Source: Melita Historica : A Scientific Review of Maltese History. 5(1968)1(69-70)

VICTOR E. DENARO, Maltese Numismatics: A Bibliography, Malta, Progress Press, 1968, 35 p. with Addendum.

Chev. Denaro is no novice to writings on Maltese Coinage or, indeed, on other aspects of Maltese history. His articles on coinage include “The Mint of Malta,” “Dutch Coins and Maltese Countermarks,” “The Maltese [p.70] Obsidional Coins of 1800,” all appearing in “The Numismatic Chronicle” and “The Malta Siege Ingots of 1799” printed in The Numismatic Circular. His latest work, a reprint from Scientia, Vol. XXXI, 1965, only proves, if any proof is needed, his uninterrupted interest in the subject.

The object of Chev. Denaro’s bibliography, as he himself asserts, “is to facilitate, as far as possible, the work of the average student in the study of Maltese Numismatics and the currency of Malta.” He divides his study into four periods viz: (a) Ancient Times, (b) The Sovereignty of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, (c) The French Occupation, (d) The British Domination and introduces each part by some rather scanty but nonetheless useful information. Chev. Denaro includes bibliographical material that deals with the technical artistic and historical aspects of Maltese coins. Though there is no attempt at some separation of these aspects or of printed from manuscript material, the author is to be commended for his impressive coverage of relevant “books, articles, documents and other publications.” The Bibliography makes no pretence to being complete ― The Author himself admits that ― yet one would have appreciated the inclusion of pertinent documents in the Malta Cathedral Archives (28, 39, 117, 118 and others), and the fuller enumeration of documents in the Royal Malta Library and the Archives of the Inquisitor of Malta. Moreover, mention could have been made of the reviewer’s M.A. thesis, Coinage Problems facing the Order of St. John in Malta (1967) preserved in the R.U.M. Library. Otherwise there is indeed little that can be faulted in Chev. Denaro’ praiseworthy effort.

Though there is so much we can never hope to know, regarding especially the Order’s coinage in Malta, (since over most of the period, the mint records, and in particular the mint accounts do not seem to have survived), Chev. Denaro’s work will be simply invaluable if and when the Monetary History of Malta will be tackled by some enterprising historian. Meanwhile his well-presented Bibliography will remain of special interest to all lovers of numismatics and Maltese history. It should certainly not fail to find a niche in our libraries.

Michael A. Sant