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Philip & Mary 1554-1558
HALFCROWN
"Bloody Mary"

Mary Queen of England and  Ireland 19 July 1553 until her death 17 Nov 1558

Mary married Philip II of Spain 1554. They had no children and Philip
returned to Spain.

MARY had almost 300 religious dissenters
burned at the stake  earning her the name of "Bloody Mary". Her re-establishment of Roman Catholicism was reversed by her successor and half-sister, Elizabeth I
.

The half crown was a denomination of British money worth two shillings and sixpence, being one-eighth of a pound and half of a crown



 


This is the "Fairy Tale" coin of Philip & Mary

The 
half crown was struck on Mary's marriage to Philip II
of Spain
in 1554 but was never issued for circulation.
Three specimens exist




 Half-Crown, 1554. 2nd issue. Obv. PHILIPVS . D . G . R . ANG . FR .NEAP . PR .HISP. Bust of Philip to r., inarmour; above crown; below, date 1554. Rev.  . . MARIA . D G R ANG FR . NEAP . PR . HISP. Bust of Mary to l., in high embroaded dress cap and veil ; above crown dividing date, 1554.


Hawkins 1841

The new coins consisted of half-crowns, shillings, six-pences.

The half-crown is perhaps a pattern for an intended coin
never issued
, for two only are known. On one side is the bust of
Philip to the right, in armour; above, the crown; below, the date
15 54. leg. PHILIPPVS D. G. ANG. FR. NEAP. PR. HISP. no MM.
On the other the bust of Mary to the left, in her usual dress;
above, the crown between 15 54.
leg. MARIA D G R ANG FR NEAP. PR HISP. (438). Rud. xi. 13. Sn. v. 18. MB

by John Pinkerton - 1784
Antiques & Collectibles - 324 pages,
Philip and Mary half crown RRR 10/-
date under the buft or marked with a
fleur
de luce


Folkes 1763 say from the cabinet of James West, M.P., (c.1704-1772)
Snelling 1763 also shows it in his plate without comment
J. West  was also an active collector of books




 The impossible becomes possible

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As a young collectors we all have dreams, in the USA it can be that one day
you will enter an old house and find in a draw a brasher doubloon or 1804 $.

As your eyes would see it would you believe what was in front of you, thoughts of; is it really, could it be, it must be genuine, I dreamed of having this dream and what I will do.

Today 9th Oct 2009 and got an email from Mark G in the US who wrote “What a magnificent coin! In many respects every bit as appealing and historic as your Petition Crown.  Where did you find it? “   (Referring to 1554 Philip & Mary pattern half-crown on your site
 
http://www.petitioncrown.com/spare15_LK47.html) 

The story began in Switzerland when I received a call from a friend at a Bank who reminded me of a collector in Manchester whom he said had many remarkable coins in his collection and they would be sold. It is too long a story to tell today, my dear friend was articulate and had a ledger were he kept the outline details of what he had acquired. As I scanned down the list there was written Philip & Mary 40’000 gbp I asked what was it ?, the entry was as stark as that. It could have been? No it could not I thought an incredible Half Angel? true before you ask I thought it could be possible the illusive Philip & Mary 2/6d.

Whatever it was, it was not going to be seen that day or for several months, it was not in the coin boxes. My heart which was pounding was not going to be settled at least this day. Four more times I visited my friend as I was lucky to chose a number of coins to join my collection but no appearance of the mysterious Philip & Mary coin. My dreams continued I lived in hope and started doing research just in case, weights, photographs, reports, cast copies anything and everything to do what I gave a knick-name. The coin did not surface therefore it was just a dream.

One day I visited my friend and he told me the coins had gone and were being sold, a feeling of disappointment. By this time I had accepted that Philip & Mary was either a mistake, it would remain a mystery the entry in his ledger 40’000 gbp. It would for always remain a mystery. As we finished tea my friend said “Oh! I nearly forgot I took two coins out for you”, I found the Philip & Mary. If a heart could stop it did, in front of me were two coin envelopes. One had a Philip and Mary coin in it and the other no idea. There are not many times I am lost for words, as I write this story which is still lacking in colour I was speechless and without colour in my face.

It was the time for, I wonder, is it possible, a mistake in the amount of money, is it a shilling the many thoughts that run through the head. I was handed the two coin envelopes by weight one was light enough to be a “shilling” the other heavy enough to be a “2/6”.

I decided to open the lighter first and there in front of me was a superb Pontefract Civil war 1/-.

Now, and please believe what I write to paper, I opened the other envelope my hands moving like at slow speed, wondering, questioning with anticipation as the coin slipped from the envelope was the Philips head with the date below! This was the beginning of a “fairy tale” come true that only a true collector can even dream. Yes for sure there is more to tell ----




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