Umayyad gold dinar, estimated at £1.4m-1.6m at Morton & Eden on October 24.

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Inscriptions are key to dinar value

A rare Umayyad gold dinar dated 105AH (723AD) will be offered at auction with a £1.4m- 1.6m estimate next month.

Similar dinars sell for a few hundred pounds. However, what makes this example so rare is its inscriptions.

One states that the dinar was made from gold mined at a location owned by the Caliph himself, one of the successors to the Prophet Muhammad.

The coin also indicates the gold was mined between two holy cities in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia. Prior to the mine being owned by the Caliph, the previous owner had acquired the land directly from the Prophet Muhammad, adding further importance to the coin.

It has been consigned for sale by a private collector and will be offered on October 24 at Morton & Eden’s auction in Sotheby’s London.

Alert after castle and trough thefts

The antiques trade has been asked to be on the look-out for antiques from Sudeley Castle in the Cotswolds near Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, which were stolen last month.

The insurer of the castle is offering a reward of £10,000 for the return of items that were taken in the early hours of Sunday, September 8.

The castle is the home of Lady Ashcombe and her family. The items had been part of the Alice Keppel collection, which had been created by Lady Ashcombe’s husband, the late Lord Ashcombe , whos e grandmother was Alice Keppel, the mistress of Edward VII, the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Some of the items stolen are jewellery which Edward gave to Keppel.

Troughs taken

A spate of thefts of cattle troughs has hit south London.

The granite sculpture on Green Lane in Penge, south-east London, was taken on September 18.

It had been installed in 1917 (according to the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain & Cattle Trough Association). Similar cattle troughs in Sydenham, near Penge, and Chislehurst have also recently been stolen.

Anyone with information should call the police on 101. To report information on the Penge trough, quote Bromley police crime reference number 3320094/19.

Osman Hamdi Bey record result

A record price for Turkish painter Osman Hamdi Bey (1842-1910) was set at Bonhams last week when a painting of a woman reading surpassed a £600,000-800,000 estimate and was knocked down at £5.7m.


The Osman Hamdi Bey painting of a woman reading which made a record £5.7m at Bonhams.

The sum represented a huge return on the £1900 that a member of the UK vendor’s family had bid for it at a Sotheby’s auction London in April 1976.

Prices for the artist have risen significantly in the last 20 years, with the previous record for Hamdi Bey being the £3.38m including buyer’s premium for A Lady Of Constantinople from 1881 that sold at Sotheby’s London in May 2008.

Hadrian statue comes to auction

A Roman sculpture of the Emperor Hadrian billed as “one of the finest ancient statues from the Grand Tour era of collecting” has been consigned to Christie’s by British investment manager Christian Levett.

The work holds a distinguished provenance, being formerly in the Villa Montalto- Negroni-Massimi in Rome before it was acquired in the 18th century by John Bligh, 4th Earl of Darnley (1767-1833) for his home, Cobham Hall in Kent.

It remained there until it was sold by the Darnley estate at Sotheby’s in London in 1957, where it was acquired by the New Orleans dealer J Wilson Raker, who sold it to Iberiabank also in the US.


A Roman statue of the Emperor Hadrian, estimated in the region of $6m at Christie’s New York. Image: Christie's Images Ltd 2019.

Dating from the 2nd century AD, the 6ft 10in (2.08m) high marble statue known as ‘The Cobham Hall Hadrian’ is expected to fetch in the region of $6m when it is offered at Christie’s New York on October 29. It is thought to date from the reign of Hadrian (1 17-138AD) but underwent some typical 18th century restoration.

More ports for CITES items

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has added Dover and the Eurotunnel to the list of ports that will accept the import and export of CITES-listed natural history specimens in the event of a no-deal Brexit on October 31. Defra has published an alert on the changes to the transit of such objects.

The two ports, as well as Belfast Seaport and Holyhead, feature in a new longer list.

The full list of designated CITES ports that will be available in a no-deal scenario is available at

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In Numbers


The hammer price that set a UK auction record for a copper coin at Spink & Son on September 24. The rare Edward VIII 1937 pattern penny was competed for via the internet and phone but the winning bid came from a British collector in the room. The coin is rare as it was made as a trial and never released for circulation as a result of the king’s abdication in December 1936.


An Edward VIII 1937 pattern penny that sold for £111,000 at Spink & Son.