18th Century Tokens that have been hidden from the public for over half a century had their first outing in A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd’s Auction 92 on Tuesday 30th September. With every one of the lots offered in the sale finding a buyer, for a sale total of £285,000, competition both in the room and online was fierce as collectors grasped the opportunity to take home these fascinating pieces of 18th Century British history. This opened the first of a series of sales offering collectors a unique opportunity to purchase rare tokens that are “fresh to the market” after many years.
Seth Freeman, Director, A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd commented after the auction; “After many decades of seclusion in the quiet vaults of the Baldwin Basement we felt that it was time for what is probably the most important collection of 18th Century Tokens in modern times to be offered to our clients. With a mixture of excitement and some sadness I took to the rostrum for what turned out to be a marathon 10 hour auction. Collectors and dealers from America and Europe had travelled to attend this landmark auction and battle over these important and rare tokens that had been carefully preserved for so long. As the room bidders competed with the phone and internet, new price levels were recorded that will be a reference point for many years to come. It was an enjoyable event and we are already looking forward to part two next year”.
Top Sellers in Auction 92
Often known as ‘the man with one leg and two voices’, Joseph Askins was a famous ventriloquist whose triumphant engagements at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London in 1796 and 1797 were advertised as “curious ad libitum Dialogues between himself and his invisible familiar, Little Tommy.”
Joseph Askins, Copper Halfpenny, 1796, obv man with a wooden leg, MR JOSEPH ASKINS around, rev THE CELIBRATED VENTRILOQUIST 1796, edge milled (Atkins p.87, 173a; D&H Middlesex 252a). Well struck, nearly mint state with some original colour remaining, rare. [Lot 3, sold for £528]
Robert Orchard, Copper Penny, 1801, obv bust of Robert Orchard facing forward, ROBERT. ORCHARD. SAWBRIDGEWORTH. .HERTS. around, rev book lying at the foot of a tree, a church in the distance, *SAWBRIDGEWORTH * PENNY * TOKEN * Ex. * * PAYABLE * * FEBY. XI * 1801 * around, edge plain (Atkins p.46, 1; D&H Hertfordshire 1). Exceedingly rare with only five specimens traced and this is the single known example available in this die state.
[Lot 83, sold for £7,920]
ex Thomas Lloyd Collection, Sotheby’s, 10 May 1878, lot 278, ex S H Hamer Collection, Glendinings, 26-28 November 1930, lot 91, to A H Baldwin & Sons Ltd for F S Cokayne for £31
Skidmore, Newmarket, Copper Halfpenny, obv stag lying under a tree, 1793 below, NEW MARKET TOKEN around, rev snail with tree and bridge in the background, A SNAIL MAY PUT HIS HORNS OUT around, edge partially milled (Conder p.20, 10; Atkins p.9, 33; D&H Cambridgeshire 35). Typical die flaws, otherwise good extremely fine and exceedingly rare, perhaps only four known.
[Lot 275, sold for £2,340]
Skidmore, Clerkenwell Series, Copper Penny, 1797, obv view of a building, THE HOUSE OF LORDS around, rev shield of arms, LONDON above, P. SKIDMORE. MEDAL. MAKER. COPPICE ROW. CLERKENWELL around, edge I PROMISE TO PAY ON DEMAND THE BEARER ONE PENNY. X. (Conder p.76, 71; Virt p.202; Atkins p.78, 84; D&H Middlesex 155). Mint state, attractively toned and with much original colour remaining.
[Lot 347, sold for £336]
Skidmore, Copper Halfpenny mule, obv a man skating, HYDE PARK around, rev cypher G B, FOR THE USE OF TRADE o around, edge milled (Conder p.283, 186; Atkins p.115, 412; D&H Middlesex 535). Planchet crack as is usual for this high relief die, otherwise good extremely fine and with some original colour remaining, rare.
[Lot 449, sold for £312]
Skidmore, Copper Halfpenny mule, obv bust of Louis XVI to right, LOUIS REX around, rev female seated facing right holding a pole and cap of liberty, LIBERTAS above, exergue 1780, edge plain (D&H Middlesex 1004). Virtually as struck on a very thick flan, a little faded red remaining on the reverse and a drop of red wax adhering to the obverse, unique.
[Lot 580, sold for £4,320]
ex F S Cokayne Collection, acquired 16 March 1907, for 40/-
This is the only appearance of this reverse die. Cokayne notes this to be an unfinished artist proof. This it may be, but the date and the nature of the work suggests that it may be something else altogether.
Skidmore, Copper Farthing mule, obv man hanging on a gibbet, ladder leaning upon the crossbar, a house in the distance, END OF P(.)T around, rev circular legend SUCH. IS. THE. REWARD. OF. TYRANTS. 1796, edge plain (Conder p.252, 74; Atkins p.383, 237a; D&H Middlesex 1111a). Nearly mint state with a fair amount of original colour, scarce.
[Lot 597, sold for £1,008]
The sale was held on Tuesday 30th September 2014 at the CIPFA conference centre in London. The catalogue and prices realised are available to view online at www.baldwin.co.uk.
With a history dating back to 1872 Baldwin’s is one of the largest and longest established Numismatic dealers and auction houses in the world. Our dedicated team of specialists have over 300 years combined experience covering all areas of numismatics including English, Ancient and Foreign coins, military and commemorative medals, tokens, books and banknotes.
Launched in 1993, Baldwin’s auction department has grown from strength to strength, hosting more than eighteen prestigious international auctions each year in London, New York and Hong Kong.
The merger of Baldwin’s with Noble Investments (UK) PLC in 2005, and the acquisition in early 2008 of Apex Philatelics and of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, has seen the company expand to become a formidable market player offering a complete package for any collector of coins, stamps, fine art and collectables. In more recent times (2013), Baldwin’s has become a part of the Stanley Gibbons Group plc and is now a more powerful London Stock Exchange listed collectables retailer and ‘top 5’ UK auctioneer.
Established in 1856, The Stanley Gibbons Group plc is the world’s leading rare stamp and prestige collectibles merchant with offices in the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Channel Islands and is celebrating 100 years as holders of the Royal Warrant as philatelists and AIM-listed in London.
Baldwin’s broadcast all of their main auctions over the internet and provides a live bidding service through www.the-saleroom.com/baldwins.