The E-Sylum v7#18, May 2, 2004

whomren at whomren at
Sun May 2 09:57:57 PDT 2004

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 18, May 2, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


   No new subscribers this week.  The issue is being published
   earlier in the day because your editor has to catch a plane for
   a business trip.   I'll have a lot of mail to plow through on my
   return, so if you're awaiting a reply, please be patient.


   Karl Moulton's latest fixed price list has been published.
   Covering American numismatic auction catalogs from
  1860 to date, the list is the most comprehensive of its
   kind.   Karl's annotations are great references in themselves.
   This list includes a significant run of William H. Strobridge
   sales.   For more information, see Karl's web site:


   Howard A. Daniel III writes: "I recently received a book
   catalog from the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in Paris.

   The first numismatic book in it is "Monnaies Chinoises II. Des
   Qin auz Cinq Dynasties" by Francois Thierry.  304 pages, card
   covers and illustrations, ISBN 2-7177-2239-4 for 78 Euros.

   The second book is "Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum. France
   6,1. Italie: Eturie, Calabre" by Anna Rita Parente.  141 pages
   and 141 plates, ISBN 2-7177-2232-7 for 140 Euros.

   All of the references in my library written by Francois Thierry are
   of the high quality of research, and the photography is absolutely
   fantastic,  I don't know the author of the  Greek book, but I
   expect it to be first class too.

   The address to write to for the above references is Bibliotheque
   Nationale de France, 58 rue de Richelieu, F-75084 Paris
   CEDEC 02 France or email them at commercial at"


   Regarding a book we first mentioned last week, Bill
   Rosenblum writes: "U.S. and Canadian subscribers who are
   interested in purchasing "Jewish Paper Money in Russia" might
   have an easier time purchasing it from me then from the
   firm in Prague. A reader tried to buy two copies from them
   but because they do not accept credit cards or Paypal it was
   a bit difficult. They suggested that the reader contact me. I sell
   the book for $37 plus $3 shipping.

   The book is very good and a useful reference. It should be
   noted that Mr. Kharitonov's collection was stolen shortly after
   he completed the book, so if the plate notes turn up it is a very
   good possibility that they were stolen.

   I've also been meaning to write a note about the gentlemen who
   wrote concerning Bibliographies, estimates and errors in auction
   catalogs, but I spent the month of March writing our mailbid
   catalog - which included a bibliography, estimates and no doubt
   errors. I've spent April trying to clean up the office from a month
   of writing a catalog. One day I'll forward my two cents."


   Ron Abler writes: "The U.S. Mint issued a "so-called dollar"
   for the 1926 Sesquicentennial, depicting Ben Franklin on the
   obverse and Pegasus on the reverse.  It was minted in nickel,
   bronze, copper (I believe) and gilt.  My sources say that it was
   actually produced on-site at the 1926 Philadelphia
   Sesquicentennial Expo on an electric press.  All compositions
   are known for flat strikes with poor detail, perhaps due to the
   lower striking pressure of an electric press.  However, there is
   a high-relief version of the bronze medal that is strikingly better
   detailed and much higher relief than its low-relief counterparts.
   I suspect that it was produced on a more powerful, perhaps
   hydraulic, press.  Can anyone point me to the answer?  Perhaps
   the high-relief version was contracted out by the Mint?  If so,
   to whom?  Medallic Arts?  Greenduck?"


   In reference to William S. Baker's 1885 work, "The Medallic
   Portraits of Washington," Ron Abler writes: "Is Baker's original
   text available - the one in which he first proposed the now-
   standard Baker numbers for Washingtonia medals?  I have the
   Rulau-Fuld edition, but the numbers seem to be inconsistent in
   some areas."

   [The original work does appear on the market from time to
   time, and is not unduly expensive.  There is also a 1965 reprint
   with updates by George Fuld. -Editor]


   Regarding our earlier question, RW Julian writes: "The first
   reference I can find to the use of "Eagle" for the ten dollar
   piece is in a law of August 8, 1786:

   "That there shall be two gold coins: One containing two
   hundred and forty-six grains, and two hundred and sixty-eight
   thousandths of a grain of fine gold, equal to ten dollars, to be
   stamped with the impression of the American eagle, and to be
   called an Eagle: One containing one hundred and twenty-three
   grains, and one hundred and thirty-four thousandths of a grain
   of fine gold, equal to five dollars, to be stamped in like manner,
   and to be called a Half-Eagle."

   Perhaps someone has an earlier citation?"

   Bob Neale writes: "For anyone interested, it does indeed appear
   that Thomas Jefferson was first to propose the term "eagle", as
   reported by D. Klinger. This is even better documented in an
   article by George Fuld in Numismatic News, June 22, 1999.
   Therein, Fuld presents TJ's Congressional Resolution of August
    8, 1786.  This document talks about standards for US gold
   and silver coinage and comes to this paragraph: "That there
   shall be two gold coins one...equal to ten dollars, and to be
   stamped with the impression of the American Eagle - & to be
   called an eagle." And the next paragraph: "One containing...
   fine gold equal to five dollar to be stamped in like manner and
   to be called a half eagle."


   Rich Hartzog forwarded the following query from an artist
   in the Los Angeles area looking for a Janvier reducing

   "My name is Charles Danek and I am one the artists working
   in the Artistic Infusion Program of the U.S. Mint.  Presently,
   I am seeking to create 'Art Medals' of some of my designs to
   further my sensibilities in the medium.  I  live in Los Angeles,
   and I was wondering if you knew of any facilities in my
   area that may be able to assist me, or who might be interested
   in collaborating.  Ideally, I would like to have access to a
   reduction machine.

   Rich replied: "Not too many of the Janvier lathes around!  I
   don't know of any in the L.A. area, but I know a group that
   does know the answer to all such questions.  I've forwarded
   this reply to the group moderator; the once-a-week email
   goes out Sunday.

   The short answer is to check my page for commercial
   manufacturers  of medals.  And, there is the American Medallic
   Sculpture Association (AMSA), which as a medalist, you
  should join.  Lots of contacts there!"


   [Your editor is slipping - the following note arrived this week,
   but I've lost or misplaced the original and didn't record the
   name of the author.  My apologies.]

   "Concerning "Konowal's 40 dollar fortune:" Could his "two
   American $20 bills" have been Canadian? Check this with
   others more knowledgeable, but I don't believe that in 1913
   any official Canadian bills of the $20 denomination had been
   issued. However, there were bills in circulation of that
   denomination issued by chartered banks, and according to
   the Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Bank Notes
   (I have the 2nd edition, 1989), most but not all were
   redeemable. The circulation of chartered bank notes
   continued into the 20th century in Canada because that
   country did not tax the bank notes as the United States did
   in 1866. This possibility occurred to me because I think of
   Canada and Mexico, as well as the United States, as
   "American" (remember that discussion). Just a thought."


   The Konowal story revolved around the recovery of
   his stolen Victoria Cross medal.  Coincidentally, from
   London comes a report that another hero's Victoria
   Cross has set a price record:

   "A Victoria Cross awarded to an airman who climbed onto
   a Lancaster bomber's wing at 20,000ft to put out a fire has
   sold for a record price.

   It went for £235,250 at the Spink auction house in London
   on Friday, smashing the old record for a VC of  £178,250."

   "Mr Jackson was 25 when his crew came under fire from
    a German fighter on a bombing raid on the town of
    Schweinfurt in April 1944.

   He climbed out of the cockpit into a slipstream to try to put
   out the flames, before falling off and crashing to the ground
   under a burning parachute.

   Despite serious injuries, he managed to crawl to a nearby
   German village and spent 10 months in hospital before
   being transferred to a prisoner of war (POW) camp."

   To read the full story, see"


   David Gladfelter writes: "Concerning Benjamin C. True:
   Groce & Wallace, The New-York Historical Society's
   Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564-1860 (New Haven,
   Yale University Press, 1957) has a brief listing for him
   as an "engraver, seal engraver and die sinker" working in
   Cincinnati, 1850-60. He is credited with the Wealth of the
   South tokens of the 1860 Presidential campaign which are
   listed in Fuld as Patriotic Civil War tokens as well as in
   Sullivan as political medalets. See Melvin and George Fuld,
   "The Wealth of the South Mulings," in 24 Numismatic
   Scrapbook Mag. 1785 (Sept. 1958). One of the
   "President's House" dies in that series is signed with his
   initial T. Benjamin C. True may be a relative (son and
   nephew) of the Troy, NY engravers Benjamin C. and
   Daniel True, who produced some of the Hard Times
   tokens of that city. See "Miscellany," 24 Numismatist 42
   (Jan. 1913). This isn't much, but hope it helps."

   Alan Luedeking writes: "Regarding Andy Lustig and Saul
   Teichman's request for info on the engraver Benjamin C. True,
   I turned of course to  L. Forrer's "Biographical Dictionary of
   Medallists, Coin-, Gem-, and Seal-Engravers, Mint Masters,
   &c." Here is a verbatim transcript of what can be found on
   pages 145-146 of Volume VI:

   "TRUE, BENJAMIN C. and DANIEL (Amer.) There were
   two Die-cutters in Troy named True, --- Benjamin C. and
   Daniel ; judging by the appearance of their names in the
   Directories, the first was the elder, but whether relatives or
   not, I have not found. Benjamin C. was a "letter cutter,"
   having a shop at 7 Beaver Street, and residence at 134
   Lydius Street, as early as 1832 ; in 1834 he is called a
   gunsmith, and in 1835 a die-cutter, at 7 Beaver Street,
   "up-stairs"; in 1840 he added to his business as a die-cutter
   that of a "military store keeper," --- perhaps making military
   buttons --- and his store was in 88 North Market Street, if
   the notes furnished me are correct.  In 1842-4 he was in
   business with J. Roseboom & Co., in Church and Division
    Streets, but I have not been able to trace him further. Daniel
   True was a die-cutter at 48 Union Street as early as 1837,
   and continued to do business as such at various locations,
   in time adding that of seal-engraving, until 1856, when he
   seems to have been the senior partner in the firm of True &
   Pilkington, and his address was "Bleecker Hall ;" in 1858 he
   was at the same location, alone; in 1868, the same name, ---
   presumably the same person --- appears as a die-cutter and
   steel engraver, in Hudson Street, and afterwards at 396
   Broadway until 1879. The work of this engraver (whether
   Benjamin or Daniel is uncertain), as shown on the tokens, is
   not of a very high order.

   A number of Tokens signed T are described in 'American
   Journal of Numismatics,' 1899, p. 119. The above notes are
   extracted from this paper."

   There is nothing further to be found in the Supplement to
   Forrer's  work, and I have not looked in the AJN as I don't
   have it!"

   Dick Johnson writes: "To answer Rick D. Whisman about
   Benjamin C. True, I have four pages on True in my
   biographical databank of American Artists, Diesinkers,
   Engravers, Medalists and Sculptors. Here is the first

   TRUE, Benjamin C. (fl 1832-79)  Early American engraver,
   diesinker, seal engraver, letter cutter; Albany, New York
   (1823-38); Cincinnati (1849-1879).  Listed in Albany first
   as letter cutter (1823-33) then gunsmith, but left for
   Cincinnati in 1849. His Albany business was carried on by
   relative Daniel True (q.v.) [who Richard Kenney believed
   to have been his brother].

   The next paragraph tells of his portraits of Lincoln,
   Breckenridge, John Bell and Steven Douglas and his
   stock reverse that he offered to anyone who wanted
   his services. Then I list 20 campaign medals for which
   he was most noted and 16 medals the dies of which I
   can document he engraved. With each item listed here
   are all citations to numismatic literature, appearance in
   auction sales, and public collections containing that item.
   (The ANS citations here are most useful, as it gives the
   accession number where you can go on the ANS
   website to find the full description of that item in their
   massive catalog databank.)

   After this, I list 16 references on Benjamin True for
   further research including biographical articles that Rick
   will find useful in "The Numismatist" (December 1941)
   and two references by Gladfelter in "Journal of the Civil
   War Token Society" separated by eight years as he
   corrected his data (1970 and 1978).

   I even mention that NBS president Pete Smith has included
   True in his unpublished manuscript on private mints in North
   America. I have attempted to include most of what has been
   published (and some unpublished!) data on every American
   coin and medal artist.

   I might mention the publication of this directory has been
   delayed due to conversion of 118,309 lines on 3,356 artists
   from the program in which I entered it, into some very
   sophisticated software demanded by my publisher.

   However, for numismatists seeking data in the meantime,
   please contact me.  I will email a summary, but will not send
   any text -- destined to be copyrighted -- on the internet.
   If you wish more extensive listings (even full text) I would
   mail this in hard copy for a small fee.  Like four pages on
   Benjamin True for $5.

   [It never ceases to amaze me what information E-Sylum
   readers can come up with.  Dick's email address is
   dick.johnson at   -Editor]


   Alan Luedeking writes: "I recently saw an Israeli 5 Agorot
   coin depicting an ancient coin on it. I also remember having
   seen a Hungarian 2000 Forint of 1996 depicting 13 coins
   upon it, and a couple of Isle of Man coins with several coins
   on them.  This got me wondering if there are any other such
   coins. Is there anybody out there who collects coins on
   coins, and is there any reference specifically on this topic?"


   Jim Spilman writes: "The Colonial Newsletter Foundation,
   Inc. (CNLF) has changed the back-issue availability for the
   Colonial Newsletter (CNL) to a digital format by producing
   a CD of back-issues #1-103 in .PDF format.  The CD (for
   PC or MAC) includes a computer searchable Cumulative
   Index - also in .PDF format.  The price is $65.00 postpaid
   within the USA or Canada and it can be ordered from
   CNLF; P.O.Box 4411; Huntsville, AL 35815.

   Also available is one set of hardcopy issues #1-103 (the
   CNLF issues) and two sets of issues #104-124 (the ANS
   issues).  Please contact CNLF at Comcast.NET for details.

   When these sets are gone, that will be the end of hardcopy
   availability from CNLF except for a few individual back
   issues and odds and ends of this and that.  After these are
   sold the only source will probably be the secondary market.

   Over the years, CNL has become the premier publication
   on Early American Numismatics (prior to 1793).  As we
   have entered the Digital Millennium, CNLF has established
   a group of 18 eSIGs (electronic Special Interest Groups)
   for each of the primary areas of interest in this field.

   [See the February 8, 2004 E-Sylum (v7n6) for more
   information on the CNLF eSIGs. -Editor]


   Dave Bowers sent us a copy of an article about the brouhaha
   over U.S. Presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry's Vietnam
   war medals:

   "At issue is Kerry's participation in a 1971 protest at which
   several veterans discarded their medals in protest of the
   Vietnam War.

   Kerry threw away the ribbons from his medals, along with
   the actual medals of two veterans who were not able to attend
   the ceremony, according to the candidate's Web site.

   Karen Hughes, a campaign adviser to President Bush,
   described herself as "very troubled" by the fact that Kerry
   only throw away his ribbons -- not the medals themselves.

   "He only pretended to throw his," she charged Sunday..."

   "Kerry has said he did not throw away his own medals
   because he did not have them with him."

   To read the full article, see:


   This Reuters report from Dallas, Texas isn't numismatic in
   itself, but it's amusing and raises the question, "Just what
   happens to all the banknotes that get splattered with dye in
   a foiled bank robbery attempt?  Are they simply returned to
   the Federal Reserve to be destroyed?   Have any found
   their way into numismatic channels?  Of course, there's no
   easy way to authenticate such notes, and they would have
   no premium on the market.  Still, I think it would be interesting
   to to have such a note if the story were known.  Wouldn't it
   be interesting to have one of the notes stolen in a famous
   robbery of the past?   Collectors often wonder what stories
   their acquisitions could tell, if only they could talk.

   "A Texas woman was arrested on Wednesday after a pink
   dye pack attached to money she is suspected of stealing
   from a bank exploded when she took the cash to a different
   bank to open a new account, police said.

   Fort Worth police said Sharon Luck, 43, was arrested on
   suspicion of robbing a bank in the city early on Wednesday,
   after a woman gave a bank teller a threatening note and
   walked out with cash to which the dye pack had been

   "When she opened her purse, the dye pack detonated,"

   "Police said she was easy to find because she was covered
   in pink dye."

   To read the full story, see


   This week's featured web site is dedicated to the Victoria
   Cross, "the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry
   in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and
   Commonwealth forces."

   The site notes that "Fourteen men not born British or
   Commonwealth citizens have received the VC; five Americans,
   one Belgian, three Danes, two Germans, one Swede, a Swiss
   and a Ukrainian."

  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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