Patent Farthings: 1613-1642


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Farthing token        James I         Lennox round       mintmark: A

Obverse:  IACO : D : G : MAG : BRI: [mintmark: A]
Reverse:  FRA : ET HIB : REX ·

Weight:  8.4 g   (0.55 grams)                  Diameter:  17.1 mm

Comment: Peck 98; Seaby 2680; Coincraft J1FA-035.The coin is damaged from 7:00 to 11:00 o'clock. The obverse displays a large crown with crossed scepters in the center and a mintmark above. On the reverse is an eagle headed harp with six strings and a large crown above. Note the die break at the bottom serif on the F in FRA on this copper. Previous to the Lennox issues, Harrington had issued two small farthings (12.5mm) plated with tin and a single larger size issue (15mm) without tin. Lennox issued five types, all of which were 15mm coppers. The variety shown here has the mintmark only on the front and has larger sized crowns. Three other Lennox varieties all have smaller crowns and are distinguished by having a mintmark on the obverse, on both sides or just on the reverse. The fifth Lennox variety is oval, with the legend starting at the lower left (7:00 o'clock) rather than the upper right (1:00 o'clock).

Provenance:  Purchased through the Robert H. Gore Numismatic Endowment from James D. King of Osterville, MA at the C4 convention in November 1998.


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Farthing token        Charles I         Royal Richmond round       mintmark: harp

Obverse:  CARO : D : G : MAG : BRI: [mintmark: harp]
Reverse:  FRA : ET HIB : REX

Weight:  8.4 g   (0.55 grams)                  Diameter:  17.3 mm

Comment:  Peck 173; Seaby 3184; Coincraft C1FA-015. This copper is somewhat off center so that the full beading and some of the planchet is exposed from about 8:00 to 4:00 o'clock. The obverse displays a large crown with crossed scepters, placed somewhat low, in the center with a harp mintmark above. On the reverse is an eagle headed harp with six strings and a large crown above. Richmond issued eight varieties of round patent farthings, all of which were 15mm coppers and two oval varieties. Three of the round varieties have single stops in the legend while four have colons (called apostrophe stops in some British sources). One variety is distinguished in that the crowns have double arches as on the Maltraver issues rather than single arches as on the earlier issues (called a transitional issue). The two oval varieties (Seaby 3192 and 3193 / Coincraft C1FA-060 and C1FA-065) are distinguished in the the mintmark is on both sides or just the obverse. The variety shown here one of the colon four colon varieties, distinguished from the other three in that on the reverse there is an eagle head on the harp. There is a die breaks on the obverse: above the C in CARO, at the top of the G in MAG (a line traveling through the top of the curve) and above the R in BRI; also note the R was recut.

Provenance:  Purchased through the Robert H. Gore Numismatic Endowment from James D. King of Osterville, MA at the C4 convention in November 1998.


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Farthing token        Charles I         Maltravers round       mintmark: martlet

Obverse:  CAROLVS : DG · MAG : BRIT : [mintmark: martlet] ·
Reverse:   · FRAN : ET : HIB : REX · [mintmark: martlet] ·

Weight:  7.5 g   (0.49 grams)                  Diameter:  17.5 mm

Comment:  Peck 247; Seaby 3190; Coincraft C1FA-050. The obverse displays a large crown with crossed scepters and a martlet (as the mintmark) above. Maltravers farthings feature a double arch on the crowns. Earlier issues had only a single arch connecting the first and final cross with the center. The double arch, which is also found on one Richmond variety called a transitional issue, connects the second and fourth crosses with the center in a smaller arch below the larger arch. This distinctive design id found on both the obverse and reverse crowns. Additionally, Maltravers round issues have a further distinction in that they have an outer as well as an inner circle of beads, so that the legend is between two circles of beads. All earlier issues, as well as the Maltravers ovals, only have an outer beaded ring. On the reverse is an eagle headed harp with five strings and a large double arched crown above.

There are three varieties of Maltravers round farthings, distinguished by the position of the mintmark which is either on the obverse, reverse, or both sides. The variety displayed here has the mintmark on both sides. There is also a fourth variety called a Maltravers oval issue. Although the oval issue lacks the inner circle of beads it does have the double arch crowns. In the Maltravers round example shown here note that some of the upper stops in the colons are elongated. Also, on the obverse the R and possibly the I in BRIT are recut. The mintmark is a small bird that is generally described by the heraldic term martlet.

Provenance:  Purchased through the Robert H. Gore Numismatic Endowment from James D. King of Osterville, MA at the C4 convention in November 1998.


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Farthing token        Charles I         Maltravers Rose       mintmarks: crescent/mullet

Obverse:  CAROLV   D . G   MA . BRI : [mintmark: cresent] ·
Reverse:   · FRAN . ET · HIB . REX [mintmark: mullet] ·

Weight:  7.5 g   (0.49 grams)                  Diameter:  17.5 mm

Comment:  Peck 326; Seaby 3205; Coincraft (not listed but similar to C1FA 095). This is one of the smaller and thicker rose farthings produced by Maltravers to stop counterfeiters. The brass plug in not visible on this dark, verdigris ridden, clipped example. There are three basic types of rose farthings, one group contains crowns with double sets of arches and double roses while another group consists of varieties with crowns having a single set of arches and a single rose. There is also an unusual third type in which the crossed scepters are below rather than behind the obverse crown. The example shown here is one a series of transitional mules that seem to fall the between double and single type groupings.

The obverse displays a single arch crown with crossed scepters behind. On this variety the scepters appear extend into the double ring, however based on the poor condition of the coin I am not sure if there are stops with die cracks at these tow points or if the scepters actually extend down. It seems fairly clear CAROLVS to CAROLV as is found on other varieties with the scepters descending into the inner ring. The legend also uses the BRI abbreviation rather than the BRIT. There are also two different mint or privy marks on the coin, on the obverse is a crescent while on the reverse is a mullet (a star). The reverse displays a double rose (a center with a smaller group of five petals then an larger outer group of five petals) and above is a crown with double sets of arches.

Provenance:  Purchased through the Robert H. Gore Numismatic Endowment from James D. King of Osterville, MA at the C4 convention in November 1998.


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