Henry Platt Hall worked at Platt Bros. & Co. Ltd, textile machinery makers, in Oldham (Lancashire). Starting as an apprentice in the company, he had obtained some sales experience before commercializing the company’s products abroad, including Russia, and worked his way up – becoming chairman in 1920. He was an expert metal worker (molding, fitting, planning, slotting, boring etc.), and a council-member of the Management Committee of the Engineering and Allied Employers Federation. He retired in 1924, and moved to Montgomeryshire where he became High Sheriff (1923-1929) and Justice of the Peace (1928-1945).
Once in pension, he had more time for coins: he had joined the Numismatic Society of London as early as 1899, and became a council-member of both the Royal Numismatic Society and the British Numismatic Society. His Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins were auctioned by Glendining’s in two auctions in 1950, with an impressive 2,328 lots (including some 400 gold coins), while a final sale of British coins was cancelled and purchased en-bloc by Spink.
His first coin purchases were made as a schoolboy from Manchester Grammar School, and then in 1895 he started to keep a register of all his acquisitions (with receipts) – which he kept until his death. Unfortunately, this information was not recorded in the Glendining catalogues, and we must hope that this precious document will someday reappear. When Leonard Forrer wrote the introductory preface to the first sale catalogue, he indicated that Hall was “a collector, esteemed and beloved”, whom he had known over half a century. Along with numismatics, Forrer wrote that Hall’s favourite activity was hunting pheasants and ducks, which he pursued until his last few weeks.
- Harrington Manville, Biographical dictionary of British and Irish numismatics, London 2009, p. 120.
- Hadrien Rambach, “Provenance glossary”, in Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 91: the George W. La Borde collection of Roman aurei – part I, Zurich, 23 May 2016, pp. -.
- Hadrien Rambach, “Provenance glossary”, in Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 99: the George W. La Borde collection of Roman aurei – part II, Zurich, 29 May 2017, pp. 47-63.
- Hadrien Rambach, “Provenance glossary”, in Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 105: the George W. La Borde collection of Roman aurei – part III, Zurich, 9 May 2018, pp. 82-105.
This article was first published in a catalogue of auction house Numismatica Ars Classica.