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!.