Tokens from the Late David Griffiths Collection

Date of Auction: 3rd October 2019

Sold for £150

Estimate: £150 - £200

Numismatists Tokens and Ephemera, LONDON, Bloomsbury, Sir Augustus Franks, 1884, silver, by A. Wyon, shield within floral border, avg w franks ma frs fsa, rev. crest, a falcon, contemnit vulnera virtus, 29mm, 10.49g/12h (Caygill and Cherry, pp. 302-3 and pl. 50; BHM 3163). Light graze by falcon’s breast, otherwise virtually as struck and attractively toned, extremely rare £150-£200


Provenance: Bt Baldwin 1987.

Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks (1826-97), antiquary, collector and museum curator; born in Geneva, educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, moved to London in 1849 and in 1851 was appointed an assistant in the newly-established Department of Antiquities at the British Museum, under the supervision of Edward Hawkins. In 1866 Franks was appointed Keeper of British and Medieval Antiquities and Ethnography, a position he held until his retirement in 1896. Of independent means, Franks was one of the major benefactors to the Museum in the 19th century and the subject of a recent reference edited by Marjorie Caygill and John Cherry, A.W. Franks, Nineteenth-Century Collecting and the British Museum (London, 1997). In that reference, Luke Syson speculates that Franks had these pieces struck as gifts for friends, in the manner of similar silver counters struck by Sir Robert Cecil and other officers of state at the beginning of the 17th century