Chris Comber - Great Loss To Numismatics

Chris Comber

YNS salutes the death of Chris Comber, a suave gentleman with a happy
disposition. A stalwart of BANS, he was the leading authority in his
field of Tudor hammered coinage and his passing represents another great
loss to numismatics.

PS: We'll miss those wonderful waistcoats!

YNS will hold a Congress at the Old Swan

YNS 110

YNS will hold a Congress at the Old Swan, in parallel to the Harrogate Spring Fair, 15-16 March 2019, to celebrate its 110th year. A number of speakers, including John Philpotts, Tony Abramson, Barrie Cook, Adrian Marsden, Frances Simmons, Richard Abdy, Richard Fynes, Rob Tye and Pam West will illustrate their chosen topic by reference to a dozen or so readily available coins, which the audience can then search out among the traders present at the fair.
The appeal will be broad, placing coins in their historical context and conversely illustrating history through coinage. We will promote the event to collectors, historians, detectorists, and local residents with the aim of offering engaging talks spread throughout the fair, introducing newcomers to the delights of collecting and providing a stimulus to dealers to continue attending the fair.
The coin fair, now organised by John & Sophie Philpotts of Silbury Coins, is now fully booked with several new exhibitors joining the regulars.

For more information please visit:



I am currently purging the YNS archives of material. If anyone has, and is willing to part with, the following annual membership cards, it would fill gaps in the official records:

1970, 71, 78, 79
1981, 82, 83, 84, 85, 87, 88, 89
1990, 91
2009, 2010, 2012

Please e mail

Obituary - Michael Metcalf

Michael Metcalf

It is with great sadness that the Society learned of the death of YNS member Emeritus Professor David Michael Metcalf who died on 25 October 2018.  Professor Metcalf was Keeper of the Heberden Coin Room in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford from 1963 and a Professorial Governing Body Fellow of Wolfson from 1982 to 1998 and an Emeritus Fellow from 1998 to 2018. 
He was a prolific author and speaker in several numismatic fields including Anglo-Saxon coinage, where his seminal Thrymsas and Sceattas in the Ashmolean Museum Oxford (1993-4) remains a landmark publication, built on a then unparalleled corpus of finds, in a previously largely neglected field.
He was happy to speculate on various aspects of coinage in the hope that discussion would be stimulated, and better arguments would prevail. He gave encouragement and guidance to many collectors and students of numismatics and was a prolific correspondent, typically answering letters by return post.
He was characteristically mild-mannered and perceptive, handling difficult situations, such as Elizabeth Pirie’s deeply controversial arrangement of Northumbrian stycas, with great tact and sensitivity, though he was quite capable of taking a robust approach.
His passing represents a major loss to the world of numismatic and beyond.

More info at

Coinage in the Northumbrian Landscape and Economy

Coinage in the Northumbrian Landscape and Economy, c.575–c.867

Tony Abramson

The data is detailed and comprehensive and its interpretation has the benefit of the author’s expert knowledge of the crucial numismatic material. … The sheer depth and breadth of the chronological and geographical analysis of relevant Northumbrian finds … provides a unique perspective on the role of money in the community at that time.’ Dr Stewart Lyon, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London

Abramson’s project offers a combination of scope and detail that is not easily paralleled in existing literature. … As a significant and thorough analysis of monetary production and circulation in the north of England, [it] represents a significant contribution to knowledge.’ Dr Rory Naismith, King’s College London

This book presents the author’s digitization of Pirie’s substantial yet flawed corpus of 9th-century Northumbrian ‘stycas’. This database, enhanced by data from elsewhere, is compared by location with the artefactual database known as VASLE (created at the University of York, 2008) to demonstrate that the co-occurrence of coins and portable artefacts defines monetary evolution in Northumbria. Additionally, the author presents a new periodization and reveals the previously disparaged gold shillings of York to have been issued by Bishop Paulinus, a disruptive finding chronologically, with wider consequences. Northumbria benefited increasingly, both monetarily and fiscally, as the face value of coins fell. Other conclusions include the idea that Northumbrian coin production was erratic; that the Yorkshire Wolds were more highly monetized than the surrounding lowlands, indicating a more enterprising culture; that styca hoards represent episcopal expropriations; and that there were significant changes in settlement and economy in the central lowlands. This work demonstrates that monetization reflected northern independence, innovation and enterprise.

BAR No: B641 | RSP: £49 / €73.50 / US$98 | ISBN: 9781407316536 | Language: English | 229 pages, Illustrated throughout in colour and black and white. 4 tables, 161 figures, 13 graphs, 9 maps, 23 illustrations (10 plates and 13 individual illustrations). With additional information online (databases and datasets).

Talk: Portraits of a Lady - The Cult and Iconography of the Goddess Nana.

This paper by Richard Fynes, explores the aspects of the cult of the asiatic goddess Nana, with an emphasis on the numismatic evidence.

The Picture shows the Central Asian goddess Nana (Ardokhsho) seated on her lion mount is likely the source for this small icon from Buddhist Afghanistan. Central and North Asia, 500–1000 A.D.

Date and Time

Fri 20 July 2018
14:30 – 15:30


The Grandstand
York Racecourse
Tadcaster Road
YO23 1EX