BOOKS ON BANKNOTE ENGRAVERS AND ENGRAVINGS
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BOOKS ON BANKNOTE ENGRAVERS AND ENGRAVING

 

In hopes that there are other Engraving Enthusiasts on this Forum, here is a list of some of the books I’ve recently found on my journey to identify and collect the most beautiful vignettes and machine engraving on United States banknotes, especially Large Size notes. If you have other books you like, please post them on this thread.

 

THE FEEL OF STEEL, The ART AND HISTORY OF BANK-NOTE ENGRAVING IN THE UNITED STATES, by Mark D. Tomasko, c 2009/2012.

Hand’s down, this is my favorite book on banknote engraving. Chock full of history and process of engraving and printing, first-rate images of vignettes, banknotes and stock certificates, as well as images of other forms of engraving. In print.

 

THE STORY OF AMERICAN BANKNOTE COMPANY, by William H. Griffiths, c 1959

A wonderful history of the American Banknote Company, the giant of the security design industry. The focus is on the men and institutions that created security engraving and brought it to a state of very high art. A paperback print of this book is in print and readily available. The hardcover edition is out of print, with a precious few used copies selling for about $250.

 

PICTURES FROM A DISTANT COUNTRY: SEEING AMERIXCA THROUGH OLD PAPER MONEY, by Richard Doty, c2013

A wonderful picture book on the history of American as documented on banknotes. Full of wonderful images of landscapes, wildlife, pioneers, farmers, slaves, Native Americans, railroads, shipping, industry. In print, Whitman Publishing, LLC

 

INTERESTING NOTES Series by Roger H. Durand, various copyright dates:

Interesting Notes: About Portraits I, II, III; About Territories; About Indians; About Christmas; About Architecture, About Vignettes I & II. These limited-edition books point out the variety of vignettes and the frequency (or rarity) of their appearance on banknotes, many of which are chartered bank notes. Books contain commentary on the origin of the design, the artists on whose work the designs were created, the engravers of the images and the engraving firm responsible for creating the work. Images are adequate to understand the vignettes, but they are not high-resolution images. Out of Print, but most books can be found in new or used condition at a cost of $50 or less.

 

THE BANKER’S ART, STUDIES IN PAPER MONEY, edited by Virginia Hewitt, c 1995

A compilation of papers from a conference held in the British Museum marking the tercentenary of the Bank of England in 1994. Contains 14 papers on a diverse range of topics including women, African American slaves and Native Americans on banknotes, counterfeiting, bank note design, banknote platemaking and printing, etc. Is international in perspective, featuring notes of the U.S. Confederate States, Spain. China, the U.K., The Netherlands and others. Out of print, with used copies selling for about $150.

 

AS GOOD AS GOLD: 100 YEARS OF BRITISH BANK NOTE DESIGN, by W.H. Hewitt and J.M Keyworth, c 1987 A study of banknote design and engraving in the United Kingdom, with commentary on law and politics, artistry and engraving, security and counterfeiting, portraits, vignettes and other aspects of design and security. Contains about 150 images of banknotes, portraits, and vignettes, as well as machine engraving and printing.

 

THE ENGRAVER’S LINE by Gene Hessler, c 1993.

A compendium of biographical sketches and lists of work performed by American banknote engravers. Includes firm affiliations. Contains some vignettes and note images, but is primarily a study of the Engravers. Out of print, with used copies selling for about $350.

 

THE INTERNATIONAL ENGRAVER’S LINE by Gene Hessler, c2005

A compendium of biographical sketches and lists of work performed by International banknote engravers, including affiliations, as well as some vignettes and note images. Out of print, with used copies selling for about $75.

 

AMERICAN ENGRAVERS UPON COPPER AND STEEL, by Mantle Fielding, reprinted by David McNeely Stauffer. c 1923 by Mantle Fielding. This is a modern reprint of a reference work originally compiled by Mantle Fielding and published by Burt Franklin New York. The original copyright expired, allowing for this reprint. Essentially a compendium of Engravers, together with biographical sketches on many of them, as well as lists of engravings made by them. Very similar to Gene Hessler’s books, although this reference series may be even more exhaustive than Hessler’s in terms of the engravers listed and their works, but, unlike Hessler’s books which contain many images, these books are virtually devoid of images. In print.

 

OTHER REFERENCE BOOKS

This compilation would not be complete without listing a number of “in print” books on currency, including the following books which are replete with images of actual banknotes:

• Whitman Encyclopedia of U.S. Paper Money, by Q. David Bowers, c 2009

• Paper Money of the United States, A Complete Illustrated Guide with Valuations, by Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, , c 2013

• National Bank Notes, 6th Edition, by Don C. Kelly, Ph.D. , c 2008

• Warman’s Coins and Paper Money 6th Edition, Identification and Price Guide, Arlyn G. Sieber, c 2014

• 100 Greatest American Currency Notes by Q. David Bowers and David M. Sundman, c 2006

 

As soon as I hit SEND I’ll find another. If I do, I’ll add to the Post.

 

 

 

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