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George III pattern sovereign with St. George reverse

Maker:
Benedetto Pistrucci (Italian, 1783–1855, active England)
Manufactory:
The Royal Mint (London)
Date:
1817
Culture:
British, London
Medium:
Gold
Dimensions:
Diameter (confirmed): 7/8 in. (2.2 cm); 21.6 x 21.9 mm
Classification:
Coins
Credit Line:
Gift of Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ada Peluso, and Romano I. Peluso, in memory of Ignazio Peluso, 2000
Accession Number:
2000.224.4
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 554
The Metropolitan has not been known historically for collecting coins, but the Peluso family's gift of British coinage is a worthy addition for its revelations of high artistry. Benedetto Pistrucci began his career in Rome, carving cameos with amazing dexterity. Soon after his arrival in London in 1815, he became chief engraver at the Royal Mint. The coins of George III (r. 1760–1820) are among the most elegant ever created. The gold sovereign's obverse succinctly invests the fat, ancient monarch with authority, while the reverse, with Saint George and the Dragon encircled in the Order of the Garter, is so successful in its clarity that it has been repeated (minus the Order) on the specie of most succeeding British monarchs.
Inscription: Obverse: (in margin) GEORGICUS III D:G:BRITTANIAR:REX F:D: 1820; reverse: (in margin) HONI • SOIT • QUI • MAL • y • PENSE •
Assunta Sommella Peluso ; and Ada Peluso ; and Romano I. Peluso , New York (until 2000; to MMA)
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