The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 44, November 1, 2015, Article 20


I've been meaning to highlight a few lots in the upcoming Kolbe & Fanning Sale 140. Time to quit procrastinating, since the sale is this week. -Editor

Lot 314: Curtis Numismatic Lottery Scheme
Curtis Numismatic Lottery Schema Curtis, John K. TO NUMISMATISTS IN PARTICULAR! AND TO EVERYBODY IN GENERAL! THE GREATEST CHANCE EVER OFFERED TO OBTAIN RARE AND VALUABLE COINS AND MEDALS, AT THE VERY LOW SUM OF ONE DOLLAR EACH. New York: James Huggins, Printer, (1861). Handbill [23.5. by 15 cm], printed on one side. Just a trifle foxed. Mounted on black board and framed. Near fine. $400

Ex J.N.T. Levick, found in a specially printed personal copy of his famous 1865 coin sale. Attinelli page 87: “(A lottery scheme) describing coins. Printed on a single sheet, about 6x9 inches.” Curtis laments “the present dull state of trade” and “intends selling off his ENTIRE valuable collection of rare and fine American and Foreign Coins and Medals, in Gold, Silver, Copper and Bronze, at the unprecedented low price of One Dollar each, indiscriminately...” Valued from 1¢ to $75.00, the coins and medals were to be packed and sealed in unmarked boxes, and Curtis promised “on the 11th day of February, 1861, to dispose of them, in the above manner, until all are sold.”

After describing many of the highlights (for example “American Dollars, from 1795 to 1860, including 1836, 1838, 1852 and 1858 Proofs, but no 1804”), Curtis concludes: “The above is no humbug, but a real Bona Fide Sale to dispose of his very rare and valuable stock.” Quite rare; only the second example we recall ever having encountered. Ex Stack Family Library (Kolbe Sale 111, lot 55). Ex Stephen Epstein Library.

Numismatic ephemera is one of my favorite areas of numismatic literature. These little flyers served a purpose in their day, yet were not meant to be saved, and practically no one did, making them rare as hen's teeth today. But there can be much to be learned from these ephemeral messengers, and they are great survivors of a bygone era. -Editor

Lot 339: The First Cincinnati Coin Auction
First Cincinnati Coin Auction Hubbard, S.G. [auctioneer]. GREAT SALE OF OLD COINS, TOKENS AND COIN CASE, AT AUCTION! (Cincinnati), March 18, (1863). Broadside [78.5 by 63 cm / 31 by 24 inches], professionally framed [frame dimensions are 88.5 by 70.5 cm / 35 by 28 inches]. 682 lots. Printed label adding year inserted at base. Most of the fold marks and separations noticed in earlier cataloguing of this item were addressed when it was professionally framed. Near fine with minor restoration. $2500

Ex Harry W. Bass, Jr. library (Kolbe Bass Part Four sale, lot 331); later sold in Kolbe’s 100th sale as lot 322. Attinelli page 28 (Adams R-7). Not in the 1994–95 Champa library sales, the 1971 Fuld library sales nor, to our knowledge, any catalogue in the modern era until two examples turned up in the Harry W. Bass, Jr. library. The first was sold in Bass Part Two (June 5, 1999, lot 341). This comparable copy graced the stair entryway to Harry W. Bass, Jr.’s superb numismatic library adjoining his home in Dallas (the frame has been replaced) and was sold in the fourth Bass library sale.

Beyond these two examples, we know of only one other, the copy permanently impounded in the American Numismatic Society Library. Nearly 300 lots of “the finest, rarest and more desirable bronze and copper tokens of England, struck during the last decade of the 18th century” were featured in the sale, which was among the very first in this country to feature Conder tokens. Beyond a handful of ancient and foreign coins and tokens, the remainder of the sale is devoted American numismatic items, including political medalets, colonials, large cents and half cents, store cards and tokens, several coin sale catalogues, etc. Perhaps the ultimate wall decoration for the historically inclined American coin collector or numismatic bibliophile. Ex Stephen Epstein library.

This looked familiar. Above my desk I have a framed copy of a later Hubbard broadside, one for a November 9th, 1866 auction of "Coins, Books, &C." Great decoration for a numismatic library. -Editor

Lot 362: 1863 Leeds & Co. 1863 Leeds Broadside Broadside
Leeds & Co., Henry H. CATALOGUE OF RARE COINS, MEDALS AND TOKENS. (New York), December 24, 1863. Broadside [46 by 18.5 cm]. Lots 101–217. Several folds. Remnants of materials taped to back with one small tear repaired with archival mending tape. Stamp of modern owner at top. Very good or better. $300

Attinelli page 34 (Adams R-7). Rare. The items sold were the property of Attinelli and proceeds totaled $44.17. The sale followed a largely non–numismatic one held on the same day, accounting for the lot numbering. Ex Stephen Epstein library.

For more information, or to bid, see:

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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