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V13 2010 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 30, July 25, 2010, Article 9

QUERY: COIN BOOKS WITH AN ENCASED COIN OR MEDAL

Regarding last week's mention of Henry Tuckermanís 1859 The Character and Portraits of Washington, Alan V. Weinberg submitted this interesting note about other books bound with actual coins or medals. -Editor

Tuckerman Portraits of Washington That Washingtonia book with the Jacob Perkins gold oval funeral medal encased in the front cover is an eye-opener. Fortunately, I'll be there to examine it and watch it sell in the Heritage ANA Platinum Night session.

But it reminds me of a 19th century colonial currency book Beverly Hills dealer Jerry Cohen (then in partnership with Abner Kreisberg), showed me perhaps 35 years ago at his shop. An Extremely Fine Noe 1 Pine Tree shilling encased in a glass inset in the book's front cover. As made and originally bound. He wanted $5,000-7,000 for the book.

I can't recall the exact price or the book's title other than it was then quite expensive - the coin itself was worth well under $1000 - and it pertained to colonial currency which I never collected. To this day I don't know if the book was unique. But I suspect someone reading this will know and where it's at today.

There are a number of turn of the century numismatic-related books containing, as originally bound, old medals such as an 1880's George Washington ANS bronze medal and a 1909 Roine-engraved Lincoln medal but are there any other old American coin books containing an encased classic American coin or medal in the cover or in the text?

From the Heritage lot description (emphasis by Jim Neiswinter):

Of special interest to numismatists is Appendix III, a list of 49 items of Washingtonia, reprinted from the Boston Transcript edition of February 10, 1859. The list includes fascinating tidbits of information, such as an early account identifying Martha Washington as the model for the 1792 half disme, pedigree information attributing certain pieces to the collections of contemporary numismatists like Jeremiah Colburn and Reverend Finotti, and general observations on Washingtonia in 1859. The item is signed A.S. (possibly Augustus B. Sage).

Jim Neiswinter writes:

A.S. was Augustine Shurtleff. (He signed the Boston Evening Transcript article on large cents on 3/1/1859 also.)

Joel Orosz agrees:

The article on Washington pieces that comprises appendix 3 of the lovely Washington book that Heritage is selling at the ANA was written by A.S. alright, but not by Augustus Sage, as was speculated. The author was Dr. Augustine Shurtleff of Brookline Massachusetts (1826-1901). The piece was later reprinted on the inside covers of an 1860 Bangs catalogue. Part of Shurtleff's collection was sold by Woodward in 1863, and much of it was given by bequest to the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston upon Shurtleff's death.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NUMISMATIC LITERATURE IN HERITAGE ANA AUCTION (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v13n29a03.html)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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