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kildonan

Charles I sixpence S.2821

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Any hammered sixpence or Charles I specialists? I'm interested in Spink variety S.2821 - this was originally listed as S.2848A before the sixpence series was re-numbered some years ago. Can anyone confirm when S.2848A first appeared in the standard catalogue? I haven't kept any old copies unfortunately. I seem to recall that initially, an inner circle was listed for one side only (can't remember which), before being changed to inner circle both sides soon afterwards and ever since, including when re-numbered to S.2821.

The question arises because I'd like to know what this coin looks like, and how it differs from S.2820. My assumption for many years has been that type S.2848A / S.2821 was introduced to account for the previously unpublished sixpence variety in the Shuttlewood collection (SNC June 2001, HS0677) - hence the interest in knowing when Spink first included it. That coin has now re-appeared in the latest part of the Hulett collection being sold by DNW next week (lot 96). But there is no reference to its Shuttlewood provenance and it is listed as S.2820. I queried this with DNW but have had no reply.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? If anyone has any idea what S.2821 is, if it isn't this variety, then I'd be very interested to hear your opinion.

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32 minutes ago, kildonan said:

Any hammered sixpence or Charles I specialists? I'm interested in Spink variety S.2821 - this was originally listed as S.2848A before the sixpence series was re-numbered some years ago. Can anyone confirm when S.2848A first appeared in the standard catalogue? I haven't kept any old copies unfortunately. I seem to recall that initially, an inner circle was listed for one side only (can't remember which), before being changed to inner circle both sides soon afterwards and ever since, including when re-numbered to S.2821.

The question arises because I'd like to know what this coin looks like, and how it differs from S.2820. My assumption for many years has been that type S.2848A / S.2821 was introduced to account for the previously unpublished sixpence variety in the Shuttlewood collection (SNC June 2001, HS0677) - hence the interest in knowing when Spink first included it. That coin has now re-appeared in the latest part of the Hulett collection being sold by DNW next week (lot 96). But there is no reference to its Shuttlewood provenance and it is listed as S.2820. I queried this with DNW but have had no reply.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? If anyone has any idea what S.2821 is, if it isn't this variety, then I'd be very interested to hear your opinion.

First year was 2003 - Fine 350, VF 750. Description as follows: 45 var., small bust with double arched crown, like the small 3a portrait, no inner circle, mm. sun over eye.

Maybe the key to differentiating the two lies in one being described as type 3a bust, which would be completely different to a type 4 bust

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Thanks Rob. Here is a composite photo showing the recently auctioned Hulett / Shuttlewood coin top left; another coin (same die, to allow more missing detail to be seen) top right; an example of the small 3a bust sixpence, mm bell bottom right, and the pattern groat mm bell bottom left.

I think this shows that there is a lot of similarity between the bust on the sixpence of interest and the 3a bust, fitting with the Spink description. I wonder now if the original description 'like the small 3a portrait, no inner circle' referred to the coin that S.2848A / S.2821 was like, rather than a description of the coin itself? This reference was soon changed to the current one '4.5 var., small 3a type bust, double-arched crown, inner circle both sides, mm. sun (over eye)'

The pattern groat is included here because the comment in SNC 2001 referenced the similarity of the sixpence bust to that on the pattern groat. (Is it similar, or actually the same?)

The S.2820 sixpence with the 4.5 bust (not shown here) appears to have two bust varieties, both of which have a single arched crown and bear little resemblance to the 3a bust. So to address Rob's point, I feel that the coin of interest is far more similar to a 3a bust than 4.5 (or any earlier type 4 bust for that matter).

Overall it seems likely to me that the coin described as S.2848A / S.2821 is this coin. Its (final) description matches the coin well, and its appearance in the 2003 catalogue fits quite nicely with its emergence in SNC during 2001, where it was described as apparently unpublished. Presumably it was recognised too late to include in the 2002 edition, but added the next year.

S2821_2800.jpg

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All very interesting.

Assuming the groat is on a smaller flan of 21mm relative to a sixpence at 25mm and looking at the pics I would say the sixpence has used the same head and crown punches as those used on the groat, but not the shoulders/chest. I couldn't find a coin in Brooker, Schneider or elsewhere which used this style of shoulder punch, but with the caveat that it could be damaged given the lack of V shaped drapery. I also don't know when or whether the sixpences used a complete crown/head/chest punch. These were introduced on the shillings starting with Sharp E3/2 (tun), but it doesn't necessarily follow that the 6d punches were also a single piece from that date - could be earlier, later or never.

Assuming I have interpreted this correctly, that would suggest they were short of 6d punches at the Tower in late 1645, resorting to making up a bust from obsolete part punches and also leaves open the possibility of a pure Eye 6d with this bust surfacing at some point.

More research required.

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Taking Rob's suggestion, I've done a bit more work on this. I've taken the best quality online image of the groat I could find (as I don't own an example) and combined this with an image of the 6d (which is in my collection), with the surrounding details removed. I've had to assume that the busts are identically sized, so re-sized the images accordingly. Of course, this may not be true, but without an example of the groat it's the best I can do.

These images have then been rotated to ensure accurate alignment and overlaid. The results are shown here - overlaid images ranging from the 6d bust on the left, progressively becoming more transparent towards the 'pure' groat bust on the right.

Comments: (i) it confirms Rob's suspicion about the head and crown - the match is almost perfect; (ii) I'm tempted to say that the shoulders are actually the same - the basic size / shape is the same, as is some of the drapery detail, but there are small differences in outline - definitely more 'structure' on the base edge on the groat compared to the 6d - could this just be that the punch was reworked before use on the 6d?; (iii) one difference is the 'lump' in the top of the hair just below the centre of the crown band on the groat. All examples of the groat that I can find online display this defect, so it was presumably present in the groat die for all strikings. But there is no sign of the defect on the 6d - so I'd conclude that the punch itself was 'perfect' at the time it was used to make the groat die, but that the die itself became damaged. When the punch was resurrected some years later for the 6d die, the die defect was no longer present?

Overall I think this is very strong evidence that the groat punch was re-used some years later. I confess that I know very little about the pattern series mm. bell. All I can see is reference to possible attribution to E. Greene, but little else. Is anyone aware of a paper that deals with these?

As to Rob's other point about this bust /die turning up on a pure mm. eye coin - this must be a possibility. But in all the years since I first knew of this coin's existence (when originally published in 2001), I have kept a close watch for others as I am a hammered sixpence specialist. But the only other example I have ever seen is that pictured here, so this is a very rare coin indeed. It may be a long wait!

 

transition.JPG

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