Henry Cohen (numismatist)

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Henry Cohen (Amsterdam, 21 April 1806 – Paris, 17 May 1880), was a French numismatist, bibliographer and composer.

Cohen moved from Amsterdam to Paris, where he worked as a music teacher and served as curator of the Cabinet des Médailles at the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

He published several works during his lifetime. Cohen's Guide de l'amateur des livres à vignettes du XVIII Siècle went through four editions and is considered the standard bibliography of French 18th century illustrated books.[1] He is perhaps best known for his two fundamental works on ancient numismatics: the first, published in 1854, dealt with the Roman Republican coinage, while the second, issued in 8 volumes from 1859 to 1868, focused on the coinage of the Roman Empire, from Pompey to Romulus Augustus (49 BC - 476).

Besides his numismatic works, Cohen wrote several compositions, one of which, the opera "l'Impératrice", was performed, about 1834, in Naples, Paris, and London.[2] Moreover, he published four tracts about musical theory.[3]


  • Description générale de monnaies de la République romaine, Paris, 1854
  • Guide de l’acheteur de médailles romaines et byzantines, Paris, 1876)
  • Description historique des Monnaies frappées sous l'Empire romain, communément appelées Médailles impériales, 8 voll., Paris, 1859–1868,
    • 2nd edition, 1880 to 1890, available on line here and here
  • Guide de l'amateur de livres à vignettes du XVIII-e siècle, Paris, 1870, (reprints: 1873, 1877, 1880)


  1. ^ "Henry Cohen's Work". VirtulCohen.com. Retrieved 14 January 2009. .
  2. ^ "Biographies de numismates: Henry Cohen (1806-1880)". SacraMoneta. Retrieved 14 January 2009. .
  3. ^ "Biographies de numismates: Henry Cohen (1806-1880)". SacraMoneta. Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  • Also available in Description historique des Monnaies frappées sous l'Empire romain..., Tome II, Paris, 1882, introduction page 5
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