Author Topic: IW countermark on fractional ecu of France  (Read 3965 times)

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Offline constanius

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Re: IW countermark on fractional ecu of France
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2014, 02:53:29 PM »
Yes, the host coin is a 1/10th ecu 1740-1769 Montpellier. That makes Britain an unlikely place to end up.

I agree that the punch looks like a jewellers mark. In view of the mintmark, I would expect the jeweller to be French, possibly Italian or Spanish
Peter

Spanish here http://www.ascasonline.org/articolowww19.html 
 French, Spanish & Italian maker's marks bear no resemblance to the plain English style of initials within a simple rectangle.  The mark is almost certainly English.

Pat
« Last Edit: July 21, 2017, 02:28:04 AM by constanius »

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Offline andyg

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Re: IW countermark on fractional ecu of France
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2014, 09:28:49 PM »
Also in it's favour is that prior to the great recoinage in 1812 any old bit of silver would have circulated in the UK.
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Offline redwine

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Re: IW countermark on fractional ecu of France
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2014, 09:32:15 PM »
Also in it's favour is that prior to the great recoinage in 1812 any old bit of silver would have circulated in the UK.

So could it have been a way of saying - this is silver!  Guaranteed by the man himself.
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Online Figleaf

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Re: IW countermark on fractional ecu of France
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2014, 11:16:20 PM »
French, Spanish & Italian maker's marks bear no resemblance to the plain English style of initials within a simple rectangle.  The mark is almost certainly English.

I don't buy that argument. First, while the shape of the punch was probably rectangular, the initials are not in a rectangle, second there are of courses punches in rectangles in other countries (the Republic being one of them), third I think it is a jewellers' mark, rather than an assayer's mark, fourth this is an official French coin. Any jeweller or banker would have known it should contain 0.917 silver, so it certainly wasn't a mark of value, but one of responsibility, fifth and most important, there were hardly any trade or military links between Montpellier and England that could explain how this coin would have ended up in Britain.

In spite of the baroness Orczy, French emigrants went to a lot more countries than just Britain. It was an attractive destination for Parisians, but to go from Montpellier to Calais to escape France is a folly. A sea trip to Britain is only slightly less ridiculous with the Spanish and Italian border so close by.

This coin circulated on the Mediterranean coast and in the sea Alps. Coins get around, but a scenario of this one ending up in Britain lacks credibility.

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

Offline constanius

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Re: IW countermark on fractional ecu of France
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2014, 07:19:21 PM »
I don't buy that argument. First, while the shape of the punch was probably rectangular, the initials are not in a rectangle,

 a scenario of this one ending up in Britain lacks credibility.

Peter

These are maker's mark(not assayer's or anything else), it is not pure happenstance that most English silversmiths used rectangular punches for hundreds of years similarly that the French used what is called a lozenge shaped punch, no it is deliberate, so the rectangle cannot just be dismissed.
All the descriptions state  'initials within a rectangle', or rarely 'within a rectangle with rounded corners'.
A rectangular garden is still a rectangular garden with a sunken hole in the middle or with a large tree.  A rectangle stamped mark is still a rectangle with letters inside.

Not one description states the 'initials are not in a rectangle, it is only the shape of the punch'.  The evidence of our own eyes is enough to show those initials are in a rectangle.

If we could just ignore the many ways & opportunities for an old French silver coin to surface in England;
The Eden Treaty of 1786-1793 which allowed direct trade between the French & English. http://www.britnumsoc.org/publications/Digital%20BNJ/pdfs/1988_BNJ_58_11.pdf 
100,000 French Prisoners-of War held in England during the Napoleonic Wars in prison-ships & prison-camps, any one of which could have possessed the coin.
The possibility of the coin going via another country or being taken from a capture ship etc,
Smuggling http://ecite.utas.edu.au/49668 
It could even have been post restoration of the monarchy.....

then perhaps a refusal to accept an old french silver coin could end up in England as credible would seem reasonable, alas, as we cannot ignore the above, it does not.

Pat
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 12:29:39 AM by constanius »

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Offline malj1

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Re: IW countermark on fractional ecu of France
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2014, 12:15:35 AM »
AT the time the coin was marked, obviously after 1845, there must even have been much contact between Montpellier and Australia, as the name was used many times around this time.

See this Gazetteer of Montpeliers and Montpelliers in Australia where mention is also made of Montpelier Park, Geelong, said to have been named after the French town by wine growers who migrated from there; The estate was probably so named by the 1840s.

Also:
... opening of the Royal Hotel, Port Macquarie: ‘The hotel opened with some fanfare on 1 July 1841 with the Australian  newspaper in Sydney pronouncing Port Macquarie an unrivalled health resort, the Montpellier of New South Wales...

The most significant numismatic use of the name was a pair of tokens issued in the 1850's by the Montpellier Retreat Inn in Hobart, by W D Wood, proprietor of the inn at that time.

Another quote:
Whatever the origin, the Tasmanian examples probably take the prize for being the furthest from France.

Malcolm
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Online Figleaf

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Re: IW countermark on fractional ecu of France
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2014, 01:10:31 AM »
The main products of the area around Montpellier are olives, olive oil, fresh vegetables, tomatoes, bad wine, fresh garlic, sardines and some nice goat cheese (tomme de chèvre). Most of that wouldn't survive a trip to Britain. There was trade in olive oil and goat cheese, but I would be surprised if there was any demand for either in post-Napoleonic Britain. The only Southern European (but not Mediterranean) products I can think of that were popular in Britain were port (centred in Oporto) and sherry (centred in Montilla.) Neither would have been transported from the Mediterranean.

Your Australian Montpellier name-recognition may be from after the Napoleonic wars, when a number of former British officers settled in France, creating such wine châteaux as the chateaux Parker in the Bordeaux area. Others just liked to visit. They turned the South coast of France from a string of fishermen's villages to as many fashionable destinations for enjoying the beach and the Mediterranean (hence the Promenade des Anglais in Nice and some Boulevards des Anglais in other towns). Montpellier was a beneficiary of the tourist trade and British appreciation because its name was connected to carbonated mineral water, sold as a health product. However, this happened about a century after this coin was struck. The 1840s sounds about right, early, rather than late.

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

Offline constanius

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Re: IW countermark on fractional ecu of France
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2014, 03:10:00 AM »
3 Montpellier coins found in England http://finds.org.uk/database/search/results/q/Montpellier  if a Montpellier coin is found in England a possible scenario is that goods from England went to Montpellier, not vice versa, so the supposed lack of anything in Montpellier that would be shipped to England is irrelevant.  Old English coins found in Montpellier could on the other hand imply that some good was traded to England.

 

Pat

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Re: IW countermark on fractional ecu of France
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2014, 11:42:48 AM »
I never said it is impossible, only that it is highly unlikely. It may equally have come from Romania (the French are pretty convinced Romanians speak a form of French) in the clothes of a fat fortune-telling woman with a large glass ball who loved the British climate, French petty silver and Ottoman dervishes. Eminently possible, but just not very likely. If you find three coins in a population of many thousands in the portable antiquities schemes that supports the point, instead of disproving it.

It makes no sense at all to deal with this in term of certainty. All we have is two initials and the host coin. That's not enough to make any scientific conclusions at all (unless you find exactly the same punch on a silver item that could be reliably identified) and that's the bottom line.

That's all right, though. We are not a bunch of scientists but a group of collectors. We can speculate because it's fun and we often speculate. However, when we speculate, we should prefer the likely over the unlikely and we should avoid presenting convictions like certainties. I have been told that some of our posts have been used spuriously by eBay sellers. We should at least be able to defend ourselves and the site by using relative language and not present speculation as fact.

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

Offline constanius

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Re: IW countermark on fractional ecu of France
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2014, 04:45:25 PM »
Post medieval coins only make up a fraction of the reported finds.
The finds are grouped in Iron age, Roman, Greek, Early Medieval,Byzantine, & Medieval as well.
Only objects that are over 300 years old are recorded so we have to look at the closest period to the stamped coin, which is the group of French coins(which includes coin-weights) of Louis XIV.  There are only 45 objects in that group, so in fact 3 from Montpellier is quite a high number, seeing as there only 12 from Paris.

These numbers are not intended to in anyway suggest the actual number of coins that were in the UK, just the minute number lost & since found.....and if even reported.

I first suggested the initials were T.W. in a rectangle, gave an example just to compare, never stated as fact.  I knew  the suggestion to look at French, Spanish & Italian ones would be a waste of time & effort.  I never stated as fact it was English, my words were "almost certainly English" which despite everything is still my honest opinion.   Saying that my suggestion the coin could have been in England "lacked credibility" or to question whether or not the initials were in a rectangle seemed pretty unscientific to me.

  I do not believe anything in my posts have stated speculation as 'fact', or 'lacked credibility'.
If I have given that impression I unreservedly apologize, as anyone that knows me well in regard to numismatics or history is aware, that to me that is an anathema.

Pat
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 03:49:12 AM by constanius »

Pat

Offline constanius

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Re: IW countermark on fractional ecu of France
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2014, 05:44:45 PM »
All I wished to do was give an example to compare the counter-mark too, not state as fact it was the same.

]


Best Wishes From Canada

Pat
« Last Edit: July 21, 2017, 02:25:05 AM by constanius »

Pat

Offline redwine

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Re: IW countermark on fractional ecu of France
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2014, 06:36:05 PM »
All I wished to do was give an example to compare the counter-mark too, not state as fact it was the same.



Best Wishes From Canada

Pat

Thanks Pat, that's the way I understood it.  ;D
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Offline constanius

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Re: IW countermark on fractional ecu of France
« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2014, 03:46:18 AM »
I am drinking a glass of red wine as I reply to this, I must say it compliments your post perfectly :)  thanks Redwine.

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Pat

Pat

Offline andyg

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Re: IW countermark on fractional ecu of France
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2014, 09:28:49 PM »
Wouldn't coins minted in Montpelier at this time have circulated all over France?
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 09:44:31 PM by andyg »
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....