World Coins

First book ever printed about coins donated to ANA library

Bruce D. Wonder presents ANA Library manager Akio Lis with a first edition copy of the first printed numismatic book.

Image courtesy of the ANA.

A first edition of Guillaume Budé’s De Asse et Partibus Eius Libri Quinq — recognized as the first printed numismatic book, having been printed in 1514 —  has been donated to the American Numismatic Association’s Dwight N. Manley Library in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The donation was made by numismatic bibliophile and coin dealer Bruce D. Wonder, who purchased the book at auction in 2012.

The book covers ancient Greek and Roman coins and  includes definitions for early numismatic terminology and early references to coin measurements. Budé was one of the great French scholars and philosophers of the 16th century, and his works include treatises on law and politics, analyses of ancient European cultures, and treatises on the arts.

The volume was purchased by Wonder in 2012 from Kolbe & Fanning’s “The 2012 New York Book Sale” and featured in his article in the March 2014 issue of The Numismatist titled “A Very Special Anniversary,” written to commemorate the 500th anniversary of its publication on March 15, 1514. Also bound in this volume are two legal treatises by Budé, one a later edition of and one an addenda to his earlier work Annotationes in XXIV Pandectarum libros. The provenance of this copy can be traced to John Drury’s Catalogue XXXII (1978) of numismatic literature where it appeared as item #28.

Wonder is an emeritus professor of management, having spent most of his 41-year teaching and administrative career at Western Washington University in Bellingham. His love of numismatics and the literature about it has spanned a longer period, beginning at the age of 12 in 1954.

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