The Milne-Henderson Numismatics Library and Related Coins & Medals

Wednesday 12 May 2021


A rare opportunity to acquire some of the finest antiquarian books on coins and numismatic history will be afforded when Dominic Winter Auctioneers offer for sale the private library of eminent art historian Patricia Milne-Henderson. A graduate of Newnham College, Cambridge, she won a Fulbright scholarship to Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, and was assistant director at the Smith College Museum, where she curated the exhibition of Greek and Roman Antique Coins accompanied by some Renaissance Illustrated Books, which took place there in 1962. She returned to Cambridge later that year to teach in the History of Art Department, and published on the work of the English artist George Romney. She was married to fellow art historian Michael Jaffé (1923-1997), director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge from 1973 to 1990.

A selection of books from the Milne-Henderson collection was offered by Sotheby’s in 2016, but this sale contains the whole of the remaining collection, numbering almost 800 volumes, and represents perhaps the finest library of its type still in private hands in the UK. There are many works dating from the Italian Renaissance, particularly covering the early development of numismatics scholarship, when the excavation and uncovering of so many objects of antiquity in Rome, including coins, led to a fundamental shift in European intellectual life. Coins were used to help identify Greek and Roman statues, confirm the written sources of classical history, and as a fund of images and symbols for the creation of emblem books in Europe during the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

The collection includes copies of one of the earliest colour printed books, Icones Imperatorum Romanorum, by Hubert Goltzius (1526-1583), a dazzling example of Renaissance design and typography involving the use of chiaroscuro woodblock printing. Other fine examples of sixteenth century printing include Claude Guichard’s Funerailles & diverses manieres d’ensevelir des Rommains, Grecs & autres nations (1581), Johann Huttich’s Imperatorum et Caesarum Vitae cum imaginibus (1534), Fulvio Orsini’s Familiae Romanae (1577), Joannes Sambucus (1531-1584), Emblemata of 1564, and several editions of Jacopo Strada’s Epitome du Thresor des Antiquitez. There are also illustrated works by the artist and printmaker Enea Vico (1523-1567), including his Augustarum Imagines Aereis Formis expressae (1558), and Discorsi sopra le Medaglie de gli Antichi, also of 1558, and many others.

Coins and commemorative medals from several private collections will also feature in this sale, from ancient Greek and Roman to British and World hammered and milled. From the Milne-Henderson Collection are Renaissance period medals including the Marriage of Emperor Maximilian I of Austria to Mary, Duchess of Burgundy, by Giovanni Filangieri Candida, cast in bronze, circa 1477, when Candida was serving as Secretary to the Emperor Maximilian. This contemporary cast medal will be offered with a pre-sale estimate of £500-800. Amongst Roman coins is a Denarius struck under Julius Caesar, circa 49-48 B.C., issued by the moving mint that travelled with Caesar during his military campaigns, with the iconic image of the elephant trampling a serpent seen on the obverse, estimated at £300-400.



The fully illustrated catalogue will be available online from Friday 16th April 2021 onwards. For more information please contact Nathan Winter or call the office on 01285 860006.



Military & Aviation History, Medals & Militaria

Thursday 20 May 2021


Our first military sale of 2021 includes a historic and highly important group of WWII medals and logbooks belonging to Air Commodore Peter Malam “Pete” Brothers, Hurricane Ace who flew 875 operational hours and is credited with 16 aerial victories, 10 of which he achieved during the Battle of Britain.

DFC London Gazette 13 September 1940

“During an offensive patrol in August 1940, this officer’s flight encountered about one hundred enemy aircraft. He led the flight in attack against them, but before this could be pressed home, he himself was attacked by a number of Messerschmitt 110’s. Turning to meet them, he found himself in a stalled position; he spun out of it and immediately sighted and engaged a Dornier 215 which was shot down. Later in the day he destroyed a Messerschmitt 109. Altogether Flight Lieutenant Brothers has destroyed seven enemy aircraft. He has at all times displayed great courage and initiative.”

DFC Second Award Bar London Gazette 15 June 1943

“This officer has displayed outstanding keenness and efficiency. Within recent months he has led a wing in many operations and, by his skilful work and personal example, has contributed in a large measure to the high standard of operational efficiency of the formation. He has displayed great devotion to duty.”

DSO London Gazette 3 November 1944

“Wing Commander Brothers is a courageous and outstanding leader whose splendid example has inspired all. He has led large formations of aircraft on many missions far into enemy territory. Much of the success obtained can be attributed to Wing Commander Brothers brilliant leadership. He has destroyed 13 enemy aircraft.”

Estimate £120,000-160,000

For further information or to consign to this sale please contact Henry Meadows (