Spink to Auction Most Remarkable British Coin
In London on the afternoon of 27 March, Spink will auction the finest known example of the Reddite, an extremely rare and remarkable silver Crown, in a sale of Ancient, English and Foreign Coins and Commemorative Medals.
The Reddite Crown, takes its name for the Latin inscription on the edge of coin. It was struck for exhibition to Charles II in 1663 to enable Thomas Simon, the finest medallist and seal engraver of the time, to demonstrate his skill. At the time, new technology was being introduced which allowed the edge of the coin to be inscribed and Thomas Simon set out to impress the king with what could be done. One coin, known as the Petition, has on its edge a petition to the king in two lines, a remarkable feat whilst another, of which this is an example, included an image as well as text. The end result was truly outstanding, an object of great beauty as well a technical accomplishment.
The obverse contains a stunning bust of Charles II struck in high relief with Simon's signature underneath, an unusual practise in this era.
The reverse is engraved with four crowned cruciform shields of England, Scotland, Ireland and France, arranged in the form of a cross, with a beautifully detailed insignia of the Order of the Garter placed in the centre.
Simon pioneered a new technology to impress an inscription around the edge of coins something that was at the cutting edge of coin design and production in 1663.
Inscribed around the edge is the Latin inscription;'REDDITE QVÆ CÆSARIS CÆSARI &CT'('RENDER UNTO CAESAR THE THINGS THAT ARE CAESAR'S ETC'), referencing Christ's words noted in the Gospels on the relationship between religion and secular authority.
This is followed by the word'POST'and an image of the sun emerging from behind clouds. This abbreviates the Latin phrase 'POST NUBILA PHOEBUS'meaning the sun shines after the storm, a reference to the restoration of Charles II bringing new hope after the difficulties of the Civil War and the Commonwealth.
The Reddite Crown comes from the same collection as the Petition Crown, sold at a Spink auction in September 2007 for a record price of £207,000.
It is thought that no more than thirty examples were made of the Petition and Reddite Crowns. The Reddite is far rarer than the Petition with only five examples in silver known to exist.
The coin being sold on 27 March has long been noted as the finest known example of the Reddite Crown. It was first recorded in a collection in 1755 and since then has passed through a number of most important private collections of English coins and was last sold in 1950.
Spink coin specialist William MacKay comments on how "The Reddite is a remarkable coin that combines rarity, historical importance with great beauty and technical innovation. Such coins only rarely come to market and we expect there to be worldwide interest in this coin.'
The Reddite is estimated at £100,000 - £120,000.
Estimated: £100,000 - £120,000
Spink is the world's leading auctioneer of stamps, coins, banknotes, medals, bonds & shares, autographs, books and wine. Since its foundation in 1666, the Spink name has become synonymous with tradition, experience and integrity. Holder of royal warrants and numerous records for prices achieved at auction, Spink offers an unparalleled range of services to collectors worldwide. Spink is headquartered in London and holds over 70 auctions a year around the globe. All catalogues are available on our website and through our Spink App for iPhone and iPad.
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Ed Rivers London, March 3 2014