Thursday, 10 January 2013

My First Scottish Silver Coin And My First Scottish Hammered

It was my last chance to get out with the detector here in Scotland for a while today as we're moving to Suffolk next week. It was a beautiful crisp day with a watery winter sun and I stopped en route to the fields to take his photo of nearby landmark Dairsie Castle a few miles away. I was really pleased on this final outing to find my first Scottish silver coin.

It's a William and Mary Scottish 10 shilling piece dated 1691 and it's in nice condition. In accordance with the rules up here in Scotland I have to report it so I'm taking it into the museum tomorrow. The museum has all my decent finds from the past six months and I hope that they won't be too long in making a decision on what they intend to do with them. I'm happy for them to have them if they mean to put them on display but if they are going to be filed away in a drawer I'd rather have them back. At least when I get to Suffolk I will be able to keep most of my finds and simply record them on the PAS database.

The rest of the finds were the usual array including an old spindle whorl, a few buttons and coins and a couple of unidentified bits and pieces.

I hate not knowing what all my finds are so I asked the experts on one of the detecting forums if they could help to identify this tiny copper coin. I thought it was a jetton but forum members "Yeti" and Tom Redmayne identified it as a penny of James III of Scotland 1460-1488. This is known as a Crosraguel penny after a hoard was found there. It was most probably minted by Bishop James Kennedy of St Andrews and it is great to find a St Andrews coin while staying in St Andrews. It's also great to start the year with that Holy Grail of detecting - a hammered coin. (Since first writing this, another detecting forum user has told me that the Bishop Kennedy theory is now disputed by the National Museum Of Scotland)

There are just four more nights in the caravan now before we move. We're driving down to Framlingham on Monday and staying in the lovely Barn Cottage. This will give us a week to get straight, give the house a good clean and oversee the delivery of the furniture on Thursday. 

Interior designer Jemima tells me that the carpets are laid and look stunning (which means they must be good as she is usually quite restrained in her descriptions). I've been told that the electrics are almost complete, the landscape gardener has started on the back and the kitchen is almost finished. That just leaves curtains to go up and the garden studio/office to be rebuilt. Oh and the cladding to go on the corner pillars of the bi-folding doors. The fitters phoned in December to say that this was ready and then this week told me that they had lost it so would have to reorder from Germany (six weeks delivery last time). Then they said that they have found it but still haven't given me a fitting date. I really will be glad when all of this sort of thing is finished and we can just get down to normal life.