Dave Bowers forwarded this update on his upcoming book on U.S. Shell Cards. Thanks!
I am putting the finishing touches on my manuscript for a new book, U.S. Shell Cards 1867-1880. These are advertising tokens, often with a coin motif on one side and a commercial message on the other, that fit neatly into the post-Civil War era. Although scattered features about them have appeared in the TAMS Journal and elsewhere, this is the first book-length study and the only study that delves into how they were made and distributed.
As of the last counting there are 1,658 pictures, including full color images of over 700 different varieties, plus 108,582 words. I am now working on rarity ratings and
a schedule of estimated values. If a reader has one or more shell cards, Dave would be pleased to hear from you. Ditto for any information about purchase prices and valuations, except for the recent sales by Stack’s Bowers Galleries.
The late Steve Tanenbaum quipped, “A common shell card is one for which two are known!” Indeed, many are unique. The largest institutional collection is that of the American Numismatic Society, comprising slightly over 100 different. The Society has cooperated in the project and has provided many images.
As this will be a specialized book in the token field, Dave adds that if a suitable publisher is found, he will give a grant or subsidy so that the book can be a quality production in full color, on fine paper, and, equally important to him, bear a price that is affordable.
Dave can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by regular mail at Box 539, Wolfeboro Falls, NH 03896
Wayne Homren, Editor
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