(Vendue pour $320.0)


1788, Great Britain, George III. Gold ½ Guinea Coin (4.15gm) Salt-Water Damage?

Mint Date: 1788 Denomination: Gold ½ Guinea Reference: Friedberg 362, S.3735, KM-608. R! Condition: Rough surfaces (salt-water damage), which suggest that this coin might have been excavated from a shipwreck or was found under sea level, scratches, otherwise VF! Material: Gold (.917) Diameter: 21mm Weight: 4.15gm

Obverse: Laureate head of George III right. Legend: GEORGIVS . III - DEI . GRATIA .

Reverse: Crowned quartered British shield. Date in legend below. Legend: .M.B.F.ET.H.REX.F.D.B.ET.L.D.S.R.I.A.T.E.ET.E.17-88.


George III (George William   Frederick; 4 June 1738 - 29 January 1820 [N.S.]) was King of Great   Britain andKing of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these   two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United   Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death. He was   concurrently Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and prince-elector of Hanover in   the Holy Roman Empire until his promotion to King of Hanover on 12   October 1814. He was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover,   but unlike his two predecessors he was born in Britain and spoke English   as his first language. Despite his long life, he never visited Hanover.

George III's long reign was marked by a series of   military conflicts  involving his kingdoms, much of the rest of Europe,   and places farther  afield in Africa, the Americas and Asia. Early in   his reign, Great  Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War,   becoming the dominant European power in North America and India.   However, many of its American colonies were soon lost in the American   Revolutionary War, which led to the establishment of the United States   of America. A series of wars against revolutionary and Napoleonic   France, over a 20-year period, finally concluded in the defeat of   Napoleon in 1815.

In the later part of his life, George III suffered   from recurrent and, eventually, permanent mental illness.  Medical   practitioners were baffled by this at the time, although it has  since   been suggested that he suffered from the blood disease porphyria. After a   final relapse in 1810, a regency was established, and George III's   eldest son, George, Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent.  On George   III's death, the Prince Regent succeeded his father as George  IV.   Historical analysis of George III's life has gone through a    "kaleidoscope of changing views" which have depended heavily on the    prejudices of his biographers and the sources available to them.

George III lived for 81 years and 239 days and   reigned for 59 years  and 96 days-both his life and his reign were   longer than any of his  predecessors. Only George's granddaughter Queen   Victoria exceeded his record, though Elizabeth II has lived longer.

George III was dubbed "Farmer George" by satirists,   at first mocking  his interest in mundane matters rather than politics   but later to  contrast his homely thrift with his son's grandiosity and   to portray  him as a man of the people. Under George III, who was   passionately interested in agriculture, the British Agricultural   Revolution reached its peak and great advances were made in fields such   as science  and industry. There was unprecedented growth in the rural   population,  which in turn provided much of the workforce for the   concurrent Industrial Revolution. George's collection of   mathematical and scientific instruments is now housed in the Science   Museum (London); he funded the construction and maintenance of William   Herschel's forty-foot telescope, which was the biggest ever built at the   time. Herschel discovered the planet Uranus, which he at first named   after George, in 1781.

George III himself hoped that "the tongue of malice   may not paint my  intentions in those colours she admires, nor the   sycophant extoll me  beyond what I deserve", but in the popular mind   George III has been both demonised and praised.  While very popular at   the start of his reign, by the mid-1770s George  had lost the loyalty of   revolutionary American colonists, though about half of the colonists   remained loyal. The grievances in the United States Declaration of   Independence were presented as "repeated injuries and usurpations" that   he had  committed to establish an "absolute Tyranny" over the colonies.   The  Declaration's wording has contributed to the American public's    perception of George as a tyrant. Contemporary accounts of George III's    life fall into two camps: one demonstrating "attitudes dominant in the    latter part of the reign, when the King had become a revered symbol of    national resistance to French ideas and French power" and the other    "derived their views of the King from the bitter partisan strife of the    first two decades of the reign, and they expressed in their works the    views of the opposition". Building on the latter of these two   assessments, British historians of the nineteenth and early twentieth   centuries, such as Trevelyan and Erskine May, promoted hostile   interpretations of George III's life. However, in the mid-twentieth   century the work of Lewis Namier, who thought George was "much   maligned", kick-started a re-evaluation of the man and his reign.   Scholars of the later twentieth century, such as Butterfield and Pares,   and Macalpine and Hunter, are inclined to treat George  sympathetically,   seeing him as a victim of circumstance and illness.  Butterfield   rejected the arguments of his Victorian predecessors with  withering   disdain: "Erskine May must be a good example of the way in  which an   historian may fall into error through an excess of brilliance.  His   capacity for synthesis, and his ability to dovetail the various  parts   of the evidence … carried him into a more profound and  complicated   elaboration of error than some of his more pedestrian  predecessors … he   inserted a doctrinal element into his history which,  granted his   original aberrations, was calculated to project the lines  of his error,   carrying his work still further from centrality or truth." In pursuing   war with the American colonists, George III believed he was  defending   the right of an elected Parliament to levy taxes, not seeking  to expand   his own power or prerogatives. Today, scholars perceive the long reign   of George III as a continuation  of the reduction in the political power   of monarchy, and its growth as  the embodiment of national morality.

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