XRF Analysis of Coins in Slabs etc – Gary Oddie

Measuring the metal composition of a coin using X-ray Fluorescence can be useful in identifying counterfeits. This note presents data testing a portable XRF machine on coins in various plastic holders, including a slab. Using the machine’s built-in interpretation shows that very thin plastic films lead to good results, but anything thicker than about 0.1mm produces questionable results and a 1.66mm slab wall is likely to be incorrect.

Numismatic Graffiti – End the BBC Monopoly – Fight for Free Radio – Gary Oddie

The chance find of two bronze pennies with political graffiti added in white tipp-ex brought back vague memories of pirate radio in the North Sea. I was too young for the original story to register properly, but I do recall the navy raids on the transmitter ships in 1989. Ironically, the subsequent litigation confirmed that pirate radio had been ended by government piracy. The graffiti can be dated to sometime after 19 February 1967 with the formation of the Free Radio Association and its headline message ‘FIGHT FOR FREE RADIO’.

A New Coin from the Collection of Sir Hans Sloane – Andrew Burnett

A recently discovered book annotation allows a unique and spectacular coin of the Roman emperor Severus Alexander, minted by the city of Cyzicus in Asia Minor, to recover its provenance. It belonged to the collection of Sir Hans Sloane, which was to become the founding collection of the British Museum, where the coin can still be found. The MS catalogue of the Sloane collection was lost in the Second World War, so we depend on chance finds such as this for its reconstruction.

The R.C Lockett Collection – A New Resource on the BNS Website

Cyril Richard Lockett (1873-1950) was the Chairman of William & John Lockett Ltd., shipowners in Liverpool. He commenced collecting c.1906, focussing on the English series, purchasing heavily in the Rashleigh (1909), Carlyon-Britton (1913-18), Walters (1913), Roth (1917-18), Bruun (1925), Huth (1927), Morrieson (1933), Lord Grantley (1943-45) and other collections. From the 1920s his numismatic collecting interests expanded to Greek coins and then continental, Roman and Byzantine coins, building one of the largest and most important numismatic collections in the United Kingdom. His collection of English Milled (Cromwell to Victoria) was sold at Sotheby’s (28 April 1927) and after his death his vast collection was sold by Glendining’s in 14 sales over a seven-year period (1955-1961) to avoid flooding the market. The British Numismatic Society holds Lockett’s own 58 volume manuscript catalogue of his collection. These volumes provide a unique insight into Lockett as a discerning numismatic connoisseur, while documenting provenances of his purchases and his hand-written observations about the coins

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Contributors to British Numismatics – Introduction – Gary Oddie

This note will provide a brief description of the archive, the reasons behind setting it up and the sources that have been used already to create the 800+ entries in the archive. The project has been prompted by the difficulties sometimes experienced in finding images of past collectors, dealers and authors etc. The late Harry Manville’s five-volume encyclopaedias were published between 1986 and 2009 and are extremely useful and virtually complete, but contain few illustrations, and no portraits of the characters within. The aim of this archive is to add some faces to the names and bring the works up to date. Incidental images, such as book plates, coin tickets and envelopes have also been added. A separate section has been created that contains just images of coin tickets and envelopes which is expected to initially have a life of its own with many of the names not yet appearing in the main archive.A final section describes future plans and also

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Numismatics and the Fortsas Library Sale of 1840 – Gary Oddie

Few library sales catalogues have generated as much interest at the time or subsequently as that printed for the sale of the library of Mr le Comte J.-N.-A. de Fortsas on the 10 August 1840. The auction report appeared in a local newspaper, describing the strong bidding, along with some of the prices realised and names of the buyers. Original copies of the catalogue were selling at a significant premium shortly after the date of the sale and it has been reprinted and translated several times. Chapters of books have also been written describing the build-up to the sale, the day of the sale and its aftermath. This note will describe details of the sale and then three numismatic and bibliophilic connections that came to light whilst looking into the related literature, though all is not as it initially appears.