The E-Sylum v6#18, May 4, 2003

whomren at whomren at
Sun May 4 19:38:52 PDT 2003

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 18, May 4, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


   Among recent new subscribers are Steve Huber, courtesy
   of Andy Lustig, and numismatic literature dealer John H.
   Burns   Welcome aboard!  We now have 551 subscribers.

   One of our subscribers has never been able to receive
   fresh copies of The E-Sylum as they are mailed.  His
   email address is indeed on the list, as we have checked
   and re-subscribed him a number of times.  I'm not aware
   of any other subscriber having such a problem.  We're
   stumped.  Has anyone else encountered such a problem


   America has lost an old, old friend.   New Hampshire's
   "Old Man of the Mountain" went to meet his maker this
   week.  The natural rock formation, long a symbol of the
   state, was featured on the New Hampshire state quarter
   in 2000.   From today's Portsmouth Herald:

   "The venerable granite symbol of New Hampshire slid
   unseen down a mountain and into the past sometime
   Friday or early Saturday morning.

   A state park trails crew reported around 7:30 Saturday
   morning the 40-foot tall stony face was gone from the
   side of Profile Mountain in Franconia Notch.  The Old Man
   was covered by clouds Thursday and Friday, so no one
   knows when it actually fell."


   That other "ol' man" of New Hampshire, Dave Bowers,
   sent your editor a copy of the Winter 2003 newsletter of
   the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies.  One
   featured article is "The Large World of Miniature Books"
   The earliest miniature book printed in English was produced
   in 1601.  The article mentions no numismatic titles, but we
   wonder - there are plenty of candidates for the largest
   numismatic book, but which is the smallest?"


   Herb Friedman writes: "David Fanning asks about U.S.
   counterfeiting of Vietnamese currency.  I have written on
   this subject in depth on several occasions and just recently
   put a modified story (for military PSYOP students, not
   numismatists) on the Internet.  Even though I removed
   Pick catalog numbers. etc., I think it will answer the primary

   Actually, the hardest part was removing all the things that
   we numismatists find important:  paper, size, color, catalog
   numbers, watermarks etc., because most people have no
   interest in all that. They just want to see the pictures."


   Asylum Editor Tom Fort writes: "Ralf Boepple's submission
   of the article by Barth on 500 years of numismatic journals in
   Germany (E-Sylum vol. 6 #16) is exactly the type of thing for
   which I am looking for the numismatic literature bibliography
   in the Summer issue of The Asylum. His help is much
   appreciated.  If anyone else out there has any material please
   feel free to send it to either Wayne or myself at etfort at"


   The American Numismatic Society has announced an
   additional speaker for the upcoming Coinage of the Americas
   Conference (COAC).  See the April 20 E-Sylum (v6n16)
   for registration information.

   Brian J. Danforth will speak on "New Interpretations on
   Irish Coppers in the American Colonies:  The St. Patrick,
   Wood's Hibernia and Voce Populi Series."

   Mr. Danforth's talk was added to the program after the
   announcement of the event went out.

   "Based on original research conducted in Ireland, England
   and America, this paper presents a new perspective on
   selected Irish coppers that contributed to the circulating
   medium of colonial America.  The highlights of the
   presentation shall include: the minter and production
   sequence of St. Patrick coppers, the circulation of Wood's
   Hibernia coinage in Ireland and the American colonies, and
   the events surrounding the issuance of the Voce Populi series.


   David Levy writes: "I´d like to ask the group about the new
   book,  "Philippine Counterstamped Coins 1828-1839”,
   published by Quint Jose Oropilla y Fortich in 2001.  All I
   have about it is the article written for the Ponterio sale and
   would be interested in more information about it."


   Gene Collier, a columnist in our local paper, posed the
   following question no April 30th. It should be of interest to
   all bibliophiles:

   "In general terms, here's the hot issue: Should people who
   insist upon writing in the margins or underlining the text in
   books be lauded as deep thinkers who sustain the book's
   dialogue for generations, or merely shot through the head at
   close range?"

   "Any marking of the text is an affront to the next generation
   of readers, some say. You wouldn't visit an art museum and
   make markings on the paintings,  say others. What's more,
   at least one respondent said, "underlining is a fool's way of
   absorbing knowledge."

   Collier credits Steve Leveen,  co-founder of Levenger "tools
   for serious readers"  for naming the two factions
   "Preservationists and Footprint Leavers".

   To read the full article, follow the link below.  Me, I'm a
   Preservationist who as a kid who threw hissy fits when anyone
   would dare make a mark on my books, and would be in the
    "bullet to the head" camp should anyone mar my numismatic
   books.  But that's emotion for you.  Intellectually,  I certainly
   appreciate and value the notations made by numismatists of
   bygone years.  What say you, dear readers?


   Rusty Goe of Southgate Coins writes: "Just to update you on
   a notice you posted for me in The E-sylum a few weeks ago:

   Regarding Gobrecht Collective Vol. 3, I sent an order to John
   McCloskey at LSCS this week, because some subscribers
   seemed to think that he still had copies available.  I'll be grateful

   if he does.  I sent in a couple of orders in the past, and was
   told he was out of them.   So, we'll see.

   As for the Krause Auction Prices Realized 1991 edition,
   the publisher has been out for quite some time.  But I got lucky.
   I found one at a "flea-market-like" online bookstore.  The copy
   is brand new, and cost me 1/5 of what I usually pay."


   Rusty Goe has another question for our readers: "Does
   anyone have a copy of the source document showing where
   the revision in mintage figures for  1872-CC dimes and
   quarters came from?   I realize that since 1977 the revised
   mintages for these two dates has been accepted by
    numismatic researchers.  But I'm looking for a copy of the
   source document proving it.

   Also, does anyone have copies of source documents
   showing the delivery dates for coins minted at Carson City
   between 1870 - 1874?  For example: 1870-CC Quarters:

                    April 20 - 3540 pieces
                    May 24 - 1400      "
                    Aug 15 -  3400      "


   Regarding my query about the book by S. Q. Lapius, Len
   Augsberger writes: "First of all, the name "S. Q. Lapius" has
   that "weird" look to it, like it might be an anagram or pen name.
   I checked and did not
   find any reasonable matches.

   A Google search shows S.Q. Lapius was in New York in 1900,
   in a letter he wrote to a periodical.  Lapius refers to a "patient"
   and may have been a doctor.

   O. Henry makes an allusion to Mr. Lapius in one of his stories at:

   O. Henry was American, which weakly implies that Lapius
   was also American.

   There are few hits at, though they do suggest a
   pocket of Lapius families in New York, one of whom (John H.
   Lapius) was a Civil War veteran.  The surname is very unusual -- lists NO Lapius families anywhere in the US.
   Nothing on

   I do see another S. Q. Lapius in Newry, UK, in 1828:
   This article suggests that the writer may be a doctor.

   My next step would be to check Syracuse, New York
   directories for 1900, then with address in hand check the
   1900 census (which is available imaged but not indexed
   online).  If there is a historical society in Syracuse they might
   have something too.

   I speculate that the name is so unusual that the two individuals
   here are likely father and son, both doctors, with the father
   in the UK and the son in America.  The evidence is not strong
   but that's the first theory I would work with.

   All that said, perhaps the most expeditious way to get the
   Lapius book would be to call up the bookstore in the UK
   where the writer says he found it!"

   [For sheer amusement, I recommend readers check out the
   first of Len's links.  It describes a comical incident with a
   newfangled steam-power automobile, and introduces a new
   vocabulary word: autogorium!

   Len's research is very interesting.   I should have spent more
   time myself looking online.  More information came from
   John Kleeberg, who writes:

   "I did some some searches on OCLC and RLIN.  OCLC
   provides four entries for books by this author, all books of
   poetry published in Columbus, Ohio.  "Coins from a Country
   Railway Station" is, like the others, a  book of poetry.  Only
   three copies listed in OCLC, none on RLIN; the three copies
   on OCLC are all in Ohio libraries around Columbus.  An entry
   for a collected book of Lapius' poetry ("A Ship at Sea and
   other Rhymes") says that the name was a pseudonym for the
   physician Justin Allis Garvin (1886-1946), but something must
   be wrong because those dates are hard to reconcile with the
   date of "Coins from a Country Railway Station" (1893), unless
   Garvin was unusually precocious.

   The New York Public Library only has a handwritten transcript
   of one of Lapius' poems about tobacco farming in, of course,
   the Arents Tobacco Collection.   The British Library has none
   of Lapius' work, so I think his books were only published in the
   United States.  We usually think of "Railroad" as American
   English and "Railway" as British English, so it's natural to think
   that a book with the title "Railway" found in Wales was
   published in Britain, but the truth is that the two terms Railway/
   Railroad are used on both sides of the Atlantic, even if Railroad
   slightly predominates in the United States and Railway slightly
   predominates in Britain."

   [ OCLC = Online Computer Library Center

    RLIN = Research Libraries Information Network

   Another web search turned up a reference to a two-page
   poem by S. Q. Lapius in The New England Magazine on 1895
   titled "Along the Dust White River Road"

   Combining this fact with Len and John's notes lends
   credence to the supposition that "S. Q. Lapius" was the pen
   name of a poet/doctor whose real name may have been Justin
   Allis Garvin.

   So what does all this mean?  For one, you find an amazing
   amount of information on the Internet these days, but it
   is only just a start.  It can also lead you down blind alleys at
   the speed of light.   The real work still has to be done offline.
   And there is no substitute for getting a copy of a book in
   question and reading what's in it.  Despite the fact that the
   book is likely to contain poetry, the numismatic reference
   still has me curious to see a copy.  Here's where the Internet
   comes in handy again.  I located a copy through an online
   bookseller and ordered it - it turned out not to be expensive.
   I'll have more to report when the book arrives.  -Editor]


   Regarding the query for a reference on Medieval Bulgarian
   coinage, Jess Gaylor found a reference to: "A catalogue of
   Bulgarian medieval coins, 9th-15th centuries (Katalog na
   bulgarskite srednovekovni moneti IX-XV vek)  Radoushev,
   A\Zhekov, G( ED) 1999. Sofia, 210x290, b/w photos, b/w
   and colours illus., bibl., In Bulgarian.  Hdb, 251pp.

   Notes:  This book is composed on the basis of numismatic
   material from the largest and fullest private collection of
   medieval Bulgarian coins – some unique exemplars have been
   added from the historical museums in Sofia, Bucharest,
   Belgrade and Skopje. The degree of rarity of every type of
   coin included in the catalogue is determined by the quantity
   of exemplars known to the numismatic science so far, and
   for those with a larger distribution – by their percentage
   content in findings, collections and their presence on the
   market. The degree of rarity is classified in ten levels and can
   be used for determining the price of the concrete exemplar,
   by taking into account its quality. It depends on the degree
   of preservation, the entirety of the inscription, the centering,
   the presence of patina, the silvering and the artistic and
   aesthetic qualities."


   Stephen Pradier writes: "I find it strange that the Travel
   Channel wants to do programming on the Fort Knox

   First off, the History Channel had a program where it
   featured the depository.  It was either the one on the U.S.
   Mint or the one they did on Gold.

   Second, if you wanted to travel to Kentucky to see it, you
   would only be able to see it at a distance as no visitors are
   permitted at the Depository.  This policy was adopted when
   the Depository was established, and is strictly enforced.
   There is a little information at the U.S. Treasury's web site at
   and then again there is information elsewhere on the web.

   Here is a question/answer from the U.S. Treasury.
   Question: I want to see the United States' gold reserves.
   What can you tell me about visiting the United States Bullion
   Depository at Fort Knox?

   Answer: Unfortunately, for security reasons, no tours are
   permitted at the Fort Knox Bullion Depository."

   Maybe they should just stick to Travel."


   Referring to an ANA "Money Talks" script I once wrote on
   Japanese-American Internment Camp Tokens, David Klinger
   writes: "Is there a good reference work on these tokens?  I
   haven't been able to find one."

   Actually, I don't know of a single-volume specialized reference
   on these, but believe there are several entries on these tokens
   in "World War II Remembered. History in your Hands, a
   Numismatic Study" by Fred Schwan & Joe Boling (BNR Press,


   In response to our prior discussion of numismatic ethics, Henry
   Bergos writes: "When I still had my fabric store, a fellow came
   in and asked if I bought coins. I affirmed and he took out about
   30 or so coins and Civil War Tokens.  My jaw dropped when I
   looked at the VF 1794 half cent.  We agreed on all the others
   and I told him NUMEROUS times that I would take the 1/2 c
   and sell it for him on consignment;  I couldn't afford it.  Numerous
   times he said that he looked it up and that it was worth $50!
   Numerous times I told him that it was worth "a hell of a lot more
   than that".  He finally asked me if I want it for $50 or not --
   that's what he wants for it.  You know where it is.

   As for finds in numismatic literature,  I once found a bookworm
   in a book.  I wanted to return it. ALIVE!"


   Here's a book find of another sort...  Ray Williams writes:
   "All my friends are aware of my addiction to collecting colonial
   coins.  There was one day at work when a co-worker came to
   me saying his church was having a book sale and there were a
   few books on coins.  He said he'd be willing to bring them in
   the next day if I might be interested.  I said sure...

   The next day came and John brought in a box with two
   outdated Red Books, a few auction catalogs  and a couple
   Numismatic News issues.  I offered him $10 for the group,
   looking at it as a charitable donation.  He said that the church
   would have only looked to get 25 Cents each for the material...

   Years later I became an EAC member, after reading that
   inspiring introduction that Sheldon wrote in Penny Whimsy.
   Years later I started collecting colonials and discovered that
   two of the auction catalogs I bought from the church sale
   were Early American Coppers sale catalogs, the valuable
   1975 and 1976 issues!   I figured someone upstairs was
   rewarding me for the donation!"


   A recent article in The New Scientist discusses the possibility
   that Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton had autism.

  "They were certainly geniuses, but did Albert Einstein and Isaac
   Newton also have autism? According to autism expert Simon
   Baron-Cohen, they might both have shown many signs of
   Asperger syndrome, a form of the condition that does not
   cause learning difficulties."

   "Newton seems like a classic case. He hardly spoke, was so
   engrossed in his work that he often forgot to eat, and was
   lukewarm or bad-tempered with the few friends he had.
   If no one turned up to his lectures, he gave them anyway,
   talking to an empty room.  He had a nervous breakdown at
   50, brought on by depression and paranoia."

   Sounds like a few numismatists we know....


   This week's featured web site was mentioned in the April
   2003 issue of Numismatic Views, the journal of the Gulf
   Coast Numismatic Association, edited by E-Sylum subscriber
   Nolan Mims of Alabama.  Tom Deck wrote: "I now have my
   large cent collection online... I have found that this is a good
   way to share it with others while my coins are safe in a bank
   safe deposit box."

  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 submit items for publication in The E-Sylum,
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