An ancestor of the present owner was an early settler in New England and these coins were saved as curios from the New World.
The rarest item in the group is certainly a Massachusetts silver shilling of distinctly rustic design made in 1652. As one of the very first coins to have been struck in North America, it will carry an estimate of £60,000-80,000 when sold in November (the exact date of the auction is yet to be confirmed).
These coins were produced without the approval of Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth to fill a local need for currency. They are punch-stamped with NE on one side and the denomination in Roman numerals on the other side: III for threepence, VI for sixpence and XII for the shilling.