American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society

Lots of Lots: Auction Catalogs in the ANS Library
October 22, 2011 - October, 2012


More than 20,000 auction catalogs can be found in the ANS Library collections. The sheer size of this grouping is testament to their importance and, in fact, they are one of the most frequently consulted items. Aside from containing important information about the items in the sale, one reason these auction catalogs are so valuable and useful is that many contain contemporary handwriting that records the prices realized as well as the name of the buyer. We see this in the earliest example in the collections, the Harley catalog from 1742. Auction catalogs help with die studies, tracing provenance and realized prices, rarity, and more. They also serve as a glimpse at coin collecting activity of the previous centuries and assist with identifying patterns of connoisseurship, locally and nationally, within the history of coin collecting and history. This exhibit is a very broad introduction to coin catalogs and dealers. The items on display illustrate some historically important auction dealers as well as the important collections that were being offered for sale.

[Harley, Edward].
A Catalogue of the Collection of the Right Honourable Edward Earl of Oxford deceas’d:? Consisting of several Capital Pictures by the most Eminent Italian, French, and Flemish Masters, great Variety of Greek and Roman Antiquities in Urns, Edicts, Inscriptions, &c. as also of Busto’s and Bronzes; together with several very scarce Books of Prints and Drawings; particularly of the most famous Altars, Vestments, Chalices, &c. by J. Paulo Panini and others; collected by the alte Mr. Talman; the King of France’s Cabinet complete; the Heads of the most eminent Men in Europe in 30 Volumes; with divers other valuable Curiosities out of the Arundel Collection: Which will be sold by Auction, by Mr. Cock, At his House in the Great Piazza, Covent-Garden, on Monday the 8th of March, 1741-2, and the five following Days…

	[bound & issued with]:

(---). A Catalogue of Greek, Roman and English Coins, Medallions and Medals, of the Right Honourable Edward Earl of Oxford, deceas’d, Which will be Sold by Auction, By Mr. Cock, At his House in the Great Piazza, Covent-Garden, On Thursday March the 18th, 1741-2, and the Five following Days. 28, 33-50 pp. Large quarto, t.e.g., others uncut. [London: 1742].
Purchase, 2010

Other items in this exhibition include:

-- Van Damme, Pierre. Catalogue de la bibliothèque et du cabinet de médailles, antiques et modernes, ainsi que de quelques pierres gravées, antiquités, &c. délaissés par m. pierre van damme.\\ Amsterdam, 1807. Sale dates : 21 Mars 1808 et jours suivants.

-- Bangs, Brother & Co. February 15, 1856. ''To Coin Collectors and Antiquarians! Catalogue of a large collection of exceedingly Rare and Valuable Coins, Medals, and Medallions,… Broadside auction catalog. 12”x18”.''
Preservation funding provided by Dan Hamelberg

-- Mason & Co., No. 434 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA., Dealers in Coins, Medals, Postage Stamps, Autographs, Old Books, Relics, Curiosities, &C. Publishers of Coin and Stamp Collectors’ Magazine, $1.00 A Year. And Semi-Annual Coin Priced Catalogue, 25C. Highest Prices Paid for Coins, Medals, Stamps, Autographs, &C. All Letters of Inquiry Must Contain a Stamp for Reply. Business Card. 6 x 9.5 cm
Gift of the Stack Family, 2010

-- Cogan, Edward. June 23, 1869. Catalogue of Coins and Medals, the Property of Mortimer Livingston Mackenzie, Esq. Auction catalog. 759 lots, 5 plates.

-- Chapman, Henry. June 25, 1907. ''Catalogue of the Celebrated Collection of United States and Foreign Coins of the Late Matthew Adams Stickney, Esq. Salem, Massachusetts. Comprising one of the Greatest Collections Ever So

-- Dr. Jacob Hirsch (Munich) XXI. November 16, 1908. Sammlung Consul Eduard Friedrich Weber, Hamburg. Erste Abteilung: Griechische Münzen. Auction catalog. 4747 lots, 61 plates. Sale total 256,220.25 Marks.

-- Munzgalerie Basel (Basel) ; Kolbe, George Frederick (Crestline, CA). February 25 – 26, 1987 Eine Bedeutende Numismatische Bibliothek / An Important Numismatic Library. Auction catalog. 2935 lots, 1 plate.

-- Stack’s, New York. Auction catalogs, October 14, 2003 – October 16, 2007 John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, Part 1 - 21

-- Adams, John W. United States numismatic literature. nineteenth century auction catalogs / Vol. 1 (1982). United States numismatic literature. twentieth century auction catalog, Vol. 2 (1990). Crestline, CA: George Frederick Kolbe Publications.

-- Spring, John. 2009. Ancient coin auction catalogues, 1880-1980. London: Spink.