Autumn 2003



Find of the Month, August 2003


Jeff was the winner of both Find of the Month awards for August, 2003 with his Calais half groat and heraldic horse pendant pictured below. He is pictured here having a bite during a recent search. By the look of his nearly empty snap box he will soon be swinging his detector again.

Henry VI Calais Mint Half Groat Heraldic Horse Pendant 14th Century

A selection of finds from the club searches in the month of July 2003

Advertising Calendar Token - Found by Dave Rhodes

Advertising calendar tokens were issued by various firms at the end of the 19th. and beginning of the 20th centuries. The one pictured here is a common design. It is advertising Matchless Metal Polish on the obverse, and has a calendar for 1907 on the reverse. Unfortunately the alloy that these tokens were made from was of poor quality and suffered from corrosion in the soil.

George III Half Crown - Found by Mary Severn

This George 111 half crown is dated 1818 and is made of silver. The design on the obverse is the “small head” type.
Sadly half crowns are not common detector finds and to find a half crown of any reign is a bonus. The feel and quality of it puts our modern day coinage to shame and I wonder what our 50p coins will be like after a couple of hundred years under the soil?

Edward I Hammered Silver Penny - Found by Tony Elliott

Edward 1, 1272 - 1307, hammered silver penny issued by the Canterbury mint.

Julian, Roman Silver Siliqua - Found by Bill French

Roman silver siliqua, unfortunately damaged. It is believed to be of Julian AD. 355 to 363. Julian was born at Constantinople in 332, being spared in the massacre of 337, he was banished with his half brother Constantius Gallus, but when Gallus became Caesar he was released from exile. He renounced Christianity and became a pagan. He proved to be a capable general and in 360 his troops declared him emperor and it was only by the fortunate death of the emperor, Constantius, that civil war was prevented. Julian was killed in a campaign against the Persians in 363.

Queen Vistoria Commemorative - Found by Tony Elliott

A Queen Victoria golden jubilee commemorative medallion.
To commemorate her fifty year reign from 1837 to 1887. The obverse inscription reads, VICTORIA QUEEN AND EMPRESS. The reverse inscription has a herald and a lion on it with the inscription, TO COMMEMORATE THE JUBILEE OF H.M. QUEEN VICTORIA. 1887.

This medallion was awarded the July Find of the Month

Animal Figure - Found by Ron Tansley
This unusual artefact was found by Ron Tansley, the purpose it served or date of the object has not jet been established. It is a wolf or dog like animal in an attitude that would suggest it was baying or howling. The stem the animal stands on may have formed the end of a staff or pointer Traces of gilding can be seen.
The site where it was found may support it being of Roman origin.

Carausius Bronze Coin - Found by John Wardle
This is a Carausius A/E (bronze) antoninianius. 287 to 293 A.D.
Marcus Aurelius Mausaius was born in the Netherlands. He was an able sailor and came to the notice of Diocletian and Maximianus for his nautical skill and bravery as a soldier. The emperor Maximianus gave him command of the naval force charged with putting a stop to the piratical activities of the Franks on the coasts of what are now Holland, Belgium France, Spain and Britain.
At first he had remarkable success and virtually freed the seas of the marauders. However suspicions of his dishonesty came to the attention of the emperor and he ordered Carausius to be put to death. Carausius immediately sailed to Britain with his fleet and proclaimed himself to be Augustus in A.D. 287 and withstood all attempts to oust him. In A.D.293 Carausius was murdered by his friend and finance minister Allectus who succeeded him to the purple. Allectus lasted for a further three years and after being defeated in a battle by Constantus he committed suicide. Coins of this emperor are relatively scarce and worth collecting, only ones of gold and bronze were minted.

This coin won the Find of the Month award for July, 2003.

A selection of finds from the club searches in the month of August 2003

Vesica Shaped Lead Seal Matrix - Found by Jeff Oscroft

Vesica seal matrix

Reverse showing lug


The inscription on the seal matrix reads S’WILYI FIL ROBERTI and means ‘THE SEAL OF WILY SON OF ROBERT’. S’ is the abbreviation of the Latin word sigillum meaning ‘The seal of‘. The word filus is Latin for son and filea for daughter. This is usually shortened to fil but as such it would not identify the gender of the owner of the seal. This was remedied by ending male names with an ’I’ and female names with either ‘E’ or ’AE’. The decoration in the centre is a stylised flower of some sort designed, no doubt, at the whim of the maker.
The seal matrix is made of lead with, on the reverse at one end, a small lug to enable the matrix to be pulled out of the hardened material forming the seal. The name vesica, used to describe this shape of seal matrix, comes from the Latin meaning bladder.
In the Medieval period the ownership of a seal matrix was no longer the privilege of the wealthy, normal people owned land, livestock and property. They needed to authenticate documents used in various transactions, but as the majority could not read or write and an individual seal was safer than just a written X.

James 1st Irish Sixpence - Found by Dave Rhodes

A James 1st. Irish sixpence with a bell mint mark of 1603/4. This coin is in ‘fine’ silver to replace the base money issued by Queen Elizabeth 1st. during the war in the North which had ended in defeat and famine for the native Irish..

King John Hammered Silver Penny - Found by John Wardle

Although it has the name Henricus on it this is a silver, hammered short cross penny of King John, 1199-1216. Moneyer Iohan on Win(chester). Initial mark, cross pattee. Type 5(b).

All Metal Lottery Syndicate


Pat is the club lottery organiser. She has run the All Metal Lottery Syndicate from its start. As well as that lottery Pat also manages the Saturday and Wednesday single line Ashfield Club entry.
Sadly in recent months the membership of the All Metal Lottery Syndicate has fallen. If any member of the club wishes to join the Syndicate would they see Pat to make arrangements.
She can be seen here studying the lottery accounts which unfortunately cannot support the members to take a holiday in the Bahamas. Perhaps soon!

Written by John Gough, Club Secretary

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