Though unknown to most today, Sedley Marianne Towler was one of the first female professional numismatists in the world.
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
As a child, Towler was fascinated by money in all forms, and become an ardent numismatist. During the early years of her adult life, she worked as a school teacher and superintendent, but she retained her interest in numismatics, and decided to pursue a career in the field. In 1916, at the age of 55, she began work as an assistant numismatist at the Art Gallery of South Australia. In 1917, she received a promotion to “keeper of coins,” a curatorial role.
Towler was a brilliant curator, creating exhibits that captured the sentiments of the nation. Using such exonumismatic items as charity home-front badges and war medals, she encouraged public interest in the numismatic fields. She also honored the nations and coins of the Europeans…
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