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Henry VIII, Silver 'Sovereign Penny' Durham Mint, Wolsey, 1526-9

Denomination: Silver penny

Period: Tudor

Date: 1526-1529

Origin: Durham mint under Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (Archbishop of York) temporary protector of Durham

Condition: Fine +

Obverse: Henry seated on throne, facing, holding orb and sceptre, legend around Crescent mint mark h D G ROSA SInE SPInA 

Reverse: Long cross over quartered shield of arms, T to left and W to right (Wolsey's initials) and a Cardinal's hat below, legend around CIVI TAS DVR RAM

Size and Weight: 15mm, 0.68g

References: Spink 2352

Features and Provenance: The legend on the coin is rather ironic, translating to: 'Henry, by the Grace of God, a rose without a thorn.' Born in 1491, Henry Tudor went from a healthy, handsome, sportsman in his youth to totally the opposite, dying at the relatively young age of 55 in 1557. He is well known for his obsession to have a male heir and this led him to famously marry six wives. He is less well known for his greed and need to raise money for his wars in France. To this end, he debased the coinage to such an extent that towards the end of his reign silver coins only had a wash of precious metal over base metal; when this wore away on the high points the copper could be seen underneath, gaining the king the nickname 'Old Coppernose.'

Cardinal Wolsey rose to high regard as a stateman in Henry's court but when he failed to gain an annulment from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, from the Pope, he quickly lost favour and was ordered to be arrested for treason by died before standing trial on his way to London, in 1530.



Condition Summary. This varies with the age of coin and there are grades in between

Uncirculated (U). As struck with no traces of wear

Extremely Fine (EF). Very slight traces of wear, all parts of legend etc present, visible and clear

Very Fine (VF). Some signs of wear on the higher parts of the relief, all parts of legend etc present, but maybe worn

Fine (F). Wear on the coin and parts of legend etc may be missing or not visible






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  • Product Code: 21060309
  • Availability: Sold
  • £90.00

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