The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 17, Number 33, August 10, 2014, Article 3


Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker of CoinWeek beat me to the punch with an article listing selected highlights from the new Kolbe & Fanning Fixed Price List. Here are a few of my favorites, plus one other not among their picks. -Editor

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.

William Wallace Hays’s 1875 Crosby, with Maris Woodburytype Plate

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.

Very Rare First Edition of Breck on Continental Paper Money

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.

The Extremely Rare George Mikhailovich Plates of 1711-1719

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.

A Plated Parmelee Sale

Plated Parmelee sale

New York Coin & Stamp Co. CATALOGUE OF THE FINEST EXISTING COLLECTION OF AMERICAN COINS, THE PROPERTY OF MR. LORIN G. PARMELEE, OF BOSTON, MASS. New York: Bangs & Co., June 25–27, 1890. 4to, later maroon cloth, gilt; original gilt-printed front wrap bound in. 96 pages; 1443 lots; fine portrait of Parmelee; 13 fine tinted photographic plates. Handpriced throughout in black ink. Fine. $2400

An outstanding sale, rated A+ by Adams: “Absolutely definitive for patterns, colonials (several unique), and regular issue gold, silver and copper.” Parmelee’s remarkable collection has frequently been regarded as the finest collection of American coins ever formed. One hundred copies were issued with plates (though most haven’t survived), attractively tinted to approximate the metal color of the coins depicted. The presentation of the Federal issues is rather unique. Arranged chronologically rather than by denomination, this innovation was not well received at the time, and has seldom been used since. A famous and highly successful Boston bean baker, Parmelee began collecting coins by sorting through the large cents from his daily receipts. He sold duplicates but continually upgraded his personal collection. In his first major coup, he purchased the superb collection formed by George F. Seavey, which was slated to be sold at auction. He acquired the Brevoort collection in 1876, the magnificent Bushnell collection in 1882, and purchased many rarities from Sylvester Crosby. The first two plates illustrate copper patterns and colonials; plates 3 and 4 depict silver patterns and colonials; plate 5 illustrates copper colonials and Washingtonia; plate 6 is mainly devoted to early cents and half cents; plates 7 and 8 largely depict superb early United States silver coins; plates 9 and 10 are devoted to choice cents and half cents; plates 11 and 12 mainly illustrate United States and gold patterns, including a Brasher doubloon; and the final plate is devoted to large denomination nineteenth-century United States silver coins.

To read the complete article, see: 10 Selections from the New Kolbe & Fanning Fixed Price Book You Have to See… (

To read the complete catalog, see: Select Numismatic Books For Sale at Fixed Prices (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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