Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers are pleased to announce the upcoming publication of a standard reference work on a long-neglected byway of American numismatics, namely Admiral Vernon medals:


Medals Sometimes Lie

by John W. Adams and Dr. Fernando Chao (h)

with the collaboration of Anne E. Bentley

Kolbe & Fanning, Gahanna, Ohio, 2010. 240 pages, finely illustrated throughout in color. 9 by 12 inch format. Well bound in cloth with a pictorial dust wrapper

$95.00 plus $5.00 shipping in the United States and $25.00 elsewhere


Interest in this fascinating historical series has captured the attention of famous numismatists and collectors on three continents. Since the issuance of these medals in 1739-1741, no less than fourteen works on the topic have been†published, the first in 1835 and the last in 1966. None of these earlier efforts succeeded in creating a†practicable attribution system. Thus, despite their almost irresistable allure, Vernon medals have tended to overwhelm collectors with their apparent complexity at the same time that they were the bane of professional cataloguers. No longer will this be so. The authors have succeeded in gathering high quality images of all 275 varieties and modern technology makes possible the publication of these images in book form. The images combined with a new, user-friendly attribution system makes the identification of Vernon varieties both easy and accurate.

Earlier authors, a group which includes a marquess, an earl, a general and†the president of a country, have not gotten the history right. English speaking writers tended to view Admiral Vernon as the conquering hero, while Spanish speaking writers regarded him as a low grade buccaneer. Adams and Chao have dug deeply into original source material in both languages which, in turn, has permitted them to publish some startling conclusions

The authors’ "History of the Events" sets the historical record straight and is accompanied by a bibliography, a guide to collecting the series, a chapter on the metals utilized, and a vital series of appendices comprising concordances, a census, biographical notes on prominent collectors, a guide to grading, and other germane topics. These sections are the soul of the book; its heart is the extensive, detailed catalogue of "The Medals Themselves," comprising two thirds of the volume. Here, over 275 medals are depicted in full color enlargements, accompanied by painstakingly detailed descriptions printed in two colors for ease of use.†Dr. Joel J. Orosz has termed the book "one of the signal triumphs of modern numismatic scholarship" and concludes that "In fact, Medallic Portraits of Admiral Vernon†does such a superb job of defining the previously indefinable, the only numismatic book to which it can be appropriately compared is Sylvester Sage Crosby's Early Coins of America."

Orders for the book are now being accepted and delivery of the book is expected in early June.

Inquiries or orders and payments may be sent to:




GAHANNA OH 43230-2700

(614) 414-0855

Fax: (614) 414-0860