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Category Archives: SIGN

Sign of the Four

From Watson’s Tin Box – The Sign of Four

From Watson’s Tin Box – The Sign of Four

“Somewhere in the vaults of the bank of Cox and Co., at Charing Cross, there is a travel-worn and battered tin dispatch-box with my name, John H. Watson, MD, Late Indian Army, painted upon the lid.”

– The Problem of Thor Bridge (THOR)

Sherlock Holmes took his bottle from the corner of the mantel-piece, and his hypodermic syringe from its neat morocco case. ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box

Watson’s Tin Box, a BSI scion that meets in Columbia, Maryland, shares a few select items from their tin evidence box for The Sign of Four with us here at The Fourth Garrideb. These evidence boxes were originally created by the late Paul Churchill, BSI, one of the founders of Watson’s Tin Box and contains both genuine artifacts and genuine faux reproductions that he (and others) created. These items create a great deal of discussion at their monthly meetings and we hope it will do the same here. Enjoy!

I had opened my mouth to reply to this tirade, when, with a crisp knock, our landlady entered, bearing a card upon the brass salver. ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box
On reaching London I drove to the Langham, and was informed that Captain Morstan was staying there, but that he had gone out the night before and had not returned. I waited all day without news of him. That night, on the advice of the manager of the hotel, I communicated with the police, and next morning we advertised in all the papers. ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box
About six years ago – to be exact, upon the 4th of May, 1882 – an advertisement appeared in The Times asking for the address of Miss Mary Morstan, and stating that it would be to her advantage to come forward. ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box
She opened a flat box as she spoke, and showed me six of the finest pearls that I had ever seen. ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box
‘The envelope, too, please. Post-mark, London, S.W. Date, July 7. Hum! Man’s thumbmark on corner – probably postman. Best quality paper. Envelopes at sixpence a packet. Particular man in his stationery. No address. “Be at the third pillar from the left outside the Lyceum Theatre to-night at seven o’clock. If you are distrustful bring two friends. You are a wronged woman, and shall have justice. Do not bring police. If you do, all will be in vain. Your unknown friend.” Well, really, this is a very pretty little mystery! What do you intend to do, Miss Morstan?’ ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box
‘You are certainly a model client. You have the correct intuition. Let us see, now.’ He spread out the papers upon the table, and gave little, darting glances from one to the other. ‘They are disguised hands, except the letter,’ he said, presently; ‘but there can be no question as to the authorship. See how the irrepressible Greek e will break out, and see the twirl of the final s. They are undoubtedly by the same person. I should not like to suggest false hopes, Miss Morstan, but is there any resemblance between this hand and that of your father?’ ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box
May I offer you a glass of Chianti, Miss Morstan? Or of Tokay? ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box
I keep no other wines. Shall I open a flask? ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box
Well, then, I trust that you have no objection to tobacco smoke, to the balsamic odour of the Eastern tobacco. ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box

See that chaplet tipped with pearls beside the quinine-bottle? ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box

Mr. Sherman was a lanky, lean old man, with stooping shoulders, a stringy neck, and blue-tinted glasses. ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box
A map is drawn for them by an Englishman named Jonathan Small. You remember that we saw the name upon the chart in Captain Morstan’s possession. He had signed it in behalf of himself and his associates – the sign of the four, as he somewhat dramatically called it. ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box
Diminutive footmarks, toes never fettered by boots, naked feet, stone-headed wooden mace, great agility, small poisoned darts. ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box
These little darts, too, could only be shot in one way. They are from a blowpipe. ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box
He took the telegram out of his pocket, and handed it to me. It was dated from Poplar at twelve o’clock. ‘Go to Baker Street at once,’ it said. ‘If I have not returned, wait for me. I am close on the track of the Sholto gang. You can come with us to-night if you want to be in at the finish.’ ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box
He took a pair of night-glasses from his pocket and gazed some time at the shore. ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box
Miss Morstan has done me the honour to accept me as a husband in prospective. ~ WTB SIGN Evidence Box

Thanks to the 42nd Garrideb, Denny Dobry, for the scans in this post. Thanks also to Debbie Clark, the 58th Garrideb, the current keeper of the evidence boxes.

Watson’s Tin Box, a BSI scion in Columbia, MD, is one of the most active Sherlockian groups in the Middle Atlantic region, Generally meeting on the last Monday of each month, the meetings feature canonical toasts, good conversations and dining, as well as a discussion of the month’s featured story and an educational presentation. For more information about Watson’s Tin Box, please visit their website HERE.

In for a Penny, In for a Pound – British Money as Holmes Knew It

In for a Penny, In for a Pound – British Money as Holmes Knew It

“I’d like two shillin’ better” – The Sign of the Four (SIGN) Some Sherlockians are puzzled by references to money in the Sherlock Holmes adventures – “a fifty-guinea watch” in The Sign of Four, a pipe that cost “seven-and sixpence” in “The Yellow Face.” The British monetary system was undoubtedly complicated. A pound was divided into 20 shillings,… Continue Reading

The 2007 Cook Islands Sign of the Four Coin

The 2007 Cook Islands Sign of the Four Coin

” He handed them a shilling each…” – The Sign of the Four (SIGN)       In 2007, the Cook Islands contracted with the Perth Mint of Australia to produce a set of four 1 ounce .999 silver $2 coins.  All four coins featured color vignettes from the 1979 – 1986 Soviet television productions of The Adventures of… Continue Reading

The 17 Steps: The Sign of The Four

The 17 Steps: The Sign of The Four

Seventeen thoughts for further ponderance of the case at hand – The Sign of the Four (SIGN)   WATSON’S FLAW The Sign of the Four begins by showing us a major flaw in our hero’s character, his cocaine usage. Watson, it would seem, does not make it through the tale without showing a flaw of… Continue Reading

British Royal Mint Now Selling 2019 Sets With Sherlock Holmes Coin

British Royal Mint Now Selling 2019 Sets With Sherlock Holmes Coin

“… a work which had been specially designed to please him.” – The Sign of the Four (SIGN) On January 1, 2019, the British Royal Mint released the designs of their 2019 dated coins and began selling the annual sets to collectors. As we predicted in our earlier post about the 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50 Pence coin,… Continue Reading

British Royal Mint to Issue Holmes 50 Pence Coins in January 2019

British Royal Mint to Issue Holmes 50 Pence Coins in January 2019

“It might be his portrait.” – The Hound of the Baskervilles (HOUN) In January 2019, the British Royal Mint will be issuing a series of 50 pence coins honoring Sherlock Holmes. Late yesterday, an image of the coin’s design was leaked and shared to the World of Coins website. Below is the proclamation authorizing these coins, as… Continue Reading

Here Are Your Wages (1971)

Here Are Your Wages (1971)

“Here are your wages.” – A Study In Scarlet (STUD) Sherlock Holmes handed each of the original Baker Street Irregulars a shilling and said, “Here are your wages.” As you know, today’s Irregulars have as a symbol the Victorian shilling. This, more than any other, is the coin we associate with Holmes. Though the Canon… Continue Reading

“Hey Pal, Can You Spare A ‘Bob’? – A Very Simplified Guide to Sherlock Holmes and Money of the Victorian Age

“Hey Pal, Can You Spare A ‘Bob’? – A Very Simplified Guide to Sherlock Holmes and Money of the Victorian Age

If anyone has experienced the thrill of a summer in Houston, Texas, you know indoor reading is one of few options left for survival. During the summer of my 14th year, as other young men were discovering their first love — fishing, or a summer job, I discovered the stories of the Canon. As I… Continue Reading

Watson Coins A Phrase (2001)

Watson Coins A Phrase (2001)

“There’s money in this case …” – A Scandal In Bohemia (SCAN) In The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet, son Arthur asks father, Alexander Holder, for 100 pounds. The father “… was very angry, for this was the third demand during the month. ‘You shall not have a farthing from me’, (he) cried, on which… Continue Reading

More Mysterious Money Matters

More Mysterious Money Matters

“Three bob and a tanner for tickets.” – The Sign of The Four (SIGN) In response to our previous discourse concerning the intricacies of Victorian currency (“So, how much is a Quid, a Crown, and a Bob?; The Sherlockian Times: Fall 1993) we received a welcomed epistle from that most erudite Northern Musgraver Mr. John Hall… Continue Reading