The Winter 2011 issue of the C4 Newsletter from the Colonial Coin Collector's Club included the following announcement of a new book by Sydney F. Martin titled The Rosa Americana Coinage of William Wood.
William Wood conceived a plan to manufacture coins for Britain's American Plantations, which were constantly in need of small change to support everyday commercial trans-actions. This plan became entangled in the politics and economic theories of the day, with King George, his mistress, Isaac Newton, Robert Walpole, and other English notables, as well as the colonial merchants, playing key roles in the story behind the production and distribution of the coins.
Drawing upon his original research the author examines the historical context in which the coins were produced, integrating often conflicting, existing material. Particular attention is paid to the methods employed in manufacturing these coins, from the underlying metallurgy, to the process of preparing and striking the planchets, the locations where they were made and their circulation patterns.
A catalogue of known die varieties is developed for each of the three de-nominations issued. Some 21 varieties of halfpence, 66 varieties of pence, and 36 varieties of twopence are identified. As well as describing the coins themselves, he has explored related experimental and pattern issues, providing new insights into these enigmatic issues. Production quantities are estimated, rarity and condition census data developed, and major holdings examined.
Michael Hodder, in his Introduction states "The best advice anyone can take before undertaking a difficult research
project is condensed in this quotation from Marcus Portius Cato Censorius (234-149 B.C.): 'Master the subject, the words
will follow.' Syd Martin's new book on William Wood's Rosa Americana issues is a good example of the continuing
aptness of the saying."
The book, which is enjoying early favorable reviews, can be obtained from Charles Davis, Numismatic Literature, P.O. Box 547, Wenham, MA 01984; Tel: 978-468-2933; Fax: (978) 468 7893; email:
NOTE: the shipping cost has been left out, but Charlie Davis informs me the book cost is $85.00 plus $6.75 shipping.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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