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Author Archives: Frances Simmons

MB84 Medal auction 28 February – Ireland, music and more

A collection of medals from Ireland – a collection of medals on the theme of music celebrating composers – different but there are several crossovers in our current medal auction, MB84 ending on 28 February 2018. The most striking one is the commemorative struck upon the death in 1908 of a much loved Irish singer, […]

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MB80 medal auction round-up

Overall our medal auction on 29 March achieved solid prices for this specialist market.  There’s still lots of interest in the British Art Medal Society (BAMS) medals with the iconic Terror/Virtue and Diamond making strong prices according to an established market.  However, we’re beginning to notice that collections made by the original members of the […]

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Beer and tobacco, God and Mammon – MB81 token auction

Beer and tobacco used to go together as two of life’s pleasures – until the dangers to health were pointed out and legislation came in.  But as numismatic series to collect you can have fun seeking out tokens which feature both though perhaps not on the same item.  The current auction, MB81 closing on 4 […]

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Silver Piece x 100 – some thoughts on the value of art

How much is it worth? How do you value this piece? The sculptor and Jerwood Drawing Prize winner Juliet Haysom mused upon the way the medal is so closely linked to its transactional value by its material and tangentially to its artistic value.   Originally each medal was priced according to its weight, ranging from £133 […]

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Round-up MB79 auction and other news

Simmons Gallery has had a very successful year with our very specialised bid auctions for tokens, medals and weights.   Described not as small but as ’boutique’ (!) auctioneers by one collector, we held 5 auctions, 3 of them in the autumn and hope to do something similar in 2017 – consignments of collections, accumulations and […]

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Mint marks and symbols on Monnaie de Paris medals

I’m sometimes asked: how can you know a medal from the Monnaie de Paris is an original or a restrike? Some of the information below should help – I’ve kept it brief.   There is also the question of patination, which varies over the years going from the rather lovely olive brown of the early […]

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Minting tokens and trials

In our latest token auction catalogue there are over 50 trials, tokens and medals relating to minting practice.  Most are related to the Birmingham Mint but there are a few from the Royal Mint  and from machinery manufacturers such as Taylor and Challen and Cincinatti Milacron HME presses. James Sweeny in his 1981 Numismatic History […]

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Coin fairs, auctions and congresses – 2016 news round-up

After FIDEM in Gent and a stimulating visit to the Mauquoy mint and factory, we  returned to a very busy few weeks in the UK.  First there was our own medal auction, 20th century to the present day, which took place on 22 September.  We achieved a top price of £1700 for Lynn Chadwick’s medal […]

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Mining token stories by Howard Simmons

Mining tokens provide so many stories that Howard’s taken just a few from the current auction to elaborate on them. Mining was one of the industries that became unionised. This token from the North Stafford Miners Federation illustrates a particular feature of all early Mining Union badges – they all have two holes  The practice […]

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XXXIV FIDEM 2016 Ghent – Namur Belgium: artists and mints together

What a feast for medal collectors!  The 34th FIDEM congress for medals (International Federation for Medals), new and , place in Ghent last week from 6-10 September 2016.  Because Belgium is at least bi-lingual Vlaams/French there were also exhibitions in Namur, in the south French-speaking part.  About 150 people took part in this biennial event; […]

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