Henry and S.H. Chapman business correspondence, auction catalogs, and other material, 1869 - 1949

Descriptive Summary

Repository
American Numismatic Society
Extent
17.5 cubic feet (19 boxes)
Language
English
Abstract
Correspondence, mostly regarding bids, payments, lists of coins sent on approval, and other matters having to do with the buying and selling of coins, along with annotated auction catalogs, notebooks, and glass plate negatives.

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


Administrative Information

Access

Collection open to all researchers.

Preferred Citation

Henry and S.H. Chapman business correspondence, auction catalogs, and other material, 1869-1949, Archives, American Numismatic Society.

Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may apply. Permission to publish or reproduce must be secured from the American Numismatic Society.

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.

Scope and Content Note

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).

Related Entities

Collection Hierarchy

  • Boxes 1-12

    Contents:

    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)

    Note:

    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 12

    Contents:

    (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).

  • Box 13

    Contents:

    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

    Contents:

    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

    Contents:

    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 Catalog (multiple copies).

  • Box 16

    Contents:

    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); Receipt book (1873-1896); Composition notebook labeled “Henry Chapman, Income Tax” (1935-1945); Composition notebook, “Income Tax” (1946?-1947); Ledger listing transactions with individuals and organizations (1919-1930); Annotated catalogs used as bid books by Henry Chapman (1878-1899, 1917); A set of what appears to be maps of early eighteenth century regions of various parts of the world, with hand-colored borders; Henry Chapman’s “Blacklist,” or “Men Reported Bad” (circa 1904-1906).

  • Box 17

    Contents:

    Six glass plate negatives used to produce the plates of coin photographs used in Ebenezer Gilbert’s book The United States Half Cents (1916); 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

    Contents:

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

  • Box 19

    Contents:

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