1786. 8vo, attractively bound in recent brown antiqued half calf, gilt, with hand-marbled paper sides; spine with four raised bands, ruled in gilt; two black leather spine labels, gilt; hand-marbled endpapers. (531)–1148, (16) pages, including the Supplement. 10 finely engraved plates, 5 of them folding; 1 fine engraved folding map. Two plates depict a wide variety of coins and medals including a 1785 Nova Constellatio copper, the 1747 Lord Anson medal, a coin of Germanicus, 17th-century British tokens, coins of Cromwell and Elizabeth, and several others. Old library stamp on title page, with thinning where label removed; a bit trimmed, but well-preserved and in a handsome new binding. Item #5498
Features an illustration depicting both sides of a 1785-dated Nova Constellatio copper in the October issue, which includes a brief article signed by “W.B.” (page 868) discussing these recently minted pieces. Described as “a halfpenny lately struck by the United States of America,” the coins are carefully described, though no mention that they were British products of Birmingham is made. Indeed, it is assumed by the unnamed writer that they are U.S. federal issues. Very few instances are known of 18th-century American coins being depicted in contemporary printed illustrations, making this a very desirable accompaniment to one of the actual coins. The Gentleman’s Magazine was the brainchild of Edward Cave (1691–1754), who coined the term “magazine” for a monthly periodical and published this highly successful publication that was known for its wide-ranging coverage of topics an educated audience might find interesting. The Magazine was well-illustrated with high-quality engraved plates, which not infrequently depicted coins. Several of the other plates in this volume depict coins, mostly British pieces.