Mary (1542-1567), Abbey Crown or écu of Twenty Shillings, First period (1542-58) before marriage, Edinburgh mint, initial mark star, issued in 1542, crowned coat-of-arms in double bordered shield within inner linear circle, cinquefoils flanking, legend surrounds MΛRIΛ DEI GRΛ REGINΛ SCOTORVM. Rev, initial mark crown, cross fleurée with quatrefoil at centre with lis terminals, thistles in quarters, within linear circle, legend reads CRVCIS ΛRMΛ SEQVΛMVR, 3.33g (S.5390; SCBI 35 (Ashmolean & Hunterian) 976 -77).
A nicely toned example with a fully centred strike on a full flan, lustrous rich gold toning evenly distributed on both sides. Obverse free from any surface markings or scratches, pleasant coat of arms, few die breaks, legends all legible with the only softness being in the first Λ of Maria. Rev, marginally off centre, the cross fleuree design and thistles all comprehensive, legends in the main clear and concise, with some softness in the letter puncheons between 7 and 8 o’clock. Good very fine, an accomplished example of this highly sought after Scottish issue, very rare, with a distinguished provenance.
Ex Virgil M. Brand collection
Ex. S. Fay ‘Dundee’ Collection, Spink, 19th February 1976, lot 113, accompanied by an old Spink & Son ticket