The Strickland Neville Rolfe Collection in Baldwin Auction

by Baldwin's on April 7, 2010 · 0 comments

Lot 1406 George III, Pattern Crown, the "Three Graces", 1817Baldwin’s are delighted to announce the addition of yet another rare collection to their May 2010 auction, to be held on the 4th and 5th May at the CIPFA Conference Centre, Robert Street, London.

The Strickland Neville Rolfe collection is an amazingly conserved compilation of Ancient, British and World coins, tokens and Commemorative medals that has been untouched and out of circulation since 1852.

This numismatic collection has remained in the hands of Rolfe’s descendents since his death and brilliantly represents a snapshot of the tastes and interests of an educated English country gentleman and divine of the Victorian era.

Strickland Charles Edward Neville Rolfe was born in 1789, eldest son of General Neville of the Royal Artillery. He assumed the name and arms of Rolfe by royal warrant in 1837, upon receiving the bequest of the estates at Heacham and Sedgeford, from Edmund Rolfe, a distant relative who had no issue.

Educated at Wadham College, Oxford, BA 1812, MA 1816, he was ordained in 1814. He became domestic chaplain to the Duke of Kent in 1814 and to the Duke of Somerset in 1825. He was appointed vicar of Heacham in Norfolk in 1838. His first wife, Agnes, was the only daughter of Henry Fawcett, MP for Carlisle. They married in 1814 and had five sons and four daughters. In 1833 he married Dorothy, widow of the Rev TT Thomason, Chaplain to the Honourable East India Company.

It is known that he was an enthusiastic collector of both natural and archaeological items, as well as having a keen interest in art. Rolfe had had a number of artists staying for long periods to study artistic endevours at Heacham Hall. It is said that he had a large coach built in which he took these artists on excursions to draw and paint buildings or articles of interest in and around the area.

He was especially interested in the area of Norfolk and part of his collection of portraits of Norfolk celebrities, original drawings, topographical and antiquarian, were sold by Sotheby’s. Some of these pieces were used to extra illustrate ‘Blomefield’s History of the County of Norfolk’ (compiled by Francis Blomefield and published in 1805).

Later, in 1929, a number of water-colour drawings from the collection were also used to illustrate a publication compiled by his great grandson, Clement Rolfe-Ingleby, and entitled ‘A supplement to Blomefield’s Norfolk.’

Strickland Rolfe died in 1852. Heacham Hall was destroyed by fire in 1941, whilst being occupied by the RAF.

The English coins from the collection span three centuries and include some key rarities, such as the pattern "Incorrupta" crown (lot 1405), one of only eighteen known to have been struck, and the "Three Graces" crown, one of the most important and majestic coins of the English series (lot 1406, pictured above).

Both the "Incorrupta" and the "Three Graces" crowns were struck by the renowned medallist, William Wyon. Wyon was born into a family of engravers and medallists and was the official Chief Engraver at the Royal Mint from 1828 until his death in 1851. He is well known amongst the numismatic community for the prolific amount of work he produced and for his artistic ability.

Heavily influenced by relief sculpture he was an obvious advocate of Neo Classicist Vogue and was elected to the Royal Academy in 1838. It is astonishing that these coins were probably acquired soon after they were issued, which would account for their remarkable state of preservation.

There is an interesting selection of colonial coins in the collection including a number of East India Company coins from India and the Far East and St. Helena. It would be tempting to think that these were gifts from relatives who travelled overseas as we know that his second son, Henry Fawcett Rolfe, served in the Royal Navy, and died in the Far East.

There were Rolfes amongst the early settlers in America, notably as successful Virginia tobacco farmers and amongst the colonial coins are some superb early American coins. Most notably a pewter Continental Dollar (lot 1589), some stunningly preserved Rose Americana coppers (lots 1590-1593), and a magnificent Virginia halfpenny (lot 1594).

Perhaps the most extraordinary part of the collection is the series of Norfolk and Suffolk 17th Century tokens (lots 1474-1486). This is a substantial collection of 365 pieces, formed with obvious pride and dedication, as is confirmed by the meticulous notebook kept by Rolfe for the Norfolk part.

Whether he drew the astonishing pen and ink illustrations himself, or employed an artist to do them, we will never know. There are numerous rarities for both counties, many in remarkably high grade. The sobering thought is that this collection was unknown to the key researchers and cataloguers of this series in the 19th and 20th Centuries, William Boyne (1858), George Williamson (1889) and latterly, Michael Dickinson. The tokens listed in the notebook will be sold with it in one lot, to maintain the integrity of the collection.

The full catalogue for Baldwin’s auction number 65 can be viewed online at www.baldwin.co.uk and the Rolfe Collection will be sold alongside The Michael Hall Collection of medallic art and the Bishop’s Wood Hoard of Roman coins. The quality and diversity of the items offered over the two days is unsurpassable and is sure to attract a lot of international attention.

For more information about any of the other lots please contact Seth Freeman on +44 (0)20 7930 9450 or at seth@baldwin.co.uk

The Strickland Neville Rolfe Collection Sale Highlights

Lot 1405 George III, Pattern Crown, the "Incorrupta", 1817, struck in silver, by William Wyon, laureate and draped bust right, date below, W.WYON: below rear of drapery, GEORGIUS III D:G: BRITANNIARUM REX, last letter obscured by drapery, toothed border both sides, rev struck en medaille, crowned quartered shield of arms with a crowned escutcheon of the Arms of Hanover, INCORRUPTA FIDES VERITASQUE, edge plain (ESC 229 R4; L&S 159).

Attractively toned with a few tiny blotches, mint state FDC, attractive and extremely rare. Lot 1199 from the J T Brockett auction in June 1823 is the first known record of one of these patterns being sold and a note there shows a total mintage of only 25 pieces. According to a manuscript note in one of the surviving copies of this sale, this may include the seven specimens struck in gold, leaving only 18 struck in silver.

Estimate: £10,000-15,000

Lot 1406 George III, Pattern Crown, the "Three Graces", 1817, struck in silver, by William Wyon, laureate head right, date below, W.WYON. below truncation, GEORGIUS III D:G: BRITANNIARUM REX F:D:, beaded border and linear circle both sides, rev struck en medaille, the Three Graces, personifying England and Scotland, with national emblems, W.WYON to left of harp, FOEDUS INVIOLABILE, palm branch and paddle in exergue, edge plain (ESC 223 R2; L&S 152).

Attractively toned with a few tiny blotches, a little cabinet friction to high points, good extremely fine, attractive and extremely rare.

Estimate: £10,000-15,000

Lot 1474 Norfolk 17th Century Tokens. The main collection as listed in the accompanying notebook (237 pieces). A few tokens are in fact not from Norfolk but are included here because they are listed. These misattributions are hardly surprising, as the reference works we rely on today were far in the future.

Strickland Neville Rolfe was very much a pioneer in this field, and did an astonishing job amassing such a good collection, presumably working without a checklist. Items listed in the Notebook but no longer present are listed at the end of the lot. The Notebook also lists 39 18th Century tokens which are now missing from the collection.

Those present are: Ref: 1/1. – Aldborough, John Briggs, 1671 (= W Suffolk 1), 1/2. – Aldeby, Philip Robats (W 2)., 1/4. – Aylsham, Lansalet Thexton, 1666 (W 8), 1/5. – Aylsham, William Wats (W 9), 1/6. – Brancaster, William Rix, 1667 (W 12), 1/7. – Burgh-le-Marsh, Thomas Cracroft, 1666 (= W Lincs 49), 1/8. – Burnham Market, John Tucke (W 13), 1/9. – Burnham, Thomas Willis, 1659 (= Dickinson Essex 49C)., 1/11. – Cley-next-the-Sea, Hoult Hundred (W 19)., 1/13. – Cley-next-the Sea, John Wilch (W 21), 1/14. – Cromer, Robert Drake (W 25), 1/15. – East Dereham, Peter Barker, 1656 (W 31), 1/16. – Bocking, Thomas Merill, 1667 (= W 29), 1/17. – East Dereham Henrey Boddy (W 33), 1/18. – East Dereham, Thomsas Jessup, 1660 (W 35), 1/19. – Oakham Richard, Matthew and John Potterill (= W Rutland 8), 1/22. – Diss, town, 1669 (W 27), 1/23. – Diss, Thomas Burton (W 28), 1/24. – Downham Market, Will Ray, 1666 (W 29), 1/25. – Downham Market, John Trott (W 30), 1/26. – Fakenham, Edmond Peckoner, 1667 (W 42), 1/27a. – Fakenham, William Shildrack, 1657 (W 44), 1/28. – Folkingham, John Bizsill (= W Lincs. 78), 1/29. – Foulsham, John Atthill (W 47), 1/30. – Foulsham, Edward Benn, 1668 (W 48), 1/31. – Harleston, Stephen Freeman, 1666 (W 49), 1/32a. – Harleston, Cleare Shewel, 1656 (W 51), 1/34. – Hilgay, John Dey, 1664 (W 54), 1/37. – Litcham, Thomas Feltwell, W 59), 1/38. – Ludham, Robert White (W 62), 1/39. – King’s Lynn, town, 1668 (W 63/4), 1/40. – King’s Lynn, town, 1669 (W 65), 1/41. – King’s Lynn, Edward Billinges, 1656 (W 67), 1/42. – King’s Lynn, Edward Billinges, 1662 (W 68), 1/43. – King’s Lynn, Alexander Bingham, 1666 (W 69), 1/44. – King’s Lynn, Joseph Braban, 1666 (W 70), 1/45. – King’s Lynn, Gyles Bridgman (W 72), 1/46. – King’s Lynn, Giles Bridgman (W 73), 1/47. – King’s Lynn, Hileard Brown, 1654 (W 74), 1/48. – King’s Lynn, Robert Bull (W 76), 1/49. – King’s Lynn, Thomas Denman, 1665 (W 80), 1/50. – King’s Lynn, Robert Fraunces (W 81), 1/51a. – King’s Lynn, Seth Garrard, 1652 (W 82), 1/52. – King’s Lynn, John Greene (W 83), 1/53. – King’s Lynn, Thomas Harwick (W 84), 1/54. – King’s Lynn, Will Hatfield, 1666 (W 85), 1/55. – King’s Lynn, Jeremiah Hovell, 1666 (W 86), 1/56. – King’s Lynn, John Howard, 1660 (W 87), 1/57. – King’s Lynn, Rebeckah Howlett (W 88), 1/58. – King’s Lynn, Robert Leak (W 89), 1/59. – King’s Lynn, Bryan Midletun (W 90), 1/60. – King’s Lynn, William Preston (W 91), 1/61. – King’s Lynn, Mathew Richers, 1667 (W 94), 1/62. – King’s Lynn, John Ringstead, 1658 (W 95), 1/63a. – King’s Lynn, John Salter, 1666 (W 98), 1/63b. – as 63a, second specimen, a brockage., 1/64. – King’s Lynn, William Sharpe, 1668 (W 99), 1/65. – King’s Lynn, Robert Thetford, 1667 (W 100), 1/66. – King’s Lynn, Richard Wolterton, 1656 (W 103), 1/67. – King’s Lynn, N.R.W (W 102), 1/68. – Moulsham, Charles Clarke (= Dickinson Essex 236A), 1/69. – Mileham, Francis Ladly, 1666 (W 107), 1/70. – Massingham, Thomas Childerhouse, 1657 (W 105), 1/72. – Norwich, town, 1667 (W 225), 2/73. – Norwich, town, 1668 (W 226/7), 2/74. – Norwich, town, 1670 (W 228), 2/75. – Norwich, John Attwood (W 112-4), 2/76. – Norwich, Michaell Baker, 1667 (W 115), 2/77a. – Norwich, Violet Benton, 1664 (W 118), 2/78. – Norwich, John Bland (W 120/1), 2/79. – Norwich, Peeter Blofeld (W 122), 2/80. – Norwich, Augustine Bridgs (W 123/4), 2/81. – Norwich, James Brockden (W 125), 2/82. – Norwich, Eliz Halfknight, 1667 (W 148), 2/83. – Norwich, Edward Buxton, 1653 (W 128), 2/84. – Norwich, Edmund Camond (W 129), 2/85. – Norwich, James Castill, 1664 (W 130), 2/86. – Norwich, James Castle, 1662 (W 131), 2/87. – Norwich, Robert Clayton, 1663 (W 132), 2/88. – Norwich, Isaac Cowper (W 134), 2/89. – Norwich, Peeter Deale, 1664 (W 134), 2/90. – Norwich, Abraham Derrix, 1665 (W 136/7), 2/91a. – Norwich, Robert Duglas (W 139), 2/92. – Norwich, Francis Elmet, 1667 (W 140), 2/93. – Norwich, Edward Woodyard, 1656 (W 222), 2/94. – Norwich, Richard Freeman, 1657 (W 144), 2/95. – Norwich, L. Goodwyn, 1660 (W 145), 2/96. – Norwich, John Lawrence, L. Goodwin, 1658 (W 164), 2/97. – Norwich, Thomas Greene, 1658 (W 146), 2/98. – Norwich, Benhamen Greenwood, 1667 (W 147), 2/99a. – Norwich, George Hall, 1664 (W 149), 2/100. – Norwich, Edward Harding (W 151), 2/101. – Norwich, Henry Holbey, 1659 (W 153), 2/102. – Norwich, Nathanaell Howlet (W 154), 2/103a. – Norwich, John Hutton, 1657 (W 155/6), 2/104a. – Norwich, Edward Hyrne (W 157), 2/105. – Norwich, Thomas Lacey, 1667 (W 162), 2/106. – Norwich, William Lambert (W 163), 2/107a. – Norwich, Thomas Linstead, 1659 (W 166), 2/108. – Norwich, T.L. (D.), 1653 (W 159-61), 2/109a. – Norwich, A.L., 1661 (W 158), 2/110. – Norwich, John Mayes, 1667 (W 168), 2/111. – Norwich, Antho. Mingay (W 169), 2/112. – Norwich, Will Mony (W 170/1), 2/113. – Norwich, Richard Morant (W 172), 2/114. – Norwich, Fracis Morly (W 173), 2/115a. – Norwich, George Munford, 1657 (W 175), 2/116. – Norwich, Ann Munford (W 174), 2/117. – Norwich, Thomas Newman (W 176), 2/118. – Norwich, Elias Norgats, 1660 (W 177), 2/119. – Norwich, John Osborn (W 178), 2/120a. – Norwich, John Parker, 1665 (W 179), 2/121 – Norwich, Isaac Pearcivale, 1667 (W 181), 2/122. – Norwich, Daniell Pycroft (W 184), 2/123. – Norwich, Thomas Randoll (W 185), 2/124. – Norwich, Thomos Rayner, 1653 (W 187), 2/125. – Norwich, Thomos Rayner, 1655 (W 188), 2/126. – Norwich, Charles Reeve, 1664 (W 189), 2/127. – Norwich, George Reeeve (W 190-3), 2/128. – Norwich, Will Robinson, 1662 (W 194), 2/129. – Norwich, John Sheppard, 1659 (W 195/6), 2/130 – Norwich, Henry Sidnor, 1659 (W 197/8), 2/131. – Norwich, Jonathan Snowden, 1660 (W 200/1), 2/132. – Norwich, Mathew Soulter (W 202), 2/133. – Norwich, Spendlove, 1667 (W 203)., 2/134. – Norwich, Samuel Starlin, 1664 (W 204), 2/135. – Norwich, John Tabor, 1663 (W 205), 2/136. – Norwich, Robert Tharrold (W 206/7), 2/139. – Norwich, Benjamin Toft, 1664 (W 209), 2/140. – Norwich, Robert Tompson, 1652 (W 211), 2/141. – Norwich, T.T. (M.) 1651 (= W London 2693), 2/142. – Norwich, Jerimy Vyn, 1657 (W 212/3), 2/143. – Norwich, John Ward, 1667 (W 215), 2/144. – Norwich, Thomas Warren (W 217), 3/145. – Norwich, Tho. Weld, 1657 (W 218), 3/146. – Norwich, Nicholas Withers, 1658 (W 220/1), 3/147. – Norwich, Will Youngest (W 224), 3/148. – Outwell, Frances Boyce, 1664 (W 232), 3/149. – Pulham Market, Thomas Flatman, 1664 (= D 234A), 3/150. – Pulham Market, Henry Theobold (W 235), 3/151. – Rudham, John Pearson, 1667 (W 236), 3/154. – Stoke John Hubbard (W 239), 3/155. – Stowbridge, Tho. Case, 1669 (W 240), 3/156. – Stowbridge, John Pratt, 1668 (W 241), 3/157. – (Long) Stratton, Robert Bayly, 1654 (W 242), 3/158. – Swaffham, Edward Case (W 246), 3/159. – Swaffham, Thomas Cannon, 1658 (W 244), 3/160. – Swaffham, Thomas Dawson, 1659 (W 247), 3/161a. – Swaffham, Robert Denton, 1660 (W 248), 3/162. – Swaffham, John Hooker, 1667 (W 250), 3/163. – Swanton Abbott, William Cooper (W 251), 3/164. – Swanton Novers, James Nailor, 1667 (W 252), 3/165. – Swanton Novers, James Naylor, 1671 (W 253), 3/166. – Thetford, William Flanner, 1669 (W 254), 3/168a. – Thetford, Francis Howlett, 1668 (W 256), 3/169. – Thetford, Edward Moore, 1668 (W 257), 3/170. – Thetford, John Waymond, 1659 (W 258), 3/171. – Thornham, Stephen Tucke, 1667 (W 259), 3/172. – Upton-on-Sea, William Cowell, 1664 (= W Worcs 120), 3/174. – North Walsham, John Cooke (W 266), 3/176. – North Walsham, Thomas Ruddocke (W 269), 3/177. – Joseph Wasey, North Walsham (W 270), 3/178a. – Walsingham, Benjamin Rudkin, 1669 (W 271), 3/181a. – Walsingham, John Partington (W 273), 3/182. – "WALTON/*I*K*", 3/183. – Watton, Christopher Hey (W 276), 3/184. – Wells, Richard Mansuar (W 277), 3/186a. – Wymondham, Anthony Lock (W 283), 3/187. – Yarmouth, town, 1667 (W 284/5), 3/188. – Yarmouth, town, 1669 (W 286), 3/189 – Yarmouth, John Ames, 1652 (W 287-90), 3/190. – Yarmouth, Benjamin Barker, 1662 (W 292/3), 3/191a. – Yarmouth, William Batch (W 294-6), 3/192. – Yarmouth, William Bateman, 1656 (W 297/8), 3/193. – Yarmouth, Edmund Beddingfild (W 300), 3/194. – Yarmouth, Thomas Bradford, 1655 (W 302), 3/196. – Yarmouth, William Bretton (W 304), 3/197. – Yarmouth, John Candley (W 305), 3/198. – Yarmouth, Joseph Cooper, 1656 (W 306/7), 3/199. – Yarmouth, Christo Cozens (W 308/311), 3/200. – Yarmouth, Richard Crafford, 1659 (W 312), 3/201. – Yarmouth, John Curtis, 1662 (W 314), 3/202. – Yarmouth, Thomas Dawson, 1667 (W 315), 3/203. – Yarmouth, John Emperor, 1664 (W 316-8), 3/204. – Yarmouth, Thomas Godfrey (W 320), 3/205. – Yarmouth (I of W), Will Hide, 1667 (= W Hants 237), 3/206. – Yarmouth, John Hooke (W 324), 3/207a. – Yarmouth, William Lincolne, 1652 (W 325/6), 3/208. – Yarmouth, Thomas Moulton, 1667 (W 328), 3/209. – Yarmouth, Jonas Neave, 1659 (W 330), 3/210. – Yarmouth, Edward Owner (W 332/3), 3/211. – Yarmouth, Edward Peterson (W 334), 3/212. – Yarmouth, Thomas Richmond, 1654 (W 336), 3/213. – Yarmouth, Stephen Tracey (W 340-2), 3/214. – Yarmouth, Clement Trotter, 1653 (W 343), 3/215. – Yarmouth, Benjamin Waller, 1658 (W 344/5), 3/216. – Yarmouth, Benjamin Wallton, 1654 (W 346), 4/1. – Yarmouth, Thomas Waters, 1656 (W 349), 4/2. – Yarmouth, Roger Water (W 348), 4/3. – Yarmouth, William Woorts (W 352), 4/4. – Yarmouth, John Arnold (W 291), 4/5. – Yarmouth, Thomas Crane, 1665 (W 313), 4/6. – Yarmouth, Richard Flaxman, 1657 (W 319), 4/7. – Yarmouth, Thomas Hering (W 322), 4/8. – Yarmouth, George Spilman (W 338), 4/9. – Yarmouth, Michal Tilles, 1666 (W 339), 4/10a. – Yarmouth, Garbriell Woodrooffe (W 351), 4/11. – Yarmouth, William Bateman, 1667 (W 299), 4/12. – Yarmouth, William Bratin (W 303)., 4/13. – Yarmouth,Thomas Parkinson (= W Yorks 375), 4/14. – Yarmouth, Jonas Neave, 1661 (W 331), 4/15. – Yarmouth, Henry Potter, 1667 (W 335), 4/17a. – Norwich, William Parmenter, 1654 (W 180), 4/18. – Walpole, Samuel Folkard, 1668 (= W Suffolk 348), 4/19a. – Walpole, Samuel Folkard, 1670 (= W Suffolk 347), 4/20. – Watlington, John Cocky, 1663 (= W Oxon.213), 4/21. – Watlington, Mary Nash, 1669 (= W Oxon 221), 4/22. – Watlington, Richard Seeley (= W Oxon.222), 4/24. – Wells, Robert Warmall, 1664 (= W Somerset 310), 4/25. – Norwich, William Cooper, 1662 (W 133), 4/26. – King’s Lynn, Edwards Tilson, 1668 (W 101), 4/27. – Scarborough, John Robinson, 1667 (= W Yorks 300), 4/28. – Outwell, William Bayley, 1667 (W 231), 4/29. – Pulham Market, Thomas Flatman, 1664 (W 234), 4/30. – Fordham, John Badcock, 1667 (W 45), 4/33. – Norwich, Henry Sidnor, 1667 (W 199), 4/34. – King’s Lynn, Robert Allen, 1668 (W 66), 4/35. – Swaffham, John Hooker (W 249), 4/37. – Loddon, Hency Burrough, 1667 (W 61), 4/41. – Norwich, Thomas Warne, 1662 (W 216), 4/42. – King’s Lynn, John Clay, 1664 (W 77), 4/43 – Holt, Francis Shawe, 1658 (W 58), 4/45. – Stanton, Thomas Buckell, 1669 (= W Suffolk 301), 4/49. – Norwich, James Arbree, 1667 (W 115), 4/50. – Norwich, Thomas Hanse, 1664 (W 150), 4/57. – Norwich, James Dover, 1667 (W 138), 4/58. – Norwich, Thomas Long, 1657 (W 167), [notebook items listed but not now present: 1/3, 1/10, 1/12, 1/20, 1/21, 1/33, 1/35, 1/36, 1/71, 2/82, 2/93, 2/137, 2/138, 3/152, 3/153, 3/167, 3/173, 3/175, 3/179, 3/180, 3/185, 3/195, 4/16, 4/29]

The grades vary widely as is normal with 17th Century token collections, the overall standard is however higher than usual, with some pieces of exceptional quality. (239 tokens and Notebook)

Estimate: £4000-6000

Lot 1588 Continental Dollar, 1776, pewter currency type, die axis, twin olive leaf edge device, rarity 3, struck from late stage obverse die but with all details showing, 18.49g (N 1C; H 1A.3). Uncirculated. vastly superior to the J J Ford specimen (Part I, 14 October 2003, lot 4) which realised US$46,000 (£27,750)

Estimate: £10,000-15,000

Lot 1592 Rose Americana Twopence, 1722, bath metal, 7.37g, GEORGIUS/UTILE., rosette only after date (Breen 115). Good very fine and rare.

Estimate: £200-250

Lot 1594 Virginia Halfpenny, 1773, no stop after GEORGIUS, 7.4g (Newman 3F). Superb, chocolate-coloured, problem-free uncirculated.

Estimate: £600-800

About Baldwin’s

Established in 1872 A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd has over 100 years experience in servicing the numismatic industry. Baldwin’s auction department was established in 1993 and has grown to hold between ten and twelve sales annually in London, New York and Hong Kong and specialise in all areas of Numismatics.

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