Fugio1787's Blog

06 May 2015

Vlack on Colonial Coins

Coins-United States Colonial | Fugio1787

As I continue to expand my collection and knowledge of colonial coins, I am greatly aided by acquiring some specific colonial publications to round out my existing numismatic book collection. I already had a number of good books--old ones, reprints and modern titles. Among these are Crosby's The Early Coins of America; Salmon's magnificent recent book, The Silver Coins of Massachusetts; and certainly Bowers' Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins. I also have some key auction catalogues, including the Newman IV on colonial coins and the recent Kendall sale from Stacks' Bowers.

Now I have added an older classic, Robert A. Vlack's Early American Coins, the second edition which was published in 1965. This is a magnificent little book (120 pages), which interestingly was originally purchased from the old Bowers & Ruddy firm in Los Angeles. While the information is essentially covered, if not superseded, by subsequent works--and the valuations are clearly useless--the book is simply a neat book. It is a classic of numismatics literature, and I am delighted to have been able to find it.

Vlack also wrote An Illustrated Catalogue of the French Billon Coinage in the Americas, which I understand is still the standard work on these mid-18th-century coins. He also wrote An Illustrated Catalogue of Early North American Advertising Notes (Ads that Look LIke Paper Money).



Level 6

There is a treasure trove of info on colonial coins. Many books, and still all is not known! I still have a Stack's catalog from their sale of Mass. silver. Catalogs can be reference books in themselves.


Level 7

Thanks for the interesting books and catalogs. Books can open another world to you. I used to red a lot things happen. Enjoyed your blog. There are so many books on this hobby its remarkable. Thanks again for taking the time. Mike


Level 5

Thanks for the information.


Level 5

keep on collecting and tell us more. this is interesting


Level 4

Thanks. That's interesting about Vlack and French Guinea. I tried to find out more about him, but was unsuccessful. I have heard about Vlack for some time, but did not uncover much.. The "Early American Coins" book does not provide a biography.

Juno Moneta

Level 4

Thank you for the review. I believe Vlack wrote other books as well. The one I keep crossing paths with covers the coinage of French Guiana on the northern coast of South America where the Devils Island prison colony was located. I've been fascinated with the idea of a prison colony since I saw the movie "Papillon" , a film I still recommend highly today.


Level 4

Steven: Thank you for the recommendation. Actually, that catalogue is sitting on my desk. I was able to get it a week or so ago. I am sorry that I missed the auction when it was held, only a few months ago. It is absolutely beautiful. It is amazing to contrast the great photography in these modern catalogues, complete with notable enlargements, with that of the old ones.

Steven Roach

Level 4

The Partrick collection auction from Heritage is also a nice reference: http://coins.ha.com/c/auction-home.zx?saleNo=1216&ic3=ViewItem-Auction-Archive-AuctionName-081514 I enjoy colonial coins, though I still need to learn a bit more! Good luck with your studies, and have a nice day!

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