American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society



An envelope containing a 1902 letter from M.J. Friedman of Chicago to S.H. & H. Chapman

Henry and S.H. Chapman business correspondence, auction catalogs, and other material, 1869-1949
17.5 cubic feet (19 boxes)

Biographical note
Brothers Henry Chapman (1859-1935) and S.H. (Samuel Hudson) Chapman (1857-1931) of Philadelphia began collecting stamps and other items by the age of ten. Educated in the Friends School, they went on to work for the coin dealer John W. Haseltine while still in their teens and eventually opened their own business, S.H.&H. Chapman, in 1878. Dividing responsibilities, S.H. handled ancient Greek and Roman coins and Henry specialized in coins of the world after 1066. The company established its reputation with the sale of the Charles Bushnell Collection in 1882, and from 1879 to 1906 it conducted eighty-three auction sales. S.H. was an accomplished photographer, and the company’s catalogs were noted for their photographic plates. Following a disagreement, the brothers dissolved their business partnership in 1906, with S.H. continuing to hold auctions on his own until 1924 and Henry continuing until 1932. Henry’s wife, Helen, carried on the business under his name after his death in 1935 until 1948. Henry produced the landmark catalog for the record-setting John Story Jenks sale of December 7-17, 1921. Both brothers were members of the American Numismatic Society, with S.H. joining in 1906 and Henry in 1908.

Collection
The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence mostly regarding bids, payments, lists of coins sent on approval, and other matters having to do with the buying and selling of coins, including about twelve cubic feet of letters received by the firm S.H. & H. Chapman, still folded and in envelopes, mostly arranged alphabetically by the correspondent’s last name and dating primarily from 1902 to 1904, but with some from as early as 1886 and as late as 1916; four letterpress copybooks containing copies of correspondence sent (1883-1890); four file folders of later letters (1927-1930); and three file folders of correspondence of Henry Chapman’s business dating from the time after his death when his wife Helen was running the company (1943-1949). Also includes fifteen Henry and S.H. Chapman auction catalogs, some annotated and used as bid books (1879-1932); Henry Chapman’s “Black Book,” or “Men Reported Bad,” which lists names and addresses of collectors whose names had been reported to him by other dealers as poor risks (circa 1904-1906); materials relating to the December 1921 John Story Jenks sale catalog, including annotated page proofs, an annotated printed catalog, and manuscript pages; a manuscript for a catalog for a sale from October 4, 1919; six glass plate negatives created by S.H. and used to produce the photographs for Ebenezer Gilbert’s book The United States Half Cents (1916); a notebook labeled “My Coins & Medals” with an inventory of world coins (1869); Henry Chapman’s school notebook labeled “Latin” with notes on Roman history (1873); Mrs. Chapman’s household account book (1935-1946); a receipt book (1873-1896); a composition notebook labeled “Henry Chapman, Income Tax” (1935-1945); a ledger listing transactions with individuals and organizations (1919-1930); empty annotated envelopes from the Confederate States of America in which were sent bank notes from 1861 to 1863; a set of what appears to be maps of early eighteenth century regions of various parts of the world, with hand-colored borders; and four issues of Extracts from the Minutes of the Yearly Meeting of Friends held in Philadelphia (1881, 1885, 1886, 1907).

Container list

Boxes 1-12 contain letters received by Henry and S.H. (Samuel Hudson) Chapman, still folded and in envelopes, arranged alphabetically by correspondent’s last name. Most date from 1902 to 1904, but some are from as early as 1886 and as late as 1915.

Box 1 A-BREN
Box 2 BRET-COU
Box 3 CRI-EZ
Box 4 F-G(1)
Box 5 G(2)-J(1)
Box 6 J(2)-M(1)
Box 7 M(2)
Box 8 N-R(1)
Box 9 R(2)-S(1)
Box 10 S(2)-V
Box 11 W

Box 12

1. Y-Z correspondence
2. Miscellaneous correspondence, 8 folders (4 folders: 1890-1905, 1916, also contains empty annotated envelopes from the Confederate States of America in which were sent bank notes from 1861-1863; 4 folders: Henry Chapman, 1927, 1930)
3. Four issues of Extracts from the Minutes of the Yearly Meeting of Friends held in Philadelphia (1881, 1885, 1886, 1907)
4. Henry Chapman company correspondence, 1943-1949, mostly regarding payments and lists of coins sent on approval. The company was being run by his wife following his death in 1935.

Box 13

Four letterpress copybooks (1883-1890) containing copies of correspondence sent, mostly regarding bids, payments, and lists of coins sent on approval.

1. 1883
2. 1884-1885
3. 1885-1886
4. 1889-1890

Box 14

Fifteen Henry and S.H. Chapman catalogs, some annotated (1882-1914).

1. 1882
2. 1882
3. 1884
4. 1890
5. 1895
6. 1904
7. 1906
8. 1907
9. 1909
10. 1909
11. 1909
12. 1911
13. 1911
14. 1914
15. 1914

Box 15

Henry and S.H. Chapman catalogs, mostly annotated.

1. 1912 – prices realized, George H. Earle collection
2. 1920
3. 1922
4. 1921 – Annotated printed copy of the Chapman catalog for the John Story Jenks sale (648 pages)
5. 1932
6. plate of coin photographs (multiple copies)
7. Supplement to the Bushnell Catalogue (multiple copies)

Box 16

1. Notebook labeled “My Coins & Medals” with an inventory of world coins (1869)
2. Henry Chapman’s school notebook labeled “Latin” with notes on Roman history (1873)
3. Mrs. Chapman’s household account book (1935-1946)
4. Receipt book (1873-1896)
5. Composition notebook labeled “Henry Chapman, Income Tax” (1935-1945)
6. Composition notebook, “Income Tax” (1946?-1947)
7. Ledger listing transactions with individuals and organizations (1919-1930)
8. Annotated catalogs used as bid books by Henry Chapman (1878-1899, 1917)
9. A set of what appears to be maps of early eighteenth century regions of various parts of the world, with hand-colored borders.
10.Henry Chapman’s “Blacklist,” or “Men Reported Bad” (circa 1904-1906)

Box 17

1. Six glass plate negatives used to produce the plates of coin photographs used in Ebenezer Gilbert’s book The United States Half Cents (1916)
2. Manuscripts for the production of catalogs, including a sale from October 4, 1919, and possibly the John Story Jenks sale held on December 7-17, 1921

Box 18

Manuscript of the Chapman catalog for the John Story Jenks sale held on December 7-17, 1921.

Box 19

Annotated page proofs of the Chapman catalog for the John Story Jenks sale held on December 7, 1921.

Archival Collections