Ancient Coins in Early American Auctions

David F. Fanning, Ancient Coins in Early American Auctions. 1869-1939. A Bibliography and Analysis of Early American Auction Catalogues with Photographically Printed Illustrations of Ancient Coins. Kolbe & Fanning, Gahanna 2020. 288pp., illustrated in color. Hardcover, 190 x 250mm. $75.
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Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers announced the publication of a new book by David F. Fanning. “Ancient Coins in Early American Auctions. 1869–1939” is a well-illustrated bibliography and analysis of American auction catalogues issued before the Second World War that feature photographically printed illustrations of ancient coins. Photographically illustrated numismatic auction catalogues made their first appearance in the United States in 1869. These plated catalogues have become vital tools in conducting provenance research. However, while many collectors and dealers in the ancient coin field are familiar with classic European auction catalogues, this level of familiarity is rarely extended to older American catalogues.

“Ancient Coins in Early American Auctions” provides a detailed listing of 96 catalogues, illustrating at least one plate from each of them, and providing historical and biographical context to allow a fuller understanding of the world of ancient coin collecting as it existed in the United States during this period. A statistical analysis of these catalogues follows, together with supplementary information relevant to provenance research. Fanning demonstrates throughout that these early American catalogues have more to offer the student of ancient coins than may be expected.


The book can be ordered directly through Kolbe & Fanning.

For the current auction catalogue or more information on the publisher, go to the Kolbe & Fanning website.