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This guy


It was an unexpectedly nice day today. I would like to digress a moment and tell you that weather reporting is utter shit here. They can’t help it — it’s a little island stuck out in the wild Atlantic — but they make predictions with such confidence and they are always, always, ALWAYS wrong. I miss being in New England, where you get to watch your weather come at you for five days.

Anyhoo! It was supposed to be cloudy, but nay it was sunny, so we decided, more or less randomly, to go to Bodiam Castle. Little did we know they were hosting a sort of Medieval Fair (Fayre, Faire, Faër, or Phære).

Most of the activities were for kids, and then there was this guy. He was hammering coins more or less in the manner of old. He put a disk of metal between two dies and bang, there you go. A man who did this for a living would be expected to make 2,000 in a day, he said.

He explained in some detail how he screwed with the mint marks on the back so no-one would think they were real old coins. As you might imagine, forging collectible coins is a thing, and collectors are mighty grumpy about it. But as all of this guy’s blanks were pewter, I doubt that would ever be an issue.

He also made jewelry and other bits. I bought a rather wicked-looking pewter torque bracelet, hammered and twisted (like moi). It didn’t fit, so he used brute force to pull it open and close it around my wrist. So…I guess I wear this permanently now.

Gotta show you this one large and in color, so you can see how cool his stuff is. My bracelet is just visible in the red case at the far left of the picture. Pictures courtesy Uncle B.


Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: August 5, 2015, 10:40 pm

I love those old time re-enactors. Thunder Bay Ontario at Ft William does it all summer long, like Williamsport Virginia.

Comment from gromulin
Time: August 6, 2015, 1:46 am

I could chat with that dude for hours. Lost arts, lost skills. As I reach the point in my life where metal detectors, velour jumpsuits and fanny packs become less a joke and more an Amazon search…Bravo, Ms. Weasel. You have chosen wisely.

Comment from Mitchell
Time: August 6, 2015, 2:08 am

Noice. Actual stuff made for reals and not cheap Chinese crap all the ren-fairs over here shovel at you.

Comment from bad cat robot
Time: August 6, 2015, 2:18 am

Oooh, somebody else knows about Thunder Bay! I lived there for a bit when I was a sprout. They still had a functional Hudson’s Bay Company store, complete with scent for your fur traps, bear skins, and trade beads. Other items of note– a commercial-grade amethyst mine, and personal experience that -40 F is the same thing as -40 C. It had its moments…but even the Canucks think it is the back of beyond.

Comment from mojo
Time: August 6, 2015, 4:58 am

What sort of coins was he making? Large-cross silver pennies?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 6, 2015, 12:44 pm

He seemed to have dozens of dies, mojo. If you look to the left in the color picture, you’ll see several display cases full of coins. Each of those was a different design.

Comment from LexiRedLion
Time: August 7, 2015, 12:04 am

2,000 in a day is a boatload of coins, a shit-ton of work. He’d have to stamp one coin every 28.8 seconds to work just a 16-hour day.

Comment from Little Black Sambo
Time: August 11, 2015, 9:18 am

It’s actually a large island.

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