Dix Noonan Webb will be closing a 1,372-lot auction on Dec. 1-2 containing a wide variety of British coins and medals, along with a large chunk of ancient coins and a significant array of world coins including some South African rarities. Some of the special collections include; selections from the David Young Collection of medals of bridges, plus two small collections of medals and tokens related to aviation and railways. These little groups are a real transportation collector’s delight.
There are twenty-four lots of stunningly beautiful bridge related medals in the David Young group presented in this sale and this presents a rare opportunity for both beginners and long-time collectors.
Young began collecting as many of us did, through an interest in coins brought home from trips by family and friends. He was fostered in his pursuit by Fred Baldwin, who happened to be one of those family friends, so books on coins entered the picture for Young early on.
By 1970 Young had discovered tokens and from that point he never looked back. Those first coin collections were sold to fund formation of a library of books on tokens, which is always the best way to go when stepping into a new collecting field. Twenty years later Young saw the other side of token books when he co-authored his first reference work.
Talks and articles have followed as Young embarked on new collecting ventures and found himself researching and building new bases of knowledge which he wanted to share with others. So at this time, as Young expressed it, “These talks and articles have now covered most of the pieces in the collection, which is what I aimed to do when I started the talks. I feel now it is time to dispose of the collection and hope that others will find as much enjoyment in these pieces as I have.”
In addition to these specialized collections, the will be a large offering of over 250 pieces from the Claremont Collection of Historical Medals. But this Claremont Collection does not refer to a person; it is all about a house. Indeed, “Claremont must be almost unique among country houses in the United Kingdom with a history sufficiently rich to support a collection of commemorative medals illustrating its owners, occupiers and celebrated visitors over a period of more than two centuries.”
Located in the Thames Valley at Esther, Claremont is small estate without a grand house, but it is rich with history and close enough to London, Hampton Court and Windsor to be an attractive location from important folks. Begun in 1709 by Sir John Vanbrugh, the original property was 60 acres, leased for 70 years, on which a five bedroom house with battlements was constructed. The property was sold to Vanbrugh’s friend, Thomas Pelham Holles in 1711 and when he advanced from Earl of Clare to Duke of Newcastle Claremont became an important place.
Expansion of the property began with two new wings and a great room being added making the home quite an unusual bit of piecemeal construction. Claremont became a home away from London for Newcastle and after marriage to the Duke of Marlborough’s daughter and a rising role in politics with the Whig party; Claremont became a social stop of some significance. Reference the Kit-Cat Club, but that’s another story entirely.
The Duke of Newcastle survived and thrived in British politics for a remarkable 45 years and Claremont became a focal point. After his passing the estate traded hands between a number of high-profile owners and retained its status as a grand private retreat for the elite. Claremont remained with royalty until 1922, when it was sold a Director of the Cunard Line, remaining in high society, but without royal connection.
The Claremont Collection of Historical Medals serves to illustrate much of the estates long and storied past and the sale of these pieces presents a rare opportunity to acquire several pieces at one time. Interested collectors should act quickly to examine this group and register to bid at www.dnw.co.uk