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Diameter: 2.9 cm (1 1/8 in.)
Weight: 9.103 g (0.32 oz.)
The Norweb Collection 1969.197
Thomas Simon was one of the great medallists of history and chief engraver at the Royal Mint although he left the regular work to his deputies and spent most of his time on commemorative medals.
With the defeat of Charles I a Council of State was set up, the kingship abolished and England was governed as a Commonwealth. This rare piece was one of a series struck by order of Cromwell, and with the consent of the Council. The dies were made by Thomas Simon and the striking of the coins was entrusted to Peter Blondeau, who made use of the mill and screw press, which he had imported and improved. Public opinion appears to have been against Cromwell using his own portrait on the coinage and these pieces were not put into circulation, though even so they occasionally appear in somewhat worn condition. The laurel wreath and the crown are significant as there was a movement to offer Cromwell the Crown of England.
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