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    Sprengel's Rare 1784 History of the Revolution,
    Depicting the Continental Currency Dollar

    Sprengel, Matthias Christian. Allgemeines historisches Taschenbuch, oder, Abriss der merkwu¨rdigsten neuen Welt-Begebenheiten: enthaltend fu¨r 1784 die Geschichte der Revolution von Nord-America. Berlin: Bey Haude und Spener, (1784). Second edition, with the author's initials corrected on the title page and the date 1784 added to the bases of three plates. 12mo, original paper covers imitative of vellum; plain spine. (8), 182, (2) pages; finely engraved allegorical frontispiece; exceptional hand-tinted folding map of the North American colonies by Daniel Friedrich Sotzmann based on earlier work by William Faden; 12 finely engraved plates by artist Daniel Chodowiecki, engraved by Daniel Berger, depicting events from the Revolutionary War bound in throughout; finely engraved plate by Berger depicting five Revolutionary War figures; an extraordinary double-plate by Berger depicting both the Libertas Americana medal and the Continental Currency dollar; and three vividly hand-tinted plates depicting the American flag and pennant, Gen. Washington with a guard, and a sharpshooter and infantryman.

    The Sprengel work has been recognized for some time for including a very early depiction of both the Libertas Americana medal and the Continental Currency dollar. Eric P. Newman had drawn the attention of the numismatic community to the volume in 1984, discussing it in the Colonial Newsletter. More recently, Eric P. Newman and Maureen Levine, in an outstanding article on early references to the Continental Currency pieces published in the July 2014 edition of The Numismatist, demonstrated that a slightly different rendition of this image was first used in Sprengel's Historisch-genealogischer Calender published the year before, in 1783.

    This small volume, printed in Berlin and entirely in German, manages not only to be a charming and interesting history of the just-concluded Revolutionary War, but is also of substantial importance in the ongoing discussions and debates about the nature of the Continental Currency dollars. Any contemporary reference to these pieces becomes important from the simple fact that few such references exist. When the reference also includes a highly skillful rendering of not only the Continental Currency dollar but the Libertas Americana medal as well, it rightfully takes its place as among the most significant early books related to the numismatics of this country. This copy is well-preserved, with some moderate wear to the spine and only minimal browning. Very good or better.
    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: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 337

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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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