Item #7304 THE UNITED STATES CENTS OF THE YEARS 1801–1802–1803. Howard R. Newcomb.
THE UNITED STATES CENTS OF THE YEARS 1801–1802–1803.
THE UNITED STATES CENTS OF THE YEARS 1801–1802–1803.
THE UNITED STATES CENTS OF THE YEARS 1801–1802–1803.

THE UNITED STATES CENTS OF THE YEARS 1801–1802–1803.

Detroit: 1925. 4to, original brown cloth, gilt. 85, (1) pages; 5 fine photographic plates; addition slip tipped in on page 73; cardboard-tipped green silk marker. Loosely laid in are the October 1928 and July 1931 photographic supplemental plates describing and depicting new 1801 varieties and both versions of the January 1928 photographic supplemental plate describing and depicting a new 1803 variety. Some authorial annotations in pencil. Photocopied listing of owners of the cents depicted on the plates laid in. Fine. [with] Macallister, James G. TYPEWRITTEN LETTER TO HOWARD R NEWCOMB, SIGNED IN INK, DATED NOVEMBER 10, 1925. Single sheet of printed letterhead [8.5 by 11 inches]. Folded for mailing, else fine. Item #7304

An exceptional copy of the regular edition of this work, one of the major pre-Sheldon works on U.S. large cents. It is complete in every respect, featuring the rather unusual marker, the tipped-in slip on page 73, and the authorial additions in pencil seen in many copies (usually ones distributed years after its initial publication). Finally, not only does it have both supplemental plates, but it has both versions known of each supplemental plate (see my article on the subject in the Spring 2016 issue of The Asylum). On top of that, laid in is a letter from James Macallister congratulating the author on his newly published book. James (Jimmy) Macallister partnered with Wayte Raymond in the sales conducted under the J.C. Morgenthau firm, doing most if not all of the cataloguing for those sales. According to John W. Adams, “The scion of a wealthy Philadelphia family, ‘Jimmy’ operated in the higher circles of numismatic society. He was on particularly intimate terms with the large cent aristocracy—George Clapp, T. James Clarke, Carl Würtzbach, Henry Hines and Howard Newcomb. Large cents are well represented in the Morgenthau sales, with Macallister’s friends serving both as active buyers and regular consignors.” Macallister writes, “Believing that a word of appreciation is never unwelcome, I am taking the liberty of addressing such a word in appreciation of your recent book ‘The United States Cents 1801-1802-1803.’ It is unquestionably the most thorough and painstaking study that has ever been published, and should be appreciated by every Cent Collector. ¶ A similar book covering the Cents of 1797 and 1798 is a distinct necessity, and it is my humble opinion that you have qualified for the job.” Concerning Newcomb and this work, Dr. Sheldon wrote: “during the first quarter of the twentieth century and until his death in 1945, Howard R. Newcomb was so closely identified with the big cents that to mention cents was to mention Newcomb... The United States Cents of the Years 1801–1802–1803 ... marks a milestone in the cent literature. Approaching a field which had been left almost in chaos by the Doughty book, Newcomb assembled a vast quantity of numismatic material, ordered and reordered it, finally set up a new classificational system and a list which seemed adequate; and after testing the new list for upwards of a decade, published. The verdict of time on this work has been favorable.” Davis 745. Voted as one of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society’s “One Hundred Greatest Items of United States Numismatic Literature.” Letter ex Charles Davis’s sale of December 5, 2020 (lot 84); ex David Fanning Library.

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