St Patrick's Farthing

at 400 dots / inch


Irish Coinage


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Detail Image

© 2002 - Copyright
_ Stafford-Langan
Version 1.09a
3 February, 2002


This coin is a St Patrick's Farthing. It was struck in Dublin sometime between about 1658 and 1670. The detaisl of the issuer and of the intended denomination are not precisely clear.

Many of these coins were transported to the American colonies (mainly by a Mark Newby) where they circulated apparently as farthings.

Though an unofficial issue these coins are often regard as part of the Irish series.

The brass plug in the obverse is intentional and is designed to make the crown appear golden.

The legends are:

FLOREAT REX - May he king flourish.

QVIESCAT PLEBS - May the people be calm.

The obverse is commonly described as the biblical King David playing a harp. And the reverse as St Patrick ridding Ireland of the reptiles with Dublin's St Patrick's Cathedral in the background.

The reverse bears a striking similarity to the tokens of Richard Grenwood of Dublin which also undated are of the genreal type of late 1650s tokens.

This coin is in Good Very Fine Condition. There is some light wear visible on the higher points and some fine detail is lost. There is also some striking weakness in the obverse legend at 3 o'clock and the reverse legend at about 11 o'clock. The colour is good, but perhaps a bit artificial and the coin may have been cleaned at some time in the past. There is no evidence of any corrosion - which is a significant feature of very many surviving St Patrick's farthings.

Overall this is a very attractive example of the issue and better specimens are very rarely offered for sale.

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