ANTIQUE COIN CABINET, LOCKED FOR DECADES, YIELDS TREASURE
The E-Sylum (7/11/2010)
FOR 30 years it was just another piece of furniture, until a family had a clear-out - and discovered a treasure chest. The mahogany box which had gathered dust at Keith Beddingfield's Dronfield home had lain untouched for so long the keys had been lost.
So the first action when he took it to ELR Auctions was to call in a locksmith.
The case comprised 24 slim drawers which held a staggering 1,500 rare coins dating back to the Roman Empire - many made of silver and gold.
Drawer after drawer revealed a glittering hoard which delighted and amazed even the experts.
The stash included Roman dinari from the reigns of Augustus, Caligula and Considius among others, a C13 British die-struck silver penny marked Alex III, and a 1772 Bolivian silver doubloon worthy of any pirate.
The wide-ranging collection also includes native Indian coins from before the Raj, and Dutch, African and Uruguayan discs of note.
There were even some American Confederate army paper notes.
But pride of place for quality went to a big silver British coin from 1818, in mint condition, while the jewel in the crown for value was a Newfoundland two dollar gold piece from 1870 - thought to be worth at least £1,000.
Mr Beddingfield, aged 71, said he had no idea of the value of the collection - which is expected to fetch between £6,000 and £12,000 when it goes under the hammer next month - and its origin was shrouded in mystery.
He said: "I knew the box was full of coins, but it wasn't something I was interested in. It was a nice mahogany box sitting on the landing, but we hadn't opened it for at least 30 years.
The collection is believed to have been amassed by his great-grandfather, named McCreadie, from Leith. He was a founder of McCreadie and Evans accountants which was on Church Street, Sheffield.
To read the complete article, see: Family's antique box reveals treasure trove (www.thestar.co.uk/news/Family39s-antique-