The Chris Morrison Collection of Ancient British Coins
In this auction we are particularly pleased to offer the first part of the significant collection of Celtic coins formed by Chris Morrison, a London-based former financial journalist and publisher. Although of relatively recent formation, the collection features many rarities and coins of historical importance, with quality uppermost in mind.
"I put the collection together over two years," the owner comments. "By avoiding investing in financial services, over the last five years they have served their purpose and been a joy to own."
Many rare coins from lesser-known kings of the pre-Roman invasion period are here, including Sam, Solidu and Sego. However, one of the most significant is a silver unit of Verica (lot 5130), the best of the two known examples, which features the only known depiction in the Celtic series of a Roman galley. "It is evidence such as this that has recently led scholars to argue that there was much heavier Roman involvement in British affairs than previously thought, ahead of the final invasion in AD 43," added Mr Morrison.
The star attraction among the gold coins is a new type of Cunobelin classic (lot 5148), probably the only known example and of exceptional quality. There is also a rarely-seen Yarmouth stater (lot 5118), one of very few in private hands, once owned by the surrealist French writer Andre Breton (1896-1966). Also likely to attract much interest is an Eppillus three-rings stater with a particularly rare reverse type (lot 5126) and the 'Ratham Rose' quarter-stater (lot 5121 ), of which the only other example is in the Ashmolean Museum.
Mr Morrison also put together a small but notable collection of Continental Celtic coins, which are included within the catalogue of Ancient coins being offered by DNW on the afternoon of 5 October. Of particular importance here is a magnificent tetradrachm struck by Cavaros, the last Celtic king in Thrace; of the six examples extant, four are in museums. Also set to intrigue is a rare cup-shaped gold stater from Germany, found in England, with a snake wrapped around the rim on both the inside and outside of the coin.
The second part of the Morrison collection will be offered by DNW in March 2010.