Monday, September 10, 2007

The End - or is it? Part 2

Part 1 here

OK, so it wasn't such a hot first night, but Saturday started really well. It didn't rain, in fact it was blazing hot - which made wearing wool a challenge......
By eleven am we were authentic and ready to roll. I was in my usual place at my moneyer's stump.
I have shown a proficiency at not only hammering coins, but also at selling the coins to the public. The kids love me and their parents think I'm funny too.....

You can see a picture of me at Pembroke Castle with my moneyer stump here.

The coin die comes in four pieces; a strong large tree stump, the 'pile' which is fixed firmly into the stump by a spike, the 'collar' which slips over the pile and holds the die together and the 'trussel' which slots into the collar and sits on top of the pile. One side of the coin is etched into the pile, the other side of the coin is etched on the trussel. You put a 'blank' (coin shaped piece of metal) onto the pile (lining the blank up with the design), you put the collar on, slot in the trussel and then hit the whole shebang with a very heavy hammer. Pulling the die apart, you then get a coin which is instantly struck on both sides. This year I have been hammering Edward III silver pennies, period 1370.

A sample of questions I have been asked:

'Where do you all sleep?' - to which I just waved over at the ranks of pretty medieval tents behind me and said 'er - here?' That usually gets an impressed chuckle :-)

'Where do you all go for a bath?' - of course, being a proper medieval peasant woman the only correct answer is 'what's a bath?'. That had the little girls taking about 2 hours out of their day to attempt to describe a bath to us.

'What do you do in your real life?' - which I answered with my hammer in mid-swing 'Why, I'm a health and safety officer'. That one always guaranteed a laugh.

And on this event one woman plucked up courage and said 'Can I ask about your underwear?'. Aginoth and I looked at each other and replied 'You could, if we wore any.........'. [chuckle]
[whisper] we actually do - but our medieval counterparts wouldn't have.

These were good humorous questions, so I worked them into my spiel.
Hmm - my spiel.....the design of the coin die, the etched images, the way it fits together, some background to the silver penny, medieval coins and moneyers in general, some cutesy stuff for the children and some historical fact for the mums and dads. Moneying is good fun with a crowd, because people ask lots of questions, the same jokes come out and the crowd always swells.

Saturday was a slow day for the Company of Chivalry. Not only did we not get a lot of advertising during the day, but our arena shows were drowned out by the site PA system. But we resolutely soldiered on, and there will be more about the show tomorrow.

A very nice gentleman who was at the show and 'Flickred' his photos has given me permission to use them - so they will be on here tomorrow.


1 comment:

Uisce said...

hammering coins? I never thought about where they come from! so were they real silver?