Monday, 19 July 2010

"Moneta Britannia" - The Coinage of Roman Britain

"Moneta Britannia" - The Coinage of Roman Britain

I can now confirm that this conference will take place in York (UK) on Thursday 14th July 2011. The exact location is yet to be decided but will be central. The day will consist of at least eight papers covering many aspects of the coinage used in Britain during the Roman period. Topics already planned include:

• The coinage of Carausius and Allectus;

• The Roman influence on early Anglo-Saxon Coinage;

• Unofficial mints in mid-fourth century Britain; and

• The London mint of Constantine.

We also hope to arrange sessions on:

• Recent Romano-British coin hoards;

• The Gallic Empire coinage; and

• References to Britannia on Roman coins.

Further information will be available soon on a dedicated website but you can sign up for email alerts by contacting me here - lee @ - as usual, omit the spaces.

Papers on appropriate numismatic and closely related matters are invited. The closing date for session submissions is 30th November 2010. In the first instance requests to present a paper should be emailed to .

This conference will form part of a broader “Yorkshire Festival of Numismatics” taking place that week:

The 2011 Leeds International Medieval Congress takes place from July 11-14 and, with its theme of Poor . . . Rich, includes a medieval coinage symposium, SMC @ IMC, covering the medieval period from 973 to c.1500. This will be probably be held on Wednesday 13th July and is being organised by Tony Abramson who can be contacted via me at the email address given above. Further information can be found here

The York Coin and Stamp Fair will be held at York Racecourse on Friday 15th July and Saturday 16th July 2011 and it is hoped that the Yorkshire Numismatic Society will be able to host a special meeting at this venue during the course of the show.

The Yorkshire Museum (situated in central York) will have reopened following a nine month refurbishment. The Vale of York treasure will be on display, after being included in a special British Museum exhibition: Treasures from Medieval York, during the closure. The Vale of York Viking Hoard includes 600 coins, complete ornaments, ingots (bars), and chopped-up fragments known as hack silver and was discovered in North Yorkshire in January 2007 by two metal detectorists.

"Moneta Britannia" is jointly organised by:

Lee Toone, York, UK.
Richard Bourne, York, UK.
Brent Upchurch, Boston, USA.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The Gold Medallions of the Arras Treasure

In the late 1920s M. Etienne Bourgey of Paris was fortunate enough to purchase the owner's share of the Arras treasure. This included six of the nine large gold medallions. M. Bourgey made high quality electrotypes of his medallions and was also given sole rights to copy the three medallions retained by the city of Arras. The electrotypes, in gilt copper, were of the finest quality and were produced for institutions and collectors. They were produced in a limited edition and were all numbered on the edge. The British Museum possesses a set and they are frequently displayed.

In January 1928, the two page advertisement shown above appeared in Spink's Numismatic Circular. Sets of these electrotypes were available for £10 each including case or one could buy a copy of the Arras medallion on its own for the princely sum of £3. The smaller medallions could be had for a £1 a piece.

These electrotypes rarely come on to the open market, either singly or in sets, and are keenly competed for when they do.

PS And yes, I did check with Spink and they are all sold out!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Romano-British Coin Hoards

The recent announcement of the discovery of the Frome Hoard has led me to update my top ten of Romano-British Coin Hoards. This hoard, ending in the reign of Carausius, leaps into the number two slot. (Photograph above courtesy of the British Museum.)

  1. Cunetio ....................... 54,951
  2. Frome ......................... 52,503
  3. Normanby .................. 47,912
  4. Irchester .................. c.42,000
  5. Blackmoor .................. 29,802
  6. Nether Compton ........ 22,670
  7. Dorchester .................. 22,121
  8. Bishopswood .............. 17,548
  9. Gloucester .................. 15,544
  10. Hoxne ......................... 15,234

Of course, size isn't everything but the Frome Hoard also includes a large group (over 760) coins of Carausius including some some very important coins amongst which there are no less than five silver denarii. This quantity of Carausian coins should help shed some light on the early days of the London Mint because it was under Carausius that the first Roman coins were struck in London.

Apologies for the table above being somewhat out of kilter - this blog editing software seems to have a mind of its own :-)

Monday, 5 July 2010

Another Unusual Coin from the Trau Collection

I have just come across another unusual coin of the London mint that was offered for sale and illustrated in the Trau auction catalogue of 1935. This coin has the obverse abdication bust of Diocletian usually associated with the PROVIDENTIA DEORVM QUIES AVGG reverse types of RIC VI 76 and 77 but has a simple GENIO POPVLI ROMANI reverse. Probably an early case of London getting the die pairs mixed up but an interesting coin, none the less.