; initials L.N. to right of altar; above, in ribbon, QVAESITVM. – MERITIS [Sought for his deserts (Horace)]; in exergue in two lines, CORON. XXII. SEPT / MDCCLXI. 34 mm. Eimer 696 & Pl. 78; BHM 66; Wollaston pp. 11-12, no. xiv  & ill. 22. Mintage 400 (Wollaston p. 16). Purchased from Sovereign Rarities, Ltd., London, UK, Jul. 2022.  (They gave me a nice discount because of my previous purchases from them.)

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Now she can sit next to her husband:

Great Britain, George III, Official AR Coronation Medal, 1761, by Laurence Natter. Obv. Laureate and armored bust right, GEORGIVS. III. D.G.M. BRI. FRA. ET. HIB. REX. F. D., initials L.N. [Laurence Natter] on truncated right shoulder / Rev. King seated left on throne holding long scepter in left hand and raising right arm towards Britannia standing right holding crown above his head, with shield and trident behind her; lion crouched behind throne, facing, holding orb; PATRIAE . OVANTI [For his rejoicing country] around; in exergue in two lines, CORONAT. XXII. SEPT and year 1761 in modified “Gothic” Roman numerals (CIƆIƆCCLXI). 34mm. BHM 23 (ill. p. 8); Eimer 694 & Pl. 78; Wollaston p. 10, no. xiii(a) & ill. 16. Mintage 800 (Wollaston p. 16). Purchased from Hedley Betts, Oct. 2020.

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And here's a quick snapshot of my tray of small coronation & jubilee medals, etc. (mostly but not all official) from Charles II through Elizabeth II, with the Charlotte medal added. I took a photo of the obverses only; I didn't feel like flipping them over and back again! (Of the official coronation medals, which ended with George VI, I'm still missing James I, Charles I, James II, and Mary of Modena.)

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Post anything you think is relevant.

Edited by DonnaML
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Not my area of collecting @DonnaML..But I must say Wow! , what a stunningly beautiful portrait. The reverse has some interesting features such as Fame's wings breaking out through the beaded border. Just out of interest do you know what is being depicted to the left of the globe, next to the queen's feet?..Looks like a little animal?

Nice addition to your collection.

 

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7 minutes ago, Spaniard said:

Not my area of collecting @DonnaML..But I must say Wow! , what a stunningly beautiful portrait. The reverse has some interesting features such as Fame's wings breaking out through the beaded border. Just out of interest do you know what is being depicted to the left of the globe, next to the queen's feet?..Looks like a little animal?

Nice addition to your collection.

 

Thanks, @Spaniard! Excellent question. I have no idea what that is -- it looks sort of like a little bird? -- and don't see any mention of it whatsoever in any of my reference books on British coronation and other medals, going back to 1840.  George's medal has a lion holding a globe on the lower right of the reverse, but that's certainly not a lion on Charlotte's medal! 

All I can tell you is that Laurence Natter's medals were not well-received at the time, perhaps because he was not only foreign-born but came to England solely to engrave the two medals and then went home, after being paid his fee of 181 pounds. (Under his actual name Lorenz Natter, he was the chief engraver of the Utrecht Mint.) 

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On 8/13/2022 at 12:04 AM, DonnaML said:

Laurence Natter's medals were not well-received at the time, perhaps because he was not only foreign-born but came to England solely to engrave the two medals and then went home, after being paid his fee of 181 pounds

Yes I imagine the latter rather than the former. The Royal Mint has a history of employing foreign engravers, like Nicholas Briot (Charles I), Benedetto Pistrucci (George and the Dragon) and Jean Baptiste Merlen (George VI). The highly successful Wyon family started with George Wyon from Cologne. If they didn't like your design perhaps your nationality became an excuse, but they certainly took designs from anyone.

Edited by John Conduitt
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2 hours ago, John Conduitt said:

Yes I imagine the latter rather than the former. The Royal Mint has a history of employing foreign engravers, like Nicholas Briot (Charles I), Benedetto Pistrucci (George and the Dragon) and Jean Baptiste Merlen (George VI). The highly successful Wyon family started with George Wyon from Cologne. If they didn't like your design perhaps your nationality became an excuse, but they certainly took designs from anyone.

And don't forget John Roettiers from Antwerp (who engraved the coronation medals for James II and William & Mary), and John [Johann] Croker from Saxony (who did the coronation medals for Anne, George I, and George II & Caroline). The differences with Natter are summarized in Wollaston's book [Henry Wollaston, British Official Medals for Coronations and Jubilees (1978)] at pp. 74-75.  Most notably, Natter's medals had no connection with the Mint and were not struck there -- Wollaston says they were probably struck in Birmingham; Brown in BHM at p. 7 suggests that they may actually have been struck in Germany -- because Natter was personally appointed by George III after he rejected three different designs submitted by the Mint, all by the chief engraver there, John Sigismund Tanner. "This unprecedented step caused strained relations between the Mint and Natter." Wollaston p. 75. "The Mint supplied gold and silver to be used in coining the medals; but it refused to allow Natter to make use of its equipment for striking the medals." Id.  Regarding Natter himself, Wollaston states:

"Although most designers of coronation medals were foreign born, Natter was the only one who came to this country expressly to design the coronation medals. Lorenz Natter was born in Germany in 1705 and lived most of his life in Germany. By training he was a jeweller and excelled as an engraver of gems. From 1757-1760 he was the chief engraver at Utrecht Mint and it was there that he came to the notice of King George III and his court. As he died in 1763 he did not have much time to enjoy his royal patronage. He was paid £181.62 for making the dies for the two coronation medals. This was not a very extravagant reward though perhaps it compared favourably with his remuneration in Utrecht."

Id.

According to one source I found, Natter died in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he had traveled to engrave a medal for the Empress.

This is all rather ironic,  given that George III himself made such a big point of being native-born and a native English speaker, unlike his two predecessors.

Edited by DonnaML
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33 minutes ago, robinjojo said:

Elegant die work on the Charlotte coronation medal.  Beautiful!

I think it's a beautiful portrait of her. I strongly disagree with the early British critic quoted by Wollaston, who called it a "faithful portrait" but criticized it for being of "coarse work."

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13 minutes ago, wittwolff said:

Beautiful medals, I am somewhat of a British coronation medal collector too but not as successful yet. My favorite is the Pistrucci medal for the coronation of King George IV.

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A lovely example! Mine is in copper as well; I'm very pleased with it and don't feel any great need to add an example in silver. All these medals were issued in gold as well, but I have none in that metal. Not surprisingly given the low mintage, official coronation medals in gold are generally at least as costly as gold coins of the same monarchs.

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1 hour ago, DonnaML said:

Wollaston says they were probably struck in Birmingham

Yes the Wyons started out in Birmingham, although that was later in the century, after Boulton had developed milling there. It was home to the private sector rivals to the Royal Mint, who were rather incompetent at the time.

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5 hours ago, John Conduitt said:

Yes the Wyons started out in Birmingham, although that was later in the century, after Boulton had developed milling there. It was home to the private sector rivals to the Royal Mint, who were rather incompetent at the time.

But it's certainly unusual -- to say the least! -- that the Mint actively refused to allow Natter to use its facilities, and perhaps even more unusual that no record exists of where these coronation medals were struck. One would think some record would have survived if they were really minted in Birmingham. 

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