On display in this paperweight is a shilling made in the reign of George III (1760–1820). The Georgian coin is set in a plastered wooden case with a glass top and base. The date of issue is illegible.
George III is shown in armour, in the ‘laureate bust’ style – a laurel wreath upon the king’s head. The legend translates as: ‘George by the grace of God’. In Latin, it reads: ‘GEORGIVS III DEI GRATIA’.
Shields with emblems of royal claims form the shape of a cross on the reverse. On the top shield are three lions, for England (left), and a single lion, for Scotland (right). On the left shield are the Hanoverian arms. Three fleurs-de-lis, for France, adorn the right shield. A harp, for Ireland, is on the lower shield. Crowns are shown in the diagonals between shields.
Lettering on the reverse stands for ‘King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg, Arch-Treasurer and Elector of the Holy Roman Empire’. This appears as: ‘M.B.F.ET.H.REX.F.D.B.ET.L.D.S.R.I.A.T.ET.E’.
Two designs of shillings were issued while George III was on the throne – pre- and post-formation of the United Kingdom. This coin is an example of a Georgian shilling from before the United Kingdom was formed. The later design bears a laureate bust of the king, with the crowned United Kingdom coat of arms on the reverse.