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British Hammered & Milled coins,Tokens, Medallions & Roman Sestertia, "Petition crown"

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Petition Crown edge

Charles II became indebted to the Roettiers family while he was in exile as they lent him money. Charles promised a position for one or more of the sons when and if he was restored to the throne. He kept his word and invited Thomas Simon and the eldest of the Roettier boys (John) to work jointly on the coinage dies. They could not, so, a contest was held. Simon, for whatever reason, submitted nothing and Roettier won by default. Later Charles was not moved by Simon's masterpiece because he felt obliged to the Roettiers and also because of Simon's work for the Commonwealth and the Oliver Cromwell milled coinage.




THOMAS SIMON MOST HVMBLY PRAYS YOVR MAJESTY TO COMPARE THIS
HIS TRYALL PIECE WITH THE DVTCH AND IF MORE TRVLY DRAWN & EMBOSS’D
MORE GRACE; FVLLY ORDER’D AND MORE ACCURATELY ENGRAVEN TO
RELIEVE HIM


The edge of the Petition Crown is 35mm and the lettering around the edge is in two fine lines except the word MAJESTY which is wider to show respect for the King. Edge lettering was a new idea for anti-counterfeiting and anti-clipping. 

From Peter Blondeau we know little about how the edge was created. Blondau was not particularly welcomed in Paris or London. The edge lettering design would end the illegal profit from 'clipping or filling' the silver or gold from the edge of the coin.

The Petition Crown was mentioned by John Evelyn in his diary in 1697:

For the honour of our countrymen, I cannot omit that ingenious trial of skill which a commendable emulation has produced in a medal performed with extraordinary accuracy by one who, having been deservedly employed in the Mint at the Tower, was not willing to be supplanted by foreigners.

Evelyn in a passage wrote:
 He held the candle for the artist Cooper while was making an image of the Charles II during an audience with the King.

Pepys' contemporary account of the new coining method - 19 May 1663. Here he writes,'They mark the letters on the edges, which is kept as the great secret of Blondeau....'.


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