ANA library receives oldest printed book

The American Numismatic Association (ANA) Dwight N. Manley Library has received the first edition of Guillaume Budé’s De Asse et Partibus Eius Libri Quinq, recognized as the first printed numismatic book.

Numismatic bibliophile and coin dealer Bruce Wonder added the iconic book to the collection, which contains many rare and old books covering a variety of numismatic topics. The book covers ancient Greek and Roman coins with definitions for early numismatic terminology and early references to coin measurements. Budé stood among the great French scholars and philosophers of the 16th century, and his works include treatises on law, politics and the arts plus analyses of ancient European cultures.

Wonder purchased the volume in 2012 from Kolbe & Fanning’s 2012 New York Book Sale before authoring an article in the March 2014 issue of The Numismatist entitled “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.

The provenance of this copy can be traced to John Drury’s 1978 Catalogue XXXII of numismatic literature, in which it appeared as item #28.

A collector and bibliophile from age 12 in 1954, Wonder hopes “some of the joy he has experienced as its temporary custodian these past 11 years may be experienced by many current and future numismatists who will have access to it,” according to a statement issued by the ANA library.

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