Pattern Shilling (A.Levens) -
Edward VI (1547-1553), First period, The first English coin to bear a date in Roman numerals:
Pattern Shilling, MDXLVII , in silver, possibly by A. Levens, mm. rose, crowned bust right, EDWARD VI REX ANGL FRANC HIBER Z C, rev. TIMOR DOMINI FONS VITAE and date, crowned oval garnished shield dividing E R, 5.72g/3h (Bispham pl. 2, 1, same dies; Potter, BNJ 1962, p.128, this coin mentioned; N 1953). A tiny attempt at piercing at the end of the obverse legend, some minor surface marks in obverse field and evidence of an old crease, otherwise very fine and extremely rare. Images and text courtesy of DNW.
Provenance: J.G. Murdoch Collection Duplicates, Sotheby Auction, 12-13 February 1889, lot 10; H. Montagu Collection, Part II, 11-16 May 1896, lot 856; J.G. Murdoch Collection, Part I, Sotheby Auction, 31 March-4 April 1903, lot 534; A.W. Barnes Collection; R.C. Lockett Collection, Part II, Glendining Auction, 11-17 October 1956, lot 1882 [from Baldwin]; H.H. Snellenburg Jr Collection; SNC October 1966 (5545).The possible attribution to the French engraver Anthony Levens, who worked at the Tower between 1547 and 1550, derives from a note by C.A. Whitton (SNC 1948, p.215), referenced by Challis, p.56 and subsequently by Bispham (BNJ 1985, p.140). At least seven, and probably more, specimens have been offered on the open market in the last few decades, namely: 1) New York Sale XLVI, 2019, lot 1055 (unsold), ex Baldwin FPL Winter 2013 (BH 096, £50,000), ex CNG Triton XV, 2012, lot 1914, US $35,000 [from a very old Italian collection]; 2) Baldwin Auction 93, 2015, lot 116, £8,000, ex Clarke-Thornhill 432, ex Huth 325 and ex Clarkson 41; 3) Norweb Part IV, Spink Auction 59, 1987, lot 1394, £1,250, subsequently SNC December 1992 (7479), £2,000; 4) the Bispham plate coin; 5) the present piece; 6) Ryan Part II, Glendining 1952, lot 985, ‘bent and straightened’; 7) R. Carlyon-Britton, SCMB November 1951 (5836), £32 10s. Listings in SNC September 1923 (22981, ex Barnardiston 1903), March 1926 (51421), September 1930 (461) and November 1933 (28397) may refer to some of the above specimens