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Lot
22063

Great Britain: Charles I (1625-49) gold Triple Unite 1644 Oxford. S-2729. Plume mintmark (#103 in Spink). EF45 PCGS. Nice two-tone gold col...

2005 (HWCA) New York Signature Sale #363

 
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Auction Ended On: Jan 10, 2005
Item Activity: 9 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: New York, NY
Description:
Handsome Triple Unite of the Civil War
Charles I (1625-49) gold Triple Unite 1644 Oxford. S-2729. Plume mintmark (#103 in Spink). EF45 PCGS. Nice two-tone gold color, decent surfaces, sharp features. A fine example of this classic type, which was struck at the Oxford "castle mint" from 1642-1646, when the town was finally surrendered to Cromwell's army, literally at its gates. It is the largest English gold coin ever struck, and it must have been made primarily to enable the fortified town to purchase provisions for the king's army, although its political "statement" must have been obvious to all: that royalty meant wealth (the hefty weight of the coin alone said this), power (the king holds a long sword before his face), a concession to peace if it could be had (the king's other hand holds the olive branch), as well as the king's declaration of sovereignty, of his divine right to be royal, in the scrolled legend on the reverse (the Latin translates as "The religion of the Protestants, the laws of England, and the liberty of the Parliament"), which was the central message of Charles' famous "declaration" to the Privy Council at Wellington of 19 September 1642, which of course was also a challenge to Parliament in London to remain loyal, to do its duty to king and country. But of course Parliament had sided with the new "Protector," Oliver Cromwell, who led the land through a terrible civil war, at the end of which the king was beheaded as a traitor to the nation, as a tyrant, at a time when civic power was transferring to a sort of democracy whereby representatives of "the people" (which in 1642 did not mean the citizenry at large but rather the powerful landed gentry and their families) would make the laws of the land and the king who followed (Charles II, in 1660) would be increasingly a figurehead ruler. Thus this coin represents, as well as any coin could, the transition of power in a country which, to this day, remains overwhelmingly loyal to its sovereigns, and celebrates their history.

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