The E-Sylum v6#21, May 25, 2003

whomren at whomren at
Sun May 25 19:38:25 PDT 2003

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 21, May 25, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


   Dave Bowers writes: "Today, May 25th, is Eric P. Newman's
   92nd birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ERIC, from all of your
   friends in the Numismatic Bibliomania Society, and all good
   wishes for many, many more!"


   Internet sleuth Gar Travis helped us answer Darryl Atchison's
   question about collector F.C.C. Boyd's initials.  He located
   Boyd's great grandson Frederick C.C. Boyd, III, Esq. in
   Atlanta, GA.  The answer?  F. C. C. stands for Frederick
   Charles Cogswell.


   Karl Moulton writes: "I too, read with interest the letter to the
   editor in the May 19th edition of Coin World about Joseph J.
   Mickley and "The Turk, Chess Automaton" by Dr. Gerald M.
   Levitt.  While he offered no information about this connection,
   from my research about Joseph Mickley, I can only presume
   that "The Turk" played a catchy musical tune in order to
   generate the crowd's interest before it was ready to "play"
   chess.  Most likely, Mickley did some musical repairs to the
   "Turk" at one time or another.  Perhaps Dr. Levitt will
    elaborate further."

   [I don't recall ever reading anything about The Turk playing
   music.  There are two recent books about The Turk.  In
   addition to Levitt's 2000 publication, "The Turk: The Life and
   Times of the Famous Eighteenth-Century Chess-Playing
   Machine" by Tom Standage was published in 2002.  Perhaps
   the answer to Mickley's connection lies in one or both of them.

   Moulton continues: "Most people involved with American
   numismatics only know the Mickley name in regards to
   numerous, albeit incorrect, stories regarding Mickley's various
   coin collecting endeavors.  However, long before he became
   a serious coin collector, he was a musical repairman and
   maker of piano-forte's in Philadelphia.  That was his life's
   occupation, and he was very good at his chosen field.
   Interestingly, it was through his association with people in the
   music field (Herr Joseph Plich) which ultimately allowed him
   the financial freedom to pursue his interest in coin collecting
   after May 1841, when he first visited the US Mint with his
   older brother."


   Karl Moulton adds: "I'd also like to announce that I was
   fortunate to uncover the whereabouts of Joseph Mickley's
   daily business journal which covers the years from 1840 to
   1848.  Yes, this is one of the "Missing Masterpieces" that
   fellow researcher and good friend, Joel Orosz outlined in his
   Asylum article from Summer 2000, p.73.  And NO, this
   announcement is not an April Fools prank.

   This is Joseph Mickley in a personal manner, the way in
   which none of us have ever seen before.  It is his daily
   musical business journal of his many customers, sales, repairs,
   travels, rents, domestic expenses, etc.  This is mid-19th
   century Americana at its best.  There are 573 pages of entries
   in Mickley's clearly legible handwriting.  Copies of this
   historically important work will be available later this summer
   for $79. plus $6. S/H.  As a special bonus, this reprint will
   offer Jacob Bunting's (close personal friend of Mickley for
   decades) 28 page biographical sketch about Mickley, written
   in 1885.  Orders are being taken now and this 600 page
   reprint is available exclusively through Karl Moulton at
   numiscats at"


   Peter Mosiondz, Jr.writes: "For an article I intend to submit
   to Numismatic News on one of their acquisitions in the early
   1960's, I need help in locating information on a short-lived
   publication named "Numismatic Times and Trends".  I seem
   to recall the heavy use of red ink on the front page and
   columns slanted towards the younger/beginning collector
   which included me during those times.  Help in ascertaining
   the publication dates of the first and last issue would be
   helpful. I seem to recall its debut around 1961 and, if
   memory serves, I believe it lasted but a couple of years.
   Was it a weekly or bi-weekly?  My memory fades on this.
   Also, to the best of my knowledge, once Krause Publications
   bought the paper they ceased publication and merely merged
   some of the features into Numismatic News.  Copies of this
   publication that I could borrow would be appreciated and
   duly returned. I have placed "buy" ads in the commercial press
   over the years and have scoured numismatic literature auction
   catalogs but failed to locate any issues. Perhaps one of our
   readers can help in my research effort.  Thanks so much.

   Peter Mosiondz, Jr., PO Box 221,  Glendora, NJ 08029-
   0221; (856) 627-6865;  petemos at"


   Bob Knepper writes: "I recently purchased "Danmarks Papir
   Penge" by Kim Svend Jensen in four paperback volumes dated
   1992-1996.  Volume 4 implies, in a note at the back, that
   there will be more volumes.  Will appreciate if someone can
   advise me how many, if any, additional volumes exist."


   Recent monthly issues of of COINage, and the journals of
   the American Numismatic Society and American Numismatic
   Association (Numismatist) have a number of interesting items.
   I won't go into detail, but wanted to point some out.  The June
   2003 issue of COINage has some interesting background
   on The Franklin Mint, feature articles on nickels, artist Marcel
   Jovine, and an article by David Alexander on collector Farran
   Zerbe.   The Spring ANS publication features "The Renaissance
   of the French Cast Medal."  The May 2003 Numismatist has
   information on the upcoming Summer Seminar, an article by
   Ed Rochette on Samuel Pepys visit to the Royal Mint in 1663,
   David Sklow's piece on the ANA's electrum membership
   medals.  On the library's "wish list" is "Das Deutsche Notgeld"
   by A. Keller, 1977.  If anyone has a copy to donate of sell,
   please contact librarian Nancy Green.


   Dave Wnuck writes: "Pete Smith asked for information on a
   coin that had been counterstamped by "J E Skalb".  It is
   actually the work of current coin dealer James E. Skalbe,
   who runs Colonial Trading Company, Inc. in Boston, MA.

   Jim makes a habit of counterstamping cull and damaged
   coins (usually U.S. large cents, from what I have seen) for
   free distribution at his table.

   I have a question for Pete: Where can I buy a copy of his
   "Names with Notes"?"

   John Kraljevich writes: "I'm sure others will reply, but Pete
   Smith's counterstamp was made by Jim Skalbe, the still-very-
   much-alive colonial coins specialist who was once partnered
   with Russ Smith as Colonial Trading Company.  The J.E.
   Skalbe Numismatist stamps are also known on low grade
   large cents, colonial Canadian tokens, and other such low-end
   junk box material. I can only imagine Jim's response upon
   discovering that he was the subject of a research inquiry!"

   Rich Hartzog adds: "James E Skalbe is a well-known
   numismatist of Winthrop, MA, who worked for Worthy Coin
   and Colonial Trading Co.  I've known him since 1975, a
   member (or former member) of ANA, CWTS, TAMS, CSNS,
   ANS, CNA, EAC, APIC, APS, FUN, etc."

   Ken Barr writes: "According to a prominent EACer I know,
   J. E. "Jim" Skalbe is a contemporary Boston numismatist,
   presumably still counterstamping worn and damaged 19th
   century coins for use as personal/business cards ...  Many
   exonumists (myself included) have reportedly been quite
   excited to discover this "vintage, unlisted" counterstamp
   only to find out the Real Story later ...   The following links
   illustrate two Skalbe-counterstamped coins a holed 1858
   Seated     Liberty quarter, and a well-worn British large

   Ray Williams writes: "Jim Skalbe is the current Region 1 C4
   Vice President.  He is the Colonial Trading Co , 101 Tremont
   St,  Suite 501, Boston  02108.   Jim has counterstamped many
   coins and given them out at conventions over the years. Hope
   this helps Pete and I'm assuming the counterstamp is not another
   numismatist's due to the slight difference in the spelling of the

   [The counterstamp is SKALBE, but Pete's letter referenced
   SCALB.  We were innundated with responses from all points
   of the compass - the above are just a sampling.  Mr. Skalbe
   is well known around the hobby.  -Editor]


   Alan Luedeking writes: "I read with interest Mr. Atchison's
   request for Spanish, French and Dutch references concerning
   medals given to North American indian chiefs.  I can
   recommend one which fits the bill for all three and then some,
   this being José Toribio Medina's last major numismatic work,
   published at Buenos Aires in 1924, "Medallas Europeas
   Relativas a América." As the title implies, it is a compendium
   of European medals relating to America, and as such includes
   a few examples of medals having to do with indians, if not
   necessarily chiefs, though a cursory glance revealed one listing
   for a medal for the indian chiefs of Cumaná in the reign of
   Phillip V, however, that's a far cry from North America.

   Nevertheless, there are also French medals for indians in
   Canada. With three excellent indexes, the book is very easy
   to use and heavily illustrated. One of the indexes references
   everything alphabetically by personal and tribal names, another
   by topics (i.e. geographical, ships, battles, etc.), and the last
   by country, including, besides the desired three, those of Italy,
   Portugal, Germany, and Sweden, all of which also had dealings
   with America over the centuries.

   Although quite scarce, this book is not among the hardest to
   obtain of the great Medina's works; in fact, I believe there is
   an example upcoming in Kolbe's next sale.  I also glanced
   through my Scholten for Dutch overseas colonies but this
   work concentrates only on coins. Ditto for Zay and Mazard
   regarding French colonies."


   Bob Leonard writes: "In addition to Crystal City tokens,
   there was a series in gray fiber reading DEPT. OF
   CANTEEN, with value on reverse.  See "Internment Camp
   Tokens" by Jack F. Burns, The Numismatist, May, 1962,
   pp. 586-7.  These were issued by the Immigration and
   Naturalization Service, and were for enemy ALIENS, not
   the Japanese-American internees from the West Coast.
   Burns lists denominations of 1c, 5c, and 25c.  I have a
   partial set consisting of 1c, 5c, and $1 in my collection.
   (Presumably a 50c was issued also.)"


   Karl Moulton writes: "The mention of George Bowers could
   use further clarification.  This was George W. Bowers, who
   is not to be confused with the other George Bowers, from
   Camden, Arkansas, who joined the ANA in 1953, #21285.
   I can find no reference confirming that George W. Bowers
   ever belonged to the ANA, yet he was an active collector of
   numismatic books and most likely a nice collection of American

   The mention that "the truly rare stuff went for a song" at the
   local West Virginia auction is quite accurate.  Out of the
   20,000 or so volumes in the collection, I was fortunate enough
   to end up with one of the great rarities from the Bowers holdings.
   Apparently, Bowers was a good customer of Wayte Raymond
   in the 1920's.  A confirmation of this, was that he had a nice
   original, regular edition 1925 Ard W. Browning book on U. S.
   Quarters.  However, the best "find" was the 1928 Wayte
   Raymond publication "United States Gold Coins of the
   Philadelphia and Branch Mints."  It is only the second example
   traced of the Deluxe Leatherbound Interleaved Edition with
   George W. Bowers' name imprinted in gilt on the front cover.
   The book is in Near Mint condition and autographed by
   Raymond on the title page.  It is marked copy "E" of a
   presumed run of 10 (according to an ad in the Feb. 1931
   Numismatist).  It originally sold for $15., which was a rather
   lofty price for a coin book during the depression.  The only
   other copy that has come to the market was William C.
   Atwater's fine copy which was sold in George Kolbe's
   February 1990 sale, lot 451, for $1650. on an estimate of

   [I was referring to some of the coins, which went for a song
   according to one dealer who attended the sale.  I recall him
   saying he purchased a high-grade Continental Dollar for about
   10% of its retail value at the time.   -Editor]


   David Gladfelter writes: "The leading reference today on Civil
   War postage stamp envelopes is Milton Friedberg's series,
   "Catalog of Enveloped Postage," that ran in 11 consecutive
   issues of Paper Money from 1993 to 1995. I don't know
   whether he has published this series as a book. Only
   selected specimens were illustrated in this series, but I still
   have a draft of his manuscript that illustrates them all.
   Through the cooperation of Dave Bowers I was able to get
   a photocopy of every specimen in the Moreau hoard about
   which H. R. Drowne wrote (the Moreau hoard was
   eventually consigned to Bowers & Merena, I believe by John
   Ford, and sold at auction). I have made up a catalog of the
   Moreau hoard with a page for each envelope, for my own
   use, it has not been published. Milton Friedberg's personal
   collection of these envelopes was sold at auction by Currency
   Auctions of America who published a special hardbound
   edition of this catalog. I have corresponded with Milton but
   never met him in person, and I carry his catalog to the bigger
   shows in hopes that our paths will eventually cross. It was a
   real pleasure assisting him with the Paper Money series."

   Fred Reed, Editor PAPER MONEY writes: "Civil War stamp
   envelopes were admirably cataloged by Milt Friedberg in Paper
   Money a while back.  They were illustrated and serialized over
   a two year period (11 issues) in these issues of Paper Money:

   Friedberg, Milton R.  Catalog of enveloped postage, illus

   1993  vol 32, whole no. 168 pp 188ff
   1994  vol 33, whole no. 169 pp 22ff
   1994  vol 33, whole no. 170 pp 54ff
   1994  vol 33, whole no. 171 pp 98ff
   1994  vol 33, whole no. 172 pp 138ff
   1994  vol 33, whole no. 173 pp 170ff
   1994  vol 33, whole no. 174 pp 208ff
   1995  vol 34, whole no. 175 pp 27ff
   1995  vol 34, whole no. 176 pp 65ff
   1995  vol 34, whole no. 177 pp 109ff
   1995  vol 34, whole no. 179 pp 198ff"


   An article in a local paper mentioned an interesting tidbit about
   Robert Morris, the financier of the American revolution.  It
   came from a book by Eleanor Young titled "Forgotten Patriot:
   Robert Morris."    As a founder of first Bank of North America,
   a forerunner of the Federal Reserve System, Morris knew
   "... there was always a danger that investors would make a run
   on the bank and deplete its store of gold and silver coin.  And
   so, according to biographer Eleanor Young, Morris fitted the
   bank vault with mirrors that "multiplied the coins, dazzling the
   eyes of the spectators."  Having seen such wealth, the public
   felt no need to withdraw any of it."

   For the full text of the article, see:


   On Tuesday, May 20, The Wall Street Journal provided an
   update on the Iraqi currency situation.  See The E-Sylum
   v6#07, February 16, 2003 for the original discussion.

   "Eager to stabilize Iraq's shattered economy, the Bush
   administration wants the country to print a fresh supply of its
   pre-1991 Gulf War currency -- the last national bank notes
   free of Saddam Hussein's portrait -- and expand their use

   "...they say the best course is to replace existing "Saddam
   dinars" with a new issue of "Swiss dinars." Since 1990, the
   Swiss dinar, so called because of its stability, has circulated
   only in the Kurdish north, an area not under Mr. Hussein's

   One option the Treasury is considering is printing new notes
   on existing presses in Baghdad, if they are operational. The
   drawback is that the presses apparently produce low-quality
   bills; the Saddam dinars have an almost-homemade appearance
   that facilitates counterfeiting."


   Chick Ambrass writes: "While visiting my daughter in Richmond,
   VA, we visited the Tredegar Iron Works on the banks of the
   James River. This facility was in existence pre-Civil War, and
   at it's biggest during WWII.  They made machinery and various
   parts, ordinance, and their Civil War specialty was cannon. It
   is now a Civil War Museum. At the gift shop, I purchased a
   book entitled: THE CIVIL WAR - STRANGE AND
   FASCINATING FACTS, written by Burke Davis, author of
   GRAY FOX . It makes for light and easy reading.  It has a lot
   of short (1-2 pages) chapters, not going into depth on much
   of anything.

   One fun chapter told the story of how the south got the nickname
   "DIXIE".  I had heard the story before but was pleasantly
   reminded.  A Louisiana bank had printed $10 notes, and because
   of the French influence they had the french word for "10", "dix"
   on the reverse. Hence these became known as "dixie notes". The
   reference to south came in 1859, when song writer Daniel
   Emmett wrote the song: "I wish I was in Dixie's Land". In 1861
   it was played at a procession for the just inducted President
   Jefferson Davis. On April 8, 1865 President Abraham Lincoln
   was on a paddle boat, the River Queen in harbor. An Army
   band boarded and began to serenade.  After a couple of
   numbers, Lincoln turned to another guest, and asked: "have you
   heard the Rebel song, Dixie?"  The guest shook his head.
   Lincoln replied; "The tune is now Federal Property, and it's good
   to show the Rebels that with us in power, they will be free to
   hear it again. It has always been a favorite of mine, and since
   we've captured it, we have a perfect right to enjoy it."


   Fred Reed writes: "Regarding. your discussion of adding
   context or interpretation to the printed word:  I do it
   prodigiously.  I don't read without a pen or pencil at hand.
   Underlining is useless for the most part, but commenting,
   including posing questions or debating points in narrative is
   a must.

   I call the work product "interlinear" (in other words
   "between the lines") and if I recall correctly that stems from
   my graduate school days and reading Lawrence Durrell's
   ALEXANDRIA QUARTET.  Durrell's magical four books
   weave and interweave, layer upon layer, interpretation upon
   interpretation, leaving more reality than mere facts alone.

   A vintage pristine book is like an old maid . . . wasted

   Henry Bergos writes: "Regarding "marginalia":   New books
   that have short print runs I will never write in.  I usually have
   a piece of paper in the book with any marks that I may want
   referencing the place and the notation.  On the other hand I
   have made notations in "common" books with errors.  Mark
   them for the next person!  I also spent a few hours attributing
   a large cent "some years ago" and couldn't find it.  I had 5
   books on the table and couldn't find this coin with the large
   cud that I was sure would be listed.  Finally I took out Andrews,
   and there it was!!  I marked this in the margin of my Sheldon,
   gently in pencil."


   David Lange writes: "Alain Roullet was the binder for the
   first edition of my Buffalo Nickel book. The entire print run
   was perfect bound, so all hardcover copies were produced
   after the fact, being ordered as needed. Alain was recommended
   to me by my publisher, and he created several varieties of
   cloth bindings in red, brown and black, respectively. This was
   not my intent, but he evidently used whatever colors were
   available when an order was placed. The font size for the title
   also varied, particularly with the brown covers, which were
   produced in slightly greater numbers.

   I also commissioned him to create the deluxe edition. This
   consisted of just six copies bound in leather, with actual Buffalo
   Nickels mounted heads and tails on the front cover. While
   these books certainly gained some novelty and rarity value,
   I elected to go with a more conventional presentation for my
   later books. I found Alain's work to be satisfactory, given the
   reasonable cost, but I've used Alan Grace for all subsequent
   bindings. The coins on the cover idea was never repeated."


   Joe Boling writes: "On the subject of bookbinders, is Alan
   Grace no longer working?  I had him rebind some volumes
   for me and was very pleased with the work. (Most are now
   in the ANA library.)"


   Len Augsberger writes: "For those who missed it, David
   Letterman featured one of the new $20 notes on his
   program this past week.  Splitting the bill in half, he removed
   a "moist towelette" from the inside of the bill, "virtually
   impossible" to counterfeit, according to Mr. Letterman.

   [Len adds: "Wayne, you mistakenly gave me credit for
   David Klinger's  note."  Oops - I should stop working on
   the E-Sylum at midnight. Sorry. -Editor]


   This week's featured web site is an old favorite.  Ed
   Krivoniak came across it while researching Bungtown
   tokens on the web.  He writes: "I came across this site
   at Notre Dame.  It seems that they have a fully researched
   coin collection in their possession.  They also have the
   Vlack plates and a few others on the 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

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