Here’s a selection of what I did today. I photographed a Peter Rabbit 50p coin and put it on eBay. It was the first in the Beatrix Potter series, and Peter is the best known and most popular of the characters. It soon sold out when it was released in 2016 and that coin – an ordinary 50p coin, but struck in silver, to proof standard, with added colour and a great deal of glitzy presentation, is now worth over £600. A lot of the others can be had for around £20 each, which still seems expensive to me. However, it pays my wages.
In case the word “proof” is throwing you, it mans they are produced in from specially prepared dies, striking specially prepared blanks. They are excellent examples of the coiner’s craft but o many different ones are now produced that they hold little charm for a cynic such as me.
The next item, a rowing medal from Oxford University, is more my sort of thing. It is engraved with the names of the boat’s crew around the edge. Several of them had famous connections though they aren’t that famous themselves.
Medal for the Commoner’s Fours 1866
I just went back to look for a link and couldn’t find it. It has sold already – six hours after we put it up for sale. The miracle of eBay!
This is a picture taken using my door mirror. I went straight from work to the vaccination centre on Thursday and had time to kill. I should probably have wound the window down completely, bit I didn’t. Another lesson learnt!
The first notable phone call was a lady with three “rare” 2016 Peter Rabbit 50p pieces – the variety with half a whisker. There were 9.6 million 2016 Peter Rabbit coins issued, and they all have ten and a half whiskers. The supposed rarity of the coin is not about actually rarity but about poor reporting standards, internet rumours and the rapacious greed and ignorance of a few internet sellers.
It should have been obvious that rare coins don’t crop up in multiples in your change, but people don’t always work that one out. To be honest, it’s dreaming of the elusive rarity which keeps many antiques dealers going.
However, I had to tell the lady they weren’t worth more than 50p each, and she told me this was a shame as she was hoping to buy a wedding dress for her granddaughter. Sometimes I’m less happy with my job than others.
Then we had the man, who to be fair, was an enthusiast. He rang up with a list of rarities, including 30-year-old British banknotes, US dollar bills (which turned out to be from this century) and Australian pennies. It took two ten minute phone calls to persuade him that we had plenty of British bank notes, that modern dollars in circulated condition are worth a dollar and that we have very few customers for Australian pennies (which we sell in bulk lots on eBay).
Finally we had a call from an embarrassed mother. Her son, having collected 50p coins, had tasked her with ringing round to get the best price for them. She was already sure in her own mind that they were worth 50p each and was very apologetic. So I invited her down with her son to view our stock, praising the virtues of coin collecting as a hobby, telling her we had reference books in stock and offering free tea and coffee.
Well, if you’re going to have to sit there taking calls you may as well show some enthusiasm.
Here are some pictures from the MENCAP Open Day. The painted stones sold well, as did the nest boxes and various other items. I say “various” because I’ve forgotten what Julia said.
I know it came to around £100 and is going to make a useful contribution to the garden running costs. One of the volunteers who helps with the garden brought Peter Rabbit to form the centrepiece of the garden display. Ironically, when you consider what he did in Mr McGregor’s garden, Peter is a scarecrow.The group all helped out and everyone had a good day.
The group took a number of photos of Julia with the visiting rabbit
Even the photograph album (which was back-to-front after my late night glueing session) was judged to be successful.