Andrew Pollock passed along a nice British Numismatic Society blog article by Gary Oddie about assembling and binding a run of Spink's Numismatic Circular. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online.
The recent acquisition of a block of loose copies of Spink's Numismatic Circular; 1911-1934, only lacking December 1912, has prompted me to look more closely at this publication. The group had been for sale on eBay in Italy for several months with a buy-it-now price and a surprisingly low FedEx shipping cost of £15. Whilst I already had a complete set of SNC back to 1947, a copy of Dave Greenhalgh's index, a few odd early single issues and a couple of early tatty annual volumes, I had never really considered going back further due to the difficulty of achieving completion.
A quick search of the usual suspects and the internet (Paul and Bente Withers at Galata, Douglas Saville, Chris Martin at Ancient & Oriental, AbeBooks (part of Amazon since 2008), BookFinder, and eBay) revealed an amazing coincidence. Between these sources it was possible to build a complete block from the first issue of December 1892 to December 1938, including the missing issue from December 1912! The prices were consistent and reasonable for a year's issue with a hardback binding, so the project began.
The weeks passed, the estimated delivery date approached, and concern was increasing about the infeasibly low shipping cost. Then, on the last day of the delivery window, two heavy boxes arrived (7kg each). On opening the boxes, it became clear that these SNCs had been together for the past century, in paper folders tied up with string. The two creases in each issue where they had originally folded for posting were still visible in many copies.
The outer leaves of many issues were quite fragile with many of the hinges torn and broken, so great care had to be taken when reading and turning the pages.
The second stage of the project began and while waiting for the other volumes to arrive, the loose copies were quickly scanned through and read to reveal a vast amount of previously unknown information. Whilst the index to SNC is good, it is not perfect, and for example the serialized Biographical Index by Forrer is only indexed by the title of each instalment and not the individual entries.
A few weeks later and it was possible to take the photo shown below.
There's much more to the story, so be sure to check out the complete article.
To read the complete article, see:
Spink's Numismatic Circular – A Personal Story
Wayne Homren, Editor
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