Tom Kays submitted this review of John Kleeberg's recent book, Numismatic Finds of the Americas – An Inventory of American Coin Hoards, Shipwrecks, Single Finds, and Finds in Excavations. Thanks!
Kleeberg, John M., Numismatic Finds of the Americas – An Inventory of American Coin Hoards, Shipwrecks, Single Finds, and Finds in Excavations, Numismatic Notes and Monographs #169 under the Auspices of the International Numismatic Commission, American Numismatic Society, New York, 2009.
“He forced the casket open. An uncountable, unheard of treasure!...” from the front cover, taken from The Count of Monte Cristo, #3 Classics Illustrated.
John Kleeberg analyzes treasure hoards in text book depth from the Americas, not in pictures or in breathless narrative, but in list form. This is an advanced book for the specialist who knows about named shipwrecks and land hoards in the Americas, but is unable to recall exactly which coins were brought to light from the Economite Hoard, Rio de la Plata, or the HMS Feversham.
The list of finds in the Americas is astonishing for its breadth and span. John is meticulous, comprehensive and accurate starting with a silver penny of Olaf III Kyrre from Brooklin Maine. He proceeds through over 350 pages of well-known and lesser known hoards, shipwrecks, votive offerings, and cornerstone contents, reported in 18th century newspapers up to 21st century emails from finders across the Americas.
In each case, John attempts to specify what coin types, mints and dates open and close each hoard and offers detailed inventory of many that have gone to auction. John pulls coin facts from published accounts, newspapers, auction catalogs, and personal correspondence.
Part I details in nearly 250 pages, Numismatic Finds of the Americas. Part II accounts for U.S. Treasury Accumulations and Release of U.S. Silver Dollars, and Part III, a truly fascinating section, details Finds of American Coins Outside the Americas.
While E-Sylum readers might know about Viking pennies found in fishing villages in Maine, what is the first recorded coin of American origin documented in Europe? What is the first coin of North American origin found outside the Americas? What did they find at Fulbeck Hall, Lincolnshire in 2002? Advanced collectors own many of the coins listed and may better place their treasures in historical context after reading this book.
John includes full references befitting an academic work and spans original sources from the great 19th century numismatists to modern experts such as John J. Ford, Walter Breen and Q. David Bowers. Lastly John gives us an index of great value to historians defining coin types featured in which hoards. John’s Kleeberg’s book Numismatic Finds of the Americas is available at a discount to ANS members from the David Brown Book Company.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NEW BOOK: NUMISMATIC FINDS OF THE AMERICAS BY JOHN KLEEBERG
THE BOOK BAZARRE
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