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1796.]
State of Provincial Coins.

867 and retire ; turreis rising in coverts, and to many persons of taste throughout Bria, ruined arches almost buried within them; tain, were deemed worthy of being difmutilated castles and mouldering abbics fused through the medium of your very partially concealed; hamlets, churches, excellent Miscellany; as they are humhoules, cottages, and farms are blended bly intended to promote improvement in into one general and extensive scene, an elegant art, intima:ely connected with which is wonderfully picturesque; while the Belles Leitres; and on which, I will the mountains of Glamorgan and Brecon venture to say, the reputation of the premelt into a distant and magnificent hori- fent times for industry, ingenuity, and Zoil, tvith an effect on the mind, which arts, must, in a great meature, depend, nature alone, and nature only in parti-' at periods of the latest posterity. cular situations, can produce.

Such of your readers as have not stuThe first and twelfth sections of this died, or contracted a relish for the subHistory contain much judicious and ele- ject, may smile when they learn that gant description, and will serve as illuf- I allude to the design and execution of trations of the preceding remarks. the most common current coin of the pre

By way of conclusion, I beg leave to sent day, known by the name of Provinobserve, that, whoever aspires at the cha- ciul Halfpence; being issued by private racter of a poet, should, atter all, be cau- traders for circulation in Great Britain, tious of relying too implicitly on the au- chiefly since the year 1786, and which, thority of books, and of copying them in fome districts, have alu.oit totally suptoo closely; not merely beau e a topo- planted the prefent very bafe and barbagrapher or tourist may himself be inac- rous copper currency. To those who curate, as a modern writer, of confide- are not aware of the Numismatic study, rable taste in picturesque beauty, is ac- I would recommend, as introductive to knowledged to be, but because, after all, to their knowledge in it, Addison's Diaa mere copyist, no less than the writer, logues; the writings of Foikes, De Carwho studies nothing but metre and har- donnel, and Snelling; but especially the mony, is still inferior to a genuine poet, late excellent publication of that inepriand cannot be expected to poilcss-the ous antiquary and scholar, Mr. Pinker. gay freedom and manly boldness of an ton*. There are others, in whom the original and attentive observer of nature. bare mention of the topic will excite the A mere copyiít, whether poet or painter, liveliest attention to my remarks. miy produce an agreeable picture, but Excepting the coins of the Romans, such only as make use of their own eyes there has nothing occurred parallel to will arrive at eminence ; and though to these, within fo short a period, since niuch of the “..timde lubur,” may be con- the æras of the ancient independent spicuous, they will but fecbly and im- status of Greece, when alnioit every perfectly represent the pictureique or city had its distinct coinage, as is eleihe fublime : their Protufiones Pueticze gantly illustrated by the engravings and. will be little more (to borrow the lan- defcriptions of Dr. 'Combet. Our moguage of poetical iinitators) than the dern coins of cities, in Britain, exceed Howers of Parnassus, and rarely exhibt the ancient in neatness of finish, from the fruits of genius : IIeytt renvoyees, as

the use of the mill, and invention of inLonginus says of a part of this character, denting, or of elevating letters round the δηλον, ως πλεον ανθυς εχει το λεογμενα ή ευ; *. outer edge, as much as they fall short of Hence it is, that Longinus is always them in the high relief, and boldness of happy to illustrate nis obiervations on the execution, in the representations which five fources of the subline from Homer. they bear; but in their great variety, This great poet made Nature his model, and, in most cases, appropriate imagery, and like his hero defcribed what he they approach the nearest to the merit of luw and feli.

the Roman reverses, of any thing that mures hominum multorum vidit et urbes has occurred in the mintages of modern Aug. 10, 1796.

G. D. times.

It is, however, deeply to be regretted, To the Editor of the Montbly Magazine. by every lover of the fine arts, that so I SHOULD be happy if a few observa

* Essay on Coins and Medals. London, tions that occur to me, upon a subject Edwards, 2d, edit. 2 vol. 8vo. 1789. which I know to be extremely interesting

+ Num. veterum populorum et urbium. * Longinus de Sublim.

SIR,

4to. Load. Cadell, 1782. Monthly Mag. No. XI.

ma!

$$

many of these pieces are degraded by the Severn, on the Cole-brook-dale halfpuerile and contemptible devices : such penny,reverse the inclinedplane at Ketlev; are all emblems of particular trades, or Thames and Severn canal piece has a failarticles of dealing ; mere designations and ing barge, reverse a massy aqueduct fign-posts; and almost all morsels of he- bridge ; a Kent halfpenny, on the union raldry, escutcheons, mottos, supporters, of Appledore, has a windmill, the mil&c. These can transmit no thought, no ler, and his house ; the great iron-works information to posterity: The amazing of Wilkinson are differently pourtrayed durability of coins should cver be remem- on his currency, &c. There is much bered by those who are concerned in is- yet to be done in this department for suing them; and such designs adopted as England. How much it is to be wished may reflect the most striking and intercft- that the magnificent iron arch over the ing features of the present age. Among Wear, at Sunderland, which immortalizes several hundreds of differently designed the name of Burdon ; the rocky entrance pieces in my poffeffion, such only as come to the Duke of Bridgewater's astonishing under fome of the following defcripticns fobrerraneous navigation at Worsley deem to deferve being lignalized and re- Eddystone lights, docks at Liverpool and commended to imitation.

Hull; some of the largest stcam-engines, 1. Such as have fac-similes of remark- cranes, locks, drawbridges, &c. throughable buildings: 6.3: the Canterbury half- out the kingdom, had the Numismatic penny, bearing the cathedrai; the l'ork honours paid to him which their magnione, with the noble miniter, reverse tude and usefulness render duc ! And Clifford's tower; the Leeds cloth-hall it is to be lamented that among the few appears upon one of the Leeds tokens ; coins struck for Scotland, not one comes the west front of St. Paul's church upon under this description. How ornamonial a London one; Ipswich cross, a neat re- and honourable would it be for some of lique of ancient architecture, graces the them to bear the figures, and perpetuate Ipjuh halfpenny; as an old tower, a the dates of the erection of the grcatest very entire and lofty remain of Gothic foundery in the world at Carron ; the labour, does that of Dundee ; the venera- north bridge at Edinburgh; the elegant ble ruins of Bigod's castle, in Suffolk, is bridges at Perth and Glatgow; the great on that of Bungay; one of Bedül, in quay at Aberdeen ; or the vast and useYorkshire, gives a street in perspective, ful aqueduct over the Kelvin, fupporttwo inns, and a spire ; the splendid front ing, at a stupendous elevation, ene of the of the new pump-room embellishes half- greateít canals in Europe ! pence and farthings of Baib, &c. There

111. Striking emblems of that spirit inedals (if we may infer from the per- of industry and commerce, which characformance of those of Grecce and Rome) terizes the present times, and especially will exhibit tu future times, the forms of the British naticn: one, payable at 111the structures which they bear, long after wick, has“ May God preserve the plough their originals may have faded and moul- and fail," a team in a field, and a inip in dered in the dust.

full fail, coming into view behind a head“ Ambition figh’d---she found it vain tu trust land ; a weaver is at work upon a Huvia “ The faithless column, and the crumbling Hill coin, reverse a plough and fhuttle ;

Thijs in full fail are meet infignia of the on Huge moles, whose shadows stretch'd from trade of Liverpool, Yarmouth, Porifea, and

Thore to Thore, “ Their ruins perish'd, and their place no

the Cinque-ports; as a theep, reverse a

wocllen weaver, is of the manufacture of “ Convinc'd, the now 'contraéts her valt Rochdale; and a hop plantation of the design,

best production of the county of Suje." ; só And all her triumphs sink into a coin*.” the rapid and useful mail-coach, and ex

Pope. hibitions of whale fishing and hat-making The abbeys of Melrose, Paisley, St. are seen upon different London pieces, &c. Andrew's, Arbroath, &c. and the best TV. Illustrious characters, and men modern buildings in Edinburgh and remarkable in British history, have now Glasgow, would be desirable objccts for their features transinitted to “ distant Scottish provincial pieces.

climes and ages” upon cominon currency ; 2. Others afford representations of the which perhaps conveys the “ charge great and useful undertakings of the pre- of fame" better than expensive incdalient times : fuch as the iron bridge over lions : Newton, Shakspeare, Johnson,

Howard, Rowe; and the founders or * Pope.--Vesses to Addion in his Diae greatest benefactors of Bath, Soubomiton, leruey on Mcdals.

Lancaster, &c, are honoured upon pieces

of

buit;

more!

or

1796.]
State of Provincial Coins.

869 of general circulation. . Of this class, it henceforth be disposed to employ the artmust be observed with regret, that the ifts of Birmingham, London, &c. to fa. portraits are in general far from being bricate coins for them to the foregoing accurate ; such as they are, however, it obfervations, which I humbly flatrer mymust be acknowledged that they are upon self will be approved by every person of the whole, not interior to the effigies of taite who has made the medallic art a the Roman emperors, in coin of the lower ftudy; and it is much to be wished that empire, the scarce ones of which (with- particular injunctions were given to the out regard to their barbarous execution, engravers, to have the figures on tlie or the contemptible or detestable characa piece much bolder and higher raised than ters of their prototypes) are collected is usually done, which is effecred by havwith 1o much eagernets and expence. ing them more deeply cut into the dye ; Qur's are not Icfs worthy of being styled and the dottu, or plain circle, by which the “ Concifum argenium in titulos fuirth the figures on the field are protected, que minuias*,

should be much stronger and more eleIn this respect allo, Scotland creeps at vated; 'the shapes of even most of these more than her usual distance behind the pieces which I have commended are too filter kingdom. Why are the features of thin and broad ; they should be encrealed Buchanan, Napier, the admirable Crich- in thickness, even though their circumton, Hume, Robertson, Black, Cullen, ference thould be thereby diminished. and Reid, consigned to the fugitive ma- There has been lately communicated terials and faithless charge of paper and to me a {mall copper coin ; the t part of canvals, and not a single medal recording a rupee, done for the East India Comtheir histories to posterity t?

pany, by that diftinguithed leader in V. The dignity of others consists in every useful and elegant art, Mr. Boultheir recording historical events ; ton, of Birmingham, upon a new prinshowing " the very age and body of ciple, admirably calculated to preserve the time its form and pressure,” in bcar- both the figures and legend from being ing symbols of the high spirit of political foon defaced by attrition : the field of the party, which is characteristic of these piece is protected by a circle, broad, plain, days: the naval victory on the 1st of June, and considerably elevated, into which the 1794; the nuptials of the Prince of letters are indenred in inglio, in the Wales; the cruel imprisonment of Ridg- fame form as they usually are round the way and Symonds; and the glorious and externai rim. The improvement is difmemorable acquittal of Hardy and others, ferently modified in different pieces ; are recited on London jettons : one exhi- some having circular, and others elliptibits Paine on a gibbet as a worthless cri. cal portions of the field, bearing the niinal; while others class him with Sir more interesting subjects of the design Thomas More, and mention hin with funken deeper than the level of the exapplause, &c.

terior parts. The origin of this beauVI. Some, lastly, are merely descriptive tiful invention fecms to have been froin and curious : bathing machines and lith. the hand of Dupré, a Parisian artist, in liis ing boats appear on the Lowepoffe piece;

fine “ Médaille, qui fe vend cinq fuls chez the windings of the Stort canal upon one Monneron, patenté," "struck on the first payable at Bishop-Storifordi; the engraver,

æra of the French revolution, in 1790. James, has been very fuccessful in two It may perhaps be objected that there landscapes upon the opposite sides of his improvements will cccasion additional Dudley token; and his elephant upon the expence, and consequent reduction of Piclcock exbibition pieces, is, at least, as the profits of circulation; but it is to be well represented as the same animal is by considered, tha“ even if less weight of ancient artists, upon denarii of the family copper were to be given in that form, the Cæcilia, or upon those of Julius and of public would be no luser ; becaule' the Augustus.

pieces would be much less liable to wear I now earnestly solicit the attention of by friction, than when alınost the whole all companies and individuals, who may rough surface is exposed to continual rub

bing, as by the present style of infipid * Juvenal in his 5th Satire.

bas relief. Among the best provincial + Besides the meed of merit given to distinguished Englishmen on provincial coins,

coins recently published, not a few are many elegant medals have been struck of them. unhappily found destitute of the dates of In Italy and France also, this homage has been the years when they were issued. Such very liberally bestowed on literary, military, is the defect of most of the pieces of and patriotic excellence, during this and the last Kempfon, in Birmingham, bearing public century.

buildings; on those of Skidmore, Hol

born

5 S2

lorn, having St. Andrew's and St. Luke's merely to think of it; and the writer of Churches, although the periods when this paper (though possefling these adThese edifices were founded are given, vantages in a very small degree) may jo year appears for the coins, Caermarthen with truth and justice say, that he has halfpenny has the iron-works, and the prompted the undertaking, and occa. Stratford one commemorates Shakspeare, fioned the existence of several medals and ! and tells the years of his birth and death; good provincial coins. It is likely too, but thele pieces are registered into no æra if persons of respectability were to inof time with respect to themselves. In terest themselves in the coins issued in monuments so lafting, this is a most de- their neighbourhood, that pieces, fufplorable and radical defect. The oiniition ficicn:ly weighty, and of good copper, cannct be too much regretted and cen- would be given to the pub ic; the dirsured ; nor its future correction too ear- creditable Itigma, too juitly thrown, of nefly enjoined.

late, on many of thele coins (in confeA form of much strength and elegance quence of the base arts of tome frauduappears in two promilory Penny tokens lent coiners) removed ; and any interJately communicated : the one bearing a ference of the legislature against the pyramid, and the other a lion in a rocky existence of private mintage averted. cave: and also in fome Lon:un penny This is a most important confideration, pieces exhibiting the Mansion-Houle and and highly worthy of the attention of Somerset-House (the praise of which it those who wish their continuance. is said is due to Mr. Kempion); but it is It should finally be ob crved, that as the painful to add, that, upon-the last-men- tradelinen who issue provincial currency, mentioned ones, no date is to be found to are, in some caies, perions of no great intimate to future ages the time when knowledge or taste, it is the duty of the when they were struck.

engravers, or undertakers employed by The attention of all Medallifts is fo- thom, to suggest the designs and form licited to the subject of this paper. It is which might confer the greatest degree of unfortunate in the objects of their study, respectability on their coins : for this purthat, while so much care and labour are pole, the attention of artists is humbly relavished in e ucidating what has been al- quested to these remarks. Let it be ready done, so little solicitude is bestowed impressed upon the mind of every citizen, on the merit of present performances, that this is a subject upon which, as a and to perfect or extend what might do great master of it has told us, honour to the present age, and present PERPETUAL GLORY OF THE NATION topics for research, instruction, and ad- IS INTERESTED *.” miration, to the antiquaries of suture Dundee, Oil. 1796.

Civis. times. We purchase, collect, or porę with unwearied assiduity upon fomc im- THE ENQUIRER. No. X. portant, and many frivolous veniges of QUESTION: 1s mankind advancing ina ancient mintage ; while extremely little Wirds perfeЕtion ? of our time, influence, and expence are VIRLSQUE ACQUIRIT QUNDO. given to regulate, and judicio fly multi

RG Were we to contrast with luis neglect, SOME philofophers, I fuppofe through

an excets of humility, have asserted, the prodigious activity and liberality that there is no specific distinction which with which lovers of painting, music, raises the nature of man above that of and some other branches of the fine aris, other animais.. Without entering into patronize their respective lines of pursuit, an elaborate comparison of the powers we should probably be animated to more of different animals, the fuperiority of exertion. Much might be done by every man may be inferred with certainty medallist of opulence and influence in from the single fact of the capacity, enthe district where he resides, were he joyed by the human species alone, of jer

petual improvement. The bees of the * It is surprising and vexing to observe, pri fent time torm their cells with wonthat little or no effect has been produced by the derful exactness and regularity; the prepublication of Mr. Pinkerton's admirable chap- ttnt race of birds build their nefis in tet on the " Progress of British Coinage," in a manner perfecily adapted to their achis ad vol. The concluding part of it is wor

commodation, and with a degree of skill thy of the confideration of politicians and phi. ininitable by man : but we are not inlosophers, as well as of men of taite, and lovers of the arts.

* Pinkertoo's E..y, volji. (note) p. 148.

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1795.]
Tle Enquirer. No. X.

871 formed, that either the one

with necessaries and conveniences; and other have inade any improvement upon thus, by gradual advances, from predathe ingenuity' of their ancestors. If tory favages they have become harmleis any individual among the inferior ani- mepherds, industrious hubandmen, inmals—as we presume to call them-has genious mechanics, and politbed citizens. been tortured into a rechanical habit of But, leaving these general views, let performing fome wonderful feat, which us examine more minutely the marks of does not naturally belong to its species, progress towards perfection which appear we never find that it communicates its in the history of knowledge. new accomplishment, by instruction, to If we compare the ancients and moits offspring, for the future improvement derns, with respect to their acquaintance of the species. The famous learned pig with natural objects, we thall find the did not train up a family of learned pigs. latter far fuperior to the former, both in In order to prove the fuperiority of man the variety and accuracy of their informa. to all other animals, nothing farther is, tion. The ancient philosophers proriien, necessary, than to cítablish the affir- fessed, it is true; to study nature; but it mative of the present question, that man- was rather with a view to investigate kind is advancing towards perfection. general truths refpecting its original for

If the subject be considered theoreti- ination, and the causes of production and cally, we certainly find in the powers of decay, than to become acquainted with the human raturc fufficient ground for ex- distinct characters and propertics of inpecting fuch a continued progress, Every dividual bodies; : Thicy were too decply individual pofleffes faculies which enable engaged in fublime speculations conhim to examine the nature of the objects cerning general principles, to interest which furround him, to contemplate' the themselves in minute details respectevents which fall under his observation, . ing particular objects. They travelled, to compare one objcēt and one event with indeed, in search of knowledge; but it another, and to draw general conclusions was not so much to learn the qualities from particular occurrences; and thus to and uses of natural bodies, as to be inbecome, by degrees, pofelfed of that uie. structed in metaphysical theories, and to ful guide in the conduct of lifc, expe- exercise themselves in the arts of difpurience. The experience of different men tation. Plato thought his permanent not only carries each individual, more or ideal world the only ficld of contemplaless, towards perfection, during the course tion worthy the attention of a philofo- . of his life, but may be conceived to serve pher, and regarded visible objeéts as too as a common stock of improvement, which evanescent to deferve a better name than it is the interest of all to preterve and Perní čvice, non-cntitics. And though Ariincreasc; which, therefore, may be itotle, Theophraftus, and Pliny, with reasonably expected to be transmitted fome others, paid more attention to the from age to age, not only without loss, material world, and have left many vabut witinperpetual accumulation. luable proofs of their acquaintance with

If we examine facts, we thall find this nature, no one will think that their acfpeculation confirmed by the general his- counts of natural bodies can deserve to tory of mankind. As far as we are able be compared, in variety of detail, or, acto trace the rise and progress of society curacy of description, with the writings through the mutilated pages of history, of modern naturalists. we find that, at whatever point of civili- in analyzing the component parts of zation any of the inhabitants of the world natural bodies, what is there among the are at present arrived, they have passed, ancients, which can deserve the name of from the lowest state of barbarism, through philosophical chemiítry, compared with certain stages of improvement. At first, what has been done by modern philofo. Itupid or ferocious, they were either con- phers ! If the ancient Egyptians discotented with a precarious fupply of food vered a considerable degree of chemical from thë fpontaneous productions of na- skill, in the embalming of dead bodies; eure, or employed force to render the if, in building their pyramids, they made forest, the plain, the rivers, and seas, use of a cement, with the exact nature tributary to their necessities. The ur- of which we are at present unacquaintgent demands of nature calling into ex- ed ; if it be allowed, that the process of ertion mental energy, as well as bodily distillation, and some other chemical opestrength, they next employed their inge- rations, were not unknown to the annuti in inventing expedients, by means cients; and that they were not ignorant of which they might be better fupplied of many of the properties of what they

improperly

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