Books on British trade tokens from the David Griffiths reference library go on sale next month.
The auction is being held by Dix Noonan Webb on October 6th in one session, commencing at 1PM English time (8AM EST). The catalogue is online and printed versions may be had from the auctioneers at 16 Bolton Street, London W1J 8BQ, England. Peter Preston-Morley of DNW forwarded a bio of David Griffiths from the catalogue.
David Griffiths was born in Conway, North Wales, in
1940, moving to London when he was five. Like
many expatriates, he became very keen in
retaining his links with his mother country, and in
addition to representing it at athletics in sprint
events, he realised how interesting it was to link
local history with collecting.
Initially he collected Welsh 17th century
tokens, triggered by the 1973 publication of
George Boon’s book on the subject. But, finding
out how much individual 17th century tokens
cost and, encouraged by Monica Bussell (1906-
74) at Seaby’s, David decided to start collecting
Welsh 18th century tokens, principally Anglesey.
He now has the largest collection of these pieces ever
David has expanded his 17th century token interests
to cover Hertfordshire, of which county his collection is now the
largest of its kind ever formed, and other counties, in particular Middlesex, Bedfordshire, Berkshire,
Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Lincolnshire, Rutland, and Shropshire. His collection of 18th century tokens
covers all counties, with a particularly large group of Middlesex tokens, and his smaller 19th century
collection includes tickets, checks and medals.
A regular at the annual British Token Congress for many years, David single-handedly ran the 1998
event at Hemel Hempstead and was a co-organiser of the Congress when it visited Warwick in 2008.
Having an interest in antiquarian books David extended this to books on tokens, which are the
subject of today’s sale. He has gradually built up a definitive collection for all token series, as the linking of
tokens and books is essential if the enjoyment of a token collection is to be maximised.
This auction is the most important of its kind ever to have taken place. A keen buyer of token books
for over 30 years, David has never missed an opportunity to acquire a significant volume, whether it be from
an antiquarian or numismatic book dealer, or in the cut and thrust of auction room competition. The
provenances of some of the lots in this sale extend back to the libraries of doyens of the subject like
Williamson, Davis, Hamer, Dalton, Waters, and others. Here you will find such desiderata as two copies of
Thomas Sharp’s catalogue of the Chetwynd collection, pioneering catalogues of 18th century tokens by
Hammond and Williams, an original R.T. Samuel ‘Bazaar Notes’, and much else besides.
Having now reached a level of completion with the books, David
has decided to part with them. His token collection will be the subject
of further auctions in these rooms over the next two to three years.
You've got to love David Griffiths' bookplate!
For more information, see the DNW web site at:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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