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EM13796

Scotland, James V 1540 Bonnet Piece of Forty Shillings, Renaissance Coin Art

Scotland James V (1513-42), gold Ducat of Forty Shillings or Bonnet piece of Three Merks, 1540, third coinage (1539-42), bonnet type, bearded profile portrait right wearing bonnet, beaded circles and legend surrounding both sides, annulet on inner circle at 9 o'clock, initial mark saltire, X IACOBVS. 5. DEI. GRA. R. SCOTOR 1540, rev. crowned Scottish arms over cross fleury, + HONOR! REGIS. IVDICIVM. DILIGIT (Burns 4, fig.754; SCBI 35:905; S.5373). With a detailed Renaissance style portrait, X mark scratched in obverse field, otherwise good very fine and rare, currently slabbed by NGC as XF Details.

NGC certification 3476714-005.

The Latin legends translate as "James the Fifth by the grace of God, King of Scotland" on the obverse and on the reverse as "The King's power loveth judgement" a psalm from the Bible.

These coins are the earliest dated Scottish coins and 1540 is the second date issued. Such dating predates the English coins by a decade when Roman numeral dates were adopted on gold and silver of Edward VI, but the first gold coin to have familiar "Arabic" dating in the English series are actually the Oxford gold issues of Charles I from 1642 the great Grandson of James V.

The artful Renaissance style portraits on these Scottish pieces was also rendered in locally mined gold from Crawford Moor and the lands of Corehead. The Hopetoun manuscripts the only surviving contemporary documentation of these issues puts the Bonnet Piece Ducat and its fractions and value of Three Merks, Two Merks and One Merk which had always been values for accounting only up until this point in time. They remain a highly important and revered portrait gold issue of the Scottish lineage.

Provenance:

Ex Golden Horn Collection, Stacks, New York, 12th January 2009, lot 4065.

Ex Firth of Clyde Collection, Stacks, New York, 22nd April 2009, lot 2246.

Ex Vermeule Ward and Mexico Maxico Collections, Stacks, New York, 11th January 2010, lot 1024.

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