Dwight Manley donates Breen books to ANA
Dwight Manley, a numismatist and philanthropist, donated more than 60 books, auction catalogs and photos previously owned by Walter Breen to the American Numismatic Association, according to the ANA on May 11.
The items, many of which bear Breen’s handwritten notes and annotations, were purchased at the Sydney F. Martin Numismatic Library Collection Auction.
Highlights of the collection include two annotated drafts of Walter Breen’s Complete Encyclopedia of American and Colonial Coins; Breen’s personal copy of The Encyclopedia of Commemorative Silver and Gold Coins of the United States, 1892-1954, a 1981 reference he co-wrote with Anthony Swiatek; 29 auction catalogs for sales that took place between 1951 and 1978; and 19 photographic plates “depicting Colonial-era state coins and other pre-federal coins with his handwritten notes on rarity.” A number of letters from Breen are also part of the collection.
Manley reflected on the importance of Breen and the collection: “Walter Breen had a troubled personal life, but he was one of the best numismatic scholars of his day. These important documents can help current and future researchers provide useful information for our hobby. »
The ANA library is named after Manley in recognition of a $250,000 donation made in 2003, which Manley described as a “thank you” for a $400 scholarship given to Manley to attend the summer seminar ANA 1980. Manley is a longtime collector who in 1999 purchased the salvaged treasure from the SS central America while serving as managing partner of California Gold Marketing Group LLC. Manley also placed record bids for legendary rarities such as the King of Siam Proof set and the finest 1913 Liberty Head nickel.
Martin was a renowned collector, researcher and author, who died in January 2021. Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers auctioned his collection and library in April 2022.
Breen was a noted researcher and numismatist, whose monographs and books were considered groundbreaking. His personal life, however, was notorious; he died in prison after being convicted of child molestation.