The Ormonde Siege Coinage of 1643-1644

Royalist issue in Ireland during The Great Rebellion

(Lots 263-278)

Why so many varieties and next to no efforts to classify the types? I have been puzzling over this ever since we began working with Bruce Ormond’s collection.  You can see the result—awkward efforts to describe die varieties for the pieces listed in this sale.

Compared to most other British coin series, little has been written about this extensive Irish issue.

• James Simon in his Essay (Dublin, 1810) devotes a bit over a half page to the issue commenting that “It appears…that his majesty still designed to restore the royal mint in Dublin, but that it was prevented by the troubles in England.” After listing the denominations he quotes a 1743 publication that “About one hundred and twenty thousand pounds worth of plate was coined at this time.” The amount of coinage minted and the great variety of dies suggest that the dies had short lives.

• Lindsay in his 1839 Coinage of Ireland devotes one brief paragraph to the series.

• The Spink Standard Catalog, Coins of Scotland, Ireland and the Islands… gives the series two thirds of one page, a single line introduction, a list of one each of the denominations and, at the bottom in small print, a single line note: “For varieties, see Aquilla Smith, ‘On the Ormonde Money.’ PRSAI (1854)

This series shows great variation in the size and nature of each of the main elements of the coin. I have gone through a substantial number of images of Ormonde pieces and can see why no one (apparently) has ever done any kind of die study. If you look up the Aquilla Smith article you will see a single page of drawn images related to the series but no effort to create a listing of variations.

I have spent hours reviewing images of Ormonde pieces that have been offered over the past few years. At best, the parameters I have come up with are general: are the design elements thick or thin, small or tall, within or breaching the inner circle, punctuated or not. Is the placement of the elements in relation to one another centered (or “plumb”). There are broken dies, and many uneven strikes.

The variation is fascinating in itself and like much else in the Irish series, it speaks volumes about life and the Irish economy at the time. The collection offered here was put together by a descendant of the original Ormonde. In addition to representing all the denominations (including the extremely rare twopence), the group gives you an introduction to the variety of dies and strikings in the series.


Ormonde weight standards (just under Tower standards):

Crown:  (456 grn) 29.55 gm       Half crown:  (228 grn) 14.8 gm       Shilling: (91.2 grn) 5.9 gm

Sixpence: (45.6 gr) 2.95 gm       Groat: (30.4 grn) 1.97 gm       Threepence: (22.2 grn)1.43 gm       Twopence:  (15.2 grn) .98 gm


Thursday, December 14, 2017


How Bidding Works


Davissons Ltd uses a soft close for its auctions, which means no lot closes until everyone is done bidding. Every time a bid is placed within the final 40 seconds of a lot closing, the timer is reset to 40 seconds. This continues until no bids are placed for 40 seconds, at which point the lot closes. There will never be more than one lot closing at once, as the next lot is not allowed to begin closing until the current lot closes.

To bid: enter your maximum bid into the text box, and click submit. Only round dollar amounts are accepted. You are then required to confirm your bid. Once confirmed, all bids are final. If you have placed a bid in error you must call during office hours and speak to one of us. If you are the current high bidder then it will display “Current High Bidder: YOU” If you are not the high bidder, or if you are not logged in, then the current high bidder will be identified by their 5 digit client ID. You may find your client ID under the Account tab.

Bids are reduced automatically, so feel free to bid your maximum and it will be reduced to one increment over the current high bid. If a user places a bid that is higher than necessary to be the current high bidder on the lot, the displayed bid will reflect one advance over the next lower bid. For example, if a user "A" places a bid of $120 on a lot which opens at $100, "A" will be winning that lot at $100. If another user "B" bids $110, the winning bidder will be "A" at $120, one advance over the supporting bid of $110. If user "B" in this example instead placed a bid at $120, then user "A" will still be winning at $120 because they placed that maximum bid value first.

Increments can be viewed here. The next bid will always be on the next increment, so if a user is winning a lot at $100, or $105, or $109, the next bid will still always be $110.

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