Henry VII (1485-1509), Facing Bust/Profile issue mule, Halfgroat, York/Canterbury mule?, Abp Savage, mm. martlet both sides, facing bust with double-arched crown within tressure, keys by neck, lettering series F, rev. posvi dev adivtorev mev around quartered shield of arms set over long cross, ornate barred a, 1.10g/8h (Stewartby IVb [York] / Va [Canterbury], the mule unrecorded; Winstanley 2 [York] / 1 [Canterbury], the mule unrecorded; cf. SCBI Ashmolean 672-3, same obv. die; N 1716/1750; S 2215/2261). Struck from a worn obverse die and somewhat short of flan, otherwise good fine with identifying marks clear, extremely rare £300-£400 --- Offered here for sale is a highly unusual Halfgroat of Henry VII, produced at York under the authority of of Archbishop Savage (1501-7). The obverse carries a facing bust and the name of the reigning monarch. There are two main identifying marks which facilitate the mint attribution; St Peter’s keys beside the neck (the left key being somewhat blundered), and the mint mark martlet. The obverse lettering series is F, and the die can be assigned to Winstanley’s type 2, which he makes current around 1503. Notably, the obverse die used to strike our coin is also known to have been muled with reverse dies from Winstanley’s type 6 (SCBI Ashmolean 672-3), the last of the facing bust issues from York, which continued until around 1504. Quite surprisingly, the reverse of our coin belongs to the succeeding Profile issue, introduced in 1504 and produced for a while alongside the old full-faced coiange, before becoming the sole coinage. Its design is markedly distinct from that employed on the full-faced coinage, doing away with the ‘cross and pellets’ arrangement which had been the standard design for English silver coins since the fourteenth century. Instead, the reverse of the Profile issue comprises a single band of circumscript legend around a quartered shield of arms set over a long cross. During this period three mints were in operation; London, Canterbury and York. Mint mark martlet, as appears on the reverse, was seemingly employed at both Canterbury and York, an arrangement which has caused some confusion of attribution. According to the scheme set out first by Carlyon-Britton, adjusted by Winstanley and reinforced by Lord Setwartby, the Profile issue Halfgroats of Canterbury can be distinguished from those pieces of York on account of various other elements of design. The reverse of the coin under consideration here has three characteristics worthy of note; it lacks keys in the field beneath the shield; it utilises the spelling avdivtorev as opposed to the usual avdivtore; and finally, the a in avdivtorev is barred and ornamental in shape. All three elements suggest that the reverse die used to strike this mule belongs to the group ordinarily associated with Canterbury.
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