Michael E. Marotta submitted this brief review of a 2002 book by Alexander Basok. Thanks!
Complete Catalog of Four Ducat Coins with Bulgarian Counterstamps under the names of Alexander II of Russia, Franz Joseph of Austria, Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, Boris III of Bulgaria by Alexander Basok (Chicago, USA, 2002. English text. Hardcover, 135 pages, 50 color plates. $45 + $5 s&h).
This is one of the many dusty corners of numismatics. The subject matter is tangential to a popular coin. It is easy to find Austria’s thin, large diameter gold four ducat restrikes of 0.44 oz., all dated 1915. This book catalogues an intriguing variant, restrikes with the Bulgarian coat of arms.
They come from over a dozen sources, exhibiting a wide range of skill in craftsmanship from exquisite to crude. Basok’s taxonomy parses them into broader and finer groups. The two rubrics are easy enough: Kovnica AG in Belgrade produced the finest examples; then there are all the others. Basok sorts them into four types by monarch. These are subdivided into 50 varieties, all illustrated and described.
This book may be rarer than the coins. The ANA has it in their library (call number JM63.B3), but the ANS does not, though the DONUM catalog lists Alexander Basok’s articles for The Celator and the Journal of the Russian Numismatic Society. Basok’s sales site offers it among his inventory of literature, of course, as does Münzgalerie München. Short of that, you have to meet him in person, as I did at the MSNS Thanksgiving 2010 convention.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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