Special Collections

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The Collection of Southwark 17th Century Tokens formed by the late Cole Danehower

The Collection of Southwark 17th Century Tokens formed by the late Cole Danehower


Cataloguer’s note: The principal Danehower collection of Southwark 17th century tokens comprises 493 different pieces (and one forgery) listed in the following 127 lots. The collection itself is of relatively recent formation. Begun in 1990, it was hugely augmented in the autumn of 1996 when Mr Danehower acquired, by private treaty, the entire remaining part of the Norweb holdings of Southwark after the British Museum had selected 103 pieces lacking from the national collection. In subsequent years Mr Danehower actively pursued pieces to not only fill gaps in his collection, but also to upgrade those he already owned. Beginning with the Greenall sale in 1997, he subsequently acquired pieces from dispersals of portions of the collections of the late John Wetton, the late Roger Shuttlewood and from the Coker and Hayward sales in 2005 and 2014, while maintaining close contact with the principal dealers in the UK. A few duplicates were sold in his lifetime to fellow collectors, most notably Tim Everson, author of the standard reference, who chose many of the Danehower pieces for illustration as they were the finest examples extant at the time of compilation. What remains is truly formidable – the best collection of the locality to have been sold by auction for over a century. Many tokens are the only specimens available to commerce; indeed, some are the only examples thus far known. In the printed catalogue, one token illustrates each lot by way of representation; serious bidders are urged to consult the DNW website, where illustrations of all pieces may be found.

References: Williamson’s Boyne, the Southwark section of which was published in 1891, is now largely irrelevant for the modern student. It has been superseded by Tim Everson’s fully illustrated Seventeenth Century Trading Tokens of Surrey and Southwark (Llanfyllin, 2015). Everson’s work in turn draws heavily on the pioneering rearrangement of the locality by Robert Thompson and Michael Dickinson in SCBI 46: The Norweb Collection…Part V, Staffordshire to Westmorland (London, 1996).

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