The E-Sylum v6#21, May 25, 2003
whomren at coinlibrary.com
whomren at coinlibrary.com
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.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ERIC!
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!"
WHAT DOES THE F. C. C. STAND FOR?
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
JOSEPH J. MICKLEY AND THE TURK
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
[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
MICKLEY BUSINESS JOURNAL FOUND
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 aol.com"
NUMISMATIC TIMES AND TRENDS
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 jersey.net"
DANMARKS PAPIR PENGE
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."
MORE ON INTERNMENT CAMP TOKENS
Bob Leonard writes: "In addition to Crystal City tokens,
there was a series in gray fiber reading DEPT. OF
JUSTICE/ I. & N. SERVICE around INTERNEE/
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.)"
BOWERS, BOWERS, AND BOWERS
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]
THE MOREAU HOARD OF POSTAGE STAMP ENVELOPES
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:
IRAQI "SWISS DINARS"
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
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."
MORE ON ANNOTATIONS
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
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.)"
NEW ANTI-COUNTERFEITING DEVICE?
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]
FEATURED WEB SITE
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."
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
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