On Oct. 16 one the most comprehensive collections of 16th and 17th English commemorative medals ever assembled by an individual will be sold by the Salisbury auction house of Woolley and Wallis. The Christopher Foley collection is remarkably complete.
All told 600 lots will go on the block including 14 in gold. The sale of the collection has led one expert to observe, “The occurrence of a dispersal such as this is one that can almost be measured on a century by century basis.” All items in the sale are extraordinarily rare in private hands given that comparable examples reside permanently in museums and galleries.
Foley was and is a specialist in British portraiture. He came to medals when he was struck by the similarities between Tudor and Stuart court oil portraitsand their much reduced reproductions in precious metals. For the past quarter century he has painstakingly assembled his collection.