Sunday, 27 November 2016

ONS Winter  Programme 2016/2017

this is the slightly revised program  

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                     Ecclesiastical coinages

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

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Arnold Mallinson –  a Previous President
Arnold Mallinson (1896–1985) was the author Quinquagesimo Anno (1974) and The Leaning Tower (1982). The second book was reissued in 1986 in a new, enlarged edition, and with a new title – Under the Blue Hood.

Arnold Mallinson was born in Lancashire in 1896. He went to school in Blackpool, served in the Navy in the First World War, and then attended the universities of Durham and Oxford. He was ordained in 1924, and after beginning his ministry in Blackpool, soon returned to Oxford, where from 1933 to 1976 he was Vicar of St Frideswide’s, Osney (with, from 1950, St Margaret’s, Binsey), and where he now lives in retirement in the latest of a series of Glenburn Houses. ‘Like all truly interesting men, the Vicar of St Frideswide’s has the rare gift of detecting and imparting what is interesting in others. And what a richness of experience he conveys!’ (Oxford Diocesan Magazine).

Revd Mallinson was our Society’s president, but sadly he passed away before I joined. Some of our current members remember him well as a great encourager of collectors, with a house more like a museum than a vicarage and many a story to tell. Recently I looked at the Spinks’ sale catalogue which covers his collection and was sold in 1984. There are just over 170 lots and the sale raised just under £330,000.00.

It is an eclectic collection ranging from Ancient times to medieval. I was interested that his collection reduced in size so he could acquire rarities. And what rarities he got! A tetradrachm of Naxos with Dionysus, extremely fine with a long pedigree. An oxford Pound coin 1644 described as “probably the finest thing in English coins.” A gold triple unite which surprisingly only went for £1700.00. A pavilion d’or found in the roof of a French cottage and bought from a Parisian jeweller. I think my favourite is a 1659 Commonwealth halfcrown, the only known specimen, a gift from Sir Cuthbert Cartwright Grundy whose family had acquired it in the Seventeenth Century.  Sold for £4,200.00.

His books are very entertaining for coin collectors everywhere and can still be found on Amazon or Ebay quite reasonably. I wish I had met him. The auction included an Elizabeth I crown with the comment, “The former owner grieved when he had to part with this. So do I.” At least someone else is enjoying it now.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Horses on coins

November’s meeting was on the subject of horses on coins. Horses do not appear often on Roman coins but they are to be found pulling bigas (the two horse chariot) or the quadriga with four. this series was later copied in 20th Century Italy. The horse are well represented on Celtic coins who worshiped Epona, the god horse god. Ancient Indian coins often show mounted rulers as does a rare copper coin from Norman Sicily

here is an illustration of some coins with horses. we start with a Seventeenth Century token from Hatfield Hertfordshire which Robert Barnard used for his George and Dragon inn. 

Next a copper jeton of Charles V as Duke of Austria and Burgundy.

We meet George and his Dragon again on a penny token from Upper Canada in 1854. then a silver check or medal from Doncaster Races dated in 1800. there are other pieces with D & G on them. Perhaps it was a betting firm. then back to George again on a 1935 silver crown to celebrate the Jubilee.

Staying with George but moving a few thousand miles east to Russia with a 1761 copper kopeck of Elizabeth. 

our last two coins are from Germany. A two thirds thaler of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel 1789 and then a 12 marien-groschen of Brunswick-Luneburg 168

Surprisingly no-one brought a coin with the reverse of one and the obverse of another to a talk on horses. (A mule!)

our next meeting theme is Egypt