November 26th 2018.
Next club meeting Monday 3rd December 2018.
The activities will be as follows:
1. The main feature will be a mini coin fair for members to bring along items for sale.
2. A coin quiz
3. Members to bring along one or two items that for some reason are considered special (e.g. recent acquisition, a long sought after piece, an unusual find, an oddity etc.). A brief written explanation as to why the piece is special to you.
4. Christmas buffet!
Meetings are held at the Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square, commencing at 7.00 p.m.
· Please continue thinking about Short Talks for January, and Auction lots for March!
Jeremy Cheek gave a talk on Coins and Medals in the Royal Collection. Jeremy’s visit was timely. His book - Monarchy, Money and Medals: Coins, Banknotes and Medals from the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen - is due to be published on 30 November 2018. With this as the background, Jeremy’s talk was structured into a history of Royal Collection followed by a closer look at some of the more remarkable examples held in Collection. Jeremy paid tribute to the work of Laurence Brown LVO (who died in 2012). It was while Laurence Brown was doing research for his book at Windsor Castle that he noticed that the Royal Collection was not organised. He offered to sort it out, working voluntarily at Windsor Castle (the main location of the collection) one day a month from 1973 to 2009, meticulously recording everything in the collection. During the cataloguing, many items gravitated to Windsor.
The Collection was started by Prince Henry Frederick Stuart. Born in Stirling Castle in 1594, the son of King James VI of Scotland and Anne of Denmark, Henry was intelligent, well-read and an avid patron of the arts. When he died at the early age of 18, he had amassed a sizeable coin and medal collection, spending more money on coins than art, and for example, paying £2,200 for Roman coins from the Dutch antiquary, Abraham Gorlaeus. Other pieces were added to the Collection, including a Scottish coronation gold medal (by Briot) for Charles I in 1633.
After the death of Charles I, much of the Royal Collection was sold off, although there is evidence that by 1652 the coin collection was still intact. Thereafter much was dispersed. However, after the Restoration, Elias Ashmole, a Royalist, started the rebuilding of the Collection. But, in 1698, the Collection was effectively destroyed in the fire at the Palace of Whitehall.
On the death of George III, the Collection had recovered to 15,000 pieces, being ancient coins and medals of important people, for example, a medal to commemorate the coronation of Edward VI in 1547, donated by George IV to the British Museum in 1825. More recently, George VI was said to have an interest in coins but no attempts are being made to acquire new pieces.
One source for acquisitions is through hoards found in the lands of the Duchy of Lancaster, such as the Cuerdale Hoard (found in 1840), one of the largest Viking silver hoards ever found dating from the period 895-905. But few are left in the Collection. More recently, many coins have come from presents/ donations, including a gold £1 in celebration of B A Seaby Ltd 21st Birthday.
Jeremy continued with interesting examples of coins held in the Collection. This included disputes between experts on how they were produced. Illustrated by a James I silver plaque cast(?) by Simon van de Passe, but appears to be engraved. Others commemorated important event such as the marriage of Princess Elizabeth to Frederick V, whose grandson became George I. The Collection acquired a magnificent group of Jacobite medals and three touch pieces in an Italian 18C case which was given by Bonnie Prince Charlie to his Secretary, Andrew Lumisden.
Conflict medals are well represented both with a Commonwealth gold naval award (1654) (Blakes Medal) issued in 1654 during the first Anglo-Dutch war which led to a long dispute about its provenance – with most of the documentary evidence disappearing! The successful lifting of the longest siege in British history, Gibraltar 1779-1783, was commemorated by a gold medal by Pingo, for General Eliott. This found its way into the Collection.
Jeremy concluded his talk with an interesting tale about a Edward VIII pattern gold sovereign and silver half-crown dated 1937 left in a box in the Royal Mint and an extraordinary medal made by Hans Reinhart (the Elder) in Germany in about 1536. The obverse of this medal represents the temptation of Adam and Eve and the reverse shows the Crucifixion.
The Club thanked Jeremy for an excellent presentation and introduction to some of the treasures in the Royal Collection.
In November 1978 the annual auction took place....
.... as it did in November 1988, however...
In 1998 Steve Album talked on “The Coinage of the first Anglo/Afghan war”
In 2008 we had a talk on the Siege Coins of Charles I by Tony Travis