World Coins

King Charles I returns to London on medal in auction

A silver medal from 1633 marks Charles I’s return to London after being coronated in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Medal images courtesy of Morton & Eden.

English King Charles I triumphantly returned to London in 1633 after holding a coronation in Edinburgh, eight years after taking the crown.

The event was momentous enough to inspire a silver medal designed by Nicholas Briot, an example of which was sold during Morton & Eden’s June 15 auction in London.

The early cast medal, in Extremely Fine condition according to the auction house, realized £3,600 ($4,593 U.S.), including the 20 percent buyer’s fee.

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Charles was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland from March 27, 1625, until his execution in 1649.  

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Charles I’s reign would be marked by the schism between Protestants and Catholics, and between those who would allow the monarchy power and those who would limit it, and his trip to Edinburgh was his first visit to the area since childhood. 

The king appears on the obverse of the medal, on horseback riding left holding an upright baton. The reverse depicts the sun shining upon London viewed across the Thames from the south, with a small E (for Edinburgh) above. This is the first medallic depiction of London.

Christopher Eimer classifies the medal as Eimer 124 in British Commemorative Medals and Their Values, but notes that while Briot is credited with this medal (and a similar one, classified as Eimer 125), the designs vary stylistically from Briot’s signed work, opening “the possibility to them being by another hand, such as the Mint’s chief engraver, Edward Green.”

The medal measures 42 millimeters in diameter and is “lightly chased ... and well toned,” according to the auction firm.

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