“It all started with animals and harps.”
That’s how collector Jim Farr, a biologist and a musician,
explains how he became interested in British coins in the 1970s. Now
his collection of the British Isles highlights the latest auction from
Davissons Ltd. The sale, the firm’s 31st, closes Nov. 28.
The Farr Collection features more than 100 lots of British coins
representing all the British series from Celtic to modern times.
Between Farr’s offerings and other additional items, the auction
represents all the English monarchs from the Norman Conquest in 1066
to the present. The completeness of the offering of monarchs is “the
heart of the sale,” according to the firm.
“Tracing English history through coinage is a popular approach to
the series and this auction covers [most of the monarchs], including
such challenges in the series as the ‘2-3-4-5’ coins, issues of
William II, Richard III, Henry IV and Edward V,” according to the firm.
The coins of those four monarchs are the hardest for collectors
and dealers to find in the period covered from the time of the Norman
Conquest on, Allan Davisson said.
A circa 1483 to 1485 silver groat represents Richard III. The
London Mint issue is graded Very Fine and toned, and bears full
legends. It has an estimate of $3,500.
Scottish, Irish and Anglo-Gallic coins complete the United Kingdom
section. For a variety of reasons, medieval Irish and Anglo-Gallic
coinage is scarcer and of lower quality than the Scottish and English
issues. The Irish section presents a broad sample from Viking era
Hiberno Norse coinage down through the Civil War and the emergency
issues under Charles I and James II.
A highlight of the Anglo-Saxon coinage is an “exceedingly rare”
circa 858 to 864 silver penny of Aethelberht, a King of Wessex. His
coins are seldom offered, according to Allan and Marnie Davisson, and
the silver penny “is one of the most important coins in the sale.”
The 1.22-gram coin measuring 20 millimeters in diameter was struck
at the Caentwarabyrig (Canterbury) Mint by the moneyer identified as
Beagmund. In Choice Extremely Fine and “fully struck with exquisite
toning,” it has an estimate of $10,000.
Ancient Greek and Roman coins are part of the auction as well,
including some artistic large Greek silver issues, but the highlight
of the Greek section is a group of 61 high quality coins from the
important BCD Collection of coins of the Peloponnesos. Many of the 61
pieces are important and very rare.
“The dispersal of the BCD collection of Greek coins over the past
decade has given collectors a chance to represent places and types
that have been particularly elusive in the past, and will be again as
the market place absorbs them,” according to the firm.
The gold section in the auction includes Greek, British,
Anglo-Gallic, and some gold coins from India.
The auction ends with a run of “high quality Conder tokens formed
by a collector with an eye to condition and an active interest in
Scottish issues,” the firm announced.
Copies of the full-color printed catalog are available without
charge from Davissons Ltd., Box 323, Cold Spring, MN 56320. Email the
firm at firstname.lastname@example.org. The
sale is posted on the company website, www.davcoin.com. ■