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Rare Money Blog

Interesting Limerick Besieged ½ Penny Being Sold in June

By Kyle Ponterio, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

Author: Kyle Ponterio / Wednesday, April 10, 2019 / Categories: World Coin of the Week

After another successful Spring Hong Kong auction, we turn our attention to our World and Ancient coin June Collectors Choice Online (CCO) auction.  It is full of interesting, high grade and  collectable numismatic treasures, and collectors of widely varying interests should anticipate numerous eye-catching offerings. This week we showcase a piece that tells a tale of contention for the English crown.

IRELAND: 1691 Limerick Besieged ½ Penny of James II

Though the origins of limericks are unclear, most people today have heard of or even know a few limericks themselves, so in good spirit, we offer one for your consideration in this week's blog.

There once was King called James Two
Whose forces in Limerick fought off abuse
The city was clear
Until the next year
When the Jacobites' defenses were through.

The first assault on the Western Irish town of Limerick took place in 1690 and the Jacobites successfully defended against the Williamites. However, on the second assault, which occurred from August to October 1691, they weren't so lucky. Significant casualties, amassed prisoners and desertions, combined with a series of military defeats and retreats, took a toll on the Jacobites. After a surprise attack on the town that claimed about 800 Irish lives, the town capitulated. The French commanders in Limerick were ousted and the negotiations of surrender began.  The terms of the treaty were favorable to the Jacobite forces and were honored until 1697 when the Irish parliament was dominated by Protestants.

According to Coins of Scotland, Ireland and the Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Man & Lundy) including Anglo-Gallic Coins, all examples of the Limerick besieged Halfpenny and Farthing are overstruck on earlier large and small "Gunmoney" shillings. On the present example, clear evidence of the undertype can be seen on the bust of James II, with remnants peeking through on the reverse. It is rather appealing for the type, with lots of character throughout its milk chocolate and mocha colored surfaces. Considering its rich historical background, we're sure it will pique the interest of many collectors.

We are currently taking consignments of world and ancient coins and world paper money for our June Collectors Choice Online (CCO) auction and the August ANA World's Fair of Money Auction in Rosemont, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. We are also accepting consignments of Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our August 19-22, 2019, Hong Kong Showcase Auction. If you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) contact one of our consignment directors.​

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