A private collection of historic coins, valued around £40,000 and assembled over a 40-year period by a father and son, will feature in a sale of silver, coins and medals at Fellows in Birmingham on May 14.
Among the highlights is a 1902 Veld pond coin, an emergency issue gold coin dating from the Anglo-Boer War. The so-called Pilgrim’s Rest Coin was struck by the Boers on the run from the overwhelming British forces on a makeshift improvised mint set up in the veld, a grassland area of South Africa, in the remote region of Pilgrims Rest.
Soft hand-cut dies and an improvised flypress were used to strike fewer than 1000 gold coins, with an intrinsic value of 22 shillings. Considered among the great rarities of South African coinage, this example is estimated at £5000-7000.
This 5in (13cm) diameter pair of Chinese pale celadon jade chrysanthemum bowls shown above date to the Jiaqing period (1796-1820) and have provenance to the collection of Sir Ronald Lindsay, British ambassador to the US from 1930.
The bowls and Ming horse were gifted to Irene Boyle, a colleague at the British Embassy in Washington, who shared a keen interest in Chinese jades. She was employed as social secretary at the embassy and is said to have been pivotal in organising the state visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to Washington in 1939 – the first-ever visit to the US by a reigning monarch – and later, in 1957, helped to arrange the visit of the queen and Prince Philip.
The bowls are estimated at £8000-12,000 in a sale of Asian material at Sworders in Stansted Mountfitchet on May 16. Copies of the photograph of Boyle’s apartment in Washington DC with the bowls in situ also accompanies the lot, as do other documents relating to the collection.
Fans of the ‘grotesque’ stoneware jars and covers created by Robert Wallace Martin of Martin Brothers fame will look with interest at Halls’ sale on May 23 in Shrewsbury, where a quartet of ‘Wally Birds’ will be offered on the market for the first time in a century.
The group has been consigned by the grandson of the original purchaser, Ernest Lingford, of baking powder manufacturers Lingfords in Bishop Auckland. It is possible he acquired them from the Martin Brothers themselves.
The trio depicted here stand 7in (18.5cm) high and are variously dated from 1911-13. Modelled with piercing stares and long clawed feet in blue, brown and ochre glazes, they carry estimates of £8000-12,000 each. The largest of the quartet at 12½in (31.5cm) high is estimated at £20,000-30,000.