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This very specialised 341-lot collection was formed over about four decades and consequently contained just about every significant coin to come to the market over this period. Consequently the catalogue, painstakingly compiled by specialist Peter Mitchell (I acknowledge my parodists) “is destined to become dog-eared on academic shelves.”

For aficionados of the odd, I can report that there are a very few Anglo-Scandinavian silver pennies struck on square flans – there must be perhaps some 10-20 in existence and all different. There were five in this sale. Two of these sold at Glendining’s in 1956, when they made £9 each. In this sale they made £1100 and £1300 respectively.

The surprise of the sale was three silver half-pennies, obols if you like, of the Norwegian King Magnus Barfoot (1093-1103), imagine a terrible fellow. These coins are virtually unknown. They made roughly ten times the estimate at £3600, £3200 and £3200 respectively. Readers of an amiable disposition will be pleased to learn that they returned to Norway. The sale total was £119,416.