EARLY QUARTER DOLLARS OF THE UNITED STATES 1796-1838

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Early Quarter Dollars Of The United States


The One Hundred Greatest Items Of United States Numismatic Literature Rank: Number 36



Clain-Stefanelli 12269. Davis 149. Sigler 352.

“The most perfect numismatic book written on the first try,” per Walter Breen, Browning was little known for its time, a labor of love which reached print but not much further. Today the original Browning and the Ford 1950s reprint are highly prized, with a combined print run of perhaps one hundred copies. Breen’s opinion notwithstanding, Browning’s work is dedicated to the quarter dollar die varieties of 1796 to 1837 and not much else. Ironically, it was Breen himself who did much to expand the definition of numismatics beyond mere technical data. Thus, although Browning was well written and well plated, today’s collectors expect more. Happily, the efforts of Steve Tompkins have recently resulted in a complete update of Browning, a four hundred page cornucopia of quarters. In full color with considerable commentary not found in Browning, Tompkins is now the reference of choice for the bust quarter collector. For the bibliomaniac, one can only recommend that both are acquired, not to mention the precursor work, Haseltine's Type Table (#95).

First Edition

Image courtesy of George Frederick Kolbe - Fine Numismatic Books.

BROWNING, A. W. EARLY QUARTER DOLLARS OF THE UNITED STATES 1796-1838. WITH A FEW REMARKS CONCERNING THEIR TYPES, VARIETIES AND RARITY. ILLUSTRATED ON EIGHT PHOTOGRAPHIC PLATES.
New York: Wayte Raymond, 1925
36 pages, 8 Photographic plates
Quarto: 23 x 16 cm
Hardcover: Crimson cloth

Limited to 50 copies. Gilt stamped typeface uses a serif font.


First Edition, Deluxe

Image courtesy of George Frederick Kolbe - Fine Numismatic Books.

BROWNING, A. W. EARLY QUARTER DOLLARS OF THE UNITED STATES 1796-1838. WITH A FEW REMARKS CONCERNING THEIR TYPES, VARIETIES AND RARITY. ILLUSTRATED ON EIGHT PHOTOGRAPHIC PLATES.
New York: Wayte Raymond, 1925
36 pages, 8 linen-backed photographic plates
Quarto: 23 x 16.5 cm
Hardcover: Interleaved dark brown crushed morocco

There are five copies known in Deluxe Format. [1]


Ford Reprint

Image courtesy of George Frederick Kolbe - Fine Numismatic Books.

BROWNING, A. W. EARLY QUARTER DOLLARS OF THE UNITED STATES 1796-1838. WITH A FEW REMARKS CONCERNING THEIR TYPES, VARIETIES AND RARITY. ILLUSTRATED ON EIGHT PHOTOGRAPHIC PLATES.
New York: John J. Ford, Jr, 1950
36 pages, 8 linen-backed photographic plates
Quarto: 24 x 17 cm
Hardcover: Crimson cloth

Approximately 25 - 35 copies issued. Gilt stamped typeface uses a sans-serif font.

Plates in this edition were taken from the original 1925 glass negatives and are considered superior to the original plates.


Ford Reprint, Interleaved

BROWNING, A. W. EARLY QUARTER DOLLARS OF THE UNITED STATES 1796-1838. WITH A FEW REMARKS CONCERNING THEIR TYPES, VARIETIES AND RARITY. ILLUSTRATED ON EIGHT PHOTOGRAPHIC PLATES.
New York: John J. Ford, Jr, 1950
36 pages, 8 linen-backed photographic plates
Quarto: 24.5 x 18 cm
Hardcover: Interleaved crimson three-quarter morocco grained cloth with French marbled-paper sides

Approximately 5 issued in Interleaved format.

Plates in this edition were taken from the original 1925 glass negatives and are considered superior to the original plates.


Ford Reprint, Deluxe Interleaved

BROWNING, A. W. EARLY QUARTER DOLLARS OF THE UNITED STATES 1796-1838. WITH A FEW REMARKS CONCERNING THEIR TYPES, VARIETIES AND RARITY. ILLUSTRATED ON EIGHT PHOTOGRAPHIC PLATES.
New York: John J. Ford, Jr, 1950
36 pages, 8 linen-backed photographic plates
Quarto
Hardcover: Interleaved full red calf

Unknown how many were bound in this deluxe interleaved fashion. This version was not present in John Ford's library when sold by George Kolbe in 2004 and 2005.


Zenith Reprint

Image courtesy of NBS Member.

BROWNING, A. W. THE EARLY QUARTER DOLLARS OF THE UNITED STATES 1796-1838 BY A. W. BROWNING WITH THE QUARTER DOLLAR SECTION FROM THE HAZELTINE [SIC] TYPE TABLE CATALOG.
Newton Centre: Zenith Trading Company, n.d. (c.1960's)
44 pages, 8 halftone plates
Duodecimo
Softcover: Textured tan card covers, lettered in black

The plates are tipped in and not present in all copies.


Durst Reprint

Image courtesy of NBS Member.

BROWNING, A. W. THE EARLY QUARTER DOLLARS OF THE UNITED STATES.
New York: Sanford J. Durst, 1977
44 pages, 8 plates.
Octavo
Hardcover: Maroon leatherette

Numbered and limited to 1000 copies issued. Plates are of low quality.


Durst Reprint

Image courtesy of Steve Shupe Numismatic Library.

BROWNING, A. W. THE EARLY QUARTER DOLLARS OF THE UNITED STATES.
New York: Sanford J. Durst, 1981
44 pages, 8 plates.
Quarto
Hardcover: Maroon leatherette


Bowers & Merena/Kolbe Reprint

Image courtesy of NBS Member.

BROWNING, A. W. & BREEN, Walter H. THE EARLY QUARTER DOLLARS OF THE UNITED STATES 1796-1838. BY A. W. BROWNING, 1925. COMPLETELY UPDATED IN 1991 BY WALTER BREEN. WITH THE COLLABORATION OF ROBERT W. MILLER, SR. NEW COMMENTARY 1992 BY Q. DAVID BOWERS. WITH NOTES ON RARITY, ATTRIBUTION, NEW VARIETIES, PEDIGREES OF FINEST KNOWN SPECIMENS, ETC. EDITED AND COMPILED BY MICHAEL HODDER.
Wolfeboro: Bowers & Merena in cooperation with George Kolbe, 1992
166 pages, 8 plates.
Quarto
Softcover: White pictorial card covers

The 1992 Bowers & Merena reprint versions are a major effort to update this standard work. Updates by Walter Breen, collaboration by Robert W. Miller, commentary by Q. David Bowers, edited and compiled by Michael Hodder.


Bowers & Merena/Kolbe "Unofficial" Reprint

BROWNING, A. W. & BREEN, Walter H. THE EARLY QUARTER DOLLARS OF THE UNITED STATES 1796-1838. BY A. W. BROWNING, 1925. COMPLETELY UPDATED IN 1991 BY WALTER BREEN. WITH THE COLLABORATION OF ROBERT W. MILLER, SR. NEW COMMENTARY 1992 BY Q. DAVID BOWERS. WITH NOTES ON RARITY, ATTRIBUTION, NEW VARIETIES, PEDIGREES OF FINEST KNOWN SPECIMENS, ETC. EDITED AND COMPILED BY MICHAEL HODDER.
Wolfeboro: Bowers & Merena in cooperation with George Kolbe, 1992
166 pages, 8 plates.
Quarto
Hardcover: White pictorial boards

This is the "Unofficial" hardbound edition whereas 25 copies were bound from unbound signatures by George Kolbe in 2003.


Bowers & Merena/Kolbe Reprint, Deluxe

Image courtesy of Thomas Wetter Numismatic Library.

BROWNING, A. W. & BREEN, Walter H. THE EARLY QUARTER DOLLARS OF THE UNITED STATES 1796-1838. BY A. W. BROWNING, 1925. COMPLETELY UPDATED IN 1991 BY WALTER BREEN. WITH THE COLLABORATION OF ROBERT W. MILLER, SR. NEW COMMENTARY 1992 BY Q. DAVID BOWERS. WITH NOTES ON RARITY, ATTRIBUTION, NEW VARIETIES, PEDIGREES OF FINEST KNOWN SPECIMENS, ETC. EDITED AND COMPILED BY MICHAEL HODDER.
Wolfeboro: Bowers & Merena in cooperation with George Kolbe, 1992
166 pages, 8 double page halftone plates, 8 photographic plates
Quarto: 27.5 x 23 cm
Hardcover: Brown crushed full morocco

The 1992 Deluxe edition was limited to 25 copies.

Copy #1 was the only copy issued with a matching clamshell box.[2]

The plates in the 1992 reprint are considered superior to both the original 1925 and the 1950 Ford reprint.


Durst Reprint

BROWNING, A. W. THE EARLY QUARTER DOLLARS OF THE UNITED STATES.
Rockville Centre: Sanford J. Durst, 1998
166 pages, 8 plates.
Quarto: 23 x 15.5 cm
Softcover: White pictorial card covers

Plates in this 1998 reprint edition are of low quality.


References

  1. http://www.coincats.com/06jan/Deluxe%20Browning%2006jan12.pdf
  2. George Frederick Kolbe, Fine Numismatic Books. AUCTION SALE 100: PART 1, Lot 15. June 3, 2006