Articles

Showing 61-80 of 85 items.
Santa Claus Wasn’t Always Seen as a Symbol of Charity and Generosity...
Dec 04 2011

By Stephen Goldsmith   Santa Claus once appeared on bank notes as a universally accepted symbol of charity and generosity, but did you know that once upon a time there was a five shilling fine for celebrating Christmas? During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress authorized the printing of the first paper money to be issued by a centralized American government. When the first notes were issued, they were worth their equivalent in Spanish Milled Dollars. By the time the Revolu...

‘Her Majesty for this quarrell is to sustayn a greater warr than ever in any memory of man it hath done’
Nov 18 2011

'Her Majesty for this quarrell is to sustayn a greater warr than ever in any memory of man it hath done'   By Richard Bishop Three extremely fine silver medals, recently acquired by Spink, illustrate with great force and originality the decade or more of constant warfare that was the dominant feature of the closing years of the long reigns of both Elizabeth of England and Philip of Spain. They also provide an opportunity to consider other aspects of life in the rebellious Dutch Provinces...

HC SVNT DRACONES
Nov 18 2011

By Dr. K.A. Rodgers Anyone who thumbed through the catalogue of Spink's recent Hong Kong sale would have observed that pre-republic Chinese paper money is replete with dragons, particularly issues of the Imperial dynasties. There is an excellent reason for this. Dragons were fully paid-up members of the Chinese animal pantheon from the beginning. Their ancestor toed the starting line of the Great Race conducted by the August Personage of Jade to determine the order of animals in the Lu...

Portraits of Greek Coinage - 'Metapontum'
Nov 18 2011

By Robin Eaglen The remains of Metapontum lie on the instep of the tall boot that is Italy. It was founded in the seventh century BC by colonists from Achaea in the north-eastern Peloponnese, as were a number of other settlements in Southern Italy, beginning with Sybaris in 720 and Croton in 708 BC. The fertile soil of the countryside beyond the city was ideal for growing grain and rearing livestock, and resulted in the ear of barley being chosen as the badge of Metapontum. The Augustan geogra...

Top 10 Bonds
Nov 17 2011

Many of our specialists here at Spink have been in this business for decades. They've seen collectables many of us only dream of holding or one day carrying in our own collections. Over time they build a catalogue of knowledge and a book of memories from the smallest to the largest collections with items of little value to items that are more valuable than the GDP of small countries. In this new segment of the Spink magazine we'll be asking our specialists what some of their top pieces have bee...

Portraits of Greek Coinage - 'Perseus'
Nov 03 2011

By Robin Eaglen   Perseus was the last king of Macedon. His father, Philip V named his son after the popular Greek hero, who also figured on the obverse of some of his coins.2 In the course of his long reign (221-179 BC) Philip tried to extend the dominion of Macedon, bringing him into opposition with Rome especially through his alliance with Hannibal in 216 and his attempt to supplant its influence along the eastern shores of the Adriatic.3 The Roman Senate e...

Portraits of Greek Coinage - 'Larissa & Facing Heads'
Jul 12 2011

By Robin Eaglen   Fig A. Fig B.   AR drachm, c. 365-356 BC. Obv. Head of the fountain nymph, Larissa, three-quarters facing l., with freely flowing tresses of hair bound with a fillet above her forehead, wearing earring. Rev. Grazing horse r., with a long tail; left foreleg raised, possibly as a prelude to rolling over. ..A...... above horse and AION below line representing the ground. 6.10g ( 17/19 mm). Die axis 315. Author's collection. Ex Spink, NCirc, F...

Historic British Coins Part 1
Jun 22 2011

By WIlliam MacKay This series of short articles takes as its subject a British coin which neatly enscapulates an important moment in history of the British Isles.      No. 1. 'Whilst I Live, I Hope'- 1648 Pontefract Siege piece and the last days of the Royalist cause.  An octagonal Shilling from the coinages of the English Civil War struck at Pontefract, Yorkshire, whilst  besieged February-March 24th 1649, after the execution of Charles I, in the name of Ch...

The Victoria Cross at Auction Part 3: 2000-2011
Jun 11 2011

The Victoria Cross at Auction Part 3: 2000-2011 By the year 2000 over 260 Victoria Crosses had been offered for sale at auction (many of them on more than one occasion, and in a few cases having previously appeared on a dealer's list). Prices had risen considerably over the years, from the £26 paid by Mr. Holland for the V.C. awarded to Seaman Thomas Reeves at Sotheby's on the 5th May 1884, to the £120,000 (£138,000 including premium) paid by Lord Ashcroft for the V.C. awarded to Flying Office...

Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles
Jun 08 2011

The Norweb Collection - Tokens of the British Isles 1575-1750. Part VIII, Middlesex and Uncertain Pieces. by R.H. Thompson and M.J. Dickinson This volume, covering the county of Middlesex, is the concluding part of the monumental eight-volume catalogue of The Norweb Collection of 17th Century Tokens of the British Isles. The first volume was published in 1984 and subsequent volumes appeared at intervals of roughly four years. It is the largest private collection that has ever been formed, ad...

Banknotes For The Raj
Jun 08 2011

By Dr. K. A. Rodgers  Victoria, Empress of India. Image by Bassano, ex Wikimedia Commons. Paper money tells something of a nation's story. Successive issues provide commentary on a country's evolution. The tale told is by no means restricted to economics. Different note issues reflect changing political circumstances and societal attitudes. They may echo triumphs or disasters, conquests or defeats, strife or stability. It is this way with the issues of India and of British In...

The Herbert Schneider Collection Volume Three Anglo-Gallic, Flemish and Brabantine Gold Coins 1330 1794
Jun 08 2011

By Peter Woodhead The Herbert Schneider collection of gold coins was formed over a period of 50 years by one of the leading experts in the field. The first volume covering English gold coins from 1257 - 1603 was published in 1996, followed by the second volume covering English gold coins from 1603 - 20th century, published in 2002. It is the finest collection in private hands and is outranked only by that of the British Museum. This third volume cataloguing the Herbert Schneider collection is...

Staff Profile - Stephen Goldsmith
Jun 01 2011

Spink is pleased to introduce a new member of the Spink international team, Mr Stephen Goldsmith. Stephen has an incredible history with the world of numismatics and we are honoured to have him join our Spink USA operations in New York. In order to properly introduce Stephen we sat down and asked him a few questions we thought you might want to know the answers to. Without further ado, here's a record of our chat with Stephen Goldsmith from the Spink New York office…   Stephen...

Roman Coins & Their Values Volume IV
Apr 07 2011

By David R. Sear The Tetrarchies & The Rise of the House of Constantine. The Collapse of Paganism & The Triumph of Christianity, Diocletian to Constantine I, AD 284-337. 528 pages, fully illustrated throughout with valuations in £ and US$. This volume contains a comprehensive listing of the Roman coinage of the period AD 284-337 together with background information on the history of each reign and the principal characteristics of its coinage. The catalogue is organized primarily by ru...

The Victoria Cross at Auction Part 2: 1983-1999
Mar 01 2011

The Victoria Cross at Auction Part 2: 1983-1999 On the 8th December 1983, almost a century after having bought our first V.C. at auction, Spink decided to hold their first medals auction, having previously been exclusively dealers. The final lot of the sale (Lot 404) was the Zulu War V.C. pair to Private Thomas Flawn, 94th Foot. Much interest had been generated by Spink's entry into the auction market, and the lot sold for a creditable £19,000, fractionally below the top estimate of £20,000, b...

The Victoria Cross at Auction Part I: 1856-1983
Jan 13 2011

The Victoria Cross at Auction Part 1: 1856-1983 'We have instituted and created a New Naval and Military Decoration, to be styled and designated the "Victoria Cross", which We are desirous should be highly prized and eagerly sought after…'  It is now 154 years since the institution of the Victoria Cross as the supreme decoration for gallantry back in 1856, over which time has been awarded to 1,353 individuals. The first investiture took place in Hyde Park amid great fanfare on the 26th J...

The Naval General Service 1793-1840 Medal Rolls
Dec 01 2010

The Naval General Service 1793-1840 Medal Rolls, Past and Present By John Hayward 'Why are young men told to look in ancient history for examples of heroism when their own countrymen furnish such lessons'? William Napier's words could easily be applied to so many acts of courage and devotion to duty shown by Officers and men of the Royal Navy during the numerous maritime engagements fought against this country's enemies around the world between 1793 and 1815. Most of the great sea battles,...

The Waterloo Medal - Nearly a Bronze Medal
Dec 01 2010

Waterloo 1815 - nearly a Bronze Medal By John Hayward "...... I would beg leave to suggest to your Royal Highness the expediency of giving the non-commissioned officers and soldiers engaged in the Battle of Waterloo, a Medal...". This suggestion made by the Duke of Wellington to the Duke of York in his Dispatches, just ten days after his victory over the French, swiftly gave rise to a letter from the Master of the Mint, William Wellesley Pole to the President of the Royal Academy on 11th Jul...

Stamp Boxes
Nov 26 2010

Stamp Boxes The postage stamp was first introduced in Britain in 1840 and its use spread rapidly throughout the globe. It made its appearance as part of the reform of the postal system which, by reducing the cost and improving the efficiency, led to a steep rise volume as the service became accessible to a greater proportion of increasingly literate population. This itself was but a part of the revolution in communications brought about by the age of industrialization. Whereas mankind entered...

The Race Across The Atlantic
Sep 14 2010

By Dominic Savastano Today the biggest problem in flying across the Atlantic seems to be knowing which airport terminal you have to leave from and getting to the check point on time. Perhaps we should think for a moment or two of the first non-stop aerial Transatlantic crossing and we might realize that, despite occasional delays and lost luggage, just how lucky we are today. We might even pay homage to the statue of those two intrepid aviators, Captain John Alcock and Lieuten...