Irish Medals in Gold and Silver from the Collection of James Spencer

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Date of Auction: 17th December 2007

Sold for £600

Estimate: £300 - £400

Ballymena, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine and Portrush Junction Railway, a Free Ticket for Life, in silver, by J.C. Parkes, steam locomotive to right, rev. wreath, named (Presented by William Largan Esqr to Samuel Laurence Esqr, an original promoter of the company, November 1855), 35mm (Moyaux 56; D & W 325/3). Very fine and toned, very rare (£300-400)


Construction of the Ballymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine and Portrush Junction Railway commenced in 1853 and the line was opened in November 1855. The engineer was Charles Lanyon and the principal financier William Dargan (1799-1867), regarded by many as the father of Irish railways and constructor of Ireland’s first railway, from Dublin to Dun Laoghaire in 1833. The line was amalgamated into the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway in January 1861. Samuel Laurence, the recipient, is shown in directories as the principal property owner in Coleraine in 1859, with interests in a corn store, steam mill, houses and land in Upper New row, Beresford place and Blindgate street