Kolbe & Fanning
After a modest beginning in 1976, this firm was running full tilt by its ninth sale in 1981, which featured consignments from Armand Champa, the estate of Kenneth Lee, and the Essex Institute. Harry W. Bass, Jr. John W. Adams, Jack Collins and many others competed to drive prices up to record levels, and the pursuit of collecting numismatic literature fully came into its own. The formation of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society complemented the commercial activity, and since then Kolbe & Fanning have handled many important libraries, including those of Adams, Bass, Stack’s, Ford, and others.
This catalog set as a whole describes over 100,000 items of numismatic literature, and, while there is naturally some lot duplication, it is clear that this represents a monumental effort, comparable in scope to the ANS library catalog. This copious record has, and will continue, to serve as a premier bibliographic resource for numismatic literature, with detailed and authoritative descriptions of nearly every important work in the field.
Kolbe and Fanning have cataloged even the most esoteric items with an eye toward putting them into greater context and giving the reader an well-formed idea of their place in the numismatic universe, often more substantive than might first appear. Some works are by definition more mundane than others, but all are given careful consideration in these thoughtfully prepared catalogs.
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