British Trade Tokens, Tickets and Passes, Numismatic Books (8 November 2007)

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Date of Auction: 8th November 2007

Sold for £130

Estimate: £80 - £100

[British Museum], Catalogue of the Montague Guest Collection of Badges, Tokens and Passes, London, 1930, viii + 206pp, 8 plates. Publishers’ blue cloth; first free endpaper inscribed ‘Presented by the Trustees of the British Museum by the desire of the late Montague Guest Esq, July 1930’ in the hand of A.W. Waters; card from Montague Guest to Waters, dated 16 December 1898, in affixed holder; title page with letter from Montague Guest to Waters, dated 20 March 1901, partly pasted-down; light foxing, otherwise a fine copy and rare by association (£80-100)


Ex libris Arthur Waters, Leamington Spa, with his bookplate and complimentary card from the Director of the British Museum
Paul Munro Walker, Bournemouth.

Both communications from Montague Guest are from his residence at 3 Savile row, London. In 1898 he wrote: “Dear Sir, I am informed that you are associated with Mr Davis of Moseley in preparing a book on passes. Mr Davis has seen all that I have been able to show him, but as I hear that you live in London it wd be a gt privilege to me to be allowed to make yr acquaintance & have a talk upon the subject – as I am told you have made it a study of yours & that you have a magnificent collection of yr own. Will you pardon me for taking the liberty of writing you.” In 1901 he wrote: “Dear Mr Waters, Mr Davis was here the other day & was looking over my passes. He told me that you had 2 Vauxhalls, and I am anxious to learn if there is any chance of my being able to persuade you to part with them to me. I should like very much to add them to those I have already got? Have you been finding any thing else since I last saw you – it is a long time ago now & I feel sure that such a successful explorer as you are, must have found some other treasures in the time wh has elapsed.”

Montague Guest (1839-1909) spent over 40 years amassing his eclectic collection, which was presented to the British Museum in 1907 on condition that a catalogue of it was published. A favourite of Edward VII, Guest was a prominent mover in Dorset society, representing Wareham as Liberal-Unionist MP, and from 1877 to 1902 he was provincial grand master of Dorset Freemasons. He died at Sandringham and is buried at Canford