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Great Britain: Charles I Pontefract Shilling 1648,...

2014 January 14 - 16 Selections From the Eric P. Newman Collection Part III Signature Auction - New York #3029

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Offers to date: $12,984 on November 22, 2014
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Auction Ended On: Jan 14, 2014
Item Activity: 9 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Heritage Auctions
445 Park Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10022
1648 Pontefract Shilling

A Classic Siege Coin
Charles I Pontefract Shilling 1648, S-3149, North-2647 (rare), XF40 NGC. "Lozenge-shaped" flan, of exceptionally good quality metal. Lightly struck but a well-preserved example of this classic siege coin, which is light gray in color and without damage. The obverse features a simple but highly significant "royal" crown above the king's abbreviated title ("CR"), with a centering dot. Its legend DVM SPIRO SPERO in Latin translates to mean "Whilst I live, I hope" (a touching slogan, given our historical perspective). This was used on the Pontefract siege coins while the war continued even though King Charles had been defeated and was in prison; his army refused to surrender, and carried on with the defense of the castle. More distinctive is the reverse, which adheres to the theme of resistance, showing the gate of Pontefract castle, portcullis drawn up, "XII" for the denomination between sideways engraved "P C" opposed by "OBS" for besieged. While not fully detailed on this specimen, this motif is exceptionally clear and evenly struck, including the date 1648 below. The siege of Pontefract castle lasted from June 1648 through March of 1649 (two months after the king was executed on the 30th of January 1649). This is a later piece, with the noted details ("P C" and "XII") to right of the castle, replacing the earlier-used hand holding an upright sword protruding from the right tower of the castle. Historically significant as one of the rarer pieces of emergency money that was issued during the civil war which temporarily ended the monarchy. After the fall of Charles's resilient army, the castle was torn down.

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