The E-Sylum v7#25, June 20, 2004

whomren at whomren at
Sun Jun 20 20:35:08 PDT 2004

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 25, June 20, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


   Due to travel, next week's E-Sylum will be published
   a day late: Monday, June 28.  So remain calm - don't
   panic.  Your issue will be on its way.


   Nicholas M. Graver writes: "I read the latest E-Sylum, and
   note that you hope people will join NBS.  Please add
   "Only $15" to your plug at the bottom of each issue.  It is
   my experience that many people do not go check all the web
   sites mentioned in things they read.  I put it off, for well over
   a year, due to inertia, my concern about another unread
   periodical coming here, and the (incorrectly) supposed high
   cost of subscription.    Once I learned that it is so cheap, I
   joined at once.   I'll bet you get more members if you include
   this mention."

   [Thanks for the suggestion - the membership section of
   The E-Sylum has been duly updated.    Now let's see some
   more of our readers become members - we'd love to have
   you on board.  If you need a further incentive to join, see
   the next item.  -Editor]


   E. Tomlinson Fort, Editor of out print journal, The Asylum
   writes: "The preliminary edit and layout of our special issue of
   The Asylum for the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the
   Numismatic Bibliomania Society has been completed.  It is
   264 pages long. This makes it the equivalent of more that two
   years of The Asylum (at our usual size) combined. It is, by far,
   the largest (and best)  collection of essays on numismatic
   literature ever published in one volume in the United States.

   The works run from the popular to the scholarly, from Europe
   to America, from autobiography to bibliography and from
   tongue in cheek to an eye for detail.  There is something for

   An NBS membership costs only $15 ($20 outside the US).
   If you miss this opportunity and find yourself paying lots of
   money for a copy on the secondary market, you only have
   yourself to blame. New memberships and renewal payments
   MUST be received by the Secretary-Treasurer  by July 1,
   2004. No exceptions. A membership application can be
   found on the NBS web site at

   It is time for the readers of this e-newsletter to put their
   money where their mouths are and support the organization
   which brings us this fine work."

   [The table of contents follows, but see last week's issue
   for more details. -Editor

   “Jean Foy-Vaillant: The King’s Antiquary (1632 – 1706),” by
   Christian E. Dekesel.

  “William Frederick Mayers: A Flashing Star,” by Pete Smith.

   “An Annotated Bibliography of the Published Numismatic
   Writings of Walter H. Breen by David F. Fanning.

   “Blunders, Hoaxes, and Lost Masterpieces from the
   Numismatic Literature of the Renaissance,” by John Cunnally.

   “Some Reminiscences,” by Q. David Bowers.

   “Creating The E-Sylum, The Numismatic Bibliomania
   Society's Weekly Electronic Newsletter,” by Wayne K.

   “American Numismatic Pioneers: An Index to Sources,” by
   Pete Smith.

   “Recollections of 34 Years at Spink, 1969–2003,” by Douglas


   [So where do you send your dues? Our Secretary-Treasurer
   W. David Perkins writes: "I am moving back to Colorado.
   I now have the new P.O. Box number and address for NBS.
   My e-mail address remains the same (wdperki at

   W. David Perkins, Sec. / Treas.
   Numismatic Bibliomania Society
   P.O. Box 3888
   Littleton, CO  80161-3888

   [David's contact information has been changed at the bottom
   of The E-Sylum, and will soon be updated on the NBS web
   site and Asylum masthead.  He's looking forward to hearing
   from many new and lapsed NBS members.  -Editor]


   Numismatic literature dealer John Burns writes:
   "I will be doing these two shows:

   Mid America
   Rosemont Convention Center
   (Site of the 1991&1999 ANA's)
   Rosemont IL (Close to O'Hare Airport)
   June 25-27, 2004

   American Numismatic Association
   David L. Lawrence Convention Center
   Pittsburgh PA
   August 18-22"


   John W. Adams writes: "The Ford Library Sale pauperized
   many of us.  The book auction for the benefit of the Francis
   D. Campbell Chair promises to finish off the job.  Among the
   many salivating items are the photo archives of Presidential
   Coin 1984-1995, Beistle's copy of the Haseltine Type Table,
   a receipt signed by Abel Buell, a framed autograph (with
   portrait) of David Rittenhouse, a letter from Elias Boudenot
   discussing the removal of the U.S. Mint to Washington, D.C.,
   a plated presentation Parmelee Sale (1890), 17-18th century
   classics, a set of Dutch van Loon's, two sets of 8" x 11"
   photographs of Washington's set of Comitia Americana
   medals, Wurtzbach on Massachusetts silver, etc., etc.

   Despite the quality of the material we have already, we can
   use more.  Send items you wish to donate to George Kolbe

   [So please, drop what you're doing and rummage thru your
   library for a few better items to add to the sale.  If you just
   can't part with anything, be sure to bid in the sale.  The
   dinner and auction should be both fun and memorable.
   Come in person or get a catalogue from George Kolbe and
   bid by mail.

   Place: Tambellini's Restaurant
   (easy walking distance from the ANA Convention)
   cocktails: 5:15 p.m.
   followed by dinner & Auction

   Tickets: $50.00 each, reservations to:
   John Adams
   60 State Street, 12th floor
   Boston, MA 02109
   jadams at

   Books: Send to George Kolbe
   P.O. Drawer 3100, Crestline, CA 92325."



   John Kraljevich sends us the following report from the recent
   sale of the first part of the John J. Ford Jr. numismatic library:
   "George Kolbe and his staff are to be commended on what an
   amazing event the Ford Library sale turned out to be.  I visited
   Crestline before the sale to see some lots and was thrilled to see
   that his lower-floor office was filled to the gills with friendly
   bibliophiles, and of course George was all to happy to play
   cheerful host. The drive to Crestline from Riverside in the v
   alley below is worth the trip alone (though I wished my rental
   car had about 4 more cylinders on the way up).

   The auction venue was also a treat -- the Mission Inn is a
   pretty fascinating structure and has its share of history as well
   (visits from T. Roosevelt and Taft, in addition to the honor of
   hosting Nixon's wedding). I visited with Bruce Hagen and
   Dan Friedus that evening, ran into a pack of Early American
   Coppers members in the bar, and retired late.

   The auction itself was a very exciting event, though the
   familiar faces generally did little bidding on the directories that
   led the sale off (with one Bay Area exception). The great
   rarities seemed to see for very strong money (though I thought
   the Doughty diaries were a nice buy at only $11K + juice).
   There were a lot of very buyable items though too -- I
   purchased a number of lots and most were barely out of the
   $100 range.

   Cheers again to George for making the event so memorable!"


   Steve Pellegrini writes: "I hope that the successful bidder for
   the Ford-Breen letters offered in the Kolbe-Ford-Stack's sale
   will consider getting together with Walter Breen specialist
   David F. Fanning to edit and publish the letters in full. The
   excerpts from the letters featured in the Kolbe catalogue were
   fascinating and beg to be printed in full."


   Art Tobias writes: "I am working on the third in a series
   of articles about engraved scenes that W.L. Ormsby made
   for Colt's revolvers in the 1846 - 1850 time period.  The
   engraving, of Texas Rangers and Comanches in an 1844
   skirmish is signed,  "W.L.Ormsby Sc. N Y".  Does anyone
   know what the "Sc" stands for?"


   On June 14th (Flag Day) the U.S. Supreme Court voted to
   reverse a lower court's ruling which would have removed the
   phrase "one nation, under God" from the Pledge of
   Allegiance.   Their ruling was based on a technicality and
   left open the possibility of a future case.  The issue relates
   to numismatics because it could ultimately affect the fate of
   the motto "In God We Trust" on U.S coins and currency.

   A Wall Street Journal article noted: "Congress adopted the
   pledge as a national patriotic tribute in 1942, at the height of
   World War II. Congress added the phrase "under God" more
   than a decade later, in 1954, when the world had moved from
   hot war to cold."

   QUICK QUIZ:  "In God We Trust" has been on coinage far
   longer.  Who was the person who first suggested the slogan,
   and when?  And here's a bonus question for hard-core
   bibliophiles:  in what publication was this fact first documented?


   Last week we asked about a piece of numismatically-related
   Ronald Reagan trivia.  The 40th President was born in 1911
   in an apartment above a bank in Tampico, IL.  We were
   curious about the name of the bank and whether it issued

   An anonymous currency collector writes: "As I recall, Ronald
   Reagan was born above The First National Bank of Tampico,
   Illinois.  This bank did issue national bank notes.  For further
   information, please refer to any of the many national bank note
   catalogs (Van Belkum, Ramsey & Polito, Kelly, Hickman &
   Oakes, Liddel & Litt, etc.).  Among national bank note
   enthusiasts, Reagan's birthplace is very old news, particularly
   since President Reagan was a close personal friend of Bill
   Higgins.  Bill was the founder of the Higgins Museum in Lake
   Okoboji, Iowa, the country's only museum dedicated to
   national bank notes."

   Bill Burd writes: "I would imagine you received many responses
   to your question regarding Reagan's birthplace. I am sending
   you the little I know anyway.  The Tampico Bank was
   established in 1882.  In August of 1908 it was chartered as a
   National Bank and changed it's name to First National Bank
   of Tampico.  It issued large size 1902 Date Backs and also
   Plain Backs.  Also, it issued small size currency dated 1929.
   It was liquidated in December 1931."

   Jess Gaylor provided a link to an article about the bank's
   history, noting that when Ronald W. Reagan's family moved
   in in 1906,  "a bakery or restaurant occupied the building below
   the apartment.  Tampico National Bank came into existence in
   1919 and was privately owned."

   The site notes: "... the First National Bank of Tampico ...
   opened for business on October 1, 1908. Business was first
   conducted in the old Burden building, on the west side of
   Main Street, which has since been torn down, and later moved
   to the building on the east side of Main Street which houses
   the Village Administration offices at present."

   [Reagan was born in 1911.   It's unclear from this article whether
   there was a bank in the same building at the time Reagan was
   born.  And further documentation or discussion of this issue is

   Only history will tell if any leader is worthy of honoring on our
   money, and there are many examples of the folly of honoring
   living or recently-deceased persons on coins and currency.  I
   laughed when I first heard of the movement to honor Reagan,
   who was still alive at the time.  He may be gone now, but it is
   still much too early to consider putting his portrait on money.

   Illustrating the divisions that surround Reagan's legacy is the
   following note from Richard Doty, who writes:

   "IF handing the country more completely to the rich
    IF ignoring AIDS while thousands died
    IF winning the Cold War by proving that we were capable
         of going deeper into debt than were our adversaries
   IF breaking one union and weakening the rest;

   IF all of these were accomplishments
   and IF you deem their author worthy of remembrance on
   our money - then by all means put him on it.
   But I won't use it."


   An article by Richard Giedroyc on the PCGS web site
   discusses some living personalities who have appeared on
   U.S. money:

   "During the 1860s paper money began to be printed in
   earnest by the U.S. government considering the financial
   problems of the Civil War period. Emergency money has
   been covered in a recent article I wrote on the subject for
   this web site.

   Such individuals as President Abraham Lincoln, Treasury
   Secretary Salmon P. Chase and Secretary of War Edwin
   M. Stanton appear on some of this paper money, all during
   their own lifetimes.

   Such little-known historical figures as Superintendent of the
   National Currency Bureau Spencer Clark appears in a
   vignette on the Third Issue fractional 5-cent note issued
   between Dec.1864 and Aug. 1869. Bet your friends a
   drink today to see if they have any idea who this guy was.

   Some of the other lost-to-history "dignitaries" whom appeared
   as big as life, and breathing well, on fractional notes of the
   period include Treasury Secretary William P. Fessenden
   (25-cent note) and U.S. Treasurer Frances E. Spinner
   (50-cent note).

   All of this nonsense finally led to an April 7, 1866 law
   which states: "No portrait or likeness or any living person,
   hereafter engraved, shall be placed upon any of the bonds,
   securities, notes, fractional or postal currency of the United

   To ensure Congress got its point across, the same basic
   information was regurgitated in the Revised Statues of 1874.
   Too bad Congress left that great big loophole regarding
   depicting living people on our coins!"


   In response to last week's question about the Newark
   Museum in New Jersey,  Harry Waterson writes: "There is a
   very good paper on the Newark Museum entitled "John
   Cotton Dana and the Ideal Museum Collection of Medals"
   by Dorothy Budd Bartle in The Medal In America edited by
   Alan M. Stahl copyright 1988 by the American Numismatic
   Society.  Mr. Dana set the bar as ".,.. he worked to build
   his ideal museum collection of medals and use it for the
   common good".

   I have found this Museum to be especially helpful to me as
   a medal collector. They e-mailed to me scans of 10 medals
   I am interested in with speed, accuracy, a true willingness to
   help and at no cost - an experience I find truly rare.

   I enjoy reading The E-Sylum.  Quite often at the bottom of
   the stream of books and pubs, I find the occasional medallic
   nugget or two.  Thank you very much."

   Denis Loring writes: "I can't tell you anything about the rest of
   the collection, but I can say they have a decent group of large
   cents.  In 1985, I was engaged by the then-curator of the coin
   collection, Ms. Dorothy Budd Bartle, to help them expand
   their large cent holding.  The goal was to assemble a "Red Book"
   date and major variety set, with die variety sets of a few years
   such as 1802 and 1817.  Unfortunately, the project was never
   completed, due (as you'd guess) by competing interests and
   lack of funds."

   Our anonymous currency collector writes: "I believe The
   Newark Museum does not always have numismatic displays.
   It does have a very large collection of numismatic items (more
   than could be displayed at once).  Usually, these can be seen
   by appointment only.  At the current time, there is no numismatic
   curator, although there have been several in the past, including
   William Bischoff, formerly of the ANS.  The numismatic
   collections currently fall under the domain of the decorative arts
   curator, Mr. Ulysses S. Dietz.  Mr. Dietz is a direct descendant
   of U.S. Grant, and was one of the Grant descendants who
   negotiated with the National Park Service to improve the
   condition of Grant's Tomb on Riverside Drive in New York.

   William Bischoff writes: "You ask in the 13 June E-Sylum, "Do
   we have any readers from the Garden State who can tell us
   about the coins and currency on display [at The Newark
   Museum]?"  It is ironic that the lengthy and accurate article
   from the Star-Ledger you cite was written by Dan Bischoff
   (no relation to me), but I can add some specific information on
   the coin collection, since I was curator of numismatics at The
   Newark Museum from 1991 to 1997.

   No curator has been named for this collection since I left, and
   there is no regular numismatic exhibit open to the public, nor
   is one planned. Approximately 35,000 specimens (coins, paper
   money, medals and exonumia) are housed in the vault, however,
   and might be available for viewing by someone with specific a
   specific research interest.  The strongest fields are U.S. gold;
   African paper money; perhaps the finest American collections
   of obsidional coinage (especially from the Netherlands); Spanish
   Colonial treasure salvage; art medals (especially by John
   Flannigan); and exonumia by the former Newark firm of
   Whitehead & Hoag.  Because, as the Star-Ledger article makes
   clear, the emphasis at the Museum has always been educational,
   not research-oriented, there are few duplicates suitable for die
   studies and the like.  Those with a legitimate research interest
   are advised to contact the Associate Registrar, Scott Hankins,
   at 973-596-6676.

   On a lighter note, readers may want to visit the Newark Museum
   website at and scroll down on the
   home page to the interactive feature "Once Upon a Dime," put
   on by the Children's Museum and sponsored by J.P.Morgan
   Chase and others.  For those with children (up to about 12 or
   13 years of age) who can make it to Newark, a visit to the
   physical exhibition would definitely be worthwhile.  It is
   scheduled to close in August 2005."


   A June 18th press release by PCGS stated:  "One of the world's
   most valuable and historic sets of United States rare coins, the
   fabled "King of Siam" proof set, presented as a diplomatic gift
   on behalf of President Andrew Jackson in 1836, now is in
   Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) holders. The coins
   will be exhibited at the American Numismatic Association's
   World's Fair of Money in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this

   "The set includes the original, custom-made yellow leather
   and blue velvet case that housed the coins when U.S. State
   Department envoy, Edmund Roberts, presented it on behalf
   of President Jackson to King Ph'ra Nang Klao (Rama III) of
   Siam in April 1836. The coins range in denomination from a
   copper half-cent to a gold $10 "eagle."  There also is an
   1833 gold medal depicting President Jackson."

   "The King of Siam set will be exhibited by the Goldbergs at
   their table during the American Numismatic Association
   convention in Pittsburgh, August 18 - 22, 2004."

   QUICK QUIZ:  The King of Siam set's most famous coin
   is the 1804 Dollar.  Its discovery as part of this set cleared
   up a longstanding mystery about the coin's origins.  But what
   most people aren't aware of is that two coins included with
   the set today were NOT present when the set turned up in
   London many years ago.  Which coins were they?


   Dick Johnson writes: "Is there an E-Sylum reader who has
   an entrepreneurial spirit burning in his numismatic breast?
   Want to start a coin-related business.  Be a Money Changer!

   Buy a number of coin counting machines and offer to set
   these up in banks and credit unions that do not have these.
   Then offer the banks to “service” these machines.  That
   means you have to empty the coin bins and bag the coins
   (or if you are a masochist, to roll them).  The machines
   give paper receipts, people can then deposit that amount
   or ask for paper cash. You will have to reimburse the bank
   for what they pay out, or supply them with any form of
   coin they desire for their counter business.

   Of course, this means you have tens of thousands of dollars
   of coins you can sort through. Offer beginning collectors
   the opportunity to pull out coins they find in these
   numismatically unsorted coins for a fee.  Charge the bank a
   fee. Get Rich! (Albeit slowly!)

   It has been 60 years since I sorted coins from circulation.
   But as a high school student I had the time and a paper route.
   Best of all, rolls of nickels back then were half Buffalos with
   an occasional Liberty head. (This was in the middle of World
   War II, five years after the introduction of the Felix Schlag
   Jefferson design. The variety of coins in circulation was
   interesting then.) Today, like millions of people, I don't even
   bend over to pick up a coin smaller than a quarter.

   Coinstar, whose coin counting machines you have undoubtedly
   seen in supermarkets, have nearly 11,000 of their machines in
   service. They have processed, they say, 550,000 tons of coins
   since they started in 1992.  They charge 8.9% vigorish. Some
   banks will process loose coins without cost, others charge 5%,
   and some the first $100 is free, 5% over that.

   Coin counting does sound profitable. Just ask Coinstar.
   P.S. Coinstar just received this week its 55th patent for its coin
   counting and money payment technology. It had spent $175
   million to develop this technology."


   Steve Pellegrini writes: "I have finally managed after years of
   effort to complete a set of the political-satirical medals created
   and published by RW. Julian from 1977-1981. As the result
   of a mention of the medals in E-Sylum I was offered a pristine
   little group of the issues I was missing. While I was cataloguing
   these new acquisitions I had the opportunity to review the entire
   series. It struck me that the topical concerns  expressed in these
   medallic editorials of a quarter century ago are the exact same
   topics still in the fore of America's national dialogue today. Mr.
   Julian has written of his series,  "The satirical medals were
   intended as a permanent memorial to those issues that ought
   not to be forgotten..." I'd say that by that and any other
   measure he succeeded admirably. Not to mention his once
   again having enriched the US numismatic series by his work
   and unique intellectual gifts."


   Jeff Starck forwarded a link to the following story about
   a commemorative coin for hockey star Bobby Orr that
   circulates in parts of Ontario, Canada.

   "After the sales success of last year's Bobby Orr
   commemorative coin, the Parry Sound Business Retention and
   Expansion Team is issuing another coin. The coins will have a
   face value of 4 dollars and can be spent at participating

   "Many local merchants participated and were rewarded with
   increased traffic through their locations due to collectors and
   fans seeking out the coin. The success of the program was
   extraordinary. Everything sold out and there is still a waiting
   list of people wanting to acquire the coins."

   "With the approval of a new coin image from Bobby Orr, the
   program is set to commence again this June. The coins can
   be used as legal tender in Parry Sound until October 31. There
   will be 6,000 silver coins in circulation, valued at $4 each ..."


   Roger Siboini writes: "I wonder if the American Journal of
   Numismatics publication of Crosby's manuscript would count
   as a reprint?  I have never spent the time to compare what
   was printed in the AJN and the final first edition of Crosby,
   but I would be interested if any of our readers have looked
   at this. I guess it is always interesting to consider what was
   left on the cutting room floor."


   Our anonymous currency collector writes: "Tales of National
   Bank officers who cut or tore notes from sheets and then
   signed them in full view of incredulous waiters or store clerks
   in the process of paying a bill have taken on an urban legend
   quality.  These accounts have been repeated so often that
   they have completely lost their novelty value, despite the fact
   that some of them undoubtedly actually occurred."

   Mark Van Winkle writes: "A couple of comments about
   cutting up sheets of bills. When I interviewed John Ford he
   said occasionally after a coin show Amon Carter, Jr. would
   get a kick out of taking sheets of bills with him to a restaurant.
   When it was time to pay the check, he would pay part of it
   by pulling out a pair of scissors and cutting up the sheet of
   bills he had folded up in his jacket pocket. Of course, the
   waiter would always be confounded by such action. He and
   Amon got a lot of laughs out of it over the years, but one time
   a waiter called the cops on them thinking they were

   After John told me this story, Bob Merrill ran into a deal of
   32-subject sheets of $2 bills at face value. I bought one of the
   sheets and carried it around in my car with a pair of scissors.
   It was always great fun to cut several deuces from the sheet
   and see people's reaction. I remember I bought something
   once for $10 and trimmed five $2 bills from the sheet--three
   up and two across. The poor guy across the counter was
   absolutely baffled, but he accepted them (and didn't call the
   cops). I've often wondered what he did with them, did he
   cut up the five notes or does he still have the irregular-shaped
   "ten dollar bill?"

   Dave Bowers writes: "In the 1960s Jim Ruddy and I,
   trading as Empire Coin Co., bought Creative Printing, a
   printing plant, modest in size, in Binghamton, NY. However,
   Creative did have some great accounts including IBM,
   General Electric, and Link Aviation.

   Jim and I bought a bunch of small-size uncut sheets of U.S.
   currency, took them to Creative Printing, and fastened them
   with little clips (like clothespins) to a metal wire strung across
   one part of the shop -- where the bills sort of look as if they
   had just been printed and were now drying!

   For a long time people would come in, ease up to be near
   the bills, study them out of the corners of their eyes, and
   then go on to their business. No one ever asked about
   them directly!"


   Dave Bowers writes: "I was the author of that item about
   Melnick and Ford bidding--it was in the Garrett sale and
   is a true incident."


   Responding to last week's items about dealer Herb Melnick,
   Dick Johnson writes: "Don't believe everything you read on the
   web!  I knew Herb Melnick. He WAS likable and a mentor
   to me in many ways.  When my partner, Chris Jensen, and I
   had purchased 64,000 medals from Medallic Art Company,
   we tried several methods of selling them (outright sales,
   advertising, coin shows). It was Herb Melnick who suggested
   we try an auction and he volunteered to call the auction.

   It worked! Our first Johnson & Jensen auction had only
   307 lots, but virtually everything sold.  So we had Herbie call
   a second, then a third, until his death in 1982.   He did this at
   a time when he was calling auctions for his employer, NASCA,
   in addition to being a freelance auctioneer to major coin firms
   at prominent coin shows (even as far afield as Hawaii!).

   I first met Herb in 1972 when he joined with five other
   numismatists to organize the Maccabee Mint. Herb showed up
   in the offices of Medallic Art Co to plan their first medal,
   “Genesis.” We were fast friends thereafter.

   I was unaware of the John Ford–Herb Melnick conflict. Chris
   and I were in NASCA’s offices in Rockville Center many
   times. [Herb not only called our auctions he also consigned to
   us.]   Ford showed up often too since he lived nearby on
   Long Island – it seems he always wanted to use NASCA’s
   photocopy machine! (He didn't have his own?)

   I would say these heated conversations were the Sparing of
   Giants, not the conflict of adversaries!   Both could have gruff
   exteriors, but I personally knew both men deep down as pussy
   cats! You had to earn their respect over time. Yes! But once
   you did that, either one would do anything for you. Treat them
   with respect and they treated you likewise.

   I must relate one Herb Melnick anecdote.  Herb had perfect
   timing at the auction podium.  At a major auction a very
   expensive gold coin was up for sale. Bids came fast and furious.
   Tension was heavy.  Herb wanted some comic relief.  After
   another round of multi-thousand dollar raises he said: “You
   know, of course, it's filled with chocolate!.”


   Paul Withers writes: "Readers of The E-Sylum may find the
   following, which we have just added to our 'Wazzock's Corner'
   on our website ( amusing.   A lot of my
   wazzock stories come via my good friend Gary, who has a
   retail outlet in Birmingham and sees more than we do of the

   A collector who sells him coins from time to time
   approached him with the amazing story that someone to whom
   he had recommended Gary as a buyer told him that he had
   been to their office once and on no account would he go to
   there again, as far from being experts, they didn't know what
   they were doing.

  "How do you know that they don't know what they are
   doing ?"  he asked.

   "Stands to reason" said the bloke, "if they really knew what
   they were doing, they wouldn't need all those books they've

   There is a certain inescapable logic about that, I suppose !"


   This week's featured web site is something I've discovered
   a bit late.  It's about a 27 December, 2002 - October, 2003
   at the Hermitage Museum titled "Jacob Reichel: Medallist,
   Collector, Scholar"

   "The new exhibition is dedicated to the acquisition by the
    Hermitage of the numismatic collection of J.J. Reichel, a
   major collector, medallist and designer of the St. Petersburg
   Mint (1760-1856). When the hereditary medallist (his father
   Johann Jacob Reichel was medallist at the Warsaw Mint
   under King Stanislaw August Poniatowski) came to St.
   Petersburg, he was in 1799 admitted to the Medal Class of
   the Academy of Arts.  In 1802 he became student at the St.
   Petersburg Mint and in 1808 was appointed medallist of the
   Mint's Medal Chamber."

   "In the 1820s, Jacob Reichel started to collect Russian and
   West European coins and medals which he purchased at
   international auctions and from famous Russian and West
   European numismatists with many of whom he corresponded.
   Reichel's collection became renowned due to its catalogue in
   nine volumes published by its owner."

  Wayne Homren
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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  literature.   For more information please see
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  P.O. Box 3888, Littleton, CO  80161-3888.

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