The American consignor of The French Collection being auctioned by MDC Monaco is an E-Sylum subscriber, and with permission we're republishing this Collector's Preface from the catalog.
In 1984 I was the successful bidder in an auction, buying an 1851A Ceres Head
5 Francs, lot number 234 in this catalog. That purchase inspired me to begin
collecting French coins.
I was familiar with collecting by type and used Victor Gadoury's
Francaises catalog as the reference for my Decimal Type Set.
I met Wade Hinderling, my mentor, in 1988. I told him I wanted to collect a high
grade French Decimal Type Set. He took it from there. Wade recommended not
including coins minted after about 1940 because they are common.
Wade understands that coins which are high grade and important create notable
collections. This collection reflects both his knowledge of French coinage and his
expertise as a professional numismatist and would not exist were it not for his
painstaking efforts. He selected most of the coins in this catalog.
Every collector has their favorite design and mine is the Ceres Head. I told Wade
about my passion for Ceres Head coinage and he fed my passion, finding rare
Ceres Head coins in high grade, most notably the 1849 5 Francs in gold (lot
#222), Oudine's 1848 Design Competition 5 Francs in silver (lot #214), the set of
1848 Competition 5 Francs in white metal (lot #s 188 - 221), most of the coins in
the Ceres Head 5 Francs business strike set (various lot #s) among many others.
When I first saw the Semeuse design it reminded me of the US Liberty Walking
half dollar, one of America's most beautiful coins. At the time the circulating silver
Semeuse coins from 1898 to 1920 were relatively inexpensive, even in gem
condition. My collection includes complete date sets of 50 Centimes, 1 and 2
Francs in addition to a number of important Semeuse silver and gold Essais.
I have often wondered why I was so fortunate that Wade offered me coins he
could have sold to other clients, dealers or even consigned to auction? Lucky,
1) Wade is the source for 513 of the 521 lots in this catalog and most of the
2) of the 521 lots, 232 are
3) 217 of the
top pop lots came from Wade!
As Wade was building the Decimal Type Set he added coins from the
Revolutionary Period and early 19th century Napoleonic coins from countries
Napoleon ruled, thus the collection's name,
France & Napoleonides.
I did not realize how important this collection is until Nicolas Gimbert expressed
I'm extremely honored that Nicolas and his company, MDC Monnaies de
Collection, are presenting my collection in its own catalog. The catalog is a
tribute to Wade Hinderling who contributed most of the coins to the collection.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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