101135 | GREAT BRITAIN & NORTHERN IRELAND. Orange Order engraved Half Crown.
101135 | GREAT BRITAIN & NORTHERN IRELAND. Orange Order engraved and enameled silver Half Crown (31mm, 15.33 g, 12h).
1840-1850 London mint Victoria half crown, with appliqué upon host coin's reverse: triangle with 12 pellets enameled in red and surrounding skull and crossbones set within blue enameled background; with engraving upon host coin's obverse: black and white floor, twin pillars and arch, coffin, serpent-entwined staff, ladder with "CHF", wine glass, 12 lights, compass, and "2 1/2" (for the tribe of Reuben, the tribe of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh). Edge: Reeded, with loop and ring attached at the top.
Cf. Spink 3887/3888 (for host coin); cf. KM 740 (same). Engraving: Choice Very Fine; interesting enameling and application; Host coin: Fair. A great piece of mid-19th century fraternal society coin art, with detailed engraving, enameling, and an appliqué.
Founded in Northern Ireland in 1795, the Orange Order is a Protestant fraternal order based in the promotion of Protestantism. For its inspiration, the order drew upon William III (Willem of Orange), the husband of Mary II, who was installed as the Protestant monarch in opposition to the deposed Catholic James II in 1688. The order exists to this day, and is associated with the Ulster loyalists and efforts for Northern Ireland—as well as Scotland—to remain in the United Kingdom rather than seeking independence. Much of their associated iconography was drawn from aspects of masonry, as can be seen in the images engraved upon and applied to this charming piece.