Thursday, 25 August 2016

Some Oxford Tokens.

 In the Seventeenth Century local traders issued copper tokens for their customers. Collecting tokens is a fascinating way of learning about the history of Oxford.
Seventy people are recorded as having issued trade tokens in Oxford during the period, the highest number for any provincial town after Norwich and Exeter. In 1652 the City Council spent £20 on farthing tokens. £20 would have paid for approximately 100,000. However, the Council was unable to maintain its monopoly and tokens were immediately issued by local tradesmen.
These images are all from a member’s collection.

                                 Oxon 129 Thomas Combes   Neare the East Gate

                                  Oxon 125 John Bowell Mercer 1657 Sugar Loaf

Sugar was a luxury item in the Seventeenth Century. Someone tried to bribe a judge in nearly Aylesbury with a gift of some sugar. Trying to sweeten him!


                                      Oxford City token the Mayor of Oxford 1652

Can you see the small mintmark? The “R” stands for Rawlins who was the engraver.
DAVID RAMAGE was the Chief Engraver at the Tower Mint in the time of Charles I, who was beheaded in 1649. Cromwell annulled his prerogative, but I note that Ramage produced trial designs for some of Oliver's milled silver coinage. However, I think that the final contract went to a Dutchman. Ramage was responsible for the design and production of most of the Token coinage from 1652 until 1662, when he died. Charles II declared the token coinage illegal in 1675. Only a small proportion of the tokens issued by Ramage bear the letter "R".

Friday, 19 August 2016

Some Oxford Counterstamps

Image 1

Images Courtesy of Dix Noonan Webb 

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

                                                         Tales from the Junk Box

Many of us started out looking through dealers’ rummage tins, junk box – call them what you like. I found a 1700 William III farthing at a coin fair. Nothing surprising about that except the inscription was RRITANNIA instead of BRITANNIA. It is quite a rare variety and not bad for 10 pence. I have also got rare early American tokens, the ones that look like common worn Eighteenth Century English issues but are America. I had two from the same box, a week apart.

It always pays to have a good look in the junk box. You never know what you will find. But how much is fair? Junk box items seem to be £2 to £3 or even £5 now. A great way to start coin collecting .. and not a bad way to keep on! 

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

ONS  Programme 2016/2017

August                       no meeting
17th September         trip to Museum of Oxford

Meet at the main entrance at 10.45 am

Museum of Oxford, Oxford Town Hall, St Aldate's,Oxford, OX1 1BX

15th October              The Eagle on coins and the AGM


1.            President’s report on the year’s activities of the society.

2.            Election of Officers


12th November          Ecclesiastical coinages

Coins issued by Bishops, Archbishops, Popes, communion tokens, and tokens for Church of England bazars.

10th December          Egypt and the Sudan

The Mad Mahdi and all that

14th January              Turkey and Asia Minor 

            Before during and after the Ottoman Empire

18th February                        Bulgaria and the Balkans

            The history of these less well known places

18th March                 USA

            The colonial history to the mighty dollar

15th April                    Mint marks

            Why have mint marks? Romans to now.

13th May                     Random exotic countries never been to but would like to visit

            Money no object .

17th June                   The British Commonwealth

            Why did colonies have their own coins and not just use British issues?

15th July                     The Horse on coins