Tony Abramson collection of Dark Age Coins - Part 1
Part I of the Tony Abramson collection of Dark Age coinage was sold at auction by Spink on Thursday, 18 March 2021. Its scope and content are second to none and provided collectors with an opportunity to acquire some truly fabulous coins. The auction achieved some very strong prices with several lots being significantly above their estimates.
A good number of these lots were detecting finds in the last twenty years.
The auction catalogue is available from Spink here.
Tony Abramson is a Leeds boy, like myself, and is a well known figure in numismatic circles. He began collecting coins at the age of 4. He has written several books on coins, which are available from Spink Bookshop, including Sceatta List and The Yorkshire Numismatist.
I first saw some of the Abramson coins about fifteen years since but over the intervening years the collection has come on in leaps and bounds. The greater part of the content is made up of fairly recent finds. This, perhaps, is to be expected, for in the not too far distant past most of the coins simply were not available.
Amongst those that today are fairly common are coins that used to be very scarce. Many others were completely unknown. This applies in particular to sceattas, which today is a very broad and complex series. Indeed, it is almost unrecognisable in comparison to only a few decades since
Sceattas in Hoards
Large hoards can sometimes greatly increase the amount of material available to collectors. Hoards containing sceattas are few and far between and the content small. The greatly increased number known today has benefitted little through hoards but greatly from a steady stream of detecting finds. Some of these have come from ‘productive sites’ but most from singleton finds in many parts of England.
What I have said before is worth repeating again “never in the course of human endeavours has one hobby (numismatics) owed such a debt of gratitude to another hobby (metal detecting)”.
Lot 18, Eabald, Gold Shilling
This Thrymsa (or Shilling) is one of 8 that are known and is considered of the utmost historical importance to British numismatics. It was found by a detectorist on 1 May 2017 in Billericay, Essex.
Estimate: £25,000 – £30,000
Below are my picks from the other lots. Several of these are detecting finds. In addition to the hammer price, there is a Buyer’s Premium of 20% (plus VAT).