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Category Archives: Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Doctor, Author, Knight

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Doctor, Author, Knight

We are sharing this post from the British Royal Mint’s website. To see the original post, click HERE.

The story and facts of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s life are a lot easier to follow than the cases of his most famous creation, Sherlock Holmes™. Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born on 22 May 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland into an Irish-Catholic family. His father was a successful artist while his mother adored books and was a compelling storyteller. Her influence on Arthur was hugely positive and he reflected that:

‘… the vivid stories she would tell me stand out so clearly that they obscure the real facts of my life.’

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Circa 1890: the novelist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930) and creator of Sherlock Holmes.

In 1876 Conan Doyle graduated from Stonyhurst College, going on to study for a medical degree at the University of Edinburgh. After he graduated he first took up employment as a medical officer on a ship, then opened his first practice and later volunteered to be a medic during the Second Boer War in 1900. However, Conan Doyle always felt his true calling was to write. In 1886 he wrote A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes’ first adventure, and it was published in 1887. The Sign of the Four, the second book featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, was published in 1890.

Despite the success and fame that his fictional detective had brought him, Conan Doyle tired of Sherlock Holmes and decided to focus more on historical novels. In 1893 he attempted to kill off the detective in The Adventure of the Final Problem but mass public outcry ensued. Conan Doyle was encouraged by Edward VII to begin writing again and The Strand magazine started serialising The Return of Sherlock Holmes in 1903.

His experience of war led him to write The War in South Africa: Its Causes and Conducts which was published in 1902. During and after the Second Boer War, the Boers accused the British of war crimes and in the publication, Conan Doyle responded to the accusations. He declared that the ‘concentration camps’ the Boers spoke of were refugee camps created as housing for people displaced during the war. He admitted that the death rate in the camps was high but this was because of disease rather than bad treatment and many British troops died from the same cause. Conan Doyle considered that the civilians in the camps were being treated as well as Great Britain treated its own troops, if not better.

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The work was a success and was read widely, alleviating public opinion about the conduct of Great Britain in the Boer War. With such a significant contribution to his country’s welfare, Conan Doyle was notified that Edward VII wanted to make him a knight bachelor. On 24 October 1902 Arthur Conan Doyle, because of his services to the Crown, became Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Having written 60 Sherlock Holmes adventures and many other notable books aside from the Sherlock canon, including The Lost WorldThe Great Boer War and The White Company, Arthur Conan Doyle died on 7 July 1930.

The legacy he created still endures today and numerous modern-day interpretations of Sherlock Holmes have been created. The 2009 film Sherlock Holmes saw Robert Downey Jr. portray the detective; Ian McKellen played the sleuth in the 2015 film Mr. Holmes; Jonny Lee Miller plays Sherlock in the TV series Elementary; and Benedict Cumberbatch is Sherlock in the contemporary British TV drama series Sherlock.

 

Conan-Doyle Ancient Coins Set For Sale (8/21/1968)

Conan-Doyle Ancient Coins Set For Sale (8/21/1968)

“My publishers give me a most discouraging account of its sale.” – The Adventure of the Resident Patient (RESI) The ancient coin collection of the late Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, celebrated author and creator of the Sherlock Holmes mystery thriller series, has been acquired by the firm of Manfra, Tordella & Brookes, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York,… Continue Reading

Paris Mint Displays Leygue Collection (1/31/1979)

Paris Mint Displays Leygue Collection (1/31/1979)

“… during this exposition …” – The Valley of Fear (VALL) Sculpture and medals of French artist Louis Legue went on display at the Paris Mint in November, 1978, to remain through February, 1979, according to Pierre DeHaye, Director of the Mint. The exposition is under the patronage of the Minister of Economics in France. Leygue was born… Continue Reading

It’s A Pretty Little Thing – Peter E. Blau’s Souvenir for the 2001 BSI Dinner

It’s A Pretty Little Thing – Peter E. Blau’s Souvenir for the 2001 BSI Dinner

“It’s a pretty little thing …” – The Adventure of The Mazarin Stone (MAZA) Outer Cover of Peter E. Blau’s 2001 Seasonal Souvenir Inside Contents of Peter E. Blau’s 2001 Seasonal Souvenir A long-standing tradition at the annual January dinners of the Baker Street Irregulars is that many members and attendees issue a souvenir of some… Continue Reading

The 1978 Arthur Conan Doyle Medal by the Monnaie de Paris

The 1978 Arthur Conan Doyle Medal by the Monnaie de Paris

“… enthusiastic admiration of the French …” – The Adventure of The Naval Treaty (NAVA) In the Spring 1979 issue of The Sherlock Holmes Journal (Volume 4, Number 1, Whole Number 52), Editor Nicholas Utechin has this nugget in his Editorial Notes feature: New Objects Pride of place-just-goes to the newly available Sir Arthur Conan Doyle medal produced… Continue Reading

Period Americana’s Sale 50 Auctioned Off A Coin From ACD’s Estate

Period Americana’s Sale 50 Auctioned Off A Coin From ACD’s Estate

“Now and again I drive down to Sotheby’s or Christie’s.” – The Adventure of the Three Garridebs (3GAR) Period Americana, a Boston, Massachusetts-based auction house recently conducted their Sale 50: Ephemera, Revolutionary War, Civil War, RPPC Timed Sale. Of interest to us is Lot 177: Lot 177: Coin from Sherlock Holmes’ Conan-Doyle collection Est: $350 –… Continue Reading

The Ottoman Grand Sultan Decorated Both of the Doyles in 1907

The Ottoman Grand Sultan Decorated Both of the Doyles in 1907

“I had also a commission from the Sultan of Turkey…” – The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier (BLAN) Clipping from the December 1, 1907 edition of The Baltimore Sunday Sun On September 18, 1907, Arthur Conan Doyle married for the second time, wedding Jean Elizabeth Leckie. From September 21 through November 14, Conan Doyle and his… Continue Reading

Emphemera of Shagin’s Medals of Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle

Emphemera of Shagin’s Medals of Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle

“Here is an advertisement which will interest you …” – The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb (ENGR) Edward C. Rochette, the 5th Garrideb, and his wife Maryann started a small business selling Holmesian gifts in 1990. The business was called Sherlock, Stock & Barrel Company. Pictured above was their first advertising flyer that was sent to folks… Continue Reading

Shagin Recognized for Medallic Achievements (1990)

Shagin Recognized for Medallic Achievements (1990)

“If I were a sculptor …” – The Problem of Thor Bridge (THOR) The American Numismatic Association bestowed its Numismatic Art Award for Excellence in Medallic Sculpture this year (1990) on Alex Shagin of Los Angeles, California. He was presented with an engraved, 14kt-gold medal donated by the Franklin Mint of Franklin Center, Pennsylvania. Born… Continue Reading

Numismatist Profile – Alex Shagin (2011)

Numismatist Profile – Alex Shagin (2011)

“Without art, a coin collection is just another form of bookkeeping.”  – Alex Shagin Alex Shagin’s life has always been about artistic freedom and enduring coins. It’s been a long, but rewarding challenge for this defender of classical medal design. Born in Russia near Leningrad, on January 21, 1947, Alexander George Shagin is the only… Continue Reading