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17th century Oxford Crown discovered in attic


Oxford Crown Attic
This 1644 Oxford Crown was minted in a run of 100 (Image: Vintage Cash Cow)

A coin discovered in an attic has been identified as an extremely rare 17th century Oxford Crown, minted by the engraver Thomas Rawlins.

It’s estimated to be worth somewhere around £100,000 ($132,338) ahead of its auction at an as yet unspecified time and location. The finder, a grandmother from Hull, UK, sent the coin to valuer Vintage Cash Cow as part of a larger consignment of items she’d had for years.

The coin was minted in 1644, soon after the embattled King Charles I was forced out of London by the roundheads. He retreated to Oxford, which served as his court for two years until it fell in the siege of 1646.

Anthony Charman, founder of Vintage Cash Cow, said: “We receive literally tonnes of coins and much of this is only worth its weight in metal. But this distinctive coin immediately stood out.

“Given its value, we decided to share the good news face to face with the owner and her trusted friend.

“Her other items were worth £150 and I think she was already delighted with that, but thought a house visit was a little over the top. We then revealed the valuation of the Charles 1st coin and she nearly fell off her chair!”

While other coins minted during the siege can be had for less than £1,000 ($1,324), this particular variety was minted in a run of 100. Charles is shown sword drawn atop his horse, with the iconic landmarks of the Magdalen College Tower and the Bodleian Library shown beneath him.

The reverse bears the Latin inscription “RELIC PROT LEG ANG LIBER PAR” (The religion of the Protestants, the laws of England and the liberty of Parliament).

Charles would meet a sticky end in 1649, following a brief escape to the Isle of Wight. He was beheaded outside the Palace of Whitehall in London, before a large and rowdy crowd.

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