Articles

Showing 1-20 of 91 items.
The Man Behind the Medal
Sep 20 2019

William Arthur Bawden was born in 1867 at Truro, Cornwall, the second son of William Bawden and Amelia Moyle of Chacewater, Kenwyn. The family were of means, having lineage with interests in min- ing and fishing, and William senior is described as a Gentleman upon records of the period. Ed- ucated at Truro College, Bawden soon thereafter took employment as a cashier with the Devon & Cornwall Bank and was posted to their branch at Redruth.


Plate 77 Feature
Sep 20 2019

The Plate 77 Penny Red is a stamp that young collectors of British stamps dream about. Along with the British Guiana one cent Magenta, it is one of those stamps that every budding philatelist hopes to find in a dealer’s box or a book of “approvals”. Unlike the British Guiana though, Penny Reds are everywhere – hundreds and thousands of them, sold by the bundle and even used to wallpaper pubs! Surely someone somewhere is bound to find another Plate 77?


Philanthropy in the Himalayas
Sep 20 2019

Of all the grand buildings left from the British Raj, few are more incongruous than Kalimpong’s Macfarlane Memorial Church. This crenelated neo-Gothic edifice looms over the Himalayan town, once a remote outpost of Empire. Its builder, the Very Reverend JA ‘Daddy’ Graham D.D., was an exceptional man whose medals Spink sold on 24th July, alongside those of his equally remarkable wife. John and Katherine Graham dedicated their lives to alleviating poverty in the Himalayan foothills, and are credited with starting Kalimpong’s first hospital. They founded a school, Dr. Graham’s Homes, which now ranks among India’s most successful. Their philanthropic work continues to this day. Here is their story.


Interview with Anthony Spink
Sep 20 2019

Many of our long-term customers will know Anthony Spink, Non-Executive Director and previously Chairman in the days when the company was still family-owned. Anthony is the last family member to be involved in the company, and has worked at Spink for 54 consecutive years, being recalled to his position there in 1965 by then Chairman David Spink (his uncle). After a brief stint in the silver department between 1959 and 1960, he was called up for Na- tional Service in the Royal Scots Greys which he spent in Germany, Aden and Bahrain. He much enjoyed his five years in the army, ending up with the rank of Captain, as Assistant Adjutant to the then Adjutant HRH The Duke of Kent.


Collector's Corner
Sep 20 2019

Collecting film posters is highly evocative, taking the collector back in time to their childhood and those films that impacted their lives. I bought my first film poster, for The African Queen(1951)starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, back in 1987.I fell in love with this piece, as it was a film that I grew up watching with my parents, and which I had always loved. I purchased the poster for £300 and today the same piece is worth several thousand pounds.The market in the 80s was in its infancy, as opposed to today, where there are thousands of collectors worldwide. Some of these collectors are fanatical, and others may only buy one or two specially chosen pieces to display in their homes.


Behind the Scenes on Auction Day
Sep 20 2019

September – Following my jest about chocolate coins in the Summer Insider the Roy- al Philatelic Society commission chocolate stamps for Stampex. Thinking nothing of it I happily agree to assist our new specialist Josh with two pallets for the show. “Careful.” He says. “Fragile?” I reply. “No. They’re melting.” Huh? As icebreakers go a taxi ride with two life-size chocolate Penny Blacks is hard to beat. Welcome to Spink, Josh! January - Having barely caught breath following the mammoth Hermione auction of French rarities and the final bumper Medals sale of the year, 2019 begins with a smorgasbord of collectable delights spread across the globe. New York sees the Ibrahim Salem Collection of South American banknotes whilst Hong Kong enjoys a plethora of philatelic gems from Chinese postal history. Meanwhile in London it is the small matter of the final part of the exceptional Williams Collection and the ‘Pegasus’ Collection of Classic New Zealand. All this and the launch of the brand new Spink Live – is it still only January?


INSIDER 30 | A GENERAL WITHOUT A NATION (OR MEDALS)
Jun 19 2018

by Edward Hilary Davis

Few will have heard of Richard Guyon, a soldier originally born in Walcot near Bath in 1813, the fifth generation of a military Huguenot family. Nor will anyone know him by his other names and titles: General Le Comte de Guyon, Gróf Guyon Richárd, or Kurshid Pasha. Yet this relatively overlooked Brit witnessed, and took part in, some of the historic moments of mid-19th century Austro-Hungary, Turkey and the Crimea.


INSIDER 30 | THE MAN BEHIND THE MEDAL: SUB LIEUTENANT CLAUDE D. BURY, RN
Jun 18 2018

by Iain Goodman

As someone who has been passionate about medals for over a decade, I have always been drawn to a good story and the opening hours of Bury’s Great War are undoubtedly something to tell the grandchildren; not only did he receive one of the first, if not the first award of the Great War, but, in a war which went on to take the lives of millions through conflict and disease, his medal was not for taking life but for attempting to save life.


INSIDER 29 | SPECIAL FEATURES | Memories of a Lifetime of Collecting: Viewing the medal collection of H.H. The Maharaja or Patiala
Jan 26 2018

By John Fasal


Our family moved from Sydney to London in 1957, and as a young school boy I developed a keen interest in numismatics, and British orders and medals. At prep school in Staffordshire I had managed to save the majority of my meagre £5 per term pocket money to spend during the holidays at the Portobello Road Saturday market, and soon found a lucrative outlet for keeping the best and selling the rest. For two years I sat alongside a school chum who has done better than most with his well-known family business, now a by-word for mechanical diggers: JCB’s Anthony Bamford, now elevated to the House of Lords. We were not the brightest pupils in the class.


INSIDER 29 | SPECIAL FEATURES | ‘Treasures of the Gupta Empire’, a new book by Sanjeev Kumar
Jan 24 2018

By Barbara Mears


While coins have been made for over 2000 years in India, none have matched the coins of the Gupta Dynasty, issued between the 4th and 6th centuries AD for sheer beauty. The Gupta era is the period that most Indians consider to be the golden age, when art and literature reached its apogee. It was a time when a ruler was defined by his perfection in all things: poetry, music, the arts of love and war, and elegance of attire. The Gupta coins that have come down to us reflect this ideology perfectly.


INSIDER 29 | SPECIAL FEATURES | The Story of Hazel, Lady Lavery: The woman behind the banknote classic
Jan 24 2018

By Jonathan Callaway

Ireland’s Legal Tender notes, first issued in 1928, count amongst the most iconic and beautiful of all modern banknotes. The story of how Hazel, Lady Lavery, an American woman born as Hazel Martyn, came to appear on Ireland’s banknotes for nearly fifty years (over seventy if one includes the watermark on later issues) is fascinating and intriguing. This article looks at her life and the genesis of the classic banknote design.


INSIDER 29 | SPECIAL FEATURES | Ninfa, Caetani and Coins
Jan 24 2018

By Esme Howard

The romantic garden of Ninfa, just 65 miles south of Rome, was created by the Caetani family almost one hundred years ago, and lies among the eloquent ruins of a small but affluent medieval town, which in turn grew out of Roman and papal settlements, and passed to the Caetani in the early fourteenth century. Their family history marks every stretch of the Tyrrhenian coastland – from Pisa, Rome, Cisterna, Ninfa, and Sermoneta and on down to Fondi, Gaeta and Naples. In the family history Domus Caietana, the ninth-century Anatolio, Lord of Gaeta, is the first of the Caetani to gain regional prominence.


INSIDER 29 | SPECIAL FEATURES | Collecting ‘Lucky’ ‘Number Notes in Asia
Jan 24 2018

By Kelvin Cheung

Lucky number banknotes have always been a popular collecting theme in the Far East. When I started to collect banknotes in earnest in the early 2000’s I always sought them out as a priority. The first thing all burgeoning collectors must be clear on is what defines a ‘lucky’ number?


INSIDER 29 | SPECIAL FEATURES | Some Talk of Alexander
Jan 24 2018

By Jack West-Sherring

Alexander the Great’s victory over the Indian king Porus at the River Hydaspes (326 BC) was celebrated in commemorative Decadrachms known as ‘Porus medallions’. Discovered in Afghanistan in the late 19th century and bequeathed in 1926 to the British Museum, the example known as the ‘Frank medallion’ (see below) features on its obverse a Macedonian cavalryman locked in mortal combat with two Indian warriors astride a large elephant.


INSIDER 29 | COLLECTOR'S CORNER | Selling Collections to Help Solve Global Challenges
Jan 24 2018

By Jakob von Uexkull

When he was nine years old, Jakob von Uexkull’s father offered to exchange his son’s toy pistols for a stamp collection. Jakob agreed and never regretted his decision. A few years later, after moving from Sweden to Germany, he noticed that Swedish and German stamps were considerably more expensive in their respective home countries and began dealing in his free time. His business grew and when he won a scholarship to Oxford, his college complained that he was receiving more mail than the Dean…


INSIDER 29 | SPECIAL FEATURES | Some British Awards for the Peninsular War, 1808-14
Jan 24 2018

By Peter Duckers

Between 1808 and 1814 - a period of time as long as the Second World War - British armies in association with their Portuguese and Spanish allies fought an almost continuous series of campaigns in the Iberian peninsula. Some of their sieges and battles, like Talavera, Badajoz, Albuhera and Salamanca, have gone down in British military history as amongst the greatest of victories; at least one - the battle of Vittoria in June 1813 - had Europe-wide repercussions, such was its military and political significance.