Charles I, Uniface Silver Medal, 1625-49Ex Morton & Eden Auction (21st May 2003), lot 1156.

Ex Helen Farquhar Collection (sold in 1955 and featured in her NC 1913 article ‘Medallions True and False of Mary Queen of Scots and Charles I’)

Ex Sloane Stanley Collection (Chrisite’s, May 1910)

Ex J. G. Murdoch Collection (
Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 2nd June 1904), lot 142.

Ex Hyram Montagu Collection (Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 24th May 1897) lot 168.

The medal has an excellent depiction of Charles that is in stark contrast to the crude and incomplete legend. The void in quality between the portrait and the legend suggests that the medal is an early trial for something that that never came to fruition. This unique medal is of great appeal to a collector due to its rarity but also presents the question of why the medal’s progress was stopped in its tracks. The medal is most likely created during the lifetime of Charles, the busts truncation gives his year of his birth (Natus 1600) and the legend concludes with ‘the year of his age’ without stating his age, Helen Farquhar questioned whether the medal suspended around the king’s neck was left blank to include this detail. Medallic Illustrations dated the medal to 1642, this was judged by an analysis of electrotype copies that have been taken from the medal. Production was most likely halted by the outbreak of the Civil War or the execution of Charles. The small inverted date of 1649 that is barely visible could be a later design inclusion around the period that the medal was to be adapted to a memorial to Charles. The only known medals to use the portrait seen on this medal are later casts that feature a reverse cast of an unrelated Italian medal, these concoctions are far from the intended outcome of the original artist and royal commission so this remains the only original artwork by Warin for this medal, fortunately a very well preserved specimen.