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The E-Sylum: Volume 4, Number 13, March 25, 2001, Article 11


Dick Johnson writes:

"My discussion of auction house symbols with Karl Moulton grew from the need to record a large quantity of auction lot references in a databank I am building on the engravers, diesinkers and medalists of American coins and medals. At present I have entered these citations for only a handful of auction houses, coding these with a three-letter symbol.

I was suggesting (even hoping!) Karl would set an industry- wide standard for this in his new directory of numismatic auction sales (USNAC), the continuation of Martin Gengerke's earlier directory. Obviously Bowers & Merena auction sales would bear the symbol B&M. But what do you do when B&M joins forces with a Stack's or with Presidential Coin & Antique as they did in the Julian Liedman and David Dreyfus sales? (And how would you identify the Apostrophe sales?)

Joe Levine is very conscientious in identifying artists in his lot descriptions in his Presidential C&A auctions. I have resolved to cite all his auction sales as far back as practical. I asked him what symbol he preferred. He chose "PCA" and I have used this.

So maybe each auction house would like to pick their own symbol. And (hopefully) Karl would be the clearing house for these and publish these in his (USNAC) directory. Karl would have to resolve any conflicts. But he could be like the New York Stock Exchange in selecting the symbols for each company's stock listed on the exchange.

Incidentally, the citation for the first lot in LaRiviere's Betts medal section in Bowers & Merena's recent catalog reads: B&M 181:2001"

Wayne Homren, Editor

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