||James IV (1488-1513) gold Half Unicorn ND, S-5320, Lis mm, Star stops, XF40 NGC. While a bit short of flan and softly struck at the center, there is little of the normally seen doubling of detail on the wavy star of the reverse, or indeed among the lettering of the legends. The unicorn, prancing with his right rear hoof upon the large annulet with the rectangular block to left of it, lacks small details but is sharply outlined. Struck at Edinburgh of slightly debased (21 ct) gold. An always popular type, and overall a desirable piece possessing antique greenish gold color. James IV was no more than a boy when he ascended the throne after witnessing the death of his father at the Battle of Sauchieburn. He then immersed himself in education, learning Latin and various European languages. He also promoted advancements in medicine and brought the printing press to Scotland. His mind was so keen that even the great scholar Erasmus praised him. A realist as well, he funded fortification building at Edinburgh and other castles and understood the importance of a strong navy. His fatal flaw was his support of the pretender Perkin Warbeck, which involved an alliance with France. Rarely militant, he led his own army south into England and clashed with troops in Northumberland, where he died at the Battle of Flodden on September 9, 1513. He was barely 40 years old when his army was crushed, leaving his shaken kingdom to his infant son, James V. Ex: ?Colonel? E.H.R. Green; Green Estate? Partnership of Eric P Newman / B.G. Johnson.
Realized $4,993.75. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.