The Sotheby’s auction sale catalog series is one of the most extensive in numismatics, with examples dated from 1795 to the present day. In cooperation with the American Numismatic Society, Newman Portal has scanned 1,047 of these catalogs, covering through the year 1923. Newman Portal user Rob Potter (UK) recently wrote us about the Sotheby’s June 11, 1827 catalog: “It is amazing that you have this and have published it for all to see. I've been researching the life (or rather the death) of Rev. William Brown, whose property this was.”
Rev. William Brown (c. 1755-1826) was rector at St. John the Baptist, Saxmundham, Suffolk, from 1798-1826, with his death apparently caused by a horse fall. Oral tradition in the family holds that William’s son later fell in love with a servant and was forced to move to America in light of the scandal. Potter also located a separate sale of Rev. Brown’s numismatic books, conducted by “Mr. Cana” in 1827. This included well-known works such as Folke’s Tables of English Gold and Silver Coins (1745) and Evelyn’s Discourse of Ancient and Modern Medals (1697).
Link to Sotheby’s June 11, 1827 catalog of the Rev. William Brown collection: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/auctionlots?AucCoId=511728&AuctionId=523416
Link to Cana’s catalog of the Rev. Wiliam Brown library: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/auctionlots?AucCoId=514539&AuctionId=537897
Link to Rob Potter’s biographical note on Rev William Brown: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/622048
Link to Sotheby’s auction sale catalogs on NNP: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/auctioncompanydetail/511728