Gale, Roger - Catalogue of the coin collection of Roger Gale

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Roger Gale, Cambridge, 1737/01/14

Gale, Roger - Catalogue of the coin collection of Roger Gale
FINA IDUnique ID of the page  15430
TitleTitel of the book. Catalogue of the coin collection of Roger Gale
InstitutionName of Institution. Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, Department of Coins and Medals
PlacePlace of publication of the book, composition of the document or institution. Cambridge 52° 12' 19.91" N, 0° 7' 7.19" E
InventoryInventory number. 43 CJ 42.C15 (MS)
AuthorAuthor of the document. Roger Gale
CollectorCollector. Roger Gale
Catalogue dateDate when the catalogue was issued: day - month - year . January 14, 1737
LanguageLanguage of the correspondence Latin
Associated personsNames of Persons who are mentioned in the annotation. Andreas Morell, Anselmo Maria Banduri, Ezechiel Spanheim, Francesco Mezzabarba Birago, Jean Foy-Vaillant
LiteratureReference to literature. Burnett 2020b, pp. 396-71
External LinkLink to external information, e.g. Wikpedia 
KeywordNumismatic Keywords  Roman , Roman Republican , Bronze , Gold , Silver
Grand documentOriginal passage from the "Grand document".

'The catalogue is over 200 pages long, and every coin is carefully described in Latin, each page being divided into two columns, so that later additions could be added (as they were, presumably in 1737–44). It was arranged by period and metal, then module:

1–67 Numismata Consularia Arg.
69–71 Deorum et Dearum in denariis capita. [Alphabetical list by deity, referring to Republican coins]
73–9 Numismata Consularia Aerea
81–6 Numismata Aurea (‘apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto’)
1–232 Numismata Imperialia [bronze and silver], with Notarum Explicatio (232)
233–6 Numismatum Imperialium valores prout ab Ezechiele Spanheimio aestimantur. [a copy of this section (with minor variants) exists in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Lat. Misc. f.17]
[237–8] Index Imperatorum

The catalogue reveals his expertise. The descriptions of the coins are very detailed and good, and he devoted special care to the Republican coins which were his favourites. He did not add many comments, even when one might have expected some (e.g. for Otho, or for the coins of Gordian I and II), although he made an observation on the authenticity of the coins of Elagabalus’s ‘women’, stating that he was including them until better specimens turned up. Beyond that, he might query whether the coins of Hosidius Geta depicted a boar or a goat, and state how to distinguish Jupiter Axur from Jupiter Capitolinus. He did not provide regular references to publications, but he did sometimes cite the Arschot catalogue, Mediobarbus, Morel (sometimes disagreeing with him), Vaillant, and Banduri (especially when a coin was not included in Banduri’s book).' (Burnett 2020b, pp. 396-7)

RemarksRemarks regarding the annotation. (en)

There is also in the Fitzwilliam a second, fair, copy (with the same press mark), of a smaller size and running to 344 pages. The copy is written in the hand of the more general 18th-century catalogue discussed below. The copy is not titled, but the coins are exactly the same, and it has later been annotated ‘Catalogue of Mr Gales Coins’. A slip of paper has also been added, stating ‘A Cabinet of Coins bequeathed to the University by Roger Gale Esq. at Scruton, Yorks, 1743’, and that it was ‘Transferred from the University Library 5 May 1856’. That it is a copy of the other 1737 version (the original) is clear from the way that the later additional entries to the original catalogue, added by Gale either in the second column or in slightly different handwriting, have all been written out in a single sequence. The copy also omits a few of Gale’s comments, as well as the last sections (‘Numismatum ... valores’ and ‘Index Imperatorum’). The imperial coins have also been divided into separate sequences for the silver and the bronze. (en)


  1. ^  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.