The Collection of British Tokens formed by John Rose

The Collection of British Tokens formed by John Rose

John Rose

John Rose, a familiar figure in the British token collecting fraternity for many years, first developed an interest in coins as a boy. One day in 1969, going through the trays of coins at Aladdins Cave, a shop in South Croydon, he found some tokens, including an example of the 1649 farthing issued at The Ship Inn, on the north corner of Lincoln’s Inn, London, his local pub when he first started work as a laboratory technician at the Royal College of Surgeons (see Lot 179).

The acquisition of this piece quickly fired his enthusiasm for tokens – not just those from Britain, but also issues from Canada, Ceylon and elsewhere in the colonies. John soon became a regular customer of the major London-based token dealers of the day, as well as a veritable roll-call of dealers active at the time of decimalisation – Stanmore’s Reg Lubbock, Harrow’s Ian Fine, Leytonstone’s Ken Lovell, Clive Sellen and Fred Hancock from the Arches at Charing Cross, Mike Millward (Stewart Ward) in Great Portland Street, and others – many of whom would take tables at the Sunday morning market in Cutler Street and, later on, the Saturday gatherings at Charing Cross.

Following a short spell in Carshalton, John moved to Manchester in 1977 to take up a position at the city’s Medical School. From his new base he continued to keep in touch with old friends and contacts in the south, while joining his local numismatic society and taking the opportunity to visit the many coin fairs taking place across the Pennines in Yorkshire.

John’s collection is broad in its scope, but understandably London-centric and particularly so for the 17th century series, which has remained his chief focus throughout his collecting years. Many important pieces are included in the 475 lots which follow, and one might instance a very recent purchase, a farthing of Richard Winsper from Lincoln’s Inn Gate (Lot 150), as being just one such. Apart from contributing notes on his new and unpublished acquisitions to the Token Corresponding Society’s Bulletin, John was an important contributor to Tim Everson’s recent standard reference on the Southwark series, and the Rose collection of Southwark will stand alongside those of Danehower and Hayward, also sold in these rooms in the last decade. The 18th century element of the collection includes some major rarities, notably a highly elusive Godington hop token (Lot 296) and several silver proofs. From the 19th century there is a superb example of John Robertson’s Newcastle-upon-Tyne halfcrown (Lot 421), and a rare ‘Chinaman’ halfcrown of Edward Wright of Birmingham (Lot 443).
P.J.P-M.