December 23rd 2003.
Next club meeting Monday 2nd February 2004.
Meetings are held at the Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square, commencing at 7.00 p.m.
Twenty four members came to the January meeting to hear Mr Chris Comber, the well known expert on Tudor coinage and chairman of the Bexley Heath coin club, speak on the Anglo Irish Coinage of Elizabeth I.
Prior to showing examples of coins Mr Comber spoke about the economic, financial and political history of Ireland, and the Anglo Irish relationship in Tudor times. In the early 16th century the Irish economy was somewhat under developed and hence the need for coinage in daily transactions was minimal. Thus there was no specific Irish coinage until the reign of Henry VIII. The coins that did circulate were mainly English and Spanish, primarily used for the maintenance of the English government in Ireland.
In the second part of his general introduction the speaker gave a brief resume of the earlier Tudor coinages and explained some of the background that lead to the first issue of Elizabethan coins. Information was also given on how the coins came to be struck at the Tower in London rather than the Dublin mint, and their issue in debased silver.In total there were three distinct issues of Elizabethan Irish coins, mostly in denominations of 1/- down to 4d. The first two issues were at the very beginning of her reign and the latter at the very end. In discussing each issue, the details of which were illustrated in a series of projected slides, Chris showed that many of the letter and portrait punches were the same as used for the English coins, albeit from different denominations. He also explained the details of the many varieties, the equivalence in English/ Irish values, the fineness of each issue and the numbers/ total value of the various denominations struck.
The first Irish coinage of Elizabeth appeared at the beginning of her reign and followed the style of coins of Henry and Mary. The reverse showed a single harp and the obverse a portrait of the monarch. The denominations were 1/- down to 4d and several busts and mintmarks are known. The speaker explained the details of each.
The second issue followed a short time later in 1561. The primary differences are that the reverse consisted of three small harps and the issue was in fine silver. Notably this issue was very well struck, in marked contrast to most other hammered Irish coins where the quality and definition is usually very poor.
It was then some 40 years later before the final issue appeared in 1601. Once again the quality of the striking had severely declined and the fineness was well debased. The reverse design is similar to the first issue except the harp is surmounted with a crown. However, the obverse portrait is replaced with a portcullis, very similar to the design used for the Tudor coins for the East India Company. The third coinage also included a copper 1d and 1/2d known as `red money', in contrast to the silver `white money'. Examples of the different mintmarks and field letters (or the lack of them) were explained through the numerous slides being projected.
To conclude his talk Chris offered members the opportunity to examine examples of the coins from his collection. Given the normal poor quality and rarity of Irish hammered coins, the range and quality of these specimens was exceptionally good.The club is much indebted to Mr Comber for giving such an interesting talk. Mr Comber gave freely of his time to attend our meeting. However, in return he did request that it would be appreciated if our club could provide a speaker for a future meeting at the Bexley club. If any member is willing to oblige and give a talk to the Bexley club will you please contact David. This is not the first time we have received such a request, but in recent times we have rarely, if ever, supported another club.
Please note that at this meeting, dealer's tables will only be allowed after the auction has been completed. Also note that club will be charging vendors only 5% commission on lots sold, other than those donated for club funds that are zero rated. There is no fee for unsold lots; neither is there any Buyers Premium.
London Coin Show - Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury 7th February.
Baldwins Auctions 7th February. In conjunction with the London Coin Show.
Birmingham Coin Fair at the National Motorbike Museum, Birmingham Fair. Sunday 8th February.
Davidson Monk Coin Fair. Saturday 21st February. Commonwealth Institute. Kensington. London W8.
Past EventsIn 1974 Maundy Allen gave a talk on Treasure Hunting, emphasising the importance of doing preliminary research, making good observations and understanding how to use equipment effectively. 20 years ago a social evening was held, comprising a numismatic quiz, a coin identification competition and Musical Chairs! ! ! In 1994 members gave short talks with contributions from B Greenaway, G Kirby, A Byde, T Haywood and A Merson
30 years ago in 1974 Maundy Allen gave a talk on Treasure Hunting, emphasising the importance of doing preliminary research, making good observations and understanding how to use equipment effectively.
20 years ago a social evening was held, comprising a numismatic quiz, a coin identification competition and Musical Chairs! ! !
10 years ago in 1994 members gave short talks with contributions from Barry Greenaway, Graham, Albert, Tim and Tony.