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    Eric P. Newman Correspondence Files:
    Kenneth Bressett

    Newman, Eric P. Correspondence with Kenneth Bressett. Approximately 300 pages, consisting of original letters to Eric P. Newman from Bressett and carbon copies of Newman's letters in return, 1954-2013, as well as various other materials described below. Overall condition is generally fine.

    The letters between Eric P. Newman and Ken Bressett nicely demonstrate the level of friendly cooperation often seen in our field. Newman first wrote Bressett on Nov. 9, 1954, asking about a Vermont copper in Bressett's possession that Newman wished to photograph for a project he was working on. As it happened, Bressett was himself working on a Vermont project, leading the two to exchange information on their respective endeavors. The early letters mostly focus on the Vermont and Machin's Mills coinage, as well as the problems Newman had encountered in doing his own coin photography, with Bressett offering tips and answering questions. Newman wrote a number of important articles and monographs in the early to mid-1950s, including his Coinage for Colonial Virginia and his "Vermont Numismatic Enigma" article in the ANS Centennial volume, both of which are discussed. Bressett's work on Vermont coinage was to be a book-length work co-authored by Walter Breen and F.C.C. Boyd, a volume that never saw publication (though Bressett later published a very important article on Vermonts in Studies on Money in Early America, edited by Newman with Richard Doty). The correspondence features much discussion of the coppers of the Confederation era, including early drafts of Bressett's emission sequences for the Vermont dies and even an attempt to apply Sheldon's basal value system to the Vermont varieties.

    Later letters cover a variety of topics. Bressett reports on Aug. 31, 1959, that "Dick Yeoman has asked me to go to work for him in Racine editing his books, etc. This will give me a chance to devote full time to numismatics, and perhaps I can really get back into the field and make some progress." The two men finally met in person at the 1961 ANA Convention in Atlanta, where they discussed the book project they had been working on: The Fantastic 1804 Dollar. (Most of the correspondence relating to that book project is not included in the present lot.) Other subjects covered include the marketing of the first edition of Early Paper Money of America ("I wanted your firm to make a nice profit on the book so why don't they try harder"), the difficulties of mass-marketing numismatic research ("For once, I wrote something that is not super-dull..."), and the results of the Garland v. Ryan arbitration ("No one has had the guts to publish it yet so far as we know").

    The friendship between Ken Bressett and Eric P. Newman continued throughout Newman's life, and the present group of letters documents this friendship and the shared enthusiasm of both men for their various research interests. This enthusiasm never faded for Newman, as these letters demonstrate, and it continues for Bressett.
    Estimate $5,000.
    Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2018
    7th-10th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 130

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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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