The E-Sylum v5#50, December 15, 2002
whomren at coinlibrary.com
whomren at coinlibrary.com
Sun Dec 15 17:49:38 PST 2002
Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 50, December 15, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
A VISIT WITH COL. BILL MURRAY
On a visit to San Antonio Texas this week, your Editor
had a nice visit with NBS Board Member Col. Bill Murray
and his wife Jean. Bill's "The New Collector" column runs
regularly in Coin World. It's always fun to visit fellow
bibliophiles and have a peek at their libraries. Each is as
unique as a snowflake, and no matter how large my own
library grows, I always find a few books I don't already
have. Thanks, Bill!
OLDEST NUMISMATIC ARTICLE?
E. Tomlinson Fort, editor of our print journal, The Asylum,
in response to last week's piece about the a 1588 "Discourse
Upon Coins" writes:
"I am afraid that Bernardo Davanzati's work is far from the
oldest article on numismatics. That distinction belongs to Pliny
the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus) who wrote a history of
Roman coinage which appeared in his Naturalis Historia
(The Natural History) which was published in AD 78. The
work was the Encyclodedia Britannica of the ancient world
and was widely circulated throughout Europe. Pliny is the
only European writer to discuss coinage at any real length
before the thirteenth century. Pliny also had a remarkable
career, holding equestrian commands in Germany and
procuratorships in Gaul, he was a personal friend and advisor
of the emperors Vespasian (AD 69-79) and Titus (AD 79-81)
and died a hero while saving refugees from the eruption of
Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.
I am presently working on an "edition" and commentary of
Pliny's numismatic discussion that should (with a little luck)
appear in the Spring issue of The Asylum."
[Thanks, Tom. We'll look forward to your commentary
on Pliny the Elder. -Editor]
ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF WASHINGTON
"Father of his Country" George Washington died at his
Mount Vernon, Virginia estate on December 14, 1799.
Those of you who can count better than I are invited to
compute the number of years it's been...
Coincidentally, Stack's of New York's upcoming
Americana sale (January 21-23, 2003) features the
J. Harold Cobb Collection of George Washington
From a Stack's Press release: "The late J. Harold Cobb
was one of the premiere collectors of the political buttons
struck on the occasions of George Washington's two
presidential inaugurations, 1789 and 1793. He
corresponded with A.H. Albert, lending him materials and
advice over the years. In 1963, Mr. Cobb published the
fruits of his research in "George Washington Inaugural
Buttons and Medalets 1789 & 1793". Re-issued in 1968
with revisions by Elmer Piercy, Cobb's book augments
and supplements Albert's earlier work on the subject and
has become a collectable in its own right. Mr. Cobb died
that year and his collection passed first to his son, then to
his family, who have kept it intact ever since. Its contents
have not been examined by anyone outside the family and
it is generally unknown to today's collectors.
The first anyone was aware the collection still existed came
when a general request for assistance with a collection of
Washington inaugural buttons was posted by a family
member on a Usenet newsgroup. Stack's responded
promptly and was rewarded with the sale.
The Cobb Collection includes 34 Washington inaugural
buttons and 8 related pieces. The collection is notable not
only for the rarity of its contents, but also for the outstanding
condition of the pieces. Cobb collected with an eye to
quality and his GW's are magnificent. Many of the pieces
in the Stack's auction are featured as plate pieces in Albert's,
and Cobb's own, books.
Stack's believes that the sale of the Cobb Collection will
become a landmark event in the collecting history of this
select and prestigious part of the hobby. Already, a lavish
catalogue is being prepared with in depth cataloguing and
illustrations of every button. George Fuld, recently named
Washingtonia consultant to Stack's, has written a foreword
to the catalogue.
Other Washingtonia in the Stack's January, 2003 Americana
sale includes important funeral medals in silver, gold, and
white metal, as well as important Success Tokens, from the
collection of the Western Reserve Historical Society via
donation by Ambassador and Mrs. R. Henry Norweb. For
further details, contact Mike Hodder at Stack's,
SHOW AND TELL
One very infrequent feature of The E-Sylum is "Show and
Tell," where subscribers are invited to write about new
acquisitions for their libraries. If you have something you'd
like to share with us, please write.
A few new additions to my own library are things I've
wanted for some time. They're not excessively rare, just
things I somehow hadn't come across at the right price.
First is a copy of Bauman L. Belden's "Indian Peace
Medals Issued in the United States," a 1927 ANS
publication. It's out of date now, but still interesting.
Next is an original copy of Ebenezer Gilbert's 1916
work on "The United States Half Cents." It's ex-library,
but the "JUL13 1917" datestamp provides added
proof that it is indeed an original.
Finally, something I once sold to a friend who needed
one for reference - that was a decade ago and I guess
I've been too "thrifty" to buy another at the retail price:
The 1967 reprint of Dalton & Hamer's "The Provincial
Token Coinage of the Eighteenth Century."
1836 PATTERN INFO SOUGHT
Alan Meghrig writes: "A few years ago someone was talking
about an 1836 two-cent pattern. As I recall the question, it
was about when was the example they were commenting on
produced, the production date being questionable because of
restrikes. If this is something one of or readers wanted to know,
e-mail me. I will try to answer. My address is
alanmeghrig at cox.net
While I have everybody's attention.... Does anyone have an
exact reference for separating Originals from Restrikes of the
1836 Two-cent patterns? I may have missed a clear statement
by some cataloger. My impression is, that it was once common
knowledge how to distinguish them; but no one published it.
The older listings refer to 'buckled die' when talking about the
Restrike. Today we refer to it as a 'die crack'. I am looking for
a source reference."
JOHN W. HASELTINE INFORMATION SOUGHT
W. David Perkins writes: "For years I have had an interest in
Capt. John W. Haseltine of Philadelphia. I am a collector and
researcher of the United States early silver dollars 1794-1803.
Of particular interest to me is the Haseltine Type Table sale of
1881, which offered Haseltine's personal reference collection
of the early silver dollars, and Haseltine's involvement with the
Economite Hoard, which contained a large number of these
silver dollars. (I am also interested in J. Colvin Randall's
relationship with Haseltine, including research they shared
with each other related to the early silver dollars).
On August 31, 2000 I posted the following to an internet
Genealogy Forum called GenForum:
"Is anyone related to a Captain John W. Haseltine. He was
born in Philadelphia, PA in 1838 and lived for 86 years. He
was involved in mining, commercial art, was a legitimate Civil
War Hero and was in the coin business. He had close
relationships to the (then) new Philadelphia Mint. He was a
stockbroker for a while starting around 1885 (maybe until
early 1890s)." (This information on Haseltine is from John W.
Adams United States Numismatic Literature, Volume I,
I hadn't thought much about the information regarding
Haseltine being involved in mining or that he was a
stockbroker until I recently received the following via an
"I saw your inquiry regarding Captain John W. Haseltine
and it helped to shed light on an item in my collection. It is a
Pioneer Mining Company of Colorado stock certificate
dated July 2, 1867, signed by John W. Haseltine as
Secretary and William B. Haseltine as President (his brother?).
John W. has also initialed and dated the 25c revenue stamp
on the certificate.
In researching the names, I kept finding references to the
famed coin dealer and Civil War Colonel and suspected that
he might be the same man who signed my stock certificate,
but was not sure until I saw your inquiry which stated that he
was in fact involved in mining. I'd be interested in knowing if
you know whether William B. Haseltine was his brother, as
my piece is signed by both of them and I can find no other
info about William."
The link to the scan of the stock certificate is:
The following was included in a later e-mail: "I have also
found two other related references to Haseltine mining
activities: An 1879 Pioneer Mining stock certificate signed
by President H. A. Stiles with John W. Haseltine as Treasurer
and an American Exploring Company 1866 stock certificate
signed by President William Stevens with William B. Haseltine
Following is some information on the Pioneer Mine:
"Reported, in 1871 to be the only quartz-mining company at
work in the county, producing $40,000 in four months
(Raymond, 1871, p 332) They later owned a large number
of claims, including the Nova Zembela with ore at a depth
of 200 ft running $200 in gold with some silver. Over 600
tons had been removed from this mine, averaging over $60
per ton. A tunnel was projected that would intersect this
vein at a depth of 700 ft. The company had a 20 stamp mill
updated with equipment necessary to concentrate and mill
ore (Burchard, 1882, p. 525)."
Can anyone shed some light on this information? Is the John
W. Haseltine that signed these documents the same Capt.
John W. Haseltine that was the Philadelphia coin dealer?
Is William B. Haseltine related to John W. Haseltine, and if
so, in what way? Does anyone have a signature of John W.
Haseltine (the coin dealer) that they might compare to the
signature on the stock certificate?
I look forward to hearing from our readers. Thank you"
THE FRAGILITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Alan Luedeking writes: "The Fragility of Technology" was the
the title used by Fred Schwan to describe his trials and
tribulations in resurrecting the files for his book "World War II
Remembered" in the IBNS Journal V.41 No.3, of which I was
reminded by your piece on the Domesday Project. Fred
feared his hopes for a new expanded second edition of this
excellent work would be dashed by his inability to access the
files for the first edition because the state of computer art had
advanced beyond the means to retrieve them. If the loss had
proven permanently irretrievable, he would have had to rewrite
the work from scratch and recreate all the illustrations. The
average human lifespan is insufficient to afford such disasters.
This is yet another example of why the printed work, on good
acid-free paper, is essential. Quite aside from the convenience
of resting a book versus a hot laptop on one's belly whilst lying
in bed, optical character reader technologies will always exist
100 and 500 years from now (if we're all still around) that will
be able to instantly convert the printed page to whatever
electronic, chemical, or other storage medium is then popular."
BOOKS OUGHTA COST MORE
In response to the item on "Why do books cost so much?",
author Morten Eske Mortensen asks about "the most
OBVIOUS cost of all factors: the amount that one has to pay
the author for the work of writing the book. Or is it somehow
that everyone puts that amount to: 0 [zero] ? ! ? ! ?"
Howard A. Daniel III writes that the item reminded him of
his first book, "The Catalog and Guidebook of Southeast
Asian Coins and Currency, Volume 1, France." He writes
that it took him two years of evenings while on active duty
in the Army from 1973 to 1975 to write the book on an
IBM Selectric typewriter.
Then he found a local printer in a very small shop who had
just immigrated from Germany and needed all of the business
he could get. He worked with Howard and his book was
published in one hundred copies with a spiral binding.
Someone told him to double the cost for the retail price in
order to make a profit. He did this and sold (except for
a few donated to numismatic libraries) all of the copies in less
than 90 days, and then was promptly transferred overseas.
Once he was settled into his military quarters and had his files,
he added up his printing costs, advertising, donations, etc. and
subtracted it from the total received from sales. Howard
remembers making less than $10. for two years work, and
his book was a sellout!"
FEATURED WEB PAGES
This week's featured web pages are about the Neutron
Irradiated Dimes produced and sold as souvenirs by the
American Museum Of Atomic Energy in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a
non-profit organization promoting numismatic
literature. For more information please see
our web site at http://www.coinbooks.org/
There is a membership application available on
the web site. To join, print the application and
return it with your check to the address printed
on the application. For those without web access,
write to David Sklow, NBS Secretary-Treasurer,
P.O. Box 76192, Ocala, FL 34481.
For Asylum mailing address changes and other
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