The E-Sylum v7#32, August 8, 2004

whomren at whomren at
Sun Aug 8 20:32:21 PDT 2004

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 32, August 8, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


   An August 2 article in an Indian newspaper reports that "A
   new team will take over the investigation of the unsolved theft
   of litterateur Rabindranath Tagore's Nobel prize from his home
   inside Visva Bharati University."

   "On March 25, security staff of Uttarayan, Tagore's home
   inside Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan town, discovered
   that at least 50 of his memorabilia, including the Nobel gold
   medal he won in 1913, were missing."

   "Several people were detained, many suspects questioned,
   criminal hideouts raided, antique dealers tapped and a Rs.1
   million reward announced for information on the theft - but so
   far no breakthrough has been made."

   "University authorities have asked the Sweden-based Nobel
   awards committee for a replica of the medal."


   A U.K. newspaper reported on 29 July that "An amateur
   archaeologist is set to learn this week that his hobby has
   earned him a five-figure fortune.

   Brian Malin, of Cotswold Crescent, Chipping Norton,
   discovered a hoard of Roman coins on a farm south of
   Oxford with a metal detector in April 2003.

   An inquest in Oxford at the end of May this year ruled the find
   "treasure trove", meaning the coins must be sold to a museum
   or collector and the money given to the discoverer."

   "The official valuation of the 5,000 coins by experts hired by the
   Department of Culture, Media and Sport, will be posted to Mr
   Malin, who will split the value with the owner of the field where
   they were discovered, rusted together in a Roman pot.

   One coin is only one of two in existence and proves the identity
   of an obscure Roman emperor, Domitianus, who ruled the
   empire for just four days in the late 3rd century AD.

   The coins are still on display at the British Museum in London,
  where they have been since the end of February.

   After their evaluation it will join the Ashmolean Museum in
   Oxford in bidding for the collection.


   Last week, Ralf Böpple wrote asking for the period during
   which the Money Museum of the Central Bank of the
   Philippines published their journal BARRILLA.

   Ken Berger writes; "Ralf Bopple's question regarding the
   Barrilla is one I have wondered about for many years. All
   I can tell him is that the last Barrilla I have in my collection
   is dated December 1989."

   Howard A. Daniel III writes: "Ray Czahor is my first contact
   for anything and everything Philippines, so I recommend that
   Ralf Böpple can have his question answered about the Barrilla
   by contacting Ray at cjcpi at  If Ralf, or anyone
   else, is attending the Pittsburgh ANA convention and needs
   information about Philippine numismatics, they can see Ray
   there   at club table 15 there for the Philippine Collectors
   Forum (PCF).  And he will be the moderator for the PCF at
   1-4PM on Friday, August 20 in Room 316, where there will
   be three presentations on Philippine numismatics, and a show
   and tell of each attendee's favorite or unique item.  More
   information can be obtained at Ray's website at"

   Jess Gaylor writes: "Scroll down for an answer straight
   from the horse's mouth.  Thanks for a great newsletter.
   These queries make my day. "

   Lucrezia J. G. Villanueva, Chief Librarian, BSP Library
   writes: "In connection with your email dated 3 August 2004
   regarding the publication of Barilla Journal, kindly be informed
   that said journal had been discontinued. Last issue was
   December 1989. For more information kindly contact the
   Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Money Museum at telephone no.
   5247011 local 2981."


   I don't have much on Philippine numismatics in my library,
   but thought I'd mention an interesting booklet titled "Know
   The Counterfeit" published by the Central Bank of the
   Philippines in 1956.  The 67-page pamphlet is well illustrated
   and makes interesting reading.


   As the "Great Numismatic Libraries of Pittsburgh" tour
   approaches, a timely study reports that "Pittsburgh is the
   third most literate city in the United States behind Minneapolis
   and Seattle, according to a study of reading behavior released
   yesterday.  The city finished sixth last year in the first such
   survey of reading done by the University of Wisconsin-

   The other top 10 cities were Madison, Wis., Cincinnati,
   Washington, D.C., Denver, Boston, Portland, Ore., and San

   Finishing last among the 79 metro areas with populations of
   200,000 or more was El Paso, Texas. That city also was at
   the bottom last year when 64 metro areas were surveyed.

   Helping to boost Pittsburgh's ranking was its fourth-place
   finish in library use, one of five categories devised to chart
   reading activity."

   [The top cities are all well-populated with E-Sylum readers.
   If there were a survey targeting numismatic literary, I wonder
   what city would come out of top?   And what if we extended
   the survey internationally?  Where are the greatest
   concentrations of numismatic bibliophiles? -Editor]


   John Kraljevich writes: "The annual Rittenhouse Society
   meeting will be on Friday, August 20 in Pittsburgh. Since
   there is no official list of members of this most informal
   group outside of the membership's collective memory,
   could you ask those members who read The E-Sylum to
   contact me (johnk at this week for time
   and location specifics, and to informally RSVP?"


   Last week, W. David Perkins gave us this question at the end
   of his submission on "a prominent early silver dollar collector
   (active in the 1950s and 1960s)"  He asked, "What was the
   name of the “prominent collector?”  Hint, this collector was
   the subject of a talk I gave at the NBS Annual Meeting a few
   years ago at the Philadelphia ANA Convention."

   We've had no responses, but I'll take a guess.  From my
   recollection of the talk, it was about Alfred J. Ostheimer.


   Dick Johnson brings us a new quiz question.  He writes:
   "Now that the American Numismatic Society is leaving the
   building that has been its home for 96 years, can you name
   the numismatists whose names are inscribed on the tablature
   of the facade above the building’s entrance?  (The Society
   moved into the building December 1907 from a  room next
   door at the Hispanic Society where it had been meeting
   for a year. The first meeting in the new building was the
   Fiftieth Annual Meeting January 20, 1908.)

   Hint 1: Archer Milton Huntington’s name is not there (despite
   the fact he donated the land and made up the difference
   between the money raised for the building and its actual costs).

   Hint 2: The names are all numismatic book authors. It’s fair
   game to peek at the building (if you are standing on Audubon
   Terrace while you read this)."

   [See this week's Featured Web Page for more on Audobon
   Terrace.  It includes a picture of the buildings, but no close-up
   of the tablature. -Editor]


   Gregg Silvis writes: "A question for the E-Sylum collective:
   I need assistance in confirming two citations from The
   Numismatist.  In a letter to the editor of The Numismatist,
   Commodore W.C. Eaton responded to the question, "When,
   where and why did you start to collect coins?"  Eaton's
   letter is dated November 5, 1921.  Unfortunately, it would
   seem that these early letters to the editor are not indexed in
   the Numismatic Index of Periodicals.  I need:

   1) The citation for Eaton's letter to the editor, which would
        have appeared after November 5, 1921.

   2) The citation in which the editor posed the question, "When,
       where and why did you start to collect coins?," which
       would have appeared prior to November 5, 1921.

   Any assistance would be greatly appreciated and acknowledged
   in my forthcoming Penny-Wise article on William Colgate Eaton,
   Frederick Reed Alvord, and Dr. Wallace S. Bardeen.  I can be
   contacted at gregg at  Thanks!"


   Howard A. Daniel III writes: "I am a specialist in Southeast Asia,
   but my 1st edition copy of Hessler's "U.S Essay, Proof and
   Specimen notes is the only reference I own and knows that
   explains essay, proof and specimen notes in plain English.  And
   I can hardly wait to get my hands on the 2nd edition because
   there will be even more information in it than the 1st edition!  I
   have already paid for an autographed copy of the Limited
   Collectors' Edition at the International Paper Money Show at
   Memphis this past June, so I'm assured of obtaining my copy.
   I highly recommend that every collector of paper money from
   anywhere in the world should own a copy and that they should
   order it now at the BNR Press website at before they are sold out."

   [The book is one of my favorite numismatic books, and I've
   already ordered the new edition.  I'm looking forward to
   reading it all over again. -Editor]


   Chris Faulkner writes: "Well, just ask and you shall be answered.
   Thanks to all for the helpful responses to my inquiry about the
   disposition of the holdings of the Chase Manhattan Bank Money
   Museum. Just proved again that the E-Sylum is a wonderful
   resource; kudos to Wayne for assuming the week in week out
   editorial responsibilities that allow this resource to flourish.

   The knowledgeable answers to my query prompt me to ask
   whether thought has ever been given to an annotated guide/
   history to past and present institutional numismatic holdings in
   North America. The sorts of institutions that come to mind
   include banks, universities, libraries, museums, archives,
   foundations, historical societies, manufacturers (e.g. mints)
   and numismatic associations. The knowledge and resources
   with which to undertake such a worthwhile project are probably
   to be found with the subscription list to the E-Sylum."


   Howard A. Daniel III writes: "The Mavin Coins, Banknotes &
   Postcards Auction 6 on catalog is on a nicely done CD-ROM
   and has its own plastic holder.  For those of you collecting
   CD-ROM-based auction catalogs, it can be requested at  The auction will be conducted on
   August 14 and 15, but for those just wanting the CD-ROM, it
   does not matter when you receive it.  But if you are also
   interested in Southeast Asian numismatics and/or postcards, you
   can review the lots and bid online.  I cannot remember at this
   time how many of this firm's auction have been placed on
   CD-ROMs, but I believe this is the third or fourth."


   Regarding the E and L counterstamps, Mark Borckardt writes:
   "I must disagree with Tom DeLorey's disagreement regarding
   the new theory. I have actually not read this article yet, so I
   cannot say whether I agree or disagree with the article.

   Tom made two observations. First, that the reverse does not
   show any disturbance, indicating the counterstamps were
   applied with the coin still in the mint die. Nearly every
   counterstamped quarter I have examined does have a minute
   disturbance on the reverse. With my old eyes, this is only
   visible with 5 to 10x magnification, but it is there. Tom
   compared these to the 1848 CAL quarter eagle that was
   counterstamped in the die and does not show any disturbance
   on the obverse.

   The other of Tom's observations is that the people doing the
   counterstamping would not have had access to a reverse die
   as a base or support for the stamping process. Even though I
   do not agree that these were counterstamped while resting on
   the die, all of the early 19th century coinage dies that left the
   mint (whether as scrap iron or any other reason) suggests to
   me that it is quite possible a reverse quarter dollar die was
   available outside the mint."

   Ronald S. Thompson writes: "Unless I am missing something,
   I don't think you need to put the quarters on the reverse die
   to counterstamp the obverse without damage.  I think the
   same result would occur with a reasonable hard wood other
   than really hard woods like oak, iron wood or ebony."


   Ken Berger writes: "In response to Dave Kellogg's comment,
   the C was only hard in classical Latin not in vulgate Latin."

   Dan Demeo writes: "No, no, no, no.  I believe Celtic has its
   origin in Greek, through Latin, and maybe German--Celtic,
   Keltic, hard C.  Civilization, sure, from Latin, and civis,
   citizen, was pronounced something like ke-vis, not si-vis,
   but we've had 2000 years of improvement since then, and it
   came to us through French--do you really want to try to
   correct the French?  Worse yet, Latin had  no J, so Julius
   Caesar was actually  yu-li-us  ky-sar--enough, already."


   This week's featured web page is about the history of
   Audobon Terrace, the former home of The American
   Numismatic Society in New York.

   "The Audubon Terrace Museum Group was the concept of
   scholar, art patron and philanthropist Archer M.Huntington.
   He was the son of Collis P. Huntington, owner of the Central
   Pacific Railroad and Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock
   Companies. The younger Huntington wanted to leave a cultural
   legacy for Hamilton Heights and Washington Heights with a
   variety of museums in one place.

   Huntington began purchasing Audubon Park, which was
   named for the estate of John James Audubon. The construction
   of the complex was planned to coincide with the building of the
   new subway line that was projected to go up Broadway.

   The complex is bordered by 155th Street, 156th Street,
   Broadway and Riverside Drive. The site was laid out in 1908
   by Charles Pratt Huntington, who had created the master plan
   for Audubon Terrace. Most of the major statues on the grounds
   were executed by Anna Vaughn Huntington.

   Audubon Terrace originally included The American Academy
   and Institute of Arts and Letters, The American Numismatic
   Society, The American Geographical Society, The Church of
   Our Lady of Esperanza and the Museum of the American
   Indian-Heye Foundation."

  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. Membership is only $15 to
  addresses in North America, $20 elsewhere.
  For those without web access, write to W. David
  Perkins, NBS Secretary-Treasurer,
  P.O. Box 3888, Littleton, CO  80161-3888.

  For Asylum mailing address changes and other
  membership questions, contact David at this email
  address: wdperki at

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