A new book by Harry Salyards explores the history of the early Draped Bust / Small Eagle dollar. Here's the announcement.
ANNOUNCING A NEW BOOK:
Eagle Poised on a Bank of Clouds: The United States Silver Dollars of 1795-1798
by Harry E. Salyards
Long regarded as a key early Federal
type coin, the Draped Bust / Small Eagle dollar has been
subject to more than its fair share of unfounded speculation and mythmaking. In this book the
author separates fact from fiction. He refutes the assertion that the Early Dollars of the United
States were deficient in silver, uncovers the real reason for their export to the Caribbean in the
1790s (clarifying the real nature of the oft-quoted
exchange for Mexican 8 Reales), refutes
the myth of Gilbert Stuart's involvement in the Draped Bust design—giving credit, instead, to
John Eckstein, whose 3-dimensional wax models were the basis for Robert Scot's designs of
October 1795—and presents reliable evidence, in the form of actual PCGS population counts by
variety, of the surviving numbers of each—totals significantly lower than those proposed by
Bowers in 1993. A suggested total mintage for the series is similarly calculated, and the change
to the Heraldic Eagle reverse is put into the historical context of the undeclared war with
France in the spring of 1798. An updated list of the finest known examples is presented for each
die marriage, and all major die states are illustrated for the first time. Finally, he has provided a
Collecting Quality feature for each variety, suggesting ways in which the knowledgeable
collector may assemble an impressive array of these truly rare coins without spending a fortune
in the process. These pieces are written in the spirit of his Editor's Introductions to Penny-Wise,
for which he has received multiple awards from the Numismatic Literary Guild.
A member of the Rittenhouse Society, editor of Penny-Wise since 1986, and a charter member
of the John Reich Collectors Society, the author's fascination with the Early Dollars of the
United States began when asked by Dave Bowers to help edit his Silver Dollars and Trade
Dollars of the United States (1993). Following his retirement, after 34 years as a practicing
family physician (2011), he was able to delve more deeply into the history and iconography of
these impressive coins. This book, seven years in the making, is the result.
Hardbound in blue cloth, Smythe-sewn binding, lettered in gilt, with a dust jacket, 288 pages,
extensively illustrated in color on glossy paper. Available from the author for $145 postpaid.
P. O. Box 1691
Hastings, NE 68902
Wayne Homren, Editor
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