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1 St Edition - Sheldon's "Early American Cents" 1949 & "Penny Whimsy" 1958ed

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 Posted 05/26/2017  3:47 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Super excited today at having been able to acquire a First Edition of Dr. William Herbert Sheldon's "Early American Cents" printed in 1949. This work introduced to the world the Sheldon coin grading scale that we use every day today. I was also able to acquire a 1958 edition of Sheldon's "Penny Whimsy" written with Dorothy Paschal and Walter Breen that is unfortunately missing a few pages. All for a whopping $46 including shipping. This is now one of my most prized items in my numismatic collection.

The sale notes from the current owner:

These are the two classic books leading up to Sheldon and his colleagues starting the Early American Coppers (EAC) society in 1967. Both of the books have firm bindings, but are very well used. They came from the EAC library when it was being dismantled, and I purchased them for only $20 at a convention some years ago. These are essential references for the collector of 1793-1814 large cents, and each have the original "Early American Coppers Library" stamp inside their front cover.

I've had these for years on my shelf as scarce collectibles, and just paid attention to a note in the "Penny Whimsy' saying "Gift (with several pages missing) of R. B. Knight: III/IV, 23/24, 131/132, 133/134, 207/208, end 17/18 & 39/40". The more scarce "Early American Cents" (1st edition) is fully complete.


Edited by numismatic student
05/26/2017 4:12 pm
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 Posted 05/26/2017  4:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Is anyone a member of EAC and perhaps knows who R.B. Knight was? Apparently he gifted the "Penny Whimsy" volume to the Early American Coppers (EAC) society library. Thanks!
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 Posted 05/26/2017  5:31 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Super excited today at having been able to acquire a First Edition of Dr. William Herbert Sheldon's "Early American Cents" printed in 1949.


Nice work--I bought mine a while back and agree that it is really neat to look through all the die linkages for these cents.
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 Posted 05/26/2017  6:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Slider23 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well Done.
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 Posted 05/26/2017  9:21 pm  Show Profile   Check paralyse's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paralyse to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Richard B. Knight, yes, EAC member.

He was a contributor to Penny-Wise in the 70s. He authored at least one article I can find without pulling up PWRL:

"Early date U.S. large cents as investments," by R. B. Knight -- appeared in Volume VII, Issue #34 (1973.)
Longhorn Coins & Exonumia
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 Posted 05/26/2017  9:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks paralyse!
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 Posted 05/26/2017  9:35 pm  Show Profile   Check paralyse's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paralyse to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
YW :)
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 Posted 05/26/2017  10:57 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
And thanks to all for your help and support.
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 Posted 05/30/2017  9:41 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Giddy to have received this today.

Early American Cents:









Penny Whimsy:


Edited by numismatic student
05/30/2017 9:56 pm
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 Posted 05/30/2017  10:41 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Really fantastic books. Wish I had those.
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 Posted 05/30/2017  10:42 pm  Show Profile   Check paralyse's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paralyse to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The scale's original concept - that a basal value of $1 could be assigned to a Poor grade for one of Sheldon's early date Large Cents, and that therefore, an Uncirculated was worth $60, $65 or even $70 - was outdated shortly after Sheldon conceived of the notion.

Regardless, the fact that the grades were supposed to represent VALUES was soon lost, and the scale became simply numerical descriptors of written grade standards. Apart from Dr. Sheldon, I'm not sure anyone else minded this consequence in the least.

To those who might think "gradeflation" is new to the hobby, or recently so, it is worth noting that Dr. Sheldon's condition descriptions for grades such as Fine and Very Fine had already been "gradeflated" by the time of Brown & Dunn's line-drawing grading book, which was the pre-ANA/Bressett standard for a number of years (and still is for some older collectors.)

EAC grading falls more in line with Dr. Sheldon's system, although a bit more lenient and lacking the direct association with value, which explains why an EAC 45 large cent and a TPG XF45 large cent are often two VERY different looking coins.

You might also note that Dr. Sheldon was of the school of thought that sharpness/wear grade should be the only grade assigned, and that defects, strike problems, die states, etc. should be listed in the description, allowing the collector the liberty of "mentally adjusting" a grade, and therefore a value, based on his or her opinion of any given coin.

There was and is merit in this approach, since a buyer and seller who couldn't agree on anything else could usually agree on a sharpness grade, and then let the value be determined by the buyer's opinion of the other qualities of the coin. However, this was mutually incompatible with printed price guides. So net grading evolved to have a sharpness grade and a net grade, with the idea that the net grade would be used for prices/values. The ANA and some other early TPG's preferred split grading (obverse/reverse) instead of true net grading, and even that was dropped when the slab era dawned and the entire description had gone from the several sentences of Dr. Sheldon's book to the word "DETAILS" and a one or two word remark.

Beautiful books, those, and I hope you keep them in your library for years to come.
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 Posted 05/30/2017  11:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add MikeF to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That is really cool.
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 Posted 05/31/2017  01:00 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for all the information and well wishes. I still can't believe that the auction for these books were at $30 or so, and I caught it with just a few minutes left on the bay. I guess you run into something cool every once in a while.

Seller turned out to be a well known (I think - he comes up in google searches) EAC members who sold his extensive early copper collection in the mid 2000s at a major auction, and gave me some great advice to boot.
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 Posted 05/31/2017  12:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add cipster to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I bought a used copy of the 1958 edition a few years ago from a bookstore in Maine. Thanks for bringing up this topic as it reminded me to read and enjoy again the fascinating part 1 of this book. It's about 60 pages of introduction, background, and history of large cents. Great reading.
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Edited by cipster
05/31/2017 12:05 pm
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 Posted 05/31/2017  3:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Giddy to have received this today.
Very nice, numismatic_student, and thank you for that post, paralyse.
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