“This will be a very special few days with collections put together by three men with different specialist interests but the same discerning eye becoming available to the market,” says Christopher Webb, head of the coins department at Dix Noonan Webb. “We are proud to be holding this exceptional series of auctions.”
Harrington Manville, whose Collection of Scottish Silver Coins 1660-1800 will be auctioned by Dix Noonan Webb, was one of the world’s most renowned experts on British numismatics. The retired American diplomat, who died aged 85 in February this year, was the author of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of British Numismatics, which was published in six parts between 1986 and 2014. As a collector, researcher and author, Manville, always known as Harry, was a significant contributor to knowledge about British numismatics over almost half a century. One of the rarest pieces in his Scottish collection is a Charles II first coinage four Merks dating from 1664. This example is almost certainly the finest specimen of the Scottish silver coin available to the market and is expected to fetch £6,000 to £8,000. It was once in the famous Bridgewater House Collection begun by John Egerton, the second Earl of Bridgewater, in the 17th century and largely completed by 1740. The Bridgewater House story shows us that 17th and 18th century coins were being acquired contemporaneously by collectors during this period. The collection was later placed in the British Museum for safe keeping, where it remained from about 1850-1900. A rare William and Mary Sixty Shillings minted in Scotland in 1691 from the Manville Collection is estimated at £2,000 to £3,000.
More superb pieces will be auctioned from the Theo Bullmore Collection of Irish Coins, Charles I and the Great Rebellion. Bullmore is a British chartered accountant who rose to become managing partner in the global financial services company KPMG. He now acts as a consultant to the company and, in addition to being a keen sportsman, is a passionate coins collector, an interest which he inherited from his collector father.
The highlight of his Irish coins collection is an Ormonde Money gold Pistole dating from 1646-47 which is expected to sell for £80,000 to £100,000. The Duke of Ormonde, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and the Royalist commander in Dublin during the Civil War, issued instructions that gold was to be melted down and converted into ‘pledges’ to alleviate the currency shortage suffered by the King’s garrison in Dublin in 1646. This currency of necessity represents the only gold coinage of Ireland and the example to be auctioned from the Bullmore Collection is believed to be one of only two available to the market. Other important coins from the collection include an extremely rare Confederate Catholics ‘Rebel Money’ Halfcrown, estimated at £10,000 to £12,000, and a very rare Charles I Dublin Money Crown, expected to fetch £6,000 to £8,000.
The Paul Cattermole Collection of British Sixpences will also be auctioned during this three-day period. Cattermole, who worked for an insurance company in Surrey until he retired in 2008, has collected coins since the 1960s and more recently specialised in halfpence and sixpences. He has reluctantly decided to sell the latter from his collection to finance continuing to buy halfpence. Among the rarities to be auctioned at Dix Noonan Webb will be a 1555 sixpence from the joint reign of Philip and Mary, estimated at £1,200 to £1,500, and an Elizabeth I 1561 sixpence with a superb portrait of the monarch, which should fetch £500 to £700.
Dix Noonan Webb will also hold an auction of Coins and Commemorative Medals from other vendors. Among the many fine pieces to be offered for sale will be an exceptionally rare gold medal struck in 1750 promoting the Legitimacy of the Jacobite Succession and depicting Prince Charles Edward Stuart, who had launched the unsuccessful Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, estimated at £5,000 to £7,000. A very rare Victoria Pattern Double-Florin from 1868 is predicted to fetch £5,000 to £6,000.
Dix Noonan Webb Ltd is one of the world’s leading specialist auctioneers and valuers of coins, tokens, medals, militaria and paper money of all types. Established in 1990, the company boasts over 250 years' combined experience in this field and stages regular auctions throughout the year.
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Dix Noonan Webb:
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London W1J 8BQ
Telephone: 020 7016 1700