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Opening Thoughts for Auction 34 (written at the end of catalog production)
Dr. Cedric Raine, a name familiar to several North American dealers, has been an enthusiastic and dedicated collector of English hammered coins for well over three decades. He has consigned 109 of the early English coins, filling a major portion of this sale. In his years of collecting he has purchased virtually every coin from a North American source. These sources are included in this catalog for the more valuable coins, and dealer tags when available will be included with the lots. Dr. Raine’s collection demonstrates the active market and wide availability of good material for North American collectors of British coins.
Dr. Raine himself has had an important and illustrious career as a researcher into the causes and cures for multiple sclerosis, a devastating illness that can shorten lives and consign its victims to wheelchairs. His early training in England was in limnology but, not unlike many graduates today, his first job after graduation was as a part-time bartender in Carlisle. The job had its excitement but was short lived as a college classmate pointed him to a vacancy for an electron microscopist at the Demyelinating Diseases Research Unit in Newcastle.
In order to progress in this field that now interested him, he earned a Ph.D. in medicine with a subspecialty in neuropathology. Following a few career twists and turns he received an offer of a two-year postdoctoral fellowship with an internationally known neuropathologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, an address that is still current.
His work in the United States, beginning in 1968, was with colleagues he enjoyed in a setting that encouraged collaboration and creative research.
Dr. Raine told me in one of our conversations that the research on multiple sclerosis has now advanced to the point where within ten years we can expect medications that can delay and reduce the development of symptoms once M.S. has been diagnosed.
His collecti0n closely follows British history through the Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, medieval and Renaissance periods to the end of hammered coinage. He bought good quality coins when he could and representative and interesting coins as well. A collector who will only buy a perfect (or nearly perfect) hammered coin will have a very limited collection.
He did an excellent job of developing an interesting and wide ranging collection with a substantial number of appealing pieces. Coins from his collection are indicated by an asterisk after the lot number.
Fascinating consignments have made this one of our more unusual sales. A metal detectorist fresh back from the UK contacted me earlier in the year about a heretofore unrecorded reverse type on a Coenwulf penny he found on a treasure hunt in England and legally imported into the United States. The American slavery badge was consigned by someone with a remarkable grasp of American history garnered from his scholarship and his identification of ancestors who made policy in 19th and early 20th century America. The Alaskan gold and the Confederate restrike material was another intriguing consignment from someone I know in Minnesota who was a student of mine in my academic years. Several high grade milled British coins came from a collector we have known for a long time. A few slabbed tokens came from another consignor, and there are a few pieces we sold to other collectors over time.
The Greek coins in this sale are particularly choice. We have held them for some time because Auction 33 featured a major Seleukid collection and these coins merited presentation on their own. The number of lots is small but the style and condition is exceptional.
The tokens include some rarities including several Thomas Paine “hangman” pieces that have a tie to the American colonial series and are referenced in David Bowers’ book, Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins. A small consignment of exceptional rarities is distributed through the token section: two high grade silver tokens, a unique combination of two dies on another and a Nelson piece with a pedigree back to Lincoln. This section includes several high grade Pidcock pieces, a few unusual and choice pieces from the recent Baldwin “basement” sale and two exceptionally rare and attractive farthing patterns from Newcastle-on-Tyne.
Writing these opening notes is my responsibility a day or two before our catalog goes to press. While Marnie and Lief are carefully reviewing the text and laying out the photos I am charged with reflecting on what has been a major project. It has been a pleasure to work with this material and the people who consigned lots. And it is a great satisfaction to see the effort finally come to reality in the catalog you now hold in your hand and view on your computer screen. We hope you enjoy it and find some things to intrigue and attract you.
Marnie and Lief join me in wishing you all the best for the holiday season and a bright New Year.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
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