British Numismatic Society

Promoting the study of coins, medals, tokens and banknotes

Our next meeting

Following the regrettable postponement of the Society's New York meeting last weekend, our first meeting of 2022 will now be held in London, at the Society's new home, the Royal Philatelic Society (RPS), next Tuesday, 25 January. This will be the Society's first fully-hybrid meeting and will be broadcast over Zoom.

Our speaker, Liam Fitzgerald, is a 4th year PhD candidate working at King’s College, London, in collaboration with the British Museum. His work focuses on the material culture of improvement in the modern period, with a specific emphasis on the prize medals housed in the British Museum’s Department of Coins and Medals, and his talk is entitled Prize medals and the popularisation of agricultural improvement in 18th and 19th century Britain and the Empire.

The RPS is located at 15 Abchurch Lane, EC4N 7BW (see map above), three minutes' walk from the Underground stations at Bank, Cannon Street and Monument. Please be aware that Bank station is only being served by the Central line until mid-May. The 120-seat capacity of the Society's meeting room, located on the second floor (accessed by lift and stairs), allows for ample social distancing and features a huge ceiling-mounted screen, lectern and full AV facilities. 

Upon arrival at the RPS in-person attendees will be asked to sign the registration book (and sign yourself out when leaving the building) and be subjected to a temperature test. Adjacent to the building's foyer is the members’ lounge on the ground floor, which members and guests are encouraged to use if arriving before the start of meetings and where refreshments can be obtained for a fee. There is also a cloakroom by the entrance to the lift.

We look forward to your company for what promises to be a most interesting exposé of a once-important aspect of British social life, and a subject not often covered in an address of this kind.

Images courtesy of Dix Noonan Webb Ltd
Our lecture on 25 January
This paper investigates the role of the prize medal as a visual reflection on, and a stimulus for, the popularisation of agricultural improvement in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. Through a comparative study of the prize medals housed in the British Museum’s Department of Coins and Medals, it will investigate why medals became the dominant prize awarded by institutions ranging from the largest learned societies to the smallest farmers’ clubs during the period. It will explore how prizes were used to help consolidate existing patterns of landownership, cement associative bonds and help drive innovation during the so-called ‘Agricultural Revolution’, and will demonstrate how engravers and artists responded to the needs of local communities and societies in medallic design.

 

Royal Mint reports 1870-1976 now online

For many years those researching modern coins of Britain and her overseas territories have been aware of the invaluable information contained within the Royal Mint's annual reports, but often copies of those reports are difficult to find in the secondhand book market. Now the Royal Mint Museum have put all the printed reports, from the first in 1870 to the last in 1976/7, on their website.

The reports contain frank discussion of major issues relating to the Mint, currency and minting processes. They cover a particularly important period of change, from the end of the Victorian period, the tumult of two World Wars, to the move of the Mint out of London and the Mint’s involvement in the coinage of many Commonwealth countries as they gained independence. The completeness of each report means that they form a primary source for anyone wishing to conduct research into the Royal Mint and modern British coinage, and also the major currency and monetary issues of the day. They are of national and, as a result of the Mint’s export work and the inclusion of reports from the Mint’s overseas branches, of international importance to numismatists and collectors, as well as economic and currency historians.

To access the reports, visit https://library.royalmintmuseum.org.uk/archive/royal-mint-annual-reports

 

More Blog contributions published every week!

If you can't wait for BNJ 91 to drop on your doormat, why not catch up with the latest contributions to the Society's Blog in the meantime? A wide spectrum of articles recently posted include those on currency of the De Beers diamond fields in South Africa, an exposé of base metal copies of 18th century trade tokens and a valuable note on the die studies for some provincial mints in the English short cross series. A handy index to all blog articles may be accessed here.

 

BNJ 91 to be despatched in February – tell us if you have changed your address recently!

It is anticipated that copies of BNJ 91 will be despatched to members from the Society's mailing house in Milton Keynes, England, in mid-February. Following the announcement in the previous issue of E-NEWS, several of you have advised us of your new addresses, but if you moved house within the last 15 months and haven't informed us yet, please let us know now so that your copy of BNJ reaches you safely:  secretary@britnumsoc.org