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DNW: Irish Coins and Tokens, 3 March 2022

DNW: Irish Coins and Tokens, 3 March 2022

DNW held an auction of coins, tokens and medals on 3 March 2022 . The full catalogue can be found here. The auction features various Irish emergency issues such as Inchiquin and Ormonde money from the time of the Irish rebellion and Irish Gunmoney of 1689-91.

There is a buyer’s premium of 24% (plus VAT) on the hammer price.

Featured Lot - Inchiquin Halfcrown

Photo: © DNW

Inchiquin Money, Halfcrown

Mint: Dublin
Estimate: £1,500 – £2,000
Hammer: £3400

A halfcrown of so called “Inchiquin Money”, produced in Ireland as a money of necessity during the Irish Rebellion.

Historical background

Irish coinage

Prior to 1558 the silver coinage in England and Ireland had steadily deteriorated. In 1561, Elizabeth sought to improve the standard in Ireland. She issued finer silver coins, which had three harps on the reverse shield. Further Irish issues were made by Elizabeth and James I. These continued to trade at a discount to English money. No Irish coinage was issued by Charles I up to 164I. In 1637, Charles announced, with limited success, that the title of Irish money or harps should be stopped and that accounting should be in English sterling.

Irish rebellion of 1641

There were at least five opposing parties during the rebellion, each with different aims. However, the main two parties were the Royalists and the Rebels. In 1641 the English Houses of Parliament authorised the Lord Lieutenant and the Lords Justices of Ireland to organise and army under the Earl of Ormond.

Inchiquin money

Gold and silver plate

The Lords Justices of Ireland sent letters to the English parliament with appeals for money for the troops. A directive was issued for every man in Dublin to bring in “half his plate to be paid for when treasure arrives” from England. However, the £1,200 of plate received was described as “a sum so mean and inconsiderable as can in no degree give any contentment” to the army.

Inchiquin money production

Inchiquin coins were struck on plain flans of irregular shape. This lot is a coin of the first issue. They were stamped on both sides (with the same die) with their weight. In this case 9:16 below “dwt” and “gr”, giving 9 dwt: 16 gr. The pennyweight (“dwt”) was equal to 24 grains giving a total weight in grains of 232. This meant that this half crown (two and a half shillings) was close to the current weight of English Tower Mint standard of about 92 grains to the shilling.

Name of Inchiquin money

There’s something of a mystery of how this coinage became known as Inchiquin money. The obvious connection is with the Earl of Inchiquin.

1st Earl of Inchiquin by John Michael Wright
(Manchester Art Gallery)

Murrough O’Brien, 1st Earl of Inchiquin fought against the Rebels at the outbreak of the Irish Rebellion. His efforts were hampered by the lack of funds and he seized anything available to him. such as tobacco, cattle and corn, to pay his troops.

It may be that some of the “Inchiquin money” ended up in the hands of the Earl of Inchiquin and he used it to pay his army. But,what seems fairly certain is that he had nothing to do with its issue. The first use of the term “Inchiquin Money” may have been almost 100 years later for the auction of Lord Oxford’s collection in London in March 1741.

Selection of other lots

Photo: © DNW

Gold ring money

A pennanular solid gold ring dating to the First Millennium BC, used as ring money, 
Estimate: £900 – £1,200
Hammer: £2200
Photo: © DNW

Irish halfpenny of John

Third coinage, Limerick mint
Estimate: £90 – £120
Hammer: £160
Photo: © DNW

Irish penny of Edward I

Second coinage, Class III, Cork mint.
Estimate: £300 – £400
Hammer: £850
Photo: © DNW

Edward IV groat

Anonymous Crown coinage. Reverse reads CIVITAS DUBLINIE for Dublin mint.
Estimate: £600 – £800
Hammer: £1600
Photo: © DNW

Irish Groat of Richard III

Three Crowns coinage, probably Dublin mint.
Estimate: £1,500 – £2,000
Hammer: £3200
Photo: © DNW

Irish threepence of Henry VIII

 Posthumous coinage, Type IV, Dublin mint
Estimate: £300 – £600
Hammer: £320
Photo: © DNW

James II “Gunmoney” Crown

Gunmoney crown from the Irish emergency issues of 1689-1691
Estimate: £150 – £200
Hammer: £440
Photo: © DNW

James II Gunmoney halfcrown

Gunmoney halfcrown from May 1690
Estimate: £80 – £100
Photo: © DNW

James II gunmoney sixpence

James II Gunmoney sixpence, dated July 1689
Estimate: £90 – £120
Hammer: £220
Photo: © DNW

Edward V penny

Edward V penny issued at Drogheda mint between April-June 1483. Suns and Roses coinage. Excessively rare.
Estimate: £3,000 – £3,600
Hammer: £3000
Photo: © DNW

George I proof farthing

George I proof farthing in silver, dated 1723. Produced by William Wood, owner of several copper mines in England, who made these coins at a loss after overpaying for the patent.
Estimate: £800 – £1,000
Hammer: £1400
Photo: © DNW

William Hill token

A penny token issued by William Hill in Dublin in 1656. There’s a monkey with pestle and mortar on the reverse.
Estimate: £80 – £100
Hammer: £190
Photo: © DNW

Abraham Christian penny token

Abraham Christian penny token from Galway, dated 1670
Estimate: £300 – £360
Hammer: £340
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