How special was the first part of the Slaney Collection?

Coin World’s London correspondent was in awe 12 years ago
By , Coin World London Correspondent
Published : 05/26/15
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News of multiple rarities selling for enormous sums in the second part of the famous Slaney Collection of English coins prompted us to delve into the archives.

See: Second part of Slaney Collection auction features multiple English rarities

Coin World’s London correspondent, John Andrew, reported on the sale in the June 16, 2003, issue of Coin World.

In that report, he noted that the May 15 Spink auction of the Slaney Collection of English Coins would be remembered as the moment “when exceptional English coins entered a new watershed of prices.”

“Collectors have never seen so many auction records broken at an auction devoted to English material,” he wrote. “However, this does not mean that prices for coins generally have risen into the stratosphere, but that collectors are willing to pay much higher prices for exceptionally choice pieces.”

The appearance of the Slaney Collection at auction answered several unanswered questions about where the best coins sold at auction in the 1940s and 1950s had gone, according to Andrew.

“Even before the collection was cataloged, expressions such as “truly breathtaking,” “fabled” and “long lost” were spreading along the numismatic world’s bush telegraph,” he wrote. “... Indeed, it has taxed the minds and imaginations of collectors as to where the cream that appeared at auction in the 1940s and 1950s had vanished.”

For years, the Slaney Collection had been forgotten.

Until the lead-up to that 2003 auction, which was a record-breaking affair. 

“In 25 years of reporting on London auctions, I have never seen so many new auction records being set," Andrew wrote. 

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