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Dates of issue of the Charles I shillings

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A bit lazy on my part up to now and a change of subject...

I was looking to figure out the dates that the Sharp E5/2 shillings were struck. Which I still would like an answer to. But of more importance would be an answer with references to and discussions around the steps you'd take in figuring out this kind of information. For example both Francis and Sharp specify the dates of first issue of a particular mint mark - how did they obtain this information? And where Sharp specifies "the order of evolution of [tun] types would appear to be E2,E3,E1,E4,E5", this would be based largely on having studied a large number of this type to try to link dies (e.g. E1 was "reintroduced from the early Bell issue" but I can't see why E3 is thought to have come before it, for example)?

- the Tun was first issued 14th February 1636 (according to Sharp, Francis actually specified "1635 / 6")

- the Aberyswyth mint opened in 1638

- appears to be some crossover between the E5 bust and F1;

- dies possibly shared between Tower mint and Aberyswyth

So that puts the E5/2 at 1636 - 1638??

Monsieur Tom Goodheart et al.?


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The mint mark dates are straightforward as they are tied to the dates of the pyx trials. For Charles I there is a list on p.xxii of the Brooker sylloge which I have attached below.

The question of the order in which order the 5 bust types were used may simply be a reflection of the workload at the mint. E2 was clearly the standard die used at the beginning of tun as it carried over from crown. E3 dies are not dissimilar to E2 and may almost be considered the same bust with the exception that there are 9 jewels on the crown band instead of 5. Yes, some are more upright, but you see a number of bust punches employed and this may be down to nothing more than a different engraver's handiwork.

E1 is likely to have been reintroduced from old dies or existing punches to overcome a temporary shortage of working dies because the engravers were working on E4 and E5 together with dies for the introduction of the mint at Aberystwyth. The number of engravers employed does not appear to be very large, so any expansion of the workload would affect the mint's ability to produce dies. As the cost of employing engravers came out of the fixed sum granted by Parliament, employment would of necessity be kept to the minimum required for regular production.

E5 (and E4) are likely to have been introduced in the final month or two of the tun period.


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These are exactly the kind of issues I love working through! Not necessarily with C1 xii, but whatever my point of focus is at the time, it's the best bit about it! :)

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Yeah, what Rob said! The Pyx details are the basis for stating that coins with particular privy marks were issued between such-and-such dates.

But sequencing bust designs is not such a precise science. For simplicity I assume Francis and Sharp did their homework and rely on their views!


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It seems many production processes were used during the mint mark tun 1636-8. The sequence relating to the portrait type is probably not definate, but if considering the likes of Sharp E1-5 the relative relation to the pre-prior designs it must be close to what the issue order was. As said above the early 'tun' coins seemed to be carried over from ealier portrait/mint mark issues as seen in the E1/E2 bust which are evident in 'D' seires coins, and likewise the latter E5 (and a recently discovered E6) portraits which were later carried over under the F1 and F2 coin with inner circle, coins which give further evidence to the relation to the Aberystwyth mint which used the Tower F2, F3 and F6 designs.....A very busy couple of years!!

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