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The Photographic Record of the Colonel Green Collection of United States Half Eagles
Green, Colonel E.H.R. THE GREEN COLLECTION OF HALF EAGLES. Upper cover title cited. No place or date of publication (New York: Stack's, circa 1943). Fourteen thick card-stock linen-hinged album leaves, on the front and back of which are mounted very fine photographic prints depicting the obverses and reverses of 336 regular issue and pattern United States half eagles, dated 1795-1929. 4to [26 by 23 cm], original dark brown full baby calf, upper cover charmingly decorated in gilt with inset medium brown baby calf title panel. Binding very lightly rubbed. Near fine with fine contents. The half eagles volume of this monumental photographic record. Colonel Edward Howland Robinson Green's remarkable collection of United States gold coins by variety, including many pieces from the famed Waldo Newcomer collection, remains one of the finest ever formed. Three volumes of photographs were produced to posthumously record Green's front-line collection in each of the series depicted: quarter eagles, half eagles, and eagles. Taken around the time the coins were sold, in 1943 and 1944, to His Majesty The King of Egypt, these well-produced photographs remain extremely important to this day, particularly for establishing provenance. A number of Colonel Green / King Farouk coins passed into the hands of John Jay Pittman, Harry W. Bass, Jr., and other major collectors. Only a few copies of each of the photographic volumes were prepared and, to our knowledge, a complete set has come to auction only twice before, when Joseph B. Stack's set was sold as part of the Stack Family library (Kolbe Sale 111, January 2010) and when Kolbe & Fanning sold Morton M. Stack's set in our 2012 New York Book Auction. Even individual volumes, such as this and the following lot, are extremely rare: we know of only four copies of this volume, two of them in the complete sets just mentioned. Despite the unparalleled nature of the Green collection, it was never properly catalogued, and the absence of a proper illustrated catalogue continues to constitute a serious gap in the provenance record: a gap these volumes do much to fill. It is interesting to note that Walter Breen's famous 1841-"O" $5 does indeed seem to be depicted in the present volume, due to an unfortunate shadow effect also seen on the illustrations of several other 1840s Charlotte mint emissions. The entertaining story of this contretemps is well told on page 231 of David Akers's October 21-23, 1997 catalogue of the John Jay Pittman collection. Affixed to the rear pastedown is the printed label of B.A. Martin, the official Stack's special edition binder. A highpoint for any U.S. numismatic library. Ex Kolbe & Fanning's 2012 New York Book Auction, lot 289.