Ponterfract was a Royalist stronghold and during the English Civil War, it was laid to siege by Oliver Cromwell and his forces on three separate occasions in 1648-49. Finally the inhabitants of the surrounding area, fearing another siege, petitioned Parliament to destroy the castle.
Like many siege coins, this is technically a Klippe, or piece struck on an irregular shaped flan. There were two styles of shilling struck over the course of the three sieges, those struck on a diamond shaped flan (as here) were struck prior to those struck on hexagonal shaped flans. These coins are exceptionally scarce, and this piece is far finer than the example in the Millennia Collection (Goldberg, May 2008), which graded VF-30. The example offered in our January sale has bold definition in the details, although not fully rendered by the dies. The surfaces show generally good quality, with pleasing toning.
If historic and rare coins are your focus, this high quality Ponterfract Siege Shilling will fit nicely in your collection. This and other English rarities will entice bidders in our January New York International Sale. Catalogs are currently being prepared and will be in the mail shortly. To request a copy of our International Sale, contact any one of our auction services associates. We are also accepting consignments for our next two Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio auctions, our April Hong Kong sale and our official auction of the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money. Whether buying or selling, it is our pleasure to work with you.