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Before reporting on a few lots it is worth remarking that the lavish catalogue is destined to become a standard work on its subject. Three hundred lots up to the 17th century were on offer. The later material is scheduled for later this year. Such material is very difficult to estimate, consequently a quarter of the lots failed to sell. The usual failure rate for a general coin sale is of the order of 12-15 per cent. This need occasion no surprise given the nature of the offering. For sure it seems that it was not over-reserved because some of the lots sold for well below the estimate. As always the best pieces did well.

The highest price of the day was the £6800 paid for the c.1500 bronze portrait medal of Nicolo Michiel, the solicitor of St Marks no less, and his powerful-faced wife (73mm). To demonstrate the principle mentioned above; the estimate was just a broad guess at £850-1500.

For the more impecunious I can pick out the 16th century food token for the poor. Charmingly described as “almost unpublished”. I wish I had the chutzpah to use such a phrase. Anyway, guessed at £140-200, it sold for £120. Lucky somebody.