Rare Sussex collection of coins and tokens goes to auction

One of the most fascinating regional collections of Sussex tokens in the past 50 years is to be offered for sale in a live/online auction of coins, tokens and historical medals on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 1 and 2.
Ron KerridgeRon Kerridge
Ron Kerridge

They will be offered by international coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialists Dix Noonan Webb via their website www.dnw.co.uk. Tokens were a currency substitute issued by private individuals, merchants and organisations when governments were not, for various reasons, issuing small change. They are mostly copper, although during the Napoleonic wars silver tokens were also made and circulated

The collection of tokens, tickets and medals from Sussex was collected over many years by Ron Kerridge, who was born in 1938 in Southwick. He also lived in Southwick when first married but then moved to Broadwater and had two children, Vanessa and John. Ron passed away suddenly on the June 13 2013.

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Peter Preston-Morley, head of coin department at Dix Noonan Webb, said: “Ron had a deep thirst for knowledge and a great love of local history, particularly for the county of Sussex which he adored. He was a well-known and well-loved local historian with an MA in regional history. A founder member of the Worthing Numismatic Society, he wrote or co-wrote books on the history of Lancing, Worthing, Broadwater and Ferring and on the history of Worthing Football Club.

“He gave talks to local groups who were interested in the history of the surrounding areas. One of his friends described him as ‘a very talented person with a massive intellect, shrouded in modesty, and his focus on the ‘job in hand’ be it sport, work or writing a book never wavered.’ Ron was an avid collector of palaeontological and archaeological artefacts and was a metal detectorist, but his greatest passion was numismatics. He was a volunteer at Worthing Museum where he advised on their coin collection.

“He had an outstanding collection of curious currency or barter currencies from around the world, which are included within this catalogue. His collection included unique items such as beads, spears, knives and manillas (slave trade money).

“Over the years he painstakingly compiled collections of 17th, 18th and 19th century tokens, and his collection of Sussex 17th century tokens, numbering 131 pieces and begun in 1974, is one of the most complete ever formed.

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“Many of the tokens are recorded in the 2009 self-published reference, The Tokens, Metallic Tickets, Checks and Passes of West Sussex, 1650-1950, by Ron and his colleague Rob de Ruiter.

“Together the two friends combined their talents, knowledge and interests to produce an original in-depth study, invaluable to collectors, metal detectorists, museum curators, family and local historians and all those interested in the social and local history of West Sussex. Ron’s collection of Sussex-related medals encompasses 350 pieces, even including a Worthing High School medal awarded for Pillow Fighting in 1927 as part of a group of 29 medals which is estimated at £80-100 [Lot 1184] and his own Sussex Sunday Football League medal from the 1960-1 season is part of a group of ten medals that carry an estimate of £50-80 [Lot 1177]. “

Free online bidding is available is http://www.dnw.co.uk

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