The E-Sylum v5#38, September 22, 2002

whomren at whomren at
Sun Sep 22 19:57:27 PDT 2002

[This copy sent to esylum at  This time it should
have a Subject heading.  Bruce is following up on a few more
questions before we can go live.   Joel had some problems
subscribing/unsubscribing.   Please test it.  Send an email
message with "Unsubscribe" (or "Subscribe", as appropriate)
in the body to: esylum-request at
Thanks. -Wayne.]
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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 38, September 22, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


   This week's new subscribers are Christopher G. Jones and
   William Hancock.  Welcome aboard!   After cleaning up the
   mailing list, our subscriber count is 486.


   Fred Lake of Lake Books writes: "The prices realized list for
   our sale #65 is now available for viewing on our web site at
   the following address:"


   The September 2002 Fixed Price List #3 from Karl Moulton
   has just been published.  "United States Numismatic Literature
   1960 to Date" features publications from over 150 different
   cataloguers.   For more information, see his website at or write to Karl at
   numiscats at


   George Kolbe sends the following press release for his latest
   sale:  "The upcoming November 14, 2002 auction conducted
   by George Frederick Kolbe/Fine Numismatic Books will be
   the most important offering of rare and out of print American
   numismatic literature to come to market since the firm's
   1998-2000 sales of the landmark Harry W. Bass, Jr. Library.

   The auction features a quarter million dollars of important
   works on a wide range of topics, including ancient numismatics,
   Renaissance medals, and standard works on medieval and
   modern foreign coins and medals, particularly those of the
   Latin and Spanish American world. In the American field, over
   two dozen Chapman brother and Thomas Elder auction
   catalogues featuring original photographic plates are included.
   Many of these, from the Denis Loring library, are classic large
   cent sales. A number of standard works on large cents are
   also included, among them being Judge Joseph Sawicki's copy
   of Clapp's 1931 The United States Cents of the Years 1798-
   1799, and Chapman's work on 1794 cents.

   A few additional highlights follow (estimates are within
   parentheses): A newly discovered Large Paper copy of
   Hickcox's 1858 An Historical Account of American Coinage
   ($3,500); An original set of Habich's Deutschen Schaumünzen
   ($2,000); A fine set of Mazerolle's 1902-1904 Les
   Medailleurs Français ($2,000); the rare 1726 edition of
   Numismata Ærea Selectiora Maximi Moduli e Museo Pisano
   Olim Corrario, considered to be a masterpiece of Venetian
   baroque book illustration ($2,500); two sets of Dasi's five
   volume Estudio de los Reales de a Ocho ($450 & $500); a
   fine set of Rizzo's magnificent 1945-1946 Monete Greche
   della Sicilia ($3,500);  Deluxe Leatherbound Editions of B.
   Max Mehl's famous 1941 Dunham and 1946 Atwater sale
   catalogues ($1,250 & $1,000); a very fine example of the
   United States Coin Company's 1915 H. O. Granberg (A
   Prominent American) sale catalogue with photographic plates
   ($2,500); a superb plated 1907 Stickney catalogue in a
   special binding ($2,000); a long run of The Numismatist,
   beginning with Volume Three; an extensive photographic
   archive belonging to Ray Byrne on the West Indies, Mexico,
   Latin America, the Philippines, etc. ($1,000);  a remarkably
   fine set of The Elder Monthly ($1,000); a superb
   leatherbound set of Mehl's Numismatic Monthly ($2,000);
   two sets of Yeoman Red Books, and multiple copies of the
   early editions, some in exceptional condition; A complete set
   of Corpus Nummorum Italicorum ($3,000); Aloiss Heiss's
   inscribed copy of Herrera's classic 1884 work on Spanish
   Proclamation Medals ($1,250); Svoronos' 1904-1908 Coins
   of the Ptolemies ($1,000); Superior Stamp and Coin Company's
   own set of Money Talks ($500); and Deluxe Leatherbound
   Editions of five Superior Galleries auction sale catalogues
   ($750 to $2,500).

   Catalogues may be obtained by sending $10.00 to the firm.
   The catalogue is also available at the firm's web site:"


   Martin Gengerke writes: "A new print edition of my "American
   Numismatic Auctions" is a bit too time consuming for me at
   this point.  However, I'll have available within two weeks a
   CD with all my current data.  It will contain three listings:

   Over 15,000 Auction Catalogues (by firm)
   Over 7,000 Consignors (alphabetical)
   Over 1,800 Auction Firms

   Each CD will have all three listings in three IBM-compatible

   A database (readable by dBase, FoxPro, Paradox, etc.)
   A spreadsheet (readable by Excel, 1-2-3, etc.)
   A text file (readable by most any word processor)

   These will be DATA ONLY - no program or search engine,

   The price will be U.S. $49 postpaid within the U.S. (postage
   additional to foreign addresses)

   Since I'm missing many catalogues from the past few years,
   as a special offer, any buyer who contributes information on
   any missing catalogues dated prior to 9/1/02 will receive a
   FREE update in six months.   Orders should go to:

   Martin Gengerke
   Bowling Green Station
   P.O. Box 1410
   New York, NY  10274-1410

   I can be contacted at (718) 458-2016 (eves.) or at
   gengerke at"


   David Cassel, researcher and author of "United States Pattern
   Postage Currency Coins", is seeking the owner of Stack's
   Bareford1863 Postage Currency 10 cent pattern that was
   recently auctioned by Stack's on September 10, 2002 as
   lot 566.

   He writes: "A coin that I had long believed to be a
   mis-attribution is from Stack's Harold Bareford Collection,
   October 1981, lot 286.   This was the cataloging by Stack's:
   "1863 Postage Currency. J.325a. Silver. Plain edge.  Thin
   Planchet. 24 1/2 grains."   If the coin was silver, J-325, and
   the weight indeed was 24.5 grains, then this coin was a
   previously unknown weight for this silver coin.

   The attribution that was in conflict with my research work
   was that Postage Currency 10 cent coins of 24.5 grains do
   exist, but, the coins are not silver.  They are either tin alloy
   or they are billon.

   The coin finally emerged from obscurity after twenty-one years
   as Lot 566 in Stack's September 2002 catalog. What I needed
   to confirm my belief was a weight computation and a SEM-EDX
   test.  A Specific Gravity test would have also been valuable.  I
   contacted Stack's asking to borrow the raw coin for 24 hours
   so that I could perform a SEM-EDX analysis (at my expense)
   and have the coin's weight verified and either confirm or
   disaffirm the prior attribution.  I was unsuccessful in reaching an
   accommodation with Stack's prior to the auction.

   If per chance the buyer of this coin reads this, please contact me
   at DavCassel at so that we can arrange to have your
   coin scientifically tested at my expense."


   In response to the item about health effects of the new Euro
   coinage, Martin Purdy writes: "This isn't the first time I've
   heard  this story, but I still can't help being skeptical - were
   similar symptoms noted (or similar studies carried out) with
   coins of pure nickel such as the Swiss 20 centimes (1881-
   1938)  and most types of Canadian 5-cent coin from the
   1920s to the 1980s?  It has all the hallmarks of a scare
   tactic intended to aggravate public uncertainty about the
   new coinage in Europe."


   Dick Johnson writes: "A medal made news last Monday,
   September 16th, for completing a trip that landed it back
   in the White House.

   In January 2001, then President Clinton presented the
   Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military decoration,
   to Theodore Roosevelt's family.  Last Monday they
   presented it to President Bush for deposit back in the
   White House.

   It will be placed for display next to Theodore Roosevelt's
   Nobel Peace Prize Medal on the mantel in the Roosevelt
   Room, a shrine to both presidents named Roosevelt.
   Theodore "Rough Rider" Roosevelt received it for his
   military action at the battle of San Juan Hill, July 1, 1898.

   This was not the first such posthumous awarding of the
   Medal of Honor.  Nor is it the longest such delay.
   Previously, the nation's most prestigious decoration has
   been awarded to Civil War recipients long dead.  Such
   delays give the word "posthumous" a bad reputation. Such
   awards are understandable when the awardee dies in the
   military action, but how long must it take when the awardee

   In Theodore Roosevelt's case it took 101 years and 6
   months.  The Associated Press story is at"


   It's been a long while since I've had a chance to surf the
   web for bibliographical sources.  One good example is
   Kavan Ratnatunga's bibliography of selected books and
   publications on the coins of Sri Lanka (Ceylon).  Here's
   the link:

   The NBS web site has links to the ANA and ANS
   numismatic libraries, a copy of Tom Fort's library
   catalog, and Larry Mitchell's selected bibliography of
   world numismatics.  Has anyone compiled a list of
   other web resources for numismatic bibliography?
   I'd be pleased to publish links to any and all useful
   pages of a non-commercial nature, and if there are
   enough of them we can add them to the NBS web
   site for reference.

   There are a lot of bibliography pages out there!  A
   quick web search turned up the following (and many
   others).     So here's a starter list (in no particular order).
   Is anyone willing to tackle the job of compiling and
   organizing a more definitive list?   Thanks!  -Editor.


   Christopher Rivituso writes: "I recently read that phone box
   tokens in Italy freely circulated as money and that it was not
   at all uncommon to receive them in change. Can anybody
   confirm this and tell me how much the gettone were worth?
   What is the situation now in Italy, with the euro in circulation?
   Are the gettone still circulating? If so, what is their current

   Actually, I would imagine that there are less and less gettone,
   even before the euro came into circulation, seeing that
   card-only phoneboxes have proliferated in Europe. I'm sure
   that Italy is no exception."

  [Until I read Christopher's note, I was unfamiliar with the
   term "Gettone", which I assume is Italian for "Token".
   A quick web search turned up some information and
   illustrations of the tokens and telephones which accepted
   them (in both English and Italian):

   Telephone tokens came up earlier this year in an item about
   Howard Daniel III's research (see The E-Sylum v5#35,
   September 3, 2002)  Since we have subscribers in Italy,
   perhaps someone can give us an update on the use and
   collecting of these tokens.   -Editor]


   Richard Crosby writes: "For many years I have been
   receiving Coin World in the mail.  This publication comes
   without a cover or enclosed page and anyone who sees
   this would know that the person receiving it is a coin
   collector and would be a good candidate for a robbery.

   I called Coin World today  and asked if they would or
   could  enclose the paper in a cover page for some security
   and was told this was not possible - If I was that concerned
   "get a Post Office box".  They felt it was unnecessary.

   I think that  all subscribers of hobby publications should
   have some type of a protective unmarked cover protecting
   the subscriber from unscrupulous individuals.  Persons who
   subscribe to National Geographic, scientific magazines,
   Playboy, Penthouse etc. all  have an outside cover; I think
   some type of action should be taken to protect ourselves."

   [Good point, but the P.O. Box is really the only route
   most of us have.   Some of our hobby publications
   already wrap their issues, but then they sell ads on the
   wrapping.  To me, this is little different than selling the
   front page to the highest bidder.  Some might call the
   practice sneaky, but business is business, and there's
   little the individual subscriber can do short of canceling
   their subscription.  -Editor]


   In response to Dick Johnson's notes about using city directories
   for numismatic research, Jørgen Sømod writes: "I have collected
   directories, phone catalogs and other books with many names
   year by year for more than 30 years. They are for me a very
   important tool in numismatic research, not only for medallists,
   but also for  medals, tokens and private emergency money.

   Of course is it Danish material I am collecting, but I have also
   a few directories from US Virgin Islands.  Beside the official
   archives, of which some of them now can be found online, is
   there also the Mormon archives in Utah. They have in many
   years photographed the original material in church books etc.
   in many countries and they have done a fantastic work by
   typing that material into a digital use.  I am informed, that big
   parts of it shall be online now, but haven't yet been using it yet.
   However I have a couple of times visited the Mormons here in
   Copenhagen and I must say they are more than helpful."


   Dick Johnson writes: "For two weeks I have written about
   the numismatic use of City Directories for researchers in our
   field. These are widely used by collectors, writers, curators
   -- and catalogers! -- of American tokens and medals.

   Despite the vast research already done in this field by
   Russ Rulau, George Fuld, Dave Schenkman, Arlie
   Slabaugh, and many, many others, a great deal remains to
   be done.  As a collector I could find no greater pleasure
   than to track down an American token or medal of the
   19th or 20th century in my collection and learn more
   about its background.  City directories are often the first
   step in this delightful chore.  Maverick tokens (those with
   no obvious location) can also be identified with city
   directory research.

   This week I would like to talk about those microforms of
   city directories (microfiche and microfilm).   It appears a
   group of Connecticut businessmen began filming, one page
   at a time, all the city directories in the collection of the
   American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts.
   Missing directories were located in other libraries.

   This chore was so daunting they divided the project into
   four phases: all the American city directories from 1786 to
   1861 were in the first phase.  This was completed in 1967
   and they begin marketing these, in total, by city, state, or
   individual microfiche (this phase was issued only in

   For the second phase they chose only the directories from
   the fifty largest cities in America.  Even so, they had to cut
   off Phase Two at 1881.  These were issued in microfilm (one
   or two directories per roll).  Phase Three covered 1881 to
   1901 and, they say, these works were printed on such poor
   paper, the original books were literally falling apart.

   Phase Four covered the 20th century, 1902 to 1935. Since
   then hundreds of other cities have been microfilmed. (And a
   later, Fifth phase, covers 1936-1960.)

   Their company was located, I discovered, in Woodbridge,
   Connecticut.  Great, I thought!  Since this was nearby to my
   Litchfield location, I could travel to their offices and research
   everything, from everywhere right in their offices.  I called to
   learn, sorry Charlie, that would be in competition to their
   customers, the libraries around the world who buy their
   microforms. You have to do your research in those libraries,
   that's their "business!"

   The firm, originally called Research Publications, was sold to
   Gale Research of Detroit -- they merged another company,
   Information Access Company with this firm, now called
   Primary Source Media and called this "The Gale Group" --
   and that firm, in turn, was acquired by Primary Source Media
   of Berkshire, England. If you didn't follow all those global
   business mergers, don't fret.

   Current prices for the microfiche is $4.28 each (making all
   Phase One microfiche cost over $26,000).  Microfilm rolls
   are $80.25 each (the  list of cities runs 20 pages with about
   40 per page and often dozens of rolls per city;  I can't even
   calculate THAT total cost!). These can still be obtained in
   Woodbridge and you can go to their website:

   But to do your token or medal research, start with your local
   library.  Give them the "business" first.  Then you may have to
   travel to the largest city or state library nearest where your
   item was issued.  Good luck, and let me hear of your success
  (or problems): dick.johnson at"


   Jan Lingen of the Netherlands responded to Kavan
   Ratnatunga's questions about essais and Krause not having
   definitions for words used in their catalogs:

   "Essai"  is French for pattern or trial
   "Prova" is Italian and has the same meaning
   To complete it further in German it is "Probe"; in
   Spanish "prueba"  In French sometimes also "preuve"
   is used. Alternative expressions in Italian are also
   "saggio" or "disegno"

   To me, "off-metal strikes" are coins in a different metal
   than the official circulation coin.  Patterns and trials could
   be in different metals, mostly they are so that they can't
   be mistaken from the circulation coins.

   Krause has to depend on many people from different
   countries. For the Dutch Encyclopedia of coins and paper
   money, we made a list of Numismatic terms in Dutch,
   English, German, French, Italian & Spanish.  I asked
   acquaintances from these countries to go through this list
   and you may be surprised that different people give
   different expressions for the same term. Even in certain
   numismatic terms in different languages it is not
   "black/white" either.   So I am not surprised that such
   things do appear in Krause."

   Howard A. Daniel III adds:  "Krause cannot put everything
   in its catalogs that are requested and/or needed by numismatists
   and others because the volumes would be twice their current
   sizes and priced too high for most collectors to purchase and/
   or handle.  So they have produced some specialty books, to
   include a numismatic dictionary.

   I am on the road again as I write this, but my memory of the
   French Southeast Asian pieces has essai as an equivalent to
   proof in the U.S.  And the French used to make 1004 of a
   coin in Essai (normal coin thickness in the original metal) and
   104 Essai Piefort (double thickness in the original metal).

   I do not know if those numbers are continued today in the
   modern issues, and I do not know if essai has been
   expanded into including many modern strikes."


   Darryl Atchison writes this response to David Davis'
   comments regarding the desirability of printed matter
   over CD's:

   "Firstly, I would definitely be in the same camp as Mr. Davis
   in that I too prefer the printed form to a CD.  However, a
   few practical realities must also be considered.  These are
   namely space, expense and functionality.  These should all
   be self-explanatory but I will review them none-the-less,
   using our own bibliography of Canadian Numismatics as
   a reference point.

   We anticipate that our bibliography when finished will be
   approximately 1000 printed pages long.  This means about
   five-six inches of shelf space.  A disc takes up only a few
   millimeters of space to store - even in a case.

   A decent-quality printed version of our text will cost
   somewhere between $100-$150 approximately and a CD
   version will cost considerably less (perhaps as little as $20),
   thereby making the information available to a wider target
   audience - who may not be able to afford the print version.

   While I prefer print versions of a book as I enjoy being able
   to sit down comfortably and flip pages at my leisure, I have
   found that for pure research an electronic version of a
   document is actually preferable.   This enables me to do
   searches for common words or "strings" that may reveal the
   specific or related information that I am looking for.  Even
   working with a brilliant index is not as easy as performing an
   electronic search.   Plus you have the added advantage of
   not having to flip back and forth between a book's content
   and its index thereby saving the book's spine from this

   Given that there are always going to be people who will
   prefer a printed form of any book, we have made a
   decision to publish our text once it is finished in both a
   limited-edition print version and in a CD version. Perhaps
   this is the first time a numismatic book will have been
   released in such a manner but we are confident that both
   camps will be reconciled with the results.  Our intention
   is to publish in the summer of 2003."

   [Comments by Dick Johnson and others have convinced
    me that a human-compiled index can be superior in many
    ways to a text search, but having a text search is extremely
    useful even where a decent table of contents and index

    for more information on the Canadian project.
    It would not be the first numismatic publication offered
    in both print and electronic form, since a number of
    catalogs have been produced that way.  Some "books"
    have been issued in electronic-only form.  But I'm not
    sure if this would be the first BOOK issued in BOTH
    forms.  If we covered this in earlier E-Sylums, I haven't
    been able to find it (with a text search....)   One related
    item was published in the September 9, 2001 issue
    (v4n37) -Editor]


   Hal Dunn writes: "Here are my thoughts on a cashless system:
   I use debit and credit cards in the majority of my transactions
   exceeding $10.  They are great!  But I doubt, and hope, that
   they will never fully replace cash.  If one is relying on electronic
   money exclusively, one day they may be in for a rude awaking.

   Failures of power systems, telephone systems, computer
   systems and merchant's card readers can render a card useless
   and put you into a real bind if you do not have some ready cash.
   This is especially true when traveling out-of-town, or state, and
   no one will accept your check.  When traveling I always keep a
   minimum of $100 in reserve cash to be prepared for such
   incidents.  Incidentally, these are not theoretical failures, these
   are real world scenarios.  As a merchant taking credit cards, I
   have had the system go down, and have had several power
   failures, one lasting in excess of four hours, all of which shut
   down my card reader.  Several years ago, in California, I
   attempted to use an ATM, only to discover the system was
   down; fortunately I still had some cash on hand.

   Just last month at the ANA, I wanted to make a purchase for
   just over $150.  The dealer couldn't take a credit card there
   because he did not have a telephone connection on the show
   floor.  Result: I wrote a check, accepted because the dealer
   knew me.  More than once I have seen a sign posted in a
   store proclaiming that minimum credit card purchase was a
   certain amount (such as $3).  And finally, without cash, how
   does one pay the newspaper hawker 50 cents, plus tip; or tip
   that nice bellman that helps you from the curb into a hotel
   lobby; or deal with a host of other small transactions with
   people that don't take credit/debit cards?

   At the end of the day, perhaps you should have some cash.
   I certainly will."


   We've had references to Shakespeare in numismatics
   before, but here's a new twist.  In response to last week's
   definition of "nummary", Dave Bowers writes:
   "Get thee to a nummary!"


   This week's featured web site is a collector fact sheet
   on U.S. fractional currency, from the Bureau of Engraving
   and printing web site.

  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

  (To be removed from the E-Sylum mailing list
   write to me at whomren at

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