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James II, gold touch-piece

James II, gold touch-piece, engraved by John Roettier, small flan, in the style of an angel, officially pierced:
Obverse: IACO.II.D.G.M.B.FR. ET.HI.REX - James II by the grace of God King of Great Britain France and Ireland; around a three masted ship in full sail left.
Reverse: SOLI.DEO GLORIA - Glory to God alone ; around St. Michael slaying the dragon.
Edge: Plain. Diameter: 18.6mm. Weight: 1.80 grams.

According to Woolf ("The Sovereign Remedy" published by BANS) James II was far more prolific in his touching ceremonies than his elder brother, with no limit to the number he would touch on a given day. In his first year as King alone he touched as many as 14,364 for the King's evil. However in reigning for a shorter time his 12 month average for each year was 12,000 people, and he was spending at least £3,000 a year on the manufacture of gold touch-pieces such as this. In total we are therefor looking at mintage of James II touch-pieces at just under half the amount produced for Charles II, proven by their rarity today.

The design of the ship on the obverse was carried over from the Charles II touch-piece that was a true image of the largest ship afloat in the world at that time, "The Royal Sovereign").

Sold Sept 21

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