17th and I18th Century Tokens in England

Principal investigator: Idit Ben Or
Level: PhD level research

My Phd dissertation focuses on non-governmental low denominational coinage (tokens) in England, from the 17th century to the early 19th century. The dissertation focuses on two main waves of private minting, mid 17th century trade tokens and late 18th century provincial coinage. It is both a bottom up and top down analysis of these phenomenon. On the one hand, I examine governmental perceptions' and reactions to the tokens and their issuers'. On the other hand, I examine how citizens used private coinage, understood and received it. In addition to a wide variety of written sources, the coins themselves serve as the most important source. Detailed attention is given to its iconography, value, metal etc.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme data base will be used to answer important questions regarding the distribution of such coinage. Particularly in the 17th century trade tokens, thanks to thousands of recordings in the database. Research regarding private coinage has clearly stated that the coinage is local, issued and used by local actors. Using the data of where the tokens were found, I will test this hypothesis and analyse trends in coin distribution over time using GIS.

Collection of data from the Portable Antiquities Scheme database and its analysis is scheduled to be finished by January 2020. The majority of the dissertation has been completed and is due to be submitted June 2020.

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