Henry VIII fine gold George Noble (1526-29)

Henry VIII fine gold George Noble (1526-29)

Henry VIII (1509-47), gold George Noble of six shillings and eight pence, second coinage (1526-44), initial mark rose (struck November 1526-1529) both sides of coin, ship sailing right with large Tudor rose on mast, h and K above for Henry VIII and Katharine of Aragon, linear circle and abbreviated Latin legend surrounding which reads in Gothic lettering, "hEnRIC'x DI'x G'x R'x AGL'x Zx FRAnC'x DnS'x hIBERnI", rev. St George in armour on rearing horse slaying the dragon with a long lance, linear circle and abbreviated Latin legend surrounding which reads in Gothic lettering "TALIxx DICA'xxSIGoxx mES'xx FLVCTVRIxx nEQVIT", weight 4.51g (Whitton p.187, plate XII, No.14; cf.Schneider 576; North 1785; S.2270). Slightly finer than the Schneider example and the finest example we know of for this denomination, with a lengthy provenance from some of the most well-known collections of the past, well struck on a full flan, good very fine and extremely rare.

The abbreviated Latin legends translate as on the obverse "Henry by the Grace of God, King of England and France and Lord of Ireland"; and on the reverse "Consecrated by such a sign the mind cannot waver:" taken from the 4th Century hymn "Hymnus Ante Somnum" by Prudentius.

The George Noble was a new denomination in the reign of King Henry VIII and appears on the indenture for the second coinage of 5th November 1526 at a value of six shillings and eight pence and a weight of 71.1 grains (4.607g) in 23 carat 3 ½grains fine gold probably to meet the demand for a coin equivalent to half the continental mark. The indenture occurred in response to Cardinal Wolsey being commissioned on 24th June 1526 authorising him to make whatever adjustments were necessary to bring English coins into parity with the principal Continental currencies and therefore encourage bullion into the Mint for coining. The Tower pound of weight of 5,400 grains (349.914g) was also abandoned this year in favour of the Troy pound of 5,760 grains (373.242g).

These coins also feature the initial K of Queen Katharine of Aragon as is seen on the Crowns of the Double Rose that also date from this coinage.

The George Noble was apparently never struck in large quantity nor for very long and the surviving sample of coins we have today is minuscule, as is the Half George Noble of the highest rarity with only three examples known. The George Noble offered herewith is perhaps the finest survivor in private hands with a wonderful provenance trail.



Ex James Dodsley Cuff, Sotheby, 8th June 1854, lot 986.

Ex Lord Hastings (Jacob Astley, 16th Baron, died 1859), sold as "Nobleman" Sotheby, 15th November 1880, lot 287.

Ex James Edward Moon, Sotheby, 7th May 1901, lot 95.

Ex Thomas Bliss (1849-1914), Sotheby, 22nd March 1916, lot 256.

Ex Alexander Mann (1857-1916), Sotheby, 29th October 1917, lot 266.

Ex Dr Ernest Christison Carter (1865-1950), collection sold en bloc to A H Baldwin, 1950.

Ex Gordon Vincent Doubleday (1914-93), Glendining, 20th November 1961, lot 90.

Ex R Duncan Beresford-Jones (1903-2000), Spink Auction 29, 2nd June 1983, lot 32.

Ex "Danny Arnold" Collection, sold as anonymous, Spink Auction 97, 13th May 1993, lot 6.

Ex Lucien M La Riviere (1922-2012), Spink Auction 124, 18th November 1997, lot 1729.

Ex Samuel King, Spink Auction 173, 5th May 2005, lot 29.


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