Featured Tribute to Peggy Delme-Radcliffe

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Cucumbor, May 14, 2020.

  1. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Well-Known Member

    Hi CT friends

    Most probably, only a few people among us know about Peggy Delme-Radcliffe, at least out of the United Kingdom. I discovered myself her existence not long ago.

    The story starts more than 25 years ago, as, feeling some interest in parthian coinage (@Alwin's bad influence I presume :) ) I was looking for a copy of Sellwood's "The coinage of Parthia" at Spinks. Back then the book was quite difficult to find in France. I thus asked my british good friends whether they could do some research for me in their country.


    Lucky they were (and I was then) they found in a second hand bookshop a 1971 edition copy and sent it to me. As often, there was a handwritten dedication on the book's frontpage, but I didn't pay much attention to it. I then almost left the book apart as I didn't pursue my parthian coins collection.

    A few weeks ago, for some reason, I took the book from the shelf and opened it. For those familiar with David Sellwood's books (they are handwritten), the dedication was obviously from his hand


    But so many people want to have their name written by the author in the books they buy, don't they ?

    Anyway, out of curiosity I googled the name and discovered two facts : the Lady has been a most prominent actress in the numismatic world in the second half of the 20th century, and she passed away in may 2000, i.e. exactly 20 years ago.

    Below is her obituary in the british numismatic society journal. It summarises quite well how active and influent she was in the hobby, well worth a tribute from us, obscure collectors, 20 years later :


    With the death of Peggy Delme-Radcliffe (as she was universally known) in May 2000 at the age of eighty seven, the Society has lost one of the few serious lady collectors amongst its membership.
    From 1970, when she was first elected, she took an active interest in the affairs of the Society for more than fifteen years. During this time she served on Council and, for five years from 1974, as one of the Journal's editorial team. She was responsible for the practical side of producing the volumes, a task that she carried out with her customary efficiency and good nature.

    Gladys Margaret Nugent was the daughter of a colonial civil servant, based in the West Indies. Peggy spent much of her early and middle life abroad. Her husband Peter, a member of the Delme-Radcliffe family that had lived at Hitchin Priory in Hertfordshire for many generations, was a tin miner. He worked extensively in Africa and Asia and during many years spent in
    Malaysia became the senior figure there in this field. As well as learning to speak fluent Malay, Peggy at various stages in her life took up all kinds of activity with typical enthusiasm - from golf and gliding to painting and playing the accordion. In later years after they had returned to England, she practised healing with her hands, and her reputation was such that sufferers with back pain would come from all over the country for her help that was, in both senses, freely given.

    The Delme-Radcliffes settled in the village of Aldbourne, near Marlborough, in Wiltshire. At the local newsagent she would examine the change in the till for rare dates, and mentioning this to Christopher Blunt, who lived only a few miles away at Ramsbury, she was encouraged by him to take an interest in English medieval coins. Under his guidance she began to collect silver coins of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, specializing in the reign of Edward IV, on which Blunt had himself been co-author of the standard monograph. The sale catalogue of her collection, which was dispersed by Glendining's on 17 April 1985, was expertly prepared by Mr Peter Mitchell of Baldwin's, and is a basic work of reference. Its usefulness is enhanced by the set of study photographs made of her coins of Edward IV, which at 470 numbered more than those of this reign in the Lockett collection. Many were collected in the first few years from 1969 to 1975. They included extensive runs of the commoner coins as well as many of the important rarities, and were
    gathered from many sources, small dealers and coin fairs as well as auction sales and the leading London dealers. Although she published little - on the escallop mark on York pence of Richard II in the British Numismatic Journal, vol. 48 (1978), the English groats from the Innerwick Hoard, vol. 52 (1982) and some unpublished varieties of Edward IV, vol. 41 (1972) - Peggy had a very good knowledge of the coins of her chosen period which was reflected in the thoroughness of her collection and her careful description of individual items in it.

    After English coins, she turned her attention to Kushan and Gupta gold, and these were also sold in the eighties (Glendining's, 2 February 1983 and 5 September 1984). But in later years she was less seen in numismatic circles: with the infirmities of age she resorted to a motor wheelchair, which she used to call her chariot. Peggy Delme-Radcliffe was a delightful and indomitable lady of the old school, outgoing but modest, and warmly regarded by all who knew her.

    Please, post anything relevant : facts you know about her, publications, and of course coins you may have from her collection

    Last edited: May 14, 2020
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  3. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    Q, What a great score :jawdrop:! Sellwood had a very artistic handwriting, more like calligraphy :).
    PeteB and Cucumbor like this.
  4. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    @Cucumbor . Congrats indeed for your curious and mostly humane gesture.
    As for late "Coin-sister" Peggy,well "Que son ame repose dans la paix du Seigneur"
    Cucumbor likes this.
  5. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Well-Known Member

  6. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Well-Known Member

    Yes it must have taken ages to write this all (I imagine him with a fountain pen).

    7Calbrey and Robert Ransom like this.
  7. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Nice penmanship. Reminds me of @jamesicus here on CT.
    7Calbrey and Cucumbor like this.
  8. robp

    robp Well-Known Member

    This is the most recently acquired coin from her collection that I possess. An Edward IV light coinage halfpenny of Canterbury under Archbishop Bourchier with mm. Pall and trefoils by the neck. Aesthetically challenged, it's cracked and indifferently struck on a slightly wavy flan - but was still a must buy when it resurfaced in the Stewartby sale in 2016.

    And this is the catalogue lot description from her sale in 1985.


    For anyone wishing to read further, the BNJ is in digital form on the British Numismatic Society website.
    TIF, Ryro, Alegandron and 4 others like this.
  9. Hey Paulie

    Hey Paulie New Member

    Excellent coin Rob
  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    Always good to hear about another "lady collector"!
    Cucumbor and Alegandron like this.
  11. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE

    I recall @ancientcoinguru , @Roman Collector , and @Mat focused on Female leaders in History. Fun following their collections / postings.

    LOL, I have no scruples... I try to collect them ALL. :)

    Sri Lanka 1st C BCE PB Lead 1/8th unit Lakshmi excavated in Anuradhapura RARE
  12. Aldbourne Archive

    Aldbourne Archive New Member

    Peggy DR, and her husband Peter, are fondly remembered in Aldbourne. Peggy was the niece of another indomitable village resident, Muriel Constance Foster (1884-1963). Your blog article was discovered by a friend, when looking for something else, and she immediately let me know because of my research into the family. Really interesting and led me to some links to the British Museum where I found that the lady donated a contemporary forgery in 1971. Peggy and Peter lived in Pond House right in the heart of our village. I think they purchased their home from Johnny Morris of Animal Magic fame, but am in the process of checking that! I'm hoping to publish an article on my own blog in the near future. Are you happy with me providing a link to yours, please? All best, Jo Hutchings https://aldbournearchive.wordpress.com/
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  13. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Well-Known Member

    @Aldbourne Archive, thanks for added informations about her, and please, feel free to link to my own, that's what the internet is for, isn't it ?

    Aldbourne Archive likes this.
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