Belleek Classic Old Irish Coin - Hare Threepiece
In 1926 the Irish Free State government passed the Coinage Act which empowered the Minister for Finance to make and issue silver, nickel and bronze coins. A committee was established to choose designs for these new Irish coins. This committee was headed by famous Irish poet, dramatist and writer WB Yeats, one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature.
It was recommended that the coins feature a series of native animals because of their central importance to the mainly agricultural economy of Ireland at the time.
Percy Metcalfe’s designs were selected as the winner of the competition for these pre-decimal coins. The first Irish coin series consisted of eight coins: farthing, halfpenny, penny, threepence, sixpence, shilling, florin and half-crown. These coins were first issued on 12 December 1928.
The harp was chosen for the obverse of the coins, as the harp has been the heraldic emblem of Ireland for centuries. The design of the harp featured on the coins is inspired by the Trinity College Harp, an early Irish harp or wire-strung cláirseach. Expert in Irish antiquities, Charles Vallancey wrote that this harp was once owned by Brian Ború, High King of Ireland, although this link was later dismissed. It is not clear who commissioned the harp but is thought to have been made in the 14th or 15th century and is the oldest of three surviving medieval harps from the region.
This threepence coin ornament featuring the Irish hare and the iconic harp are a celebration of Irelands rich history.
- Made and Handpainted in Ireland
- Measures - 9.4cmL x 8.9cmD x 1.5cmH
- Clean with dry soft cloth