This is a Tudor gold angel of Queen Elizabeth Ist, minted in London between 1590 - 1592.
Obverse inscription: ELIZABETH D'.G'.ANG FR ET HI REGINA ( "Elizabeth, by the Grace of God, Queen of England, France and Ireland") St Michael slaying dragon right, inner and outer beaded circle, initial mark hand (1590-92) both sides
Reverse inscription: A. DNO FACTVM: EST ISTVD: ET EST: MIRABI ("This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes." A Psalm from the Bible) ship sailing right, large quartered shield upon hull, cross above, E to left, rose to right, crows nest of the ship beyond the inner beaded circle
This Elizabethan gold ‘angel’, so-called for its representation of St. Michael the Archangel slaying the dragon, was minted between 1590 and 1592 and to early modern people it was both official currency of the realm and an object replete with sacred, healing power. These coins were given to sufferers of the ‘evil’ or ‘King’s Evil’ (scrofula), by the monarch in special ceremonies presided over by the clergy. Many coins that have been associated with this ritual have pierced holes for a string which were then draped around the neck. These were worn as amulets of healing or protection against evil.
At Kenilworth in 1575, Elizabeth I publicly prepared for this healing ritual ‘prostrate on her knees, body and soul rapt in prayer’. She was known to lay hands on her patients, and in addition, she made the sign of the cross, with the gold angel, over the actual location of the sore. Once healed, the coin was given as a talisman to be worn about the neck on a ribbon.
This coin may have had a piercing but at some stage has been repaired.
DENOMINATION: Angel (of ten shillings)
CULTURE: Tudor England
DATE: 1590 - 1592 A.D.
SIZE: 29.68mm diameter
WEIGHT: 5.24 grams
ATTRIBUTION: Brown/Comber C39; SCBI Schneider 790; N 2005; S 2531
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