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Based in Central London, Morton & Eden Ltd., was founded in 2001 by James Morton and Tom Eden, specialist auctioneers of Collectors' Coins of all periods and types, War Medals, Orders and Decorations, Historical Medals and Banknotes.

Morton & Eden’s London Sale of Medals, Decorations and World Orders Nets £880,578

Auctioneer James Morton said he was extremely pleased with the results of Morton & Eden’s London sale of British War Medals and Decorations Russian and World Orders and Medals, on Tuesday November 30, 2010.

He said: “Once again there was strong interest in high quality Russian Orders, Medals and Decorations, highlighted by the £180,000 achieved against an estimate of £30,000-40,000 for the cover lot, a privately-made Russian First Class Order of St Anne.

“There were solid prices for British material, but rather less interest in gallantry medals and it was disappointing that the Iraq Military Cross awarded to Private Ryan Copping failed to find a buyer. However, we hope it will be sold privately soon.

“Another highlight was the dispersal of a small collection of Chinese Orders of the Double Dragon Type 2, which while not of the greatest rarity, were keenly contested by bidders in the room, by commission bidders and on the Internet and five telephones. Amid great excitement, the collection realised a total of more than £72,000, to the delight of the U.S. collector who had spent a lifetime acquiring and studying them.”

Also of note was the £2,620 obtained for a Military General Service Medal (1793-1814) awarded to a Maltese recipient and the £5,760 (hammer) paid for another, awarded to a Prussian man, born in Coblenz, who enlisted in the UK and served with the 5 Battalion 60th Foot.

Photo Caption: Russia, Order of St Alexander Nevsky circa 1837-39


Lot 213
*Russia, Order of St Anne, First Class, a privately-made sash badge in gold, diamonds and enamels, by ?? (or ??), St Petersburg, dated 1856, marked on suspension ring; of ‘bulbous’ form with central painted enamel portrait of the Saint surrounded by sixteen diamonds, spandrels and riband carrier also set with diamonds and angles of reverse embellished with scroll engraving, height 59.5mm (including suspension ring), width 53.8mm, carrier 38mm, very slight enamel loss at top edge of cross on reverse, of excellent quality, good extremely fine
Estimate: £30,000-40,000 SOLD FOR £180,000 Purchased by European private collector

Lot 274
*Armenia, a rare Pair of Awards attributed to Nikolai Pyotrevich Nazaryan, comprising:

i) Order of the Red Banner of Labour of Armenia, type 1, in silver and enamels, maker’s mark CC, 88 zolotniki fine, impressed no. 83 on reverse and also with original separate backplate similarly marked and numbered (but 84 zolotniki fine), well-worn overall, screwplate lacking and with losses to enamel, generally fine;

ii) Star of Armenia, badge in silver and enamels, the central medallion (originally rivetted or wired) damaged and crudely re-fixed with solder, hammer-and-sickle missing and small diameter screwpost with worn threads, fair (2)

Offered with original named Order Book for the Order of the Red Banner of Labour, dated 17th February 1940, giving the date of award no. 83 as 1st January 1939, with a photograph of the recipient in later life, well-worn; and a Former Red Partisan’s Identity Booklet, 1930’s, this with a replacement period photograph with blind-embossed N.K.V.D. stamp, also heavily worn
Estimate: £60,000-80,000 SOLD FOR £84,900 Purchased by US dealer bidding for a client (more…)

Morton & Eden Ancient and World Coin Auction Yields Surprise Result

Below are the Top Ten prices for a sale of Islamic, Ancient, British and World Coins Medals and Memorabilia relating to Edward VIII Historical and Renaissance Medals and Plaquettes, held at London specialist auctioneers Morton & Eden on Thursday November 11.

The surprise of the sale was the outstanding price paid for the Roman aureus of Maximinus I Thrax (AD 235-238) which tripled estimate to sell for £195,500 to a European private collector, bidding against telephones and internet interest (lot 272).

This wide-ranging sale also registered strong interest in Islamic coins where a poorly preserved but extremely rare Umayyad dirham of Ifriqiya dated AH120 also tripled its top estimate to sell for £4,370 (lot 30).

English coins were in demand and the Charing Hoard of coins of Edward IV (1461-70), discovered by a metal detectorist in Kent last year sold for a total of £2,300.

There were strong results for Italian Renaissance plaquettes and medals where a finely preserved plaquette of Marcus Curtius (the legendary saviour of Rome) by the famous sculptor Riccio sold to a U.S. collector for £16,100, more than double its top estimate (lot 585).

The sale demonstrated the continuing strength of the numismatic market despite the current world economic climate. Images are available on request.

Lot 272
*Maximinus I, Thrax (235-238), aureus, Rome, April-December 235, IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, rev., PAX AVGVSTI, Pax standing left holding branch and transverse spear, 5.37g (RIC 12; BMC 4; C. 30; Calico 3159; Alram 10/1B), well struck on a broad flan, a few minor marks but about extremely fine and extremely rare.

Ex Nelson Bunker Hunt Collection, Part 2, Sotheby’s New York, 21-22 June 1990, lot 789 and Rauch auction 46, Vienna, 14 May 1991, lot 597.

While the silver coinage of Maximinus is plentiful, in contrast, his gold is extremely rare. Of lowly birth in Thrace, Gaius Julius Verus Maximinus, known for his enormous stature (the Historia Augusta claimed he was over 8 feet tall) came to the notice of Septimius Severus and rose through the ranks of the army. When there was rebellion against the policies of Severus Alexander and his mother Julia Mamaea during the German campaign, the emperor was murdered at Moguntiacum (Mainz) and Maximinus was proclaimed emperor, bringing an end to the Severan dynasty. Maximinus’s reign marked the beginning of the so-called Crisis of the Third Century. He never set foot in Rome itself, and his harsh rule was resented by the Senate. On his way to Rome to deal with the insurrection there, he and his son Maximus were assassinated at Aquileia by disaffected soldiers.

Estimate: £40,000-60,000 SOLD FOR £195,500 Purchased by private European collector (more…)

Russian Orders Fetch Unprecedented Prices at Morton & Eden Auction


• Order of St Andrew insignia sells for £1,320,000 (world auction record)
• Order of the White Eagle insignia sells for £852,000
• Order of St Alexander Nevsky insignia sells for £576,000
• Order of St Anne Grand Cross insignia sells for £372,000

A magnificent group of recently rediscovered Orders of Knighthood conferred during the 1830s upon John George Lambton, “Radical Jack”, the first Earl of Durham, by Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, Leopold I of Belgium, Otho of Greece and William IV of England, were sold for a total of £4,057,080 by specialist London auctioneers Morton & Eden in association with Sotheby’s today (Thursday 10 June 2010). The sale had been expected to raise £500,000.

Bidders in the room, on a bank of telephones and on the Internet ignored pre-sale estimates and spent freely on the unique collection which was being sold by a descendant.

The Orders comprised the Russian Order of St. Andrew (the highest honour the Tsar could bestow), which sold for a world auction record £1,320,000 against an estimate of £140,000-180,000; the associated Orders of St Alexander Nevsky (sold for £576,000, estimate £80,000-120,000); the White Eagle (sold for £852,000, estimate £80,000-120,00) and St Anne (£372,000, estimate £30,000-40,000). In addition, the Belgian Order of Leopold I sold for £19,200; the Greek Order of the Redeemer for £21,600, and the British Order of the Bath for £24,000.

Breast stars for the Order of St Andrew made by Nicholls and Plinke in St Petersburg and Rundell Bridge & Co., in London sold for £180,000 and £120,000 against an estimates of £5,000-7,000 respectively and a miniature collar and badge of the Order of St Andrew by Wilhelm Kämmerer of St Petersburg in 1838 sold for £240,000 against an estimate of £20,000-30,000.

Even the fitted mahogany box specially commissioned in 1838 to transport the Earl’s orders was wanted. Estimated at £600-800, it sold for £12,000.

The sale, in which every one of the 22 lots sold, was taken by Lord Poltimore, the Chairman of Sotheby’s Russia. Bidding battles were long and involved as Russian and Russian-speaking agents spoke to their clients by mobile phones, while bids also came from the packed saleroom, on the Internet and from a bank of telephones.

Bidding increments were also unpredictable. Lots which opened at a few thousand pounds suddenly leapt into the tens of thousands and beyond, while in some cases bidding rose by £100,000 at a time. There was applause when the Order of St Andrew insignia was hammered down for a world auction record price. (more…)

Morton & Eden’s sale of The Stack Collection of Renaissance Medals Brings £1.8 million

The sale was 100% sold and set a record for an historical medal

A collection of important Renaissance medals formed by leading New York dealer-collector Lawrence R. Stack was sold by specialist auctioneers Morton & Eden in London on December 9 2009.

The sale represented the most important offering of 15th and 16th century medals from Italy, France, Germany and the Low Countries to come onto the market since before the Second World War, when the Rosenheim and Oppenheimer collections were sold by Sotheby’s and Christie’s in 1923 and 1936 respectively.

The Highlight of the sale was a gold medal of Mary Tudor by Jacopo da Trezzo formerly in the Rothschild and Gaines collections and one of only two known. The medal was made in 1554, the year of her marriage to the future Philip II of Spain and was recently on display at the National Gallery, London, as part of the exhibition “Renaissance Faces”.

Below is a summary of the catalog Description:

Lot 136 – JACOPO NIZZOLA DA TREZZO (c. 1514-1589) – SOLD FOR £276,000

Mary Tudor (1516-1558), Queen of England, 1553-1558, gold medal, MARIA I REG ANGL FRANC ET HIB FIDEI DEFENSATRIX (Mary I, Queen of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith), bust left, wearing an ornately embroidered gown, a brooch with pendant pearl at the breast, and a cap adorned with jewels, with a veil falling down the back. (more…)

Russian Order of St. Catherine Medal Sells for £322,000 at Morton and Eden Auction

Normally CoinLink does not report much on Ceremonial Medals or Orders and Decorations., which although very interesting, fall a bit outside are general interests. In fact the fist major profile we ran was for the Society of the Cincinnati Washington-Lafayette ‘Badge’

catherine_1_medal_120609That piece is believed to have been specially made for George Washington in 1784. In 1824, long after Washington’s death in 1799, it was reportedly given by Washington’s adopted daughter to the Marquis de Lafayette, a French nobleman who served as a two-star general in the American Revolutionary army and played an important role in the Revolutionary War against the British. The Washington-Lafayette Medal sold at Sotheby’s in December of 2007 ofr $5.3 million dollars, a result that is the all-time second highest auction price for a numismatic item.

The Order of St Catherine, Second Class badge or Lesser Cross, was made by Eduard, St. Petersburg, circa 1901-1908, with workmaster’s mark ??, in gold, diamonds and enamels. The original estimate was for £60,000-80,000

The Order of St. Catherine, the only Order of the Russian Empire for women (excluding the Order of Saint Olga, given only in 1916-1917), was founded in 1714 in order to commemorate and immortalize the actions of Empress Catherine I, wife of Peter the Great, whose selfless sale of her jewelry and property to pay the ransom of the Cossacks who were captured by the Turks in 1711 earned her the admiration of the court and country.

The statutes of the Order were first published in 1713, and on the 24th of November 1714, on the Empress’ name day, Peter the Great personally bestowed the insignia of the Order upon the Empress Catherine, creating her Grand Mistress of the Order. The order was to be limited to “Persons of the feminine sex” and was given in two classes; The Grand Cross, which entitled the bearer to wear a star and badge of the order, and the Small Cross, which entitled the bearer the right to wear the badge only. The badges were worn on the end of a red moiré sash trimmed with silver, with the embroidered motto: “Za lyubov i otchestvo” (For love, and for the Fatherland) (more…)

The Brackley Hoard Of Silver Groats Coins to be Sold

London auctioneers Morton & Eden expect bids of £30,000 for coins found in field

brackley_hoard_102209In the summer of 1465, as the Wars of the Roses raged, an unknown person hid his worldly wealth in a secret location in a Northamptonshire field and went into hiding. He never returned to claim his money.

In 2005 – 540 years later – a metal detectorist stumbled across the hoard of 324 silver coins and alerted the authorities. The British Museum, where the coins were researched and identified as silver groats, purchased 14 of them to be put on show to the public, while the remainder were returned to the metal detectorist who unearthed them and the land-owner on whose land they were found.

The two men have decided to keep 12 coins apiece as mementos, while the remainder will be sold by specialist London auctioneers Morton & Eden on Wednesday, December 2. The 186 coins, which were found in the Brackley area of Northamptonshire, are expected to raise a total of around £30,000, the money to be split equally between them.

After asking permission from the landowner to search the field, the detectorist was thrilled to find five coins on his very first attempt. “I was amazed,” the man said. “They were lying there about a foot below the surface. I couldn’t believe my eyes but I was convinced there were more, so I went back the next day and discovered the rest. There was no sign of a container, so I assume the coins were hidden originally in a cloth bag which obviously had rotted away over the centuries.”

The coins date mostly from the reigns of Henry V (1413-22) and Henry VI (1422-60). They are all silver groats (fourpenny pieces) and are relatively free from corrosion, although clearly, they had been in circulation for some time before they were hidden and had thus received some wear.

Said auctioneer Jeremy Cheek: “When they were in circulation, a silver groat would have been enough to buy a sheep. Thus, the hoard represents the value of a flock of a sheep, perhaps a man’s main asset. As there are no gold coins in the hoard, it does not appear to have been the property of a particularly wealthy person. The gold coin of the time, known as a noble, was worth 6s 8d (1/3 of a pound) which would have represented a lot of wealth for a poor person to hold in one coin. A new type of gold coin, the ‘ryal’ or ‘rose noble’ valued at 10s (1/2 of a pound), was introduced the same year the hoard was deposited. The hoard included two contemporary Scottish groats.”


£2 million sale will be conducted by Morton & Eden in London on December 9

lstacks_mary_tudor_medalA collection of important Renaissance medals formed by leading New York dealer-collector Lawrence R. Stack will be sold by specialist auctioneers Morton & Eden in London on December 9 2009. The medals will be sold without reserve and are expected to raise a total of around £2 million.

The sale represents the most important offering of 15th and 16th century medals from Italy, France, Germany and the Low Countries to come onto the market since before the Second World War, when the Rosenheim and Oppenheimer collections were sold by Sotheby’s and Christie’s in 1923 and 1936 respectively.

The collection was assembled by Mr. Stack, who saw an opportunity to buy into a market which had been somewhat overlooked by collectors. As with other significant collections assembled by Mr. Stack, including, for instance, an important collection of early English coins sold by Sotheby’s in 1999, the medals were owned as a partnership. With Mr. Stack’s recent departure from the firm which bears his family name, the partnership profile changed and it was decided that the only equitable manner of dividing the collection was to offer it for sale at public auction. Mr. Stack himself continues to be a devotee of Renaissance art and art history and intends to remain an active collector in this field.

The decision to sell was not taken lightly and the medals are being offered for sale without reserve to encourage new buyers into the field. The entire collection of 350 pieces is estimated to fetch in the region of £2 million.

THE £2,000 PENNY

Metal detectorist finds 1200 year old coin in ploughed field

Cynethryth PennyAfter six years of looking, the penny finally dropped for metal detectorist Clive Nobbs.

It was like finding a needle in a haystack, but uncovering the coin in the middle of a 20-acre ploughed field was considerably more rewarding for the 47-year-old amateur archaeologist and historian.

This is no ordinary penny. More than 1200 years old, it is an exceptionally rare silver penny of Queen Cynethryth, valued at around £2,000. Cynethryth was the wife of King Offa of Mercia (AD 757-796).

“This is easily the most important thing I’ve ever found,” said Clive, an Assistant Quality Assurance Manager for an aircraft parts supplier. “It didn’t look like much when I found it. It was about four or five inches down and black with age but it turns out to be incredibly rare.”

The coin will be sold by specialist London auctioneers Morton & Eden on June 9. Specialist Tom Eden said: “This is an exciting discovery. All Cynethryth pennies are rare, but this example is very rare because it bears her portrait. Very little is known of Cynethryth herself, but she must have been held in high esteem for coins to have been issued in her name. Much more is known about her husband, King Offa, one of the great Anglo-Saxon rulers, famous for the dyke he built between Mercia and Wales.

“Cynethryth’s coins are the only examples struck in the name of a queen throughout the Dark Ages, both in England and Europe. In fact, no other women appear on English coins until the 12th century, when very rare pennies depicting Matilda were struck during the civil war in the reign of King Stephen. So Cynethryth’s coins are the first to depict an English woman and as such are of significant importance from an iconographic point of view.” (more…)