The Numismatic Bibliomania Society


The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 46, November 13, 2022, Article 21


One of the highlights of the upcoming Kolbe & Fanning December 2022 numismatic literature sale is this rare volume illustrating silver coins in the cabinet of Maria Theresa. -Editor

The Magnificent 1756 Folio Volume Illustrating Maria Theresa's Silver Coin Cabinet

131 Duval, Valentin Jameray. MONNOIES EN ARGENT, QUI COMPOSENT UNE DES DIFFÉRENTES PARTIES DU CABINET DE S. M. L'EMPEREUR, DEPUIS LES PLUS GRANDES PIÈCES, JUSQU'AU FLORIN INCLUSIVEMENT. Vienne: Chez Jean Thomas Trattner, Imprimeur et Libraire de la Cour, 1756. First edition. Folio [47 by 32 cm], contemporary full brown calf, sides paneled in double gilt filets; spine with six raised bands, richly decorated in gilt with a floral motif; crimson morocco label, gilt, in second compartment; board edges and turn-ins decorated in gilt; red page edges; marbled endpapers. (4), 358 pages; engraved printer's device on title; exceptionally fine engravings of some 2500 coins and medals throughout. Early handwritten index laid in, with additional genealogical note. Binding a bit worn, but sound, with head and tail of spine professionally restored some time ago. Lower fore-edge corner discolored throughout from old staining: while obvious, it never reaches the coin images. Very good. $5000

Kolbe-Fanning Sale 165 Lot 131 Maria Theresa's coin cabinet A monumental work, comprising a superbly illustrated record of large European silver coins in the remarkable Vienna coin cabinet. While the text is minimal, the quality of the illustrations (by Johann Christoph Winkler) is very high, and the extraordinary number of them makes these volumes a landmark of numismatic study.

Duval (1695–1775), though of humble origin, became a renowned French scholar. When Duke Francis Steven became Grand Duke of Tuscany, Duval accompanied him as librarian to Florence and, when the Duke married Maria Theresa and became Francis I, Holy Roman emperor, Duval was called upon to preside over the collection of coins and medals at Vienna. He was instrumental in the development of the court's magnificent coin collection and Duval undoubtedly inspired his illustrious successor, Father Joseph Hilarius Eckhel.

A comparable copy of this magnificent work in the Anders Frösell Library was sold by us in 2010 for $11,000 hammer. A volume on the collection's gold coins was published in 1759. In their entry 2402, Engel & Serrure discuss the project as a whole:

Cette somptueuse publication, l'une des plus belles qui aient été faites sur la numismatique de la fin du moyen âge et des temps modernes, se compose d'une suites de planches de monnaies, gravées sur cuivre avec le plus grand art, par un artiste viennois, J.-C. Winkler. Le seul texte qui accompagne les dessins est une suite de titres explicatifs imprimés au-dessus des vignettes. L'ordre adopté par Duval pour le classement des monnaies du Musée de Vienne est le suivant : Souverains pontifes, archevêques, évêques, abbés et chapitres, ordres militaires, empereurs, rois, électeurs et princes souverains de l'empire, princes, comtes et barons de l'empire, princes de Courlande, de Transylvanie, etc., maisons souveraines limitrophes ou enclavées dans la France, souverains d'Italie, républiques, provinces et villes libres.

Here's a Google translation of the text. -Editor

This sumptuous publication, one of the most beautiful that has been made on the numismatics of the end of the Middle Ages and of modern times, consists of a series of coin plates, engraved on copper with the greatest art, by a Viennese artist, J.-C. Winkler. The only text that accompanies the drawings is a series of explanatory titles printed above the thumbnails. The order adopted by Duval for the classification of the coins of the Vienna Museum is as follows: Sovereign pontiffs, archbishops, bishops, abbots and chapters, military orders, emperors, kings, electors and sovereign princes of the empire, princes, counts and barons of the empire, princes of Courland, Transylvania, etc., sovereign houses bordering or enclosed in France, sovereigns of Italy, republics, provinces and free cities.

Brunet 29744. Dekesel D161. Engel & Serrure 2401. Graesse II.456. Lipsius pages 265 & 410. Ex François-Pierre du Pont, Seigneur de Romémont (d. 1792) Library, with his engraved bookplate; ex Baron James Eduoard de Rothschild Library (1844–1881), with his engraved bookplate; ex Bücherei des Architekten-Verein zu Berlin, with their ink stamp in at least two places.

For more information on the sale, see:

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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