Numismatic and History Discussions > Books and References

Old Auction Catalogue Madness!

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Enodia:
i started to get obsessed by catalog collecting a number of years ago. i gathered quite a few, although none of the really old auctions being discussed here, mostly from the 80's and 90's. i did love being on the NFA subscription list, however i finally realized that on my limited budget i'd rather collect silver than paper.
i still have them though, and actually do reference the Magna Graecia sections ocassionally...

http://www.librarything.com/catalog/Enodia&tag=Numismatic+Catalogs&collection=-1

~ Peter

Andrew McCabe:
Contributors to this thread will are already be aware of it, but for others reading, my website has an expanded and more detailed list than Spring for Republican types, and includes download links and sample photos

http://andrewmccabe.ancients.info/RRAuctions.html#oldauctions

To an extent, I've moved beyond Spring's list, having ticked most of its boxes, and am am focussed on what catalogues with between one and four plates of RR happen to include high quality coins with high quality pics. Spring's list of cats with 5+ plates of RR includes lots of duds with low quality coins or photos. There are many marvellous cats with plenty of good RR (though not 5 plates) that aren't on his list.

The reason this obsession is perpetually discussed among RR collectors is I think because of the very high hit rate combined with the limited number of sales needed to get those hits. A good proportion of my 50 top pre-1970 cats contain a coin I now own. That's the sort of hit rate that encourages one to become a betting man. Just one more cat and it'll have every coin I miss...

The real secret is however in FPLs, not covered by Spring. For example, the 1963 lists of Crippa in Milan have 14 plates of high quality Roman Republican, each coin good enough for a NAC sale. And that's just one dealer in one year.

Carausius:

--- Quote from: Enodia on June 18, 2015, 10:40:52 pm ---i started to get obsessed by catalog collecting a number of years ago. i gathered quite a few, although none of the really old auctions being discussed here, mostly from the 80's and 90's. i did love being on the NFA subscription list, however i finally realized that on my limited budget i'd rather collect silver than paper.

--- End quote ---

That's a nice group of catalogues you've assembled, Peter.  Regarding budget, most of the catalogues on my list were purchased for less than $30 each.  There are high-priced, high-demand exceptions of course, like the Naville Ars Classica catalogues and the Ratto catalogues, but lots of good, old catalogues remain surprisingly inexpensive.

Carausius:

--- Quote from: Andrew McCabe on June 18, 2015, 11:34:58 pm ---The reason this obsession is perpetually discussed among RR collectors is I think because of the very high hit rate combined with the limited number of sales needed to get those hits.

--- End quote ---

It helps the hit rate for an average RR collector that the Republican series included only limited gold and largely formulaic bronzes.  As a result, the finest RR sales include many still-affordable denarii and bronzes  in the plates.  Compare this to Imperial sales where plates are often filled with aurei, stunningly artistic  bronzes, or great rarities that only a few collectors could afford to buy today.  


--- Quote from: Andrew McCabe on June 18, 2015, 11:34:58 pm ---The real secret is however in FPLs, not covered by Spring.

--- End quote ---

Oh joy, something new for me to obsess on.   :laugh:  FPLs will require some research on my part - i.e. looking through the ANS library holdings, as suggested by Carthago - to see which are worth hunting. The alternative is to buy bulk lots of FPLs  with fingers-crossed and hope for the best. Of course, the occasional "no brainer" shows-up from time to time, like the 1927 Ratto FPL included in my original post.

Carausius:
Received in todays mail:

Otto Helbing, Auction 63 (Coll. Prix) - April 1931.  In lovely shape, except it is MISSING plates 1 and 2 !   I don't recall that being disclosed in the offer, so I'm following-up with the seller.  If the seller fails to make it right, would any Forum member be able to send me a high-quality scan of plates 1 and 2 from this catalogue?

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