Society for Creative Anachronism ARCHIVE
An Tir/West War A.S.35(2000)
 
 
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   An Tir/West War is a major event held on the fourth of July, in alternating years in northern California and southern Oregon. (The Kingdom of the West is the SCA branches in California north of about Merced [I think]; the Kingdom of An Tir is the branches in Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and northern Idaho. An Tir was originally a Principality of the West, and An Tir's war of independence was theoretically the occasion for the first An Tir/West War.) These commemorative medals are (usually) struck on site at the war as a joint project of the Moneyers' Guilds of the two kingdoms, and is our main annual fundraiser.

   The An Tir Guild provides the dies and a couple of dozen fine silver strikes (struck before the war), selling for $6 each, and the Westies (ideally) provide hundreds of pewter blanx and most of the grunt labor of striking the coins (a dramatic demo, as coins this size require two man striking - one holding the trussel [i.e. "hammer die"] and the other wielding a 6# sledge.

   AT/WW A.S.35(2000): The model for this year's commem is a gold angel, struck in Ghent in 1387-'88, to commemorate Flanders coming under the rule of the House of Burgundy (hence the two shields - one of which shows a rampant lion [for Flanders, I think]). Since it seemed rather incongruous to have an angel commemorating a war, the inscription reads "pax post bel(lum) int(er) a-t(i)r+oc(cidentis)a.s.xxxv" for "peace after war between an tir and the west, year of the society 35".

   Unfortunately, mintage of this type was somewhat lower (perhaps by as much as half) than previous year's AT/WW types. Attendance at this year's war was lower than expected, probably largely because the 4th of July was on a Tuesday, and a lot of people didn't get Monday off. Also, we didn't have as much time to strike and sell the coins because the event was cut short by a day by a windstorm on Sunday (I heard reports of gusts to 75 mph - a lot of tents blew down, and the ones that weren't blown or taken down in time suffered broken poles).

   [Again, there are two minor varieties of this type available.] One was struck on site at the War on a blank provided by the Moneyers Guild of the West; these blanx are somewhat thicker, and the pewter (possibly containing more impurities) is somewhat darker color. These were struck with two-man striking, with various individuals - with varying degrees of skill - hand holding the upper die. Consequently, inevitably and as usual, die clash nicks accumulated on the face of the pile (anvil die) from the edge of the trussel (hammer die) hitting it as the die holder's grip failed to control the rebound of the trussel from the hammer blow. The second variety I struck at home after the War - and after "repairing" many of the smaller nix by burnishing and some re-engraving (e.g. on the angel's legs) - using my wooden "trussel jig" mounted on my heavy anvil to hold the hammer die as I struck it. Also, I was striking on :w

   some blanx provided by An Tir Guild Journeyman moneyer William Bjornsun, who made them thinner than the pewter blanx usually used even in the An Tir Guild - and because he's a professional silversmith, much cleaner and brighter metal. It is one of this latter variety that I'm sending you now.

The Moneyer of Silberbyrg ... EMail:Ian Cnulle (Greg Franck-Weiby)