|Jan 15, 2007, 08:13 PM||#1|
Saints and Bears
No, no... not the Saints and Da Bears.....errr...... so maybe that should read Saint Paul and the bear. Coins, that is.
Breck and Zach have mentioned their interests in these two subjects recently, and I came across a couple of coins in the upcoming Davissons mail bid sale which might be of interest. Allan Davisson is a mainly British coin dealer, but he and Marnie usually have a good selection of ancients in their sales as well. They haven't really had an Internet presence ( they have been in the "Coming Soon" section of the V Coins Ancients dealer listing so long they have a patina ), but they have just posted their Auction 25 catalog in PDF format at
Zach: The bear coin is an English penny token dated 1811... lot 218 in the Part 7: Tokens Europe link. Interesting looking bear....not sure exactly what he's doing... but it reminds me of those Charmin commercials....
Breck: The Saint Paul coin is a Papal States silver half grosso of circa 1676 to 1689, with a very ancient Roman-looking fantasy portrait of Paul ( Looks a lot like Pertinax or Didius Julianus to me.... no halos on them, though ). It's lot 250 in the Part 8: Europe Books link. It's not an ancient coin with a geographical connection to Paul, but maybe it would be a good display graphic for your collection, or even for an avatar?
The resolution of the PDF files isn't high, the photos in the hard copy catalog are much sharper. Both are nice looking coins.
FYI guys, in case you aren't on the Davissons mailing list.
|Jan 16, 2007, 05:04 AM||#2|
I actually already have this piece, although the Davisson piece is just a little nicer. I have to send mine out to be photographed yet, so please excuse the poor image I took a number of years ago.
Walsall Token, Fletcher & Sharratt, 1811, One Penny
Ex Classical Cash, CICF Show, March 2000
Fletcher & Sharratt were merchants selling Wine, Spirits (liquor) and Porter (a dark foamy English Malt Beer) from an establishment in Bridge Street, Walsall (in the County of Staffordshire).
They issued their own base metal coinage or "tokens", as did many other merchants and companies at the time, usually in denominations of 1 penny, 1/2 a penny (known as "ha'pence") and a Farthing (which was 1/4 of a Penny). This was done on and off from the late 1600s thru until 1817 when Government legislation put an end to private minting. There were two prime reasons why this was done......
1) A great lack of base metal currency issued during these times by the Royal (National) Mint. So many traders minted their own, and these were accepted.
2) Large companies, which employed a lot of people, like Coal Mines, Steel works, Mills, large factories, etc did this also with more of an ulterior motive....... their workers were paid at least in part with versions of these tokens which were only redeemable at stores owned by them, which were called "Truck shops" - this of course led to all kinds of abuses. Since these workers also often lived in housing owned by the Company for which they paid rent and in which they could only live as long as they worked for the Mine or the Mill or whatever, this effectively "hobbled" the workers, and made claims for better wages or conditions / or strikes, extremely difficult to organize.
Walsall - Background History as relates to use of a "Bear" on the coin token:
In 1159 King Henry II gave the Manor of "Walesala" to Herbert Ruffus - that family were Lords of the Manor of Walsall for 200 years. In 1390 the Lordship of the Manor passed to the Earls of Warwick, and it was from this association with the Earls of Warwick that Walsall took its Coat of Arms which includes the Warwick emblem of the "Bear and Ragged Staff" on top. (the "ragged staff" refers to that rough upright pole which looks like a tree trunk with the branches cut off):
The origins of the connection between the Warwick family and Bears is made in different stories - who knows what the truth is, but a heraldic Bear implies Courage and Boldness. One story is that the 1st Earl of Warwick had strangled a Bear. Another is a medieval "legend" which says that the Warwick family were descended from a Knight of King Arthur, one of whom was called Arthgal, a name associated with the word for Bear, and another Knight, Guy of Warwick, who in 926, slew a Giant with an uprooted tree - these are "legends" however.
Historical content contribution courtesy of Mikhali de la Valette Steverding, June 2001.
|Jan 16, 2007, 05:15 AM||#3|
I forgot to mention - my February 2007 Celator column happens to be on Papal coinage. I'm still working on my Papal page to get all of the denomination information on it, but here it is if of any use:
I have all of the Popes listed in order of regnal periods, with the major Antipopes as well. Still a lot of work to go on the page, but it's coming along.
Oh yeah, I also happen to have an example for sale in my World store of the coin Gary mentioned as well, but the AR Grosso module
Vatican-Papal States, Innocent XI, AR Grosso, 1676-1685
INNOC .-. XI . P . M .
Crest with keys
SANCTVS PETRVS APOST
Nimbate, draped bust of St. Peter right
ROMA in exergue
VCoins Ancients Store:
VCoins US/Banknotes Store:
VCoins World Store:
Beast Coins Research Site:
Last edited by BeastCoins : Jan 16, 2007 at 05:22 AM.