"Stale smoky air hung in the study with the smell of drab abraded leather of its chairs. As on the first day he bargained with me here. As it was in the beginning, is now. On the sideboard the tray of Stuart coins, base treasure of a bog: and ever shall be." (U2.199)
"And snug in their spooncase of purple plush, faded, the twelve apostles having preached to all the gentiles: world without end." (U2.202)
From Wikipedia: An 'apostle spoon' is a spoon (usually silver, silver-plated, or pewter) with an image of one of the 12 apostles as the termination of the handle, bearing his distinctive emblem. The apostles were the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ who were sent away to 'preach to the gentiles' and spread His gospel (Matt 10:5).
Apostle spoons were particularly popular in Pre-Reformation times when belief in the services of a patron saint was strong. They symbolize the Last Supper of Christ in the company of the Apostles. They were especially popular in England, but were also found in large numbers in Germany and France.
Apostle spoons originated in early 15c. in Europe, and were intended for use at the table. By the 16c. they had become popular as baptismal presents for godchildren. They first appeared as a bequest in the will of one Amy Brent who, in 1516, bequeathed "XIII sylver spones of J' hu and the XII Apostells". They are alluded to by the dramatists Ben Johnson, Thomas Middleton, Francis Beaumont, and John Fletcher. Shakespeare refers to them in Henry VIII. In some communities this tradition continued until at least the mid 20c.
Apostle spoons were sometimes produced in sets of thirteen, the thirteenth (the 'Saviour' or 'Master' spoon) showing Jesus. The British Museum in London has a set from England dating from 1536-7 with the Virgin Mary on the thirteenth spoon.
Complete sets of apostle spoons are currently uncommon, and may be found on ebay.
"And now his strongroom for the gold." (U2.211)
"Stephen's embarrassed hand moved over the shells heaped in the cold stone mortar: whelks and money cowries and leopard shells: and this, whorled as an emir's turban, and this, the scallop of saint James. An old pilgrim's hoard, dead treasure, hollow shells." (U2.212)
"A sovereign fell, bright and new, on the soft pile of the tablecloth" (U2.217)

The Edward VII sovereign was minted, bright and new, in 1902; the portrait was the work of Mr. de Saulles.
"- Three, Mr Deasy said, turning his little savingsbox about in his hand. These are handy things to have. See. This is for sovereigns." (U2.218)

A 'sovereign' = a £1 gold coin depicting the monarch on the obverse, and St George on the reverse.
"This is for shillings. Sixpences, halfcrowns. And here crowns. See.
- He shot from it two crowns and two shillings.
- Three twelve, he said. I think you'll find that's right." (U2.219)
Some definitions:
£sd = pounds, shillings, pence
£1 = 4 crowns = 20 shillings = 120 pence
1 guinea = £1 + 1s
2s coin = florin

Stephen's pay of 'three twelve' means 3 pounds and 12 shillings. It can be written as £3-12-0 or £3/12/0.
Mr Deasy gives it as: 2 £1 notes + 1 sovereign + 2 crowns (= 10s) + 2s.

The next step is understanding this postcard!
"- Thank you, sir, Stephen said, gathering the money together with shy haste and putting it all in a pocket of his trousers.
- No thanks at all, Mr Deasy said. You have earned it." (U2.223)

This PC shows details of Edwardian currency.
"Stephen's hand, free again, went back to the hollow shells. Symbols too of beauty and of power. A lump in my pocket: symbols soiled by greed and misery.
- Don't carry it like that, Mr Deasy said. You'll pull it out somewhere and lose it. You just buy of of these machines. You'll find them very handy.
Answer something." (U2.226)
"- Mine would be often empty, Stephen said.
The same room and hour, the same wisdom: and I the same. Three times now. Three nooses round me here. Well? I can break them in this instant if I will." (U2.232)
"- Because you don't save, Mr Deasy said, pointing his finger. You don't know yet what money is." (U2.236)
"Money is power. When you have lived as long as I have. I know, I know." (U2.237)
"If youth but knew." (U2.238)

From a traditional French saying: 'Si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait' = 'If youth but knew, if old age but could...'
" But what does Shakespeare say? Put but money in thy purse.
- Iago, Stephen murmured.
He lifted his gaze from the idle shells to the old man's stare.
- He knew what money was, Mr Deasy said. He made money. A poet, yes, but an Englishman too. Do you know what is the pride of the English? Do you know what is the proudest word you will ever hear from an Englishman's mouth?" (U2.245)
Nestor Pages: