Charles I (1625-49), Pattern Halfcrown by Nicholas Briot, 1628, o rex. da. facilem. cvrsvm, diamond stops both sides, king, crowned and in armour, on horseback right, sword over right shoulder, grass ground line below, signed .n. briot. f. in exergue, toothed outer border and beaded inner border both sides, rev. atqve - avdacibvs - annve - coeptis., crowned, oval, garnished shield dividing 16-28 (Brooker SCBI 33, 1258; Bull 497 - this coin; MI i, 252/32; N.2673 and footnote)
A beautifully struck example, superbly toned, Good Very Fine and very rare.
Ex Seabys Coin Bulletin 1966
Ex Spink numismatic Circular 1974 - £800
The plate coin in Maurice Bull's the Halfcrowns of Charles I
It is assumed that this particular pattern was made in commemorate the proposed second expedition to La Rochelle as part of the Anglo-French War of 1627-29, during which England provided military support to the Huguenots of La Rochelle as they rebelled against the French royal forces of Louis XIII. While the Huguenots were eventually forced to surrender, the war did lead to the interesting event of French engineers isolating the entire city of La Rochelle with entrenchments 12 kilometres long during the 14-month siege that took place. It seems rather fitting that Briot would engrave such a piece as this to commemorating a rebellion against the French monarchy, as only a few years prior he had been forced to flee France after facing much hostility there for his advocacy of the use of machines made coins instead of hammered. The motto of "Oh King, give me an easy course, and favor my daring undertakings" especially significant, since it may be read as a supplication to Charles I to allow him to freely implement his new technological ideas, as France refused to – a supplication that was evidently granted, with Charles I eventually appointing him chief engraver of the Royal Mint in 1633.