The Commonwealth of England, 1653

In 1649 Pierre Blondeau, a master engineer at the Paris mint, came to the Tower Mint in London. He was invited by a mint beset by forgers and clippers of its hammered coins and willing to look at milled coinage afresh (Milling had been tried a 100 years before under Elizabeth I).

Despite the invitation and his capable machinery Blondeau had a fierce struggle against the MInt and its supporters who, frightened by technology, attacked the innovative Blondeau in pamphlets and accusations of high treason. But he succeeded, in the end, as luck and the Lord Protector favoured him.

Blondeau milled coins have a utilitarian elegance. The obverse is simply The Commonwealth Of England around England’s Shield – The Cross of St. George.


lot 186 b

The reverse shows a V for Five Shillings to the Crown. The Shields of England and Ireland are joined. God With Us says the legend, unmistakably, in English.

1653 GOD WITH VS with V above joined shields

lot 186 a

Thank you All Nations Stamp & Coin for images and text. This coin is in their 9th April 2016 auction.

About Julian Ticehurst

Curiouser and curiouser

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