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The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 3, January 16, 2022, Article 24

A NEW GOLD PENNY OF HENRY III

On January 23rd Spink is selling a rare gold penny of Henry III. Here's a description from their recent email. The coun was found near Hemyock (Devon) in September 2021. -Editor

  Gold Penny of Henry III obverse Gold Penny of Henry III reverse

As an economic experiment, Henry's gold Penny has long been regarded as the abject failure of a weakened and even bankrupt king. This would however completely disregard the context of the coinage in British history. Not only was the advent of a brand new gold coinage seismic in the domestic medieval landscape, but also shows the direct influence on daily life of the international trade routes with the gold and spice rich Middle East.

Artistically the coin also provides a ground-breaking shift from the depictions of a King restrained by the stipulations of Magna Carta, to his own personification as England's original patron Saint Edward the Confessor. It is no coincidence that a King who idolised the Confessor and actively restored his famous Abbey at Westminster would wish to be seen in the same high regard. Most significantly the coin depicts the enthroned King sitting atop a cross-hatched pavement; conceivably a very early allusion to the world-famous Cosmati Great Pavement conceived in 1259 and laid in 1268, in essence, this coin depicts an enthroned King at the seat of all Royal Coronations since William the Conqueror.

  Henry III (1216-1272)

Gold Penny of 20-Pence, authorised 16 August 1257, London,
Willem FitzOtto of Gloucester (The King's Goldsmith)

h | ENRIC ‘ REX III
King seated on ornate throne, one ball on each terminal, holding orb and sceptre
WIL | LEM | ON L | VND
voided long cross with lobed terminals, five-leafed petals and trio of pellets in angles

Estimate £200,000-£400,000

To read the complete lot description, see:
HENRY III (1216-1272), GOLD PENNY OF 20-PENCE, AUTHORISED 16 AUGUST 1257, LONDON, WILLEM FITZOTTO OF GLOUCESTER, THE KING'S GOLDSMITH [THE EIGHTH KNOWN] (https://live.spink.com/lots/view/4-4KJC9E/henry-iii-1216-1272-gold-penny-of-20-pence-authorised-16-august-1257-london-willem-fitzotto-of-gloucester-the-kings-goldsmith-the-eighth-known)



Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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