Silver Gunmoney Crown 1690 Lettered Edge


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James II 1685-1691, Irish Gunmoney Crown 1690 in Silver.  S.6584 (Unpriced Extremely Rare); KM.103 and KM.PN.11 ($12,500, based on the sale of 8K sterling hammer plus 20% at Manville in 2015, with sterling at $1.55).  20.02 g., 34 mm. Medal orientation.  Lettered edge reads MLIORIS TESSERA FATI, missing the E in MELIORIS.  King on horse l. with armor.  Legend reads inward around beginning at top,  IAC .  II . DEI . GRA . MAG . BRI . FRA . ET . HIB . REX.  The usurper James II makes a clear political statement by pointing the sword in his right hand to the end of REX and beginning of his name IAC.  Small letters.  Rev. Arms of the King, including a Harp of 7 strings, forms a cross with the Crown in the center, the quadripartite cross dividing  ANO   DOM  above, and  16   90  below.  Around from the top reading inward,  CHRIS / TO . VICT / ORE . TRI / UMPHO.

The dies are similar to those of the bronze gunmoney crowns, S.6578 and KM.103, only much finer.  Senior Numismatist Jim Noble of Sydney has advanced the theory the coin is the extraordinary die work of Matthew Bolton.  Mr. Pittman\’s famous silver gunmoney crown had a plain edge. The pedigree on the Pittman coin,  traced to Montague, thus supporting the connection, these silver gunmoney crowns were the work of Matthew Bolton.

The present coin was purchased by Harry Manville in 1974, for 32 pounds, from Baldwins,  and sold by DNW, 15-18 Sep 2015, L.307.

A deeply struck Proof showing ample original luster under light grey toning, some wear on the highest points, the horse\’s eye, the King\’s shoulder, and the high parts of the crown.  Minor rim tic at 5 o\’clock to obv only, mentioned for identification purposes.  Extremely Rare.  2 or 3 known.   $20K.

From, The journal of John Stevens, containing a brief account of the war in Ireland, 1689–1691

Quien se muda, Dios le ayuda. God helps him that changes, saith the Spanish proverb. It hath not been my fortune to verify this saying, for though I have changed from a civil to a military life, my fortune hitherto hath been retrograde and gone in diminution. Yet no man has more reason to bless and praise the infinite goodness of God, who has brought me safe out of all dangers, and preserved me in entire health in all the hardships I have gone through. This I look upon to be Melioris tessera fati, and hope God has reserved me for some better fate that I may see my sovereign victorious and partake of the fruits of peace, as I have borne my part in the calamities of war, and that such as shall see me happy and peruse this compendium of my sorrows may say, Dulcia quam meruit, qui tam gustavit amara.

Category: Irish Coins 1600 - 1823
Catalogue Number: S.6584; KM.PN.11
Date: 1690
Denomination: Silver Gunmoney Crown
Grade: about EF Proof
Mint: Soho?
Pedigree: ex Baldwins 1974 via Manville
Ruler: King James II
Weight: 20.02 g., 34 mm