by Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek…
At CoinWeek, we love numismatic literature.
This is why, when we saw the new Kolbe & Fanning Fixed Price List for Select Numismatic Books, we had to put everything aside for a few moments while we took in the book’s 92 amazing offerings.
Many of the books are downright rare, some even unique. Topics run the gamut, from ancient to modern, from reference work to auction broadsheet and price list.
Every one of the Kolbe & Fanning Price List’s 110 pages offers something exciting. You can view the entire catalog here.
Here’s a rundown of 10 of our favorites.
An Exceptionally Fine Set of Mazzini’s Monete Imperiali Romane
This five-volume set is number 477 of just 500 sets issued. 537 high-quality prototype plates and detailed descriptions covering Roman coinage “from Pompey the Great to Romulus Augustulus.” Yours for only $4,000.
An Original Set of Rizzo
Two-volume set of Giulio Emanuele Rizzo’s Monete Greche Della Sicilia (1945-1946). Published at the end of World War II, this is one of the most visually impressive works published on ancient Numismatics. Number 217 of 425 sets issued. Asking $5,000.
The Extremely Rare George Mikhailovich Plates of 1711-1719
Grand Duke George Mikhailovich (Георгий Михайлович to you Russian speakers), first cousin of Emperor Alexander III, was a general in the Russian Army during World War I and a coin collector of the first order. He met a bitter end at the hands of the Bolsheviks in 1919.
This copy of Coins of Russian Emperors: Peter I, Vol. 3 (МОНЕТЫ ЦАРСТВОВАНIЯ ИМПЕРАТОРА ПЕТРА I. ТОМЪ III) is recently bound in an antiqued quarter morocco clamshell box with burgundy cloth sides. The production of this troubled multi-volume work was affected by the growing turmoil within Imperial Russia. However, it remains an unequalled and crucial reference work in Russian Numismatics. This volume is one of only three examples to come to market that include the 40 prototype plates mentioned above. Ex: Peter Landry. In the original Russian with some French. $12,500 takes it.
Forrer’s Descriptive Catalogue of the Weber Collection
Sir Herman Weber assembled a most impressive collection of Greek coins in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Spink & Son Ltd., purchased the collection and sold it off in 1920s. Virgil Brand was a major buyer. This original catalogue features more than 300 very fine plates of coins and shows only moderate signs of wear. An essential catalogue. Ex: M. Vernon Sheldon (first two volumes). List Price $3,250.
Very Rare First Edition of Breck on Continental Paper Money
Kolbe & Fanning count this as only the fourth copy that they have ever handled of this landmark early work on Continental paper money. Published in 1843 by the American Philosophical Society, Samuel Breck’s Historical Sketch of Continental Paper Money is one of the most significant early works of American numismatic literature.
This volume also includes Job R. Tyson’s The Social and Intellectual State of the Colony of Pennsylvania prior to the Year 1743, Henry D. Gilpin’s Biographical Notice of Edward Livingston, and Benjamin H. Coates’s On the Effects of Secluded and Gloomy Imprisonment on Individuals of the African Variety of Mankind in the Production of Disease. Priced at $1,000.
Possibly Unique Presentation Copy of Eastman on Bank Notes
Includes two works bound together: H. G. Eastman’s Eastman’s Treatise on Counterfeit, Altered and Spurious Bank Notes, with Unerring Rules for the Detection of Frauds in the Same, Together with a History of Ancient Money, Continental Currency, Banks, Banking, Bank of England, And Other Valuable Information as to Money, with Hints to Business Success (3rd Ed., 1859) and George Peyton’s How to Detect Counterfeit Bank Notes: Or, An Illustrated Treatise on the Detection of Counterfeit, Altered, and Spurious Bank Notes, with Original Bank Note Plates and Designs, by Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson, Bank Note Engravers, of New York (1856).
Harvey Gridley Eastman was the first cousin of George Eastman (of Eastman-Kodak fame). He was a life-long educator, who found success with the founding of the Eastman Business College in Poughkeepsie, New York. This book was published prior to that and includes the similarly-themed work by Peyton. Four finely engraved bank note plates included.
William Sumner Appleton’s A Description of the Medals of Washington, by James Ross Snowden
William Sumner Appleton was a well-connected nineteenth century numismatist. Son of a U.S. Congressman, he was an assay commissioner, author, and editor of the American Numismatic Society’s American Journal of Numismatics from 1870 to 1891. This 1861 copy of Snowden’s important early work on Washington’s medallic portraiture is from Appleton’s library, and is in fine condition with only traces of wear. It comes with a facsimile autograph plate and 21 plates of medals engraved by Joseph Saxton’s medal ruling machine. A one-of-a-kind collectible for Washingtoniana enthusiasts. Yours for $750.
B. Max Mehl’s Own Morocco-Bound Copies of Five Editions of The Star Rare Coin Encyclopedia
In a field known for outsized personalities, B. Max Mehl was one of the coin industry’s biggest self-promoters of the first half of the twentieth century. His Star Rare Coin Encyclopedia was both a vanity project and an effective retail coin catalog. This lot of five editions (no.’s 36-38, 43 and 44) are Mehl’s own personal copies. One can imagine this set residing on the bookshelf in his Fort Worth office. Will Set You Back $5,000.
Photographic Archives from the Garrett Collection Sales
The Garrett Collection Sales of 1979 through 1981 are historic beyond measure and cemented the reputation of Bowers & Ruddy. Apparently, the firm had no further use for the photographic plates it commissioned for its sales catalogs, since it auctioned them off in 1983.
Collector Jack Collins acquired the materials, which includes more than 500 5.5″ x 3″ envelopes, each holding black and white photos of Garrett coins and medals; 200 full-size contact sheets and corresponding negatives (92 in color); 50 glassine envelopes, each including several color 5″ x 4″ prints depicting both obverse and reverse of significant Garrett coins; and 78 5″ x 8″ color prints of some of Garrett’s most famous coins, including the 1804 dollar. These materials belong in a museum. Yours for $2,500.
William Wallace Hays’s 1875 Crosby, with Maris Woodburytype Plate
Few would argue about the importance of Sylvester S. Crosby’s The Early Coins of America. It was a landmark work and remains quintessential reading for the American numismatist. Hayes, whose copy this was, was a well-qualified numismatist in his own right. In 1893, he co-authored a monograph on early U.S. coppers with nineteenth century bombast Édouard Frossard.
This example features 110 wood engravings in the text; 2 folding heliotype manuscript facsimiles; 10 fine heliotype plates of coins and tokens with original tissue guards; Woodburytype plate of Dr. Maris mounted on card stock and tipped in between pages 232 and 283. Asking $3,250.