David Powell submitted this interesting query about uncut signatures in numismatic literature. -EditorI bought a book last year, Vol.5 of Arthur Forgeais. excellent work on lead artefacts, including tokens, found during the dredging of the Seine in Paris during the 1850s and 1860s. Entitled Collection de Plombs Historiis trouvis dans la Seine, Vols.1-5 were issued one per year from 1862 to 1866, with one further volume in 1874. Vols.2 and 4 cover artefacts, but Vols.3,5,6 are nearly all tokens. I haven.t seen Vol.1 yet.
I bought it to read, not as a collector.s piece; however, when I went to open the pages, I found that they were still all bound together in uncut groups of 8 or 16 pages a time, as was often the case in those days. In other words, between 1866 and 2007 no-one had ever bothered to read the thing! You could however open it in some places along the spine, as that had in places fallen apart. So, I cut all the pages open with a sharp knife; well worthwhile, as I found some fascinating information within, and I am delighted with the book despite its tatty condition.
Can anyone else out there beat 141 years for a new numismatic book not being read?
I had the pleasure of meeting David and having some great coin discussions during my time in London last year. It's great to hear from him!To read earlier discussions on how best to open uncut pages, see:
We haven't addressed the issue of uncut signatures in some time. A signature is a group of pages (in multiples of 4 or 8) which as printed together from larger sheets, then folded, bound and (usually) cut in the course of assembling the final book. Can anyone beat David's record for the oldest uncut (and thus unread) signature in a numismatic publication? -Editor
PAGE CUTTING QUERY: WHAT TO DO WITH VIRGIN BOOKS (http://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v10n15a08.html)
MORE ON OPENING VIRGIN BOOKS (http://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v10n16a13.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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