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THE COINAGE OF THE KNIGHTS IN MALTA Preface We have undertaken to produce, as far as possible, an up-dated reference work on the coinage struck by the Order of St. John in Malta (1530 – 1798). Our two main objectives were, first to give a precise and detailed description of every known coin of this period and secondly to present the catalogue in a simple way which will enable the professional numismatist as well as the inexperienced collector to classify his coins. E.H. Furse’s “Memories Numismatiques de l’Ordre Souverain de Saint Jean de Jerusalem”, first printed in 1885, and H. Calleja Schembri’s “Coins and Medals of the Knights of Malta”, first printed in 1908, have been the standard works on the subject, but for a long time both works were out of print and difficult to find, until they were reprinted a few years ago in their original form. In a span of sixty nine years hundreds of varieties and a number of denominations not known as having been struck by certain Grand Masters have come to light. As these varieties were not described by previous authors, both numismatic dealers and collectors have had to resort to the now hackneyed term “not in Schembri or Furse”. Under the circumstances and having experienced the same difficulties ourselves in cataloguing our own collections, we have endeavored to differentiate between the various types, busts, shields, edge decorations and readings. We should also like to point out that we were unable to verify the existence of a few varieties, and in such cases their description by previous authors has not been altered. In describing the rarity of coins we have departed from the method (R.I – R.8) used in the latest work on the subject, and we have adopted the more accepted version of S., R.I, R.2, R.3, R.4, PU. (scarce, rare, very rare, extremely rare, of the highest rarity and probably unique). Whilst working on the catalogue we have kept records of the number of specimens of gold and silver coins that we have examined in museums and private collections and of those which have been listed in most of the catalogues published by European dealers. Therefore our scale of rarity in this respect is reasonably accurate. However, the scale of rarity of copper coins, especially those struck after 1720, proved difficult. Our problem lay in determining what is common and what is rare. There are certain copper denominations which were struck in large quantities but which do not seem to appear on the market, so we decided to use the letter “S” (scarce) for the commoner copper pieces as well as for some silver types. We have tried not to over describe the rarity of Maltese coins; on the other hand we could not afford to underestimate it as most coins of the Order of St. John are hard to find nowadays. We are grateful for having been allowed access to the numismatic collection of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in Rome as well as to other collections in the following European museums:- a) Order of St. John Museum, St. John’s Gate, Clerkenwell, London. b) National Museum, Valletta, Malta. c) Cathedral Museum, Mdina, Malta. d) British Museum, London. e) Munzkabinett Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien. f) Cabinet de Medailles de la Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. g) Ritterhaus Bubikon (Zurich) Collection. To the Trustees of the above and in particular to Mr. Francis S. Mallia, Dip. Arhael. (Lond) Director of Museums, Malta, and Mr. Tancred C. Gouder his assistant, Mss Pamela J. Willis, M.A., Curator of the Library and Museum of the Order of St. John, London, Dr. H. Jungwirth of the Munzkabinett, Vienna, Mr. Eugen Hotz, Bubkon and Dr. Erich Cahn of Basel, we are deeply grateful for their courtesy and ready assistance at all times. We must also render our thanks to Dr. V.A. Depasquale, LL.D, Librarian, National Library of Malta, for his advice, to Mr. Emmanuel Azzopardi, a keen and expert Maltese numismatist for his assistance and for allowing us to photograph a number of specimens from his own collection, to Mr. Peter Seaby and Mr. Lawrence Brown of B.A. Seaby Ltd, London, and Dott. Franco Bartolotti, Rimini, for their valuable advice on technical matters, and finally to Mr. Robin Mirrlees, Comte de La Lanne, for revising the heraldic descriptions appearing in this work. To all other friends, and they are too many for individual mention, who have been of help to us by their advice, suggestions and assistance, we acknowledge a debt of gratitude. Felice Restelli Joseph C. Sammut

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