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The long-anticipated publication of this major work brings the detailed study of Italian medals up to the year 1600. There are very elaborate listings of 1258 medals with the location of examples in British institutions. The learned tome enfolds between one set of covers much that is otherwise unpublished or concealed in obscure works, and follows the work of G.F. Hill whose work chronicles medals (1333 of them) from their Renaissance revival in the second quarter of the 15th century to c.1530.

Hill’s vast and pioneering work was published at 10 guineas (£10.50) in 1930. This sum is very roughly the equivalent of the price of the present work. On reflection the price of Attwood’s recent work is not as expensive as might at first appear.

Anyway, it is well worth the price and indispensable. Indeed it will now be as unthinkable for cataloguers to omit Attwood numbers from their descriptions as it has been for decades to ignore Hill numbers. This is particularly important as there is no equivalent work in any other language.