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The American Numismatical Manual Of The Currency Or Money Of The Aborigines, And Colonial, State, And United States Coins. With Historical And Descriptive Notices Of Each Coin Or Series


Book Summary

Dickeson, Montroville Wilson. THE AMERICAN NUMISMATICAL MANUAL OF THE CURRENCY OR MONEY OF THE ABORIGINES, AND COLONIAL, STATE, AND UNITED STATES COINS. WITH HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE NOTICES OF EACH COIN OR SERIES. Philadelphia, 1859. First edition. 4to, later tan cloth, original gilt impression of an 1849 double eagle trimmed and inset on the upper cover; brown cloth spine label, gilt. x, (11)-256 pages; handsome lithographic portrait of the author printed in two colors; frontispiece of the Libertas Americana medal; text illustrations; 19 attractive lithographic plates of coins and currency printed in colors and metallic tints. Frontispiece portrait foxed, as usual; occasional foxing throughout, though coins plates are generally free of it. Binding fine, contents very good. The first work covering the entire range of American numismatics, Dickeson's book is a landmark of American numismatic history. By nature a popularizer and showman, he toured the country for several years in the early 1850s lecturing on North American archeology and excavating Indian mounds. His Numismatical Manual (the al was dropped after the first edition) was also clearly intended to reach a mass market. Handsome in format and visual presentation, it was distributed by a major publisher of the day and written in an authoritative manner. Dickeson even envisaged, "if it should be approved, to prepare an edition for the use of schools." Until the appearance of Breen's magnum opus in 1988, it remained the only comprehensive work on American numismatics ever published.
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