Saturday, December 14, 2013

More on early squares of Fife

Earlier this week, I neglected to show the early Dunbog piece that was square.
     So here it is. As such, there are at least three shapes known for this CT: the irregular octagonal as pictured in Brook (BK328), the "lozenge shaped" described in Burzinski (B2243 -- I have not seen this one), and the square one pictured here (not described in BK or B).
     The same die appears to be used for the octagonal and square one. As such, the flans were cut by hand and the die was pressed into each one. It was probably not a hammer die, as there appears to be no evidence of die bounce. A small screw press could have been used.
     The question remains: Did the shapes mean anything special? Or, were the shapes just a result of successive batches? Maybe different cutters made the flans, but I doubt that too much variation would have been tolerated.
     A single die could have been used for several years. Close inspection suggests that the same die was used on the two Dunbog pieces. For example, the dot over the M is slightly off-center to the left on both pieces, and the letters (both inside and outside the inner rim) line up in the same way when comparing them. Wear and corrosion make an exact match difficult to determine.
Anstruther Easter Parish Church
     Also for inspection is the remarkable CT from Anstruther Easter that was found in the vincinity. This one has an anchor in the middle that represents the harbor that is located there (in fact, it is included in the crest of the modern day burgh of Kilrenny, Anstruther Easter & Anstruther Wester. In particular, AE is located on the north bank of the Firth of Forth and is home to a fishing museum that boasts of its maritime history. The church was constructed about 1634 as a chapel for the Kilrenny parish, but it became the parish church for AE in 1640. There is a nice picture of this church on Wikipedia that is attributed to photographer Jim Bain.

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