Currency:USD Category:Coins & Paper Money Start Price:175.00 USD Estimated At:300.00 - 300.00 USD
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This item SOLD at 2014 May 15 @ 13:15UTC-4 : AST/EDT
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Gilbert, Ebenezer. THE UNITED STATES HALF CENTS. FROM THE FIRST YEAR OF ISSUE, IN 1793, TO THE YEAR WHEN DISCONTINUED, 1857. ALL DATES AND VARIETIES DESCRIBED AND ILLUSTRATED. New York: Published by The Elder Numismatic Press, 1916. First edition, first issue. Small 4to, original russet cloth, gilt. (2), 43, (3) pages; 6 fine photographic plates. Fine. A fine copy of the first issue of this major work. Thomas Lindsay Elder was the father of more bibliographical puzzles than perhaps any other American numismatic publisher. Few if any of his conundrums are more Byzantine than the issuing sequence of the Gilbert work. While the text remains constant, the appearance of the plates varies widely. P. Scott Rubin did much to clarify the publication history in an article on the subject in the Spring 1992 issue of The Asylum. Rubin demonstrated that Elder used the original glass negatives prepared by Samuel H. Chapman (which are still extant) to have prints of the plates made in small batches over the years as needed. There appear to be two main types of original bindings: the reddish-brown or russet cloth found here and a similar green fabric. The plates in this example have a satin finish and are printed in sepia tones. A most desirable copy of a landmark book—the first comprehensive reference on the topic. It remained the standard work for over half a century. Comparing it with the large number of books written on large cents by the first quarter of the twentieth century convinces one that Walter Breen’s “Ugly Ducklings” and Roger Cohen’s “Little Half Sisters” are apt sobriquets. Clain-Stefanelli 12288. Davis 428.