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HolmeWork Assignment: Sotheby’s Auctioned A Portion of A. Conan Doyle’s Coin Collection

HolmeWork Assignment: Sotheby’s Auctioned A Portion of A. Conan Doyle’s Coin Collection

“Now and again I drive down to Sotheby‘s”

– The Adventure of The Three Garridebs (3GAR)

sherlock_speechsothebys_logo_detail

We had earlier posted about Manfra, Tordella and Brooks offering ancient coins from Arthur Conan Doyle’s collection in 1968 (and we have some updates on that topic in the very near future!). While scrolling through the massive New York Times database, we came across the following article from May 1, 1913:

19130501 NYT article

So, on May 9, 1913, the London auction house of Sotheby’s sold a portion of Arthur Conan Doyle’s coin collection. This raises the following questions:

  • What was sold? Were these ancient coins, like the 1968 sale, or something different?
  • Was there a catalog produced?

Correction: This post, when originally published, referenced Christie’s rather than Sotheby’s. The author and editor regrets his stupidity.

4 Responses to HolmeWork Assignment: Sotheby’s Auctioned A Portion of A. Conan Doyle’s Coin Collection

  1. Greetings,

    I only just came across this website and your quest to track down these coins, so forgive me if I am coming late to the discussion.
    I started collecting ancient coins around 1988, for the most part low grade budget coins from fixed price lists until the bug really took hold later on. But during those early days I did participate in my first coin auction, bidding on two lots of coins from ACD’s collection. Unfortunately i don’t recall the auction house offering these coins, but the lots were both of Greek fractions, one consisting of four coins and the other five. The only one I remember at this time was a small ‘wappenmunzen’ from Athens. As an avid Holmes collector I was overjoyed at the thought of combining my two favorite hobbies by landing one of these lots, but sadly I was outbid on both.
    However I do remember the winning bidder who shattered my dream that day, a well known ancient dealer by the name of Alex Malloy, and he got both lots (9 coins) for a total of under $500! I kept an eye on his catalogs for a few years after, hoping to pick up a piece or two from that auction, but to no avail.
    I believe Mr. Malloy is still kicking, and you might be able to reach him through Forvm Ancient Coins. perhaps he still remembers that auction… I know it is one that I will never forget!

    Best regards,
    ~ Peter

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