Philip Mernick forwarded this remembrance of Laurence Brown written by
Jeremy Cheek of
Morton & Eden Ltd. Thanks!
Laurence Brown, author of the definitive work British Historical Medals 1760-1960, sadly died on the 18th June. Laurence joined B.A. Seaby Ltd in 1947, later took charge of the foreign coin department and then became Managing Director. He subsequently worked for the coin department of Christie's, and when Christie's took over Spink became consultant and cataloguer for Spink, working into his late 70's.
Laurence will be particularly remembered for his mammoth three volume work on British commemorative medals, the sequel to Medallic Illustrations. Faced with a lack of reference works on the subject he built up a card index of all the medals he saw, initially for his own use. The project grew and he catalogued those in major private and museum collections over many years. BHM is still in print, having been reprinted, and is remarkably complete.
It was while doing research for his book at Windsor Castle that he noticed the Royal Collection was not then organised. He offered to take it on, working voluntarily at Windsor part time for many years until it was complete. This private work was typical of the modest gentleman we knew, who declined to have his name quoted as a reference but will be known by future generations simply as the author of BHM.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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