The Alps of Chamonix
Valentine John Eustace Ryan (1883-1947)
V.J.E. Ryan’s collection of coins was sold in 1952 by English firm Glendining’s. Ryan’s collection consisted not just of an impressive selection of Roman gold coins, but also Roman silver, Greek, and English coins. The Ryan sales have been consistently listed as some of the most important 20th century sales of Roman gold and silver coins. Ryan was a noted mountaineer, summiting many notable peaks with his climbing peers, Franz, Gabriel and Joseph Lochmatter. In fact, there seems to have been a route, and an arete in the alps of the Chamonix district (near Mont Blanc) named for Ryan according to an article by Mary Rose Fitzgibbon. V.J.E. Ryan was a wealthy Irish landowner, who lived in Switzerland, the Channel Islands and London. He had joined the Royal Numismatic Society in 1919, and was an original member of the British Numismatic Society when it was created in 1921. He exhibited coins at the BNS, but never published on the subject. He financed Herbert Allen Seaby (1898-1979) in order to leave Spink and form his company in 1926, so many of his coins came from B. A. Seaby Ltd.
Biblio: Mary Rose Fitzgibbon, The Ryan Lochmatter Arete of the Aigulle Du Plan (1945) (description); Simo Räsänen (image)