A New Type of Shovel Board Shilling – Gary Oddie

Some years ago I wrote a short article on hammered shillings that had an extra silver rim added, probably for use in the game of Shovel Board Shilling. Contemporary references from the Tudor and Stuart period were identified along with a surviving original table that was 27 feet long at Astley Hall, Lancashire.Since the original article, an image of another shovel board table has been found and several more shillings have come to light, including two pieces with a different design. This note presents details of the 15 pieces known to the author.

A Modern Copy of an Edward VI Fine Shilling – Philip Mernick and Gary Oddie

Copies of low grade hammered silver coins are quite unusual and when they are released slowly, no suspicion is raised. When die/mould duplicates appear showing the same features the game is given away. This note presents details of an Edward VI fine shilling with i.m. y. It is now known from five different specimens all showing the same flan crease, damage, and die/mould flaws.

The Publications of Thomas Violet – Gary Oddie

Thomas Violet was a goldsmith and writer on trade. He published several books and tracts, especially during the Commonwealth. One of his works “The Mysteries of the Mint” (1653) provides the earliest printed reference to the coinage trials of 1651 between David Ramage and Peter Blondeau. The recent publication by Amos Tubbs “Thomas Violet, A sly and dangerous fellow” revealed a colourful story of an interesting character and cited 15 works authored by Violet. This note provides a brief introduction to Violet and tracks down a further 9 tracts and provides links to where almost all of them can be found online either as pdf or plain text copies. The British Library catalogue gives Thomas Violet as the author of “The Great Trappaner”, which was certainly not the case as it is a stinging attack on the man himself and his activities! It is hoped this bibliography will be of use to others working in this interesting period of numismatics and

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A Search into Rarity (2) – The Testoons of Henry VII – Gary Oddie, David Holt and Colin Pitchfork

In 1962 W. J. W. Potter and E. J. Winstanley provided the most recent study of the profile coinage of Henry VII, including the issue of testoons in 1504. Whilst adding provenances of known specimens, CP expanded upon this list and identified a new reverse die in 1968. This short note revisits the die study, removing one obverse die from the corpus and providing illustrations of each of the known obverse and reverse dies and an example of every known die combination.

An Unusual Counterfeit Base Shilling of Edward VI – Gary Oddie

This short note describes an unusual counterfeit base shilling of Edward VI, overstruck using false dies, on a French Gros de Nesle of 1550. The metal content has been analysed and the numbers do not add up. Reusing readymade base coins as blanks for a counterfeit certainly has its merits, but not when making a loss on the silver. The false dies are well made, but contain legends not seen on other genuine coins or contemporary counterfeits. All suggestions gratefully received via this blog.

Charles I Shillings of the York Mint (ii) Counterfeits – Gary Oddie

A previous note provided illustrations of the known official issues of the shillings from the York mint during the Civil War. This note will present details and discuss five known varieties of counterfeit shillings which display the EBOR mintmark. Some of these show quite competent engraving skills, sufficient to allow the die that was copied to be identified.  The contemporary counterfeits showing the EBOR mint signature show letter and design punch links with each other and also with other groups of contemporary counterfeits of provincial mint shillings (Oxford). All specimens of one York die combination show significant flan curvature pointing to manufacture on a roller or cylinder press. Through the Commonwealth and up to the recoinage of 1696/7, increasingly worn and clipped silver coins fell prey to the counterfeiters. The whole topic of the state of the circulating silver coinage in the seventeenth century requires a thorough review in order to place what seems to be a continuous undercurrent of

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Charles I Shillings of the York Mint (i) Official Issues – Gary Oddie

This short note will revisit the shillings issued at the York mint during the civil war. The series has been comprehensively studied and published(1, 2).The dies were engraved by Nicholas Briot and the pieces were made using a roller or cylinder press. This results in a slight ovality and curved flan of some pieces and slight creasing of the metal when they were cut from the strip or subsequently straightened. Misalignment of the silver strip could also lead to coins with partial straight edges. Two pairs of rollers were manufactured, each with five dies engraved on their surface. Briot’s skill as an engraver means that it can be challenging to identify the exact die pair.  Many published illustrations make it difficult to distinguish between certain dies and errors have been found in some catalogues(3). The following pages will provide good illustrations of pieces made by every die pair and die combination. Whilst not original, it is hoped it will be useful.