Tokens of Yorkshire from the Collection Formed by the Late Richard Law
John Richard Law (1943 - 2014)
Richard Law was born John Richard on 3 June 1943, the second of three sons of Harry and Nancy Law, in Lindley, Huddersfield, where he spent the rest of his life, only a stones-throw from the house he grew up in.
When Richard left school he took a job in the textile business, learning about wool blending. He progressed through various positions, finally becoming a wool buyer. After the decline of the textile industry Richard worked in the office of a local iron foundry. He retired in his early sixties.
Richard had many interests away from work. As well as being an accomplished gymnast, he was a very good amateur football player and was fortunate to play well into his 40s. He followed the fortunes of Huddersfield Town FC through thick and thin, all his life, and his good friend Mike Roberts recalls that Richard’s rationale in rarely attending any of their matches was that his earnings were better spent on a good coin or token! Richard also played crown green and indoor bowls through to the time of his death, which occurred on 17 February 2014 at the age of 70.
Richard’s holidays were spent angling – one week in spring, two weeks in the summer and one in autumn – basically his idea of heaven! In total around 100 weeks were spent over in county Sligo, Ireland. Based on Richard’s description of the Emerald Isle, his younger brother, Edward, purchased a cottage in Kilkenny, and retired there.
Richard was a great collector. His collections included coins (English milled silver, particularly halfcrowns), engraved coins and tokens (particularly love tokens) and a wide ranging collection of paranumismatics of his home town. Of note were his collections of around 1,000 Huddersfield postcards, pub checks and prize medals awarded by Huddersfield College. Richard was a lifelong member of the Huddersfield Numismatic Society and served twice as its president. He also served as treasurer of the Huddersfield Postcard Society. Possibly the gift of an 1838 Victorian threehalfpence from his Father in 1960 triggered his lifelong interest in coins.
Richard’s brother, Edward, also a collector and historian, presented a weekly broadcast on Irish radio, giving an insight into the history of Kilkenny. After his passing, the radio station indicated that their listeners were accustomed to the voice of a Yorkshireman, and duly persuaded Richard to travel to Ireland and record advanced lectures for future broadcasts.
The attendance at Richard’s funeral bore testament to the esteem and affection so many of his acquaintances held for him and he will be remembered as a respected member of many societies, as well as a frequent attender at Token Congresses. A scrupulously honest man, he was known for not only sharing his considerable knowledge but also bearing others in mind when searching out additions to his own collections.
Cataloguer’s note: The tokens and medals in this catalogue demonstrate the exhaustive efforts made by Richard Law to form an unrivalled collection of paranumismatica from his part of West Yorkshire. Prior to 1989 Richard was a coin collector, but in that year he started to take an interest in local tokens, medals, paper money (sold by DNW on 29 September 2014) and engraved coins and tokens (to be sold on 11 February 2015). His sources for these went far beyond numismatic dealers and coin fairs, in that he cultivated a variety of local jewellers, flea markets, curiosity and second-hand shops, even eBay on occasion. His meticulous records have been of much help in compiling this catalogue.