Included within are:
CATALOGUE OF THE CELEBRATED AND VALUABLE COLLECTION OF AMERICAN COINS AND MEDALS OF THE LATE CHARLES I. BUSHNELL, ESQ., OF NEW YORK. New York: Bangs & Co., June 20–24, 1882. 142, (2), 10, (2) pages; 3000 lots; 12 fine collotype plates with original tissue guards; prices realized list bound in.
CATALOGUE OF THE VERY LARGE AND WELL–KNOWN COLLECTION OF ANCIENT GREEK AND ROMAN, ENGLISH, FOREIGN AND AMERICAN COINS AND MEDALS OF THOMAS WARNER, ESQ., OF COHOCTON, STEUBEN CO., N.Y. COR. MEM. OF THE AM. NUMISMATIC SOCIETY OF NEW YORK CITY. New York: Bangs & Co., June 9–14, 1884. 192 pages; 3727 lots; 12 fine tinted collotype plates with original tissue guards; prices realized list bound in.
CATALOGUE OF THE LARGE AND VALUABLE COLLECTION OF ANCIENT, FOREIGN, ENGLISH AND AMERICAN COINS AND MEDALS OF THE LATE THOMAS CLENEAY, ESQ., OF CINCINNATI. Philadelphia: Davis & Harvey, December 9–13, 1890. 114 pages; 2777 lots; 12 fine tinted collotype plates with original tissue guards; prices realized list bound in.
CATALOGUE OF THE MAGNIFICENT COLLECTION OF COINS OF THE UNITED STATES FORMED BY THE LATE RICHARD B. WINSOR, ESQ., PROVIDENCE, R.I. Philadelphia: Davis & Harvey, December 16–17, 1895. (2), 93, (1) pages; 1353 lots; 10 fine tinted collotype plates with original tissue guards; prices realized list bound in.
Four catalogues, bound in one volume. Thick 4to [30.5 by 25 by 7.5 cm], superbly bound in contemporary full green crushed levant morocco; sides paneled in gilt; upper cover lettered in gilt; spine with five raised bands, five of the resulting panels incorporating triple gilt fillets featuring a gilt floral spray at all four corners, remaining compartment lettered in gilt; SAMUEL SHOEMAKER impressed in gilt at base of spine; gilt inner rules and intricate floral corner decorations; marbled doublures and flyleaves; silk headbands; all page edges gilt. Morocco binding has mellowed with age to mostly brown, with only a few signs of wear, most notably a small crack developing at the lower front joint, which has received some restoration; internally fine and crisp, with remarkably white pages and unspotted plates. An exceptional volume. Item #6267
A magnificent volume — the binding is extraordinary and the contents are nearly as new. One of the highlights of the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Library, as indeed it has been of every library whose shelves it has graced. These legendary four sale catalogues are rarely found in pristine condition, particularly the first two. All were issued only in paper covers—hardbound Chapman sales were a later innovation—and thus are inherently fragile. Unless promptly bound, soiling and wear was likely and, even when bound, foxing (especially on the plates) is often a problem. Hardly any copies were bound with gold leaf applied to all of the page edges, which seals the contents against soiling and also protects against other adverse atmospheric conditions likely to promote foxing or browning. A luxurious binding by its very nature requires special care and, over the years, the volume at hand was obviously accorded it. These four highly important American coin auction catalogues capture the essence of the Chapman Brothers’ dedication to numismatics and, with the present volume in hand, one is transported back a century, viewing them almost exactly as they were seen at the time. ¶ About Samuel Shoemaker, the man who commissioned this fabulous binding, little today is known beyond what can be gleaned through census records. The Chapman Brothers’ business documents, archived at the American Numismatic Society, preserve only one piece of correspondence between the siblings and Mr. Shoemaker. Written on November 21, 1903, the letter from Shoemaker simply reads: “Herewith I will enclose my check to your order for seventy 76/100 dollars, this being the balance due and my purchase of today.” While we could wish for something a little more revelatory, there are some clues to help us shed a little light on Shoemaker. Both his letterhead and envelope identify him as an “Operative Builder,” plying his trade at 5603 Haverford Avenue, in Philadelphia. The 1900–1930 censuses have listings for a Samuel Shoemaker, born in October 1870 and living in Philadelphia. He is consistently described as a builder, at times affiliated with a real estate office: this would appear to be our man. Shoemaker’s letter to the pair is dated by him in the Quaker style, “11th Mo., 23rd 1903,” instead of November 23, 1903. The Chapmans were also Quakers, and this could have provided a connection between them. According to the 1900 census, Shoemaker was a widower by age 29, at which time he was living with his 3-year-old daughter Florence. First married at age 22, he would go on to marry again by 1930; he had two more children from his second marriage. He died in 1950, aged 79, and is buried in a Quaker cemetery. ¶ Unfortunately, what we do not know is virtually anything at all about Shoemaker’s numismatic interests. He does not appear to have published anything on coins, nor consigned material to a sale. His name is not to be found in the records of the ANA or the ANS. The only indication that we have found that he was a collector at all is his presence on the Chapman Brothers’ mailing list, which records that he received copies of several sale catalogues issued between 1904 and 1906. A perusal of named copies of the Barker, Morris, McCabe, Lockwood, Wetmore and Smith catalogues may be able to shed additional light on this. While Samuel Shoemaker died in 1950, his second wife, Sarah, lived until 1965, and it seems likely that this volume remained in the family’s hands until its first appearance at auction in 1967. Ex Samuel Shoemaker Library; ex New Netherlands Coin Company Sale 59 (June 13–15, 1967), lot 131, at $560 hammer; ex Harry W. Bass, Jr. Library (Kolbe Sale 77, lot 106) at $14,000 hammer; ex Robert A. Schuman M.D. Library; ex Kolbe Sale 100 (June 3, 2006), lot 479 at $38,000 hammer; ex D. Brent Pogue Library.