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A near mint example of the famous 1663 ‘Petition’ crown by Thomas Simon (c. 1623 – 1665) sold for $800,000 (£631,000) at Heritage Auctions on January 8.

The 40mm ‘Petition’ Crown is renowned for its artistry and craftsmanship and its story. The coin was masterfully engraved by Thomas Simon, one of the most celebrated medallists and engravers of the 17th century. Bitter at being side-lined after the Restoration, it represented Simon’s ‘petition’ to become Charles II’s chief engraver, the position he held under the Commonwealth.

He used Pierre Blondeau’s newly introduced mill and screw press to showcase his skills and create the coin with its extraordinary double-line edge inscription. It reads: Thomas Simon Most Hvmbly Prays Your Majesty to Compare This His Tryall With The Dvtch And If More Trvly Drawn & Emboss’d More Grace Fvlly Order’d Grace Fvlly Order’d And More Accvrately Engraven To Relieve Him.

This petit ion was ultimately unsuccessful, as the king preferred the work of the Roettier brothers (the aforementioned ‘Dvtch’) who had assisted Charles while he was exiled in Holland.

Fewer than 20 Petition crowns are known with seven residing in various public institutions and museums. This particular coin is the third highest graded example and may be the specimen auctioned by Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge in 1903. The estimate was $400,000-500,000 with the price reaching $960,000 including buyer’s premium.

Security protocols

This year’s NYINC, the 52nd staging of the 100-dealer show, took place from January 11-14 at the Barclay InterContinental Hotel in New York. Security concerns at numismatic events – and a major theft at the fair last year – led the event management to adopt new protocols.

All attendees were required to be issued with and wear a photo ID badge, leading to long lines for registration for those who had not completed advance online registration.