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№ 1087


7 October 2004

Hammer Price:

South Africa, Paul Kruger, Threepence, 1898, in gold, the so-called ‘Sammy Marks tickey’, edge plain, 2.57g/12h (KM. Pn23; cf. Spink Auction 137, 1656). Minor surface marks, otherwise extremely fine and brilliant, very rare (£2,000-2,500)

215 struck for the mining magnate Samuel Marks.

The entrepreneur Samuel Marks (1843-1920), born in Lithuania, arrived in Cape Town in 1868 where he began his career by hawking cheap jewellery and cutlery. Later he moved to Kimberley where he went into business with his brother-in-law Isaac Lewis and Jules Porges; together they formed the French Diamond Mining Company. Later Lewis and Marks relocated to the Eastern Transvaal, and after trading in the boomtown of Barberton, established the African and European Investment Company, which became a major Rand finance house with controlling interests in several gold mines. Marks also developed the Viljoen’s Drift coal mine and encouraged the expansion of the Witbank coalfields. He was a close friend and admirer of Paul Kruger and a popular figure within the Transvaal business community, serving as a senator in the Union Parliament from 1910 until his death in 1920 in Johannesburg