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Money and Medals: mapping the UK’s numismatic collections will highlight the work of the Money and Medals Network.

The network, with members from 150 museums, country houses, libraries and universities around the UK, aims to make numismatics more accessible to museum staff and the public.

Run by the British Museum, the network promotes numismatics – the study of coins, medals, banknotes and associated objects – and encourages the sharing of knowledge.

Olivier Stocker, chairman and CEO of Spink, said: “After celebrating our 350th year of continuous business in London, we wanted to lay the foundations for our next century in numismatics… and this partnership with the British Museum is a natural fit.”

The event, to run from March 22-September 30, is the first of two exhibitions that Spink is sponsoring.

Money machine

Owen Supreme Magic Money Machine, a conjuring prop that seemingly transforms a blank roll of paper into banknotes. Photo: © the Magic Circle.

Henry Flynn, exhibition curator at the British Museum, said: “Numismatic objects may be small, but they can be used to tell big stories, which is something this exhibition aims to demonstrate.”

The exhibition will include objects from the museum, such as a coin cabinet containing silver shillings of Henry VIII, as well as objects from six participating institutions, many of which have never been loaned before.

The loans in the exhibition comprise:

  • Objects belonging to Henry Hook VC from the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh. Hook, after winning the Victoria Cross for gallantry at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift in the Zulu War, was helped to a position in the British Museum, dusting the books in its library collection, by a letter of recommendation written in 1881 by his former commanding officer Lord Chelmsford. Letters from Rorke’s Drift VC winners John Chard and John Williams VC are also part of this collection.
  • A selection of coins and tokens from Knowsley Hall. The mostly Roman coins were discovered at this Merseyside country house in 2013.
  • Objects from Armagh Robinson Library, an institution founded in 1771 by Archbishop Richard Robinson. Robinson collected coins and medals and a selection of his Roman coins and replica medals of Louis XIV will be included in the display.
  • A range of numismatic objects borrowed from Inverness Museum and Art Gallery.
  • A framed set of replica Greek coins, dating to the late 19th century, from the Science Museum.
  • The Magic Circle Museum has loaned a number of items including a Magic Money Machine and a boxed set of coin tricks.