1658/7 Oliver Cromwell Crown
Oliver Cromwell, Crown 1658/7. Laureate draped bust left, legend reads: OLIVAR D G P ANG SCO HIB &c PRO. Rev. Crowned quartered shield of the Protectorate, date above and legend PAX QVAERITVR BELLO ('Peace is sought through war') The edge is inscribed in raised letters 'HAS NISI PERTVRVS MIHI ADIMAT NEMO,' 'Let no-one remove (these letters) from me on penalty of death.' (S.3226; ESC-10).
Extremely Fine with some marks in the fields and the infamous die flaw at a very early stage. Its Deep tone of magenta and subtle flashes of blue and yellow perhaps exaggerated nonetheless a very appealing example of this Classic. Interestingly the portrait of Cromwell featured as a Roman emperor, in robes, wreaths and Latin inscriptions is a marked departure from the previous coins minted during the Commonwealth which very much followed his Puritan beliefs with the legends in English and its design very simplistic.
After the execution of Charles I in early 1649 there followed 'The Commonwealth of England'. By December of 1653, Cromwell established the 'Protectorate', and in 1655 orders were issued to Peter Blondeau to coin silver bullion in the amount of £2,000 sterling and a small amount of gold. The dies, bearing the Protector's effigy, were to be engraved by Thomas Simon, and the coins struck by Blondeau on his own machinery. An original order of 27 November 1656 contains sketches by Simon of seven coins, and represents official approval of the Simon designs. The design of the bust for the silver coins was altered to its final and presently known form by an order dated 11 December 1656. The seven coins contemplated were the broad, ten-shilling and five-shilling gold pieces, and the silver crown, halfcrown, shilling, and sixpence. In the middle of 1657, the coins dated 1656 were struck at Drury House in the Strand. These coins were the gold broad (and its pattern, the 'fifty-shilling' piece) and the silver halfcrown. However, the death of Cromwell in September of 1658 apparently brought the coinage to a close, and certainly prevented the issuance of the coins for general circulation. Production probably began very shortly before Cromwell's death, and the coinage consisted of the crown, the halfcrown, the shilling, and a very few sixpences, all basically in silver.