Charles II (1660-1685), Royal Touchpiece, SOLI DEO GLORIA, St Michael vanquishing Dragon, rev. CAR.II.D.G.M.B.FR.ET.HI.REX., three-masted ship sailing left, 3.50g, 12h (Woolf O4/R4).
Images and data reproduced by kind permission of Spink and Son Ltd, London. Item is from the January 2021 auction #21004, The Sir Rodney Sweetnam KCVO CBE Collection of English Gold Coins and Other Properties, lot # 35.
Carbonised spotting the result of fire damage, otherwise lustrous, almost extremely fine for issue and with a fascinating pedigree beyond its historic significance as an item touched by the King himself.
Provenance Spink (New York) 346, 17 May 2019, lot 92 ~ thence by descent ~ John Harford Stanhope Lucas-Scudamore (c. 1920) The Castleshane [Caisleán an tSiáin] Collection (Co. Monaghan), Ireland* Francis Lucas, beneficiary of land grants from the Tudor and Stuart court
This, along with other items, were damaged during a suspicious fire on Sunday 15 February 1920. Family notes suggest the blaze started in the dining room and was the work of Sinn Fein arsonists who actively targeted landed estates during the Irish Wars of Independence. The blaze gutted the estate and although officially disputed, has been listed as 'accidental' and possibly contrived on the grounds of a fraudulent insurance claim.
Consequently abandoned by the Scudamore-Lucas family, the ruins played host to further drama when Irish Free State troops discovered 70 men and a large cache of ammunition, rifles and bombs during an sweep in August 1922. The prisoners were subsequently transported to Dundalk Gaol.