The E-Sylum v6#30, July 27, 2003
whomren at coinlibrary.com
whomren at coinlibrary.com
Sun Jul 27 19:53:41 PDT 2003
Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 30, July 27, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Among recent new subscribers are Steve Abramowitz of
New York, and Steve Feller. Welcome aboard! We now have
Your editor is making no promises for next week - with
travel to and from the ANA convention it may not be
possible to publish an issue next Sunday night. But keep
those submissions coming!
LITERATURE DEALERS AT THE ANA CONVENTION
Charles Davis and John Burns will be set up at the show
(Tables 902/903 and 611/1613). Stop by and buy
something. Hauling books to a convention is no small
undertaking - show your support!
NBS EVENTS AT THE UPCOMING ANA CONVENTION
Reminder: the Numismatic Bibliomania Society has scheduled
two events at this week's convention of the American Numismatic
Association in Baltimore. I hope to see many of you at the
Thursday July 31, 2003, 1 PM
Numismatic Bibliomania Society Symposium
Barry Tayman and George Fuld will present a paper on the
research methodology for their upcoming monograph on
Friday August 1, 2003, 11.30 AM
Numismatic Bibliomania Society Annual Meeting
Leonard Augsburger will present a paper entitled
"132 South Eden: House of Gold"
NBS DONATION ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Alan Luedeking writes: "I read with interest your plea for
donations to the NBS's donation auction in the last E-Sylum
and your subsequent report that Mr. Davisson was so far
the only one to 'step up to the plate.' Hats off to Allan!
However, I wonder whether the underwhelming response
might have something to do with the fact that a previous
such auction (August 2001) never had its donations listed
in The Asylum, and the results of the auction went likewise
underreported in subsequent E-Sylum and Asylum issues.
This proceeding might not have been the most conducive to
stimulating waves of generous donations in future. I know
of at least one NBS member who still wonders to this day
what his donations brought at auction, or whether they
even sold at all!
The David Fanning question concerning who won the
best article of the year award in last year's Asylum is
perhaps another symptom of the NBS not giving
sufficient recognition to those of its members who
contribute in one way or another to the society, and
while it may be irrelevant to the majority of its members
this should still be done on principle and might serve as
stimulus to others contemplating similar contributions.
For instance, I have rarely (if ever?) seen in the Asylum
or The E-Sylum any mention of appreciation for the superb
job of editing The E-Sylum on-line newsletter (now in its
sixth year!) that the editor of this great resource does; for
what it's worth, I think Mr. Homren should receive an NBS
medal for his efforts, and that's something I would happily
[Well, Allan was the first to report to me that he planned
to donate; often donors simply show up at the meeting
with items without necessarily announcing their intention.
In fact, just before your email arrived Hal Dunn chimed
in with another donation offer, and others arrived just after
As for reporting the donors and results in The Asylum, this
certainly would be nice. In the confusion of running the
annual meeting, sometimes things fall through the cracks
that shouldn't. Hopefully the organization can make it
happen this year. Even though typically most if not all
donors are in attendance it would still be nice to have a
record of the event as well as publicly acknowledge
donors and bidders. A complicating factor is that some
prefer to remain anonymous, but that shouldn't stop us
from acknowledging the others.
Thanks for your kind words on The E-Sylum. I've received
a number of nice notes and even a couple of great gifts from
readers over the years. They keep me going on evenings
like this, when it's storming outside and I'd just as soon go
to bed before my computer hiccups. But it's true that time
flies when you're having fun. Six years was a lifetime ago
for me - two career changes, a wife, a new house and two
kids later, here I am still editing The E-Sylum. I started
it for the same reason most authors write books - it's
something I wished I could read but it didn't exist yet.
Now it does, and it thrives because of the great input from
readers like you. -Editor]
AUCTION LOT DONATIONS
NBS Vice President John Adams writes: "I will bring a
copy of the Indian Peace Medals of George III - it retails
for $150 or thereabouts. With what is coming up in the Ford
Collection - he owns more than W.W.C. Wilson did -
anyone with the slightest interest in the subject should have
Myron Xenos writes: I'll be bringing two items for the NBS
1. 1977 Special Edition Redbook, New, #1169 of 1200
produced. Value: $100
2. 1954, Paul Revere's Engravings, American Antiquarian
Society, Folio size, HB, 181 pages. Value: $90
E-SYLUM WINS ANA SPECIAL MERIT AWARD
Guess what? Our little e-journal won a prize after all.
Marilyn Reback, Senior Editor of the American
Numismatic Association's NUMISMATIST, writes:
"It is our pleasure to inform you that The E-Sylum has been
awarded a Special Merit Award in the Specialty Club
category of the ANAs 2003 Outstanding Club Publications
The actual award will be presented at the ANAs 112th
Anniversary Convention in Baltimore during the
Representative Program Awards Breakfast and Meeting
scheduled for 8:00 a.m., Saturday, August 2, in Room
308 of the Baltimore Convention Center.
Congratulations to you and to the Numismatic Bibliomania
Dick Johnson sent this link to a BBC News article about
plans for a museum at the Birmingham Mint. The article
"The Birmingham Mint, the world's oldest private coin
maker, has signed a deal to keep part of its operation open
as a working museum.
The struggling firm, which first began turning out coins in
1794, ceased trading in May after running into financial
Birmingham City Council has entered into a deal with two
companies to keep part of the Hockley-based operation
"Birmingham Mint had employed more than 100 people
and was one of the largest makers of blank euro coins."
Dick adds: "Now that it is out of work, can we take up a
collection for it? I certainly would like to see it continue, as
an operating mint ... or a museum!
I wonder what Dick Doty would have to say about this from
his years of study of it."
HOLOCAUST AND CAMP MONEY EXHIBIT
[The following article by Steve Feller is reprinted with
permission from the July 24, 2003 issue of MPCGram,
an electronic newsletter for collectors of Military
Payment Certificates. To subscribe, go to this web
Beginning August 28, the Charlton E. Meyer, Jr. and
Gloria B. Meyer Collection of Holocaust and Camp
Money will be exhibited at Holocaust Museum Houston.
You are strongly urged to see it if at all possible. It is one
of the most complete collections of this money ever
assembled. It will run through November 9. On August
28 I will give an overview presentation on this
The currencies of the camps of World War II speak
to us of the tragedy, depravity, horror, liberation, hope and
salvation of that time and those places. Many times
collectors of such items have been asked why on Earth
anyone would collect these monies. Or even how can you
possibly tolerate collecting these currencies?
The answer is that these bits of paper and metal can
speak to us of the broad tragedy in a most personal and
understandable manner. After all, money has been used
within sight of the chimneys of Birkenau inside the barbed
wire at Auschwitz.
Hold a piece of concentration camp currency from the
Westerbork Transit Camp in Holland with its vignette of
the main road of the camp. This road was known as the
"Boulevard des Miseres," or the street of misery. One can
imagine a young Anne Frank walking on it to the trains to
the "East" in 1944.
Mr. Charlton E. Meyer, Jr. is a gentleman from Shreveport,
LA. He discovered the existence of this money from a well-
known dealer who showed him some camp scrip. The rest
is a tribute to the tenacious drive of Charlton. In his own words:
"The one thing that I learned early was that nobody knew a
lot about the subject and no Holocaust museums had any
sort of a collection. My drive was centered on not only
collecting this scrip and related areas, but to get it into a
museum as a permanent exhibit -- not for any thanks but
simply because it needed to be done."
Camp money from the Second World War is an enormously
broad topic. Generally speaking the topic may be divided
between issues of the Allied, Axis, and neutral powers.
Within the Axis domain there is money from prisoner of war
camps, concentration camps, ghettos, work camps, and
civilian internment camps. While the money was used by all
people caught up in the tragedy of the war special mention
must be made of the money used in the Holocaust. As is well-
known and thoroughly documented nearly 6,000,000 innocents
lost their lives in mankind's most organized program of murder.
Many of the examples of money in this collection silently speak
of this loss. These notes move our souls to anguish. This
exhibition, The Price of Existence: Ghetto Scrip from the HMH
Archives bears witness to the full scope of the Holocaust through
its breadth and depth.
Allied Camp money includes POW issues and internment camp
notes as in the well-known issues of Camp Hay Australia, Canada,
and the Isle of Man. All are in this collection. This collection
includes the rarest of the rare, usually unseen notes. Examples of
the rarities include the unique Natzweiller note, Sokolka Ghetto in
Poland, many Auschwitz notes, many UNRRA notes, and so
If there are questions please send them to me at sfeller at coe.edu."
MCNALL IS BACK
Long out of circulation as a guest of the federal penitentiary
system, former high-flying coin dealer Bruce McNall is back
in the news, this time peddling a book on his escapades as
a coin dealer, movie producer, hockey team owner, bank
defrauder and inmate.
From a review in the Toronto Star: "Back when McNall was
14, he took a part-time job as a clerk in a coin and stamp shop.
With seemingly lightning speed, he could distinguish a sestertius
from a denarius, and, borrowing $3,000 from his grandmother,
he bought a tray of coins from a vet who walked into the shop.
He sold the coins, repaid his granny and ended up with more
than $10,000 in profit. He was still in high school."
A July 19th Reuters article noted:
"In the 1980s and early 1990s, McNall was a major
Hollywood player. He leveraged his first fortune as a
dealer in rare coins into producing movies such as
"WarGames" and "Mr. Mom," and he bought the Los
Angeles Kings professional hockey team.
McNall, now 53, accomplished what many thought to be
the impossible and lured hockey legend Wayne Gretzky
from Canada to Los Angeles, gave advice to Walt Disney
Co. chief Michael Eisner, counted Michael J. Fox and Jim
Belushi among his friends and hosted dinners for Ronald
and Nancy Reagan.
It was, as McNall titled his new book that landed in retail
stores this week, "Fun While it Lasted."
"In the early 1990s, he came under suspicion of defrauding
banks out of more than $200 million. He eventually pleaded
guilty and in 1997, began serving a 70-month sentence in
OUT-OF-COPYRIGHT NUMISMATIC TITLES OFFERED
Ed Snible writes: "The following is the product of web
research; I have no connection to the company discussed:
Adamant Media is one of the largest numismatic publishers.
Adamant's 50+ numismatic titles are sold exclusively through
the Elibron.com web site. The company doesn't devote itself
to numismatic titles: they claim to offer over 40,000 "replica
paperback" titles, adding 100 new titles daily!
By reprinting works in the public domain, Adamant doesn't
waste time negotiating copyright clearance from authors'
estates. Books in the Russian State Library and Russian
National Library are scanned cheaply in Russia, and Russian
artists design the new cover art. Books are printed on demand,
reducing inventory costs to zero.
A book listed as shipping in two weeks is that rarest of
editions: no copies exist! Anyone ordering the title is likely to
receive the the very first copy printed. The first order
triggers the scanning process; books that have been scanned
offer sample pages on the web site. Such books will be
printed five minutes after the order is received.
An earlier version of the web site sold PDFs of every title, as
CD-ROM or download. (This option has been discontinued
for most titles.) Perhaps my discontinued CD-ROM copy
of "Catalogue of the Greek Coins of Ionia" is unique? If so
I got a bargain: $14 for a unique edition of Barclay Head's
An article this week in the New York Times notes that
"Executives at Amazon.com are negotiating with several of
the largest book publishers about an ambitious and expensive
plan to assemble a searchable online archive with the texts
of tens of thousands of books of nonfiction..."
HATHAWAY & BOWERS
John Kraljevich, Jr writes: "To answer Phil Carrigan's question,
about his Hathaway & Bowers item, it is the first page of the
list that is essentially Rare Coin Review #2. Issues #1 and 2
are both very rare, 1 more so than 2 -- the series becomes
collectible at number 3. My own set has 1 and 2 only in
photocopy. Number 2 is 4pp in total -- see Davis 486."
[John is referring to Charles Davis' book, "American
Numismatic Literature: An Annotated Survey of Auction
Sales 1980-1991." -Editor]
Bill Burd adds: "I have Vol III, Catalogue No. 3 dated
December 1969 it is titled "Hathaway and Bowers Galleries,
Inc. presents... Choice and Desirable Coins for sale to
discriminating numismatists...". It is 36 pages. I have No 4
dated March 1970 32 pages, No 5 dated May 1970 36
pages and no 9 dated Jan/Feb 1971 44 pages."
PHOTO OF FORD RECEIVING SLABBED CATALOG
Bill Malkmus writes: "Perhaps in the "Thanks anyway, but
I've forgotten now why I asked" category:
In the June 8 E-Sylum, Fred Lake refers to his photo of John
Ford receiving a slabbed Stack's catalog. The photo was
published in The Asylum, Vol. XI, no.3, p. 24.
And no, the Index wasn't good enough to locate it; I found it
the old-fashioned way -- running across it accidentally!"
In response to last week's item about the Lincoln Cent,
David Ganz writes: "The latest mint annual report shows
that the Mint makes a profit of at least a tenth of a cent
on each cent produced. Do the math: 13 billion x .001
= $13 million profit annually. Who wouldn't give their
right arm for that ability?
OCEAN CITY TOKEN MYSTERY
The Press of Atlantic City published an article on July
10, 2003 that may interest collectors of tokens.
"Steve Barlage, of Mullica Hill, was planting a bush in his
back yard Sunday when his spade struck something that
He dug around and removed a dirt-encrusted coin the size
of an Eisenhower silver dollar. By its heft, it seemed to be
made, at least in part, of some type of precious metal.
"Finder will receive deed to one building lot high and dry
in Ocean City Manor, N.J., 13 minutes from Boardwalk,"
the coin read. Barlage flipped it and the offer continued:
"Return this check within 96 hours to Koch Realtor, Inc."
"I just laughed," Barlage said. "My 12-year-old son said,
'Finally, we can get a beach house.' "
How much is a building lot worth today in Ocean City?
Who buried the coin in his back yard? More importantly,
was the offer still valid?"
DEAD PRESIDENTS NOW IN DICTIONARY
Dick Johnson writes: "Merriam-Webster has just published
its latest, eleventh edition of its widely used Collegiate
Dictionary. Among the 10,000 new words is one of
numismatic interest: dead presidents.
Their definition of dead presidents: U.S. money in the
form of bills, specifically Dollars. The first use of the
plural noun was tracked to 1944 but required a half
century of slang use before reaching a permanent status
in book form. It had gained popularity in hip-hop and rap.
Numismatically the term is not quite accurate. Benjamin
Franklin ($100) and Alexander Hamilton ($10) on current
paper money were never presidents. A better term would
have been dead patriots but why should people who
create and use slang (see above) be accurate? Or even
MORE MEHL NOTES
Carl Honore writes: "I have Star Rare Coin Encyclopedia
number 27 with the expanded title on it...you stated it
started with 28 or am I wrong?"
[Nope - I'm the wrong one. That's a typo. My 27th
edition also has the expanded title.]
Dan Hamelberg writes: "I have the following Mehl items
you can add to the list:
For the Star Rare Coin Encyclopedia---
For the Star Coin Book----
3rd (no date)
6th (no date)
50th (no date)
51st (no date)
I have all the other Books and Encyclopedia items on
the list as per last week's edition of The E-Sylum."
B. MAX MEHL "IN BUSINESS" DATES
Bill Burd writes: "This is in regards to B. Max Mehl
publications. He put out a booklet titled "The Star Coin
Book" subtitled "An Encyclopedia of Rare American and
Foreign Coins". I have 6 different editions, each is priced
at fifty cents and contains about 112 pages. None have
a date but 4 of the issues refer to being "in business over
XX years". My copies are: 28th and 31st edition - no
mention of how long in business. 34th edition over 34
years; 40th edition over 41 years; 43rd edition over 50
years; and 44th edition over 51 years.
He also published a booklet titled "The Star Rare Coin
Encyclopedia and Premium Catalog" subtitled "An
Elaborate Encyclopedia of the Coins of the World".
Priced at One Dollar and most are 208 pages. I have
10 editions, none have a date nor do they refer to how
long in business, but all have copyright dates. Edition
28 copyright 1925; 29 - 1926; 31 -1928; 32 - 1929;
34 - 1930, 35 - 1931; 36 - 1932; 38 - 1933; 39 -
1934; 40 - 1934.
The booklet changed a little at this point and is titled
"The Star Rare Coin Encyclopedia" subtitled "Listing
Coins of the World". Price One Dollar, about 208
pages. I have 7 editions. Each lists a copyright and
also states "Same ownership - same place - same
business - same ownership for over xx years". 42nd
edition copyright 1935 over 34 years; 43 - 1936 -
over 34; 44 - 1936 - over 34; 46 - 1939 - over 39;
49 - 1941 - over 41; 51 - 1944 - over 44; 54 - 1951
- over 51. It appears in the later editions he was
pegging his "start date" as 1900."
Bill Malkmus writes: "Myron Xenos, in last week's issue,
expanded the discussion of Mehl's publications to Mehl's
Coin Circular and Mehl's Coin Chronicle. Anyone interested
in the former publication should read Joel Orosz's article,
"Mehl's Coin Circular: A Window on American Numismatics
in the '20s and the '30s," in The Asylum, Vol. XII, No. 3,
pp. 3-8, for a highly detailed study of the 15 issues between
1921 and 1933."
ADDING TO DAVID LANGE'S COLLECTION
Notes from anonymous sources:
Mr Webmaster - Would you kindly relay this message to Mr
David Lange. my uncle was a photoengraver for whitman
publications in racine wisconsin - when i closed out his estate
i found a box of wooden blocks undoubtedly he had brought
home from work - these hard wood blocks are all the same
thickness - 7/8 inch thick - but of different sizes - i believe
these were used to back zinc plates - mentioned in esylum
last week - i let my three kids play with them when they were
small pre school age - i would grade these wooden blocks
vg to vf - would you be interested in purchasing these for $25?
Note To David Lange. My cousin wrote you about selling you
blocks from an uncle's estate. I own the maple tree grove
from which these blocks were made. Can I sell you one of
these trees for $250? I will cut it to any measure you wish.
But you will have to come pick it up in person or pay for
freight shipment because UPS will not accept such large
shipments. Please answer right away. We are infested with
a parasite that is attacking our trees. This offer won't last.
Mr. Lange. My brother contacted you to sell one of his
trees. I have the original deed for the family farm where this
grove was located. I would sell this deed for $2,500.
Whoever Is Buying the Deed For My Familys Farm. I
have for sale at $25,000 the house in which this deed
To Whom It May Concern. I am the governor of the
state where the family farm is located. I am for sale for
Imagine! A governor, a house, a deed, a tree, a box of
blocks, for a zinc cut, to print a cover, to go on an album,
to hold coins. Wow! That's more than "Six Degrees of
Alan V. Weinberg (LAPD, retired 1991), writes: "Amazing
how small a world it is. Talk about six degrees of separation!
I knew Sherman Oakes who worked homicide in LAPD's
Wilshire Division at the same time I worked its patrol division.
He was distinctive due to his shock of silver hair, always
perfectly coiffed, and his impeccable daily dress right out of
GQ. A few years ago I sent Sherman in the mail an article
regarding the Lapa Case and he may well be referring to that
mail in his case review.
I was also subpoenaed at the Lapa court hearings as a "coin
expert." I recall testifying, confined to being able to ID
coins from photographs due to toning , spots, abrasions, etc
that are unique to every coin. The prosecutor wanted to
show the court that a particular stolen coin can be positively
identified from a clear photograph and differentiated from
others of the same type and date."
I do distinctly recall Lapa's long hair on the stand and
allegations that he changed his sexual preference while in
FEATURED WEB PAGE
This week's featured web page is about another famous
Fort Worth numismatist, Amon Carter, Jr. Written by
Frank Clark, it's on the web site of the Texas Numismatic
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
membership questions, contact Dave at this email
address: sdsklow at aol.com
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum,
just Reply to this message, or write to the Editor
at this address: whomren at coinlibrary.com
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send an email message with the word "Unsubscribe"
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