New Rochelle: New Rochelle Commemorative Coin Committee, 1939. 8vo, original blue cloth lettered in silver. (8), 123, (1) pages; 13 plates. Minor endpaper discoloration, as usually seen; else fine. Item #5363
One of only 200 copies printed in Caslon type on Linweave Rag Book paper at Pell Press. The author was the Executive Secretary of the Coin Committee and she wrote this work “in the hope that it may serve as a signpost to future Celebration Committees in planning an event such as was celebrated in 1938.” It includes portraits of the main participants, including the designer Gertrude Lathrop and her “Fatt Calfe” model (preparing to plant a smooch on Gertrude’s cheek). It even features a poem by the author (“Beautiful coin, so silvery white”). Humorous aspects aside, this work remains the most detailed account ever written surrounding the issuance of a commemorative half dollar. Even the poem is instructive. In their work on commemoratives, Swiatek and Breen wrote: “Many people believe that the figure in the late 17th century is meant for John Pell, but this is unconfirmed.” Mrs. Skipton rhapsodizes: “On your reverse you bear the Lily-of-France / While on obverse once more the ‘fatt calfe’ doth prance / And Lord Pell in a costume befitting the day / Receives him as ‘quit rent’--so our annals do say.” Further on she writes: “To protect the collector, when we found our profits supplied an ample sum for our Celebration purposes with New Rochelle’s demands for the coins filled, we returned to the Mint for melting a quantity of the coins; as soon as the Celebration was over the unsold balance was at once returned for melting, this upholding the price and keeping faith with the collector.”.