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The William Turner (1792 - 1867) Collection

William Turner (1792 - 1867), a British diplomat of the early 19th century, authored in 1820 his interesting and opinionated Journal of a Tour in the Levant, describing his adventures in the area. Throughout his travels, Turner was always keen to ask for what the Greeks called "medals," "any coin of ancient origin," as well as engraved seals. At Turnerís death in 1867 this collection remained within the family, passing to his son, Mansfield Turner (d.1901), and through the latterís daughter to William Turnerís great grandson, with whom it remained until 1987. It is with great pleasure that we are able to present coins of this fascinating provenance along with brief excerpts from Turnerís Journal. Thus we present the lands of classical civilization as observed through the eyes of a numismatist during the Napoleonic era.


Corinth, Corinthia, Greece, c. 375 - 368 B.C.

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Ex William Turner Collection. William Turner (1792 - 1867), British diplomat of the early 19th century, authored his interesting and opinionated Journal of a Tour in Levante (1820) describing his adventures in the area. This specimen was obtained by Turner in the course of his travels (1812 - 1817).

I:292 "..[At] the site of the ancient town of Hexamillia built across the Isthmus [from Corinth]..We found the cottagers all dancing to wretched music..I asked them if they had any medals and immediately they all flocked around me, each with a few, which I purchased from five, ten and twenty paras a piece. These were mostly of Corinth and Phokis."
WT46626. Bronze AE 18, BMC Corinth p. 57, 472 ff., William Turner Collection 360 (this coin), F, weight 4.941 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 90o, Corinth mint, obverse helmeted head of Athena left; reverse KOPINΘIΩN, ornate trident head; SOLD


Pergamon, Mysia, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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Ex William Turner Collection. William Turner (1792 - 1867), British diplomat of the early 19th century, authored his interesting and opinionated Journal of a Tour in Levante (1820) describing his adventures in the area. This specimen was obtained by Turner in the course of his travels (1812 - 1817).

III:282 "..this morning I bought a few medals of the city [Pergamum] for which I could not close my bargain last night, but I was right in supposing that if I remained firm, the seller would yield on seeing me go off."
WT46627. Bronze AE 21, SGCV II 3976, BMC Mysia 149, Weber 5188, William Turner Collection 372 (this coin), F, weight 7.891 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon mint, obverse [ΣEΛEYKOY], laureate and bearded head of Asklepios right; reverse Π−EP/Γ−A/MHNΩN, eagle standing half-left on thunderbolt, head right; SOLD


Megalopolis, Arkadian League, 320 - 275 B.C.

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Ex William Turner Collection. William Turner (1792 - 1867), British diplomat of the early 19th century, authored his interesting and opinionated Journal of a Tour in Levante (1820) describing his adventures in the area. This specimen was obtained by Turner in the course of his travels (1812 - 1817).

III:276-7 "We walked to a bath to look at the famous vase which has excited so much admiration, it is of fine marble and good preservation..[originally it was] full of large pieces of money; on being questioned they said one of these coins was yet in possession of a Turk in the neighbourhood, but on my asking if I could see him and it, of course he was now at a distance.."
WT46629. Bronze AE 16, SNG Cop 201 ff., G/F, weight 1.917 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, Arkadia, Megalopolis mint, obverse youthful head of Pan right; reverse APK monogram, syrinx below; SOLD







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Journal of a tour in the Levant, Volume 1

Journal of a tour in the Levant, Volume 2

Journal of a tour in the Levant, Volume 3

Catalog current as of Tuesday, June 30, 2015.
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W. Turner Collection