Friday 15 April 2011

A Numismatic Collecting History

The current catalogue of the Baldwin's sale of British coins reveals that many of them are being sold with the collectors' tickets which in some cases reveal a collecting history going back to 'pre-decimal days'. One coin in particular, lot 602 London mint halfgroat of Richard III has what the auctioneer describes as "a fantastic provenance":
ex Samuel Tyssen collection, Leigh and Sotheby, 6 December 1802, lot 213, sold for £3/4/- to Dimsdale
ex Thomas Dimsdale collection, Sotheby, 6 July 1824, lot 482, sold for £13/5/- to Rev. Martin
ex Rev J W Martin collection, Sotheby, 23 May 1859, lot 128, sold for £2/19/- to Capt Murchison
ex Capt R M Murchison collection, Sotheby, 27 June 1864, lot 105, sold for £13/16/- to Addington
ex Samuel Addington collection, purchased en bloc in 1883 by H Montagu
ex Hyman Montagu collection, Sotheby, 7 May 1888, lot 159, sold for £15/10/- to Rostron
ex Simpson Rostron collection, Sotheby, 16 May 1892, lot 99, sold for £11/15/- to dealer Webster
ex John G Murdoch collection, Sotheby, 31 March 1903, lot 380, sold for £9/2/6 to dealer Ready
ex Bernard M S Roth collection, Sotheby, 19-20 July 1917, lot 232, sold for £10/10 to dealer Spink
ex J Shirley-Fox collection, died 1939, sold in a private transaction before this date
ex George R Blake collection, sold through B A Seaby Bulletin, June 1956, item BL75 for £30
ex Raymond Carlyon-Britton collection, portion sold to B A Seaby c.1958
ex B A Seaby Bulletin, January 1959, item X161 for £42/10/-
ex B A Seaby Bulletin, September 1961, item H427 for £62/10/-
ex B A Seaby Bulletin, January 1963, item H1423 for £95. accompanied by ticket at this price
ex Eric J Harris collection, sold to A H Baldwin & Sons Ltd in 1995
Of course with something like that, there is no need for the current dealer to pretend he does not know where it comes from, it has a verifiable collecting history which gives it a respectable enough pedigree. Nothing to hide.

Several of the other coins have interesting collecting histories - which rather begs the question why other collectors of dugups are so lax in retaining this sort of information (see above).

Lot 754 has some interesting marketing material, linking it to the recent box-office success "The King's Speech" for those unable to make the connection themselves... (AND the upcoming Royal Wedding).

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