The Tony Abramson Collection of Celtic Coins
Tony Abramson, a well-known figure in Yorkshire numismatic circles, has been a coin collector all his life. He recalls collecting farthings, in a shoe box, at the tender age of 4 in Coronation year-and being rather cross when his Mother spent them. His hunter-gatherer instincts were sharpened at the age of 8 when he came across what ultimately proved to be half-a-dozen second century AD Kushan coins from TaxiIa, these being the sole possessions of his Father's twin who died in a Japanese PoW camp.
At 12 Tony was making forays into darkest Manchester, alien territory for a Leeds boy, buying, for example, a piece of Chinese knife money which turned out to be a 19th century facsimile of an 18th century forgery. Very instructive, especially when it cost five weeks' pocket money! An enquiring mind and adventurous spirit meant that he continued to amass a wide variety of material during his teenage years. Perhaps the study of economic history in the late 1960s at the University of Lancaster helped refine his numismatic ambitions.
Married to Jane in 1972 and newly qualified as a chartered accountant, the demands of a lively family restricted Tony's ability to collect, directing him towards the inexpensive yet fascinating areas of archaic Oriental and primitive currencies, the coinages of Islamic and Viking trade routes and the Silk Road, Judaic coins and Abramson medals. It was the boundaries where differing cultures touched or collided that most intrigued him.
In the early 1990s he put together the group of Celtic coins now on offer. Typically of the man, this is a representative collection, illustrating the cultural influences evidenced by this coinage and the political and economic development of Celtic society. In the closing years of the last century Tony collected hammered pennies and his current focus is on the early Anglo-Saxon sceatta coinage.
Tony has written on many numismatic subjects, from a history of the Khazars to the murderous story of the Yorkshire Coiners, and was involved in the production of volume 3 of the Yorkshire Numismatist. He hopes to publish an identification guide to sceattas, Sceatta Finder, shortly. When not thinking about sceattas, Tony acts as a part-time finance director for a number of high-technology start-up companies. He founded Applied Vision, which won the prestigious Queen's Award for Technological Achievement in 1995, and in 2002 helped BBC Radio 4 make a programme on the split capital investment scandal as part of a prize-winning Inside Money series.