The History of Coin Photography

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Denis Richard, Jul 6, 2023.

  1. Denis Richard

    Denis Richard Well-Known Member

    Hey everyone,

    I'm fascinated by the history of numismatic photography and I am looking for any gems of information anyone can provide. Does anyone have any stories, anecdotes, references, or links to share? Little known facts? I would be very grateful for any assistance.

    Also, if anyone can direct me to threads already within this forum on the topic, I'd really appreciate it. I tried searching here but my keywords returned too many results to reasonably sift through.

    I have been going through the archives of both the ANA and the RCNA, and while it's immensely helpful, it's a slow process, and more importantly, I'm sure this community has a wealth of additional knowledge about numismatic photography beyond North America to share. Anything and everything would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!
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  3. longnine009

    longnine009 Darwin has to eat too. Supporter

    Some consider Lonesome John Devine's error coin catalogs from the 70's/80's to be pioneer work in coin photography. I believe CONECA even has a coin photography award named after him.
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  4. rmpsrpms

    rmpsrpms Lincoln Maniac

    Not so sure about that. The first coin catalog with high quality photos was published in 1860.
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  5. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    I recall that the earliest image was a stereoview of a bracelet of roman coins taken in France, in the 1850s. I saw it in the British Museum in 1980 or so.
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  6. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    The last chapter in the VAM book is about photographing varieties with 1960s equipment, including various types of macro lenses, close-up lenses, and focusing systems. He also discusses selection of film, chemistry, paper, and darkroom techniques. I'm not sure if Leroy wrote that chapter for the 3rd edition (1991) or if it was in the 2nd edition (1976), too. None of the equipment he shows is post-1976, but that doesn't mean much.
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  7. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    My understanding is the 3rd. edition chapter was tweaked by Guy Whidden.
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  8. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark all my best friends are dead Romans Dealer

    Ancient Coins in Early American Auctions, 1869–1939

    By David Fanning

    A bibliography and analysis of American auction catalogues issued before the Second World War that feature photographically printed illustrations of ancient coins.

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  9. Denis Richard

    Denis Richard Well-Known Member

    Thank you. Yes, I saw that image in a forum. I have included that.
  10. Denis Richard

    Denis Richard Well-Known Member

    Yes, David Fanning is a great source of information. He has an hour-long video presentation on the topic.
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