Made for Trade: A New View of Icenian Coinage [Hardback]

John Talbot (Author)

ISBN: 9781785708121 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2017 | Language: English 320p, H280 x W220 (mm) colour and b/w

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Made for Trade


The Late Iron Age coinage of England has long been recognised as an invaluable potential source of information about pre-Roman Britain, although its purpose has been much debated and never clearly established. Most research using this source material has been either detailed numismatic studies, which seek to categorise and tabulate the types of coin and order them chronologically based on stylistic change, or more general attempts to draw out meaning from the imagery or inscriptions on the coins.

In Made for Trade, John Talbot presents the findings of a decade-long investigation that has challenged many pre-conceptions about the period. The coinage of the Iceni in East Anglia was used as the raw material with a view to establishing its original purpose and what it can tell us about society and the use of coinage in the Late Iron Age of this region. A die-study was performed on every known example – over 10,000 – coins. Each coin was created by a metal pellet being struck by two dies, and the die-study sought to identify the dies used in each of the 20,000 strikes. Because dies wear, change and are replaced, this enabled definitive chronologies to be constructed and the underlying organisation of the coinage to be fully appreciated for the first time. It is believed to be one of the largest such studies ever attempted and the first of this scale for a British Iron Age coinage. Talbot further explores production, weight and metal content as the coinage evolved, the use of imagery and inscriptions, and patterns of hoarding. These various threads demonstrate that the coinage was economic in nature and reflected development of a more sophisticated monetary society than had previously been thought possible, contradicting many previous assumptions.

Table of Contents

List of figures and tables
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. The early local Icenian coinage and its predecessors
Chapter 3. The mints and coinages of the denominational periods
Chapter 4. Production: metallurgy, weight accuracy, minting and scale
Chapter 5. Art, imagery and inscriptions
Chapter 6. Searching for evidence from hoards and coin scatters
Chapter 7. Conclusions
Appendix I. The die-study
Appendix II. Metal analysis of silver coinage
Appendix III. Metal analysis of gold coinage
Appendix IV. Statistical summary of die-study and Esty estimates of die numbers
Appendix V. Hoards
Appendix VI. Concordance
Appendix VII. Glossary

Reviews & Quotes

"Like its unconventional and innovative author, Made for Trade is a pioneering game-changer. Celtic numismatics will never be the same again, neither will our view of the Iceni and their coins."

Coin News (25/09/2017)

"… much more than just another catalogue to classify coins. (Although it also serves as a catalogue. It is a new standard work that coin dealers will have to cite in the future!) ‘Made for Trade – A New View of Icenian Coinage’ is thought-provoking, advancing the core of economic history: what role did coins play during economic transactions, and what was the social background of these coins?"
Ursula Kampmann
Coins Weekly (25/01/2018)

"Made for Trade is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Iron Age coinage or East Anglian identity in the Late Iron Age, and the plates allow for much easier identification than has previously been possible… John Talbot is to be congratulated on tackling this difficult coinage series in such detail and succeeding in turning it into a coherent narrative."
David Holman
Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society (30/01/2018)

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