Tag Archives: medallion

eBay Excitement!

I dropped Julia off at work etc…

(You can probably write that bit of the post for me.)

…turned on the computer, which refused to cooperate.

So I turned on the other computer and set to work. I had most of the parcels packed before anyone else arrive, at which point we had a look at the computer again, interrogated the internet and found that the pattern of pulsing lights indicate a problem with the power supply. This is what happens when you work with old, second-hand equipment.

However, this wasn’t the excitement.

Flying Horse of Gansu medallion & leaflet

Flying Horse of Gansu medallion & leaflet

We had a very nice horse medallion in auction on eBay. When we first put it on we had an email from somebody asking if they could buy it there and then, which is generally a good sign. We, of course refused, because we don’t do that – it is unfair to other bidders and it drives me mad when it happens. But partly it’s due to the fact that they never want to offer enough – they are just trying to avoid competing with others. Weonce turned down an offer of £250 for something that eventually sold for £75, but generally we don’t lose out, and we keep our integrity.

Normally, however, we turn down the offers and the bids keep rolling in.

On Saturday it had been around £50, by this morning it was £150 and by lunchtime it had climbed to £250.

Things were looking good.

It is, to be fair an exceptional medallion. The horse is well-modelled, in what I consider to be classic Chinese style, the lettering is high and crisp and the whole thing just oozed quality. Research indicates that the horse is the Flying Horse of Gansu. I knew the sculpture, but until then I didn’t know the name or the story. It was exhibited around the world in the 1970s but subsequent legislation prevents it from being taken outside mainland China.

Flying Horse of Gansu medallion - obverse

Flying Horse of Gansu medallion – obverse

It came in the original box with paperwork and was made by Toye, Kenning and Spencer, who are one of the classic medallists. Even so, this was probably the best of their work I have ever seen.

In addition, it had a beautiful coloured tone where the silver had oxidised and was one of a limited run of just 2,000 medals. (Dealer’s note – when it enhances a medallion, or you are selling you call it tone or patina, when it is unpleasant, or when you are buying, you call it tarnish.)

Finally, the icing on the cake, it was to commemorate the Chinese Exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1973. The Chinese love good quality medallions, and they also like to buy items which have links to Chinese culture.so all in all we were hoping for great things.

The bidder who had made the running all week was finally outbid at £305 with an hour to go. There was a flurry of bidding which took it up close to £380 with eight minutes to go, but as I said, whilst sitting on the edge of my seat, the serious bidders don’t bid with eight minutes to go.

Serious bidders, like me, use automated auction sniper programmes which bid with only seconds remaining.

Sure enough, as the sale closed, there was a sudden rise in price and the screen faded. That’s when they transfer the details from being an auction to being sold. It is slightly annoying as a seller when this happens. It doesn’t seem to happen when you are a buyer  – the numbers may whizz round but you don’t have to change screens to find them again.

Final price – £511.

Quite an exciting day.

After that we might be able to afford the repairs to my computer.

Flying Horse of Gansu medallion -reverse

Flying Horse of Gansu medallion – reverse

Like Work, but More Fun

We had a busy day today – the phone kept ringing, people kept visiting (with and without appointments) and though we only had two orders on eBay overnight, we had six more come in during the day. We also managed to load three lots onto eBay.

It’s just like being at work, but more fun.

When I returned home my first impression was of lemon-scented hygiene. Julia had clearly been cleaning.

She had also been cooking. We had two apple crumbles and a plum tart. The plums are from our own tree, which has been very prolific this year. The apples are from the Mencap garden and the garden of one of the neighbours. It’s always satisfying to use the garden produce. It’s just a shame that it’s over so soon. We really ought to plan the garden better, but we never quite get round to it. We’ve had plenty of courgettes this year and the baskets of tumbling tomatoes are doing well.

She also managed to cook an excellent meal of marinaded chicken, rice with fruit and nuts and green salad with tomatoes from the garden.

Whilst doing that she caught the knife block with her elbow and was momentarily the middle of a cloud of flying knives. Not quite The House of Flying Daggers, but as close as we are likely to get.

Fortunately she survived unperforated.

1997 Silver Dollar

1997 Silver Dollar

I took photos of a group 1921 pennies for eBay, a silver dollar and a papal visit medallion. While I was photographing the medallion I decided it would look good on my collection.

It doesn’t really fit in to my collection, but collectors can always find an excuse. It is an exceptionally nice medallion. with good portraits and excellent relief. And yes, now you come to ask, Newman really did, according to all his portraits, have a nose that size.

The 1921 pennies will come into their own next year – people always seem to like centenaries for souvenirs or party favours. The things that people buy are an interesting subject.

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

Cardinal Newman

Cardinal Newman

 

An Average Day, Ending Well

We went out for breakfast this morning, took a ride in the countryside, looked at some ducks, who were enjoying an unusually full pond, and dropped stuff off at the charity shop. It was not a particularly full or active day, but it still left me feeling tired, as I am once again feeling a bit fluish.

It may be corona virus, man flu, ordinary flu, fatigue, cold, or hypochondria. It’s too early to say, but I will keep you up to date with developments.

I’m fairly sure I just need some Lemsip and a good night’s sleep, but we will see what happens overnight.

The day was not quite as bright blue as yesterday but it was still good in places. Similarly, the magpies were not quite to numerous or as perky as they were yesterday. As compensation, we did have three good views of buzzards and two of kestrels. We also watched some frolicking tufted ducks, as mentioned above.

On the plus side, there are more flowers and more blossom.

My sister went out for a walk this morning and recorded gadwall, kingfishers and red kites too. We might have to visit her and see some of her birds next time.

When we returned home we were surprised to have a knock on the door – it was a postman with a parcel from eBay. It was a boxed medallion, and would fit neatly in the palm of my hand. It was in a box big enough to hold half a dozen hardback books. You can’t say they had skimped on the postage.

I will probably take a photo tomorrow but the light is a bit too dim at home.

Finally, because this isn’t going to be a long post, I have just been told that an article I wrote has just been accepted for publication in the April or May issue of Medal News.

All in all, apart from the cold/flu/hypochondria things have been quite good.

Ten Minutes

Last night I wrote a long, rambling and, frankly, dull post about a number of uninteresting subjects.

It was so boring I fell asleep in my chair and didn’t wake up until after midnight. I looked at what I’d written, made some sandwiches and then went to bed. It wasn’t even worth fixing.

To sum up – I’ve been invited to take part in a joint pain project. It involves filing in five questionnaires over five years. The confidentiality and ethics explanations are longer than the survey, and most of the survey consists of ticking boxes about different sorts of pain, including lanciating pain. It’s like stabbing pain when I look it up.

My two conclusions so far are that someone got a grant to do as project, and that they have an un-necessarily large vocabulary. I don’t recall all the pains I could have but I don’t have (a) enough time or (b) enough body parts to experience so much pain.

To make things worse, I went to the pharmacy to pick up some pain-killing gel the hospital has prescribed for me, though I didn’t ask for it and don’t have much pain. They were out of stock so I couldn’t get it. And today, for the first timer in ages, my finger started hurting.

Life, as they say, is like that.

That was my ten minutes. I’m off to drink tea and watch TV for a bit.

The medal is to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday, because that’s what you want to cheer you up, a picture of yourself looking at a picture of yourself when you were much younger.

The coin next to it is a cent. It’s part of the creeping Americanism that is taking over the western world.It’s 100mm, or 4″ wide, weighs over 3/4 of a pound and cost over £100 when it was new. We’re struggling to find a buyer at £12.95.

The Flying Scotsman

I spent a lot of the day loading a set of Flying Scotsman medallions. They are interesting things – five in silver and one in 9 carat gold. Technically they are three sets, but we’ve put them all together to get them all away at the same time.

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The six medallions

The pads in the box are actually black but the camera sometimes does strange things. And the boxes are square.

The story of the Flying Scotsman is full of interest, with World Records, grand obsessions and a host of sub-plots. If you follow the link in the first line you will get a good idea of the adventures it has had.

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A piece of Flying Scotsman in the middle of a silver medallion – if you read what was replaced in the pre-2016 refit you will appreciate how many spare bits they had.

The gold medal is a very pleasant medal, though it does lack a piece of the original train. A few months ago we had some silver coins with pieces of copper from HMS Victory. It’s not a new idea, somewhere in the house I have a medal cast from the lead of Selby Abbey roof. After the 1906 fire they made the medallions and sold them in aid of the rebuilding. (Readers from the USA may be interested to note the picture of the Washington family coat of arms if they follow this link).

You can also learn a lot about marketing if you study the way these things are sold.

 

It was an interesting afternoon. I was tempted to write more about it on eBay, but I’m paid to sell, not to write. It’s here if you want to read more.

Eternal Spirit of the Chainless Mind

This is a medal commemorating the famous Nottinghamshire poet Lord Byron. Apart from poetry he is best known for letchery, fathering Ada Lovelace, and being a hero of the Greek War of Independence. I’m not a great fan of long poems written in old fashioned English, so Byron’s poetic brilliance has passed me by.  Same goes for his contribution to the Greek War – he seems to have arrived and died without doing much in the way of liberating Greece, though the Greeks seem happy enough with him.

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Lord Byron Medallion by Ron Dutton

He does, however provide me with half my knowledge of Assyrians, which came in handy when viewing this blog. It’s an interesting post, with excellent pictures of Assyrian carvings.

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold.

If you want to read a good book which includes Byron’s final years you can do worse than read Lord Byron’s Jackal. It’s an excellent book about Edward Trelawny, friend of Shelley and Byron, liar, raconteur and bandit chief. As the man who ordered Shelley’s boat and who went to Greece with Byron he probably did more damage to English Literature than Mills & Boon.

The reverse inscription comes from the poem The Prisoner of Chillon. It’s depressing and it’s long, so I linked to Wikipedia instead of the poem itself.

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The Prisoner of Chillon – a deadly dull poem

The medal, as you can tell from the label in the lid, is by Ron Dutton. He’s a moderately well-known designer of art medals and designed the reverse of the 1999 £2 coin which commemorates the Rugby World Cup.

I saw one of these medals at the recent Numismatic Society meeting and, when someone mentioned they would like one I said we had one in the shop. The collector who had given the talk immediately jumped in to tell the interested party ours was too expensive, as he had bought his in auction for a quarter of the price.

This shows the elasticity of price in collecting circles. Our price was fair for a modern art medal, but to a collector, it seemed expensive. Things often seem expensive to collectors, but when they come to sell them they are always happy to accept a profit. Five days later someone bought it off our eBay site.

It just goes to show…

History and Heroes

I like medallions.

I particularly like well-made Victorian medallions in their original boxes, but that’s just another case of me having champagne tastes and a beer income.

So here are some medallions we put on eBay this week.

First up is Canterbury Cathedral, a well-struck high relief medallion with lots of detail. It’s not the most inspiring subject but it’s done well and there’s an aura of quality hanging round it. This aura obviously communicates itself electronically as it has already sold.

 

 

The next one commemorates 21 years of the Volunteer Movement. Founded in 1860 as a reaction to political tensions with the French, the Volunteers built on the tradition of local units raised in Napoleonic times. After nearly 50 years they became the Territorial Force in 1908 and they are now known as the Army Reserve. Each incarnation has seen them become more serious and slightly more removed from the local community. I suppose that’s progress.

It is an extremely well-struck medal and this particular example has traces of original lustre and the box of issue. The box has seen some wear over the years but retains its original velvet and silk lining.

On the reverse, St Michael guards a woman an children, supported by three warriors representing England, Scotland and  Ireland. You can tell this from the rose, thistle and shamrock on their shields.

The final medal was produced by the Royal Mint in 1990. It’s good for a modern medal, but still suffers by comparison to proper, old medallions. It commemorates 200 years of lifeboat design. I like it because it has an interesting historical subject and it’s treated with enthusiasm (even if it does have a dull, low-relief reverse).

-Of all the heroes we’ve ever had, you’ll have to search hard to beat a lifeboat man, as this link shows.