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MTB’s 1968 Price List of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Ancient Coin Collection

MTB’s 1968 Price List of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Ancient Coin Collection

“That’s the list …”

– The Adventure of The Blue Carbuncle (BLUE)

MTB 1968 ACD#2 1 of 6
Cover / 1st sheet of Manfra, Tordella & Brooks 6 page listing of Arthur Conan Doyle’s ancient coin collection.

In October 2014, we published our first HolmeWork assignment, asking for assistance in locating the price list that Manfra, Tordella and Brookes issued in 1968 when they sold the ancient coin collection of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. We now have copies of a 6 page listing that MTB produced, featuring ancient Greek and Roman coins from Doyle’s collection.  We also have a scan of the cover of MTB’s 1968 Christmas List #14, which references how quickly the coins from Doyle’s collection sold.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE ….. MAYBE …..

This is pure speculation on your Editor’s part, but there are several indicators that make us think there was an earlier listing than the one we show in this post. Why do we think this way?

In Tom Haney’s September 8, 1968 New York Times column (we now have a scan of that column you can view), he mentions that “The items have been cataloged and will be offered in the company’s new fall price list.” No where on the price list we are showing does it mentions that it is the fall price list. It seems logical that he would have the price list in hand as he was writing his article – if he had the price list we are showing where would he have gotten the words “fall price list?” In addition, our last scan below is the cover letter of the Christmas list #14, so it seems logical that they would have had an earlier fall price list.

Haney starts his column by mentioning “More than 500 items are in the collection of the late Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle …” yet the price list we have below has just over 200 coins listed for sale. On page 4 of the listing below, MTB does mention “there are many coins of lesser grades and/or commoner types” available for purchase, but would that account for the 300 coin discrepancy?

On the cover page, illustrated above, of the price list we have is the quote “a listing of the remaining Conan-Doyle ancient coins.” Doesn’t it make sense to make a listing of all the coins first and then, later, do a listing of the remaining coins?

Now, your Editor could be wrong (Remember that time he mistakenly referred to Sotheby’s as Christie’s???????). We welcome your thoughts in our comments section below.

We have the five remaining sheets of MTB’s price list below, as well as the cover sheet of their 1968 Christmas List #14, which references how quickly the Doyle coins sold.

Now the question is how many of these coins remain, after 48 years, with the paper discs in ACD’s handwriting and MTB’s attractive folder that “certified” these coins were from ACD’s collection?

MTB 1968 ACD#2 2 of 6
2nd sheet of Manfra, Tordella & Brooks 6 page listing of Arthur Conan Doyle’s ancient coin collection.
MTB 1968 ACD#2 3 of 6
3rd sheet of Manfra, Tordella & Brooks 6 page listing of Arthur Conan Doyle’s ancient coin collection.
MTB 1968 ACD#2 4 of 6
4th sheet of Manfra, Tordella & Brooks 6 page listing of Arthur Conan Doyle’s ancient coin collection.
MTB 1968 ACD#2 5 of 6
5th sheet of Manfra, Tordella & Brooks 6 page listing of Arthur Conan Doyle’s ancient coin collection.
MTB 1968 ACD#2 6 of 6
6th & final sheet of Manfra, Tordella & Brooks 6 page listing of Arthur Conan Doyle’s ancient coin collection.

 

MTB Christmas List Letter 1968
Cover sheet of MTB’s 1968 Christmas List #14 referencing how quickly ACD’s coins sold.

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