The E-Sylum v6#20, May 18, 2003
whomren at coinlibrary.com
whomren at coinlibrary.com
Sun May 18 20:59:16 PDT 2003
Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 20, May 18, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Among recent new subscribers are Professor Li Tiesheng.
Welcome aboard! We now have 558 subscribers.
EUROPEAN NUMISMATIC LITERATURE SYMPOSIUM
Hadrien Rambach reports: "The 54th Symposium of
Wolfenbuettel (Germany), which was consecrated on
"European 17 Century Numismatic Literature", took place
from 6th to 10th May 2003. Under the direction of Drs.
Dekesel and Staecker, this symposium was brilliantly
organised, and allowed many scholars to discuss on this
really interesting period of the development of the numismatic
science. The symposium should be published asap, and it
will really be worth being read !"
PHILIPPINE COLLECTORS FORUM & BIBLIOGRAPHY
Howard A. Daniel III writes: "Ken Berger's search for a
Philippine counterstamp book is fortunately not too common,
but it can be very frustrating to come across numismatists and
others who will not share information about acquiring
At this year's ANA Convention in Baltimore, there will be a
Philippine Collectors Forum (PCF) on Friday. I am creating
a Philippine Numismatic Bibliography (PNB) and need input
from all E-Sylum subscribers about these references in their
libraries. Even if there is only one page in a reference about
this subject, please tell me about it.
I will have my laptop and printer at the NI/NBS/IBNS club
table at this convention and will print a copy of my PNB for
anyone requesting it.
I would like to invite everyone with any interest in Philippine
numismatics to attend the forum. Many collectors, dealers,
researchers and publishers are coming to it from all over the
world, to include the Philippines, so it will be a great event!"
NEW JUDD PATTERN BOOK
Saul Teichman writes: "A new 8th edition of the Judd book
will be coming out at the ANA convention. For more
From the web page: "The 8th Edition of the Judd book is
being produced by our friends at Whitman Publishing and
should be available by the 2003 ANA convention. The
price for the new edition will be $29.95.
This new edition has been completely reformatted to make
it more usable.
Dave Bowers, with the help of Saul Teichman and others,
including the core of the uspatterns.com membership, has
completely revised the text, adding much new information.
Many more images are also included."
Chris Karstedt of American Numismatic Rarities sent
some additional information about the book's pre-publication
"In recent months, a number of America's best known
scholars and dealers have been working apace in the
creation of a magnificent new book on pattern coins, to be
known as the "Judd 8th edition", but mostly in name only.
Dave Bowers has virtually completely rewritten the text from
1792 to the latest patterns of modern times; Robert Hughes
and his consultants have created estimated market values
in three grades plus auction prices for most of the varieties;
and Saul Teichman and others have presented historical
research and die details."
"This new and expanded edition includes:
Judd identification numbers
Full-color hardbound cover
You can receive this book at our special pre-publication price
of only $25 plus $5 shipping. Call Melissa Karstedt today at
866-840-1913 to reserve your copy. It will be shipped to you
immediately upon publication, scheduled for July 2003. Or, you
can go to http://www.anrcoins.com to complete an order form
that can be mailed or faxed to us. We're sure that many
readers of The E-Sylum will want to own a copy. Our
complete information is as follows:
American Numismatic Rarities, LLC
P.O. Box 1804
Wolfeboro, NH 03894
email address: sales at anrcoins.com
THE PERSONALIZED MEDALIST
NBS President Pete Smith writes: "I am looking for copies
of a periodical, "The Personalized Medalist" produced by
Jerry Remick around 1985. A former subscriber told me that
about a dozen issues were distributed. Photocopies would
be fine for my research purposes. I would appreciate getting
any responses forwarded to me by mail at: Pete Smith, 2424
4th Street NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418."
J. E. SKALB INFORMATION SOUGHT
Pete also asks: "I am looking for information on the person
who produced a counterstamped silver coin marked "J. E.
Skalb / Numismatist / Boston."
I have nothing on Skalb in my notes of references. I would like
to identify the era and anything of interest about Skalb."
[In a first for The E-Sylum, Pete's submissions arrived via the
U.S. Postal Service. Since they were short, I typed them in for
publication. We aim to serve. -Editor]
PRIVATE MINTS REPORT
Dick Johnson writes: "I have just returned from a 2-week tour
where I visited several private mints gathering last-minute data
for my upcoming directory: American Artists, Diesinkers,
Engravers, Medalists and Sculptors of Coins and Medals.
These plant tours opened my eyes; it has been 25 years since
I worked for Medallic Art (in New York City and Danbury)
where I was intimately concerned with medal design, die
preparations, stamping and marketing of high-quality medals.
Here are my comments on the current status of the American
Medal from my recent observations:
(1) Private Mints are vibrant, business was brisk at both
plants I visited.
(2) However, Speed is killing Art in current medal
Either customers are demanding product in too quick a time
or the medalmakers have come to offer such service that
medallic artists are being shut out of creating the fine art
medals of the past. The bulk of the work is being done by
hand operators using tracer controlled milling engravers,
rather than reducing sculptors' oversize models on die-
engraving pantographs. Craftsmen have won out over artists.
(3) Medal manufacturing is now a scion of the advertising
(4) Computers are dominating medal design, and even
some die preparation.
(5) Every medalmaker I visited had carved out their own
niche in the medallic field, despite competition among
all their fellow American medalmakers.
(6) Current medalmakers are encouraging innovation, in
the diestruck items they produce, in some parts of their
production (using all the old equipment I was familiar
with a generation ago), but mostly in creative mounting.
The later now give new clients the answer to the age-old
question, "What do you do with a medal?"
Too much of what I saw going through these plants,
however, were destined for the recipients' junk drawer
(or a melting pot!), and should any of these medals ever get
into the hands of some future numismatic dealer would be
tossed into their cheapest junk box. Too many corporate
logos, too many devices alone without any reason for their
issuing, all of this because of the influence of the advertising
Oh, how much better would all that effort and money be put
to creating medals in what medallic art does best -- creating
mementos of historical importance for future generations,
honoring, say, an organization's anniversary or a company
milestone. That is, striking a medal for a significant event!"
Darryl Atchison writes; "Can any of our readers tell me what
the second C. in the name F.C.C. Boyd stands for? According
to publications by Pete Smith and Dave Bowers, the first C.
stands for Cosgrove but there is no mention of the second C.'s
meaning. Perhaps it didn't stand for anything."
[Boyd was a famous American collector who cataloged the
1922 New York American Numismatic Association auction.
He was also well known as a collector of U.S. Fractional
Currency, and when an organization of collectors formed, they
took Boyd's initials - FCCB now also stands for the Fractional
Currency Collector's Board. I've been a member for longer
than I can remember. The group has a web site at this
address: http://www.fractionalcurrency.org/. Unfortunately,
the site does not seem to even mention Boyd. -Editor]
ANOTHER SMALL NUMISMATIC BOOK
Tony Tumonis of Tucson, Arizona writes: "I thought that I had
the smallest book, but after reading this newsletter I now know
otherwise. I have a copy of ARRANGEMENT OF UNITED
STATES COPPER CENTS 1816-1857 by Frank D. Andrews
1883 / Pocket Edition 1934. Price One Dollar. It measures
3 1/2" x 3 3/4", with 38 pages."
POSTAGE STAMP ENVELOPES
Nick Graver writes: "I enjoyed the latest E-Sylum, as always.
I almost began to mention which articles interested me most,
and quickly realized what a job that would be. So many were
I cannot believe I am only now reading about the "Postage
Stamp Envelopes" after all these years in the field. Amazing!
Half a century of collecting, and still such exciting things to
read about. E-Sylum has been the most interesting part of
numismatics for the last several years."
[I have three postage stamp envelopes, and took them out of
the safe deposit box this week to show at local club meetings.
I bought them several years ago to go with my collection of
encased postage stamps. I first learned of them in a visit to
the ANA Library in 1980. I looked up Civil War in their
catalog, and found a 1920's article by H. Russell Drowne
in the AJN. Very little has been published on them since
then, although they are cataloged now, in the Krause/Lemke
U.S. paper money book, I believe. -Editor]
MEDAL REFERENCES SOUGHT
Darryl Atchison writes: "I would like ask our readers if
anyone is aware of publications on French, Spanish and
Dutch medals. I am particularly interested in those which
include medals presented to North American Indian Chiefs.
I have all of the major references on British, U.S. and
Canadian medals and I am looking for publications
covering the medals of the other three nations. I would
particularly interested if there are any texts such as Hawkins
(Medallic Illustrations of British History) or Betts (American
Colonial History Illustrated by Contemporary Medals) for
France, Spain or Holland. It is not essential any such texts
be in English."
JOSEPH MICKLEY AND THE TURK
A letter to the Editor in the May 19th issue of COIN WORLD
makes reference to American numismatist Joseph Mickley.
The writer is Dr. Gerald M. Levitt, author of the 2000 book
"The Turk, Chess Automaton."
"The Turk" was a mysterious contraption created in 1769 by a
Hungarian nobleman named Wolfgang von Kempelen. "The
Turk" was a mechanical man positioned over a chessboard.
In performances, Kempelen would open it to reveal a rat's
nest of gears and machinery, then challenge audience members
to play the Turk. Very few were able to beat it. Audiences
were baffled and many concluded that they'd witnessed a
machine that could think. Napoleon and Charles Babbage,
inventor of an early computing machine, played games against
the Turk. Edgar Allan Poe wrote essay about it. In 1826 a
later owner brought the machine to America, and in 1854, it
was destroyed in a fire.
At the end of Levitt's letter he mentions that "Joseph Mickley,
the noted American coin collector, is closely associated with
Turk history." Can anyone tell us the connection?
A web search turned up the fact that a reproduction of The
Turk has been created and it "will make an appearance at
the National Open Chess Tournament at the Riviera Hotel
in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 14, 2003. There will be no
charge for admission. Performances are scheduled at 9 a.m.
and at 4 p.m." See http://rfeditor.tripod.com/turk0303.html
THE BOOK-SCANNING ROBOT ARRIVES
The E-Sylum has touched on the subject of digitizing
numismatic literature in the past. A May 20th article in
the New York Times may gives us a glimpse of the
future - a book-scanning robot that can process literature
faster than humans.
"Putting the world's most advanced scholarly and scientific
knowledge on the Internet has been a long-held ambition for
Michael Keller, head librarian at Stanford University. But
achieving this goal means digitizing the texts of millions of
books, journals and magazines - a slow process that involves
turning each page, flattening it and scanning the words into
a computer database.
Mr. Keller, however, has recently added a tool to his crusade.
On a recent afternoon, he unlocked an unmarked door in the
basement of the Stanford library to demonstrate the newest
agent in the march toward digitization. Inside the room a
Swiss-designed robot about the size of a sport utility vehicle
was rapidly turning the pages of an old book and scanning the
text. The machine can turn the pages of both small and large
books as well as bound newspaper volumes and scan at
speeds of more than 1,000 pages an hour."
For the full text of the article, see
SCANNING CHAPMAN CATALOGS
A related exchange appeared this week in the colonial coins
email list. When the subject of scanning photographic plates
came up, Neil Rothschild attempted "to explain that a Chapman
catalog ... needs to be treated with respect." He wrote:
For the benefit of those that have not ventured into bibliophilia
but are contemplating such foolishness...
The original Chapmans were bound in white cloth and boards
(WCB), as is mine. The back of the sown signatures are
heavily glued. The glue has generally gotten brittle over the
years. They generally don't like to lay flat, and attempting to
lay them flat could damage the binding and the original bindings
have a lot of value vs a later re-bound copy. This is especially
true of the thicker sales, such as Earle and Jenks. Not to
mention damaging a plate while attempting to scan or
My plated Earle sale is considered to be a nice copy and I
want to keep it that way. I have another Earle in it's original
WCB binding, from the Bowers sale of the Champa library
(not plated). In a discussion with Charlie Davis, who
catalogued that library, he told me that that copy was among
the nicest white cloth and boards he had ever handled. If
that is true, then there probably aren't any that CAN be laid
flat without damage. Even that copy is very stiff, and, in fact,
the inner binding has "creased" right at the colonial section
(prior to my acquisition). So that copy could possibly be
laid flat almost anywhere except in the colonial section!.
I should note that Charlie's comments were not directed
specifically at the binding, or it's willingness to open, but
applied to the general condition of the book.
This is true of most older material in original bindings. I recall
a discussion with Dan Friedus about this where he mentioned
that he had, or was contemplating, building a book stand with
the sides at about a 90-120 degree angle so a book could be
opened and supported without damaging the binding.
There is a conflict between research needs and bibliophilic
(read: economic) preservation. The best numismatic
literature [for research] is the ratty, disbound stuff that can't
be hurt. Anyone contemplating building a serious library
should carefully consider that conflict and what they are
going to do with that material."
ANOTHER NUMISMATIC BOWERS: GEORGE
Following Neil's reply Stan Stephens added:
"You are absolutely right about the conflict between research
and preservation when it comes to rare old numismatic material.
I only have two original Chapmans 1) plated Stickney 2) non
plated Jenks. Both with prices neatly written in by hand. The
cool thing about them is that I am only the second owner. They
came from that weird estate auction in the middle of West
Virginia three summers ago. Mr. George Bowers, the owner,
had been dead for 40 years. It was not until all three of his
sisters who lived in the Bower's 29 room home were finally
dead (none ever married) did a few lucky distant relatives find
out that a small fortune waited for them. There were essentially
no changes made to inside of the house since Bowers died.
There were over 20,000 books including many numismatic
rarities. For instance three Crosbys were part of the collection.
When I got the Stickney home and opened it up I found
three pages of hand written notes detailing the arrival of Halley's
Comet in 1910. You see Mr. Bowers was also an amateur
astronomer and yes, a very nice brass telescope was among
the auction items."
[Your editor heard about the Bowers auction only after the
fact, or he would have hightailed it to West Virginia to be
there. The handful of coin dealers who attended had a
field day. Like many country auctions, low-value items sold
to the crowd for high prices. But the truly rare stuff went
for a song. A web search found two references to Bowers
and the sale. Excerpts appear below. Follow the links for
the full article
"Businessman George Bowers, of nearby Mannington, was
the ultimate shopper, a material man who amassed over a
museum's worth of stuff in his 28-room home. These effects
could fill San Simeon, publisher William Randolph Hearst's
massive mountaintop California retreat.
Bowers died in the 1940s after building up the Bowers
Pottery Co. and the Warwick China Co. His china was
elegant. The other half of the business wasn't. Pottery
in Mannington meant porcelain, and porcelain meant toilets
and other bathroom fixtures.
People in town knew the Bowers family was well off. But
few, if any, realized just what treasures were contained inside
the walls of the ever-expanding house on High Street that had
been owned by Bowers' father.
Through the years, the collection grew, filling to fit the
contours of the house. It seems there was nothing George
Bowers would not buy. After he died, his three daughters
remained under the same roof where they had grown up,
never marrying. Their home became stuck in time, frozen
Bowers' last remaining daughter, Frances, died in March.
In her will, she directed that all her father's belongings be
[From The Journal newspapers, reprinted from the
This page has a photo of books being previewed before
CRYSTAL CITY INTERNMENT CAMP TOKENS
David Klinger wrote the following item for the MPCgram,
and with their permission we're reprinting it here. It
illustrates Len Augsberger's point about how fast the
Internet is growing. What I wrote the Money Talks article
there was very little information to be had about the camp
or its tokens, but now there is a nice web page picturing
Len wrote: "I recently read about money used at a
Japanese-American internment camp in Crystal City, Texas
during and just after WW II. I had never seen such money
which was described by Wayne Homren in an ANA "Money
Talks" script as follows: "The camp at Crystal City, TX, a
hundred miles southwest of San Antonio, was a converted
migrant farm labor camp. The facility housed entire families,
and held a peak population of over 3,000 people. Residents
of the camp were allotted a standard sum of money in fiber
tokens. These tokens could be spent for food, clothing, and
other items at the camp canteen. The tokens came in
denominations ranging from one cent to $5. When the camp
closed, all the tokens were supposed to be destroyed. But
a few of these tiny tokens survive today."
These tokens are not mentioned in "WW II Remembered".
The inscription on the reverse of each of these tokens reads:
"Alien Detention Station, Crystal City, Texas". The obverse
shows value in letters and numbers.
What surprised me during my research on this topic was
that this internment camp was not only used to house
Japanese-Americans but German-Americans as well. I was
not aware that over 11,000 German-Americans were interned
during WW II. I wonder if any of these German-Americans
received reparations as did the Japanese-Americans? In any
case, you can see these tokens at the following web site, along
with interesting info and links related to the German-American
NUMISMATIC BOOKS FOR CHINA
Howard A. Daniel III writes: "I don't know Professor Li
Tiesheng of the China Numismatic Society, but I am personally
very, very reluctant to send numismatic books to China
because I have seen so many of them translated into Chinese
and published without permission or royalty to the copyright
I am a specialist in Southeast Asia and have found almost
every book about that region being published in China is a
complete copy of another book or assembled from several
Even though China has signed the international copyright
laws, they are not being followed or enforced. And many
of the worst violators are numismatic societies and
government museums, and they do not even mention the
original author(s) and/or titles in their versions, so they
appear to be original work.
If any numismatic references are sent to the professor, I
would suggest sending only those long out of their copyright."
S. Q. LAPIUS
One of our few female subscribers, Ana Gram, sends this
message: "Ah-Haa! You've been tricked. S. Q. Lapius
was really that 19th century funster, Sal Quips."
BALKAN COINAGE REFERENCES
American Numismatic Association Librarian Nancy Green
writes: "The ANA library has three copies of Coinage in the
Balkans, 820-1355, by D.M. Metcalf. We also have one
copy of Coinage in South-Eastern Europe, 820-1396, by
Medcalf. The preface indicates that this is the second edition.
It was published as Royal Numismatic Society Special
Publication no. 11 in 1979."
Stephen Pradier writes: "For those of you seeking a
bookbinder I have great news for you. I have located a
small family bindery (10 people) located in Norfolk, Virginia.
For a long time I used a bindery located in Illinois. I had
quite a number of books that I wanted to have bound and
would prefer a binder that was local or at least in the state.
I also wanted a binder who could do the type of work that
I wanted where I was not limited to only what materials and
bindings that they could do. I searched the Internet, not really
believing I could find one here but to my amazement I did.
The name of the bookbinder is Longs-Roullet Bookbinders,
Inc. I phoned and spoke to Mr. Roullet to see if he could
perform the type of binding work that I needed. I was
impressed to learn that he has done work for the White House,
Colonial Williamsburg and academic institutions here in Virginia.
In addition to all of that Mr. Roullet schedules pick-up and
For me it means no more packing up to the post office. If you
have ever shipped books you know what I mean. I scheduled
a pick-up date and time with Mr. Roullet and he arrived right
on time. I provided him with six large boxes of numismatic
catalogues and journals.
Today I received two bound volumes for catalogues that I
wanted bound. One was for the B. Max Mehl, 1941 Dunham
Auction and the other was the four part Armand Champa
Library Auctions, bound as one. Both were bound with
marbled boards and endsheets, quarter leather spines with
raised hubs. The B. Max Mehl volume also took advantage
of panel lines, scripted rules, and the fleurs de lis for "breaking
up" the imprint on the spine. Both volumes were bound with
color-coordinated silk headbands. Both volumes were
Mr. Roullet has even extended an invitation to tour his facility
as well as allowing for some actual hands-on experience. I
hope to take him up on. The Roullet Bookbindery has a web
site at http://www.longs-roullet.com/index.htm.
There is a very interesting bio for Mr. Roullet, his wife and
daughter on his About Us link at the bottom of their web
page. I, for one, highly recommend Mr. Roullets work.
Anyone who is looking for a binder will not be disappointed."
MORE ON MARGINALIA
Fred Schwan writes: "I love marginalia (although I did not
know the word until today). Sure, there can be ugly and
distracting writing, marks, drawings, and the like, but very
often there is useful or at least interesting information. The
books that I use the most are full of annotations, corrections,
supplements, comments, and even questions.
In fact, I believe in this practice so much that I have
attempted to influence others in this way. With only a few
exceptions, books published by BNR Press are printed on
paper suitable for marginalizing (yikes). With the
publication of the fourth edition MPC book, we took the
idea a step farther by providing space specifically intended
for note taking and the collectors' edition even included
From the standpoint of a (numismatic) book collector, I still
find marginalia a good thing. Indeed, I think that the ultimate
form of a book is the personal marginalized (new meaning to
an old word) copy. I would certainly love to have Ray Toy
or Alfred Swail's personal copies of their respective books.
For that matter I would like to have Neil Shafer's personal
copy of his Philippine guerrilla or small size paper money
books. Numismatic books owned and marginalized by
serious collectors (in my areas of interest) have space waiting
for them in my library.
[I would prefer the term "annotated" to "marginalized". Isn't
note-taking what interleaved copies are all about? How
come no one ever publishes interleaved editions anymore?
Maybe it's just too expensive, but leaving enough blank space
in the regular edition seems like a good compromise. -Editor]
COULD MONKEYS WRITE NUMISMATIC LITERATURE?
"Give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of
typewriters, the theory goes, and they will eventually produce
prose the likes of Shakespeare.
Give six monkeys one computer for a month, and they will
make a mess. "
"Researchers at Plymouth University in England reported this
week that primates left alone with a computer attacked the
machine and failed to produce a single word.
"They pressed a lot of S's," researcher Mike Phillips said Friday.
"Obviously, English isn't their first language."
A group of faculty and students in the university's media program
left a computer in the monkey enclosure at Paignton Zoo in
southwest England, home to six Sulawesi crested macaques.
Then, they waited.
At first, said Phillips, "the lead male got a stone and started
bashing the hell out of it.
"Another thing they were interested in was in defecating and
urinating all over the keyboard," added Phillips, who runs the
university's Institute of Digital Arts and Technologies."
FEATURED WEB SITE
This week's featured web site is from the Gold Rush Gallery's
web site. "An Illustrated History of the Georgia Gold Rush
and the United States Branch Mint at Dahlonega, Georgia"
by Carl N. Lester. Very well done, and includes an 1861
inventory of the mint.
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
(To be removed from the E-Sylum mailing list
send an email message with the word "Unsubscribe"
in the body of the message to:
esylum-request at binhost.com)
More information about the Esylum