The E-Sylum v7#02, January 11, 2004

whomren at whomren at
Sun Jan 11 19:37:38 PST 2004

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 02, January 11, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


   Among recent new subscribers is Anthony Jack Carlisle,
   Ph.D.   Welcome aboard!  We now  have 619  subscribers.


   Happy Birthday to Dutch historian and numismatist
   Gerard van Loon, who was born January 17, 1683.
   Quick Quiz:  what were Van Loon's numismatic


   Dave Hirt writes: "Greetings from Budapest.  We are having a
   good time here.  I always go to used book stores here and
   usually find something, but this time nothing numismatic so far.
   I sort of winced when I read of the man trapped under his
   books, and the Collyer brothers.  I saw myself, because it
   breaks my heart to throw away anything printed on


   Regarding the Ancient Coin educational project discussed in
   the last issues, Arthur Shippee writes: "The following is an
   interesting request from the Explorator editor, from whom
   I've given you some of the ancient coin news.  One hopes
   that your readership will have definite news one way or the

   Explorator editor David Meadows writes: "Speaking of ACE
   coins, they were giving a presentation at a symposium
   somewhere in Pennsylvania and after their talk, some classicist
   guy got up and gave a paper on why things like ACE coins
   were wrong (the usual AIA anti collector thing).  So ACE
   asked me what *my* view was and if I had heard of any
   cases of museums actually throwing away the sorts of coins
   they use in their program. They've heard 'anecdotal evidence'
   but even that was sketchy. Do you or your coin friends know


   Bill Murray writes: "I thought our readers might find the
   following item amusing - it is from Jeffery Kacirk’s Forgotten
   English -- All the italics in the quoted passages are Kacirk's.

   “England’s most famous bibliomaniac, Richard Heber (1771-
   1833) (was) an obsessive collector… On hearing of a curious
   book, he was known to have put himself in a mail coach and
   traveled three or four hundred miles to obtain it.  Heber’s
   family inheritance allowed him to indulge his desire and spend
   immense sums to purchase books, which he did … through
   local booksellers called, bibliopolists…

   When asked about his habit of collecting multiple copies of
   the same works, he replied… ‘Why you see, sir, no man can
   do comfortably without three copies of a work.  One he must
   have for a show copy, and he will probably keep it at his
   country-house.  Another he will require for his own use and
   reference; and unless he is inclined to part with this, which is
   very inconvenient, or risk the injury of his best copy, he must
   needs have a third at the service of his friends.’”

   “His house at Hodnet… was nearly all library.  His house in
   Pimlico… was filled with books from top to bottom, every
   chair, table and passage containing ‘piles of erudition.’ A
   house in York Street, Westminster, was similarly filled.  He
   had immense collections of books in houses rented merely
   to contain them at Oxford, Paris, Antwerp, Brussels and

   “Amazingly, when Heber died his will did not even
   acknowledge his books.  His bibliolatry had driven him to
   acquire, by one estimate, half a million books, but in their
   disposal after his death they were treated simply as so much
   property in the hands of an auctioneer.  Sotheby’s sale of a
   portion of the books required two hundred and two working
   days spanning more than two years.  It was reckoned that
   the proceeds of his books amounted to only about two thirds
   of the books’ original cost.”

   Now there was real bibliomaniac!
   Happy New Year to all!"


   Paul Withers writes: "For those who have an interest in such
   things, the first few days of the new year have brought a new
   book.  Those who know us well know that we have an
   interest in the slightly off-beat areas of numismatics, sometimes
   termed 'paranumismatics' and to further knowledge of the
   subject we have just published 'British Cardboard Coins from
   1860'.  This has a secondary title of 'Card Toy Coins and their
   related Paper Money'.  It has been written by David Evans,
   a didact and collector of these pieces.  Whilst those of us far
   from childhood might be tempted to think that these pieces are
   no longer made, I have to report that they are very much alive
   and kicking and still being produced - even if the author laments
   that the quality of some of them is so lamentably poor that it
   almost makes one consider taking up the collecting of stamps,
   matchbox labels, or 'possibly even the bottle'.

   The author has collected these pieces for some considerable
   time, inspired perhaps by 'Toy Coins' by David Rogers, the
   pioneering work on the subject. There is little doubt this
   monograph will become the standard reference work on the
   subject, because, as far as we know, and to the best of the
   author's and our abilities, it is complete and apart from
   'Toy Coins' is the only thing of its kind.  Full details are as
   follows :

   "British Cardboard Coins from 1860.  Card Toy Coins and
   their related Paper Money." A4 71 pages.  Illustrated. Card
   covers.  ISBN 0-9543162-1-5  Available from the publishers,
   Galata Print Ltd., The Old White Lion, Market Street,
   Llanfyllin, Powys, SY22 5BX UK. Price £15 plus postage.

   The book, within its body, reproduces 'Toy Money for
   Arithmetic Teaching in the Transition Class and in Primary
   Schools - A Series of Exercises, and a few suggested Games'
   by Margaret A Wroe which came with boxes of toy money
   sold to schools in the first decade of the last century.

   As far as has been possible, details of the companies
   producing these 'coins' have been carefully researched.

   All known types, embossed or printed, dated and undated,
   are listed.  Also listed and illustrated where possible are
   ancillary items such as banknotes, work cards and teachers'
   booklets.  Where possible, boxes and their contents are
   described and illustrated.  There is an illustrated and
   identification key to printed issues.  Grading guide and
   estimated values. The work is cross-referenced to 'Toy Coins'
   by David Rogers."

   [PAul may be contacted online via email at Paul at
   The web site is -Editor]


   Tom DeLorey writes: "Let me be the 37th person to ask
   how this 1688 proposal could have resulted in "the first mint
   to strike coins on American soil," unless it also declares the
   Massachusetts Bay Colony to be Canadian soil."

   Well, Tom was actually the first to ask, but I wondered
   about this statement, too.   For more information, see the
   extensive lot description on the Holabird Associates catalog.
   The web address is

   The description begins "U. S. Mint Related Document from
   the American Colonies to the King of England, June, 1688.
   Includes the first proposal for the construction of a Mint
   on American soil. Series of three documents from the Edmund
   Andros Estate regarding a Proposal to His Majesty offered by
   the petitioners and their associates unto the committee appointed
   by His Majesty. These four documents trace one of the first, if
   not the first, proposal to the King for mineral rights in the
   American Colonies."

   [So the description is qualified as "ONE of the first" and
   emphasizes mineral rights rather than coining, which is
   discussed later in the description. -Editor]

   "The need for milling, smelting, and refining facilities was made
   apparent in the petitioners proposal to build a mint, thereby
   guaranteeing immediate marketability of metals produced: "to
   help the company defray costs, his Majesty would be gratiously
   pleased to erect a mint in new England for the coyning of small
   mony for change of...blankets or fine copper also of mony of
   gold and silver when by their means and industry it shall be
   provided out of any such mine or mines..." [note- the spelling
   here is as it appears on the original document.  Note the early
   spelling of these important words]"


   David Fanning writes: "I'm afraid I made a small mistake in
   my E-Sylum account of our trip to Frossard's grave.
   Frossard's daughter was not named Edith. She was named
   Edna Marie.  I may be the only person who cares, but I'd
   appreciate it if you'd run the erratum. Thanks much."


   A recent report in The New Scientist said: "If the gambling
   industry reaps the benefits of electronically tagging its chips,
   the world's central banks could follow with their banknotes."

   A gambling industry publication got the story all bollixed up
   when it reported: "In a new research report published by the
   New Scientist, casino chips which have embedded radio
   frequency identification tags (RFID) could eventually replace
   traditional paper currency or bank notes and cut down fraud."

   Plenty of currency substitutes have found their way into
   general circulation over the years, but casino chips aren't likely
   to appear any time soon.  The gist of the report is that the
   SAME TECHNOLOGY (i.e. radio frequency ID tags) that
   could soon see use in casino chips might also one day be used
   in paper currency.  Later in the article the reporter seemed to
   figure this out.  The article correctly notes that "casinos and
   companies are expected to face opposition from privacy
   advocates and customers who don't want to be tracked for
   everything they buy or do."

   Another article in the U.K.'s Independent  gave a balanced
   treatment to the subject in its 8 January issue:

   "Technology that has been used to monitor the shopping habits
   of supermarket customers is about to be introduced to casinos.

   An American company is making playing chips that will beam
   an identification code to sensors in gaming houses. Although
   they will be more expensive than other chips, they should
   allow casino owners to reduce counterfeiting and theft and to
   monitor gamblers more closely. Known as "RFID", Radio
   Frequency Identification, the technology has already been used
   in the UK by supermarkets, including Tesco and Marks &
   Spencer, for tracking items such as razor blades and men's
   suits from the warehouse to the store."

   "The new generation of chips is being made by Chipco
   International in Raymond, Maine. The RFID system adds
   about 20p to the price of each chip. But that cost could pale
   in comparison with the potential savings ..."

   "The tagged chips could also be a forerunner of new banknotes
   being considered by the European Central Bank, which wants
   to use RFID technology for high-denomination notes to reduce

   For the complete article, see:


   David Gladfelter writes: "I mentioned the fact that plates
   cannibalized from broken-up Ormsbys were circulating among
   us.  If you will turn to lot 17236 of the current Heritage-CAA
   auction, or look it up on line, you will see an example of this.
   It is a supposed "progress proof of an unadopted design for the
   Erie & Kalamazoo Rail Road Bank" and is about to become
   enshrined as such in our literature (Dr. Wallace Lee's
   forthcoming book on Michigan obsoletes).  It is nothing of
   the sort.

   What it is, is a clipping from plate 7 of Ormsby, specifically the
   image with check letter C. This plate, Ormsby tells us, was
   made by his 17 year old son as an example of how easy it is
   for an untrained person to counterfeit bank notes (Ormsby's
   book is an elaborate polemic against counterfeiting and for
   wall-to-wall intaglio engraving as the best protection against
   counterfeiting). The plate is superficially impressive except
   that the central vignette is a ludicrous alteration of a railroad
   scene used on several legitimate bank notes. The perspective
   is all wrong on the alteration, and gives you the feeling that
   the sea is about to wash over the train, carrying the
   not-so-distant steamship with it!

   Ormsby's kid remembered to put check letters A, B & C on
   three of the images on his creation but somehow overlooked
   letter D on the 4th!

   The description by Heritage-CAA is certainly not an intentional
   misrepresentation, but it is wrong nevertheless.  I hope Dr. Lee
   catches the error in time to correct his listing.  Collectors
   with Ormsby should watch for other fugitive notes finding their
   way onto the market undetected.  The same thing happens with
   fugitive plates from Heath counterfeit detectors."


   Michael J. Sullivan writes: "In response to the dialogue on Bank
   Note Engraving Histories, I've collected this material for years.
   What I have found useful is to study both British bank note
   engraving and American bank note engraving firms.  There were
   a number of firms and individuals involved in the trade on both
   sides of the Atlantic.   Some great related titles:

   - Hewitt & Keyworth:  As Good As Gold: 300 Years of British
      Bank note Design (1987)

   - Byatt:  Promises to Pay: the First Three Hundred Years of
      Bank of England Notes (Spink, 1994)

   A bit more esoteric:

   - Story of British American Bank Note Company Limited,
      1866-1956 (Canada)

   - Smith:  James Heath Engraver to Kings and Tutor to Many
      (England, 1989)

   - Symes: Kirkwood & Sons Copper-Plate Engravers
      (Edinburgh, 1999)

   A variety of other titles are on my shelves as well."


   Regarding Neil Shafer's note about the article on Josh Tatum
   and the gold-plated 1883 "racketeer nickels" in the defunct
   New England Journal of Numismatics, Bob Leonard writes:
   "Very interesting, and I have this issue too.  Unless Lynn Glaser
   came across this story in some obscure periodical (and no one
   has come forward yet to identify an earlier appearance), my
   increasingly strong suspicion is that he made the whole thing up
   to enliven his 1968 book.  (Glaser's career after numismatics is
   extremely interesting -- including time in prison.)  It is amazing
   how his brief account of "Joshua Tatum" turned into the
   elaborate later accounts being quoted here."


   In reference to the New England Journal of Numismatics,
   Bob Leonard writes: "I subscribed to it, and received a small
   payment years later to satisfy the balance of my subscription
   when New England went bankrupt."

   [I got one of these checks, too, and believe I set aside the
   paperwork for my numismatic ephemera collection.  I can't
   recall if I bothered cashing the check, though.  -Editor]


   Regarding last week's reference to Becker the Counterfeiter,
   Bob Leonard writes: "Oops!  Here you have confused Carl
   Wilhelm Becker, 1772-1830, the German counterfeiter of
   ancient, medieval, and German coins, and the subject of Sir
   George Hill's Becker the Counterfeiter, with Peter Rosa,
   operator of the Becker Manufacturing Company 1955-1990,
   covered in some detail in Wayne Sayles' Classical Deception.
   Pieces marked BECKER were signed by Rosa, not Becker
   (Sayles, p. 86), though Sayles says he always marked them
   on the edge, not the face.  (The catalog description is unclear
   as to whether the markings are on the edge or not.)  But
   possibly there was another counterfeiter appropriating the
   Becker name."

   [It doesn't take much to confuse your Editor.  The 1804 date
   of the replica U.S. cent overlapped the timeframe of the
   German Becker, so I didn't question it.  But Bob's Leonard's
   attribution to the 1955-1990 period makes more sense for
   a copy of this coin, which may have had a collector
   premium before 1830, but probably not enough of one to
   justify the effort of making a replica. -Editor]


   Gene Anderson writes: "As a bibliophile newbie with a modest
   library there are lots of things I have missed over the years.
   Hopefully, some of you more seasoned collectors can help
   me out. I am looking for auction appearances of Bay Area
   counterfeit coins. These are spark-erosion die struck pieces
   that are very deceptive. I am aware of the two coins plated
   in Superior's Pre-Long Beach catalog dated 5-7 June 2000.
   Can anyone refer me to other appearances?"


   On  January 6, 2004 The Associated Press reported that
   a Vancouver, Washington man pulled over for a traffic
   violation  "got his mother to try to post bail with $500 in
   poorly made counterfeit bills from his wallet..."

   "At 5:30 a.m. Ludwig asked his mother to bail him out with
   money in his wallet.  She handed $500 to a clerk, who saw
   the money was phony, told her to wait and called police."

   The police report, made available Monday, described the
   counterfeit bills as bad copies that were the wrong size."

   The mother refused to post bail in genuine currency and
   the son remained in jail.   To read the full story, see:


   A January 9th article in the Moscow Times reported upcoming
   changes in currency:

   "The ruble will start sporting a new look later this year in an
   effort to outwit counterfeiters, the Central Bank announced
   this week.  There is no need for a run on the bank, First
   Deputy Chairman Arnold Voilukov said at a press conference
   Tuesday. "There will be no exchange," he said.  Anyone finding
   a stash of old rubles in years to come will be able to use them
   "at any time," he said.

   "Voilukov said the Central Bank had decided against a
   fundamental redesign. "The Americans took the path of
   modifying [the $20 bill] and we too ... decided not to change
   the look of the notes but to modify those that already exist."

   Indeed, the changes will be so subtle that some might not
   realize the bill in their hands is a new one, he said.  The new
   bills will incorporate a color-changing foil stripe as well as a
   security thread stitched through the bill rather than embedded
   inside. Bills of 100 rubles and above would come with 126
   laser perforations showing the bill's denomination when held
   up to the light.  This latter innovation has proved itself in
   Switzerland, where the technique has never been successfully
   copied, Voilukov said."

   To read the full article, see:


   Steve Huber writes: "Thanks for obtaining the lead. The book
   is on its way to me, as we speak: Georg Zetzmann,  'Deutsche
   Silbermedaillen des I. Weltkriegs' (German Silver Medals of
   WW.I, 1914-1919)."


   In response to a question about backgrounds to line
   exhibit cases for numismatic literature exhibits, I wrote:

   "What I did when I started exhibiting was get a length of
   fabric (I chose a satiny black cloth) from a fabric store
   and cut pieces into the approximate size of an exhibit case.
   I've been using them over and over ever since.  It takes a
   few minutes to lay them neatly in the empty cases, but
   they fold up neatly for transport.   I've never even bothered
   washing or ironing them and they still look OK.  When
   you're exhibiting books and ephemera  they tend to cover
   up most of the background anyway.

   Since most men wouldn't know a fabric store if one landed
   on them like Dorothy's house hit the witch in The Wizard of
   Oz, do what I did: send a woman to buy it for you  (I was
   single at the time and sent my sister)."


   Speaking of the common problem of accumulating too much
   material, David Lange writes: "I'm fairly careful about piling up
   too much numismatic literature at home.  For the most part my
   wife doesn't want to see anything of the kind outside of my den,
   so I periodically thin out the herd. That which won't fit at home
   and is still of value to me gets taken down to my workplace
   office. There's plenty of room for it there, and it adds to the
   overall atmosphere of numismatic study.

   The biggest problem I have with things piling up concerns my
   collecting of coin boards, folders and albums. I often come
   back from coin shows with a new load of items that were
   either purchased by me or donated by dealer friends, and it
   may take a few months to catalog these and place them on
   the proper shelves.  A lot of what I acquire turns out to be
   duplicated, despite my ongoing cataloging efforts, and such
   items end up in sealed plastic tubs in the garage.  The better
   items are retained, while the lesser duplicates get donated to
   coin club book sales.

   I'm currently in the process of cataloging my collection of
   Raymond binders and pages, as well as the Meghrig clones
   of the Raymond line. This has proved to be the most difficult
   cataloging job to date, because these items were in production
   for some forty years, with seemingly countless subtle
   variations in titles, date sequences, copyright information and
   fonts. I've already determined that it would be foolhardy to
   collect every title in all its manifestations, but just sorting out
   and recording what I have on hand is a daunting task. There
   are presently several piles of pages and binders on the floor
   of my den in various stages of documentation, with the fully
   recorded items already isolated in a big tub in our bedroom.
   I do hope to get those items on a shelf at some point, but
   with the FUN show stealing yet another weekend I can't
   make my wife any promises."


   Arthur Shippee sends the following link from the Explorator
   6.36 newsletter:  Indian authorities recovered a pile of ancient


   On January 8th Reuters reported that "Archaeologists were
   excited to find what they thought was the first evidence of
   ninth century Viking settlement in Scotland.

   They had spent days painstakingly excavating the site after
   50-year old Marion Garry said she had uncovered an unusual
   arrangement of smooth, flat stones a few feet below the surface
   of her garden in Fife.

   "We thought we'd hit the jackpot," Scottish archaeologist
   Douglas Speirs told newspapers."

   "Only when the area was completely excavated and materials
   analyzed did the horrible truth dawn -- the stones were nothing
   more significant than a 1940s sunken patio."

   To read the full story, see:


   This week's featured web page is The Royal Mint's page
   about Isaac Newton's tenure at the mint.

   "The Mint was then in the Tower of London and it was
   accordingly to the Tower that Newton came in April 1696
   to take up his new duties. It was a time of great activity.
   The Mint was grappling with the recoinage of old silver
   coins that dated back to the reign of Elizabeth and even
   to earlier reigns.

   In 1699 the post of Master of the Mint fell vacant.. The
   post was offered to Newton and he took up his duties
   with effect from Christmas Day 1699, his fifty-seventh
   birthday. Surviving the political upheavals of the early
   eighteenth century, he remained as Master until his death
   in March 1727 and for the last thirty years of his life he
   therefore occupied high position in the Mint.

   Even after the completion of the recoinage of the 1690s
   there was much to do. Coins and coronation medals had
   to be prepared following the accession of Queen Anne in
   1702, and then came the coining of the booty from Vigo
   Bay in 1703. In 1707 the Union of the Kingdoms of
   England and Scotland required the assimilation of the
   old Scottish coinage to that of England as well as the
   methods of the Edinburgh mint to those of the mint in
   the Tower.

  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

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