Author Topic: Portugal, national catalogue  (Read 5360 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Portugal, national catalogue
« on: January 08, 2009, 10:44:13 PM »
It is not the latest edition, but my copy of "Moedas Portuguesas e do território que hoje é Portugal" by Alberto Gomes (actually Gomes died in 1999, but his reference book is still updated in his name) is dear to me. The book is in Portuguese, which is not a big problem. Any really hard words are translated with the help of Wikipedia and maybe some Googling. Some knowledge of Spanish or French helps.

The introduction contains some heraldic terms, different forms of crowns and crosses, graphic elements and  monograms, mostly relating to Portuguese coins and clearly explained with line drawings. There is a list of latin legends and their translations, a list of Portuguese homeland and colonial mints with mintmarks and maps and there are lists of technical terms, grading and relative position of obverse and reverse illustrated with photos. This section is also a very efficient dictionary for those whose Portuguese is a bit rusty.

The catalogue section starts in Roman times with locally struck coins, quickly reaches the times of the first king of Portugal, Alfonso I, ending with the latest strikes, some 350 pages onward. Every king has his ow section, preceded by a short bio and an engraving (I suspect many of the portraits of the early kings are fantasy). Coins are listed by denomination, metal and mint, with pictures of varying, but generally workable quality. Some pictures of the early coins seem to be enhanced by pen. Catalog numbers start anew in every section with a number for type and variety or date. Where necessary, drawn details are added to explain varieties. Nevertheless, the reader is largely left to his own devices to make up his description. Coins are priced in two grades, which, it seems to me, is a largely futile exercise. There is more and more up to date information available on the internet.

Other sections with a similar layout follow for the autonomous regions (Azores and Madeira), colonial coins, counters and coins struck in the name of Portuguese grand masters of the knights of Malta. The counters section is especially useful, as they look much like coins but wil not be found in the coin catalogues.

The book is concluded by sections on fantasies, forgeries and curiosities as well as a bibliography.

It is easy to see why this book has defied competition. It goes back to the first coins, it lists many varieties and it is set up so that any interested layman can find his coin. It's the sort of book that keeps you browsing aimlessly, just for the fun of it.

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

Offline lusomosa

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Re: Portugal, national catalogue
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2009, 12:15:48 PM »
I do agree. It is a great Catalogue and it's updated on a very professional way all the time.
The only thing to be carefull at present is that the Catalogue Number of many Medieval coins changed in recent years. ( A much needed Update, I may say so. )
Therefore My advice would be for those who want to buy a coin based on this catalogue : Ask the Number and the Edition ( year ) .
In Portugal all coins have now the most recent Numbers.  Be carefull if you have old editions.
I dont remember by heart when it changed ( 2006 ????? )
I'll update you later.

LP

Offline Quant.Geek

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Re: Portugal, national catalogue
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2013, 03:36:34 PM »
Finally picked up this book on ebay and it is the new 6th edition that was released early this year.  The seller has just listed a second batch of 5 books (as his previous batch has now sold out).  It is listed for $130 plus free shipping:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/300901377701



Cheers,

Ram
A gallery of my coins can been seen at FORVM Ancient Coins

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Portugal, national catalogue
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2013, 05:54:45 PM »
Congratulations, Ram. I have found this to be one of my most useful books, even if it is in Portuguese.

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

Offline Quant.Geek

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Re: Portugal, national catalogue
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2013, 07:57:04 PM »
Thanks!  I am a bit excited as this is more of an encyclopedia than a catalogue of coins.  Highly sought after. I missed out the last time when this seller was clearing out his inventory of the 5th edition of this book.  The first batch of books sold out quickly (I bought the last one), so I suspect this batch to sell out as well.  This clearly shows that this book is of high standard like the G&G book...
A gallery of my coins can been seen at FORVM Ancient Coins

Offline bububoy

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Re: Portugal, national catalogue
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2015, 07:18:33 PM »
I have been using the 1998 edition of Moedas Portuguesas, has the coin reference numbers changed in later editions of this book ?
Some of the references for coins from Malacca posted in the Colonial Forum, dont match in my catalog.

mahe

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Portugal, national catalogue
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2015, 07:42:53 PM »
The numbering has been completely revised since. Don't know in which year. My 2003 edition has the revised numbering.

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

Offline bububoy

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Re: Portugal, national catalogue
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2015, 05:29:28 PM »
dear peter,
as always thanks for the help.
sorry for having been lazy, i should have searched a bit more harder.. so on a lighter note does the newer edition have several more examples in the colonial issues, for India and Brazil ?

The numbering has been completely revised since. Don't know in which year. My 2003 edition has the revised numbering.

Peter
so does that mean the same coin has a different identifier number in each edition published so far?


mahe

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Portugal, national catalogue
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2015, 01:41:06 PM »
No problem, B. I have never had an older edition, so can't compare. I was (very) sideways involved in getting a new type listed, which was partly exasperating, partly comical. The catalogue is maintained by a club of friends (Gomes is long dead), who have a weekly "meeting" that involves gossip, complaining and alcohol. :) They do not look kindly on people disturbing their routine, but can be convinced by prolonged nagging and solid physical evidence. So yes, the catalogue is getting better all the time, but at a conservative pace. That still makes it by very far the best catalogue of Portuguese coins.

On Portuguese India, the club is highly cynical. They will reject any new discovery as a fraud and they have a good point. No other coins are faked so often and are so easy to fake. They claim to consult some rarefied experts whose names cannot be mentioned. Nevertheless, I personally take a similar approach: anything not in Gomes is a fake.

AFAIK, there was only one big numbering reform in Gomes.

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

Offline bububoy

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Re: Portugal, national catalogue
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2015, 08:22:22 AM »
So yes, the catalogue is getting better all the time, but at a conservative pace. That still makes it by very far the best catalogue of Portuguese coins.

I consider this the bible for Portuguese colonial coins, though in Portuguese i like it for the details and the photographs.

On Portuguese India, the club is highly cynical. They will reject any new discovery as a fraud and they have a good point. No other coins are faked so often and are so easy to fake. They claim to consult some rarefied experts whose names cannot be mentioned. Nevertheless, I personally take a similar approach: anything not in Gomes is a fake.

I am nearly in tears.. i have a so called "unpublished" Sebastićo I bastardo, a much larger and heavier one, this was purchased in 2006 from a collector from Malacca, i am sure he too should be in this forum, will share the pictures and details later in the evening, would definitely like your comments on this !
On a lighter note, could you please explain, why do you have a similar approach?

mahe

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Portugal, national catalogue
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2015, 11:24:27 AM »
The Portuguese Indian coins have been faked to such a large extent that I am told a local museum has more fakes than genuine coins.

The problem is that these coins were made with the simplest means, not very carefully and without any thought of security. To a fraudster, they look like an open invitation to turn some worthless metal into an expensive coin. He can't go wrong, because the series was not extensively researched before it was hit by waves of fakes. If there are errors in the picture, the criminal says it's an unpublished variant. If the weight is wrong, it's a pattern. If the metal is wrong it's a mint error. However, it is not even too difficult to get everything right.

I am no expert on this series, so I must go by what experts say. The only experts on this series I know are behind Gomes. I am a member of a Portuguese forum. There, I got the same answer: too many fakes; we don't know. Therefore, I go by Gomes. If it's not in there, I won't spend any money on it. That's not to say that Gomes has it right or that there are no unpublished varieties. I just can't deal with those issues.

The other area that has been laid waste to by fraudsters is cast cash coins. Luckily, we have members who can still recognise the fakes, but it takes a lifetime of study to get to their level and as an amateur, you are bound to be taken advantage of. For me, these are coins I can no longer collect. Like the Ebola virus, the criminals have destroyed their own feeding ground by killing it.

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

Offline bububoy

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Re: Portugal, national catalogue
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2015, 11:39:35 AM »
dear peter,
thanks a lot for your time and opinion. over the next couple of weeks i hope i will have a treat discussing and uploading scans of several hand struck coins in copper, tin and silver.
mahe

Offline bububoy

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Re: Portugal, national catalogue
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2015, 05:32:30 PM »
My Copy of the Catalog-



mahe

Offline Oklahoman

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Re: Portugal, national catalogue
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2016, 03:19:41 AM »
I have a question I hope your catalog can help answer...are the Madeira and Azores coinage of the 1980s or 1990s actually Portuguese coinage or are they coinage of Madeira and Azores?

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Portugal, national catalogue
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2016, 10:33:50 AM »
In the final analysis, you decide that emotionally: how does your collection look best. Your options are: keep them separate, keep them close to Portuguese coins and mix them in with Portuguese coins.

The islands have been part of Portugal since the 15th century. They played a prominent role during the Spanish occupation of Portugal. As the Lisbon mint was lost, Don Antonio, the Portuguese pretender, retired to the Azores and had emergency coins struck in Angra. Eventually, the Spaniards took over the Azores. At the end of the Spanish occupation, the islands reverted to Portuguese rule by revolution against Spanish rule.

Separate coins were struck from 1750. All of these are in the name of a Portuguese ruler, pretender or, more recently, the Portuguese republic. No separate coins were minted since the introduction of the euro.

From a legal point of view, the islands are not independent. An independent state needs territory, a fixed population and a degree of recognition. The islands were never claimed to be or recognised as independent. Their current status is that of autonomous regions within Portugal.

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