The Kenneth Day Collection expected to raise £30,000
Ancient Roman coins collected by numismatist the late Ken Day are to be sold in a specialist London auction on Tuesday, July 3, and the proceeds donated to the British Museum.
Auctioneers Morton & Eden will divide the coins between two sales and expect the collection to raise a total of around £30,000. The proceeds of both sales will be added to the acquisition fund set up to enable the museum to purchase coins of significance to Britain as well as to increase the accessibility of the national collection using new digital technology.
Kenneth Edwin Day, who lived in Thames Ditton, was a leading figure in the Kingston Numismatic Society, a longstanding member of the Royal Numismatic Society, and a constant attendee at the RNS London lecture program. He was also a strong supporter of the British Museum’s Department of Coins and Medals and was a regular visitor to the museum for many years, where he was always keen to share his knowledge of Roman coins and his new acquisitions with curators.
A spokesman for the British Museum said: “Ken decided some years ago that he would leave his collection to the BM, and we are delighted to have added some of his coins to the national collection for public benefit. It is a fitting testimony to his generosity and to a lifetime’s passion for Roman coins.
“Ken had a passion for sharing numismatic knowledge and would certainly have embraced the museum’s use of new digital media to make its collections more accessible to the general public. Ken’s generosity will ensure a continuing public legacy for his important contribution to numismatics in Britain.”
A wide-ranging collection covering the period from the Roman Republic through to early Byzantine coins of the sixth century AD, the Kenneth Day Collection also contains a number of rare examples. Among them is a denarius which shows on the reverse a triumphal arch inscribed DE BRITANN. This coin commemorates Claudius’s invasion of Britain in AD 43 and is estimated at £400-500.
A gold aureus of Marcus Aurelius depicting the emperor as Caesar (AD 139-161) with Mars the God of War on the reverse is among the most valuable single coins with an estimate of £800-1,000.
Part 1 of the collection will be sold on the first of a two-day auction of Ancient, Islamic, British and World Coins and Medals, held in association with Sotheby’s, on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 3-4. It will be on public view at 45 Maddox Street W1 on Thursday, June 28, Friday, June 29 and Monday, July 2 from 10 am to 4.30 pm or by previous arrangement. Part 2 will be sold in the autumn.