Brent, Charles - Liber Aedis Christi Ex dono Car. Brent A.M. A.D. 1718

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Charles Brent, Oxford, 1718

Brent, Charles - Liber Aedis Christi Ex dono Car. Brent A.M. A.D. 1718
FINA IDUnique ID of the page  14350
TitleTitel of the book. Liber Aedis Christi Ex dono Car. Brent A.M. A.D. 1718
InstitutionName of Institution. Oxford, Christ Church Library
PlacePlace of publication of the book, composition of the document or institution. Oxford 51° 45' 7.25" N, 1° 15' 28.26" W
InventoryInventory number. MS 691
AuthorAuthor of the document. Charles Brent
Catalogue dateDate when the catalogue was issued: day - month - year . 1718
LanguageLanguage of the correspondence Latin
Associated personsNames of Persons who are mentioned in the annotation. Browne Willis, John King
LiteratureReference to literature. Burnett 2017-20181, Burnett 2020b, pp. 1449-51, 4082
External LinkLink to external information, e.g. Wikpedia
KeywordNumismatic Keywords  Christ Church Oxford, Coin Collection , Gold , Silver , Bronze , Roman , Roman Republican , Roman Imperial , Greek
Grand documentOriginal passage from the "Grand document".

'Rundle has shown that the coins catalogued in Charles Brent’s catalogue of 1718 were not his gift to the college, as had previously been inferred from the inscription on the flyleaf: ‘Liber Ædis Christi Ex dono Car. Brent. A.M. A.D. 1718,’ since the coins are mostly those already catalogued 30 years before by Hannes. Brent’s ‘gift’ was, like Hannes’s, his catalogue. Brent had given a few coins in 1717, but only three coronation medals, of Charles II, James II and George I.
Brent’s catalogue is dated 1718, and it replaced the Hannes catalogue of 1686. Brent had previously worked on the Hannes catalogue, marking coins that were missing and adding a few coins and some comments. The new catalogue was, of course, more up to date than its predecessor, and it was rather more accurate, but it is less interesting than its earlier counterpart.
Brent had clearly reorganised the collection, which must be why he produced the new catalogue. Hannes’s catalogue had followed an organisation of the coins by emperor, and, within each emperor’s reign, he had had marked the coins as either being silver (AR) or bronze (AE). Brent, following these indications made by Hannes, had decided to divide the collection by metal, and the numbering of the trays shows that they were now housed in two cabinets (one each for silver and bronze).
As with the Hannes catalogue, the Brent catalogue summarises the collection at the beginning of the volume. The numbers do not quite fit with the details of his catalogue, but are very close:

Novbis 26. 1718. Reperiuntur in Scrinijs Nummarijs Bibliothecae Aedis Christi Nummi Antiqui in universum. 488. sc.
3 Aurei, quorum duo Laminati
5 Argentei Græci
41 Argentei Rom’ Consularis 2 Arg. Incerti
2 Argentei Rom’ Impp.
1 Aereus Græcus
126 Aerei Romani

The similarity of the totals between the 1686 and 1718 catalogues, however, disguises considerable changes to the collection. As noted above, Brent had marked 39 coins as missing in the Hannes catalogue, and three more were also unaccounted for in 1718. However, a considerable number of new coins had also been acquired. One cannot be too exact about the figure, given some of the uncertainties which arise in comparing the two catalogues: some coins which are probably the same are described somewhat differently, and many—perhaps all?—of Hannes’s ‘Nummi Incerti’ have been assigned new places, and others cannot always be tracked. With such caveats, however, it seems that nine Republican and about 42 Roman Imperial coins had been added. There is no very pronounced pattern to the new imperial arrivals, though most of them were denarii of the second or early third century. They are probably the ‘Novem numismata antiqua quorum tria sunt argentea, caetera aerea’ [nine ancient coins, of which three are silver and the rest bronze], given by John King of London in 1691 and the ‘Quadraginta circiter melioris notae numismata’ [approximately 40 coins of a better type] presented by the young Browne Willis in 1703. Despite the description of the latter as being ‘of a better type,’ Willis was much later reported as stating that ‘that the Coins he gave to Christ Church were only Duplicates,’ from which Thomas Hearne concluded, ‘so that I apprehend they are very inconsiderable.’'

(Burnett 2020b, pp. 1449-51)

RemarksRemarks regarding the annotation. (en)

On deposit at the Ashmolean Museum, Heberden Coin Archive, Arch. Coll. 9. (en)


  1. ^  Burnett, A.M. (2017-2018), “‘The Roman Collection at Christ-Church’: early coin catalogues,” Christ Church Library Newsletter, 10/1-3, p. 9-18.
  2. ^  Burnett, Andrew M. (2020), The Hidden Treasures of this Happy Land. A History of Numismatics in Britain from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, BNS Special Publ. No 14 = RNS Special Publ. No 58, London, Spink & Son.