Printed Auction 41

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Closed March 16, 2022
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    A41, Lot 202:

    SCOTLAND. James VI. 1567-1625. AR sixteen shillings. 11.4 gm. 36 mm. Third coinage. 1581. Crowned Scottish shield; IACOBVS 6 DEI GRATIA REX SCOTORVM around / A crowned thistle, I — R in fields on sides; NEMO ME IMPVNE LACESSET 1581 around. S. 5482. Burns 1a. Fig 930c. Extremely Fine; choice toning over exceptionally lively surfaces; among the finest known.

    Ex J. L. Dresser. Stack's Auction. April 1987. (Lot 1876)

    Ex H. A. Parsons. Glendining Auction. May 1954. (Lot 755).

    Scotland's Third Coinage was a short-lived issue. Increasing silver values led Parliament to recall silver in 1580. This issue in October 1581 was recalled soon after it began for the same reason. The third coinage was authorized by Parliament on February 27th, 1580/81 (1581 Gregorian). The Act of October 24, 1581 recalled the issue. All the issues are extremely rare, even more so in choice condition.

    The Parsons catalog described this piece as "Extremely Fine and extremely rare, only about four or five specimens known." A later note by Spink with the Marshall collection piece (2004) suggested a larger number extant: "It is certainly an exceptionally rare denomination but the corpus is likely to be nearer a dozen coins, of which eight have appeared on the market over the last forty years."

    Three are held in British Museum collections—two in Edinburgh and one in the Ashmolean, Oxford. This piece is better than any of those three. The Murdoch piece (May 1903, lot 248) has a flan crack or cut extending from the edge just past the numeral 1 in the date to the left outer arch of the crown. The Lockett piece subsequently offered in the Dundee sale is "Heavily tooled (with attendant scratching)" to cite the Dundee cataloger. The LaRiviere piece, also ex Cochran Patrick 276 and Murray 272 and currently the Spink Catalog plate coin is very fine, attractive but without the underlying brilliance of this piece.



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