THE TYRANTS OF THE THAMES
The first section of the Tyrant Collection is The Tyrants of the Thames, the most valuable collection of English coins in private hands. It consists of hundreds of the most valuable English coins, including a continuous run of portrait coins of all available denominations for the dominant tyrant of the Thames Valley for the last 1400 years.
The highlight of the Tyrants of the Thames is the most valuable English numismatic item: the only complete Edward VIII proof set in private hands. When Edward VIII became King of England, the royal mint prepared 5 proof sets of the coins bearing his portrait that were scheduled to be issued in January, 1937. But on December 11, 1936, Edward VIII abdicated his throne to marry the woman he loved. So, Edward VIII became the only king of England for whom no coins were issued. This is quite a quandary for collectors of English coins. Even Edward VIII tried to obtain a coin with his portrait, and failed. For a collection to have a complete collection of portrait coins of every King of England in every denomination, it must include a King Edward VIII Proof Set. The other four Edward VIII proof sets are not likely to be available anytime soon as they are currently owned by Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Mint, the British Museum, and a set that was broken up in the 1970’s and the coins sold off separately and scattered to the four winds. The other Edward VIII sovereign in private hands recently sold for nearly $1 million.