Small is Beautiful: Medallic Art in Victorian Britain

Small is Beautiful: Medallic Art in Victorian Britain

I am a committee member of the York & East Yorkshire Art Fund and am writing to make you aware of a fund raising event which may be of interest to your members.

Philip Attwood, Keeper of Coins and Medals at the British Museum will give a talk about Victorian commemorative medals, including the work of William Wyon, Chief Engraver of the Royal Mint and his great rival Petrucci. 

The talk will take place at York Medical Society Rooms, Stonegate, York on Thursday 22 March at 14.00 and will be followed by afternoon tea, which is included in the ticket price of £20.
To book, please contact Lindsay Councell, tel. 01423 330388 or email her at 

Kind regards,

Anne McLean

Funds raised will go to the Art Fund which supports museums and galleries by helping them to buy and display works of art. It also provides museums and curators with funding for acquisitions, training and development, and the display of art through tours and exhibitions.

Talk: ‘English Coinage in the Age of Burgred of Mercia.

Talk: 2:30pm, Friday 16th March 2018

‘English Coinage in the Age of Burgred of Mercia; 850-875’

by William Mackay

The Lunettes coinage as the first coinage with unified design in Southern England. It began in Mercia with Burgred in the 850s and was extended to Wessex in the 860s before coming to an end in the 870s. Often regarded as common, base and  of uninteresting design, this was an innovative coinage. In this talk I will explore its scope and chronology as well as considering what it can tell us about coinage production in Southern England in the period before the Danish conquests and look at the impact of these on the coinage.‘

In taking this approach I can draw together the separate work I have done on the Lunettes coinage covering Aethelred I and Alfred in Wessex (and not forgetting Ceolnoth in Canterbury) as well as Burgred of Mercia.

            Venue: Harrogate Spring Coin Fair, Swan Hotel, Swan Road, Harrogate, HG1 2SR, 
(car parking tickets at hotel reception) 

Two Books

On Tuesday 23rd January, YNS President Tony Abramson spoke at the British Numismatic Society meeting at the Warburg Institute on the topic of Reassessing the York Gold Shilling. Spink took the opportunity to display two new volumes from the speaker. The first is an update of the popular Sceatta List. This second edition of Sceatta List adds more than a hundred new varieties of early pennies. It builds on the work of pioneers in the field – Rigold, Metcalf, Blackburn and Gannon. While this topic, with its huge variation in designs, has more than its fair share of difficulties, the author has always sought to make the subject more accessible to occasional users. This is achieved through the generous use of illustrations, the majority taken from his own collection housed at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Moreover, the author provides insight to the organisation, dating and designs of this seventh- to eighth-century medium of exchange where the medium is the message, though often obscured by the passage of time. The volume is essentially for – and essential to – collectors, curators, cataloguers, detectorists and dealers, among others, and includes guidance on scarcity and values. The second volume compliments the first and is no. 69 in the Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles, listing over 1,100 early Anglo-Saxon coins of England and the North Sea area. This collection is housed in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Both volumes are available only from Spink:

York Lecture 'The Wold Newton Hoard'

York Lecture: 2.30pm Friday 19th January 2018

Dr. Andrew R. Woods, The Wold Newton Hoard

This talk will discuss the Wold Newton hoard, recently found and newly acquired by York Museums Trust. The hoard is one of the largest and best excavated coin hoards of the 'Tetrarchy' ever discovered in Britain, and was buried at a time when York had a central role in the history of the Roman Empire. This talk will explore its discovery, conservation, contents and what it can tell us about coinage in the early fourth century.

Venue: The York Coin Fair, The Grandstand, York Racecourse, Tadcaster Rd, York, North Yorkshire YO23 1EX

BNS Awards

BNS Awards

At the AGM of the  British Numismatic Society  on Tuesday  28h November, YNS members
were prominent among award recipients. Andy Woods won the Blunt Prize, which, according
to the BNS website: ‘was instituted in 1986 as the 'Council Prize', but its name was changed in
2005 to mark the outstanding contribution to the Society and to British Numismatics made by
Christopher Evelyn Blunt (1904-1987).  The Prize takes the form of a triennial cash award to
an  individual,  whether  a  member  of  the  Society or  not,  who  has  made  a  significant  recent
contribution to the study of numismatics which falls within the Society's remit. Its purpose is
principally  to  encourage  younger  scholars,  and  preference  is  therefore  given  to  suitable
candidates under 35 years of age.’ Hearty congratulations to Andy, who joins an illustrious list
of previous winners:
1987   M. A. S. Blackburn
1990   E. M. Besly
1993   B. J. Cook
1996   M. R. Allen
1999   P de Jersey
2002   K. Clancy
2005   S. Bhandare
2008   T. Crafter
2011   R. Naismith

In 2008, the Jeffrey North Medal was instituted. This is presented, biennially, for exceptional
services to British Numismatics. The new medal was beautifully crafted by Nicola Moss on
the  theme  of  a  bee-hive  rich  in  metaphor -  pollination,  navigation,  community  service,
creativity, energy and purposeful flight - in a form which imaginatively and subtlety integrates
numismatic symbols.

The award went to Bob Thomas, Peter Clayton and YNS’s President Tony Abramson, who in
2008 was also runner-up for the North Book Prize.
The Sanford Saltus Gold Medal, for prolific numismatic authorship, was closely contested by
Dr David Dykes, Dr Rory Naismith and Nicholas Holmes, and won by the latter. All three
entries attested the high standard of British numismatic scholarship.

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Yorkshire Numismatic Society for 2017

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Yorkshire Numismatic Society for 2017

The AGM was held at 7:30pm on Thursday, 30th November 2017.

(1) Apologies for absence: Anthony Conway, Richard Fynes, Frank Mellor, Lee Toone, Peter Watson.
(2) The minutes of the previous AGM were approved. There were no matters arising.
(3) The reports of the president is given below.
(4) The accounts for the year to 30th September 2017 were approved and adopted. The subscription will remain unchanged at £15pa.
(5) The officers and other council members were re-elected.
(6) Other business: The President displayed the North Medal for services to British numismatics, awarded at the British Numismatic Society’s AGM, earlier in the week. Andy Woods received the Blunt Prize for the encouragement of younger scholars.
The programme for 2018 was discussed over a glass of Ch»Éteau Le Coin. Prospective speakers include Andy Woods on the Wold Newton Hoard, Richard Fynes ‘'Portraits of a lady; the numismatics of the goddess Nana', William Mackay on the pennies of Burgred. Emma Herbert-Davies has been working on the Leeds University collection, and is prepared to speak on the Winchester Cabinet. The President has suggested to her that this should be a joint meeting with other local interest groups. Also, Mike Roberts is in touch with a couple of prospective speakers.
The meeting closed at 8:30pm.

President’s Report, 2017
2017 was dominated by the BANS Congress hosted by the Society in the Crown Hotel, Harrogate, 7th-9th April. A full report of this highly successful event was posted on the Society’s blog. Otherwise, the programme consisted of talks given at the major local coin fairs. These included:

20th January, York Coin Fair, ‘Quite Devoid of Sense’. Tony Abramson revealed his interpretation of one of the two inscriptions on the York Gold shilling to read Paulinus Ep(iscopus), having been issued 627-633 by Paulinus the first Bishop of York, during King Edwin’s reign, making it among the earliest of English coins.

17th March, Harrogate Spring Fair, when Mary Garrison, of the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, discussed the significance of the Paulinus shilling.

21st July, York Coin Fair, The Wonderful World of Paranumismatics, Mike Roberts. The presentation included the well- known series of trade tokens in the 17th, late 18th and early 19th centuries and also described and explained, refreshment tickets, co-op checks, transport tokens, imitation spade guineas, communion tokens, pit checks, works tallies and local and prize medallions.

The Society’s finances remain healthy. David Lee reported that the Society has 797 followers on Twitter, the Facebook page has 177 members and 400 likes. The flag-counter of original visits reads 17,253, and the total page views including repeat visitors reads 35,415.
Tony Abramson, 13th November 2017.