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Pierre_Henri

Some interesting information regarding the Griqua Coinage

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Pierre_Henri

For some reason, a major work by a well-known researcher & author on South African Numismatics of the previous century, Matthy Esterhuysen, is not included in most summaries of South African numismatic publications. Maybe because it was only published in Afrikaans in those days. (It is a large 185-page hardcover coffee-table sized book)

It is called “Ons Gelderfenis” (Our Coin Heritage) published in 1980.

(Amongst other works, Matthy Esterhuysen also wrote the book The Burgerspond – South Africa’s first Gold Coin that was published in 1976)

Regarding the Griqua coinage, she notes some interesting information that I was never aware of…

Firstly, a few years ago on this forum, Professor Francois Malan and I had a discussion to whom the “Roos Collection of Griqua Coins” might relate to after I stated the following.

“As a matter of interest, in 1940 some Griqua pieces were examined by J.T. Becklake, who was the last Deputy Master of the Royal Mint Pretoria & the First Director of the South African Mint. His findings were published years later in July 1955 in the first issue of De Nummis, the journal of the Transvaal Numismatic Society.

He compared the weights, diameters and thickness of the Griqua token coins that were in the collections of the Mint in Pretoria, Spink in London, the Africana Museum in Johannesburg and a private Transvaal collector, Mr. Roos, to whom he refers to as the late Mr. Roos, who must have died before 1940.

Spink only had a quarter penny and 5-pence piece in their collection (stock) but both the Pretoria Mint and the Africana museum in Johannesburg, as well as the late Mr. Roos, had examples of all four the Griqua coins (copper ¼ and ½ pieces and silver 5 and 10 pence pieces)

Becklake specifically states that the copper farthing and half-penny in the Roos collection were “worn pieces” as were the obverse of the quarter penny in the Pretoria Mint’s collection”

Professor Malan responded…

“The Mr Roos you referring to is probably the famous politician Tielman Roos. For the Huisgenoot of 2 June 1933 he wrote an article on Suid-Afrikaanse Munstukke under the name J. De V. Roos (his correct initials). The editor mentioned that the author possessed one of the most interesting collections of South African coins.”

We now actually have a definite answer …

On page 59 of  “Ons Gelderfenis” (Our Coin Heritage) by  Matthy Esterhuysen, she states that (my translation)...

“A Set of Griqua coins was donated to the museum by Mr. J de Villiers Roos, former Controller and Auditor-General of the Union of South Africa. The 5d piece was bought by him in 1925 on a London auction for £5, an amount that was very high even in those days”

(My own research shows that this person was born in 1869 and died in 1940)

Thus NOT the well-known politician and Justice Minister from 1924 to 1929, Tielman Roos (1879-1935) that Professor Malan speculated the person was. He and Tielman were not even brothers (but they could have been cousins).

Another interesting observation is that Esterhuysen states that she knows of only 4 collections (of which the Roos collection was one) who had all 4 denominations of the Griqua coinage included (thus a complete Griqua collection) but she mentions that a few more collectors had single pieces.

Esterhuysen mentions that the two copper issues are scarcer that the two silver issues, but now, many years later, we know that that is not necessarily true – my last take on them a few years back shows the combined NGC and PCGS population statistics for 37 copper pieces and only 31 silver pieces.

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Hope this will help @Pierre_Henri

I had a look at his estate file. I cannot find his will in it, but did find this document below showing that he indeed donated coins to the Transvaal Museum. He also left coins to his son and then a Malan person. He indeed passed away in 1940. And, oh yes, he was the uncle of Tielman Roos.

1.jpg

Edited by Coin Database

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This is his death notice.

2.jpg

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Jacob de Villiers Roos had a brother, Johannes Henoch Neethling Roos. He was the father of the politician Tielman de Villiers Roos.

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Pierre_Henri
2 hours ago, Coin Database said:

Jacob de Villiers Roos had a brother, Johannes Henoch Neethling Roos. He was the father of the politician Tielman de Villiers Roos.

Very interesting thank you!

So Tielman (born in 1879) was only 10 years younger than his uncle Jacob (born in 1869)   

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On 12/10/2018 at 5:11 PM, Pierre_Henri said:

Very interesting thank you!

So Tielman (born in 1879) was only 10 years younger than his uncle Jacob (born in 1869)   

Yep, that is correct.

His brother, Johannes was born in August 1851.

Edited by Coin Database

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