Dick Johnson submitted these thoughts in response to last week's outpouring of discussion on the topic of plates in numismatic literature. Thanks!
Wow! I didn't mean to open a can of worms when I wrote about my displeasure with plates separated from numismatic item descriptions. I greatly appreciate, however, all those who wrote comments published in last week's E-Sylum.
I even received phone calls from friends who attempted to show me the error of my comments. It appears Admiral Vernon medals, Hard Times Tokens and Civil War tokens, to name a few, need to be illustrated adjacent to one another. The lettering differences is so minor in these series, it appears, that to determine a specific variety you need to examine a number of illustrations moving from one to another, comparing illustration with specimen in hand. Numismatists prefer to have these close together on a plate page.
Granted this is the case. I still contend these similar variety illustrations can be shown near their descriptions, on the same or facing page. If two or more numismatic items have such relationship they should be illustrated together near the description -- not elsewhere in the book, which was my complaint.
The group can be illustrated together for the purpose of identifying a specific variety.
This is a problem, not for the author, but for the graphic artist who lays out the book. The solution to such layout problems adds interest to the book. Often authors do not have the artistic talent to achieve what a professional book designer can achieve. (Another reason why self-published books are so boring.)
My critics' suggestion to have illustrations in both locations is an unnecessary redundancy.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
READER THOUGHTS ON PLATES IN NUMISMATIC LITERATURE
Wayne Homren, Editor
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