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    John Beale Bordley's Extremely Rare
    1789 Essay on American Coinage Standards

    B(ordley, John Beale). On Monies, Coins, Weights, and Measures, Proposed for the United States of America. Philadelphia: Printed by Daniel Humphreys, in Front-street, near the Drawbridge, 1789. (2), 25, (1) pages; woodcut of a half bushel barrel at the base of page 23. [bound with] B(ordley, John Beale). A Supplement to the Essay on Monies, &c. (Philadelphia, 1790). 7, (1) pages. Two works, bound as one. 8vo, self-covered. Removed from previous binding. Moderate marginal staining in the supplement. Very good.

    Virtually unknown in modern times until it was reprinted in an appendix of Philip L. Mossman's Money of the American Colonies and Confederation, this extremely rare publication was known to Frederick Mayers, author of "The Literature of American Numismatics," published in Norton's Literary Letter in 1859, and generally regarded as the first overview of American numismatic publications. Mayers wrote, "At the time of the adoption of the Federal Constitution, Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Hamilton, Rob't Morris, and other of our Revolutionary heroes, took a deep interest in the affairs of the national coinage, and ... a resumé of these and other propositions was given in a small pamphlet published in 1789, entitled 'Monies, Coins, Weights, and Measures proposed for the United States, &c.'" Bordley's essay advocates a decimal system for American coins: "The division of monies of account and coin into tenths is wonderfully convenient," he writes. He goes on to propose a "dollar of 357 grains fine, and 29 grains of alloy" so that it would be equal in value to a "standard Spanish dollar" and "50d. sterling." Sabin 57275 & 93803. This early American rarity was displayed in the Newman Money Museum and retains its exhibition label. Estimate $750.
    Ex: George F. Kolbe (12/1991); Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.


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

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2018
    7th-10th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 118

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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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