Our Numismatic Heritage

Presented for sale by Phil Barber, Cambridge, Mass. 02139 Telephone (617) 492-4653
I am pleased to present here a selection of early newspapers and magazines with significant content relating to coins, coinage, or coin collecting. I have had a personal interest in coin collecting since 1960 when as a fourth grader I heard that some new pennnies with a small date might be worth as much as a dime. It is absoutely fascinating to read about coins when they were simply the day's medium of excchange, that are now very valuable as colector's pieces.

Money was of course quite as interesting to our ancestors as it is to us today. Its production was noticed in older newspapers generally as part of a larger feature, perhaps on the state of the economy, or the functioning of the U.S. Treasury or its subsidiary the U.S. Mint, and later the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Sometimes papers would carry features of the discovery of a trove of old coins, or of some amazing new record price paid by a colector for a great rarity, or the loss at sea of a shipment of coins or bullion. There were also occasional articles on new coin deisgns and denominations as they appeared over the course of our long history. I have also included here accounts of gold and silver rushes and mining, and similarly related topics.

All of these newspapers are far rarer than many of the coins they report. No one, after all, threw out a double eagle after using it once, while the overwhelming majority of the original readers of these newspapers simply discarded them after reading. Those few that survive topday are indeed prized collectibles that will help enrich any numismatist's understanding and appreccciation of his or her collection. They can make prize-winnning display material at shows and exhibitions as well.

About The Catalog Listings

All items in this catalog are unconditionally guaranteed to be genuine and accurately described. Any item may be returned within seven days of receipt for a full refund. No reason for return is ever required.They are in fine used condition and are complete with all pages as issued. All papers are free of damage or objectionable defects. We are sure you will be delighted with their exceptional state of preservation. We purchase only the finest condition newspapers that can be found to offer to our valued friends and customers.

These are the finest quality original antique newspapers and magazines, that you might find elsewhere priced at much greater cost. It has always been my policy to present my catalog items at "wholesale to the public" prices. Therefore all catalog items and quoted prices are net, and are not subject to further discount, either for dealers or in consideration of quantity orders. It is our policy to price our items based on what we believe to be their fair market value. I do not set prices at absurdly inflated levels to take advantage of novices or "investors"; nor do employ the common ploy of starting with an unrealistically high price in order to "negotiate" a phony discount later. As over a third of our catalog orders are from dealers buying for resale, at our stated prices, we have every confidence that this policy maintains an ethical standard of integrity and fairness to all.

Newspapers are full folio size unless described as quarto (abbreviated 4to) or octavo (8vo), which are respectively smaller in format. Most newspapers have been removed from bound volumes and may exhibit characteristic minor spine weakness or separation without significant paper loss. Small octavo magazines are generally disbound from annual volumes and lack wraps unless otherwise stated, as these were very rarely preserved in the bound runs. Illustration plates are lacking unless described as present in the description, as most were framed by the original subscribers. Illustrations are provided of a number of items (more will be added), depicting as much of them as can be shown with my 8 1/2" x 11" scanner. To access the pictures, click on the highlighted link that follows the catalog listing. When done viewing, select the "Back" button in your browser to return to this page.

Each catalog entry is briefly described for its general appearance, historical significance, and content. Every one contains hours of additional historic reading and insights into the world preserved on its pages, much more than I could find the space to describe here.

I pride myself on the quality and accuracy of my catalog descriptions, and strive to provide all the information needed to enable you to make an informed selection. Please consult my collector information pages and glossary of terms page linked below, if you are not sure what the descriptions mean. Your comments are always welcome, as are your inquiries, if you have questions about these historic collectibles. We value our customers, and appreciate the confidence you place in us when ordering from our on line catalogs. We strive to merit your patronage and to enrich your collecting experience through accurate, knowledgeable descriptions, honest pricing, courteous service, and timely order filling. Enjoy your browsing!

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How to Order from This Catalog

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Mr. Jefferson Defines Our New Coinage
E6-6052. [SINGLE ISSUE] THE AMERICAN MUSEUM or UNIVERSAL MAGAZINE, September, 1790. [Complete issue of 48+8+10+4+8 pages, octavo size, published at Philadelphia, by Carey & Stewart]
Published in its entirety in this historic issues, and signed in type THOMAS JEFFERSON is the great patriot and current Secretary of State's "Report to obtain uniformity in measures, weights, and coins..." He discusses at length the importance to trade of standard weights and measures, and applies the full force of his genius to the arguments for a natural basis of such a system. Of great interest to numismatists is the final section of the report in which Jefferson defines the standard monetary unit of the United States as a "dollar, or unit" of 376 troy grains of fine silver, with an 8% alloy to improve its wearing capability in circulation. Also in this issue, report of the great ceremonies in Philadelphia, just now become the nation's capital, on the treaty of peace and friendship with the Creek Indians. Letters from Europe tell of the sadness which greeted the news of the great Ben Franklin's recent death. Lengthy on Philadelphia's statistics as the city grows in commercial importance. Interesting essay on raising revenues through import duties, the sole source of income of the brand new federal government until the Civil War. Letter of Franklin's is published on the death of an unfortunate struck by lightning. More, excellent issue, complete with all serial parts.
Condition of this issue is choice bright very fine, in later paper wraps. . . . 125.00

Detailed Frontpage Announcement of the First Gobrecht Silver Dollars!
G1-1647. [SINGLE ISSUE] NILES WEEKLY REGISTER, December 17, 1836. [Complete issue of 16 pages, quarto size, published at Baltimore, Maryland, by William Ogden Niles]
This great issue features a detailed page one announcement of the new silver dollar, "the first coined at the mint since 1805." It includes a full description of the brand-new Seated Liberty obverse designed by Sully and engraved by Gobrecht, while will dominate U.S. silver coinage for the next 56 years. The eagle flying in a field of 22 stars, each representing a state, "the entrance of Michigan, it seems, anticipated" is here attributed to the artists Titian Peale. Great numismatic display issue, one of the best of the century. Only one thousand of the new dollars were minted; today they are classic American rarities much sought by collectors. Inside, full Annual report of the U.S. Treasury Department, with a good section on the mint's operations, state of the new circulating gold coins, and more. Also Nicholas Biddle, President of the Bank of the U.S., on the evils of paper currency, in this era of "Hard Times" and economic depression. Much more in this fine newsy issue.
Condition of this issue is choice bright very fine . . . 75.00

First Glimpse of the Small Cent and the First Harper's Mention of Coin Collecting!
G1-1675. [SINGLE ISSUE]. Harper's Weekly, February 7, 1857. [Complete issue of 16 pages, large quarto size, published at New York, by the Harper Brothers]
A life-size illustration of the pattern 1856-dated Flying Eagle Cent graces a good article entitled "Not A Red Cent" on the new copper nickel coin with a nostalgic farewell to the old, smelly, dirty and impractical large cent. It had been nicknamed "red" because its first issue was struck in almost pure copper and was a dazzling red when fresh from the mint. Also present an account of early coin collectors, some of whom are eccentric enough to give "its weight in gold" for certain old coppers. Classic numismatica. Also a two-page illustrated visit to China and more in this Vol. I No.7 issue of the great classic. (Extra postage 45)
Condition is bright fine with a splash of light foxing . . . 35.00

The First Numismatic Cartoons in the American Press!
G2-2033. [SINGLE ISSUE]. HARPER'S WEEKLY, February 21, 1857. [Complete issue of 16 pages, large quarto size, published at New York]
"Brother Jonathan's New Baby" is the title of a splendid backpage cartoon that shows Miss Liberty cradling the new Flying Eagle Small Cent, while the old Large Cent (depicted as a child with the wreathed reverse of the old coin in place of her head) weeps inconsolably. Great history for the coin collector, plus another cartoon "The Spanish American Difficulty" shows a U.S. Silver Dollar giving the boot to the old Spanish Milled Dollar, for the same Act of Congress that authorizes the Small Cent also demonetized Spanish silver, for finally the U.S. Mint was able to produce enough coin to supply demand. Good feature on U.S. intervention in Nicaragua, people reputed to be over 100 years of age (and how much they drink!). The "Revolution in Peru" is covered in a two page spread with 8 woodcuts of the battles and places. Lots more.
Nice fine condition. . . . 50.00

A Fine Oversized Tax Stamp
G2-2087. [TAX STAMP]. DISTILLERY WAREHOUSE STAMP, 1878. . 9" x 3" size, printed at Bureau of Engraving & Printing Washington D.C.
Issued by the Internal Revenue Department, this oversized tax stamp recognizes the duty payment per cask of distilled spirits. A fine portrait of "Old Rough and Ready", President Zachary Taylor graces this uncommon Revenue Stamp. Engraved and serially numbered by the same facility that produced the nation's currency.
Nice fine condition, unissued, with three punch mark cancellations, as all extant specimens possess. . . . 7.50

G2-2089. [U.S. Tax Stamp]. U.S. Internal Revenue Stamp for Special Tax, $25.00 Retail Liquor Dealer, Tax for one year, 1870 - 1879.
At 14" x 7", including monthly coupons and stub, these are the largest stamps ever printed for taxes in the U.S. They are ornately engraved by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, with serial numbers and Treasury Seal identical to those used on the currency of the era, on very similar security paper. Most uncommon and quite displayable.
New, never issued, punch-canceled, as are all known survivors . . 9.95

Loss of the Treasure Ship Central America
GA-0015. [SINGLE ISSUE] HARPER'S WEEKLY, September 26, 1857. [Complete issue of 16 pages, large quarto size, published at New York, by Harper Brothers & Co.]
This issue contains a detailed two-column account of the wreck of the steamship Central America, caught in a hurricane off the Carolina coast. Carrying tons of gold bars and newly-minted coins from California, she took 426 souls to the bottom with her. This report gives a gripping moment by moment account of the loss, from survivors' testimony. Editorial on the tragedy in wonderful gushing era prose, parses the brave captain and crew, bemoans man's smallness in the face of nature's might. The ship's golden cargo was slavaged some twenty years ago and has fetched in the billions on the collector market. Also in the issue a superb doublepage woodcut of the newest ocean-going steamer of the renowned Collins Line, the Adriatic. At 354 feet in length she was the largest vessel ever launched in the U.S. A visit to Palestine, then a province of the Ottoman Empire, includes views at Galilee. Grisly fullpage woodcut shows Indian rebels strapped to cannons, to be blown to pieces by vengeful Englishmen enraged by their failed rebellion.
Condition of this issue is nice clean very fine, carefully removed from a bound annual volume. . . . 35.00

A Visit to the United States Mint at Philadelphia
G4-0085. [SINGLE ISSUE] GLEASON'S PICTORIAL, July 17, 1852. [Complete issue of 16 pages, large quarto size, published at Boston, Mass., by Frederick Gleason]
Six great woodcut engravings illustrate this first article in the weekly news press of the operations of the U.S. mint at Philadelphia. We see a fine exterior view of the facility, the scenes in the press rooms and milling rooms, the main steam engine that powers the operation and a fine news steam coin press, as well as a view of the "Adjusting Room" where dozens of seated young ladies weigh each coin to be sure it is correct. The accompanying article tells the story of the mint and its progress. Great numismatica! Also in the issue a two-page spread of vies of Niagara Falls and more pictures and articles. .
Condition of this issue is fine, very light edge wear in two blank margin-ends, not detracting at all. (extra postage .45). . . 75.00

A Visit to the Royal Mint
GB-0003. PENNY MAGAZINE MONTHLY SUPPLEMENT, February 28, 1838. [Complete issue of 8 pages, quarto size, published at London, England] A fine engraving of the Tower Mint (see my scan) highlights this excellent issue of the fame weekly magazine, the earliest forerunner of the weekly illustrated press. The accompanying article tells of the new facility and its modern appointments. Nice numismatic history.Also in this article a feature on the detrimental eefcts of tight coresets on women's skeletal systems, with illustration, and more. Nice fine, from a volume. . . 9.95   View Detail Scan

Finding A Medieval Treasure!
GB-0030. [SINGLE ISSUE]. THE PENNY MAGAZINE, November 01, 1834. [Complete issue of 8 pages, quarto size, published at London, by the S.D.U.K.]
Great lengthy article tells of the discovery of the Tutbery Treasure, a huge stash of silver coins hidden there by the Earl of Derby in his ill-fated rebellion against the King in 1322. Two engravings show the mass of coin fused together as it was found, and a sliver penny of King Edward. Delightful numismatic history
Condition is bright clean VF . . . 8.50

I hope you have enjoyed this catalog, and have found its contents useful and informative. Updates will follow as new finds and time dictate. Please feel free to e-mail your questions and comments to my address below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Contents ©:2016 Phil Barber.