The Mint in the 1630s was increasingly feeling the influence of new continental technologies that were threatening to sweep away centuries old practices. Thomas Simon would have doubtlessly witnessed the conflict between the established techniques of hammering coins by hand, favoured by the Mint personnel known as the Moneyers, against the new innovations brought over by the gifted French engraver, Nicholas Briot, who pioneered the use of the screw press to strike coins in England. This unite and crown piece are some of the finest examples of numismatic art from the reign of Charles I and illustrate Briot's skill as an engraver. Machine struck pieces were much neater in execution, enabling engravers to elevate the art form above that of their hammer counterparts, and it is likely this experience left its mark on Simon as he would later experiment with machinery to strike coins in the 1650s and early 1660s .

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