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  • Benefactor

So, in my 'old age', ... letting go of many of my old references.  My metric is that if I have not used a reference in roughly 20 years, I likely do not need it.  So, As such have disposed of many books.  I had consigned many books to CNG but after many years and no contact from them I suppsose that is a loss. Anyway, here are a few pics of what I might think are standard works.









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2 hours ago, KenDorney said:

I had consigned many books to CNG but after many years and no contact from them I suppsose that is a loss.

Does this mean that CNG never followed up with you after agreeing to consign or that they took your consignment, sold the books and then never squared up with you after? If the later then that would be shocking.

I had the same question as @DonnaML. Are you planning to sell some of these books or are these your “keepers”?

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Beautiful set of shelves! There are several sets there that I would love to have but don't -- especially all those RPC volumes! Oh -- and Dane's GRPC Lydia (I read there's even an addendum/supplement forthcoming)!

My shelves and stacks have become embarrassingly disorganized since I last photographed/posted them, so I won't try to show a census even though I'd like to.

My most recent large purchase: 
From Kuenker 399, Alois Wenninger Library (in November 2023).

Running shoe for scale (that box is FULL of heavy books):



I made a serious error (without going into details, it was 100% my fault), but to my great surprise, Kunker went above and beyond to get about 75 pounds (36 kilos) of books to me from Germany to USA -- winning my eternal gratitude.


Most of them cite or include photos of coins in my collection; I'd spent years looking for several of them. The 2007 (Parthica) sylloge of the A.M. Simonetta collection of Cappadocian coins was particularly hard to find. (The 1977 book by his father, B. Simonetta, is easy.) And, of course, Dieter Klein's (1999) Sammlung von griechischen Kleinsilbermünzen und Bronzen was a rare prize too -- although there were TWO other copies! (One signed/inscribed by the author.) A bunch of others treats in there.



OK -- I'll show one set of shelves, can't resist!

Old photos, sort of edited/patched together but roughly to scale....



As one might gather, I collect (1) sale catalogs & (2) literature with interesting provenance/"object biography."

Here's a group I received a couple of years ago. With thanks to their author.

From my collection of 20th century American FPLs, one small but special run from the 1990s, with introductory essays full of great details on the history of commercial numismatics during the critical transition from print catalogs to online sales, as it unfolded:


Edited by Curtis JJ
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My small library collected in the last 3 years. As a rare book and second book seller for the last 40 years postal cost has destroyed the book market,IMG_0629.jpeg.c1055bd9328597f06e9ab368d25a5723.jpeg many times the postal costs are more expensive than the book, sadly most of my coin library are pdf.

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20 hours ago, Greekcoin21 said:

My small library collected in the last 3 years.

Aha! I see my own favorite: John Spring's Ancient Coin Auction Catalogs, 1880-1980. And at least half of the major BCD catalogs. The important stuff!

Edit: looking more closely, either 9 or all 10 of the primary BCD catalogs! 

Edited by Curtis JJ
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Spink published a few books about old numismatic books and catalogues. I intended to trace the original books in persuit of the ealiest ever described coins of my interest. I have not got to this yet... as evident with some books still never opened. There are a few more books on the topic from Spink.


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5 hours ago, Rand said:

books about old numismatic books and catalogues

I'm jealous of your Manville set! I've been planning especially to add the Manville & Harrington bibliography of British numismatic auction catalogs. It's available -- I just haven't gotten around to picking it up. (I've been sort of hoping I would find a signed copy but that's not working out.) Once I have that, I feel my auction-catalogs-biblio will be in healthy shape. I don't have any of the Dekesel bibliographies -- those are a "some day" purchase for me, although I greatly admire his accomplishment with all of those.

Here is my collection of numismatic bibliographies.

The vertical ones in the center are all signed and/or inscribed. (That's my most specialized sub-collection!) The ones on the right are from noted numismatic libraries w/ bookplates and/or useful annotations.


signed/inscribed bibliographies:


Edited by Curtis JJ
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  • Benefactor

I am very impressed with all your numismatic libraries of ancient coin books and catalogs. Here is my comparatively small one. Please keep in mind that I don't actively collect ancient Greek coins, and rely primarily on online resources for Roman Imperial coinage. I do think I have a pretty decent collection of books on Roman Republican coins (from the RBW Collection book through Rainer Albert's book on the top shelf, plus the Mattingly, Yarrow, Rowan, Harlan, & Clain-Stefanelli books on the second shelf, as well as the first volumes of Seaby's Roman Silver Coins and Sear's Roman Coin Values). The same is true for Roman Alexandrian coins, from Kampmann & Ganschow through BMC 16 Alexandria and its supplement on the top shelf.

The older books on the far right of the second shelf, mostly hidden by the corner of another bookcase, have little or nothing to do with ancient coins; they're primarily old books about British coins.


I rely almost exclusively on online resources to look for old auction catalogs, FPL's, and numismatic periodicals, and don't "collect" them in the sense of regularly seeking out hard copies to buy online. (With occasional exceptions when a coin I've purchased has a stated pedigree to an old catalog that isn't available online.) But I do tend to save catalogs that come in the mail, or that I've picked up for free at coin stores and conventions. (Although I did throw out a ton of them the last time I moved in 2015, primarily the giant catalogs that used to arrive from Heritage and Stack's, etc.) Here's a photo of most of what I still have in the way of coin and medals catalogs. From left to right, the ones that have no spine that can be read are some Spink Numismatic Circular issues from around 1999-2001 (I subscribed for a year or two and saved most of them), and some Kirk Davis FPL catalogs and Harlan J. Berk Buy or Bid Sale catalogs from the last few years. There are also a couple of older catalogs I went out of my way to buy, including a 1966 Maison Vinchon catalog and a 1938 Ars Classica catalog that contained the Vespasian aureus that I've since sold.


I will post photos of my shelves with books on British and world coins, and British, French, and other historical medals, when I've had a chance to photograph them. Added together, they take up more space than the ancient coin materials, since I started collecting in those areas much earlier. I still have some British and world coin guides that date back to my childhood in the 1960s.

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My relatively humble numismatic library has grown since the last permutation of this thread. It now takes up an entire shelf, whereas previously it would have only filled up half of a shelf or less. It leans heavily toward the Byzantine, but I also retain books on Japanese, US, Italian, Arabic, Mexican, and UK coins (I couldn't resist the cover of the 2024 Spink UK pre-decimal volume). I left out a few spiral bound books, since their spines don't communicate much. For reading, my Spanish and French are pretty good, and my Japanese, German, Arabic, and Italian are "improving." For me, there is no better way to learn another language than reading about coins. I still greatly prefer physical books to other digitized mediums, though they do take up a lot of space, they weigh a ton, and they can cost considerable amounts in base cost and postage. The thick German Byzantine book, released late last year, cost almost as much in postage as the actual book. Same for the "Coins of England & The UK," which arrived only a week or so ago. It can get crazy expensive, but I don't think my appreciation for real books will diminish any time soon.


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  • Benefactor

The title pages, etc., of my few older books dealing with ancient coins, since the subjects aren't necessarily clear from the spines, and the first two were mostly hidden anyway in the bookshelf photo I posted:

John Pinkerton's Essay on Medals, 1784 edition, title page. (Despite the reference to "Medals" in the title, the primary subject is coins, mostly ancient.) 


My favorite part might be the price and rarity guide to Roman coins in the appendix; here are the first couple of pages:



John Pinkerton's Essay on Medals (3rd ed. 1808), Vol. II, title page:


G.F. Hill's Handbook of Greek and Roman Coins (1899), cover:


Title page of same book:


Now, my shelf of books on British historical and commemorative medals:



The title pages for a few of the older ones:

James Mudie, An Historical and Critical Account of A Grand Series of National Medals (London 1820):


William Till, Descriptive Particulars of English Coronation Medals, from the Inauguration of King Edward the Sixth to our Present Sovereign, the Queen Victoria (London 1838):


Welch, Charles, Numismata Londinensia, Medals Struck by the Corporation of London to Commemorate Important Municipal Events, 1831 to 1893 (London 1894):


My copies of the text volumes of Medallic Illustrations are the Spink reprints, but here are the title pages anyway:



My (reprint) copy of the Plates volume is too large, at 11" x 17", to fit on that bookshelf anyway, so here are the cover and title page:



Still to come: books on French and other world medals, and a few of my books on British and other world coins (since the majority aren't easily accessible right now).

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With my shelves of books on ancient coins and British historical medals posted, it's time for my books on French and other world historical medals. (The most important reference works for French medals of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods can be found online, such as Trésor de Numismatique Vols. 13 and 18, Hennin, Bramsen, and Julius.)

Here is a shelf consisting mostly of  other books on French medals, including Napoleonic medals, art medals, and others:


Another small shelf -- more French tokens & medals, German medals of Frederick the Great, a couple of books on Olympic medals, and a French coin catalog I bought at the NYINC last month that doesn't really belong on this shelf:


Pollard's two-volume book on Renaissance medals:


A few of the books on the first shelf that can't be identified that well from their spines. First, the large 11" x 17.5" volume on the far left is my copy of Edward Edwards' The Napoleon Medals (1837). The book was essentially a direct translation, using the identical Achilles Collas pantograph-type illustrations, of the first half of Vol. 18 of Trésor de Numismatique -- which wasn't published in France, in its original language, until 1840, three years later! Whether Edwards obtained pre-publication access to the French text and illustrations with or without permission, and what the rules of international copyright were at the time (if any), I have no idea. Despite the statement in the sub-heading of Edwards' book that it covered the period up to the Bourbon Restoration in 1815, it actually went only up to 1810. Edwards apparently intended to publish a second volume covering the other half of Trésor de Numismatique Vol. 18 at a later date, but he never did so.


For a discussion of Achilles Collas and his mechanical processes for creating accurate two-dimensional engravings from medals, as well as small three-dimensional reproductions of sculptures, see  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achille_Collas (footnotes omitted)

"Achille Collas (1795–1859) was a French engineer, inventor, writer and engraver who developed a way of mechanically creating engravings after medallions and other reliefs, and a machine to copy sculptures at a smaller scale, the so-called "réduction méchanique", which popularized small sculptures and has been credited with being almost entirely responsible for "the transformation of the bronze industry".[1]

Achille Collas was born in Paris in 1795. He worked as an engineer before joining the Army at the end of the First French Empire. Afterwards he worked as a toolmaker and inventor. He never married. He applied for many patents, most of them for long-forgotten inventions for buckle-making machines and other tools. His most successful inventions had to do with the reproduction of 3D artworks in 2D and 3D.[1]

He produced the illustrations for The authors of England: A series of medallion portraits of modern literary characters, engraved from the works of British artists by Henry Fothergill Chorley from 1838: this work contains a ten-page introduction outlining the new procedure of mechanically creating engravings from cameos and medals, developed by Collas.[2] He developed this method between 1825 and 1832, demonstrating it at the Salon of 1833. Using this procedure, he created the Trésor de numismatique et glyptique.[3] When it was finished in 1850, it reproduced some 15,000 items, spread over 20 volumes.[4]

His second great invention came in 1836, when he produced a pantograph-like machine to reproduce sculptures in different scales and materials.[1] In 1838, he started a company together with Ferdinand Barbedienne, the "Société Collas et Barbedienne", for the production and marketing of reduced copies of sculptures in different materials ranging from plaster and wood to bronze and ivory.[5] The first product of the company was a reproduction of the Venus de Milo, but for the next ten years nothing much happened, until Barbedienne sent some pieces to The Great Exhibition of 1851, where the company received a special medal. Further success came in 1855, when Collas was awarded the Grand Médaille d'Honneur of the Exposition Universelle in Paris.[1] By the time of Barbedienne's death in 1892 the company had some 600 employees. It existed until 1954."

Although his engravings were certainly superior in fidelity to what photography could achieve in the 1830s and 1840s, they were eventually rendered obsolete. As indicated in the Wikipedia article, his machine for reproducing sculptures had a much more prolonged success.

For an example of the results of his engraving process, here is the frontispiece of the book on Napoleon Medals:


Here is part of Plate 1, illustrating some of the 1804 Napoleon medals, with one of my uniface medals by Bertrand Andrieu, showing Napoleon in uniform, placed beneath its illustration:


And part of Plate 2, with my uniface medals for Napoleon and Josephine from 1805 beneath their illustrations (#'s 13 & 12):


Next, the title page and frontispiece from my copy of Capt. J.C. Laskey, A Description of the Series of Medals Struck at the National Medal Mint by Order of Napoleon Bonaparte (London 1818):


Next, the auction information and the cover pages from the two volumes (descriptions & plates) of the catalog for the 1927 Paris auction of the Prince d'Essling Collection of Napoleonic medals:




Finally, the title page of my copy of Jean Babelon & Jean Roubier, Portraits en Médailles (Paris 1946):


Still to come, a couple of shelves of my books on British and other World coins.


Edited by DonnaML
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  • Benefactor

Next, I pulled out some of my books on British coins and photographed them together:


I once had at least a dozen more volumes of the annual Seaby (later Spink) Coins of England and the United Kingdom, from the late 1980s through the 2000s, but disposed of them during one of my moves. I saved the 2011 volume as the last one published that covered both pre-decimal and decimal issues.

The title pages, and a couple of covers, from some of the older books:








1886, 1889, and 1891 (four issues of a British numismatic magazine; I also have a number of them from other years)






1965 (my first coin catalog, which my father bought for me at a coin store in the Bahamas when we were there on vacation and I was fascinated by the whole idea of British currency).




I also bought last year's Spink British decimal coinage volume in pdf:


I haven't decided yet whether I'll buy either 2024 volume, and, if I do, whether I'll buy it hard copy or as a pdf.

I have these in pdf as well, published in 2020; the first one supersedes my old 1974 edition of Seaby & Rayner's book on English silver coinage.



Edited by DonnaML
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  • Benefactor

Finally, my tiny and seriously outdated "library" of books on non-British world coins. You can see how long it's been since I've bought any new ones in hard copy, other than the current edition of Gadoury's modern French coin catalog (photo posted elsewhere). 

I stopped buying the Krause World Coins catalogs when they started publishing a separate catalog for every century, so one had to buy several books for what used to be covered in one. The 1985 edition, by contrast, covered the period from about 1720-1984; the 1996 edition covered the period from 1801-1995. The Standard Catalog of World Gold Coins on the shelf is the 2nd edition, published in 1988, covering the period beginning in 1601. (AFAIK, it ceased publication after the 2011 edition; see below.)


I've had these even longer:

Published in 1964:



Published in 1967:


With the exception of the Gadoury catalog, if I buy any world coin books at all anymore rather than simply relying on sites like Numista for information, I buy them in pdf format. As far as I know, these two are the most recent editions published, at least covering the indicated time-periods.

2009 edition


2011 edition



Edited by DonnaML
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  • ivo-rainha-0rzUepBXHN0-unsplash.jpg.4b5a01ed0170530cc85043b83a461c07.jpgMy small library collected in the last 3 years. As a rare book and second book seller for the last 40 years postal cost has destroyed the book market,IMG_0629.jpeg.c1055bd9328597f06e9ab368d25a5723.jpeg many times the postal costs are more expensive than the book, sadly most of my coin library are pdf. The new photo is my dream library I could live in the library. Original photo from a library in Portuguese town.
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  • Benefactor

Two new books arrived today. The one on the left was published in 1999 and I've been interested in it for a while, ever since I started adding a few coins depicting temples and other buildings. The other is a 1970s Durst reprint of an old French-language book that's supposed to be helpful in identifying Greek coins and Roman Provincial coins from partial inscriptions. Fortunately, the introduction explaining how to use it was translated into English for this reprint, so I hope I can figure it out!


Edited by DonnaML
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@Greekcoin21, your commentary is incontrovertible.  Shipping costs have converged with the ever-accelerating incompetence of the USPS to make ordering books (edit:) a less viable option on a near-daily basis.

...But on to better news.  @DonnaML, it's like, Wow, the numismatic equivalent of historiography!  I'm Needing All of this.  The sheer fact that you've hung on to all of this is an impressive enough accomplishment in its own right.  

(...In my apartment, which has never recovered from the chaos ensuing from 16 months of 'sheltering in place,' there's no room left on the bookshelves.  Which are already taking up too much wall space for posters like, for instance, this iconic Hokusai wood engraving  --the poster is from a localish exhibit:



...I'm already needing to weed the library, starting with the more general American history, just to make room for the other books.  No (expletive of choice) fun.)

Edited by JeandAcre
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