The E-Sylum v7#05, February 1, 2004

whomren at whomren at
Sun Feb 1 18:55:01 PST 2004

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 05, February 1, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


   John and Nancy Wilson of Ocala, FL write: "We  received
   sad news from Bob Hurst, a Florida United Numismatists
   Board member.  He received news that Tim Prusmack passed
   away on January 26, 2004.  This is extremely sad news as we
   talked to Tim the day before and he said he was doing well.
   He sounded good and was excited about the future.  He said
   that he had recently talked to ANA Convention Manager
   Brenda Bishop and was looking forward to having a table in
   Pittsburgh for the ANA Convention.

   He also was excited about FUN having the big 50th Anniversary
   show next year.  He said that his hands were almost ready to
   start producing another set of the 25 cent state series.  He was
   looking forward to doing an extra Florida quarter note that had
   his design but lost.  He also mentioned the possibilities of being
   selected to do work for the U. S. Mint.  His doctor gave him
   permission to travel to the mint if he was selected.

   What a great loss to all of us and his family.  He will be missed
   greatly by his many friends from coast to coast.  All of our
   prayers and thoughts are with his parents Armand and Florence,
   along with the rest of the Prusmack family.   His great work on
   designs of banknotes will be a lasting memory for the Mozart
   of Money Artists."

   [Tim's web site is  For more
   information about Tim and his artwork, see the December
   1998 COINage magazine article on his web site:
   "Bureau of Engraving and Prusmack" by Kari Stone:

   The Wilsons also forwarded this obituary for Tim
   from a Fort Pierce, FL newspaper:

   "Tim Prusmack died Jan. 26, 2004. He excelled in reproducing,
   by hand, complicated antique money, long-ago bank  notes
   and self-designed artistic money.  Mr. Prusmack was president
   of the Treasure Coast Coin Club for six years.  He was one-time
   New York junior golf champion.  Survivors include his parents,
   Dr. Armand J. Prusmack and Florence Syrewicz; brother Ajon;
   and sister Nancy. Memorial contributions may be made to the
   Cleary School for the Deaf, 301  Smithtown Blvd., Nesconset,
   NY 11767.  SERVICES: Arrangements are by Yates Funeral
   Home, Port St. Lucie."      -Editor]


   Tom Fort, editor of our print journal, writes: "Here are the
   contents for the Fall 2003 issue of The Asylum, which is now
   on its way to the printer:

   "Numismatic Literature of Western Pennsylvania Numismatic
   Society Members before the Second World War,"
   by Wayne K. Homren

   "Town of Books," by Russell A. Hibbs

   "George Kolbe and the California Wildfires,"
   by Wayne K. Homren and others

   "Mendacity Revisited," by Myron Xenos"


   Regarding the photo of attendees at the NBS meeting at
   the recent FUN show in Florida,  Craig Eberhart writes:
   "It's me in the photo!"    We've now added a proper
   caption for the photo on our web site.

   See the picture at:


   Someone who could not attend the FUN show this year
   was "Mr. FUN" himself, centurion Bob Hendershott.  I was
   thrilled to attend Bob's 100th birthday party  - I believe it was
   at the ANA convention in Portland in 1998.

   Dave Harper writes: "Bob was not at the FUN show. His
   daughter said that they didn't want him to travel there because
   he would have had to change planes.  Later in the show I
   learned that he had pneumonia. It was not a good period for

   We wish Bob well and wouldn't be surprised to hear him
   making plans to attend next year's 50th anniversary show.


   Darryl Atchison writes: "Dear Friends:  On behalf of the
   Canadian Numismatic Bibliography Review Committee I wish
   to apologize to those individuals who have already subscribed
   to our publication for the lengthy delay in publication.

   We had originally hoped to have the text finished in time for
   Christmas (2003) or soon thereafter. Unfortunately a series of
   computer and technical problems that were completely beyond
   our control - including one complete hard-drive failure - has
   put us about two-three months behind schedule. At present our
   proofreaders are still reviewing the manuscript and this process
   is going somewhat slower than we had originally envisioned.

   Having said this, we would like to assure everyone who is
   interested in this text - particularly those who have already sent
   in pre-paid orders - that we are working as quickly as we can to
   publish the results of our ten-year project. Unfortunately, as
   everyone connected with this project is a part-time volunteer
   (including the authors, proof-readers and technical advisers)
   we cannot devote as much time on a day-to-day basis as we
   may like and we can only request your further patience and

   Having said all of this, it is our now sincerest hope that we
   will have the text finished in time for Easter barring any more
   unforeseen difficulties.  Should there be any further developments
   or delays we will keep you advised.

   In the meantime, should anyone have any questions or
   comments they can contact either Ron Greene at
   ragreene at or myself at atchisondf at
   and we will do our best to answer any concerns.

   Once again, please accept our sincerest apologies for the
   delay and any inconvenience that this may have caused."

   [Anything worth having is worth waiting for.  We wish the
   project members good luck as they work toward completion.


   Bowers and Merena Galleries of Louisiana (no longer
   associated with Q. David Bowers) has issued a new
   dealer organ titled "Numisma."  Issue No. 1 is dated
   January 2004 and contains a review of David K.
   Watson's "History of American Coinage" (The
   Kickerbocker Press, New York, NY, 1899. xix,
   278 pages) by B&M's Senior Numismatist, Mark

   QUIZ QUESTION:  How many previous numismatic
   periodicals have been named Numisma?  When were
   they issued and by whom?


   As mentioned in earlier E-Sylum issues, John Adams
   is leading a detailed survey "to determine the known
   extant population of the 12 different Comita Americana
   medals from the 18th century."  A detailed article by
   Paul Gilkes appears in the February 9, 2004 issue of
   COIN WORLD (p3).


   The same issue of COIN WORLD has an interesting
   column by David Alexander on "Wound Badge" issued
   to survivors of the July 20, 1944 attempt on the life
   of Adolf Hitler.  Col. Claus Schenck von Stauffenberg,
   had access to Hilter in his forest headquarters, called
   Wolfschanz (Wolf's Lair).  Stauffenberg placed a
   suitcase bomb under a conference table at a meeting.
   The blast killed four, but only injured Hitler.

   "The 20 Juli Wound Badge was a .800 fine silver
   oval, 42.7 by 35.5 millimeters, with flat back solid
   construction and a hinged tunic pin."

   See the following web page for an image of the medal
   and list of the people present at the time of the incident.


   [Much was written in The E-Sylum and elsewhere
   about the "Great Debate" between Ted Buttrey and
   Mike Hodder which took place at the 1999 convention
   of the American Numismatic Association near Chicago,
   IL.  The subject of the debate was the status of several
   western and Mexican gold assay bars.  See The E-Sylum
   v2n33-36 (August 16, 1999 - September 5, 1999) and
   later issues.  -Editor]

   John M. Kleeberg writes: "Followers of “the Great Debate”
   will be aware that it has several aspects besides Western
   Gold Bars: notably, the authenticity of Mexican Gold Bars
   that emerged onto the market in the 1950s.  Professor
   Buttrey’s position on the Western Gold Bars was confirmed
   in the Numismatist in August 2003, when Holabird, Evans
   and Fitch condemned the Lilly-Smithsonian Justh & Hunter
   bar and questioned the authenticity of the Lilly-Smithsonian
   Parsons bar.

    I have just acquired (although the introduction is signed
   August 2003) a new book that throws more light on the
   Mexican bars: Alan K. Craig and Ernest J. Richards,
   Spanish Treasure Bars from New World Shipwrecks
   (West Palm Beach: En Rada Publications, 2003).
   Professor Alan Craig is probably known to readers of
   The E-Sylum as the author of three books about the coin
   collections of the State of Florida from the 1715 Plate Fleet
   and other sources.  Ernest Richards is a longtime researcher
   on shipwrecks.

   The book is a path-breaking study of genuine Spanish
   colonial bars, but perhaps the most interesting material comes
   in chapter 12 on falsifications.  The authors worked
   independently of Professor Buttrey and do not seem to be
   aware of his 1974 and 1996 articles condemning the Mexican
   gold bars: thus, they say that the first appearance of one of the
   Mexican bars was as lot 2093 of the 1975 ANA sale.  This is
   incorrect: the earliest appearance I have been able to trace was
   when Paul Franklin of Massapequa Park, Long Island
   (Franklin died in March 2000) exhibited a bar at the meeting
   of the Brooklyn Coin Club on September 1, 1954
   (Numismatist 1954, p. 1214).  Photographs of the Mexican
   bars were first published in Robert Nesmith’s 1958 book,
   Dig for Pirate Treasure, and then appeared in Harry Rieseberg,
   Treasure of the Buccaneer Sea (1962; Rieseberg even claimed
   to be the salvor!) and the 1964 Encyclopedia Britannica –
   before the Smithsonian acquired a whole slew of these bars in
   1967 as part of the Lilly Collection.

   Craig and Richards’ conclusions, nonetheless, are even more
   trenchant than those of Professor Buttrey (see pages 148 and
   149): “outrageous ‘in your face’ gold and silver ingots … truly
   outrageous concoction … These bars are being made … with
   dates between 1740 and 1746 integrally cast into the bars
   along with a conspicuous legend in large, modern font letters
   reading: HISP crowned shield ET ID…. They are the product
   of corrupt people with criminal intent.”  I have been engaged in
   my own research on the Western and Mexican bars, and I, too,
   have concluded that the bars are false.  In light of these recent
   publications, Alan Weinberg’s announcement that the
   Smithsonian is taking down its exhibits of these bogus bars is
   welcome news indeed."


   James CD. Spilman writes: "The long-awaited CD of Colonial
   Newsletter Back Issues #1 through #103 is now ready for
   shipment.  Price is $65.00 postpaid within the United States
   ONLY.  Please send check or Postal Money Order to:

   The Colonial Newsletter Foundation, Inc.
   P.O.Box 4411
   Huntsville, AL 35815"


   Bob Merchant writes: "The Thomas Warner communion
   token collection was sold by the Chapman Brothers in 1884
   - "The Warner Sale".  The entire communion token collection
   was sold as a single lot.  I am trying to find out what the lot
   number was, and who purchased it.   I have been able to
   trace this collection from the 1940's to the present day, and
   would like to complete the pedigree from 1884 to the 1940's.
   Can any E-Sylum readers help?  Thank you."


   Barb Anwari writes: "Thanks - I did hear from Dan Freidus!
   I found an entry on "Granby Token" in a 1901 reference book;
   as it was the first brush with the term, I did some online
   research. It appeared there's a paucity of documentation, so
   I passed along my finding to Mr. Freidus - the entry says John
   Higley crafted the Granby Token, minted 1737 & 1739, and
   it described the markings and verbiage just as I found it on
   your site. I hope this helps; I am a features writer and
   book/prints collector myself, with a great interest in history.
   If I can (re)capture information, I'm delighted."

   [It's nice to know people are finding our web site and
    also finding it useful.  -Editor]


   Dick JOhnson writes: "Frequently asked questions on medal
   collecting are now on the Medal Collectors of America
   website, thanks to webmaster David Boitnott.

   I would welcome any other basic questions a new medal
   collector (or the public) might ask.  If you have a spare
   moment check out:


   John M. Kleeberg writes: "Dick Johnson wrote me and
   asked that I post more information on Peter Rosa (1926-1990).
   Much information about Rosa can be found in Wayne Sayles’
   book, Classical Deception, which catalogues Rosa’s copies of
   ancient coins.  In the Colonial Newsletter for April 2002  I
   published what information I could gather about Rosa’s copies
   of colonial and territorial coins.  Les Elam, Bill Metcalf, Eric
   Newman, Ken Bressett and Wayne Sayles made many helpful
   suggestions that went into that article.

   Rosa worked for the stamping and casting firm of
   Taylor Industries, with offices at 250 West Broadway
   and a manufactory on Staten Island; he resided in the
   Bronx.  His firm, the “Becker Manufacturing Company,”
   was called that because he saw himself as the heir to
   the German diesinker (and friend of Goethe) Carl
   Wilhelm Becker, whose copies of ancient coins (and
   early thalers and siege pieces) can be so deceptive.
   The name may have also been chosen for a second
   reference to ancient coins: its initials are “BMC,”
   which in numismatic literature refers to the British
   Museum Catalogue.

   People who prepare copies often do not use traditional
   minting technology, but adapt the technology they know
   best.   This makes it difficult to unravel how the
   copies were made.  What I think Rosa did was to make
   a cast of the original coin using dental alginate.  He
   then used the dental alginate to make a metal positive
   copy.  The positive copy was used to make one to one
   transfer dies.  He would touch up the die by hand.
   One method he used was to strike each side of the coin
   individually, out of sheets of lead; he would trim off
   the scissel and solder together the two remaining
   pieces.  The lead would then be covered over with a
   metallic paint.  Later he would cover the lead with a
   thin sheet of silver, so the obverse would appear to
   be a silver coin, but one would see it was lead when
   one turned it over.  Note that Rosa’s method results
   in coins that have elements of both a cast and a
   struck copy – one of those instances where the old
   joke, “the obverse is cast but the reverse is struck,”
   is true.  It is possible, however, that the Rosa
   pieces that show this treatment date from the 1980s,
   when he sold uniface pieces because the numismatic
   press would no longer accept his advertisements for
   two sided copies; the uniface pieces were then
   soldered together by subsequent owners.  An odd thing
   about the Rosa dies is that they are much larger than
   the coins they struck; the coin is a small incuse
   portion in the center of the die. Rosa had access to a
   Janvier lathe that allowed him to blow up and reduce
   designs: thus he could create multiples and fractions
   of coins where only one denomination was known.  He
   also had some method of creating a collar die, because
   the reeding I have seen on his territorial gold coins
   (notably a Kellogg $20) is excellent.  Wayne Sayles
   told me of another example of Rosa’s ability to apply
   designs to the edge: he has seen Rosa copies of
   British Museum coins where Rosa provided a lettered
   edge giving the BMC number of the original.

   For the World of Coins Exhibit that was installed in
   1983, the American Numismatic Society for security
   purposes had Rosa make copies of gold coins and
   displayed the copies (properly labeled as such).  The
   Rosa copies were easily recognizable by their bright
   orange color.

   Although his California private gold pieces are not
   deceptive in their appearance – they are made out of
   base metal, and have that bright orange color – he
   also struck territorial gold pieces in copper.  An
   example is a Kellogg & Co. double eagle of 1854.  The
   copper variety can be ascribed to Rosa because of
   certain defects that also appear on the goldine
   versions: pimples along the cheekbone and a straight,
   horizontal raised cut in the middle of the neck.  A
   researcher who is not careful might think the Rosa
   copper fake was an unreported Kellogg pattern.

   The 1804 large cent is an interesting discovery.  I
   had not hitherto known that Rosa made copies of
   federal coins.  Since it is uniface, it may be one of
   his 1980s products.

   A lot of Rosa copies are being sold on the Internet at
   present; many are second and third generation casts
   made from Rosa’s first generation copies.  Rosa is one
   of the leading sources of the New Hampshire 1776 WM
   copy, which causes so much trouble.  Just the other
   week I saw one posted as genuine where the consignor
   observed that the white metal base was visible below
   the copper patination: this, of course, is not an
   eighteenth century technique, but is one of the
   techniques used by Rosa.

   Eric Newman found a Rosa price list in his files that
   listed colonial copies, numbered from 2 through 189;
   copies of an 8 reales and 8 escudos; and two
   territorial gold copies (including a Parsons bar).
   Many numbers were missing, since those pieces had
   already sold out.  I published this in my Colonial
   Newsletter article.  I hope that people will dig up
   more price lists and Rosa advertisements so that we
   can produce a complete listing of Rosa’s colonial and
   territorial (and federal) copies.   I know that the Colonial
   Coin Collectors Club at one point was photographing
   copies to compile a database.  Richard D. Kenney’s
   pamphlet on the classic struck colonial copies is helpful,
   but there are many additional copies that need to be listed.
   The ANS has tray after tray of colonial copies.

   Does anyone know who made the copies for the Copley
   Coin Company in Boston in the early 1960s?  They
   resemble Rosa’s work, but could have been made by
   someone else."


   Steve Pellegrini, in submitting the following item on the first
   John J. Ford sale catalog, writes: "If you need an item for a
   future newsletter feel free to use this if you care to.   I can
   imagine how much work & time must go into producing a
   weekly newsletter. Hope my occasional purple rambling at
   least gives you some back-up material. I think you know how
   much your Monday letters mean to us all. I think that the
   steady stream of new members says it all."

   On the phone earlier this week, John Adams asked, "I don't
   know how you get the E-Sylum out each week."   Well,
   sometimes I don't know, either....  But one secret is that a lot
   of the submissions come in on Monday, and I cut and paste
   them into the draft immediately, and edit them right away if I
   have time before calling it a night.  By Thursday most of the
   week's material is in place, at least crudely.

   There is no file of backup material.  If I get it, I publish it
   immediately.   I once tried holding things back for the "rainy
   day pile" but one day decided it was too much bother.
   Besides, I figured, the more material in one week's issue, the
   more there will be for readers to comment on the next week.
   That thought has borne out week after week, although not
   always according to expectations.  Some items I'm sure will
   generate a lot of response bring nothing.  And some of the
   most innocuous-seeming items will generate extremely
   interesting responses from unexpected quarters.  That's the
   joy of it all - you never know where the train of thought
   will take us, but ride never ceases to be interesting.  The
   E-Sylum readership is an fascinating bunch, and I'm happy
   and honored to be the focal point bringing it all together.

   The bulk of my work takes place in the evening after my
   wife and kids are in bed, which gives me special empathy
   with William F. Gable, whose coin collection was sold on
   May 27-29, 1914 by S. H. Chapman.  Gable was not only
   a numismatist but a bibliophile. Gable (1856-1921) owned
   a tremendous collection of books, manuscripts and autographs,
   which was sold in several sales by the American Art Association
   of New York, beginning in 1924.  The introduction to the first
   sale (November 5-6, 1923 states:

   "Many and beautiful were the tributes paid to him by his
   thousands of friends.   Few, however, of these friends knew of
   his great and varied collection of books and manuscripts of
   literary and historic interest. This was due mostly to the fact that
   the hours spent in collecting the books and letter, now about to
   be sold, -- the happiest hours of William F. Gable's life -- were
   taken from those generally allotted to sleep.  It had been his
   custom, from the years of his early youth, to sleep only four or
   five hours each day....  Those hours of the night, during which
   most men slept, William F. Gable read and reread his prized
   literary possessions, wrote letters to his many book-dealer
   friends, read catalogues of sales, and lovingly filled out folders
   for his autograph letters."



   Steve Pellegrini writes: "I'm curious to know the PRL in the
   recent Fred Lake Sale for the Oct/'03 Stack's catalogue of
   Part I of the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection.  I already know that
   my bid for it was unsuccessful. It seems this 3 month old
   catalogue has become, in the words of another Numis Dealer,
   "An instant rarity."  On going out in search of another copy I
   felt lucky to get a lead for an unpriced copy which turned out
   to be priced at around $100.  Too much? Sounds like it, but
   who knows?  I do know that this is a unique and uniquely
   important collection.  I believe this work will be of lasting
   value to not only to coin collectors but also to historians,
   curators, certainly to professional numismatists and dealers in
   US collectibles.

   [The Ford sale catalog was lot A40 in the Lake Books
   January 20th sale.  According to the prices realized on the
   web site, the lot brought $55  -Editor]

   Ford's love of history and research, his demanding
   connoisseurship, vast numismatic expertise, acquaintances &
   plain old being in the right place at the right time have resulted
   in something more than a great coin collection.  It is a vast
   organized repository of tangible connections with our history.
   Walter Breen used the phrase 'coiner's caviar' to describe the
   rarest and choicest survivors of our early copper coinage.
   But the word caviar, besides its images of exclusivity and
   superior quality may also convey the image of a densely
   bunched monochrome uniformity - to me the very definition
   of a certain type of 'pop top' US coin collecting. A style of
   collecting which results in a side-by-side repetition which
   wears on the eye and curiosity – regardless of the beauty or
   rarity of the individual coins. Too often when viewing these
   complete collections of gem 'series sets', my eyes begin to see
   only a monotonous, uniform progression of matched coins
   marching across the page in dated lock step - first year of
   issue to the last. Ford's choices of coins, tokens and medals,
   on the other hand, stop the eyes short at every step. We can't
   help but ask, which came first, the story or the coin?  For each
   choice example is either a highlight of America's story or an
   illumination of some obscure nook of her story now rescued
   and conserved that we may consider and enjoy at our leisure.
   Each item, at the very least, hints at its history like a long buried

   signpost pushed up from the compost.  A history which must
   lay deeply buried indeed for Ford not to have been able to dig,
   worry or excavate it from its place in time's midden.

   I'm sure that Stack's will enjoy a rush of new yearly subscribers
   to their auction catalogues. A way, hopefully, to insure the next
   Stack's catalogued installment of the Ford Collection won't end
   up costing more than some of the items it features. That's my
   plan at least. One thing for sure is that I, like so many others,
   intend to have in my library a record of this treasure trove of our
   history.  We can safely assume that once sold nobody ever,
   anywhere will be able to duplicate the accomplishment of the
   John J. Ford, Jr. Collection."


   In an American Numismatic Society press release, Sebastian
   Heath writes: "In conjunction with the National Bank of
   Romania, the American Numismatic Society is pleased to
   make available the text of "The History of Coins in Romania"
   by Octavian Iliescu. This work is available for download as a
   Microsoft Word document from ."


   David Fanning submitted the NBS web site to a page
   of book-related organizations maintained by Oak Knoll
   Press of New Castle, DE.   From the Oak Knoll marketing

   "As part of Oak Knoll's continuing efforts to promote books
   and the book arts we have devoted part of our web site  to providing a list of over 70
   book related Societies and Organizations.  This list runs
   from A to Y (we didn't find any Z) and maybe there is one
   on the list that you haven't heard about.  They all have links
   to the relevant web sites so take some time to browse the
   list and follow a few links.

   The direct link to the Societies and organizations page is:>.


   Dick Gaetano forwarded the following press release
   from Odyssey Marine Exploration with a project update
   on their SS Republic reclamation effort.

   "Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc., a leader in the field
   of deep ocean shipwreck exploration, continues to
   excavate the SS Republic, a ship that sank in 1865 with
   a large cargo of coins. To date, more than 17,000 coins,
   with a total face value of $54,500 (approximately 14,230
   silver and 2,950 gold coins) and over 750 other artifacts
   have been recovered. The recovered coins represent
   approximately 14% of the "$400,000 in specie" (face
   value) historical records indicate was on board the Republic
   when she sank.

   National Geographic Television and Film has been following
   the expedition since the beginning. Principal photography was
   completed last week for the program's planned television
   broadcasts on Dateline NBC and "National Geographic
   Ultimate Explorer" on MSNBC.  The airdate will be
   announced when it is confirmed.

   "We're looking forward to sharing the Republic story with
   television audiences worldwide via the National Geographic
   cameras," stated Greg Stemm, Odyssey co-founder. "Our
   focus now is the recovery of the coins. When that is
   completed, we will continue the archaeological excavation
   of other areas of the shipwreck.

   Once operations were recommenced in January, the new
   systems for picking up and managing coins proved very
   successful. Between January 13 and January 26, more
   than 13,000 coins were recovered.

   The SS Republic was a side wheel steamer that sank in 1865
   while en route from New York to New Orleans after battling
   a hurricane for two days. Odyssey discovered the shipwreck
   1,700 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean
   approximately 100 miles off the Georgia coast. The
   archaeological excavation of the shipwreck began in November
   of 2003 and is continuing.

   Among the coins already retrieved are numerous gold eagles,
   gold double eagles, silver half dollars and even some quarters,
   nearly all dating between the 1840's and 1865. Unlike other
   recently salvaged shipwrecks, a wide variety of dates and
   mints have been noted in this find. Based on the pieces
   recovered thus far that have been professionally conserved by
   Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS) and graded and
   encapsulated by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC),
   this collection may already include several finest-known
   examples of United States gold and silver coins from the
   period. While excavation has already uncovered thousands
   of coins, there is insufficient information at this point to predict
   the total value of the shipwreck and its cargo."


   Chris Fuccione reports that the address of the web site
   for the book by Alec S. Tulkoff which Michael Sullivan
   discussed last week is
   The book was published in 2000.

   Michael J. Sullivan adds: "To clarify, I didn't write the
   summary.  It came from an E-Bay Listing !     The book
   is for sale at Amazon as well."

   Ron Haller-Williams found the web site, too. He writes:
   "There is a link to the author's description of the book at

   BTW, the bibliographic data was incomplete.  So I quote
   in full:  "Counterfeiting The Holocaust: A Historical And
   Archival Examination Of Holocaust Artifacts  ISBN:
   0-7643-1109-3    Size: 8 1/2" x 11"  88 Pages
   $19.95 + S/H  Illustrations: over 160 color and b/w
   photographs and maps.  Copyright © [July] 2000 Alec S.
   Tulkoff     [softbound]  Schiffer Publishing Ltd

   On the site are links to pictures and explanatory background
   of several  fake items, and to an essay entitled "Who Is
   Selling This Stuff And Why?"  Also an e-mail link if you
   want to buy the book."

   [The author also publishes an email newsletter on the topic:
   "After completing the manuscript for my book, I continued
   to monitor the counterfeits and fakes being sold on the Internet.
   The large number of such items continuously appearing for
   sale and auction led me to start a Newsletter dealing with
   the topic.

   I felt it necessary to keep on top of the ever changing
   counterfeit material showing up on the market. With each
   new discovery or display of original artifacts brought
   about the quick manufacture and distribution of
   counterfeits. "

   Bill Rosenblum adds: "However please be aware the site
   was last updated in January of 2002, two years ago.

   I have not read the book although I know it should be in
   my library. I  spoke with the author sometime before he
   wrote the book and I was not  impressed with his
   numismatic knowledge. At one time his website had a
   well known fake Buchenwald note shown under the genuine
   items. I tried to find some coins on the website, I saw the
   word once but could not  find it again.

   From others I have spoken with I have been told that the
   author is a well meaning and serious collector who was
   "burnt" badly a few times on some Holocaust artifacts he
   purchased. This led him to write his book and his newsletter.
   However, at times he has accused well known and
   knowledgeable dealers who have handled this material for
   30 years with selling fakes (mostly non numismatic).
   Anyone can write a book.

   My thoughts about the book and the website are not
   meant to denigrate the book or the idea behind it. In the
   early 1970's when I first started to handle this material there
   was very little written about it. Most of what I learned about
   the field was through reading the few works available,
   talking with the few people who handled it and collected it
   and speaking with the few survivors who would speak
   about their experiences.

   Arlie Slabaugh had a small section in his POW money
   pamphlet and there were some articles in the notgeld
   newsletter by (I believe) David Atsimony. I'm writing this
   note off the top of my head so some of the titles and
   authors may be wrong. Those were in the 1960's. In 1973
   Sam Simon published Handbook of the mail in the
   concentration camps 1933-1945 which was mainly a postal
   history but did have some numismatic information. In the
   1970's more information started to appear in the first
   book by Albert Pick and Carl Siemsen as well as in The
   Shekel, the International Bank Not Society Journal. Also,
   some articles appeared in both the newsletter of the very
   short-lived Judaic Syngraphic Collectors Association and
   one or two in my own house organ, the Judaic Numismatic
   Newsletter. In the early 80's, two issues of The Shekel were
   devoted to Numismatics of the Holocaust.  Since then many
   other works have appeared including, but not limited to books
   by Campbell, Schwan & Boling, Franquinent, Stahl and
   Burke. I'm sure I left some out.

   This is a very serious and important field in numismatics
   as paper money (and a few metal tokens) were used in
   both Ghettos and concentration camps. The Nazis did not
   just murder millions of Jews (and many others) but they
   used them up first. The use of money and the accompanying
   financial documents show just how depraved they were and
   also show the determination of the inmates and residents of
   the camps and Ghettos to try to survive.  Like all fields of
   numismatics there are unscrupulous people who try to exploit
   the novice collector. Know your source and learn for yourself.
   For those of you who see me at the few shows I still set up
   at, I usually have a small group of counterfeit concentration
   camp notes which I do not sell but I will show any or are
   interested. Unfortunately some of the more common examples
   still show up at flea markets in the mid-west.

   Please excuse any rambling that went on above. This is an
   area that I feel very strongly about. About 50 years ago I met
   my cousin "Willie" at a family function. He just sat in a corner,
   looking slightly out of it and never spoke a word. I remember
   that and the numbers tattooed on his wrist. I was about 8 years
   old but I still recall those details and I never saw him again.
   And nobody said a word about him."

   [My only encounter with a survivor was Mr. Steiner, a man in
   the neighborhood where I grew up.  I delivered newspapers to
   his home, where he lived with his wife.  I noticed the number
   tattooed on his arm. I was about 13, but knew immediately
   what it meant.  I could never bring myself to ask him about it.


   Herb Friedman writes: "For those readers who have some
   interest in the field of propaganda I offer the Propaganda
   banknotes of Operation Desert Storm:

   From the web page: "Portions of this article have previously
   been published in the International Banknote Journal,
   Vol. 30, No. 4, 1991, Vol. 33, No. 2, 1994, and Volume
   40, No.1, 2001."

   [This is a very interesting, thorough and well-illustrated
   article.  -Editor]


   Bob Leonard writes: "Unfortunately for Darryl, it is still
   usually necessary to read books, instead of finding everything
   conveniently on-line.  The "Umpqua River Hoard" is given
   two pages by Dave Bowers in American Coin Treasures and
   Hoards (pp. 38-9); it is also covered (and offered for sale)
   in Rare Coin Review No. 31 (1978), p. 11."


   Greg Heim writes.  I have a copy of the 1987 "Redbook" that
   was given out at the banquet of the 1986 ANA Convention.
   Turning the book 90 degrees clockwise, I noticed the white
   pages are speckled when pressed together.  Is anyone else's
   book like this?  You can e-mail me at
   gynandroidhead at  Thanks in advance."


   Fred Reed writes: "I have followed the discussion on
   Photoshop and currency reproduction in the last two
   issues of The E-Sylum with interest.  As Publisher-Editor
   of a paper money magazine (Society of Paper Money
   Collector's journal PAPER MONEY) and the author of
   currency articles and books, this turn of events could
   really cramp what I do.

   I'll admit that my concerns aren't "a hill of beans"
   in the concerns of governments and major corporations,
   but it was at least good to see the references you cited
   acknowledged the lawfulness of some currency copying
   so it will be interesting to see what unfolds down the line.
   Keep up the good work."


   Brad Karoleff  writes: "I will be attending the pre-Long Beach
   George Kolbe sale and am willing to represent bidders at the
   sale.  Interested  parties can contact me at
   Coins + 513-621-1996 or  859-371-1414."


   Martin Purdy writes: "Regarding Chick Ambrass' comments
   from last week,  Ray Williams writes: "Although I agree with
   Chick's  points in his article, I think he actually meant to say
   British  Colonies instead of American colonies."

   I disagree.  "American" is used in the geographical sense here,
   rather than possessive.  Try substituting "Pacific" or "African"
   for "American" and you'll see what I mean.  To include such
   Canadian bits as there were at the time, I might have said
   "North American colonies", mind you."


   Rich Hartzog writes: "I found this interesting link, with a new
   (to me) exonumia word:

   Peridromophily: Street car transfer collecting

   Happy Collecting!"


   Another coin-swallowing outbreak was reported by
   Reuters on January 30, 2004:

   "New coins introduced by Vietnam's Central Bank are
   being gobbled up -- not by collectors, but rather by children
   who swallow them after mistaking them for sweets.

   Since three coins were made available in mid-December after
   a two-decade absence, doctors have treated at least 17
   children for swallowing them."

   "The mishaps are an unforeseen headache for Vietnam's central
   bank, which had hoped the coins would promote the use of
   vending machines and other conveniences.

   The launch of Vietnam's new money has faced other glitches.

   Polymer-based, counterfeit proof banknotes that were also
   introduced last month were hit by rumors that the bills would
   be withdrawn because they had no year of issue printed on

   To read the full article, see:


   On January 26, 2004, Reuters had this report out of
   Lubbock, TX:

   "The oldest bank robber in the United States, 92-year-old
   J.L. Hunter Rountree, was sentenced to more than 12 years
   in prison on Friday after he pleaded guilty to robbing $1,999
   from a Texas bank last August.

   Rountree, who goes by the nickname "Red," said he robbed
   his first bank when he was about 80 because he wanted
   revenge against banks for sending him into a financial crisis."

   "He appeared in court in a loose-fitting prison outfit and
   shackles on his ankles. He had a cane to help him walk.
   Rountree listened to the proceedings through headphones
   because he is hard of hearing."

   "Federal officials said they had no records to prove it, but they
   are fairly certain Rountree was the oldest person ever to rob a
   bank in the United States."

   To read the full article, see:


   This week's featured web page is recommended by
   Larry Mitchell:  A Survey of Digital Library Aggregation
   Services by Martha Brogan, "an independent library
   consultant with two decades of experience in academic

   "This report provides an overview of a diverse set of more
   than thirty digital library aggregation services, organizes them
   into functional clusters and then evaluates them more fully
   from the perspective of an informed user."

  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 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

  To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum,
  just Reply to this message, or write to the Editor
  at this address: whomren at

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