18th Century Tokens from the Collection formed by David Litrenta

18th Century Tokens from the Collection formed by David Litrenta

Dr David Edward Litrenta

David Litrenta, a well-known name in American numismatic circles for many years, is a life-long coin collector. He started as a youngster in Baltimore and his first coins were gifts from his grandfather, whose career in the railway industry took him around the world and who picked up unusual pieces. Out of this source of numismatic curiosities came the inspiration that would last a lifetime, fuel many hours of devoted research and result in a multi-million dollar collection.

While the collecting 'bug' never quite left him, David had to put it on hold on several occasions; medical school, building a medical practice and raising seven children with his wife Shirley all took a toll on his numismatic activity. In time, his success in preventative and occupational medicine provided him with the means to pursue rare coins more vigorously. With help from some of the principal dealers and auction houses in the USA, he began to seriously collect the coins of his native country in the early 1980s, amassing many of the classic rarities. His US and ancient coins, and his collection of George Washington-related medals and memorabilia were auctioned by Heritage in five sales in 1999 and 2000.

David first turned his attention to British trade tokens, especially the 18th century 'Conder' series, in the mid-1990s. Since then he has amassed a holding of over 1,700 pieces. Many emanate from the great Jim Noble collection, which came to the market shortly after he started; others were once owned by William Longman, Albert Jan, John Farnell, Patrick Deane and Myles Gerson and, more recently, by Wayne Anderson, Jim Wahl and David Spence; a few even trace their pedigrees back to James Atkins, john Dudman, Yeates and Francis Cokayne in the early years of the 20th century. A glance at the following 240 lots will give prospective buyers an indication of the unusually high overall level of quality in this collection. Hardly surprising bearing in mind that one of David's personal numismatic mantras is 'to acquire the most beautiful coins you can afford; quality not quantity counts.' At least two of the tokens in this portion of the collection are the actual pieces illustrated in Dalton and Hamer's standard work.