This book goes on sale in the USA at the end of the month. Living in Europe I have had my copy for almost a month. At US$265.00 this book is, IMHO, a worthwhile book. 1134 pages and very heavy. It’s the fourth book of a 17-volume series of books. The first volume (vol 1) was published in 1986. As one person commented to me at last year’s summer seminar it is quite possible the whole series won’t be completed until many of us old-fellas have departed this existence. This volume is the first of the four published volumes (vols. 1, 6, 14 & 12) that I have had any experience with.
Volume 12 is a huge work and will likely be regarded as the standard reference throughout this century and probably into the next for Northern Italy. Although I have had the book for a month I am nowhere near finishing reading it. It is academically written, and as such it is well referenced. The authors William Day,jr., Michael Matzke and Andrea Soccocci have ordered the chapters by region and minting authority. My interest being in Venice, Florence, and Genoa I have focused my reading to those sections of the book. What is refreshing is the book relates the interconnections between the different minting authorities and the coins they produced. For me there was some frustration as they limited such discussions to northern Italy, so leaving out some other closely related mints. Don’t take my frustration as criticism; given the size of the book lines had to be drawn, and my frustration came from wanting to fully follow the threads the Authors were laying out for me. At nearly US$300.00 in price this book is worth every cent. It is not a coffee table book, it is of interest to medieval coin collectors and it covers the regions of Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy and greater Veneto areas that have had significant and long lasting influence over the evolution of numismatics .
It includes a catalog of Northern Italian coins. Be warned it is not like the standard offerings we see for modern coins. It is much more an academic work. I am sure those who know of this long planned and slowly executed series will be adding it to their library. I plan to add the other three published volumes to my Library by the end of this year