Sale 122 Biographies

Sunday, 27 October 2019

The following biographies are of Christopher Haymes, Neal Archer, John Jackson and Mark E. Freehill. Their various collections will be featured in the upcoming sale.


Christopher Haymes  (18/01/1947-23/11/2015)
Christopher Haymes was an avid coin and book collector from childhood, which was overlaid with a special love of Roman history. His participation as a member of the NAV (Numismatic Association of Victoria) and NAA extended over fifty years.  

Chris also had an enduring passion for chemistry and archaeology that took him on a dedicated career path of teaching, coupled with archaeological fieldwork.  It was during his many excursions to Syria as an academic and historical tour leader, from 1995 to 2011, that Chris embarked on his Ph.D dissertation which focused on the coinage of Philip the Arab and Emperor Trajan Decius. While illness prevented the completion of the thesis, he published his earlier research in a number of numismatic journals, and presented catalogued exhibitions of Roman Republican coinage as the core of his collection. 

Chris’s remarkable Roman coin collection is complemented by his equally impressive numismatic library.  Chris loved Roman coins for their sheer artistic beauty, rich iconography and portraiture, along with the political and cultural history they convey. 

The bulk of Chris’ collection was offered in the previous sale.


Neal Archer  (1934-1995)
Neal’s interest in collecting began when he started with the Commonwealth Bank at age fifteen. He collected coins. He collected stamps. As time went on he started to feel dissatisfied with his lack of direction. Then came an astute remark from a new friend, Ron Grieg, coin and medal collector extraordinaire who delighted in building collections - collect only what you really love. With Ron as his mentor and confidante Neal chose to collect the coins of Cromwell - coins with a fascinating history and a remarkable designer. At the same time he was collecting the stamps of old Papua New Guinea. His criteria for purchase were rarity and beauty of design. He sold his stamp collection to fund his growing interest in the coins of the twelve Caesars.

As the accountant at a bank in the small town of Murgon Queensland he quietly built a rapport with coin dealers in London and Sydney in a time when bids were made by mail and phone calls were ruinously expensive. He was ever so pleased by each new acquisition and was quick to thank the dealer who had enabled it. This interest in coins enriched his life with its associated friendships and expanded his interest into other coin related fields. He had an extensive library of biographies of the eccentric rich which he delighted in tracking down from dealers in old books. His acquisitions of coins and books were a reflection of his interest in monetary history.



John Jackson  

John was born in London on the first of November 1930. He undertook his early studies at Trinity College, Dublin in the 1950s. He was awarded a Master of Letters as well as several other degrees. He established his own company, overseeing contractual work for island countries, which still continues in New Zealand today. 


John began collecting coins around the age of nine and had a strong interest in collecting Irish issues. He often attended the NAA Coin Fairs and purchased coins from visiting UK dealers. He sold his Irish coins, including the excessively rare Mossop pattern penny 1789 and the nearly unique 1938 penny in our Sale 40 in November 1992. His nostalgia for all things Irish caused him to collect again thus we have his Irish coins and stamps in this auction. He currently resides in Sydney, although his health has declined in recent years. 


Mark E. Freehill  (06/08/1939-04/01/2019) 

I first met Mark at the May 1960 meeting of the Australian Numismatic Society then held at the Mitchell Library in Macquarie Street Sydney. He was twenty and I was thirteen. He was even then an advanced coin collector and I was an enthusiastic beginner. He bought a pattern 1937 florin at Lawsons auction in Sydney in 1959 for £140 and in 1960 an Elizabeth I EIC portcullis money set. He loved travel and soon learnt how to hitch hike around the world. On his trips he visited markets and dealers. He had so many trips to Afghanistan in the early to mid 1960s he became known as the Afghan kid. We exchanged coins and often met at each other’s places along with Colin Pitchfork. In 1966 we went by road to visit Sydney Hagley in Adelaide. By 1971 I was bringing exciting coins home from New Zealand collectors and we would admire and discuss the coins. Then in 1973, Douglas Liddell, managing director of Spink and Son, came to Australia at our invitation to address the ANS on its 60th anniversary and attend the first G.C. Heyde auction at G.K.Grays. Soon after I opened the office of Spink Australia in 1976 I asked Mark to join me as a part timer so he could still travel for six months a year. Mark remained with the company for the next twelve years. Mark made close friendships with many collectors worldwide including Fred Pridmore of Taunton, Somerset and Amon Carter of Fort Worth, Texas.


Mark was a pure and devoted collector with a deep sense of history and accuracy in researching and recording that history. Mark never married even though he had a steady girlfriend for some years in the early 1970s. He could not settle down from his international travel, his body surfing and his speedway as a marshal on the crash crew.


He built a formidable collection of coins, tokens, medals and banknotes and an extensive library. From the mid 1990s on he worked diligently to build his British hammered coin collection, acquiring only what he considered wonderful in toning, strike and eye appeal. From time to time he would visit the collection at the safe deposit section in the bank and come out feeling he had had a real treat. It is now an honour for us to include in this auction his hammered collection that gave him so much pleasure that can now be enjoyed by a new generation of collectors. 


Mark’s health deteriorated seriously in the last two years due to a chronic heart condition and he passed away at the beginning of the year. He took with him great knowledge but leaves us with many fond memories. We shared birthday celebrations together in the office up to the end (we were two days apart in August) and in the last twelve years Christmas Day at home with our family. Further selections from his collection including numismatic literature will appear in future sales.  

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