John Adams kindly forwarded a copy of this review of Christopher Eimer's new book. The review was published earlier by the Medal Collectors of America (MCA). Thanks!
British Commemorative Medals and Their Values
by Christopher Eimer (by John W. Adams)
An earlier version of this book was published in 1986. In 1905, Mr. Eimer set about a simple revision, intending to update the values and be done with it. However, having done that and made a few additions, it become apparent that the corpus needed to be expanded, to include the last 25 years. Once having done that, it became apparent that the earlier images were relatively shabby and hence needed complete replacement. What was designed to be a one year project had, in the end, become a five year project. However, the final result is a brand new book, one that is an instant classic.
Mr. Eimer succeeds in classifying 2230 medals; the first issued in 1087 and last almost a millennium later in 2010. Each description, though necessarily brief, is thorough, containing pertinent information on date of issue, subject, legend (obverse and reverse), engraver, diameter, series classification and value by both condition and metal. The end result is truly encyclopedic.
The word "Encyclopedic" suggests that the content of the book is dry and boring. Such is hardly the case. To make the point, we equate from the description of Eimer 770, "Charles Genevieve Louis Auguste André Timothée De Beaumont D'Éon (1782-1810). French ambassador, courtier, and a transvestite of considerable renown. In 1777 a civil court action was fought by two men in respect of a wager concerning D'Éon's gender, which had aroused much curiosity and financial speculation during the time he was in London. The affair was a minor cause célebre and only entirely resolved on his death. See London Magazine (September, 1777)."
Such pithy background is enhanced by the author's deep knowledge of the subject matter. Mr. Eimer suggests that the D'Éon medal is linked to the Hume medal of 1776 and the Franklin (wearing a cap) medal of 1777. Thus, if the D'Éon medal was made in England—and where else would it have been made?—then the 1777 Franklin medal was made in England, a treasonous act given the war going on at the time.
The book contains nearly 100 pages of images in high resolution (for the most part) color.
As if 2230 listings were not more than any mortal can digest, the author adds a panoply of supporting sections. These include a bibliography, a concordance with the 1987 work, an index of medalists (the best such we have seen), a listing of medallists abbreviations, a listing of the sources of the illustrations and an excellent general index. Altogether, these sections make the book easier to use and/or provide nuances for advanced students.
The reason to buy the book is that not owning is a deprivation.
To read the earlier E-Sylum book announcement, see:
NEW EDITION: BRITISH COMMEMORATIVE MEDALS AND THEIR VALUES
MILLIONS OF COIN COLLECTORS CAN'T BE WRONG!
A Guide Book of United States Coins
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order at www.WhitmanBooks.com
or call 1-800-546-2995.
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