BACK TO HOME PAGE
Caroli Fortuna Resurgam
(the fortune of Charles, shall rise again)
Civil War coins with no mark of value
A STUDY IN CONFUSION
The English Civil War ended some 365 years ago. One of the most confused periods in British Coinage were the Civil War pieces cut from ‘silver’ during this period 1642-1649. The most confusing was an image of a ‘castle’ with and without value. These were obsidinal coins made when the country was at war or just post war, these wonderful toned items shown above were Ex.Willis, Locket, and Brand with the oblong piece also being in the collection of Bliss, Webb, Neck and Dr Martin.
They have been attributed to Colchester, Beeston then Scarborough, chaos must have prevailed. There are so may different dies. The engraved legend on the above 'Caroli Fortuna Resurgam' which Sir Hugh Cholmley, governor of the besieged town of Scarborough in his diary as having been placed on Scarborough issues. They pieces first make an appearance in known collection in the 1742 Earl of Oxford sale and an example was illustrated in the non-sale catalogue of the Earl of Pembroke collection, published in 1746 whose demise was in 1733. There is no example in the notable collections formed in the late 17th century such as Bridgewater House, Archbishop Sharp and Lord Middleton. As early as the 1802 Tyssen sale, lot 3054 notes against four examples 'doubtful if struck in the time of Charles I' should this remain the accepted view?. It is recorded that wealthy collectors as Pembroke melted any duplicates in his collection to increase the rarity. Many pieces of the Civil War are questionable to the dating & place of issue but are clearly part of British Numismatic history and especially those with early pedigrees. Where has knowledge through the centuries disappeared? Eminent collectors chase and ponder to have these weird and wonderful pieces in their collections.
A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.