Queen Anne Vigo Coin


Ok so this isnt really “our” news at Braintree Antiques Centre but we do have first hand account from a good friend of ours who works at Bonningtons Auctioneers and saw the coin come over the counter.

This coin is one of 20 Queen Anne Vigo coins. They were made from gold that was seized by the British in a…. well a Galleon fight really!. Gold was won / looted (depending on how you look at) from Spanish Galleons that docked at Vigo bay in Spain to escape the British blockade of Cadiz in 1703.

From this haul of gold and sliver many coins were struck and bear the words “Vigo”. However, only 20 gold coins were struck as the haul contained only 8lbs of gold, with the vast majority being silver. Until recently only 15 of the gold coins had been discovered from the original 20 made. That was until two builders took a coin from their childrens play pirates treasure chest.

The chap we know was at Bonningtons counter when the two builders arrived to get a valuation which they thought might be a few hundred pounds. The coin was quickly identified by Bonningtons and a first estimate or £80,000 was given. This was subject to further research as a “current value” for something this rare is anyones guess. At auction the coin made £300k.

Its does happen! AND there are four gold Vigos left unaccounted for which could be located literally anywhere. Maybe they are in your trinket box or attic.

The point here is that gold coins don’t generally get melted down. They are worth more intact, even as scrap, because their purity and provenance is known.  UK sovereigns or SA krugerands, for instance, are almost always kept intact and traded because in their original form they do no have to be assay marked ,which costs money if you melt them down.

The fact of the matter is that the four remaining gold vigos are….somewhere and more than likely unidentified and intact. Take a good look at the coins picture and memorise it!.

A couple of links for those interested in the history follow.




Flogging a dead horse literally

This curio has come into Braintree Antiques Centre and is currently guarding the stiars on the upper floor where we sell retro, repro and antique furniture.

We know a lot about antiques here, specially toys, however we have not been able to identify what this is or why it was produced. We are working on the assumption its a childs toy due to the size, but we are only guessing. If you have seen one of these before please email and let us know at info@briantreeantiquescentre.co.uk

What we do know is..

  1. Its made of animal skin, possibly leather, over a wooden horse frame.
  2. The condition of the leather indicates a Georgian or mid Victorian production date
  3. Its a horse. Or its meant to be at any rate
  4. It scares children


Trumpet Lamp at Braintree Antiques Centre


Some of the dealers at Braintree Antques Centre create thier own products by re-repurposing vintage and unusual items. This trumpet lamp is typical of the sort of imaginative creative items that can be found here. As you can see David Onslow (a man of considerable engineering talents) has converted this rather nice old trumpet into a quirky and original gift. If you can find a better present for a trumpet player who already has a trumpet I would love to hear about it!.

Tiffany Reproduction Lamp at Braintree Antiques Centre

tiffany_lamp_braintree_antiques_centreThis is one of several reproductin Tiffany lamps we have for sale. These really are charming and beautiful items that really catch the eye. We tend to stock the designs reflecting the art nouveau period and find that the dragon fly design is by far the most popular with our customers. We have other reproduction items as well as antiques on our top floor where we have the space to display larger items such as tables, cabinets and chairs.

Columbia Grafanonola from Crouch End Maker – Video

We currrently have this in at the antiques centre. I almost didnt put this post up as quite frankly this item is a delight to have in the sale room. It works perfectly and is much louder than you would expect. Its a delight to listen to and brings visions of zepplins, hall dances and a simpler era. It comes with a few good 78 rpm LP’s but we can source more for the buyer if you want a collection to play. This is currently priced at £280 and whoever buys it is in for a treat and a really good talking point piece.



How offices used to be!

We are all familiar with the comedy posters put up at work telling employees what “the rules” are.

If you buy an older poster then you wont need to make up any rules – have a read of this vintage / antique poster!.



Houses Of Parliament Lead Figurine Of Guy Fawkes

houses_of_parliament_leadThe houses or pariliament were bombed during world war two at which point a lot of the lead on the roof melted and was subsequently reclaimed.

Its entirely appropriate that this was then made into this figurine or Guy Fawkes who tried the same thing a few hundred years earlier and was also unsuccessful!. This item can be viewed at Bratinree Antiques Centre and is priced at £165.

Antique Lead tobacco pot c1750

The older antiques are and the better condition they are in effects price on almost all genres. There are some exceptions however. Anything in soft metals like lead or pewter always show some wear and you also have to consider that what you see today as “damage” on an item may well be how it was presented when it was first made so it may not be in the “poor condition” that you imagine. A good example is this Antique tobacco box that dates from 1750 to 1800. The following picture shows an example that would be considered in good condition, although of course not perfect.


The following picture is an item we have for sale at Braintree Antiques Centre and as you can see it is in the same sort of condition although the item has been decorated with paints during its lifetime.

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This is currently on sale for £78 and theres not much you can buy these days from the 17th century at that price. We have lots more interesting items like this so please pay us a visit when your passing Braintree.