Boston: Heath, 1864. First edition, 14th printing. Newman 1-P-14(b). 16mo, original blindstamped brown cloth; front cover lettered in gilt. 32 pages; 10 engraved plates of bank note design elements, with original tissue guards, interspersed in the text, with plate 6 serving as a frontispiece, plate 4 printed in red ink, plate 8 printed in green ink, an unnumbered plate being an engraved folding Heath bank note facsimile, and a final unnumbered plate being a folding facsimile of a counterfeit $5 Bank of Orleans note taken from captured engraved plates. 1866-dated ownership inscription on opening blank. Very small tear to cloth at upper front joint. Very good or better. Item #6338
A desirable printing of the first edition, with two bank note facsimiles not present in the earliest printings. Of these facsimiles, Heath wrote: “For the purpose of more fully illustrating the difference between genuine and counterfeit engraving, we have at great trouble and expense obtained a counterfeit plate engraved by counterfeiters and taken from them at the time of their arrest. ... Plate 9 is a beautiful specimen of engraving by the American Bank Note Company. The geometric lathe work in each corner of the note, and medallion ruling work which encloses the title are exceedingly beautiful, and shows at once the impossibility of counterfeiters ever obtaining the beauty found on this plate. The die on the left-hand corner is similar to those on the 5’s and 20’s of the United States notes, and as they are both counterfeited very successfully, it will prove of great importance to every one detecting them. Plate 10 is the counterfeit plate already referred to, and is pronounced by all an excellent specimen of counterfeit work.” In the years following the publication of his study of the Heath counterfeit detectors, Eric P. Newman continued to examine every copy that he encountered, occasionally discovering additional variations. He noted that the 14th printings were found both with and without the price printed on the front cover. Thus was born Newman 1-P-14(a), with the price of 1.50 stated on the cover, and Newman 1-P-14(b), without it. Both are scarce compared to most other printings, but their relative scarcity to each other has yet to be established.