Stolen goods

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Theft of items from Derby Museums

Around 1100 objects were recently stolen from one of Derby Museums' stores. The theft seems to have taken place sometime between 2nd May and 19th June 2012 and the stolen items are mainly coins, tokens, commemorative medals and pocket watches.
The coins and medals have no museum marking on the object itself (as is usual museum practice for numismatics). Instead they were each housed in an individual brown paper envelope, mostly marked with the museum accession number and identification information. Once removed from these envelopes they will be difficult to positively identify. The watches mostly had their museum accession number marked on them somewhere (in ink, covered with a layer of varnish). However, this could be quite easily removed. For your reference, should you happen to see an envelope or marked number, the museum accession numbers will usually be preceded by the code DBYMU and the number will be in the form of a year with an appended unique number. They will usually be in this format: DBYMU 1912-100 (for instance) but may have additional part numbers, such as DBYMU 1912-100/4, or may have the numbers in a different order, such as 100 – ‘12 – 4.
The coins are mostly generic, national issues of silver and bronze. They range from a penny of Henry II (c.1180) to late 20th century issues of Elizabeth II and represent most monarchs in between, including the Commonwealth. There are also a few issues of Scotland, Ireland and the Channel Islands. They include various denominations and are of varying levels of fineness and wear. We are aware that it will be difficult to positively identify these coins unless they are found as a group.

The tokens are mostly local issues of Derby and Derbyshire, predominantly from the 17th and 18th century. The collection of around 150 17th century trade tokens naming business in the county may be more easily identifiable than the national issue coins as these are much rarer.

The medals are mostly of 18th and 19th century date and include issues commemorating local and national events and personalities. Most of these are generic and would be difficult to positively identify. There are, however, some named awards medals, such as school prizes and Great Exhibition awards, which could be identified. There are no military medals amongst the stolen items.

The pocket watches include some rare and unusual items which may well be easier to positively identify if they come to light. These include 3 18th century watches attributed to John Whitehurst (a local maker and important figure of the Enlightenment) and a further 15 or so watches of 18th or 19th century date, in gold and silver. In total around 40 watches and watch movements are missing.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the stolen items is asked to contact Derbyshire Police, telephone 101, quoting Incident 512 of 19 June. Anonymous information can be given to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Roger Shelley

Principal Keeper, Derby Museums.

Please see lists below:

Download Merged_files_DerbyMuseumTheft.pdf

Date posted: 08 August 2012