In his article in the September 23, 2013 issue of Coin World, Joel Orosz revisits the mystery of the missing large-paper issues of Attinelli’s Numisgraphics. Here's an excerpt.
Sometimes this writer gets schooled. Such a schooling just happened after last month’s column discussing the mysterious disappearance of all large paper copies of Numisgraphics, Emmanuel Joseph Attinelli’s indispensable bibliography of numismatic auction catalogs.
I correctly wrote that 10 large, paper copies of Numisgraphics were produced in 1876. I also correctly wrote that Attinelli still had four large, paper copies left to sell in 1878 when he cataloged the C.W. Idell sale.
But then I incorrectly wrote that all 10 copies had vanished immediately afterwards. It was John W. Adams who proved me wrong. And there is no better teacher to give you a schooling about numismatic literature.
So what did he know that I didn’t? Not all large, paper copies disappeared from the face of the earth after the Idell sale in 1878, for Adams discovered that, at the height of the Great Depression, coin dealer Thomas Elder sold one.
In Elder’s 242nd Sale (April 1, 1932), Adams discovered lot 1302 offered a copy of Numisgraphics, with a brief, but significant description: “Quarto—Pages Loose.”
All of the regular issue copies of Numisgraphics are octavo in size while a quarto book is considerably larger; about the same height and depth as an encyclopedia volume (and about the same size as the “royal octavo” that Attinelli described in the Idell sale).
So Elder was selling one of those 10 large paper copies. The notation that the pages were loose probably meant that they were unbound. Adams’ find proves that at least one of the large paper copies of Numisgraphics survived 54 years after the Idell auction.
But the great mystery remains: Where are these large paper copies today? How could every example vanish? And who will be the first collector to make headlines by unearthing one?
To read the complete article, see:
Schooled by the best
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster