Perhaps the Finest Deluxe French Cent Catalogue

Currency:USD Category:Coins & Paper Money Start Price:1,000.00 USD Estimated At:1,500.00 - 1,500.00 USD
Perhaps the Finest Deluxe French Cent Catalogue
1,300.00USDto r*****n+ (227.50) buyer's premium + applicable fees & taxes.
This item SOLD at 2015 Aug 22 @ 14:13UTC-4 : AST/EDT
A buyer’s premium of 17.5% will be added to the cost of all lots purchased. See shipping info and full terms.
Mehl, B. Max. THE CELEBRATED COLLECTION OF LARGE UNITED STATES CENTS FORMED BY DR. GEO. P. FRENCH, ROCHESTER, NEW YORK. MORE THAN EIGHT HUNDRED ALL DIFFERENT SPECIMENS WITH MANY UNIQUE VARIETIES NOT KNOWN IN ANY OTHER COLLECTIONS. ALL IN SUPERB STATE OF PRESERVATION. THE RECOGNIZED FINEST AND, AS A WHOLE, MOST COMPLETE COLLECTION OF ITS KIND EVERY FORMED. FOR SALE AT FIXED PRICES. PROPERTY OF AND CATALOGUED BY B. MAX MEHL, NUMISMATIST. Fort Worth, c. 1929-30. 4to [27.5 by 20 cm], original flexible brown full morocco, upper cover decorated and lettered in gilt; red-speckled page edges. 139, (1) pages; 823 listings; halftone text illustrations depicting large cents. Fine. The Deluxe Leatherbound Edition. Ex A.A. Grinnell, with his name stamped in gilt at the right base of the upper cover. Inscribed in black ink on the front flyleaf: "To Mr. A.A. Grinnell, with the highest regards of friendship, (signed) B. Max Mehl -- Fort Worth, May 8th 1930." When encountered, copies of this limited edition are generally in nice condition, but the example at hand is probably the finest of the half dozen or so we have ever encountered. With this well-produced work Mehl raised the importance of the fixed price catalogue to a new level, though not without considerable controversy. George H. Clapp, among others, was critical, writing "Have never seen a catalog with more false and/or misleading statements." It should be noted that Clapp and Mehl were hardly friends. Legend has it that Clapp once told Mehl that he was mendacious, and, apparently unaware of the word's meaning, Mehl thanked him! Nonetheless, the French catalogue, though overloaded with the usual Mehl hyperbole and malapropisms, is still important to large cent collectors. At the time, sales from the catalogue were less than a commercial triumph, though it featured wonderful large cents. Many of the coins appeared years later in various Mehl sales and others changed hands for considerably less than the original asking prices. Doubtless, the beginning of the Depression was not a good time to sell coins. On balance, however, with this attractive production Mehl raised the importance of the fixed price catalogue to a new level and helped to further broaden interest in this staple of American numismatics. Despite this fine gesture on Mehl's part, all was subsequently not "sweetness and light" with Albert Grinnell. Writing in 1943 to James Macallister, shortly after selling Grinnell's coin collection and paper money duplicates, Mehl notes: "Am sure you'll be interested to know that the Grinnell sale went over very nicely, -- far better than I had hoped. The coins sold at what I consider right now, at almost crazy prices; just about full catalog and much over... Of course, I doubt very much whether the owner will be satisfied, as I doubt if the Almighty himself could please him." Indeed, when Grinnell's unparalleled paper money was offered in a series of landmark auctions from 1944 to 1946, Barney Bluestone was chosen to handle the sales. Ex Kolbe Sale 107, lot 89. Ex Dave Steine library.