Edward VI gold Angel mintmark ostrich head

Edward VI gold Angel mintmark ostrich head

Edward VI (1547-53), fine gold Angel of ten shillings, third period (15th December 1550-6th July 1553), Tower Mint, St Michael slaying dragon right, Latin legend and beaded border surrounding on both sides, initial mark ostrich head (1st January to 30th June 1551) both sides, saltire stops, EDWARD9x VIxx Dxx Gxx AGLxx FRAxx Zx hIBxx REXx, rev ship sailing, large quartered shield at centre, E and rose above with cross, PER'x CRVCE'x TVAMxx SALVAxx nOSxx XPE'x REDxx, weight 4.97g (Schneider 702-703; N.1931; S.2448). A little creased in parts with slight short surface crack on reverse at start of crease by mint mark, some other very light marks otherwise very fine, stronger in parts, of the highest rarity, perhaps the only example available outside of the Schneider Collection.

The abbreviated Latin legends translate as on the obverse "Edward by the Grace of God, King of England France and Ireland"; and on the reverse "By Thy cross, save us, O Christ, our Redeemer".


This coin represents the only issue of gold Angels in King Edward's reign dating to early 1551. This fine gold Angel was issued at ten shillings face value in 23 carat and 3 ½ grains fineness (0.995 fine gold), reverting back to the original fine standard. These fine Angels were issued from the Southwark Mint where Sir Edmund Peckham was the Treasurer, hence the use of the "ostrich" head as a mint mark, thought to be a rebus upon his surname. The whole coinage of the ostrich head mint mark commissioned on the 18th December 1550, consisting of Double-Sovereign, Sovereign, Angel and Half-Angel totalled approximately £2,778 which was miniscule compared to the quantity of other gold coinage issued in this entire reign. This figure represented a mere half a percent of total known gold output for the reign (see Schneider Tables 12 and 13). Christopher Challis suggests in "The Tudor Coinage" (published 1978), page 105, that the issue was perhaps for the use of the King himself, as there is a record in King Edward's Chronicle (8th July, page 135) of the King carrying some (or all) of this issue in his progress.


This coin was previously a plate coin in the Seaby Standard Catalogue, in the days of black and white images. It is interesting to note that the Montagu Collection cataloguing cited below goes to the bother of mentioning that no example of such a coin had been present in the cabinets of the famous Georgian and Victorian collectors, Trattle, Thomas, Durrant, Pembroke, Cuff, Devonshire, Dymock or Bergne.



Ex E Wigan, collection purchased by Rollin and Feuardent, 1872.

Ex William Brice, collection purchased en bloc by Hyman Montagu, 1887.

Ex Hyman Montagu, second portion, Sotheby, 11th-16th May 1896, lot 806, plate VII sold for £25.

Ex Richard Manley Foster, Sotheby, 3rd November 1903, lot 88.

Ex L E Bruun, part I, Sotheby, 18th-22nd May 1925, lot 608, sold for £41.

Ex A H Baldwin private purchase, June 1955.

Ex Mrs E M H Norweb, part II, Spink Auction 48, 13th November 1985, lot 342, sold for £6,600 hammer.

Ex Thos. Law, Stacks Bowers Ponterio, Auction 176, Chicago, USA, 13th August 2013, lot 81.



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