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Is $2,500 for a complete, 21 volume hard-bound set of Stack's Ford catalogs the greatest bargain in

LongacreLongacre Posts: 16,714 ✭✭✭
I was reading the latest issue of Esylum, and saw the following tidbit:

"David F. Fanning Numismatic Literature held its third mail-bid auction on December 3. Featuring material from the libraries of John J. Ford, Jr. and Douglas Ball, the sale included many scarce works and specialized studies. A few highlights included:
Lot 607: A complete, 21-volume set of hardcover Stack's Ford catalogues brought $2500."



Does anyone think that $2,500 for a complete 21 volume hard-bound set of the Ford sales is the greatest bargain in numismatics? That is just $119 per book for a wealth of knowledge. At the upcoming FUN sale, many people will drop six or seven figures on coins (most of it in the Syrup of Saints™ sale), but will scoff at spending $2,500 for a set of books. For shame. image
Always took candy from strangers
Didn't wanna get me no trade
Never want to be like papa
Working for the boss every night and day
--"Happy", by the Rolling Stones (1972)

Comments

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 29,369 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sounds cheap to me.....
    Winner of the ANA's 2020 Heath Literary Award, Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award. Winner NLG 2020 Best Numismatic Feature Article, U.S.
  • tradedollarnuttradedollarnut Posts: 19,905 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I wouldn't pay half of that - sorry, but the Ford catalogues contained very little of interest to me.
  • Considering that a single HB Ford I sale brought over $400 in a Kolbe sale last year, to pick the entire set up at issue price is a good deal for someone.

    PM me if you are looking for U.S. auction catalogs
  • RYKRYK Posts: 35,531 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>I wouldn't pay half of that - sorry, but the Ford catalogues contained very little of interest to me. >>



    I would pick and choose the catalogs that had coins and series of interest to me. I would purchase the Mass silver installment (and did), but not the one on Indian Peace Medals or Western Americana, as examples.

    "There are no called strikes in coin collecting."--Henry David Thoreau RYK
  • No, it can't possibly be "the greatest bargain" considering that many of us received a complete set of paperback Ford catalogs *free of charge* one by one as the auctions took place. I would say that *free* is a much greater bargain than $2500 cost !!
  • CoinosaurusCoinosaurus Posts: 9,460 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I received the card cover versions for free and even one of the HBs, maybe they printed too many of them or something.
  • Hard to put a price on knowledge but having those reference materials could easily save you their cost many times over in future years.
  • 2ndCharter2ndCharter Posts: 1,451 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I agree - I received all of the soft-bound copies for free also. Hey, if you're a book-lover who wants to just admire the hard-bound copies sitting on your shelf, then go for it. I'll admit I do have a few special hard-bound catalogs in my library but they are only in my specific area of collecting. The Ford catalogs don't do anything for me.

    P.S.: If you feel $2,500 was a bargain, how come you didn't bid on the lot?

    Member ANA, SPMC, SCNA, FUN, CONECA

  • shorecollshorecoll Posts: 5,360 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think it's a deal, but not the "greatest" deal. I'd take the card cover set for $500 (I already have one) and spend the other $2,000 on cooler things. On the other hand, $2,000 isn't going to go very far in the Kolbe Stack's family sale. Pre-sale estimate on the 1st six years of Numismatist is $25k...it'll likely hammer at $35k+.
    ANA-LM, NBS, EAC
  • ErrorsOnCoinsErrorsOnCoins Posts: 12,959 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I would think the greatest bargain in numismatics would be a coin and NOT Literature.



  • It depends on how hard and how long you hafta work to earn $2500.
    For Longacre, thats just sitting at a desk drinking coffee for 6 hours.
    Anyone else, that's a weeks wages actually doing work.
    Might be a deal for Longacre, but not for others.

    Ray
  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 22,895 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It may be a bargain, but not for the information. The information is only worth (roughly) $500, because that's what you can get it for in another format. The extra $2000 for the bindings has nothing to do with "information".
    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
  • astroratastrorat Posts: 9,220 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Interesting take, Andy. You are right, anything above the "basal information" rate is bibliophile value.

    Lane
    Numismatist Ordinaire
    See http://www.doubledimes.com for a free online reference for US twenty-cent pieces
  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 21,149 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That's a lot of shelf space.
    All glory is fleeting.
  • percybpercyb Posts: 3,051 ✭✭✭
    I'd pass.
    "Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world." PBShelley


  • << <i>It may be a bargain, but not for the information. The information is only worth (roughly) $500, because that's what you can get it for in another format. The extra $2000 for the bindings has nothing to do with "information". >>



    Well said.
  • CoinosaurusCoinosaurus Posts: 9,460 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>

    << <i>It may be a bargain, but not for the information. The information is only worth (roughly) $500, because that's what you can get it for in another format. The extra $2000 for the bindings has nothing to do with "information". >>



    Well said. >>



    Well, you tell me. Can you get more "inspiration" surrounded by leather bindings or would you rather look at a bunch of card covers that are all half-foldered over because they won't sit on the shelf right. Well, if you are the Numismatic Dandy, nothing but the leather will do.
  • coindeucecoindeuce Posts: 13,405 ✭✭✭✭
    For some of the buyers at the Ford sales, the HB set would be cheap window dressing for their ex:Ford coins and would be considered a diversion for one day's lunch money, or a bottle of wine at dinner. It's all relative to one's financial position in the hobby. Just because some of the high flyers in the hobby aren't visible does not mean that they don't exist.

    "Everything is on its way to somewhere. Everything." - George Malley, Phenomenon
    http://www.americanlegacycoins.com



  • << <i>For some of the buyers at the Ford sales, the HB set would be cheap window dressing for their ex:Ford coins and would be considered a diversion for one day's lunch money, or a bottle of wine at dinner. It's all relative to one's financial position in the hobby. Just because some of the high flyers in the hobby aren't visible does not mean that they don't exist. >>



    If you spent above a certain amount in the any of the Ford sales, they gave you a HB edition of the catalog gratis.
  • QuarternutQuarternut Posts: 1,478 ✭✭✭


    << <i>I would think the greatest bargain in numismatics would be a coin and NOT Literature. >>



    Me thinks you still have much to learn grasshopper!

    image

    Literature can teach you how to save tremendous amounts of money when buying said coins. It can also open up the world of insight into why a particular coin was made and some of it's connection to history.

    Just owning coins is not that much fun, these other things can make it a much more interesting hobby to partake in. JMHO

    QN

    Go to Early United States Coins - to order the New "Early United States Half Dollar Vol. 1 / 1794-1807" book or the 1st new Bust Quarter book!

  • LongacreLongacre Posts: 16,714 ✭✭✭


    << <i>

    << <i>

    << <i>It may be a bargain, but not for the information. The information is only worth (roughly) $500, because that's what you can get it for in another format. The extra $2000 for the bindings has nothing to do with "information". >>



    Well said. >>



    Well, you tell me. Can you get more "inspiration" surrounded by leather bindings or would you rather look at a bunch of card covers that are all half-foldered over because they won't sit on the shelf right. Well, if you are the Numismatic Dandy, nothing but the leather will do. >>




    This Numismatic Dandy™ would not be caught dead with card covered auction catalogs. image
    Always took candy from strangers
    Didn't wanna get me no trade
    Never want to be like papa
    Working for the boss every night and day
    --"Happy", by the Rolling Stones (1972)
  • It is worth mentioning that of the 21 catalogs, only the first 3 are not viewable on the Stack's website.
  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 18,107 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>It is worth mentioning that of the 21 catalogs, only the first 3 are not viewable on the Stack's website. >>


    I suddenly feel the urge to have my computer monitor leather bound.
  • Hi All,

    It is probably worth mentioning that in addition to the red leather edition of Ford, there is an extremely rare limited edition set of grey leatherbound Fords. In Charlie Davis' last sale, Mike Hodder's personal set was auctioned and I think hammered for $6,000. Mike was the principal author of the Ford Catalogs.

    Some bibliophiles thought that was a bargain. Then again, the content is largely available free online. Me, I think they were special and would have been neat to own.

    novacaesarea

  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 22,895 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It is worth mentioning that of the 21 catalogs, only the first 3 are not viewable on the Stack's website.


    It is also worth mentioning that just because something is available online today does not mean that it will be online tomorrow, much less in 20 years.
    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
  • Hi All,

    Just thought that I would mention that yet another Grey Leather Hardbound Limited Edition set (less than 10 exist I would think) of the Ford Sale just hammered for $4,750. A pristine softbound set went for $750. So the interesting question is whether in 20 years an extensively annotated softbound set by some colonial enthusiast will bring more than a pristine Grey Hardbound set?

    novacaesarea
  • DentuckDentuck Posts: 3,791 ✭✭✭
    Dave Bowers wrote about auction catalogs --- and their value --- in this month's issue of The Numismatist.

    I don't have it handy at the moment, but I believe Neil Berman also wrote about numismatic auctions and catalogs in this issue.

  • RWBRWB Posts: 8,153
    To take minor exception, well written and researched catalogs have both research and monetary value. But most are sloppy-text agglutinations of salami, bologna and souse, whose lasting purpose is to confuse and bless warmed-over fallacy as meaningful scholarship. Their only value is as a record of sale, or no sale, as the case may be.

    [PS: This post is the first used of the words "agglutinations" and "souse" on the PCGS boards.]
  • LongacreLongacre Posts: 16,714 ✭✭✭


    << <i>[PS: This post is the first used of the words "agglutinations" and "souse" on the PCGS boards.] >>





    image And I don't even know what those words mean. image
    Always took candy from strangers
    Didn't wanna get me no trade
    Never want to be like papa
    Working for the boss every night and day
    --"Happy", by the Rolling Stones (1972)
  • I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Q. David Bowers for his comments about my latest price list of American numismatic literature in the January 2010 issue of The Numismatist, pgs 75-77.

    As I have done for QDB for his numerous research projects over the past two decades, I can offer the same extensive selection of reference materials to everyone, all at reasonable prices.

    Having a decent reference library makes you a smarter individual when it comes to understanding numismatics and its history, and provides you with an edge in dealing with the commercial aspect of the hobby.
    PM me if you are looking for U.S. auction catalogs
  • DIMEMANDIMEMAN Posts: 22,403 ✭✭✭✭✭


    $2500 for books!!!!!!image

    I could get a nice 1822 dime for that!!!!

    You gotta be kidding!?!?
  • MidLifeCrisisMidLifeCrisis Posts: 10,242 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I missed this thread the first time around.

    I have the first 18 catalogs of the Ford sales - all soft bound. I did not get them for free. I bought them as they became available and put the set together over a couple of years.

    I value them highly. They are a wonderful source of information. But I did not - and would not - spend anywhere near $2,500 for them...and I would not buy the hardbound versions. Mainly because these are work horse catalogs that I use regularly, and they look it.

    If I paid that kind of money for a book or set of books, they'd set on the shelf and I'd never open them. What good is that?

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