Coins, Tokens and Historical Medals (5 & 6 June 2019)

Robert Thompson

The late Robert Thompson (1943-2017) was the foremost student of the work of David Ramage, inspired as he was by Ramage’s pre-eminence in the field of 17th century token manufacture. The following 10 lots from his collection have been grouped together in this catalogue as a tribute to him.

David Ramage, thought to have been born at Inveresk, Midlothian, in January 1615 and to have been recruited to the Edinburgh mint during the mastership of Nicholas Briot, 1635-9, had moved to London by 1640. During the early part of what became the Civil War he is known to have made ‘instruments’ for the mints at York and Shrewsbury. In about 1649 and under the threat of minting engineers being imported from France, the Company of Moneyers seem to have made Ramage their champion (Thompson, TCSB June 2018, p.245) and there is no doubt that the greater part of the private 17th century token coinage struck before 1660 was a Ramage monopoly, even though his work on new coins in 1651 did not bear comparison with that of Pierre Blondeau. Recent study (Pagan, BNJ 2018, pp.105-12) demonstrates that Ramage died sometime in October 1661 and by the terms of his Will, his tools and coining instruments were left to his son, David Ramage junior (b. November 1640), who had been apprenticed to a goldsmith at the time of his 15th birthday. It would seem likely that the 1662-dated Bristol city farthings, many of which bear the r signature, can be attributed to David Ramage junior

Click the link below to view the lots in Robert Thompson's collection: