The E-Sylum v6#19, May 11, 2003

whomren at whomren at
Sun May 11 21:16:33 PDT 2003

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 19, May 11, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


   Roger Siboni  writes "I would really like to start receiving
   hard copies. Is there a member fee?  Also, is there a way
   to acquire back issues?   I really enjoy getting the Sunday
   e-mail which comes in just after we conclude the Sunday
   Night Colonial Con Collectors Club (C-4) online chat room."

   Glad you asked.  Since The E-Sylum is open to non-
   members, we should discuss our organization more often.
   The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS) publishes two
   journals - the quarterly print journal The Asylum and the weekly
   online E-Sylum.  Only members receive the print journal.  Dues
   are $15 per year to North American addresses, $20 elsewhere.
   Back issues are available from our Secretary-Treasurer.

   Instructions on how to join NBS are at the end of each E-Sylum.
   There is a membership application available on our web site:  To join, print the application and
  return it with your check to the address printed on the
   application.   We'd be very glad to have you join us.


   Problem solved:  Our perplexed subscriber writes: "I
   purchased a new PC for home use only. I subscribed to
   The E-Sylum from there, and finally received an issue."

   A different subscriber may be experiencing the same
   problem.  Several of you wrote in with advice.  Having
   tried just about everything already, the best answer seems
   to be to get in touch with your Internet Service Provider
   (ISP) if you are having such trouble.


   Remy Bourne forwarded the following request from the
   Chinese Numismatic Society.   Remy has helped the
   society with book donations, and perhaps some E-Sylum
   subscribers can assist as well.

   "I would like to say more words about the background of my

   1   The China Numismatic Society was founded only 20 years,
   after the open and reform policy of Deng Xiaoping. In the first
   decade and more, the China Numismatic Society only
   concerned about Chinese historical coins ( cash ) and gave
   very little attention to world coins. Following the increasing of
   international contacts, the China Numismatic Society began to
   be aware that the China Numismatic Society should not be
   only be a Society of Chinese Numismatics, but a Chinese
   Society of Numismatics home and abroad.  Since 1997, a
   Foreign Currency Committee was established, and I am a
   member in it.

   2   I am an engineering-educated person. Only after retiring,
   I indulged myself in world coins. Actually, owing to limited
   budget (my retiring pension about $200 per month ) and
   getting more and more white-grey hair, I am not a world
   coin collector in any sense, but rather to be a propagandist
   of Western Numismatic culture. After publishing the
   GREEK-ROMAN COINS, first in Chinese, finishing the
   writing of BYZANTINE COINS, I am trying to move
   along the Silkroad.

   3   The China Numismatic Society Library has very few
   Western numismatic books that worries me.  After I
   acquainted with you, I decided to ask you for help. Thanks
   for your generous donations. My aim is to help the Library
   building a basic collection of Western numismatics.  Though
   you have exited from the business, I am confident you could
   use your influence and relations to urge more US donators
   to help the CNS Library.

   4   What the China Numismatic Society Library needs at
   present I would suggest the following:

  A  Numismatic bibliography, such as Clain-Stefanelli's work
       ( I myself only bought a selected one ).

  B  Basic reference books. Such as Sear series, Seaby series,
       Mitchiner series, and Broom-Handbook of Islamic Coins,
       Breen-Encyclopedia of US Coins, Pridmore-Coins of British
       Commonwealth, Smith-American Numismatic Biographies,

  C  Chinese numismatics written by foreign numismatists, such
       as Kann,  Schjoth, Lockhardt.

   5    As for myself, I am moving along the Silkroad, ambitiously
   preparing to  introducing the Parthian, Sasanian, Bacterian and
   Kushan coins to the Chinese numismatic circle. So I am hoping
   to have: Gardner-Coins of Parthia, Sellwood-An Introduction
   to the Coinage of Parthia, Bopearachchi-Indo-Greek/Scythian/
   Parthian Coins ( I already got Sasan numismatic books ).
   Maybe more, Jones-A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins
   (I've already got the Greek one ), Mosher-Coin Mottos and
   Their Translations, etc.

   6    As for the Sayle's, Coincraft's, KP's, we could buy
   them in China.

   Please send all donated books to:
       Professor Li Tiesheng
       31-1-4 Gvnt. Res. Bldg., North Yingbin
       Hohhot 010050
       Peoples Republic of China"


   Gary Dunaier writes: "Regarding handwritten notes in the
   margins of books: I, personally, don't care for them.  But
   I don't think it's something that should be rejected on a
   wholesale basis.

   For example, I don't think any self-respecting numismatic
   student would turn down the opportunity to acquire a
   used coin book solely on the basis of writing in the margins
   --  if the notes were written by Q. David Bowers or
   someone of his caliber."

   Bill Spengler of Colorado Springs writes: "While in general
   I abhor the practice of underlining or writing in the margins
   of serious books, especially in irremovable ink, this once
   worked to my considerable advantage.  On a visit to my
   favorite Oriental bookseller in England in 1976, I was
   fortunate to acquire a 39-volume numismatic library of
   original editions of most of the museum catalogues and
   other standard references on ancient and medieval coins
   of South Asia -- my specialty -- published between 1866
   and 1941, including all the Numismatic Supplements to the
   "Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal" 1904-1937.  They
   were all beautifully bound in tan leather with gold lettering and
   decoration, and were in nice condition.

   Several of the volumes, particularly those covering gold coins
   of the Gupta Dynasty of ancient India, contained "marginalia"
   written in blue pencil -- routinely used by British colonial
   administrators in annotating documents and exchanging notes.
   What a great find, evidently the personal reference library of
   a British collector of Indian coins while stationed in the

   I was eager to know who of the rather small group of such
   British numismatists had owned and used this important library
   long ago.  Sadly, however, these volumes did not contain a
   single bookplate, owner's signature or other overt indication
   of ownership, and the bookseller had had them in stock so
   long that he couldn't recall where, how or when he had acquired
   them!  I took this as a challenge in detection and eventually
   discovered the solution in the volume on "The Coinage of the
   Early or Imperial Gupta Dynasty of Northern India" by the
   famous British Indian numismatist Vincent A. Smith, bearing
   on its cover a faint inked note presenting the book to one
   H. Rivett-Carnac Esq. "with the author's kind regards".  This
   was the only such clue in the entire library.

   Confirmation came in a notation on one of the plates in this
   volume on which someone had written "to BM" in blue pencil
   alongside a gold stater of Kumara Gupta.  When I looked up
   this piece in the British Museum I found on the coin's little
   round ticket that it had been donated by none other than
   H. Rivett-Carnac.  This established ownership of this volume
   and, by association, all the others.

   I'll save other details of this interesting story, including the
   identity and numismatic background of  Rivett-Carnac, for
   an article I intend to do for The Asylum.  But for now let the
   story speak for the sometimes value of "marginalia".

   [Feel free to print out The E-Sylum and scribble all over it.


   Ron Haller-Williams writes: "Thought I'd check the on-line
   1901 census for England & Wales, for anybody with the
   surname "Lapius":   "No results found".  No surprise, really,
   I guess.

   At we get
   another listing of the O. Henry story referred to by one
   respondent: "The Gentle Grafter".  Relevant extract:

       'Doc,' says the Mayor, 'I'm awful sick. I'm about to die.
       Can't you do nothing for me?'

      'Mr. Mayor,' says I, 'I'm not a regular preordained disciple
      of S. Q. Lapius.  I never took a course in a medical college,'
      says I.   'I've just come as a fellow man to see if I could be of

     At least this one has frequent financial if not numismatic
     references, including some "marked Bank bills".

    But a word of warning:  Don't blame me if, after reading the
    whole thing, you appear to be in as much distress as this Mayor!"

   Bill Daehn writes: "Regarding the discussion of S. Q. Lapius in
   the latest E-Sylum -- I don't know who he was, but the name is
   certainly a pseudonym taken from the Greek mythological
   character Asclepius, sometimes spelled Aesculapius (S Q Lapius,
   get it?).

   Asclepius appeared in Homer's Iliad as a physician. He was
   known as a great healer who could even raise men  from the
   dead. In ancient Greek times, a cult arose in honor of Asclepius,
   with numerous centers of worship established around the Greek
   world. He is often depicted on ancient Greek coins, and is usually
   accompanied by his symbol, the staff with a snake entwined
   around it."

   [Wow.  I guess I spent Greek Literature class looking out the
   window or at the pretty girl in front of me.  I had never heard of
   Aesculapius, but it sure makes sense.  Martin Purdy mentioned
   this connection as well.  This is why I encourage smart people to
   subscribe to The E-Sylum.  -Editor]

   Len Augsberger writes: "For some reason, it is more fun to work
   on other people's problems.  The 1930 census was recently
   indexed & released on   There are some problems
   working with it (occasional misspellings, etc.) but the cost is well
   worth it.

   I have a Justin A. Garvin in the 1930 census living in Shaker
   Heights, OH. Age 43 (census taken April 9, so agrees with
   Kleeburg's 1886 birth date), owning his own home valued at
   $20000, and working as a doctor in a hospital.'s the interesting part......Garvin's birthplace is
   given as Chile, and his mother's birthplace is given as Turkey!
   The father is born in America.  Garvin has two children, John
   (possibly "Jack", age 13) and David (age 6).

   Justin is also listed in the 1920 census (age 33) as a physician
   in private practice in Cleveland Heights, OH.

   A WWI military record is at (subscription site):
      Name: Justin Allis Garvin
      Serial Number: First Lieutenant
      Race: W
      Residence: 3155 Sycamore Reserve Division, Cleveland
            Heights, O.
      Birth Place: Valparaiso, Chili.
      Birth Date / Age: 7 June 1886
      Assigns Comment: 1 Lieutenant MC 10 Aug 1918 from
            CL. General Hospital 9 to Discharge Lakewood NJ;
            Cp Dix NJ. Honorable discharge 28 June 1919.

   It also gives the reference:
   "Garvin, Justin Allis 1886-1946  Biography Index. A
    cumulative index to biographical material in books and
    magazines. Volume 1: January, 1946-July, 1949. New York:
    H.W. Wilson Co., 1949. (BioIn 1)

   I am not familiar with this source ("Biography Index") but
   probably any large library has it.

   So, Garvin is obviously a doctor, and obviously well traveled.
   And probably smart enough to publish something so young ....
   but is he the same as Mr. Lapius???

   You are totally right about the Internet -- it can only take you
   so far.  But what amazes me the most is how fast it grows -
   you can repeat searches after a few months and have a good
   chance of finding something new.   Anyway, the material I
   need to see these days is all in Maryland and I have no easy
   way to get at it except to go there.  Kinda frustrating!"


   In response to the earlier query, Bob Julian writes: "The
   mintage figures of Carson City for 1870 through June 1873,
   by months, can be found in the May 1977 issue of Coins


   Howard A. Daniel III writes:  "I do not know of references
   about these tokens but I can write that if anyone wants to know
   about them, they can send an email to MPCGram at
   and request a subscription to the MPC Gram, a free almost
   daily newsletter not only about Military Payment Certificates,
   but many, many other military financial instruments.  Anyone can
   submit a letter to the editor or write a small item about their
   question(s) and I am VERY sure he or she will receive at least
   one email with the answer(s).

   The editor of the MPC Gram, Fred Schwan, is one of the
   authors of "World War II Remembered" and can probably
   answer any question(s) about these tokens too.  But he will
   usually wait for a reader to take a stab at answering before
   he jumps in."

   The other author, Joe Boling writes: "Where did you find
   anything in Schwan-Boling about Japanese-American
   internment camp tokens?  I have never heard of any."

   [Well, I'm just plain lazy sometimes and didn't take the time
   to confirm the listing in Schwan-Boling before publishing last
   week's item.  After seeing Joe's note I recalled that the
   source of information was Lance Campbell's "Prisoner of
   War and Concentration Camp Money of the Twentieth
   Century"  Second Edition, 1993, also published by BNR

   An entry on p87 lists fiber tokens of the Crystal City, Texas
   civilian internment camp.  "This camp was open from 1943-
   1948 and housed families of predominantly Japanese heritage."


   Steve Huber writes: "My collection consist of many world
   crowns and talers.  As you can imagine, lots of portraits,
   kings, monarch, reigns, etc., mostly European but more
   recently South America.   Many of the Royal families are
   related.  For example, I'm sure you are aware of Queen
   Victoria's long span as Queen and prolific family of other
   monarchs, Kings etc.

   I've been looking to purchase the reference "Lines of
   Succession: Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe."
   I can be reached via e-mail at shuber at

   This book is long out of print.  I'll find one but thought
   one of our readers might be aware of an extra copy.
   It's just for my own development of the lines of succession
   of these many monarch pictured on Crowns and talers and
   how they may oftentimes be related."


   Regarding last week's note about minter Issac Newton and
   Asperger's Syndrome, Martin Purdy writes: "I've also seen
   articles suggesting that Newton had Asperger's Syndrome, a
   form of mild autism.  However, an item in the New Zealand
   Numismatic Journal, December 2000, by Dr. K.A. Rodgers
   (Correspondence, page 30), suggests that Newton was
   afflicted with heavy metal poisoning from having dealt at close
   range with mercury, antimony and arsenic, which ultimately
   resulted in his being "mad as a hatter" - perhaps we need
   look no further than this?

   Regarding Newton's lectures to an empty room, he adds:
   "If no one was there, how did anyone know?  Sounds a bit
   fanciful to me!

   If a lecturer delivers a talk to an empty room, does he make
   a sound?"


   Ken Berger sends this information regarding last week's

   Title: Philippine Counterstamped Coins 1828-1839 with
       Original Archival Documents"
   Author: Quint Jose Ma. Oropilla y Fortich, M.D.
   Publisher: Noumisma-Economic History Research
       Publishing Company Quezon City, Philippines
   Copyright: 2001
   Pages: 193 + appendix
   Printer: Visual Color Inc., Quezon City
   Size: 9.25" x 12.25"

   According to the dust jacket, it can be ordered by phone.
   The number is 815-9911 Local 51.  Since it is in the
   Philippines, you'll need the appropriate country code.

   By the way, I asked a certain individual about this book at
   the Long Beach, CA show & he was not very forthcoming
   with respect to information regarding how I may obtain a
   copy.  It's almost as if he wanted to keep it a secret!  I
   received my copy from Bill Elwell of Bishop Coins, who
   very graciously, gave me his own personal copy.  Thanks
   again, Bill.   Hope this information helps."


   Doug Andrews writes: "When we consider which is the
   "smallest" numismatic book, we can't judge it by its length,
   otherwise one sheet of paper folded once could qualify as
   a four-page "book."

   I submit a book from my collection as a candidate for the
   smallest modern numismatic tome. Although it has an
   astounding 146 pages, it measures only 8.5 cm x 10.5 cm
   and is hard-covered. It is entitled "Navigators" by S. Petrov,
   published in St. Petersburg, Russia (where I bought it) in
   1995. It deals exclusively with coins having nautical and
   maritime exploration themes."

   George Kolbe writes: "I recall handling a few copies of a
   miniature book on American colonial coins years ago, but
   do not recall specifics. I believe it was published by a small
   private press in the U. S., had a few illustrations (it took a
   full page to depict one side of a coin), and very little useful
   information. When I set up a bourse table in those days I
   would often place a copy atop a set of Loubat; it made
   for an eye-catching display."

   Joel Orosz writes: "The smallest numismatic book in my
   collection is:  Mark Hoff, American Coins. Kansas City:
   Ariel Books Andrews and McMeel, 1996. ISBN
   Number 0-8362-0990-7

   The book is gray cloth, with the image of the obverse of a
   Buffalo Nickel on the front cover, and the reverse of same
   on the back cover.  It has a pictorial dustjacket and
   endpapers, and is illustrated with color photos from the
   ANA Museum.  It contains 127 numbered pages. Cover
   dimensions are 4.5 cm wide by 5.8 cm tall.  The book is
   from the aptly-named "Tiny Tomes" series."

   Chris Hoelzle and Bob Leonard reported having this one
   in their libraries as well.

   Carl Honore describes a candidate for the "small and thin
   hardcover books category:  "It's about the size of a Redbook
   but its really thin.  It's called called "Pillars and Portraits".
   lost it in my book shelves a few times because its so thin it's
   gotten hidden between larger volumes.   It's not as thick as the
   Redbook its maybe even smaller in size.  It has information
   about the Mexican 8 reale pieces.  It's actually about as thick
   as two Eisenhower dollars or other silver dollars."

   E-Sylum readers are well connected.   Our most authoritative
   response come from Julian I. Edison of St. Louis, MO, the
   editor of "Miniature Book News."

   My brother-in-law, Eric P. Newman asked me to respond.
   The 2 smallest numismatic books that I am aware of are:

   1) "Colonial Coins, Illustrated with numerous Photo Engravings,"
        published by the Hillside Press, 1974. Preface is by F. E. I.,
         but no author. Book measures 2 3/8 by 2 inches.

   2) Hoff, Mark; "American Coins," published by Andrews and
        McMeel (1996).  Book measures 2 1/4 by 1 7/8 inches.


   Regarding our previous request for a book on Bulgarian
   coinage, Larry Gaye writes: "I have a reference that might fit.
   It is "Coinage of the Balkans 820-1355, D.M. Metcalf, 1966,
   Argonaut Publishers.   The book is in English and has 16
   photographic plates.  I hope this is helpful. It might be worth
   a shot to see if the ANA has one in their library.  They do
   lend books out."


   On Saturday The Asylum's Dynamic Duo, David Fanning
   and Tom Fort, visited the E-Sylum War Room.  A bunker-
   buster bomb could have wiped out the entire NBS editorial
   staff, online and off.   David was in town for the Pennsylvania
   Association of Numismatists (PAN) show, and the three of
   us happily pawed through numismatic literature and ephemera
   for a couple of hours.    What fun!


   This week's featured web page is an article by Fred Reed
   on postage stamp envelopes which circulated as small change
   during the U.S. Civil War.

  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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  at this address: whomren at

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