Tuam Bank, One Pound, 25 June 1813, no. 1037, for Hon Charles Ffrench, Henry Taaffe, Michael Morris, William Keary, Hon Thomas Ffrench & Hon Martin Ffrench (PB 332c). Bankruptcy stamp on front

Infamous Irish Banknotes: Lord ffrench & Co (Tuam & Dublin)

ffrench’s Bank was probably, the most famous of the provincial private banks in Ireland and due to the frequency that they turn up at auction, they are amongst the most collectible of early Irish banknotes.  The bank was founded in late 1803 by Sir Thomas ffrench and William Keary.  The correct form for the surname is “double f” in lower case, i.e. ffrench. Sir…

1919 Limerick Soviet 10 shilling note

Rare Irish Banknotes: the Limerick “Soviet” of 1919

During the Irish War of Independence, the City of Limerick was very unusual insofar as it issued its own currency – a series of low denomination banknotes.  It is the only instance of a labour organisation doing so, not on in Ireland but also throughout the UK.  It is the first physical sign in a…

How to identify the Irish chickless penny variety ireland coins coinage

O’Brien Coin Guide: How to identify the Irish “Chickless” Penny Variety

The ‘chickless’ variety is probably a die flaw caused by normal ‘wear and tear’ on the dies during the minting process.  This variety has become very popular with collectors over the past decade and some claim to have evidence of “progressive wear across several examples of 1968 pennies” leading to a chickless coin. The most…

1961 Ireland Halfcrown - the differences between the normal and mule reverse

O’Brien Coin Guide: How to identify the Irish 1961 Halfcrown ‘Mule’ variety

The 1961 ‘mule’ halfcrown was struck in error (or, possibly deliberately) from a reverse die from the 1928-37 type.  In 1938 the halfcrown reverse – the side with the horse on it – had been redesigned to improve the striking characteristics of the coin.  A single example of the 1938 trial of the new die…