The E-Sylum v5#50, December 15, 2002

whomren at whomren at
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.


   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!


   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]


   "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
   Inaugural Buttons.

   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,


   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."


   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

   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."


   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,
   Chapter Five).

   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
   as Secretary."

   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"


   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."


   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!"


   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.

  Wayne Homren
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society

  The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a
  non-profit organization promoting numismatic
  literature.   For more information please see
  our web site at
  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
  membership questions, contact Dave at this email
  address: sdsklow at

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