Oliver D. Hoover presents a lecture, "Ye King and I", on the iconography of the St. Patrick coinage.
Oliver D. Hoover surveys the early seventeenth-century artistic and numismatic models for the iconography of King David playing the harp on the St. Patrick “halfpenny” and “farthing” and argues that there is little basis for claims that King David on these coins is actually a full-figure portrait of Charles I intended to represent him as either a divinely-sanctioned ruler or as a holy martyr. It is shown that the radiate crown worn by the king is an expected feature of the contemporary iconography of King David and therefore cannot be taken as an attribute peculiar to Charles I. Likewise, the differences in hair and beard styles between the depiction of the king on the “halfpenny” and “farthing” tell against an identification with Charles I. Hoover argues that the King David type of the St. Patrick coinage is derived from contemporary depictions of King David on a portugaloser of Nuremberg and psalmenpfennige struck by the Swiss cities of Brugg and Bern. However, it is suggested that the designer(s) of the St. Patrick coinage were probably influenced by these models through the intermediary of an emblem book rather than the rare European coins themselves.
The presentation was part of the Coinage of the Americas Conference held at the American Numismatic Society on November 11th 2006.