The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 34, August 18, 2013, Article 10


There was an interesting group of vignette books offered in Session 6 of the Stacks Bowers Galleries sale at this week's American Numismatic Association convention in Chicago. Lots 3110-3115. Here are excerpts from some of the lot descriptions. -Editor

Lot 3110: Bound Scrapbook Compilation Of Portrait Die Proof Vignettes
Lot 3110 Fascinating and uniquely style scrapbook with 127 die proof vignettes on card (approximately) affixed as paste-downs upon 34 pages of a scrapbook. Tall vertical oblong, light brown polished leather. 31.0cm by 14.0cm by 4cm thick. Five compartments, four raised bands. Gilt PORTRAITS and named A. L. SCHOMP. A great archive and resource with much diversity.

Notable contents include two pages of Chinese portrait vignettes, most used on notes and many classic portrait styles used in the BEP presentation books. Internal and external condition superior quality. The binding, shape and contents are unusual. Should be seen and a very desirable vignette book. First time we have seen a book of this style and composition in over twenty years of research and cataloguing.

To read the complete lot description, see: Lot #3110. Obsolete Notes. Security Engraving History. Bound Scrapbook Compilation Of Portrait Die Proof Vignettes. (

Lot 3111: BEP Presentation Book. Vignettes And Portraits. Ca. 1876
Lot 3111 Large vertical octavo, near quarto, 24.0cm by 21.0cm by 6.5cm. Full black morocco with polished surfaces. Intricate gilt embossed panel bordering on both sides featuring interior gilt vine details with central oval; unnamed. Four gilt raised bands forming five compartments with floral emblems and pattern borders. Spine titled: VIGNETTES/ AND/ PORTRAITS second from the top. Dark brown paper interior covers with gilt pattern turned in pattern edging.

This is the more frequently seen vertical format vignette book. Includes 139 intaglio die proof vignettes, with interleaved tissue guards, on thick gilt edged cards. An interesting composition. Frontis portrait of Indian and windmill (used on 1876 Centennial certificates) with Treasury title page paste-down with red seal. Long section of 72 portrait vignettes in random order with relatively few presidents and some rarely seen vignettes in these books. Wide selection of 66 other vignettes from various genres. General vignette contents are similar to many used in the books with historical scenes used on National Banknotes, Federal type notes and bonds, large Declaration of Independence and 1876 Centennial Certificate vignette

To read the complete lot description, see: Lot #3111. Obsolete Notes. BEP Presentation Book. Vignettes And Portraits. Ca. 1876. Vertical Format. (

Lot 3115: Fractional Currency Presentation Book
Compact, oblong octavo. 16.0 cm by 11.5 cm, 1.0 cm thick. Full red Morocco. Embossed gilt pattern front and back cover frames, turned in gilt to insides covers. Presentation text on front: Italic, ‘’Hon James Harlan’’/ SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR’’. Ornate embossed gilt pattern spine without compartments, gilt lettered ‘’SPECIMENS/ OF/ UNITED STATES/ FRACTIONAL/ CURRENCY’’ using three fonts. Thirty-one interleaved gilt tipped plates with paste-down uniface Specimen or India paper proof impressions of United States Fractional Currency from the First, Second and Third Issues.

Gengerke Presentation Book #8 (ANA Anthology, 1991). Complete set of 31 impressions as listed in the Gengerke article including variants not known outside the presentation books. The majority are India paper die proofs, some full wide impressions die sunk into the card pages themselves, in their issue colors, but without surcharges or overprints as used on issued notes. Internally, the impressions are nearly all superb, bright and fresh. There is limited foxing on any interleaves or upon the pages. The color backs are especially vibrant in this book. The book itself is bound strongly, just a trifle loose between the satin face page and the First Issue 5 Cents Face Specimen. The front cover is rather worn with central scuffing and red leather flaking at the right. The spine is worn, but the gilt is virtually complete; the titles clear. The back cover is remarkably still bright with only some scattered marks.

A discovery book. Until now known only from the original Spencer Clark presentation list of 13 books and offered to the collecting community for the first time.

Lot 3115

To read the complete lot description, see: Lot #3115. Fractional Currency. Fractional Currency Presentation Book. Named To Hon James Harlan Secretary Of The Interior. (


I am deeply appreciative and humbled by the surprise party given for me on Thursday at the ANA convention to observe my 60 years in the rare coin business. I had no hint of it. To those of you who assisted in the planning and to those who came, thank you very much.
                                                                                Dave Bowers

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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