The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 38, September 20, 2015, Article 6


John and Nancy Wilson submitted this review of the new book by Paul Cunningham on Lincoln numismatica. Thanks! -Editor

Lincoln’s Metallic Imagery, A Catalog and Price List
of Lincoln, Coins, Tokens, Medals, and Plaques.

First Edition, 2015. By Paul Cunningham,
Reviewed by John and Nancy Wilson, NLG

Lincolns Metallic Imagery This reference is hardbound and contains 405 pages. The 37 topical chapters contain 354 pages and have more than 3200 pieces cataloged with their price ranges. The reference has hundreds of illustrations (or images) which are in vivid color. Many have been enlarged for better viewing. The Lincoln metallic examples found in the book cover the period from 1860 to present. A conversion guide from King to Cunningham will be found in the back of the reference.

The Foreword, by Clifford Mishler, gives an important overview, analysis and importance of this new Cunningham book. Cliff mentions that the author had, “the assistance and cooperation of nearly 100 fellow enthusiasts, collectors and experts of varying degrees.” He explained that Paul Cunningham didn’t just assemble information “standing on the shoulders of those who came before,” but he “delved into every nook and cranny,” to find material for this reference. Cliff finishes by saying this “truly once in a lifetime publication,” should be in the library of every enthusiast.

The Introduction states that according to Fred Reed lll, some 20,000 books have been written about Lincoln or some aspect of his life. When it comes to valuing the metallic issues of Lincoln nothing compares to this reference. The first expert on Lincoln was the 1900s cataloger Robert P. King, of Erie, PA.

Metals and Alloys: This section contains the abbreviations for the 31 different metallic items, along with the value guide, with price ranges from: A $2 - $5, right up to S for Speculative and U for Unknown. As a pricing guide for Lincoln metallic items this is an important reference to have in your library.

The Acknowledgements read like a Who’s, Who in the numismatic hobby, with a special recognition for Fred Reed lll and a few others.

Chapter 1 covers, First Campaign, 1860, Political Tokens and Medals. The first item listed is a Wide Awakes between two circles inside the rim / Abraham Lincoln around the top inside of the inner circle and nude, beardless bust to right and 1860. Reverse in blank. It is in the shape of a five pointed star. The price is listed as speculative. Captain Zabriskie, who was interested in the piece, in 1880 bid $2 for the piece, but lost to a bid of $42. When that collection was sold Zabriskie purchased this same piece for $1.25. In 1999, Sotheby’s sold this Zabriskie piece for $12,000, on an estimate of $6,000 - $9,000.

Chapters 2, 3 and 4 covers respectively First Campaign – Ferrotypes, Second Campaign – 1864 Political Tokens and Medals and finally Portrait Badges. Ferrotypes are very scarce with values $1,000 -$1,250 to Speculative. Some interesting and rare examples are illustrated. Portrait Badges is an interesting chapter and we particularly liked the story on John Gault and his enterprises including making Ferrotypes.

Chapter 5 covers Civil War tokens that depict Lincoln. We own the plate piece in this book 5-460S (Fuld 045A-1f) which is an R-10 silver Scorecard from Baraboo, WI. The token is ex John Ford collection and we purchased it in a StacksBowers auction in Chicago. The author has it as a value of $3000 - $4000 which is pretty accurate. Mr. Ford was an avid collector of Storecards that portrayed President’s. The popular Wealth of the South Series that depict Lincoln is explained nicely by Q. David Bowers.

Chapter 6 covers Medals of the Civil War is only a few pages long and we thought many more medals would have been made which depicted Lincoln. The author states that Mr. Lincoln is the most written about U. S. President; and falls within the top five of all leaders of humanity. The author also says that this book is, “a drop in the ocean of Lincoln paraphernalia, however a complete index of this sort has never been attempted.” He lists some numbers: 15,000 (approximate) of Lincoln books; 4880 number of listings in this book; 1617 photos; 1210 listings in King Book and eight number of years in this books production and other listings.

There are chapters on: Emancipation proclamation medals, mortuary and death medals, conventions and anniversaries, Franklin Mint medals, US coins with Lincoln on them, world coins picturing Lincoln, as well as medals of service organizations, Masonic and fraternal pieces. You will find in Chapter Nine an interesting story on the gold medal presented to Mary Lincoln by the French Government. Lincoln’s son Robert donated this medal to the Library of Congress. The French letter to Mrs. Lincoln and her acknowledgement are reprinted in this book.

Chapter 10 covers the Thomas L. Elder (1874 – 1948) thirty medals of Lincoln starting in 1909. The author considered Elder the “King of Lincoln tokens.”

Chapter 11, 12 and 13 cover respectively Lincoln Centennial, Sesquicentennial and Bicentennial Issues.

Chapter Fourteen covers Miscellaneous Conventions and Anniversaries. We have some of these items in our collection and find it an inexpensive way to collect Mr. Lincoln

Chapter Fifteen covers Lincoln Coins in the United States. Besides the many common Lincoln coins issued, the chapter has some great pattern coins listed and priced. One such pattern is 15-040CN which is Judd No. 1930 and dated 1909. Coins made of several materials were tested, but only this one is known to exist. It is 19 MM and Copper-nickel with a value of S (Speculative). The biography of Victor D. Brenner is also very interesting.

Chapter Seventeen covers in 11 pages the Medals of Service Organizations. We can now catalog our VFW and American Legion medals.

Chapter Eighteen covers Masonic and Fraternal Pocket Pennies and Medals. It is hard to find any collector who doesn’t have some of these in their collection.

Chapter 20 covers Medals struck for Exposition and Worlds’ Fairs. Interestingly the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair issued a matchbox depicting Washington, Columbus and Lincoln. Cataloged as 20-190B it has a D value $25 - $50. Amazingly, Robert Hendershott (1898 – 2005) didn’t have this example in his 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair reference published in 1994. As a young boy Bob attended the fair and became an avid collector of the items that were issued. His major collection of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair items was sold in St. Louis in the early 2000s. This site will tell you about Bob and his affection with the 1904 World’s Fair and much more: .

Chapter 21 covers Medals Struck for State, County, and Local Fairs. With only one page covering five items the author will receive more listings as collectors and dealers review this reference.

Chapter 22 covers Medals Issued by the United States Mint and otherwise attributed. A great chapter with some fantastic information from Mr. Cunningham, along with Robert Julian, who authored the reference on, Medals of the U. S. Mint regarding how to tell the difference on original issues and restrikes. If you ever wondered why there wasn’t any Assay Medal produced in 1994 the information will be found here.

Chapter 23 covers Souvenir “Pennies” and Other Souvenirs. The author says these large souvenirs will be about 74mm in diameter and will be copper plated. The author challenges future catalogers “to sort out these souvenir pennies and pair them up with the correct reverses and assign makers to each.”

Chapter 24 covers Plaques and contains 36 pages. A “Short History of the Medallic Art Company” is informative. We like the quote found in the item listed as No. 24-1600Bz (1205). It reads, “I cannot conceive how a man could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”

Chapters 25, 26 & 27 cover respectively Presidential Series of Play Money, Gift Tokens, Etc; Elongated Coins and Mount Rushmore. Incidentally, we have made a special elongated that has a great image of Lincoln that celebrates the 124th ANA World’s Fair of Money. We have a few left over from the ANA Banquet which are on a Jefferson Nickel and will send one to any reader of this review who signs up a junior member in the American Numismatic Association – cost $14 or donates one to the Association for them to sign one up using your member number. Let us know at The list goes on with store cards, transportation and other advertising tokens.

Chapter 28 covers Store Cards, Transportation, and Other Advertising Tokens. Another large chapter that is arranged alphabetically by “state and city and have some kind of commercial focus.”

Chapter 29 covers Bolen, Kline, Woodward and Merriam Copies and Mulings. Many collectors have “Lincoln” items in their collections produced by Bolen, Kline and Woodward.

Chapters 30 through 34 cover Miscellaneous including Legend Regarding Lincoln; A, Abe, Abraham Lincoln; Sculptors and Makers; No Legend & Jetons used in America. Information on, “The Franklin Mint – The Little Mint That Could,” will be found here.

Chapter 35 covers Non-Metallic Lincoln Items which include, cardboard, plastic, stone or some other non-metallic substance.

Chapter 37 covers Copies, Facsimiles, Fakes, Fantasies and Reproductions. The author mentions that the reproduction of Lincoln “copies and fakes” has picked up recently. Many Lincoln historical sites produce them and we suggest you purchase them because you like them, and not for resale value.

The Bibliography will help the researcher; collector and dealer find other sources for Lincoln. The Conversion Chart from King to Cunningham assists those who have that reference. The Index closes out the reference.

We covered many important chapters in the book, which we feel the majority of collectors and dealers will find most useful. The chapters we didn’t cover would also be useful information to the hardcore collector (or dealer) of Lincoln metallic items. Cunningham also gives many interesting facts concerning Lincoln and his life. We found the book very interesting and informative. We cannot think of anything the author missed pertaining to “Metallic” items that would pertain to Mr. Lincoln. The author mentions that “he hopes you enjoy this book and you appreciate the amount of work that went into gathering material and photographs, rearranging listings and developing a value system that may, truth be told, only last until next year.” In the past several years we have reviewed two Fred Reed lll references on Lincoln. We think that this reference, which has a value guide, and chronologically lists all the items the author has found in “every nook and cranny,” would be a great addition to everyone’s library.

This is quite an outstanding reference with lists of organizations and institutions which will help you’re collecting of Lincoln items. We find it hard to believe that Paul Cunningham, who has dedicated his life to numismatics as a dealer and dedicated worker for the Tokens and Medals Society, the Civil War Tokens Society and other organizations has found time to produce such an outstanding reference.

If you would like to purchase Lincoln’s Metallic Imagery, it is available from the author, with free shipping for $90, or 3 Copies $70, or 3 to 8 Copies for $63, or case price 2 to 5 for $56 (all per book). For more information or ordering you can write to Paul Cunningham, P. O. Box 1, Tecumseh, MI 49286 or Email or visit the Cunningham web page at .

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Wayne Homren, Editor

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