Trio of British Triple Unites

Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio is very pleased to offer a trio of British
gold Triple Unites – the largest and heaviest hammered gold coin produced in
England – in the April 2018 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. During the reign of Charles I (1625-49) a number of factors strained the
relationship between the King and Parliament. The King’s marriage to a Roman
Catholic, failure in wars with Spain and France, the levying of taxes without
the consent of Parliament and the use of antiquated laws to fine individuals
led to revolts from both the Scots and the Irish and estranged the King from the
main factions in Parliament. One of the final blows before the start of the war
was Charles’ attempted arrest of five members of the House of Commons, actually
entering the House by force with an armed guard. After this failed arrest
attempt Parliament seized control of London and Charles marched north to raise
an army. The king would eventually control the west and north of England and
set up his court at Oxford in October of 1642, which also produced coinage for
the Royalists.

While assembled in Wellington before one of the first
battles of the war the King made what became known as the “Wellington
Declaration,” wherein he declared he would uphold “the Protestant Religion, the
Laws of England and the Liberty of Parliament.” This slogan was afterward given
a Latin abbreviation which was added to the design of several of his coins
including the Triple Unites of 1642-44 which displays it on the reverse in three
wavy lines or within an unfurled scroll. This design is surmounted by the Roman
numeral “III” for the denomination and surrounded by three banded plume mintmarks.
On the obverse we see Charles’ half-length bust (at times robed) holding an
upright sword and olive branch. This warrior image (along with the equestrian
motif found on the silver issues) is prevalent in much of Charles’ coinage and
was meant to inspire as many of his subjects as possible. However his cause was
all but lost by 1645 in the face of the Parliamentarians’ New Model Army under
Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell. While seeking assistance from a
Scottish army in Nottinghamshire Charles was handed over to Parliament only to
broker a secret deal with the Scots leading to the Second Civil War where he
was once again defeated. This time he was tried, convicted and executed.

The first of the trio of coins is dated 1642, with a
Spink attribution of 2724, which indicates a tall, narrow bust. This example is
certified by NGC at MS-61, and is the second finest certified at NGC with none
of this type in Mint State at PCGS. The second example is dated 1643, with a
Spink attribution of 2726 indicating a wider bust with a scarf. This example is
certified by PCGS at AU-58, which makes it the second finest graded at PCGS,
with one additional piece graded finer at NGC. The third and final example is
dated 1644 with a Spink attribution of 2730. It is very rare and the only
example of this variety certified at either PCGS or NGC. 1644 is the most
difficult date to locate of this short-lived three-year type. This example is
certified by PCGS at AU-55.

While we are no longer accepting consignments for our April Hong Kong
Showcase Auction, we are accepting consignments of Chinese and other Asian
coins and currency for our August 2018 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. In addition
to this, we are taking consignments of world and ancient coins as well as world
paper money for our May 2018 Collector’s Choice Online Auction and August 2018
ANA Auction. Time is running short, so if you are interested in consigning your
coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be
sure to contact one of our consignment directors.​

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Midwest Office • (800) 817-2646

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