I don’t usually review books on Irish coinage but this one is an exception. Gerry Slevin, a native of Dublin, has just published the best book on Irish hammered coinage to date. It is filled with essential information, great photographs and a comprehensive set of legend and die variations.
Gerry has previously published books on medieval English hammered coinages and is a recognised expert and numismatic researcher. Being based in England, Gerry has access to the PAS Database and is well known to most museum curators with an inventory of Irish coins.
This book is an A4-sized hardback, beautifully bound and printed and should make a great addition to any Irish numismatic library. This is Gerry first Irish publication and, hopefully, he will go on to produce a full set.
Gerry has a unique method for identifying medieval coins and this method can be applied to most medieval coinages. He has produced a comprehensive set of font types, device types and ‘illustrated’ descriptions for Henry III’s Irish pennies. He also deals with cut coins (threehalfpence, halfpenny and farthing) derived from this short-lived Irish series.
Henry III was the eldest son of King John and came to the throne at the age of nine in the middle of the First Barons’ War. Cardinal Guala declared the war against the rebel barons to be a religious crusade and Henry’s forces, led by William Marshal, defeated the rebels at the battles of Lincoln and Sandwich in 1217. Following another barons revolt in the 1230’s, Henry ruled England personally, rather than governing through senior ministers. Like his father before him, Henry III indulged himself in a series of disastrous foreign wars and political intrigues.
These activities cost huge amounts of money and, like his father, Henry turned to Ireland for funding. These coins were minted to the full English standard and they seem to have circulated freely in England and beyond.
- It has been suggested that the real purpose of the large-scale minting of the 13th C was to provide a convenient mechanism for exporting silver from Ireland, to help pay for English military expeditions elsewhere.
- Once the supply of Irish silver was exhausted, Henry’s mint in Dublin closed. This is thought to be the main reason for the short period of issue.
All collectors of medieval Irish coinage will be delighted with this book. With so many modern counterfeits on eBay and elsewhere, this is an essential tool in the battle against the counterfeiters. I have no hesitation in recommending this excellent book.
It is amazing value at Stg. £20.80 (postage free in England)
- Price in Ireland is £23.80 (to help with the extra postage)
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org is you are resident elsewhere
- Sales orders are handled direct by Gerry, so please contact him before making any payment, i.e. this wis a low volume print run and will, no doubt sell out very quickly.
- For your security, Gerry has a PayPal a/c.
With Sterling so low at the moment, this is a good time for overseas purchasers !