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Lot 55

“An extraordinary and colorful contemporary souvenir of the Gold Rush”—Wheat
With actual samples of California gold

55. ECKFELDT, Jacob R[eese] & William E[wing] Du Bois. New Varieties of Gold and Silver Coins, Counterfeit Coins, and Bullion; With Mint Values. Philadelphia: Published by the Authors, and for Sale by the Principal Booksellers; also at the Agencies of Adams & Co., at Panama and San Francisco, 1850. 60 [2] pp., steel-engraved frontispiece (view of U.S. Mint), plate of “California and Mormon Coins” on blue paper embossed in gold, and with genuine samples of California Gold beneath two small transparent disks mounted on p. 45. 12mo, original blue paper boards with gilt lettering and illustrations of coins in gold and silver, spine gilt-decorated, a.e.g. (original spine neatly laid down). Small losses and light chipping to the binding (due to the delicate paper-over-boards binding), scattered light foxing, otherwise an excellent specimen in the preferred blue binding of a particularly fragile imprint published “principally for the use of Californians” (Cowan). In the preferred binding. Preserved in blue morocco and blue cloth slipcase with chemise.

     First edition of one of the top rarities of American numismatic literature, without which much information would be unknown in the field today. The first edition was the only one to contain the actual samples of gold. Cowan I, p. 76. Cowan II, p. 191: “This curious little work is somewhat rare.” Doheny Sale 219. Eberstadt 114:139. Flake 3108. Holliday 335. Howell, California 50:74. Huntington-Clifford Exhibit (“Possible Titles for an Expanded Zamorano 80”) A: “This book reports on the actual coinage of gold in the western U.S. and thus reflects directly the discovery of gold which prompted the stampede of hundreds of thousands of persons to California.” Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 217a. Sabin 21786. Streeter Sale 2629: “This is an important reference book for the beginnings of gold mining in California, as on pp. 21-31 are descriptions of `four varieties of coin, which have already reached us from California’ with the plate `California and Mormon Coins’ following p. 24. There is a further description of two other varieties of coin lately issued in California on pp. 59, 60, and on the final page a description of Mormon coins `received through a gentleman who came overland from Great Salt Lake in eighty-one days.’—TWS.” Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 67.

     Eckfeldt (1810-1881) and Du Bois (1803-1872), assayers at the United States Mint at Philadelphia,carefully studied and assayed many California coins and bars that arrived in deposits. They privately published this guide due to the many counterfeit coins that had appeared after the discovery of gold in California. ($7,500-15,000)

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