Sir William Parkhurst (d. 1667) silver medallion, 1644, by Thomas Rawlins

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Sir William Parkhurst (d. 1667), a large silver cliché medallion, 1644, by Thomas Rawlins, half-length bust within oval frame, full-face, wearing cloak over buttoned doublet and holding an oval badge of Charles I in his right hand, GVILIEL PARKHVRST EQV AVRA CVSTOS CAMB ET MONET TOT ANGL 1623, and below OXON – 1644, signed “T. Rawlins Sculps”, garnished and floral border around with lion mask at top, outer raised leaf border, 77mm (MI 311/140; Eim. -; Platt II, pp. 248-49), contained in a shallow circular lignum vitae box with geometric turned lid. A medal of considerable numismatic importance, a slight crease to left of head, good very fine and excessively rare.

Parkhurst held many positions but is best remembered for his involvement at the Mint. His early career was as secretary to Sir Henry Wotton, when he was ambassador to Venice and later Savoy, staying on to become acting agent in Savoy. He was Bailiff of Jersey 1622-24. In 1623 he was first appointed Warden of the Mint, first jointly then on his own. With the Civil War he established the mints at Shrewsbury and Oxford, where Thomas Rawlins made this unusual portrait depicting the sitter proudly holding one of his Royalist badges in his hand. After the Restoration he recovered his wardenship in 1660, and during the next few years presided over the re-minting of the old Commonwealth coinage and the adoption of mechanised production at the Tower. Parkhurst married (1619) Ann Elwes daughter of the Leiutenant of the Tower. He was knighted in later in the same year.  Two further specimens are in the British Museum and another in the Ashmolean.

The Christopher Foley, F.S.A., Collection Of Early English Medals – Lot 266

Price £12,000.00

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