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Henry V Quarter Noble

This really interesting and rather unusual gold quarter noble is one of Roger Paul’s detecting finds. As is always the case with this denomination, there is a shield of arms on the obverse and a very fancy cross on the reverse. However, it is the other distinguishing features that make it unusual.

On the reverse there is a fleur de lis in the centre but no other marks to aid a classification. The obverse, though, has a number of different marks. There is a fleur de lis above the shield, slipped trefoils either side of it, an annulet to the bottom left and a cinquefoil (possibly struck over an annulet) to the bottom right. This list of distinguishing features doesn’t fit exactly any quarter nobles of Henry IV and Henry V that are listed in the Standard Catalogue.

In English Coins 1180-1551 Lord Stewartby went into far more detail in the series his reference work covered. Quarter nobles in the secondary series of Henry IV have legends that include DI GRA REX ANG and so, too, does class Bb*, which Stewartby attributes to the first issue of Henry V. The later coins of Henry V (class C, D, F) omit DI GRA. Class Bb* is said to have a cinquefoil added at bottom right of the shield, as on Paul’s find. Therefore, I would say that his quarter noble is Henry V class Bb*, which is described as being extremely rare. 


Apart from a small flat area on both sides this quarter noble looks to be in close to VF condition. However, Paul said there were small splits on both the inner and outer circles. It’s still a nice looking coin and is a real rarity, so even with the defects I’d suggest that a pre-sale auction estimate shouldn’t be any lower than £900 – £1,000.

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