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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 6, February 11, 2007, Article 3

REVIEW: FINLAY'S MINING AND RELATED TOKENS OF WEST CUMBERLAND

Bob Lyall submitted the following review of 'The Mining and Related
Tokens of West Cumberland' by Michael Finlay.

"This is a very comprehensive study of the coal mining and lime works
tokens from the West Cumberland area of England.  Its illustrations
cover all the 143 different tokens traced with very high quality
colour photographs of both sides of every token.  In addition, there
are some 117 illustrations, again in colour, relating to the token
businesses, ranging from 19th century photographs of a mine, to the
impressive houses of the mine owners, the portraits of the owners
and to 18th century large scale maps and sketches.

"All the tokens are described in full and include a rarity rating.
There is detailed history of the businesses using them and even
heraldic coats of arms of the various mine owners.  The tokens include
several value stated pieces for the 17th century but the majority were
for tallying the mining and movement of the coal from the pits to the
ships that carried the coal.  They often have the coat of arms of the
mine’s owner or attractive depictions of coal wagons and ships used to
carry the coal, often to Ireland.  Many have 18th century dates on them
but one of the latest has a steam engine, which, to my eye, looks to
date to c1845.  A few of the tokens are less easy on the eye being more
of a “home made” style with just initials of the owners stamped on
plain flans, but the majority would seem to have been made in a very
professional environment.

"Whilst most of the book is devoted to the coal businesses, some 20
pages are about the lime kilns and the tokens used in that business.
There are 50 pages of biographical data about the issuers and a
comprehensive bibliography; a detailed and helpful index finishes
this book.

"It is hard to put into words just what a superb book this is.  I
have never read a better produced one and, although its price is more
than the average price for a numismatic book, this is not a normal
book."

"It was published in 2006 by Plains Books at £50 (+ postage). 196
pages, A4 size.  ISBN-13; 9781872477015 and ISBN-10; 1872477011
Orders may be sent, payment (including £7 postage to USA) with
order, to:  Plains Books, PO Box 212, Carlisle, Cumbria, England
CA5 6WA"

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
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