England, farthing, cut long cross penny Henry III

Started by Figleaf, April 09, 2007, 11:49:15 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Figleaf

This piece was found in the South of England. It started out as an English penny (or sterling, as they were known across the Channel). Someone needed a farthing and cut it in four, exactly along the lines of the cross. Between the arms of the cross are the three balls, typical of English coins of the Middle Ages. Is there any way to say more about the identity of this coin?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

bruce61813

That was one of the primary purposes of the cross on the reverse. If the coins were properly into 2 or 4 [hapennies ot farthings] they would be cut in the space between the lines of the cross. That way you would be sure of the full value.


Bruce

Figleaf

Any idea which king this is, Bruce?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Bookworm

I don't think you can say much about this (quarter of a) coin without a good reference catalogue... :-[
Personally, I've always thought coins from the middle ages are a bit difficult to identify even when whole, and them being cut to pieces doesn't help... :(
Although... I'm not an expert in english medieval coinage (far from it!), but I think besides the name of the king in the legend there may be a reference to the moneyer and to the city the coin was minted in. There could also be some sort of sign (in Portugal we call them hidden signs) and if you're lucky enough to have any of those items in what's left of your coin, that may help you to identify it. In any case, a good reference catalogue would be a great help...

Aldo

Figleaf

#4
Good point, Bookworm. Unfortunately, all I have is Seaby's Coins of England. No. The 1974 edition. :(

I didn't want to lead the discussion in any direction, but since there's no rush to judgement here's my impression. Here's an example of the type of coin this was:



I believe (but am not sure at all) that the lower picture shows part of a crown and a Gothic H, which looks like h (with the second vertical bar shaped like a shallow s). If so, that would mean Henry (HENRICVS). Since we are dealing with a long cross penny, it could be Henry III through Henry VII.

The letters on the reverse are clearly NIC, which could be part of the name of the Mint city or a monneyer. The pictures in Seaby are not good enough for me to compare them with this fragment. Seaby mentions as possible Mints London, Durham, York, Calais and Canterbury. None seem great matches. (In case you were wondering, the text on the reverse of the example coin is ROB ERT OW ALI - Robert of Wallingford)

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

bruce61813

#5
I am not sure, but it looks like Henry II, yiou can see a fair amount of the right side of his face. I'll look also when I get home. Too bad that the scan is through the plastic, it blurs the picture.

Bruce

bruce61813

This is my guess , if it is indeed English, but as Bookworm points out , there are others from Europe that it could be.

Bruce

Figleaf

Thanks, Bruce. We are making good progress. Since the coin was found in the South of England, chances are that it is not a continental sterling, but a regualr English penny. All I can do is scan, which is sometimes good, sometimes disappointing. I agree that in this case it's disappointing. A friend with a camera made pictures in different light. I didn't bother adjusting the colour, as it's no longer relevant. I hope these pictures will lead us further.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

bruce61813

I have rotated the pieces , look at the parts outlined, they may help. I think it is a 'Long Cross' type.

Bruce

bruce61813

Peter, try Henry III. long cross types, my Seaby's has a reverse illustration page 76, #789 Class IVa , it has the correct letters and the three pellets, as to the obverse, that is a conjecture, it could be any of these from #789 to 798.


Bruce

Figleaf

Harry III sounds pretty likely, Bruce. Unfortunately, my Seaby is the 1974 version. I think the letters NIC are key. Once they are identified, you can't hope to get much further. Do I understand you correctly that on Seaby 789-798 you have found NIC? If so, what is the whole legend of these coins? Can you give a date range?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

bruce61813

#11
Peter, look at this site [I have also listed their home page in the  'Links"]
http://www.englishhammered.com/plantagenet/plantagenet.html,  the
inscription on the reverse is "NICOLE ON LUND" , "NICOLE ON CANT" or "NICOLE ON WINC" and what we are seeing is the "NIC",
so I doubt if you can do better than Henry III Long Cross unlesss someone can see teh portrait better.

Bruce

Figleaf

Nicole it is. Thanks very much indeed, Bruce. I now know more than before about the coin, so it was all worth it.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Sheep

Let's try... Indeed a cut Long Cross penny, that's for sure. NIC stands for Nicole (or nowadays we should say Nicholas). The following mints had a moneyere named Nicole: Canterbury, London, Rhrewsbury, Winchester

Looks like the initial mark (above the crown) is a star (correct me if I'm wrong), which means it can only be class II (1248) - class IV (1251).

King is Henry III:
Henry III (1216-1272): Classes I-V
Edward I (1272 - 1327): Classes VI-VII
They both use the legend hENRICVS REX III

Unfortunately I cannot see enough of the buste to say what class exactly...
Collecting continental sterling imitations. It can be seen here.

Figleaf

Thanks, Sheep! It took some staring, but I now think you are right about the star. The text fragment I see is III*H. That takes the ID of this coin far beyond what I'd thought would be achievable. We have a king (Henry III), a date range (1248-1251) and only four possible mints left. 8)

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.