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James Pickering Collection


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For some who have been around a bit you might remember James Pickering (@jamesicus on CoinTalk), who passed away last year.  I had sold some of his collection for him and his widow recently reached out to me to pass on the last few of his coins.  There are a dozen remaining, none of which I have gone through just yet.  His widow told me how towards the end he would take these out several times a day and view them, but didnt quite understand his obession with them (many of our spouses cannot!).  Anyway, I just thought I would show a couple pics and remember my conversations with him.  The first photo is exactly as they looked when I opened the case.




Edited by KenDorney
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Kind of both sad and uplifting at the same time.

I feel that ancient coin collecting puts us in the same context with people who lived long before us. Most of what they were has been lost to oblivion, except the coins. Each of us spends years (or a lifetime) searching for specific coins that together provide a narrative not only of another time, but of the story we wish to tell. Our collections become not just a window into another world, but a part of ourselves and a hint of our own spirits.

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James as a real stand up guy who lived quite an eventful life. I loved his posts on CT and was honored when he reached out to ask me to edit some of his coin images for him. He had a very interesting webpage which I believe I have saved on my desktop somewhere. 

While, we don't have any ex: Pickering ancients in our collection, he was kind enough to send 2 very interesting Irish gun money coins. They have an honored place in our collection.

James II, 1691, Half Penny Overstruck on Shilling, Irish Gun Money. First Depiction of Hibernia on a Coin



Arrived in the mail today - James II, 1689/Jan, 1st Series Large Shilling, Irish Gun Money


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I remember "Jamesicus" very well from Coin Talk.

I have one "ex Pickering" item that I bought from you several years ago: it's neither ancient nor even a coin, but I'm still quite fond of it.

England, Charles I, 1625 - 1649
AE Double Crown Weight, Traveling Mint, 17mm, 4.51 grams
Obverse: CAROLVS REX, Crowned bust of Charles left small B below (Nicolas Briot, die cutter).
Reverse: Crown above X over S [ = 10 shillings].
Withers 992
Purchased from Ken Dorney; ex James Pickering Collection.


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James gifted me a coin when I originally joined Cointalk, a follis of Maximian Herculis (here it is). He also was a talented calligrapher and the parcel he sent the coin in had the most exquisite handwriting I have ever seen. May he rest in peace, and if indeed we are called to a union of heaven and the stars like Ammianus Marcellinus wrote, then James is surely there...





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I really enjoyed James!

His calligraphy was amazing, even on the letters and parcels he sent me.

He could not get to a Post Office or any other freight office. He gave away coins, and was able to post them in his mailbox. However, he could not send any international shipments. I had him post them to me, ( he was in AZ, and I was across the country in NC), and I would take them to the PO or freight companies to send them on to an international recipient. Was fun, and inspiring to experience his generosity, and to know this wonderful individual!

sadly, in all our correspondence, I never acquired any of his coins. I regret this.


Edited by Alegandron
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Thanks for sharing this, @KenDorney.  Jamesicus was a great guy.  I was fairly new to Coin Talk and he saw I was interested in ancient countermarks - so he sent me this fine Claudius sestertius re-tariffed as a Dupondius (DV) and an edge cut around 3 o'clock:


It came in a beautifully-addressed envelope - James was a skilled calligrapher as well as a generous collector.  RIP.  


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I was deeply impressed by our senior friend´s passion, dedication and generosity, cherished his posts and comments, and see him as a roll model for a happy, meaningful and fulfilling retirement. His downsizing and perfecting his collection to fit it in his pouch to permanently have it around moved me to tears.

May DIVUS JAMESICUS watch over us from a better place.

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I was very sad to hear about Jamesicus' death, and hope I have the opportunity to add one of his old London mint coins to my collection some day as a way to remember him.  I had a number of DM conversations with him and he was always forthcoming, kind and enthusiastic on any topic.   

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Those tags are awfully distinctive.  Even though most of the original tags are long-gone, that looks very much like the tags which came with coins from the local coin store, during the mid-1990's. Did he ever supply any coin stores?

Ken Dorney, do you know if the tags were Pickering's own or came from somewhere else?

This is quite a mystery...  Those were my first decent ancients.  I'd recognize those tags even all these years later.


Edited by Nerosmyfavorite68
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