The E-Sylum v6#39, September 28, 2003
whomren at coinlibrary.com
whomren at coinlibrary.com
Sun Sep 28 18:15:54 PDT 2003
Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 39, September 28, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Among recent new subscribers are Carlos Jara, courtesy of
Alan Leudeking, Cong Nguyen, courtesy of Howard A. Daniel
III, and Rick Bagg. Welcome aboard! We now have 592
JOHN J. FORD JR. COLLECTION CATALOG PUBLISHED
By now many of our subscribers have had a chance to
see a copy of the new catalog for the John J. Ford Jr.
Collection, published by Stack's of New York. The catalog
is Part I of the collection, to be sold October 14, 2003 in
New York. The sale features Early American coinage
(Continental Dollars, New Jersey and Vermont Coppers,
Fugio Cents), and coins, patterns and numismatic ephemera
of the Confederate States of America. The coins are to
die for, of course. What makes the catalog especially
interesting are the essays by Tom Moon, David Alexander,
Ford himself and others on Ford's career and collection.
Many of Ford's key coins came from the estate of F.C.C.
Boyd, and the catalog includes a 3-page essay on Boyd.
Page 12 of the catalog has a trial bibliography of Ford's
numismatic writing, including eight articles in our print
journal, The Asylum.
GOLD RUSH BANKING ISSUE OF THE ARGONAUT
On the recommendation of Dave Bowers, I contacted Robert
Chandler, curator of the Wells Fargo Museum in San Francisco
to get a copy of the Winter 2002 issue of The Argonaut, the
journal of the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society.
Dave wrote that the issue is a "superb nearly book-length study
on Gold Rush Banking, closely involved with and important to
numismatics. This was done as a special edition of a magazine,
and I venture to say that the study will be an ESSENTIAL
addition to any serious numismatic library."
The illustrated, 100-page issue features three in-depth articles:
"Gold Dust and Banking: Banking in Gold Rush San Francisco"
by Charles A. Fraccia; "Gold as a Cumbersome, Curmudgeonly
Commodity, 1849-1870" by Robert J. Chandler; and "Good
Ethics is Good Business: Wells Fargo Aids Commerce Through
Banking, Express, and Letter Delivery, 1852-1859" also by
Robert J. Chandler.
"Chandler writes: "Charles Fracchia, the other author of this
issue, is President of the San Francisco Museum and Historical
Society, and is working to turn the 1875 San Francisco Mint
building into a Museum. Copies are $10." The San Francisco
Museum and Historical Society may be contacted via P.O. Box
420569, San Francisco, CA 94142. The telephone number is
[The issue is indeed wonderful and anyone with an interest in
American numismatics of the Gold Rush era should order a
copy. Historical society publications are great places to find
information that seldom turns up in the numismatic community.
SUPPORTING THE SAN FRANCISCO MINT MUSEUM
While on the topic of the San Francisco Mint Museum,
action is needed NOW to support the bill authorizing
commemorative coins to provide the desperately needed
funding to make the numismatic portion of the new museum
a reality. U.S. collectors should consider taking time
RIGHT NOW to write a letter of support to their
Michael Fey of has created a website for his fellow New
Jersey collectors to use. The sample letter on the site makes
composing your own letter a snap - all you have to do is
spend a minute with cut and paste. Of course, it couldn't
hurt to put a little effort into personalizing your note. The
names and addresses of your own state's Senators can be
found on http://www.senate.gov/. Fey's web site is:
R. C. BELL AND SAMUEL'S BAZAAR, EXCHANGE AND MART
Harold Welch writes: "In the Sept. 22, 2003 edition of the
E-Sylum, Alan Davisson sites R. C. Bell's plagiarism of R. T.
Samuel in his series of six British token books. While there is
certainly truth to the charge, let's not too harshly condemn Bell.
In his first work, Commercial Coins, Bell identifies Samuel and
describes his series of articles in The Bazaar, Exchange and
Mart. In appendix II of the book he provides a four-page
biography of Samuel. Until the publication of Commercial
Coins no one even knew the identity of the author of the Bazaar
(I have written an in-depth piece describing prior efforts to
identify the author and how Bell eventually discovered his
identity - which will appear in the fall, 2003 issue of The
Conder Token Collector's Club Journal).
If it were not for Bell bringing Samuel and the Bazaar articles
to light, they would remain unknown to all but a very few
extremely advanced token collectors. In the indexes to his
six works, Samuel is cited 36 times, and in all six bibliographies.
In addition, he provides additional biographies of Samuel in
volumes two and three. These are not the actions of a
plagiarist, but merely indicate a lapse in rigid attribution. We
should be grateful to Dr. Bell for bringing Samuel to our
attention. If it were not for Bell, I would have never heard
of Samuel and would never have had the pleasure of
republishing (with Alan Davisson) the complete set of
FIELDING LIBRARY QUERIES
Regarding the query about the Calico-Trigo catalog,
Granvyl Hulse, Numismatics International librarian writes:
"The Numismatic Library may be an exception to the rule,
but we have found over the past number of years that we
are getting more queries for information or help than we are
getting requests for books. I cannot recall who made the
statement "Buy the book before you buy the coin," but it
seems that this is becoming more and more true as good
reference books are coming on the market.
We had this query from a library who had the book in
question and were using it as a reference for non-numismatic
research. Their knowledge of Spanish was limited, and they
had heard that it had been translated into English and asked
our help in finding the latter version. We had not heard of it,
so we asked the ANA and ANS Librarians if they had.
Negative there, so went to the font of all numismatic book
information, the E-Sylum subscribers.
Assuming that they had heard wrong, is there an equivalent
publication of the Calico-Trigo catalogue in English that could
be used in its place? The NI Library has an excellent
collection of works on the coinage of Spain, but like most of
our other references are in the language of the country
DENVER MINT SUIT GROWS
On Tuesday, the Rocky Mountain News published an
update on the story of the harassment suit at the Denver Mint.
"All 126 women at the Denver Mint are now part of a
federal complaint alleging pervasive sexual harassment and
discrimination at the downtown coin factory.
Administrative law judge Dickie Montemayor ruled last week
that a complaint filed by 32 female employees of the Denver
Mint in June should be a class-action case. He said the 32
alleged a pattern and practice of discrimination and retaliation
that, if proven, would affect all women at the mint."
To read the full story, see
ARTICLE ON MINT DIRECTOR HENRIETTA FORE
Speaking of the Mint, USA Today published a nice
article on Wednesday, September 17th about U.S. Mint
Director Henrietta Holsman Fore.
"In the last 1½ years, she has reduced the time it takes for
a coin to be produced - from the time the raw material
comes in until the final product is shipped - to 62 days,
down 80% from April 2002.
The Mint in her tenure has cut coin production costs by 20%,
and the agency has continued to make money, returning more
than $1 billion to the U.S. Treasury last fiscal year."
"As a child growing up in Santa Barbara, Calif., Fore collected
coins. Her collection started with coins her mother brought
back from trips around the world."
"Fore says she came to the Mint with a "businesslike approach."
Once on the job, Fore quickly realized the agency's processes
could be drastically streamlined, she recalled while sitting in her
large, corner office in downtown Washington, sporting gold
To read the full article, see:
MORE HAITIAN NUMISMATIC SALES
Carlos Jara submits the following list of auction sales of
Haitian coinage in addition to Alan Luedeking earlier list:
Christie's Dallas sale of the Norweb collection, May
17-18, 1985. Very important.
Hans Schulman sale of the Gibbs collection (March 18, 19
1966). Apart from the Gibbs material (very important), this
sale also included a large part of the K.F collection from
Haiti (referenced as a consignment by S. V, Puerto Rico).
The unsold items and the rest of this R.F. collection were
auctioned by Hans Schulman in his "Jose da Costa Gomez
collection, et al" sale of March 14, 15 1969. Indispensable.
Bank Leu AG Zurich sale of "a bostonian collection", 24-26
October 1990. Very important.
Hans schulman's sale of part of the Brand holdings, auction
of November 20-25 1964. Very important.
The O. Salbach collection by Jacques Schulman (1911).
Almanzar's auction of December 5, 1977 (Arthur Phillips
collection). No real rarities, but a nice selection. And of
course, the Fonrobert auction."
PUBLICITY FOR THE NEW TWENTY
Tom Sheehan pointed out an article in today's New York
Times about the publicity machine pumping up awareness
of the new U.S. $20 bills.
"The bill has already made appearances on the game shows
"Wheel of Fortune" and "Pepsi Play for a Billion," where
its new look and security features were talked up. Jay Leno,
David Letterman and other late-night talk-show hosts have
been poking fun at it - which is exactly what the William
Morris Agency was hoping for when it discussed the new
bill months ago with the shows' writers.
During the introduction week, the bill is likely to be featured
on many news and entertainment programs just because it's
newsworthy. But it will also have a starring role on "Who
Wants to Be a Millionaire," with hundreds of new $20 bills
doled out to audience members, and Meredith Vieira, the
host, explaining the bills and waving them in front of the
camera. The bill will get a category of questions on
"Jeopardy" and will pop up on "America's Funniest Home
Videos." In one of several joint marketing efforts between
the Treasury and consumer goods companies, the bill's
design will grace bags of Pepperidge Farm's Goldfish
crackers, and the crackers themselves will be colored to
match the new bills. Images of the new note will pop up
on thousands of A.T.M.'s, and the bill will even be
superimposed electronically on the field during college
football games on ESPN and Monday Night Football on
"it is the kind of publicity the Treasury couldn't buy if it
were simply using the advertising route. That's why it
broke the government mold and hired William Morris
and the product placement firm Davie-Brown
Entertainment to make the bill a celebrity through public
relations instead of paid advertisements."
For the complete article, see:
GUTTAG BROTHERS COIN BULLETIN SOUGHT
Gregg Silvis writes: "I'm trying to track down an item for
research-related purposes: I'm looking for the August,
1928 issue of the Guttag Brothers Coin Bulletin. The
ANA Library has only the June, 1928 issue, which is
volume 6, number 4. The ANS Library has only 1928
volume 6, number 1. Any information on the whereabouts
of a copy of the August issue would be greatly appreciated.
I can be contacted at gregg at udel.edu. Thanks!"
ON REJECTING THE EURO
Warner Talso writes: "Regarding the item noting that the
Swedes rejected the Euro, the issue has Swedes in turmoil
because this appears to be a vote by class in what prides
itself as a classless society. Politicians and intellectuals voted
overwhelming for the Euro. The middle and lower classes
(if I may use the terms) voted overwhelmingly against the Euro.
The conventional wisdom is that those who hold their money
most dear simply voted against change and the risk implied."
TOM MCKENNA CATALOGS SOUGHT
Bill Rosenblum writes: "This was sent to me and I've asked
some of the customers on my email list, but Gail Baker
suggested, and rightly so, that I should send this to the
E-Sylum members, so here goes."
The note is from Dick Schaefer. He writes: "Ted Buttrey
at the Fitzwilliam Library in Cambridge, England is looking
for old Tom Mckenna catalogs to build up the library for
numismatic research. I appreciate his past numismatic
articles very much so am trying to help him. Dealers don't
seem to regard Mckenna pricelists as valuable enough to
offer in sales, but I thought some of your members might
have a few.
Could you please ask ... if anyone has any Mckennas
available? Buttrey has offered to pay, although a donation
would be nicer. If shipping to England is any problem,
they can be sent to me in Atlanta and I'll forward them.
[We don't publish email addresses without prior permission,
but if anyone can help, write to me and I'll forward your
note. Thanks. -Editor]
COMITIA AMERICANA MEDAL CENSUS
According to an item in the October 6, 2003 issue of
Coin World, the Massachusetts Historical Society is seeking
collector assistance "to establish a population count of gold,
silver, bronze and tin pieces for a series of 12 Comitia
Americana medals Congress awarded to Revolutionary
Contact the society through curator Anne E. Bentley at
abentley at masshist.org. Email can also be addressed to
NBS Vice President John W. Adams at jadams at ahh.com.
John is also a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society.
Coincidentally, the "Object of the Month" from the Society's
collections, as featured on their web site, is the John Paul
Jones Comitas Americana medal by Augustin Dupre, circa
1787 (the Paris Mint restrike). See
PAPER MONEY "SHELF LIFE"
Regarding last week's question about the longevity of paper
money, Howard A. Daniel III writes: "During a trip to Viet
Nam in October 2002, I was offered a large leather wallet
with some Vietnamese communist notes in it. The owner had
hidden it in the wall of his house in July 1954 and his family
had just found it. The notes were printed on very crude
unwatermarked paper with large amount of acid in them.
Except for where they were folded, the notes were in good
I thought this might help David Fanning in answering Lisa
Mao's question about the "shelf life" of paper money. And
please tell her that as a numismatist, I am not only interested
in coins, but paper money, chits, checks, coupons, tokens,
stocks, bonds, etc., etc. And I know many other numismatists
interested in more than just coins."
SOUTHEAST ASIA TRIP
Howard adds: "I just received my tickets for another trip
to Southeast Asia and will be leaving for Ho Chi Minh City
on October 7th and will arrive there on the 9th and will be
in Viet Nam until November 17. While I am in Viet Nam,
I will be trying to arrange for visas to take a short trip to
Bangkok and Vientiane and back into Viet Nam. We
shall see how that works out.
On November 17, I will arrive in Singapore and will stay
there until midnight on the 20th. I will arrive back in the
USA on November 21. If there is anything someone might
want me to do for them or for me to visit someone on this
trip, please contact me at Howard at SEAsianTreasury.com
at any time as I will be using Internet cafes to stay in touch
WORD FUN, REVISITED
I was hoping to let it drop, but we've had some responses
about the letter order item published earlier. For example,
Ron Haller-Williams writes:
"This appears to be a spoof. Please refer to
where a fuller analysis appears. I quote selectively:
"The ease might be illusory. Or even ilosruly. ... Scrambled
words can be hard to read.
Martin Turner of the Dyslexia Institute says. "There is a
spectrum of truth here, and that is towards the lower end,
because actually sequence is about the only thing that is
In experiments young children can still read words disguised
with so-called format distortion - alternating letters in capitals,
lower case, superscript and subscript ... to disguise the
lettering - but what throws them is a change in the sequence
of letters. In fact, the exact way in which the letters are
scrambled can be extremely significant. For example, with
plurals, leaving the "s" at the end, but not the letter that should
have preceded it, can make the word hard to decipher.
"All you need to do is try and read that email," says Turner.
"Immediately, you discover it is quite difficult to read. And
secondly, you get very fed up with it after two or three sentences.
What you have done is put yourself in the position of a dyslexic
or poor reader, who loses interest jolly quickly. Motivation
slumps and it is quite an aversive experience. I got that email ...
and wrote back commenting that it was hard work, and aversive.
After a while, I thought: do I really want to do this? Why don't
I look out the window ...?"
Try this one, which should be "familiar" territory to all of us:
Mnay naiimmssttus saceeiilpse, smoe in paaaciimmnrstua or
schiiloppry. Cdenors are failry palopur, aghlotuh nemoruus
eahinssttus cabeelrte caaciissl seeirs, icdilnnug Saaainssn and
paeilmotc. If you fnid tihs ibegillle or eceeilssvxy adourus,
reeqsut silnootus form ddeeiorrsd at hardslater.u-net.com
"Ralond Helalr-Walilims", actual e-mail
disordered at heraldstar.u-net.com."
ROMAN COINS ELEMENTARY MANUAL ONLINE
Arthur Shippee writes: "The Explorator newsletter I've
mentioned previously noted a new online numismatic
book, Francesco Gnecchi's "Roman Coins: Elementary
Manual". It was published in London in 1903. The URL
for the new online version is
SHIP OF GOLD BOOK
Larry Gaye writes: "I don't know if anyone has brought this
book up or not, but here goes. I highly recommend "Ship of
Gold in the Deep Blue Sea" by Gary Kinder. It is the blow by
blow account of the salvage endeavor of the SS Central
America from start to finish.
It goes into great detail how the equipment was developed,
how the investors were courted and how the operation
evolved. Side by side with the salvage endeavor there is an
excellent account of the the people involved in her last voyage
and how their lives were forever changed when the ship went
down. You have the feeling that you have a wonderful
portal into the past and a birds/fish eye view of the salvage
There are absolutely no photos or drawings of the operation.
In some ways it makes the story more dramatic and lets your
mind fill in the necessary images. I was thoroughly enthralled
by the tale. Now some really good news, the book only cost
me $8.98 new. I purchased it from Powells here in Portland,
Oregon. It is currently in stock with Powells and here is a link
to look for it. So check it out, it is a wonderful read.
[We did discuss the book before, but it's well worth mentioning
again. A great book and great story. See The E-Sylum v2n32
(August 8, 1999) for more information. -Editor]
VIRG MARSHALL ARTICLE
The Internet makes the world a smaller place every day.
How else could we all have a chance to read a numismatic
article from the Beatrice Daily Sun of Beatrice, Nebraska?
The paper recently published an interview with longtime
U.S. coin dealer Virgil Marshall, the "Penny Merchant"
of Wymore, Nebraska:
"In 1957 I had just gotten out of college. I was working for
my father at Marshall Produce and a fella I worked with
was a coin collector. He suggested that I collect coins,"
He went down to the local dimestore, bought a folder for
collecting dimes and started building a collection.
"After four or five days I had collected 40 different dimes,"
One of those happened to be a very rare coin.
"I didn't know that until my friend told me though," he said.
When his friend offered him $20 for the dime, Marshall chose
to keep it instead.
"I said I'll keep it. It took me a week to find this one, what
if I can't find another one," he said.
In 45 years he has never found another.
"That's what got me started. If I hadn't found that one rare
coin in the first week, coins probably would have been
another fad. I probably would have moved on," he said.
To read the full article, see
YEATS ON NUMISMATICS
Some time ago, we discussed a numismatic connection of
Nobel Laureate William Butler Yeats (see The E-Sylum v4n11
through v4n15, March/April 2001)
From v4n11: "Peter Gaspar, who signed his note "E-Sylum
proud subscriber #1" He wrote: "Just read the latest E-Sylum,
and enjoyed it, as always. I haven't had time to look at the web
site mentioned, but I'll be surprised if the answer isn't William
Butler Yeats and the book the description of the origin of the
first coinage of the Irish Free State in 1928. It is among the
handsomest of 20th century coin books and has true historical
importance in recording the process by which designs were
solicited and the winning designs by Percy Metcalfe (sp?)
A copy of the book in question came up for sale recently,
and reminded me of our earlier discussion. The book's title is:
"Coinage of Saorstat Eireann, 1928" It was printed in Dublin.
The legend Saorstat Eireann appears on the coins and means
Irish Free State, in Irish. See this week's Featured Web Site
for a link to a page on modern Irish coinage.
NEW TWIST ON SHOVING QUEER
A September 16 article in The China Post describes a new
twist on pawning off counterfeit money.
"A man was caught red-handed trying to launder counterfeit
money at a wedding banquet at a Taipei hotel, police said
"According to police, the suspect, Lee Chih-ming, would
show up at banquets, claiming he was delivering cash gifts on
behalf of friends to the marrying couples.
He would give the fake money wrapped in red envelopes to
the receptionists, ask for receipts and leave.
He would then return a few minutes later, claim he had wrongly
delivered the gifts, and ask to have the money back.
Following a customary practice, the receptionists would have
already unwrapped the gifts, and recorded the amounts, and
mixed the fake banknotes with the real ones. The money they
returned to the suspect was real money."
To read the full story, see:
[In the 19th century, counterfeit money was sometimes
referred to as "queer money" or simply, "queer". The act of
spending or otherwise passing the fake money (or shoving it
on unknowing third parties) was called "shoving". Thus
"shoving the queer" means passing counterfeit money. -Editor]
GRESHAM'S LAW REVISITED
Bill Murray writes: "You may not consider the following worth
putting in The E-Sylum, but it was a new thought for me.
I recently read, a not too well recommended novel, Mackerel
By Moonlight, by William F. Weld. An interesting use (a
corollary?) of Gresham's Law where the protagonists thoughts
go like this, "I also remembered that the most vivid illustration
of Gresham's law in twentieth-century America is not monetary
currency at all but the mass media, where the bad news always
drives out the good..."
FUTURE NEWS RELEASE: QUARTER RECALLED
"The United States Treasury has announced they are
recalling the newest state quarters.
"We are recalling all of the new state quarters that
were recently issued," Treasury Undersecretary Russell
Shackelford said in a press conference Friday. "This
comes in the wake of numerous reports to this agency
that the quarters will not work in parking meters, toll booths,
vending machines, pay phones, or other coin-operated
devices." "We believe the problem lies in a design flaw,"
The winning design for the quarter was submitted by State
University student Billy-Bob "Snuffy" Smith. Apparently,
the duct tape holding the two dimes and nickel together
keeps jamming the coin-operated devices.
[The above "future news release" was submitted by
Bob Fritsch and sanitized for political correctness by
your Editor. Feel free to insert the name of your
favorite rival state.]
FEATURED WEB PAGE
This week's featured web page is on modern (1928 to date)
Irish coinage, from the site maintained by John Stafford-Langan.
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 W. David Perkins, NBS Secretary-Treasurer,
P.O. Box 212, Mequon, WI 53092-0212.
For Asylum mailing address changes and other
membership questions, contact David at this email
address: wdperki at attglobal.net
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