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Old Auction Catalogue Madness!

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Carausius:
Since purchasing John Spring's Ancient Coin Auction Catalogues, I’ve become borderline obsessive about buying old auction catalogues for my library, both for provenance research and general research.  In just the past year, I’ve acquired the following catalogues.  I’m focusing on the Roman Republic, but I’ve accessioned a few Imperial and Roman-Egypt catalogues along the way.  I’m pleased with the progress I’m making, but there are still some large, expensive holes (i.e. Martini, Prowe) and some stubborn, likely inexpensive sales that I just can't find (i.e. Myers 7, various Santamaria sales).  In a few cases, I’ve settled for reprints where I doubt I can source an affordable original.  Over time, I hope to rebind many of the currently softbound catalogues, but I’m already running-out of shelf space and hard bindings will absorb even more real estate.  

1.   Collezzione Haeberlin. A high quality, limited production reprint of the 1933 Cahn/Hess auction catalogue on good quality paper, with decent plates and handsomely bound in quarter-leather.  Expensive, but a fraction of the cost of an original.
2.   CNG 43 and 45 and Triton I (Goodman Collection).  The Triton I is hardbound.
3.   Glendining – October 1975 (Dr. H.F. Harwood Part I).
4.   Leu/MuM 21/10/66 (Niggeler vol 2).  Nice quality RR and provincial coins.  Many of the Republican coins have provenance to earlier collections.  In addition to the fine Republican coins, this catalogue contains some stunning drachms of Roman Alexandria with earlier provenance.  
5.   Leu 17 (Nicolas Collection). I had this catalogue hardbound in black “processed” leather.  “Processed” leather is the leather equivalent of plywood.  
6.   Lanz 88 (Leo Benz Collection).  Also hardbound in black processed leather.
7.   Leo Hamburger No. 95 - May 1932.  Recently purchased, but not yet received.
8.   Munzhandlung Basel 6 – March 1936.   I actually bought this catalogue for the Roman Egypt coins, but it also contains nearly 3 full plates of Republican.
9.   Munzen und Medaillen 17 - December 1957.
10.   MuM 19 - June 1959.
11.   MuM 38 – December 1968 (Coll. Voirol).   A gift from a friend. Lovely coins, many with provenance to earlier, important collections like Haeberlin.
12.   MuM 43 – November 1970.
13.   MuM 47 – November 1972.  Huge offering of Aes Grave.
14.   MuM 52 – June 1975.   I recently acquired a coin with provenance to this sale.
15.   Naville Ars Classica VIII – 1924 (Coll. Bement).   An impressive sale of Roman coins, strong in both Republican and Imperial.  Available for free online, but I’m old school and prefer to work with hardcopies.
16.   Naville Ars Classica XV – 1930 (W.H. Woodward).  A Father’s Day 2015 present, to be received next Sunday!
17.   Dr. Buso Peus Auction 322 – 1988.  Auction sale dedicated to a collection of about 650 Republican coins.  Coins are mostly gVF, with a few better, but the collection is very broad.  Per my recent thread on Forum, clues in this catalogue and in Banti’s Corpus Nummorum Romanorum lead me to suspect that this collection may have been Alberto Banti’s personal collection of Roman Republican coins.
18.   Vecchi 3 – September 1996, A Collection of Roman Republican Struck Bronze Coinage. Huge selection of struck bronzes.  I often refer to this catalogue when I need to see an example of any given struck bronze type.
19.   Vecchi 9 – December 1997, Collection of the Coinage of Augustus.
20.   NAC 10 – April 1997.  Large selection of Aes Grave.
21.   Russo, et al. The RBW Collection.  Technically not an auction catalogue, but all the RBW auction sales combined into one, easy-to-use, chronologically-arranged, sylloge-format volume.  A tremendous resource that I often use.
22.   Rodolfo Ratto – January 1924 (Bonazzi).  I ordered this recently, but have not yet received it.  
23.   Rodolfo Ratto 1927 Fixed Price List of Roman coins from the Republic through Augustus.  Bound in modern half-cloth with mottled boards.  I didn’t know it was hard-bound when I bought it, so I was pleasantly surprised upon receipt.  
24.   Rodolfo Ratto - 8/2/1928 (Morcom/Hands/Wertheim).  An impressive sale with separate loose plates in a folder at the back of the catalogue.  When I eventually re-bind this catalogue, I’m not sure whether to bind-in the plates or keep them separate.  
25.   Hans Schulman, Thomas Ollive Mabbott Collection, Parts I and II.
26.   Sotheby’s, Duke of Northumberland Collection – ex RBW’s library, with his notes and bid sheet!
27.   Sotheby’s, Eton College – ex RBW’s library, with his notes and bid sheet!
28.   Stack’s – 1938 (Faelten Collection).  Nicely hardbound in full cloth.  The plates are mediocre; but Barry Murphy gave me a very fair deal, so I took a chance.  
29.   Stack’s – May 1978 (Knobloch I Republic).  A recent purchase.  I acquired the Knobloch II Imperial catalogue new in 1980 and I bought my first auction coin from that sale!
30.   Frank Sternberg, Auction VII (November 1977).  I recently acquired a coin with provenance to this sale.
31.   Sydenham Collection. A mediocre-quality, Attic reprint of the 1928 original.  At $30, it was better than nothing…barely.

EDIT: I forgot, I just bought two more old catalogues today from FORVM!  CNG XII (Sep 1990), which includes part of Kerry Wetterstrom's collection of Roman Egypt bronzes, and Frank Sternberg 30 (1973).  I need a bigger house...

Andrew McCabe:
I've 26 out of this list of 31. Our interests coincide! (as if I didn't know). And many more beside too. I actually declined a copy of the Faelten collection. Possibly the worst plates ever.

Carausius:

--- Quote from: Andrew McCabe on June 18, 2015, 06:04:58 am --- I actually declined a copy of the Faelten collection. Possibly the worst plates ever.

--- End quote ---

For some of the plates, that's likely true. Unfortunately, the worst of the plates happen to coincide with my collecting interests.  The Ptolemaic silver and Byzantine plates aren't quite as bad. In any event, I bought it with eyes open - I was willing to take a chance because it was already hardbound and fairly priced.

carthago:
Funny, Carausius, it seems that you and I caught catalogue fever at about the same time (no doubt making some acquisitions that are in auctions expensive for both of us!).  

Since 2014, I've acquired all of Spring's Top Republican catalogues except for Bourgey 1972 Schott (horrible, horrible plates!) and Glendinging 1931 Nordheim/Evans.  I think most of the Bourgey coins are at least covered in the Bourgey Republican Coin corpus that is still available new.  I got pictures of the Nordheim plates at last time I was an the ANS yet I still search for a hardcopy which has proven elusive.  Meyers 7 proved very hard but I eventually found a copy buried away on the internet.  A worthwhile action to own IMO.  I've got a Haeberlin coin that appeared in that auction.

There are some serious errors on Spring's Top RR list.  Spring 465 - M&M 44 - has only 4-5 Roman Republicans.  Spring 423, Leu 18 has NO RR in it!  You can scratch those off of your needs if your concerned about RR.  

One to add to your modern list for Republicans should be NFA Auction XXVII 1991 which I'm told is Roberto Russo's personal collection (though it's not advertised as such) of Roman Republicans and full of outstanding coins.  Many NFA catalogues can still be found new in the shrink wrap and many of them are available hardbound.  There are lots of nice coins lurking in the M&M catalogues, as you've no doubt found out.    

I just bought a select run of Auctiones AG from the early 1973 - 1990 that I just received yesterday.  The particular sales were based on my research at the ANS but there are some great coins in them and some of very extensive RR cast bronze offerings if that's your thing.  

I know what you mean about the loose plates and rebinding.  I've got Santamari's Magnaguti and Ratto's Martini that both have loose plates and are in desperate need of rebinding.  I really need to talk over the options with the binder to see what my options are as a separate pouch would be cool and true to the original but I think practically speaking binding them in with the rest of the catalogue is probably the sensible choice.  I bought Ratto's Morcom/Hands/Wertheim already bound so I didn't even know the plates were loose to begin with and it works just fine.  

If you are ever able to visit the ANS in NY, do.  Set aside at least a full day, perhaps more if your serious about researching your catalogues and which ones you want to own.  You can preview them all there (though Meyer 7 is missing from their shelves too!).

C

Carausius:

--- Quote from: carthago on June 18, 2015, 09:29:12 am ---Funny, Carausius, it seems that you and I caught catalogue fever at about the same time (no doubt making some acquisitions that are in auctions expensive for both of us!).  

--- End quote ---


Acquiring Banti's Corpus last year was like learning to swim in the kiddie pool.  Within a few months, I jumped into the deep-end of catalogue buying.  I really haven't bought too many catalogues at auction and those that I have bought at auction have been mostly uncontested, sole-bidder situations; so, we have not impacted each other.  Still, I'm glad to know that you will not be among my competition for the elusive Martini, Prowe, Quadras y Ramon, etc. 


--- Quote from: carthago on June 18, 2015, 09:29:12 am ---There are some serious errors on Spring's Top RR list.  Spring 465 - M&M 44 - has only 4-5 Roman Republicans.  Spring 423, Leu 18 has NO RR in it!  You can scratch those off of your needs if your concerned about RR. 

--- End quote ---

Yes, I had also caught both those errors, and I now double-check the full Spring description before blindly buying anything on the "top" lists. 


--- Quote from: carthago on June 18, 2015, 09:29:12 am ---I know what you mean about the loose plates and rebinding.  I've got Santamari's Magnaguti and Ratto's Martini that both have loose plates and are in desperate need of rebinding.  I really need to talk over the options with the binder to see what my options are as a separate pouch would be cool and true to the original but I think practically speaking binding them in with the rest of the catalogue is probably the sensible choice.  I bought Ratto's Morcom/Hands/Wertheim already bound so I didn't even know the plates were loose to begin with and it works just fine. 

--- End quote ---

I think the plates are probably much safer bound-in than loose.  Safer from accidental tearing, folding and loss.  However, I'm not sure whether there is adequate left-hand margin on the plates to simply bind them in "raw".  I don't want the left side coin photos bound deep into the bend of the spine.  I have heard of loose plates being "hinged" before binding.  I think that means that the left side of the plate is glued to a strip of paper or fabric (to increase the left margin) and then bound, so that the plates remain fully visible.  I suppose you could then trim the right side of the plates to eliminate any protruding excess; or, if trimming is not feasible, bind them in a separate volume. 

Thanks for your advice and tips on the catalogues you mentioned.  I may visit the ANS in January during NYINC week. 

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