Frederick A. Liberatore submitted this announcement and review of a new edition of Richard Plant's book on identifying Greek, Semitic and Asiatic Coins. Thanks!
Greek, Semitic , Asiatic Coins and How to Read Them: A Revised and Augmented Edition, 2013, by Richard J. Plant
The original edition of this numismatically most useful book was published in 1979 in just 100 copies.
The book is divided into 4 main sections, Greek based alphabets, Semitic alphabets, Indian alphabets, and Chinese. It takes a full 46 chapters to cover this much numismatic ground. There are over 1,000 hand drawn illustrations in the 322 pages in a roughly 8 1/2 x 11 inch (200 mm x 275 mm) format. Exercises are at the end of each chapter with answers supplied in an appendix.
What this book does, and does well, is to provide coin collectors and numismatists the basic information to identify and read the inscriptions on unusual and obscure coinages.
What this book does not do is provide information on the rarity or value of the coins. Readers will notice several different type faces throughout the text. Wherever the type face varies from the commonest type face, you are reading added or revised information.
The book can be ordered from Maximus Publications, Grandad Press, C/O Allan N. Wallace; 46 The Hollows, Bessacarr; Doncaster DN4 7PP, South Yorkshire, England at a cost of 25 pounds plus 15 pounds for FedEx (Interparcel) shipping. Bank checks need to be denominated in English pounds.
The author, Richard J. Plant, may be contacted at email@example.com or called at 01302323089 for information on payment options which is advisable.
The press run on this book is likely to be small. Copies will be signed and hand numbered by the author.
I contacted the author asking for more background on the book. His comments are below. Thanks!
Richard Plant writes:
In the 1970's it was not easy getting "funny-shaped" letters printed, and with "Arabic Coins and How to Read Them", even Seaby's were doubtful about doing the book. I found a small printing firm in the Manchester area (we lived in Manchester at the time) that was willing to print the pages leaving me space to insert the Arabic by hand, and I sent the completed pages a few at a time up to Peter Seaby in London - it took a long time, but eventually it was completed and printed, and published by Seaby.
I then felt it might be possible to do other scripts in a similar way, as I've always been interested in languages, - and as we were in Manchester, with its excellent libraries it might be possible to get a book on these other scripts produced. But difficulties arose - I was sent by the Methodist Church to Doncasterto look after churches there, and so could not use that small printing firm in the same way, and Seaby were not interested in this book; but eventually I found Bruce Braun and Francis Rath of Scorpion Press USA, who took it on. They were going to pay me royalties for each 100 copies as it was sold. I received money from them for the first 100, but then their partnership broke up - and that was the end of that!
After years of searching in around 2000 I found another American gentleman, who was willing to print a revised version of the book; but with the destruction of the Twin Towers my manuscript "disappeared"; and it was not until around 2010, after a strong suggestion from Mr. Liberatore, and my friend, Allan Wallace's offer to "have a go" that it seemed to me I ought I ought to take it up again, as it seemed to me that it covered ground not covered by any other book that I knew about. I have found that researching for such a work is very rewarding, and you learn far more than you are trying to teach.
The author has done a tremendous amount of work, and has made it available at a quite reasonable price. This is an important work, and I expect it will sell out quickly despite the narrow subject area.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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