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GM28096

Henry VIII Second coinage, Half George Noble, only 3 known to exist

Regular price £25,000
Regular price Sale price £25,000

Henry VIII (1509-47), gold Half-George Noble of three shillings and fourpence, second coinage (1526-44), initial mark lis on obverse, rose on reverse (struck c.1529-30), ship sailing right with large Tudor rose on mast, h and K above for Henry VIII and Katharine of Aragon, the K much higher than the h, linear circle and abbreviated Latin legend surrounding which reads in Gothic lettering, hEnRIC'x D'x G'x R'x AGL'x Zx FRA'x DnS'x hIB'x, 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 Roman lettering, TALIx DICAx SIG'x MES'x FLV CTVARIx NEQT", weight 2.23g (cf. Whitton p.186, plate XII, No.16 mm rose both sides; Schneider 577; cf. North 1786; S.2271). A metal detector find with some spade and plough marks, crack at centre, otherwise most of design and legend readable, about very fine for this extremely rare issue, seems to be a different reverse die to the example in Schneider that was also found in the ground back in 1994, and the example in the British Museum has mint mark rose both sides, this coin likely struck at the junction date of mint marks rose and lis circa 1529, of the highest rarity and the only example known and available to purchase outside of the Schneider example.

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.

Provenance:

Found near Winchester 2004.

Ex Spink Coin Auction 4026, 15th April 2004, lot 226.

Ex Dr Rolf Baumhauer, British gold Collection part 3, Sincona Auction 79, 24th October 2022, lot 1059.

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