MEASE AND FISHER’S THREE EARLY WORKS ON AMERICAN COINS AND MEDALS. James Mease, J. Francis Fisher.
MEASE AND FISHER’S THREE EARLY WORKS ON AMERICAN COINS AND MEDALS.
MEASE AND FISHER’S THREE EARLY WORKS ON AMERICAN COINS AND MEDALS.
MEASE AND FISHER’S THREE EARLY WORKS ON AMERICAN COINS AND MEDALS.

MEASE AND FISHER’S THREE EARLY WORKS ON AMERICAN COINS AND MEDALS.

Mease, James, and J. Francis Fisher. MEASE AND FISHER’S THREE EARLY WORKS ON AMERICAN COINS AND MEDALS. Includes:
Mease, James. Description of Some of the Medals, Struck in Relation to Important Events in North America, before and since the Declaration of Independence by the United States. Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Third Series, Volume IV (Cambridge: Charles Folsom, 1834). v, (3), 336 pages. [Mease’s article appears on pages 297–320.]
Fisher, J. Francis. Description of American Medals. Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Third Series, Vol. VI (Boston: American Stationers’ Company, 1837). (4), 300 pages. [Fisher’s article comprises pages 286 to 293.] Early library ink stamp on title page verso.
Mease, James. OLD AMERICAN COINS. Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Third Series, Volume VII (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown; printed by Freeman and Bolles, 1838). 304, (2) pages [Mease’s article comprises pages 282 to 283.] Early library ink stamp on title page verso.
All three volumes recently bound to match in antiqued brown half calf with marbled paper sides; spines with five raised bands, ruled in gilt, with black lettering pieces. Near fine copies in new bindings. Item #6398

An exceptional set, in matching bindings, of these three landmark works on American numismatics. James Mease, M.D. (1771–1846) was a polymath who published on an number of different subjects, including medicine, geology and history. His Picture of Philadelphia (1811) is a foundational work of local history and contains the first useful description of U.S. Mint operations. In addition, he is credited with publishing the first article on American numismatics: his 1821 study of American medals, of which the 1834 work present here is a revision and expansion. Beginning with the Betts-531 “By Deeds of Peace” William Penn medal, Mease discusses the 1756-dated Kittanning Destroyed medal, the 1757 Treaty of Easton Quaker Peace Medal, the Comitia Americana series, the Truxton and Preble medals, and various War of 1812 medals. While Mease’s article mostly describes medals of the Revolutionary period and after, J. Francis Fisher’s article is generally more concerned with medals of the colonial era. In fact, Mease and Fisher list only one medal in common: the “Washington before Boston” medal of the Comitia Americana series. Fisher describes fourteen Washington medals, five Franklin medals, one each depicting Jefferson and Benjamin Rush, three medals of the Revolution and fourteen earlier colonial medals including the very rare Lord and Lady Baltimore medal. Mease’s 1838 article, the final work present in this group, is “the first numismatic article on American coins published in America,” according to Eric Newman (The Asylum, Summer 1992). Brief as it may be, this work is one of the foundations upon which U.S. numismatic scholarship has been constructed. Indeed, it is of greater value than merely as a curiosity or historical artifact: Newman’s article discusses how Mease’s comments on the Bar Cent and the circulating value of Connecticut coppers have important implications for current scholarship on these pieces.
In his groundbreaking lecture on the topic of U.S. numismatic literature, William S.F. Mayers noted that “the first actual attempts at systematic classification and record of the coins struck in or for the American colonies and United States, appear in the shape of papers to be found in the collections of State Historical Societies” (“The Literature of American Numismatics,” Norton’s Literary Letter, No. 3, 1859, p. 6). Mease’s articles are specifically mentioned by Mayers in his article, showing that these works, long forgotten until recent years, were still in the memory of some in the late 1850s. While a few publications predate the works of Mease and Fisher, those earlier works were written for merchants, politicians and other people who dealt with monetary issues, and little had been written from the point of view of one who studies coins and medals. Although John C. Kunze’s 1800 description of his collection was the first truly numismatic article published in this country, little of its attention is devoted to American coins and medals. This is a rare opportunity to add very attractive copies of all three of these important works to one’s library.

Price: $5,000.00

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