Thomas Snelling (1712–1773) was an English numismatist.
A numismatist is a specialist in numismatics. Numismatists include collectors, specialist dealers and scholars who use coins in object-based research. Although the term numismatics was first coined in English in 1829, people had been collecting and studying coins long before this, all over the world.
He carried on business as a coin dealer and bookseller at No. 163 Fleet Street, next the Horn Tavern (now Anderton's Hotel). His name often occurs as a purchaser at London coin-sales about 1766, and among his numismatic customers was William Hunter the anatomist.
He died on 2 May 1773, and his son, Thomas Snelling, carried on business as a printseller at 163 Fleet Street, and published posthumously two of his father's works.
Snelling's coins, medals, and antiques were sold by auction at Langford's, Covent Garden, 21–24 Jan. 1774 (Priced Sale Catalogue in Medal Room, Brit. Mus.). The coins were principally Greek and Roman, but none of the lots fetched high prices.
There are three portrait medals of Snelling in the British Museum, by G. Rawle, L. Pingo, and Kirk (Durand, Médailles et Jetons de Numismates, p. 190). A portrait of him was drawn and engraved by John Thane, 1770, and William Tassie made a medallion of him (Gray, Tassie, p. 147). There is also a medallion in the Tassie series (ib.) of his daughter, Miss Snelling.
The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world.
William Tassie was a British gem engraver and cameo modeller of Scottish descent, who worked in London in the early 19th century. He took over the business of his uncle, James Tassie, after James's death in 1799.
Snelling wrote and published many treatises on British coins. The plates of his View of the Silver Coin … of England are coarsely executed, but Edward Hawkins (Silver Coins) praised them for their fidelity. On the title-pages and plates of his books Snelling usually inserted the advertisement: "Who buys and sells all sorts of coins and medals."
Edward Hawkins was an English numismatist and antiquary. For over 30 years he was the Keeper of Antiquities at the British Museum.
Snelling's works are as follows:
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. Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
The Dictionary of National Biography (DNB) is a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history, published since 1885. The updated Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) was published on 23 September 2004 in 60 volumes and online, with 50,113 biographical articles covering 54,922 lives.