This collection of Somerset 17th century tokens, largely put together between 1973 and 1988, is the most important holding of the county ever to have been dispersed by auction. Numbering 366 pieces, of which 294 are different, it may be compared to the collections put together by Henry Symonds (279 different pieces purchased by Baldwin in September 1928, not the pieces auctioned in 1973), the Norwebs (463, of which 251 were different, dispersed from 1994) and Ranulphus Carthew (196 different pieces offered by Seaby in March 1946 as a county group, which was later broken up). In all probability a number of tokens which used to belong to Symonds, and perhaps Carthew, and have since lost those provenances, are included here; a small quantity of Norweb tokens, principally civic issues, were acquired in 1994.
For the benefit of future students of the Somerset series, which is yet to be the subject of a modern study, the best specimen of each variant in the collection is illustrated on the Plates at the end of this section of the catalogue.
This offering compliments the earlier auction of Mr Young’s Somerset tokens of the 18th and 19th centuries (Baldwin, 11 October 1995).