The following introduction from dealer Paul Withers opens an article he's written about the Shorthouse collection and the American coins found within it. It's too lengthy for The E-Sylum, but we've passed it on to David Yoon, the editor of our print journal, The Asylum. Perhaps it will appear in a future issue.
The job of being a numismatic book dealer is a rewarding one, even if I donít exactly earn a fortune.
In this business it is all too easy to accumulate hoards of material. Let me say that I do not have the problem that many collectors have, of a wife who resents their husbandís collection. My wife, whilst not perhaps quite as crazy as I am about books, is very fond of them, and when a freshly-bought library arrives she eagerly and happily helps to catalogue it and put it onto the shelves, either for sale, or onto our library shelves, but there are times when it overflows. It goes into boxes and sits until there is time to deal with it. In this case, the pile of boxes was started about fifteen years ago. Last week it became apparent that something had to be done about it as what had been intended as a verandah has now become a junk storage facility. and there are times when even I realise that if I want to buy more, something has to go !
In this instance, the fifteen-year old pile had got to go, but before that, it had to be sorted and what was saleable had to go for sale on our website (www.galata.co.uk) Much of it is junk, or at least, it was fifteen years ago. The pile is large: two cubic yards would not be an exaggeration. I started at one corner and began to work my way downwards and inwards. It consists of things such as a long run (of fairly recent copies) of The Numismatist, and Coin Monthly, that were put to one side just in case someone might want them. If anyone does, please let me know, they are free Ė but youíll have to pay the carriage, and preferably come to collect them. Now, let me say that 15 years ago things were different - I didnít rate auction catalogues that highly, but people began to appreciate them, and my attitude has changed towards them as there are now several good customers for them. One box, therefore, brought quite a lot of joy, as many were Sotheby catalogues from the early 1900s, and another was a strange catalogue, which I thought that I would share with you, as most of those who read this are interested in things American
It is hard bound, with a textured, dark blue, nearly black cover, just over five inches wide and eight and a half inches tall. Whilst obviously of some age, it does not look as old as it is, surviving from 1886.
The title page informs :
of a Portion of the Very Valuable Collection of
Greek, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Scotch and
GOLD, SILVER AND COPPER
Formed by E. Shorthouse, Esq., Member of the
London Numismatic Society: ó Embracing many RARE COINS
and PATTERN PIECES, which have not been offered to
PUBLIC COMPETITION FOR SOME YEARS
There's some contemporary commentary on the sale and its participants, along with an accusation of thievery. Interesting!
A BOOK AS RARE AS YOUR COINS. . . .
The beautifully leather-bound Limited Edition Red Book: each large-format (6" x 9") volume is individually numbered and personally autographed by longtime editor and hobby legend Kenneth Bressett. Handsomely constructed with gold-stamped lettering on the cover, gilt-edged pages, a silk page marker, and a hubbed spine, the Limited Edition has acquired a collectible status in its own right. The 2012 edition is limited to 1,000 copies.
Order at www.WhitmanBooks.com
or call 1-800-546-2995.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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