The E-Sylum v8#22, May 29, 2005
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Sun May 29 19:12:54 PDT 2005
Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 8, Number 22, May 29, 2005:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2005, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Among our recent subscribers are Gregg Moore, president of
the Conder Token Collector's Club, and Kerry Rodgers of New
Zealand. Welcome aboard! We now have 755 subscribers.
KOLBE NUMISMATIC BOOKSELLER NO. 47
"George Frederick Kolbe has just issued No. 47 of THE
NUMISMATIC BOOKSELLER. "250 Key Works on
Numismatics & Related Topics" are offered for sale at fixed
topics. Featured are important selections from the numismatic
library formed by longtime Curators of Numismatics at the
Smithsonian Institution, Vladimir and Elvira Clain-Stefanelli.
Works offered cover a wide range of numismatic topics and
include: antiquarian numismatic titles including a rare 1592 first
Italian edition of Antonio Agostini's celebrated study of ancient
coins; the Clain-Stefanellis' set of Babelon's "Traité des Monnaies
Grecques et Romaines"; their set of Eckhel's "Doctrina Numorum
Veterum"; a very fine set of Habich & Bernhart's "Archiv für
Medaillen- und Plaketten-Kunde"; a lovely example of Hirsch's
landmark 1760 numismatic bibliography; a complete twenty
volume set of the Trésor de Numismatique; a fine set of the
French edition of van Loon's classic work on Dutch and
European medals; the original edition of Neumann's classic
work on copper coins of the world, from the library of J. W.
Scott; a complete set in vellum of Köhler's "Munz-Belustigung
from the Clain-Stefanelli library; their near new, original set of
Corpus Nummorum Italicorum"; and many other rare and
An order from the price list will entitle purchasers to receive
25% off for a limited time on various George Frederick Kolbe
publications, including the Dekesel bibliographies, works by
Babelon and Bassoli, et al.
Copies of the price list are available to E-Sylum readers
on request while supplies last."
[This is a second chance for readers to order a copy of
the 25th Anniversary issue of The Asylum. At over 200
pages, it's still a bargain at $35 postpaid, and is eligible
for the 25% discount with a purchase from the list.
George's email address and web site are GFK at numislit.com
and http://www.numislit.com. -Editor]
COLONIAL COLLECTORS VISIT ANS
In the May 26, 2005 Colonial Numismatics email list,
Ray Williams reported on a day trip to the American
Numismatic Society with a group of fellow colonial
coinage enthusiasts. He writes:
"For much less than the parking fee in NY (about $20), I
took a train from Trenton to Newark, then took the PATH
train to the World Trade Center station. When you exit the
station, the ANS is only a four block walk down Fulton Street,
and as a bonus, there's a Dunkin Donuts in between!!! It was
so easy to get to!
Roger Moore took the train ride with me. Once there, we
met with Dave Wnuck and Neil Rothschild. Roger Siboni
was a few minutes behind us. After coffee and some good
conversation with Don Partrick, Robert Hoge and Ute
Wartenberg Kagan, we were brought to the collections room,
where we were introduced to Lauren Jacobi, who is on an
intern program and assisted us with viewing trays of colonials.
I only made it half way through the first NJ Copper tray! I
also saw a tray of contemporary counterfeit coppers and
some CT Coppers. The counterfeits were very impressive,
but I think that I liked this Geo III Irish halfpenny that was
struck over a double-struck British halfpenny which had it's
second strike 50% off center. Did I say that all correctly?
I almost (not quite) didn't want to break for lunch.
While moving from room to room, we would see Juliette
running here and there. I don't know exactly what her job
title is, but it looks to me that she (and many of the staff)
does a little of everything. After lunch, we took a trip to
the storage area where we saw the file cabinets full of
photographic images - the same ones that were mistakenly
reported as having been thrown out a few weeks ago...
There were many cool pictures in there and they are not
all strictly numismatic.
Then we took the elevator to the library floor where we
took time to view some of the colonial literature. I was
reading Hall's Manuscript on CT Coppers and then just
looked through the titles on the shelves. What a collection!
Then we were taken by Frank Campbell (Librarian) to the
Rare Book Room, where we saw many manuscripts, old
catalogs seldom seen books. I look forward to the day
when I can retire and spend more time here.
It was a tiring day seeing so much material - information
overload I guess! I always knew that the ANS people
were helpful and friendly, but I never knew how easy it
was to get there by mass transit (cheap too). As accessible
as the ANS is, I'll be there much more often and hopefully
write a few more articles. Thanks to Roger and all the
ANS people for the tour today. I had a blast! I highly
recommend a visit to the ANS. You can check their
web site at http://www.amnumsoc.org/"
In a followup note for The E-Sylum, Ray writes:
"We did have a good time at ANS. I saw notebooks from
Norweb, Garrett and others that I would never dream I'd
be able to see. Everyone knows about Dickeson's classic
work on American Coinage, but sitting right next to it on a
shelf was a hand written work by Dickeson! For being a
doctor, his handwriting was remarkably legible!!! I'm sure
there are documents there that researchers are unaware of
and must look through the indexes and shelves to find these
treasures. I was like a little child in a candy shop!
The files of photographic negatives are huge! There are
thousands and thousands of them! All of us opened drawers
and removed the envelopes and looked at the negatives,
holding them up to the light. There were negatives (and some
prints too) of coins, medals, pictures of Indians and other
people. I am absolutely convinced that nothing happened
to these negatives. If any are missing, it would be due to
criminal theft over the past century, not to any mishandling
or reckless disposal."
KELLEY ERROR CORRECTED
Regarding his request for information on a book publisher
last week, Dave Ginsburg writes: "Thanks for publishing my
submission. I have to apologize for an error, though: the
correct name of the publisher I inquired about is "Augustus
M. Kelley" not August M. Kelly, as I wrote."
E-SYLUM SCORES HASELTINE PHOTO
Bill Malkmus writes: "A while ago I got an email from a
researcher trying to locate a photo of Haseltine. (He found
me through a Google search, which picked up a previous
relevant inquiry of mine in the E-Sylum.) I suggested he send
a request to you, which appeared April 17.
On seeing nothing on the pages of the E-Sylum for several
weeks, I emailed him (hoping I hadn't oversold the E-Sylum),
and asked if he'd heard anything off-line. He wrote back
immediately, saying that he'd gotten just what he wanted,
courtesy of David Fanning and Jane Colvard (ANA Library)!
Chalk up another win!"
NEW HAMPSHIRE PAPER RESEARCHERS INTERVIEWED
David Bowers and David Sundman, who are researching for a
new book on New Hampshire obsolete currency, were interviewed
in an article in the Concord Monitor May 22:
"... the hype that comes with every currency change these days
(colored twenties!) would be laughable to our New Hampshire
During colonial times they were accustomed to new, locally-
produced paper currency every few years - and knew the notes
were practically worthless outside New Hampshire's borders.
Then, through most of the 19th century they had their pick of
dozens of different New Hampshire bank notes, with different
bank logos (and different values) from places like the Amonoosuc
Bank of Bath or the Pemigewasset Bank of Plymouth.
A pair of New Hampshire coin collectors are working on a
book about New Hampshire currency, stretching from the
state's first paper bank note in 1709 until the federal government
finally standardized U.S. dollars in 1935, wiping the signature
of local banks like the Mechanicks National Bank of Concord
from the bills. They say interest in collecting paper money is a
relatively recent phenomenon too - collectors, like early
currency users, have not always known what to make of it."
"... private banks issued their own paper money, complete
with their own logos and insignia. A $50 bill from the
Somersworth Bank, for example, features an industrial scene.
"It was branding, too, a little bit," Bowers said. "They tried
to make the currency attractive, an artistic note was nice to
have. As engraving became more perfected, notes became
more beautiful. They had goddesses on them and sea
serpents and chariots."
The value of the notes, however, varied widely. And although
New Hampshire was fairly scandal-free, there was not much
to ensure that private banks actually had the money they said t
hey did (Michigan's private banking system, for one, was a
scandal-ridden mess). And the notes were still pretty
worthless if you wanted to travel far out of town.
"You had this wild collage of notes circulating, thousands of
different notes," Sundman said. "It was a wild and woolly time."
To read the full article, see:
Robert J. Galiette of Essex, Connecticut writes: "I regularly
appreciate your weekly efforts to alert us to new publications
and articles, and Fred Lake's advice to me a number of years
ago to get on the mailing list for the E-Sylum. For example,
without your helpful alert in the 5/15/05 E-Sylum about the
article in the June 2005 issue of Coinage magazine, I'm certain
that I'd have missed the informative article about Alexandre
Without Vattemare's specimen documents from the 1840's,
the cataloging and research that Gene Hessler did over twenty
years ago for the original Robson Lowe /Christie's auction of
them and his subsequent publication of An Illustrated History
of U.S. Loans, and the examples of early U.S. bonds and notes
that traced their origins to the Vattemare collection when Stack's
auctioned Part VI of John J. Ford, Jr.'s collection last October,
there'd be no illustrations or information concerning important
early decades related to the financing of U.S. debt. Even the
Federal Government has no examples from the post-Jacksonian
period of the 1840's of a number of the early U.S. bonds that
represent the roots of today's National Debt. Many of
Vattemare's specimens are unique survivors.
Documents from the original Vattemare collection were sold
by Robson Lowe / Christie's on April 1, 1982 (Part I) and on
September 17, 1982 (Part II) as smaller segments to the firm's
stamp auctions on these dates. Both sales therefore were
outside the mainstream of numismatic and currency auctions,
and this literature accordingly is difficult to locate. Even the
ANA Library recently reported having only one of these two
catalogs. Does anyone know of a source for them? I'd
appreciate any related advice."
MARINE CORPS SILVER DOLLAR STRUCK
On May 26, 2005, the American Forces Press Service reported:
"The U.S. Mint at Philadelphia celebrated National Military
Appreciation Month May 25 with the ceremonial strike of a new
commemorative coin, the 2005 Marine Corps 230th Anniversary
Current and former Marines cheered as Director Henrietta
Holsman Fore and other dignitaries struck the coins in the Proof
Room where the silver dollar will be produced. The official launch
of the Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar will be at
Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on July 20, U.S. Mint officials
This is the first time the United States has honored a branch of
the military with a commemorative coin, according to information
provided by the Mint."
The obverse, or "heads" side, design of the coin features the
raising of the American flag at Iwo Jima from the famous photograph
by Joe Rosenthal during World War II. On the reverse, "tails" side,
is the Marine Corps eagle, globe and anchor emblem and motto,
"Semper Fidelis" - Latin for "always faithful."
"The coin design is simple and heroic," Fore commented at the
ceremony. "The Iwo Jima image is the storied symbol of the Marine
Corps heroism, courage, strength and versatility. It exemplifies
Semper Fidelis to an appreciative nation every day around the world."
To read the full article, see:
THE CREATION OF GOLD
Writing from Lanka regarding Dick Johnson's post of a web
article about the creation of gold, astronomer Kavan Ratnatunga
writes: "Gold has to have been created BEFORE our solar
system since any natural event energetic enough to create gold
such as a Neutron star collision mentioned in that article would
destroy the Solar System which was formed in the debris field
of an older event which would have created some of our gold."
PAPER MONEY QUERIES:
MALAYSIA & ITALIAN P.O.W. NOTES
Paul Neumann writes: "I wonder if anyone could help me -
I am doing some research on paper money issued in the
Nissan Estate in Malaya nr. Tarakan Malaysia. This note
is not illustrated in the Tan catalogue used in Malaysia.
Also research into Italian POW camps of WWI: I have
a small group of which only one value of a set of three is
mentioned in Campbell's book.
If you could direct me to anyone who is a specialist or
would know more about this material I would be most
obliged. Kind regards!"
STILL MORE ON OHIO'S "COINGATE"
The Toledo Blade seems relentless in its coverage of Ohio's
rare coin investment, publishing an article May 23 highlighting
the key dealer's absence from a coin show:
"Tom Noe was a no-show at a large coin show in Columbus
this weekend, but that did not squash the buzz surrounding the
state's controversial $50 million rare-coin venture with the
Maumee coin dealer.
Mr. Noe was scheduled to give a speech about the state
quarter program on Saturday morning, but organizers of the
Ohio State Numismatic Association Coin Show said he
canceled a few days ago.
The three-day show at the Franklin County Veterans Memorial,
which ended yesterday, included more than 100 dealers
from Ohio and as far away as Texas, California, and Illinois.
The Blade first reported April 3 that Mr. Noe - the central
figure in the scandal dubbed "Coingate" by Ohio Democrats -
had received two installments of $25 million since 1998
from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation to invest
in rare coins for the state."
[I hadn't picked up on the "Coingate" term before, an allusion
to President Nixon's "Watergate" scandal of the 1970s. It
will be interesting to see in the end just how well the coin
fund fared compared to the state's other investments in the
same period. -Editor]
To read the article, see:
On Friday, May 27 the paper reported that "Federal and state
authorities are pursuing criminal and civil charges against Tom
Noe for allegedly misappropriating $10 million to $12 million
from the state’s rare-coin investment."
"Asked where the state’s money went, Mr. O’Brien replied:
“I don’t know the answers to that question. The search warrant
might partly answer that.”
He referred to the search warrant executed yesterday afternoon
at Mr. Noe’s Vintage Coins & Collectibles, his Monclova
As many as 10 fraud investigators pored over evidence at
Mr. Noe’s office as Ohio Highway Patrol troopers stood
A technician photographed all the evidence inside the
headquarters before it was brought outside and put into a
state van backed up to the office warehouse. Late into the
night, state inspectors loaded numerous boxes and at least
eight desktop computers and a laptop into the van.
Inspectors confiscated more than coins in their sweep
yesterday. One investigator said they found that Mr. Noe
had purchased other collectibles with the state’s money,
including a Christmas card signed by former First Lady
Jacqueline Onassis and a document signed by Thomas
To read the complete article, see:
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY PATTERN INFO
In last week's issue, David Cassel asked about patterns
made as a result of the International Monetary Conference
of 1867 (in response to an earlier submission by Jan Moens).
Angelo Cilia writes: "Italy was well known for pattern or
provas as they are called and the mint produces them to this
day. The book on them is Pagani's Prova an Progetti which
has provas from about 1750 till 1961."
[David's question was very specific, and we have not
gotten any other responses. If anyone is in touch with Jan
Moens, David would like to correspond with him. -Editor]
WHAT TO DO IN RETIREMENT?
THIS AUSTRALIAN BECAME A COIN DEALER
Dick Johnson writes: "When a coin-collecting government
worker in Brisbane, Queensland retired his wife recommended
he become a mail order dealer in coins. Aided by eBay the
76-year-old did just that. At the time of this article, May 25, 2005,
he had 103 coins listed on the Internet.
Ken Leitch sells about 85 per cent of what he offers. His Internet
name is "ehcnumis." His best sale to date: $20,000 Australian for
a rare silver token.
The article contains Australian idioms "penny drop" and "silver surfer"
– click on this if you can read Australian:
[Can anyone fill us in on just what the terms "penny drop" and
"silver surfer" mean? -Editor]
DENVER MINT TOUR ARTICLE
The Daily Times-Call of Longmont, Colorado published
an article on May 27, 2005 about touring the U.S. Mint
"At the U.S. Mint in Denver — one of two facilities that
manufacture U.S. coins (the Philadelphia Mint is the other)
— 25 percent of the nation’s gold bullion is stored. Eighty
presses, many of which are in the process of being upgraded,
work to convert blank coins into official U.S. currency.
“While all you kids are asleep at night, we’re busy making
shiny coins,” says Dick Igez, a tour guide for the Denver Mint.
The Denver Mint tours — temporarily closed off to the
public following the events of Sept. 11, 2001 — are significantly
different than they were four years ago"
"Whereas the Mint once offered tours about every 15 minutes,
tour guides now lead groups of 45 at most on a 35-to-40-minute
tour (each of which starts on the hour), jam-packed with
historical and procedural information.
With the overwhelming amount of visual and auditory data,
you might find yourself rushed.
Antique equipment used in the early days of the Denver
Mint’s run are in display cases across the tour area. But
with other distractions — windows showing the coin-making
process and the guide’s boundless and intriguing monologue
— it’s difficult to take in everything there is to enjoy in the
limited amount of time."
"In 2003, the Mint hosted about 11,000 tourists, and in 2004,
that number doubled. This year, Hernandez says the Mint has
provided tours to about 48 percent more people than it did
last year at this time."
FEATURED WEB SITE
This week's featured web site is The Southern Gold Society.
"The Southern Gold Society was formed to increase the
enjoyment and study of Southern gold coins and related history,
through an informal, relaxed mix of education and fellowship.
The society is reminiscent of those of a bygone era, in which
connoisseurship and a gentlemanly appreciation of Southern
gold coins is the order of the day."
The group's interests encompass coinage of the Southern
branch mints (Dahlonega, Charlotte, and New Orleans) and
private Southern minters (Templeton Reid and the Bechtlers)."
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a
non-profit organization promoting numismatic
literature. For more information please see
our web site at http://www.coinbooks.org/.
There is a membership application available on
the web site at this address:
To join, print the application and return it with
your check to the address printed on the application.
Membership is only $15 to addresses in North America,
$20 elsewhere. For those without web access,
David M. Sundman, Secretary/Treasurer
Numismatic Bibliomania Society, P. O. Box 82
Littleton, NH 03561
For Asylum mailing address changes and other
membership questions, contact David at this email
address: dsundman at LittletonCoin.com
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