The Sanders Collection of milled coins achieves hammer price of £546,315 at Noonans
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The Sanders Collection of milled coins achieves hammer price of £546,315 at Noonans
Lot 244: Pattern Halfcrown D Ramage. Photo: Noonans.

LONDON.- An important collection of early milled coins, with many dating from the reign of Elizabeth I, sold for a hammer price of £546,315 at Noonans Mayfair on Wednesday, July 19, 2023. Comprising around 350 coins, it was started by Peter Sanders in the 1940s and later added to by his son Robin. Robin passed away last year, and the collection is being sold by the family.

The two highest prices of the collection was a very rare Pattern Halfcrown produced during the Commonwealth Era of 1649 to 1660 in 1651 by David Ramage which sold for a hammer price of £60,000 against an estimate of £40,000-£50,000 - there are believed to be 10 known examples, four of which are in museums [lot 244], while from the reign of Elizabeth I (1558- 1603) was an extremely rare Pattern Threepence dating from 1575 which realised a hammer price of £22,000 [lot 127]. These were both bought by a dealer in the room.

As Tim Wilkes, Head of the Coin Department at Noonans explained: “This was an exceptional and detailed collection which is like no other that I have seen before, and I doubt we will see anything similar again. We were very pleased with the results from this sale - it demonstrated the continuing strength of the market, even for comparatively specialised material like this.”

It is not known what prompted Peter Sanders to start collecting coins, but his father owned a chain of jewellery shops (James Walker Ltd) so perhaps he would have met coin dealers through the business. His initial focus was on the milled coinage of Elizabeth I, progressing on to Nicholas Briot’s milled coinage of Charles I, the Civil War coinage of the York mint, and the Scottish coinage of Charles I. Peter Sanders bought extensively from the three main London dealers and from many of the important auctions of the 1950s.

Peter Sanders was born in April 1917. Educated at Charterhouse and Wadham College, Oxford, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps on 18 December 1939. He fought with the Eighth Army in North Africa and Sicily, rising to temporary Captain and briefly temporary Major, and in March 1944 was awarded the MBE in recognition of his service. The citation reads: “... He has, throughout, shown exemplary leadership and has not spared himself in dealing with new equipment ... His great courage, cheerful outlook and unfailing energy have stimulated all under his command in their hazardous duties.” Having suffered traumatic amputation of both legs during the Sicily campaign, on 3 August 1944 he relinquished his commission and was granted the honorary rank of Captain. After the war he worked in the Joint Intelligence Bureau – the forerunner of the present Defence Intelligence – until his injuries compelled him to take early retirement. He moved with his wife and two children from London to Munstead Park, Surrey, where he lived until his death in 1980.

Robin Sanders was born in 1949 and was educated at Charterhouse and University College, Oxford. He became a Roman Catholic priest and was Secretary of the St Barnabas Society until his retirement in 2014.

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