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    The First Six Volumes of The Numismatist
    Our Rarest Foundational Publication

    American Numismatic Association. The American Numismatist / The Numismatist. Title varies. Volumes 1-6 (Monroe, Michigan: Dr. Geo. F. Heath, September 1888-December 1893), complete, bound in one volume. 8vo, somewhat later red half morocco; spine ruled and lettered in gilt. 26 + 48 + 112 + (2), 30, iv, (31)-86, (89)-106 + (3)-18-34, (37)-52, (57)-112 + 136, (4), 137-176 pages; unpaginated section in Vol. VI consisting of the Program to the 1893 ANA Convention; halftone portraits of Lyman Haynes Low, Samuel Hudson Chapman, Ed. Frossard, Joseph Hooper, Jos. Leroux, David Harlowe, Charles Taylor Tatman, Herbert E. Morey, and W. Kelsey Hall bound with appropriate issues, inconsistently counted as part of the pagination; lithographic plate of "The Proposed World's Fair Souvenir Half Dollar"; double-page lithographic table by Brudin of Chinese numerals; text illustrations; woodcut portrait of Dr. Geo. F. Heath in the text. Lacks portrait of P. Napoleon Breton; no printed paper covers included. Most issues trimmed to 19.5 by 13.5 cm from an original size of 20.5 by 14.5 cm. Volume II more closely trimmed, to approximately 17 by 13 cm. Trimming does not interfere with text. Bound with an untrimmed copy of Vol. VII (1894), complete in 12 numbers and 288 pages plus 4 plates.

    One of the true landmarks in American numismatic literature. The whereabouts of about a dozen sets of the first six volumes of The Numismatist are currently known. Originally, George Heath titled his little publication The American Numismatist, but after the first issue the name was shortened to The Numismatist, perhaps to avoid conflict with C.E. Leal's The American Numismatist, which had appeared two years before. Print runs of the first two volumes were small; as early as 1893, Heath no longer could supply certain issues. David Sklow has traced as many as two dozen sets through various public offerings, but the whereabouts of only 11 can be ascertained. A number of the "unlocated" listings likely record the appearance of sets duplicated in the known census; and, sadly, a few sets have probably perished. Sklow aptly closes his article: "There is one great, overwhelming fact concerning the magazine: the first six volumes are the most highly sought pieces of American numismatic literature. A library lacking these informative volumes just seems to fall short of greatness." This has been recognized for some time. In an article appearing in the May, 1941 issue of The Numismatist, Editor Frank G. Duffield wrote:

    "It is with considerable interest that we see that a set of the first six volumes of The Numismatist (or American Numismatist, as Volume 1, No. 1, was styled) catalogued in Mr. Fisher's sale of May 3rd. While it is generally conceded that the information to be obtained from these early numbers is not significant, the collectors' love of completeness and desire to have rare items, make the sale of this series of our predecessor in the [fiftieth] anniversary year of the Association an item of note. It is seldom realized how few complete sets of The Numismatist are available."

    The portrait of P. Napoleon Breton was also lacking from the Stack Family set and at least one other Volume VI seen, suggesting that it was not distributed with every copy. Several issues in Vols. 5 and 6 signed by collector Fred W. Porter. Binding is very worn, with both boards detached and the spine covering mostly lacking. Vol. VII chipped, but first six volumes are rather well-preserved and have no problems beyond the moderate trimming. Very good. Estimate $15,000.
    Ex: William F. Dunham; donated to the Art Institute of Chicago, Dec. 11, 1922 and subsequently withdrawn (with stamp indicating such on their bookplate); Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2018
    7th-10th Wednesday-Saturday
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    Truth Seeker: The Life of Eric P. Newman (softcover)
    A powerful and intimidating dealer of the 1960s, backed by important colleagues, was accused of selling fraudulent gold coins and ingots to unsuspecting numismatists. Who would go up against a man like that and, over the course of decades, prove the fraud? Who would expose a widely respected scholar as a thief, then doggedly pursue recovery of coins that the scholar had stolen from an embarrassed numismatic organization, all over the objections of influential collectors who had bought coins with clouded titles? Eric P. Newman would - and did. Reserve your copy today.
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