Articles

Showing 21-40 of 85 items.
FINANCING THE WORLD by Keith Hollender
Jun 07 2017

My own interest in bonds and shares began while I was working in international banking in the 1970s, when the world was a 'simpler' place and debts were less than today. Banks were keen to lend money to governments, whatever their colour, and to fund individuals with smart ideas - some too smart - and many of today's financial crises are, pitifully, a reflection of what has happened before. If nothing else, I can only hope that this history will help today's financiers to be a little mo...

The Royal Victorian Order
Jan 26 2017

As we end the year at Spink, it is with great pleasure that we have opened our doors to a royal visit. HRH Princess Helen of Romania was the guest of honour at the book launch of Peter Galloway's The Royal Victorian Order. Peter Galloway, or to give him his correct designation, the Reverend Professor Peter Galloway OBE is Chaplain of the Queen's Chapel of the Savoy. The chapel was built as part of a charitable foundation under the terms of the will of King Henry VII in the early sixteenth centu...

DEFACING THE PAST
Jan 17 2017

Spink is pleased to announce the publication ofDefacing the Past. Damnation and Desecration in Imperial Rome, in collaboration with the British Museum. The book is written by Dario Calomino, project curator in the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum, to accompany his current exhibition in Gallery 69a (on view until 7th May 2017 and free). The display features a selection of objects on which the names and images of ancient rulers, especially Roman emperors, were d...


SUNRISE IN THE EAST: THE NOVELTY OF EARLY WAR MEDALS
Dec 12 2016

The medal awarded for the Waterloo campaign of 1815 is generally regarded as "the first British war medal" - granted to all those present in a designated area at a designated time and given to all in the same format (a circular silver medal suspended from a coloured ribbon) regardless of rank or achievement. But its issue was far more a reflection of the importance of the event rather than the sign of any desire on the part of the British authorities to start issuing campaign medals for soldier...

THE SOUTH ASIAN COINS OF DR. PHILLIPE TAUGOURDEAU
Dec 06 2016

Professor Dr. Philippe Taugourdeau was a French geologist who specialised in the study of microfossils. He started collecting coins at a very young age. His first collection focused on the Roman Emperors and the sale of this enabled him to buy his first microscope.  His decision to focus on Indian numismatics came while participating in a geology congress in India in 1977 with his wife who was also a geologist. For more than 25 years after that first visit he built up his collection throu...

The East Harptree Hoard
Nov 28 2016

East Harptree is a small village some 16 miles south-west of Bath and it was the site of the discovery of about 1500 largely mint-condition Roman silver coins all dating from the 4th century which is known as the 'Harptree Hoard'. It was discovered on the land of Mr William Kettlewell of Harptree Court - used as the filming location for Series 3 and 4 ofThe Great British Bake-Off. During the dry summer of 1887 the water supply to the village of East Harptree had run very low and it was decided...

Sweden and Europe's First Banknote
Nov 21 2016

The earliest European banknote most collectors will ever see was issued in Sweden in 1666, a happy coincidence given the anniversary we are now celebrating. The story of Europe's first banknote actually goes back even earlier and Sweden can make a technical claim to being the first country in the world to issue bank notes, on the grounds that the paper money issued in China from the 11th to 13th centuries was issued not by a bank but by the Emperor's treasury, as a substitute for cumbersome qua...

SPINK: FOUNDED IN A TIME OF WAR
Nov 18 2016

At the time when John Spink was just beginning his business in London in the mid-1660s, the capital had just gone through the horror of the Great Plague, followed by the destruction wrought by the Great Fire and was in the depth of a military crisis which had already been running for over a decade. Hardly inspiring times to set up a new business! John Spink founded his goldsmith's and pawnbroker's business near Lombard Street in London around 1666 (though the actual date is not certain). The Gr...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 26/8/14
Aug 26 2014

A Gold 2-Mohur Coin of the East India Company, issued in the name of William IV The 2-Mohur gold coin was one of the first, and certainly the most magnificent, coin issued by the Calcutta mint to bear an effigy of the then British king. Weighing over 23g, and featuring an attractive design it soon became popular as a presentation piece.  So much so, that re-strikes were commissioned right up until 1970, and the original issues, such as this example, are exceedingly scarce.   Altho...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 23/7/14
Jul 23 2014

An extremely fine Solidus of Constantius II, the second son of Constantine the Great, showing a realistic and attractive portrait of the emperor, and on the reverse the seated figures of Rome and Constantinople. The coin was minted at Sirmium, Constantius' home town on the banks of the river Sava. One of the largest and most important cities of the Roman Empire, Sirmium was intended to be the new capital city of the whole Empire until Constantine changed his mind and built his new city of Con...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 16/7/14
Jul 16 2014

A very fine and rare gold Sovereign of Edward VI (1547-53). The young king is shown enthroned, holding sword and sceptre, his boyish features clearly recognisable. On the reverse the Royal Arms are supported by The Lion and The Dragon. The Red Dragon of Cadwaladr was the banner of Henry Tudor when he marched from Wales to defeat Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth.  Henry was not the first English monarch to adopt the Dragon as supporter, but as part of the Crown's persistent campaign...

Unique Insights Into 1930's Middle East Offered at Spink
Jul 11 2014

Amongst the remarkably rare items in Spink's 'Postal History, Autographs & Historical Documents', is an exceptional selection of unique and previously unseen lots from early 20th Century Egypt.  Offered is a rare and interesting letter between the Royal families of Iran and Egypt, Princess Fawzia, soon to be Queen of Iran, in correspondence with Queen Farida of Egypt, wife of King Farouk. The contents of the letter touch upon the "sad incident" that has passed between Iran and Egypt,...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 9/7/2014
Jul 09 2014

A very attractive gold 'Rider' of James III of Scotland (1460-88). This reign saw the introduction of several new denominations in Scotland, including the 'Rider' and the 'Unicorn'. The Rider was reminiscent of many European gold coinages with a depiction of the ruler, fully armed, galloping on horseback. Unfortunately James' nobles were not impressed, and after a prolonged rebellion they defeated him at the battle of Sauchieburn. The king had been given a magnificent great grey horse, the sw...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 2/7/14
Jul 02 2014

A Roman Aureus, struck in Lugdunum in 46-47 A.D. This scarce gold coin of Claudius celebrates his invasion and partial conquest of Britain. The triumphal arch in Rome, dedicated in 51 A.D.,  bore the inscription DE BRITANN and the Emperor himself was depicted on horseback between trophies of arms. The inscription on the arch stated  'He received the surrender of eleven kings of the Britons, defeated without any loss, and first brought barbarian peoples across the ocean into the dom...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 25/6/2014
Jun 25 2014

An extremely fine Sixpence of the young king Edward VI, the only son of Henry VIII. To his left is the Tudor rose and to the right the value is given in Roman numerals. The legend on the reverse, from Psalm 54, translates as 'I have made God my helper', an appropriate motto for a boy king ruling England during the most turbulent time of the English Reformation.  The coin will be offered at auction at Spink in London on 25 June. 

COIN OF THE WEEK - 19/6/14
Jun 19 2014

An attractive 5-Franchi from the small Italian Duchy of Lucca and Piombino, with a double portrait, this one showing Felice Pascuale Baciocchi Levoy and his wife Elisa, the younger sister of Napoleon, who, thanks to her older brother's largess, delighted in the grand title of Anna Maria Elisa Napoleon Baciocchi Levoy, Princesse Française, Princess of Lucca and Piombino, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, and Countess of Compignano.   The coin will be offered at auction at Spink in London on 25 J...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 11/6/2014
Jun 11 2014

This superb detailed portrait of Alexander the Great is on a silver Tetradrachm from the mint of Kaunos in Turkey. The iconic head of Alexander, with god like features and wearing the lion's skin headdress, is forceful and arresting. If you want a portrait of the most famous ruler of the ancient world, this would be a very good choice.   The coin will be offered at auction at Spink in London on 25 June. It is currently available for viewing in our London showroom.   

D-Day 6th June 1944, The Animal Victoria Cross – THE DICKIN MEDAL
Jun 06 2014

THE ANIMAL VICTORIA CROSS - THE DICKIN MEDAL Awarded to 3 year old pigeon NURP.41.SBS.219 The Duke of Normandy, 21st Army Group, D-Day 6/6/44, AFS, No. 1086, DM No.45. The Dickin Medal is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, awarded for bravery by the PDSA. During World War II the British forces used some 250,000 homing pigeons in a variety of roles, but primarily for sending messages. During the events leading up to and during the D-Day landings pigeons brought back many messages f...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 4/6/2014
Jun 04 2014

A gold coin of the Gupta king Samudragupta depicting a  4th century horse sacrifice ceremony The early Hindu rulers of India respected the traditional ceremonies passed down to them orally by means of the vedas and the purānas. The Guptas were exemplars of these traditions and it is widely thought that Indian culture and art reached its apogee under their patronage. Attractive as it is, this coin can only be fully appreciated when the rationale behind its choice of subject is...

COIN OF THE WEEK - 28/5/2014
May 28 2014

  Silver Denarius issued by Sextus Pompey, the Commander of the Roman fleet in the Western Mediterranean in the First Century B.C.  After falling out with Octavian and Mark Antony he retreated to Sicily and turned to piracy. With a strong fleet, Pompey was for a time unstoppable, raiding and pillaging up and down the coast of Italy at will. Eventually he was defeated, and was executed on Mark Antony's orders in 35 B.C. The coin will be offered at auction by Spink in London on 26...