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Complete Type III varieties and pricing.
Complete Type IV description and pricing.
Complete comparison table of older catalog references.
The Irish coinage of Henry comprises a series of pennies issued in Dublin between 1251 and 1254.
This coinage was issued under the authority of two moneyers: RICARD and DAVI.
These moneyers are believed to be the London moneyers Richard Bonaventure and David of Enfield.
Most varieties of pennies of this coinage occur on coins with both RICARD and DAVI signatures and there are several examples of obverse dies being used with reverses of both moneyers.
There is no specific documentary or hoard evidence which supports a particular chronological arrangement of the types of this issue. So the arrangements in the existing or earlier catalogues is based on classification for easier identification.
I have reorganised the types (and included several varieties not previously listed) in what I believe is a more supportable arrangement.
The basis for the arrangement I have presented is that the earlier coins are made using the better quality die engraving and better quality striking technology with a gradual deterioration over the three years of operation of the mint.
The justification for this approach is that the early die manufacture and minting were probably performed directly under control of London and made from the better quality silver from circulation. The later period would have seen more local control in mint operations and a decrease in the quality of the available silver. This process mirrors the sequence of events in the Irish Issues of Edward I a few decades later which is supported by hoard evidence.
Recent changes in pricing and newly listed varieties are priced in bold text.
These coins are priced in Euros - (not in dollars and not in Irish pounds)
The Irish Coinage of Henry III
This issue continues the use of the distinctive triangle on the Irish coinage.
The general obverse type is of a crowned and bearded portrait inside a triangle with a hand holding a sceptre to the left and a cinquefoil or sexfoil to the right.. Varieties of this coinage are generally based on varieties of the style of the portrait and the crown.
The obverse legend is divided into three sections by the triangle. The general form of the legend is he NRI - CVSR - e X III . The head of the sceptre impinges into the legend between the X of R e X and the first I of the numeral.
The reverse design is of a voided cross which extends to the perimeter of the coin with a central pellet and pellet ends. There is an inner circle. The inner quarters each contain three pellets and the outer quarters contain the legend. There are two normal forms of reverse legend: DAVI ON DIV e LI and RICARD ON DIV e. There is no initial mark at the start of the legend, but it always starts at edge of a quarter line and continues clockwise.
The surviving pennies of Henry III's Irish coinage represent a significant percentage of the total mint output, for a medieval coinage. These coins were made to enable Henry to assist his English nobility to extract the value from their lands in Ireland rather than have the rents paid in kind and therefore reinvested by their agents locally.
The eventual purpose was to assist Henry in obtaining millitary support for his French campaigns from his nobility. The secondary effect was to remove necessary silver from the Irish economy and to reduce pressure from English nobility 'gone native' in Ireland for greater autonomy by focusing their attention on the more important problem of the economy.
This means that most of the surviving coins have been found in European hoards. The great Bruxelles hoard of 1908 which contained over 80,000 sterlings included about 1,800 of these pennies - a couple of hundred of which were continental imitations of Irish pennies.
As many of the surviving coins come from hoards they are found in better condition that their age might lead a collector to expect. The coins are generally available in Very Fine condition though examples in Extremely Fine condition with traces of original lustre are somewhat scarcer.
There are a few varieties which attract small premiums over the normal types but oveall the prices are generally homogeneous and there is no 'key' type in the series.
It can be difficult to identify the different types of Henry III pennies - the arrangement set out here is a new one so previously labelled coins with Seaby or Coincraft numbers may not be directly atttributable.
Top down identification rules apply - eliminate each type until you have a match - Type IV therefore works as a 'catch-all' for everything left over. However experience with over 150 coins has held up this arrangement and the coins which have remained in type IV have all been similar in style suggesting that it is a proper type.
The pennies of type I all have a sexfoil (six petalled flower) to the right of the bust - all other types have a cinquefoil (five petalled flower).
The beard is made up of a distinct double line of pellets - other types have only partial double lines or single lines.
The shoulders are each formed from a single pellet - other types have either no shoulders or shoulders formed from arcs.
The top part of the crown is made up from arcs and pellets - other types have crowns made up from a trefoil of pellets but without the additional arcs.
There is a minor variety with a small star by the head of the sceptre - this variety is rare but not generally considered important enough to attract a significant premium.
The pennies of type II all have a double line forming the triangle around the obverse bust - all other types have a single line - the inner line is generally a finer line than the outer one.
The fleur of the crown is made up from three large pellets with a clear connection between the central pellet and the band of the crown.
These coins generaly have no additional pellets in the obverse legend - coins with pellets are generally type III.
These coins have a cinquefoil to the right of the bust - types III and IV also have cinquefoils - coins with a sexfoils are type I.
The beard is made up of a single or partial double line of pellets - distinct double lines of pellets are characteristics of Type I.
These coins generally have no shoulders by the bust or the shoulders or if present they are not substantial.
There is a minor variety with a small row of pellets on the band of the crown - generally referred to as a 'jewelled crown'. This variety is about as common as the unjewelled variety.
The pennies of type III all have additional pellets in the obverse legend - other types generally have no additional pellets (note some type I coins have pellets - the sexfoil puts a coin in type I even with pellets). These pellets are at the beginning and end of each of the three sections of legend - some coins do not have visible pellets in all locations - the pellets before and after he NRI are the easiest to see and appear to be present on all examples.
The fleur of the crown is generally made up from three large pellets with a clear connection between the central pellet and the band of the crown - more ornate crown are a feature of type I.
There are often pellets at the ends of the band of the crown - these can be difficult to see as they impinge on the lines of the triangle.
These coins have a cinquefoil to the right of the bust - types II and IV also have cinquefoils - coins with a sexfoils are type I.
The beard is made up of a single or partial double line of pellets - distinct double lines of pellets are characteristics of Type I - however type III coins can have quite strong doubled beards but not as distinct as a type I - compare the illustrations.
These coins often have shoulders made of arcs by the bust and in some case the shoulders can be quite wide.
There is again minor variety with a small row of pellets on the band of the crown - generally referred to as a 'jewelled crown'.
The pennies of type IV ........