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NNP Blog

May 26 2020

Irish Political Counterstamps on Newman Portal

The “collector bug” launches most numismatists, but for many, commercial concerns quickly overwhelm other considerations. It is thus refreshing when an important collection of little monetary value emerges – a reminder that we need not be slaves to price guides and ever-finer technical grades. Bruce R. Mosher has been forming such a collection for a number of years, one that captures public sentiments in reaction to the Irish Troubles beginning in the late-1960s and lasting until the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. Mosher sought out counterstamped Irish and UK coins that reflect various political points of view. The first two sections, covering Loyalist and Pre-Irish Independence, are now posted on Newman Portal as image collections. 

A representative example is Mosher L-89, a 1969 Irish 10p with a NO / POPE / HERE counterstamp. Mosher comments “Coin found in auction lot by seller's father, Mark Bowman, at his Antiques / Jewelery store in Greyabbey, Newtownards. It was in an old toolbox from Mackie's Engineering Works on the Springfield Rd. in Belfast, so must have been struck there. Mackie's had a predominately Loyalist work force, and was known to stamp large numbers of coins with Loyalist slogans. Apparently, this is one of them. Purchased from Niki Purce / Newtownards, Co. Down, N. Ireland.” Mosher has carefully recorded provenance for every coin in the collection, a valuable record as many pieces were set aside shortly after the time of creation.

Link to Bruce Mosher Irish Political Token collection on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/imagecollections?searchLetter=I
Link to Bruce Mosher collection inventory on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/booksbyauthor/537948
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