Letter Regarding the Countermarking of the Base Testoons of Edward VI at Bedford – 16th October 1560 – Gary Oddie

This note presents a previously un-noticed letter sent to the Mayor and Burgesses of Bedford, dated 16th October 1560, regarding the countermarking of the base testoons of Edward VI with a portcullis or greyhound. Following a brief introduction to the state of the coinage and the countermarking campaign around the country, the full document is reproduced, along with a transcription. The document confirms that the town of Bedford received just one each of the portcullis and greyhound punches.  The Bedford document is very similar to one known for the city of Wells, but has a missing sentence when compared to a draft dated 10th October 1560 in The National Archives.

Coins and Medallions of Lady Jane Grey – Gary Oddie

This note presents a brief review of the events leading up to the brief reign of Lady Jane Grey and the coins and medallions that have been made subsequently with her portrait. The pieces made and used in the 1986 Paramount film ‘Lady Jane’ are described, along with the various pieces created by the infamous coiner Edward Emery and finally some modern pieces issued as part of monarchs’ sets. Though she was never crowned, the paranumismatic items form an interesting group.

Cartouche Countermarks Revisited – Gary Oddie

This note will take another look at the Stuart hammered silver coins that have been countermarked with a cartouche containing various Roman numerals; III, VI, VII and VII above a horizontal I. The five previously published specimens are presented and discussed along with a further piece that might be attributed to this group. The weights of the pieces are found to correlate with the numeral in the countermark, but no plausible explanation for the issue has been found. All of the pieces should be considered as unsolved until new evidence appears.

A New Bust Type for James I Shillings – Gary Oddie

The silver coins issued during the reign of James I have received very little attention since Morrieson’s publications over a century ago. The scarce crowns have been revisited with extensive die studies, but the lower denominations have had nothing more than the occasional notice of a die sinker’s error or a new overstruck initial mark. A new transitional bust for the first issue shilling was first noticed in 2007 and this short note presents a new bust for the second issue shillings with initial mark key.

Contemporary Counterfeits of Durham House Shillings of Edward VI – Gary Oddie

Contemporary counterfeits of the base shillings of Edward VI are well known struck in brass or copper. Almost all display the Timor Domini Fons Vitae legend. This note presents two specimens of a contemporary counterfeit shilling displaying a version of the legend that is found exclusively on the second issue base shillings struck at the Durham House mint – Inimicos Eius Induam Confusione. Interestingly the plating is tin or zinc based, with only a small trace of silver on one side of one of the pieces.