The E-Sylum v9#27, July 2, 2006

esylum at esylum at
Sun Jul 2 20:29:36 PDT 2006

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 9, Number 27, July 2, 2006:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2006, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers are Dave Brickard and Jim Urbaniak.
Welcome aboard!  We now have 933 subscribers.

Our West Coast readers who await their weekly E-Sylum issue each 
Sunday evening had to wait til morning last week.  No technical 
difficulties this time, but due to circumstances I was unable to 
publish the issue until the wee hours of Monday morning.  As a 
result, a number of submissions that arrived over the weekend 
didn't make the cut for last week's issue, including a number 
from our most prolific contributor.

Dick Johnson writes: "Last week's issue marks a milestone. It is 
the first issue in a year and a half I did not have at least one 
article in The E-Sylum (not since January 2, 2005).  I am currently 
in the 400s -- number of my articles you have published in E-Sylum 
-- and am looking forward to my 500th submission, perhaps later 
this year."

Sorry!  This week's extra-long issue puts us back on track, covering 
(as usual) a wide range of numismatic topics from across the spectrum.  
We lead off with some very happy news about a recent classic work 
on numismatic literature, followed by information on a number of new 
works on numismatics.  Also recently in the news, Superior Galleries' 
Specialty Coin Reference Library is now open to the public.

These items are followed by some recent news events in numismatics, 
including a new entry for the "Things that are no longer there" but 
pictured on recent coins or banknotes.  In the minting technology 
category we have the announcement of an interesting new coin employing 
a photographic holography device. 

The Chinese food gods must know I'm a bibliophile. From a recent 
fortune cookie: "You have at your command the wisdom of the ages."  
With folks like Dick Johnson and all of you out there as subscribers 
and contributors, that statement is also true when applied to our 
little newsletter.   You just never know what interesting topics are 
going to pop up, and this week is no exception.

For example, we learn of a Time magazine review of "Corpus Nummorum
Italicorum" and that a design honoring the Pork Chop John sandwich 
was proposed for a circulating U.S. coin.  I kid you not ... and to 
learn just how many vowels there are in the state motto of Hawaii, 
read on...  Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


Thanks to Larry Mitchell to alerting us to the following announcement 
from the Antiquarian Booksellers Association.  Larry writes: 
"The 2006 winner of the ILAB [International League of Antiquarian 
Booksellers] Prize for Bibliography [was] announced at the ABA 
[Antiquarian Booksellers Association] Centenary Ball on 10 June 
[2006] at the Royal Geographical Society in London."

In a first for this prestigious international prize, TWO co-winners 
were announced:

Christian Dekesel's 3-volume BIBLIOTHECA NUMMARIA II:
by George Frederick Kolbe


Arthur & Janet Ing Freeman's 2-volume JOHN PAYNE
published in 2003 by Yale University Press as Vol. 9 in its 
Elizabethan Club Series 

The ILAB Prize for Bibliography "is the world’s richest prize 
for bibliography, worth $10,000, and is awarded every four years 
for the most original and significant book about other books 
published anywhere in the world. 

...The ILAB Prize was established over half a century ago. Its 
aim is to draw attention to the best academic work being done in 
the field, to honour it in appropriate terms, and to endorse the 
trade’s support for the original scholarship on which it so much 
depends. Over the years it has been awarded for great works of 
original scholarship that have become recognised as indispensable 
reference books found in any research library and indeed on 
antiquarian booksellers’ own reference shelves."

[The following is from the Official ILAB press release. -Editor]

"’A Bibliography of 17th century Numismatic Books’ by Christian 
Dekesel, published by Spink (as you might expect) in London, though 
Dr Dekesel is of course a Belgian scholar. It is monumental and 
meticulous. The judges were impressed by its erudition - and also 
I suspect by its weight. This is just Vol I of 3 - and I won’t need 
to explain why the others are not here. But this heavyweight is an 
intellectual heavyweight. The author, assisted by Mme Dekesel, has 
not just examined every book but every copy of every book he has 
located in over 300 libraries and collections. Each entry has all 
the data and detail you could possibly want, with a facsimile of 
the title thrown in. And remember, numismatic writing occurs in 
history, travel, economics and portrait books, and much else too. 
This book follows the Dekesel volume on 16th century numismatics 
and will itself be followed by 18th century volumes, already well 
advanced. The whole will comprise the Dekesel Bibliotheca Nummaria, 
covering three centuries, a magnificent achievement."

To read the complete press release, see: 

George Kolbe writes: "Christian Dekesel is extremely pleased, 
as well he should be. It is a signal honor. Co-publisher Douglas 
Saville of Spink and I are pleased as well that the outstanding 
merit of Dekesel's monumental work has been acknowledged in the 
wider world of books by the premier organization of international 
antiquarian booksellers."


John Adams writes: "George Fuld was kind enough to mention my 
book favorably two issues ago. Those interested can purchase 
copies as below.   

"Medals Concerning John Law and the Mississippi System" by 
ANS Trustee John Adams is now available for purchase from the 
David Brown Book Company at:


Jon Lusk writes: "I've just OK'd the final draft of the new 
1793-1794 Large Cent book and it should be printed, bound, and 
ready for shipment by the first part of August. It turned out 
quite nice in full color. The printer upped the normal image 
resolution and it helped when looking at the pictures under a 
three-power glass. 416 pages was a lot of material to go through, 
but (as all publishers hope for) all errors have been caught."

Jon forwarded the ad for the book from the latest issue of EAC's 
Penny-Wise.  "United States Large Cents 1793-1794" by William C. 
Noyes is in 8.5 x 11" hardbound format.  

The price after July 1, 2006 is $195 plus $10 mailing
Pre-order by July 1 and save $35 ($25 on the price and $10 postage)

Send your check for $170 to: Jon Lusk, 1111 W. Clark Rd., 
Ypsilanti, MI 48198.  Inquiries to Jon at (734-484-4347)

For special half-leather bound copies
Charles Davis – Numislit at


According to a press release issued by the ANA June 30, 
"Commemorative copies of the 2007 edition of Whitman Publishing's 
A Guide Book of United States Coins (the "Red Book") are available 
for $50 from the American Numismatic Association Money Market. 
Each of the 500 copies has the ANA logo on the cover and a special 
individually numbered bookplate inside. 

"Red Book" editor Kenneth E. Bressett will autograph copies 
during Membership Appreciation Day at ANA headquarters in Colorado 
Springs on Sunday, August 20, following the World's Fair of Money® 
in Denver, August 16-19.

Books can be purchased online at (click on "Shop 
at MoneyMarket"), at the ANA booth in Denver or at the ANA Money 
Museum store in Colorado Springs. The lowered numbered copies 
are reserved for purchase by members who attend Membership 
Appreciation Day."

Chris Chapel of Whitman Publishing writes: "Whitman Publishing, LLC 
is proud to announce the impending release of the long-awaited latest 
edition of one of America's most popular and frequently used coin 
books: The Cherrypickers' Guide to Rare Die Varieties-Fourth Edition, 
Volume Two. This volume covers all United States series from silver 
half dimes through silver and modern dollars, all gold denominations, 
and classic commemoratives.
This is the result of many years of cumulative research and finessing 
by the lead authors, Bill Fivaz and J.T. Stanton, in cooperation with 
many collectors, scholars, dealers, and others in the numismatic 
community. The book presents information unavailable in any other 
single source.
By means of the Cherrypickers' Guide the reader will be able to 
view "ordinary" coins, including those in modern series, and 
identify varieties with characteristics that make them rare and 
valuable. There are hundreds of instances in which an everyday 
Franklin half dollar, Washington quarter, Mercury or Roosevelt 
dime, Morgan silver dollar, gold dollar, commemorative, or other 
coin can multiply many times in value if it is of an interesting 
variety. Examples include repunched dates, doubled lettering, 
and other oddities typically distinguished under a low-power 
magnifying glass.
Fivaz and Stanton give tips as to the first places to quickly 
look on a coin for identification, plus a guide to rarity, and 
market values in several levels. Accompanying each coin is a 
narrative relating to the significance of the variety.
"New to this edition is a revised numbering system to simplify the 
complex system in use earlier. The new system uses digits denoting 
the denomination, the date, the mintmark (if applicable), then a 
three or four digit number, the last in a logical series. The system 
is easy to use. A complete cross reference is given with the old 
system, enabling collectors and dealers to bring their listings up 
to date."


"Coins in India : Power and Communication" is a new 116-page book 
edited by Himanshu Prabha Ray. From the publisher's press release: 
"This volume focuses on the socio-cultural connotations of coinage 
in terms of power, authority, and rule legitimization, placing 
numismatic studies in the context of cultural history. 

Coins function as money, because the users share cultural parameters 
regarding their value and acceptability. These cultural values form 
a continuum and are reflected in adhering to traditional designs in 
the old and new denominations, while at the same time introducing 
changes and modifications. It is this continuum that marks India’s 
coinage tradition of over 2,500 years, with inputs from Greek and 
Islamic coinage systems. An important facet of the aesthetic of 
Islamic kingship, for example, is evident from the silver coinage 
of the Bengal Sultanate, which combined intricate interdependence 
of religious expression, personal aggrandizement, and rule legitimacy. 

Coins provide insights into political power and authority, while 
archaeological excavations, hoards, and stupa deposits provide 
contexts that place coin-finds within a larger cultural milieu. 
The contributors to this volume discuss this tradition from several 
disciplinary perspectives such as history, archaeology, economics, 
and numismatic studies."

For more information: 
E-mail - indiana at 
Website -


Taken from a June 28 press release from the Central Bank of 
Seychelles: "Entitled The History of Paper Currency in the 
Seychelles, the 53-page booklet, in full colour, should prove 
useful to not only the bank note collector but also for educational 
purposes, as it includes a section which describes the flora & 
fauna appearing on the most recent paper currencies of the islands.

The booklet's publication coincides with the 30th Anniversary of 
Seychelles Independence, to be celebrated Thursday June 29."

"The booklet costs R160 a copy and is available at the Central 

To read the complete release, see: 


According to an article in the June 27 Numismatic News (p34), 
"Superior Galleries' Specialty Coin Reference Library is now open 
to the public by appointment.  The library, adjacent to Superior's 
Beverly Hills, Calif., showroom, features hundreds of numismatic 
reference works, including limited-edition and hard-to-find volumes 
amassed throughout Superior's 70-year history."   

[For more information, contact Gretchen Lueck at (310) 203-9855, 
x200.  Are any of our readers familiar with Superior's library?  
Can anyone tell us about its history and contents?  For that matter, 
the history of coin company libraries would make a great topic for 
an article in The Asylum, our print journal.  Anyone care to tackle 
the topic?  -Editor]


Add one more thing to the list of landmarks pictured on recent 
numismatic items that isn't there anymore - like New Hampshire's 
Old Man of the Mountain (depicted on that state's quarter), a 
tree at the White House, pictured on the reverse of the U.S. 
twenty dollar bill, is now gone.  The tree fell near the front 
door on the Pennsylvania Avenue side.  No one was injured.  The 
storms and related flooding also threatened the National Archives.  

According to news reports on Monday, June 26, "A tree that has 
stood in front of the White House came down during heavy storms 
last night. The large American Elm was not planted by a president 
or first lady but it shares a piece of history in any case.

The NBC White House Bureau reports that the tree is featured 
prominently on back of the $20 bill. It can be found in the far 
right corner of the image on the back of a $20 bill. The tree is 
believed to date back 140 years to the Andrew Johnson White House....  
There is no word as to whether the image on the back of the $20 bill 
will be changed."

To read the complete article, see: 

[On Thursday the Washington Post had a more detailed (and 
numismatically accurate) story. -Editor]

"The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which produces the nation's 
currency, couldn't say for sure whether the late tree was the same 
one immortalized on the $20. The White House shown on the bill was 
an artistic composite based on photos of the building, said Claudia 
Dickens, a bureau spokeswoman.

The note's designer, the now-retired V. Jack Ruther, isn't exactly 
sure himself. The photos he worked from to produce the bill's 1998 
redesign were taken over many decades and he no longer has them, he 
said. As a general matter, the engraving isn't photo-realistic. The 
grand fountain in front of the White House, for example, was removed 
from his final model ("I thought it was cool but someone in charge 
didn't"), and such distracting features as the security huts on the 
roof were never included.

That raises a philosophical question: If a tree falls at the White 
House and it's not the one on the $20 bill, would the news media 
still do stories about it?"

"As for the remains of the fallen, no calls for souvenirs or raw 
material for dining room tables, please. The Park Service isn't 
selling. It plans to mulch the remains and spread them around the 

To read the complete article, see: 

The National Geographic magazine put together a nice side-by-side 
graphic showing the fallen tree and the corresponding image on the 
$20 note: 

According to other reports, "Flooding from a weekend of heavy rain 
shut down major federal buildings Monday, and created a nightmare 
for commuters with washed-out roads, mud blocking the Capital Beltway 
and delays on the area's rail lines."

"The National Archives was closed and will remain closed Tuesday, 
although official said its holdings were not at risk. Conservation 
staff inspected the Rotunda and stack areas and found no damage to 
original records, according to a news release. 

The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are safe and 
undamaged, spokeswoman Susan Cooper told Arenstein but the basement 
and theater in the building are flooded, and a power outage at the 
building has affected the process used to keep the temperature and 
humidity of the documents at the proper settings."

To read the complete article, see:


"Honest Abe is going to be more colorful after all. The government 
said Wednesday it had reversed course and decided to redesign the 
$5 bill with a splash of color to keep counterfeiters at bay.

Originally, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing had planned to 
exempt the $5 bill and Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, from 
the design makeovers introduced over the past three years for the 
$50, $20 and $10 bills.

But officials said they changed their minds in part so they could 
respond to a new scam in which counterfeiters are bleaching the ink 
off $5 notes and then printing counterfeit $100 bills on the bleached 

"We have to stay ahead of any threats we see evolving," the director 
of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Larry Felix, said in an 
interview with The Associated Press."

"Felix said Lincoln's portrait will remain on the $5 bill, as will 
the Lincoln Memorial on the other side, but the presentations of both 
images may be updated slightly.

Under the timetable, the bureau will settle on a new design for the 
$5 bill by the fall of 2007 and hope to begin introducing the new 
notes in the first quarter of 2008."

To read the complete Associated Press article, see:

To read the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's June 29 press release, see: 


According to a Reuters report Thursday, "U.S. government officials 
are bracing for a possible greater need for paper currency and coins 
in the event of an influenza pandemic in the United States, a 
Treasury Department official said on Thursday.

"In the immediate aftermath of any disaster, there may be some 
movement toward a greater use of currency," said Treasury Deputy 
Assistant Secretary Scott Parsons. He was testifying before a House 
of Representatives financial services panel.

The U.S. Mint, Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the Federal 
Reserve are collaborating to ensure that banknote and coin inventories 
would be adequate if financial institutions need extra supplies, 
Parsons said."

To read the complete article, see: 

Dick Johnson writes: "In addition to four different Lincoln cent 
reverses for 2009 -- the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth 
and the centennial of the Lincoln cent -- Americans may have a 
Lincoln commemorative dollar coin if a Senate bill is turned into law.
On Thursday this week (June 29, 2006) the U.S. Senate passed a law 
providing for the U.S. Mint to issue a commemorative dollar coin 
in the year 2009. This law was offered by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., 
who is a co-chair of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. 
The bill was co-sponsored by 71 other Senators. 
A similar version needs to be passed by the House. Rep. Ray LaHood, 
R-Peoria, also co-chair of the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, 
has proposed such legislation that is pending in the House.  
Once it is signed by the president this law would authorize the 
Mint to create the new coin design.  The design would be selected 
by the treasury secretary after consultation with the Commission 
of Fine Arts and the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. 
The sale of the commemorative coin will help fund the bicentennial 
celebration and the continued study of Lincoln's life. The 
commission hopes the coin sale will generate as much as $3 million, 
which is considered critical for its celebration plans. 
Issuance of this commemorative dollar coin with the typical 
surcharge should raise the necessary revenue for the celebration; 
but sales of a minimum of 100,000 coins would be required to meet 
the $3 million goal. If such is the case no surcharge should be 
necessary for the four 2009 special reverse Lincoln cents. They 
should be issued for circulation at face value. 
Here is the news story from the Lincoln Courier in Lincoln, 
Illinois, which has an obvious interest in the outcome of this 
legislation: "


David Menchell writes: "Here's some more coin-related material 
from the popular press."

"Congress has authorized the U.S. Mint to produce a silver dollar 
commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille, 
the creator of the Braille alphabet for the blind.

The legislation, which passed the Senate on Thursday after receiving 
approval in the House in February, authorizes the Mint to issue up 
to 400,000 silver-dollar commemorative coins in 2009. Braille was 
born in France in 1809.

The coins will feature Louis Braille's image and the first Braille 
symbol ever minted by the U.S. Treasury, raised dots that will spell 
out "Brl," the contraction for Braille."

To read the complete article, see: 

[That part about "first Braille symbol" isn't true.  Quick quiz: 
which other U.S. coin includes Braille lettering as part of the 
design?  -Editor]


According to a press release issued Thursday June 29, the Royal 
Canadian Mint has produced a very unusual commemorative coin 
incorporating holograms to honor the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, 
"one of the world's premier aerial demonstration teams and a 
cherished Canadian icon..."

"Produced by the, the 99.99% pure silver five-dollar coin echoes 
the designs of the two Snowbirds stamps. The images are superimposed 
on the coin using an innovative photographic holography technique, 
thus creating a double-hologram of breathtaking beauty. Tilting the 
coin whichever way reveals either the pilot or the aircraft in 

To read the complete press release, see: 

[If anyone has a chance to view of these new coins in person, 
please tell us your thoughts.  I'm curious to see one myself.  
Have there been other coins with holographic images?  -Editor]


Steve Pellegrini writes: "Thanks for getting me in touch with 
John Adams. As things turned out he'd like to consider including 
my Goetz auction review (much revised) in an upcoming issue of 
'The MCA Advisory', the organizational newsletter for our medal 
collectors club. Have we ever enlightened the 'E-Sylum' readership 
by writing outright about MCA?"

We have mentioned MCA, but I asked Barry Tayman for more 
information. Barry writes: "The Medal Collectors of America (MCA) 
was founded in August 1998 at the ANA in Portland, Oregon, to 
serve collectors of world, U.S., art, and historical medals.  

Collectors with an interest in medals are urged to look at our 
web site, which not only contains helpful guides 
and checklists, but some stunning photography as well.  The MCA 
publishes a monthly newsletter, The MCA Advisory, that is sent to 
all members.  

The latest issue contained articles on the recent sale of Part XIV 
of the John J. Ford Collection, by John W. Adams, Christopher Eimer, 
John Kraljevich, and Allen V. Weinberg, as well as an article 
illustrated with color plates on The Astronaut Medals by Frederick 
G. Withington. 

Dues are $20 per year, of $35 for two years.  An application form 
can be found on our web site.  Payment should be sent to Barry Tayman 
whose address is on the web site.  He can also be contacted by 
e-mail at btayman at

Our annual meeting is scheduled for August 17, 2006, at the Denver 
ANA @ 3:00 p.m. in Room 706.  We look forward to seeing you at the 


NBS President Pete Smith writes: "I probably have 1,000 auction 
catalogs that have no value for my research. I have decided that 
I would rather have the space than the catalogs. How can I pass 
these on to someone who will appreciate them?

The numismatic literature dealers don’t want them. I see catalogs 
on E-Bay offered at $.99 each with $3.95 for shipping. I don’t see 
anyone being successful selling catalogs at those prices. Just the 
cost of shipping 1000 catalogs somewhere would be quite an expense.

I don’t want to throw catalogs in the dumpster but I haven’t figured 
out an alternative that makes economic sense. What do E-Sylum readers 
have for suggestions?"


Dave Lange writes: "For my ongoing research into coin boards and 
their manufacturers, I'm attempting to obtain photographs of the 
sites associated with them.  There are two addresses in Portland, 
Oregon for which I'd like to get digital photographs. Despite working 
15-20 coin shows annually for NGC, my travel over the next year or 
so won't take me to Portland. If a reader of the E-Sylum lives in 
the Portland area and would be willing to shoot and email me some 
digital photos, please contact me at Dlange at"


According to a report in The Scotsman Friday, "A 14th-century 
gold coin found in a field in southern England by a man with a 
metal detector fetched £460,000 at auction yesterday - a world 
record price for any British coin. 

The Edward III "double leopard" - worth six shillings when struck 
in 1344 - was bought at Spink's in London for the Isle of Man coin 
fund Avarae Global Coins." 

"The price eclipsed the previous world auction record, established 
in 2004 for Britain's first gold penny, struck for King Coenwulf 
of Mercia (796-821). That fetched £230, 000." 

The coin, depicting the king and two leopards, was only issued 
for a few months and is so rare that only two others are known - 
found together by schoolchildren on the River Tyne in 1857."

To read the completer article, see:  

Arthur Shippee forwarded a link to another article on the topic, 
this one from the BBC.  It includes an image of the coin. 


Late last Wednesday evening, the night my Encased Postage Stamp 
and counterstamp collections were auctioned by American Numismatic 
Rarities, Dave Bowers wrote: "Rumor has it that a few minutes ago 
an anonymous bidder from New Hampshire sparred on the telephone 
with a couple of other bidders and carried off the Homren 
specimen of the Sands’ Ale EP for an all-time record price of 
$16,000 plus the buyers’ fee."  

Dave was teasing, of course - he was the "anonymous" bidder, and 
I'm really tickled pink that it found such a good home.  This will 
be a marquee piece in years to come.  I bought it from Dr. Wally Lee, 
but I can't trace the pedigree back farther than that.  He sent me 
TWO to choose from.  I've always wondered where the one I passed on
ended up.  Anyone know?

Post-sale publicity from ANR pictured the Sands piece and noted 
"Exonumia was well represented in this event and also showed strength 
in the prices realized. An extremely rare Hero of Freedom Medal in 
silver graded AU brought $11,500. The rare Sands’ Ale five cent 
encased postage stamp astounded the auction gallery as it was bid 
to $18,400!"

Dave wasn't the only ANR staffer who couldn't resist bidding.  
John Kraljevich writes: "I bought one of your lots (the JA 
counterstamped Connecticut for $440) and am pleased as punch 
with it."


Regular E-Sylum contributor Howard A. Daniel III is back in Viet Nam 
for a visit. He writes: "I will be gone a month and will return in 
time to drive to the ANA in Denver, where I will man a club table 
for NBS and several other organizations.  While in Viet Nam, I will 
spend most of my time in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).  

I already have two lists of books to search for, three lists of MPC, 
and one list for the new polymer 10,000 Dong note that is supposed 
to be issued while I am there.  So I hesitate to write and acquire 
more tasks, but I am a glutton for punishment.  If anyone wants me 
to look for something in Viet Nam, please send me an email at 
HADaniel3 at and I will do my best to fulfill their wishes."


Richard Margolis writes: "Concerning the numismatic collections of 
the legendary Count Ferrari, I was fortunate in acquiring a nice 
copy about a year and a half ago (from Douglas Saville; who else?) 
of Ferrari's great modern Belgian holdings. In my experience this 
fixed price offering comes on the market much less frequently than 
the famous "Nobleman" auction sale of his extraordinary British 
and Colonial collection.

Douglas' description of this volume reads, "[FERRARI DE LA RENOTIERE, 
Count] Monnaies du Royaume de Belgique 1831-1914. Provenant des 
Collections de Feu Mr. Ferrari de la Renotiere. Vente a Prix marques 
Chez Louis Ciani, Paris, no date (1920s). Quarto, pp. 30; 1000 items 
listed. 8 fine phototype plates. Finely bound in green polished 
morocco-backed cloth, raised bands.gilt. Scarce.".

Louis Ciani was one of the leading Paris dealers in the 1920s and 
1930s, from his 54 rue Taitbout address, running many auction sales, 
both on his own and in collaboration with the Jules Florange firm 
(the latter subsequently run by the late, lamented Mme. Nadia Kapamadji, 
who usually had such fine things in her stock to tempt visiting 
dealers and collectors).

Incidentally, there is an attractive silver portrait medal of the 
moneybags who financed Ferrari's fabulous acquisitions, his mother, 
the Duchess of Galliera.  I have two examples in stock, but if 
anyone would like details it will have to wait until I regain 
access to my stock later this summer."


Another titled numismatist is in the news: Victor Emmanuel. Not 
the great numismatist King Victor Emmanuel III, but his 69-year-old 
son, who has been accused of bribing gaming commission officials 
and the recruitment of prostitutes for casino clients. 

According to a front-page Wall Street Journal article Tuesday, 
"Loyal followers of the Savoy dynasty have campaigned for more 
than half a century to restore the fallen monarchy in Italy. 
Italy's would-be king isn't helping any.

Victor Emmanuel, the Savoy family's crown prince, just spent 
a week in prison in the southern Italian city of Potenza."

"Italian newspapers are brimming with photos of Victor Emmanuel 
and his associates purportedly receiving and distributing envelopes 
full of cash. Political cartoonists have been caricaturing the 
prince in prison stripes."

The family's reign began in 1861, when a military campaign backed 
by the Turin-based House of Savoy swept through the peninsula and 
eventually unified Italy under one ruler. It ended abruptly in 
1946, when a popular referendum abolished the monarchy."

When King Victor Emmanuel III went into exile, it was fellow 
numismatist Farouk of Egypt who offered him asylum.  His son, 
Victor Emmanuel IV, focus of the article, was eight years old 
at the time.  He has spent most of his life in exile, mostly 
in Portugal and Switzerland.  


As publishers make more historical content searchable on the web, 
numismatic researchers have more source material available to them.  
For example, the Time magazine online archive includes a short July 
30, 1923 article on the publication of Victor Emmanuel III's 
"Corpus Nummorum Italicorum":

"In scientific circles Victor Emmanuel III is known, not as the 
King of Italy, but as a great numismatist. He has just published 
Volume Six of his Corpus Nummorum Italicorum, a monumental study 
of Italian coins from the remote ages to the present day. Of this 
great work, Volumes 1-5 and 7-8 had already been published. 

Volume Six completes the series. It consists of 682 pages, with 
35 plates, and deals with the 18 minor mints of the Venetian 

Other examples: "Fall of the Collector" (November 14, 1994) 
chronicles the life of fallen ancient coin dealer Bruce McNall:

"Shirley and Earl McNall knew they had one hot little entrepreneur 
on their hands. Son Bruce was only five, and he could wipe everybody 
out at the Monopoly board, building hotels on all the expensive 
properties, leaving his mom stewing with an empty lot, say, on 
low-rent Baltic Avenue. Dazzled, the mother, a lab technician, 
and the father, a biochemistry professor at the University of 
Southern California, rationed Bruce's television watching and 
showered him with intellectual goodies. The pampering paid off. 
Bruce became a wealthy coin collector while still in his teens...",10987,981786,00.html

"Stuttering Pennies" (Aug. 21, 1972):
Last winter the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia turned out between 
20,000 and 100,000 pennies that were lucratively flawed. As Mint 
officials now reconstruct the error, workmen on two shifts had 
improperly cast a die, and the pennies came out with a shadowy 
double impression of the words In God We Trust and Liberty, a 
sort of minute stuttering effect.

The mistake, the first such defect in U.S. coinage in 17 years, 
is the sort of accident that numismatists love. The Mint in fact 
knew nothing of the bad pennies until two of them were sent in 
by collectors asking if they were valid coins...",10987,877978,00.html 


The July 3, 2006 issue of Coin Worlds' Coin Values magazine brings 
a number of interesting articles, including another research 
tour-de-force by Roger Burdette.  "Philly 1895 Morgan Dollars: 
Where are they? Were they really struck?" delves into the story 
of the rare and enigmatic issue backed by Roger's usual in-depth 
review of the documentary evidence.  I won't be a spoiler and 
divulge Roger's conclusions here, but would encourage anyone with 
an interest in the coin or the series to get a copy of the issue 
and read the article.  


Dick Johnson writes: "The Centinel arrived last week.  That's 
the Central States Numismatic Society's publication. It is filled 
with news, articles, lots of photos and very clean typography. 
It seems thicker than usual -- my goodness, it's 64 pages! (Great 
job editor Rollie Finner! Take a bow!)
There's a new CSNS president, William Brandimore, a handful of 
new board members, but hard-working Jerry Lebo is still secretary-
treasurer. I was most impressed with his report of nearly three 
pages listing new member applications! That's an indication of a 
hot organization -- hundreds of people wanting in (even with coin 
club memberships falling off in other parts of the country).
I liked the article dead center in the magazine, it flips open 
to "Tips for Safe Coin Show Travel." It's by Alan V. Weinberg, a 
frequent contributor here in E-Sylum. I read the article to the 
very end and found it was reprinted from E-Sylum!
There's an article of reminiscences by Cliff Mishler. He's got 
time to write these now that he's unemployed. Come to think of it, 
he wrote these when he was a major domo (and employed) at Krause 
Publications. Keep it up, Cliff!
Central States has an excellent numismatic book program, called
"Library Support Program," where it will match funds up to $250 
with local coin clubs to put our hobby books in local libraries. 
We praised this program before in E-Sylum. I can't praise this 
grant program enough and hope local clubs take advantage of this.

[Click here to read Dick's original post. -Editor]
The CSNS logo was mentioned at the board meeting (no action taken). 
This is a pet gripe of mine since 1957 when I was a CSNS board member 
(and college student). I proposed that map logo with incorrect state 
abbreviation (guess which one) be replaced with a more artistic 
design. I suggested a paddle wheel riverboat indicative of history 
of the area (no action taken). Maybe someday!
I haven't been to a CSNS convention in 20 years (curtailed travel), 
but I cherish my life membership. And I look forward to every issue 
of The Centinel."


Kerry Rodgers writes: "Bibliomaniacs who are also Art Appreciators 
may be interested in the Rembrandt coins circulating in Leiden at 
an exchange rate of 1 Rembrandt = 1 Euro. A large number of shops, 
cafes, bars, restaurants in Leiden happily accept them. The bimetallic 
coins clearly have official sanction as they have been struck at 
the Royal Dutch Mint.

Sets of both the circulating coins and versions in silver can be 
obtained at this web address.  Scroll down through the Dutch and 
you will find English. 

How many other countries have allowed [or would be big enough to 
allow] one community to produce and circulate such coinage for 
such an anniversary?"


Dick Johnson writes: "One of the nicest business news articles 
I have read in a long time was in the Arizona Daily Star Friday 
last week. It featured Richard Snow, Tucson coin dealer and 
author of "A Guide Book of Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents." 
The book was published by Whitman in their Red Book series 
earlier this year.
"Snow grew up in New Jersey and moved to Tucson in 1987, becoming 
senior numismatist for Allstate Coin Co. He left for Seattle in 
1993. The father of two moved his family and Eagle Eye Rare Coins 
back to Tucson in 2000, " reports Levi J. Long writer of the news 
The article continues with details of his coin dealing, his 
numismatic scholarship and quotations from two of his contemporaries 
in Tucson -- Chris Ramsey, a competitor coin dealer, and Mark Stubbs, 
president of the Tucson Coin Club.
It even reveals the fact his next book project is the Wisconsin 
State quarter in all its varieties."

To read the complete article, see: 


"Joanne Dauer knew her future husband, Edward, was a collector 
when he picked her up for their first date. The year was 1974, 
and he arrived in a 1941 Cadillac.

Edward Dauer's collections have gone from stamps to cars to 
currency. Eventually, the Dauers amassed the only collection of 
every type of U.S. currency note from 1861 to 1923. They even 
wrote a book about it -- American History as Seen Through Currency, 
published in 2003.

Now, saying they are ready for a new challenge, the Coral Springs 
couple is selling part of the collection. And the first sale was 
a doozy -- two notes went for more than $2.1 million each."

"One is a $1,000 Treasury note from 1891...  The second is a 
$100 gold certificate from 1863, which was used to pay for the 
cost of the Civil War, he said...

Many other currency collectors didn't even know one existed until 
the Dauers' book -- which has sold about 4,500 copies -- was 

In his other life, Edward Dauer is director of radiology at 
Florida Medical Center and a professor at his alma mater, the 
University of Miami. Joanne Dauer also works in healthcare with 

Florida Medical Services."

"The sale doesn't mark the end of the Dauer's collecting. They 
plan to hold on to part of their currency collection."

"It's going to take years to sell," Edward Dauer said."

To read the complete article, see: 


The Los Angeles Times published an article June 26 about an 
autograph and manuscript auction at the Bonhams & Butterfields 
auction house in West Hollywood.  The article mentions a rare 
city directory (a recent E-Sylum topic) and includes an interview 
with coin and currency dealer Dana Linett of San Diego.

"There are some pieces in here that I would be willing to pay 10 
times the asking amount for," said George Hollingsworth, a New 
York manuscripts dealer, who flew to Los Angeles to preview the 
items Sunday. 

Hollingsworth spent hours examining a photo album of a sailor 
dating to the 1860s. He pulled pictures from the album and 
flipped them over in search of handwritten notes."

"He said that book and manuscript collectors are no longer satisfied 
with once sought-after autographs of historical figures. They're 
looking for full letters and books that "tell a story." 

"One of the most valuable pieces in the sale is an 1850 San 
Francisco City Directory that Catherine Williamson, an auction 
director, dubbed "the Holy Grail" of western Americana collectibles.

Valued at $80,000 to $120,000, it is believed to be the city's 
first directory, listing the names of 3,208 early residents.

"It's not a very pretty piece," Williamson said, "but it's one 
true rarity of San Francisco history."

Dana Linett, a Colonial-era collector with a penchant for 
historical currency, found the directory interesting. 

But that's not the reason he drove from San Diego for the preview. 
He had his eye on 1850s Gold Rush currency, including four early 
California checks for $50, payable in coin or gold dust. They are 
now worth an estimated $500 total. 

Linett's fascination with old currency began when he was 8 years 
old. As his friends collected sports cards and comic books, Linett 
collected buffalo nickels and Indian head pennies."

To read the complete article, see 


The Times published a report on the recent ceremony for the 
150th anniversary of The Victoria Cross and George Cross medals:

"The service and the reception at St James’s Square were attended 
by 8 of the surviving holders of the VC and 22 of the 24 surviving 
holders of the GC. They were joined by the Prince of Wales and the 
Duchess of Cornwall and families of medal holders who had died or 
been killed in action. 

Most holders wore suits and some came in wheelchairs, including 
Captain Peter Norton, GC, who lost a leg and an arm in an explosion 
near Baghdad last year. 

“Circumstances may change, technology may change, but the capacity 
for some very rare human beings to act in an utterly exceptional 
and selfless way remains unchanged by the passage of time,” he said 
in an address to the 1,600 guests."

To read the complete article, see:,,2-2244429,00.html 


"A Victoria Cross awarded to a New Zealand soldier for bravery 
in Gallipoli will be auctioned by Bonhams & Goodman in Sydney 
next month.

The Victoria Cross was awarded to Captain Alfred John Shout 
who died fighting for the ANZACS IN Gallipoli.

The world auction record for the sale of a Victoria Cross is 
235,250 for a medal awarded to Sergeant Norman C Jackson, a 
British Royal Air Force pilot for his role in the Battle of 
Britain during World War II in 1944." 

"The collection of Shout's medals includes a Victoria Cross; 
Military Cross (GVR); Star 1914-15; British War Medal 1914-18; 
Victory Medal 1914-19; Queen's South Africa Medal and King's 
South Africa Medal. 

There has been much private and public interest in Victoria 
Crosses in recent times, particularly the VCs' awarded at 
Gallipoli. The rare medals are made from bronze obtained from 
cannons captured at Sebastopol during the Crimean war." 

Taking its name from Queen Victoria, the medal is the highest 
award for acts of bravery in wartime, irrespective of rank. 
This year is the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the 
Victoria Cross." 

To read the complete article, see: 


Dick Johnson writes: "Thanks to eagle-eyed Arthur Shippee for 
the eagle-in-the-seal article from the New York Times mentioned in 
the July 2nd E-Sylum. The ruling on which way the eagle should face 
came down from the Institute of Heraldry, the government’s 
authoritative voice in all things heraldic.

It reminded me of the last time I visited the offices of the 
Institute of Heraldry. I was with numismatic film guru Michael 
Craven (before his untimely death April 30, 2000). We were scouting 
possible film locations, before we headed to off to film the U.S. 
Mint’s ceremony announcing the 1999 Washington Five Dollar Gold 
Commemorative. That ceremony was held at Mount Vernon and the 
Institute of Heraldry – now at Fort Belvoir – was on the road 
to Mount Vernon.

Decades before, I had had contact with the personnel of the Institute 
of Heraldry, both military and civilian. They had visited Medallic 
Art Company in New York City often when we were producing, or about 
to produce, some medallic item for them. (The firm had been on the 
list of military medal suppliers since World War I when it had 
prepared the dies for that war’s Victory Medal by James E. Fraser.)

[Medallic Art management thought they had the inside track to strike 
those medals in 1919 since it made the dies. It bid 43 cents to 
manufacture the millions needed for all those WWI servicemen, but 
lost out to a firm in New Jersey, Aronson, that had bid 19 cents each. 
They produced them alright, but they were such low quality that the 
firm never got a second order. In contrast Medallic Art became a 
consistent supplier and produced millions of medals and decorations 
long before, during and after through World War II.]

The Institute of Heraldry is headed by an Army officer (it was once 
an Army unit) and dates its origin to 1919. In 1924 it was assigned 
to the Quartermaster General, but was placed under the command of 
the Secretary of the Army in 1957. At that time it was located at 
Cameron Station in Alexandria, Virginia then moved to Fort Belvoir 
in 1960.

When we visited there it had 33 civilian employees engaged in research 
and design with one staff sculptor. At the time it was Donald Alex 
Borja. Society of Medalists collectors will recognize him as the creator 
of SOM #99. These people create the designs for all military decorations,
medals, insignia, badges, seals, flags and "other items awarded to or 
authorized for official wear or display by government personnel." I 
learned that any military unit with more than 15 members can apply to 
have their own insignia designed - that includes cloth patches, hat 
badges, standards and such.

But what I want to mention is its library. I would estimate it had 
30,000 or more books on every aspect of heraldry, military history, 
orders and decorations, seals and such. This is the untapped resource 
I could recommend for any accredited numismatic researcher working on 
orders and decorations, military medals and history. Does that fact 
stir the blood in any E-Sylum reader?"

[WOW!  Now THAT’S a library!   -Editor]


Larry Mitchell writes about what could be another good source 
of information for numismatic researchers: 

"The English Short Title Catalogue will become freely accessible 
on the British Library's website from autumn 2006."--Juliet McLaren,
Assistant Director, ESTC-North America

"The 'English Short Title Catalogue' (ESTC) is an international 
project established at the British Library in 1977. Its aim is to 
create a machine-readable bibliography of books, serials, pamphlets 
and other ephemeral material printed in English-speaking countries 
from 1473 to 1800, based on the collections of over 1,600 
institutions world-wide."

See this page for additional details.... "


Dick Johnson forwarded this article last week - sorry for the 
delay.  If anyone is familiar with the results of the sale, or 
could comment on the sale catalogue, please let us know.

"One of the most famous collections of Manx coins is set to go 
under the hammer and it could fetch almost £50,000. The collection 
of coins, tokens and vouchers was gathered by former hotelier 
Hilary Guard over 15 years. 

It was sold in the mid-1980s and has been in a private collection 
in the Island ever since. However, London auction house Spinks has 
confirmed the 189-piece collection – still known as the Hilary F. 
Guard collection – will go under the hammer next Thursday.

'I think he was one of only two people interested in collecting 
Manx coins in the 1960s and he became rather obsessed with it.'

Charles said his father's favourite was a Murray penny, which 
was a 'particular prize because it was extremely rare'.

Hilary finished collecting in 1978, when he and wife Nan retired 
from a career in tourism that had seen them take the helm of the 
Grasmere and Hydro hotels in Douglas."

To read the complete article, see: 


On Friday June 30 the Sofia News Agency announced that "Bulgaria 
will put into circulation a new banknote with nominal of BGN 50 
as of July 3 to add to one of the most widely used banknotes in 
the country.

The news emerged during a press conference of the Bulgarian 
National Bank (BNB). The new banknote has additional protection 
elements including a hidden image of the figure 50.

The image of the famous Bulgarian poet Pencho Slaveykov is 
printed on the banknote."

To read the complete press release (and view an image of the note) see: 


Steve Pellegrini writes: "I don’t know how anyone else is feeling 
about the upcoming state and national elections but I for one have 
a knot in my stomach just thinking of the rancor, divisiveness and 
mudslinging we will be subjected to for the next two years. 
Two years!! 

I mention this because the other morning over coffee I was 
re-visiting my copy of Neil Musante’s beautiful book, ‘The Medallic 
Work of John Adams Bolen’. John Bolen was one of 19th century 
America’s premiere diesinkers. 

>From his Brockton, MA workshop he created a large opus of medals, 
tokens and store cards. In 1864 as the Civil War entered the beginning 
of its end Bolen created a medal that I found to be as relevant today 
as it was in the dark, fratricidal time in which it was created. 

This medal, catalogued as JAB-11, is a large silver portrait medal 
of George Washington. On the medal's reverse Bolen choose to engrave 
a powerful quote of Washington's written during the trying, 
politically factional times of the early republic. The quote is 
taken from a letter that our first Commander in Chief had written 
to his young former aide de camp, Alexander Hamilton. It is an 
observation that could have been written yesterday, were we ever 
so lucky today to have men of Washington’s character and intelligence 
running for public office. 

In 11 lines the inscription reads: ‘I HOPE THAT LIBERAL ALLOWANCES 
II Musante records the whole of this most perceptive Washington 
letter from which Bolan excerpted the inscription on the reverse of 
JAB-11. It is well worth the effort to find and read this letter 
in its entirety."


Dick Johnson writes: "If you started collecting coins from the 
proceeds earned from delivering newspapers (like I and so many 
other collectors I know) you might enjoy reminiscing by reading 
this article about a Long Beach California newsboy."
"He’s not your typical little boy. While many others his age are 
still in slumber land, he’s wide-eyed and working hard to bring 
you the latest news. His name is L.J. Darley.

You may have seen him out and about with beads of sweat dripping 
from his 12-year-old face, riding his Schwinn Alloy-SS cruiser 
he got for Christmas. He gets up early to help spread the hottest 
details around his neighborhood."

"Meanwhile, Darley likes the idea of raking in extra dough. He 
just spent $19.95 on an 1858 American Flying Eagle penny, his 
all-time favorite addition to his coin collection. He said he 
puts the remainder of his earnings into a savings account."

To read the complete article, see: 

[Yours truly was another collector whose hobby interest got a 
boost from a newspaper route.  I carried The Pittsburgh Press, 
an afternoon paper now extinct and rolled onto the morning 
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Nowadays the PG employs only adult 
carriers who canvass their neighborhood by car.  In Pittsburgh 
at least (and many other major cities), the local newsboy has 
gone the way of the do-do bird.

I started when I was 11 years old in 1969.  Theoretically you had 
to be at least 12, but they needed someone and looked the other 
way.  My dad got a shock when the route manager first stopped by 
our house.  He was the same route manager my dad delivered for 
in the 1930s, when the income was needed to help his widowed Mom 
pay the bills. Dad lived his whole life in that house. The Press 
guy retired shortly afterwards.  

I found silver coins on occasion, and put all of these aside along 
with the interesting foreign coins I received.  One I remember was 
an 1899 copper Russian kopeck.  Having the opportunity to review 
that many different coins each week was a great experience, one 
that has launched many a coin collector.  How many E-Sylum readers 
got started this way?  Send us your reminiscences!  -Editor]


According to a BBC News report June 26, "A rare Roman coin has 
returned to Greece from Britain after a landmark settlement, 
which Athens hopes will bring back more classical treasures."

"A year ago, the London coin dealer Classical Numismatic Group 
paid £12,500 ($23,000) for the silver denarius, minted by Brutus 
in 42 BC after he participated in the murder of the emperor 
Julius Caesar. 

Eric McFadden, director of the dealership, said they made the 
purchase from two Greeks, in good faith. 

But the Greek embassy in London proved that the coin had been 
illegally excavated, probably from the Roman city of Philippi, 
in the province of Macedonia. 

Mr McFadden's dealership handed the coin to the Greek embassy 
earlier this month, after Athens successfully invoked a European 
Union directive which demands that stolen cultural objects be 
returned to the country of origin." 

"Mr McFadden argues that confiscating antiquities without a 
reward is a prime reason that so many ancient treasures are 
either melted down or sold to private dealers. 

He says there is no incentive to report important historical 
discoveries and has urged the Greek government to start paying 
finders the market value, as usually happens in Britain with 
treasure trove." 

To read the complete article, see: 

Arthur Shippee forwarded a link to a related Associated Press 
story in The New York Times:

"The tiny coin, a denarius issued in 42 B.C. by Brutus, the 
chief assassin of Julius Caesar, is one of only 58 in the world... 

The coin was issued by a mobile military mint used by Brutus 
to pay his soldiers during the wars that followed Caesar's 
assassination in 44 B.C. by a group of his friends and proteges 
-- immortalized in Shakespeare's play, ''Julius Caesar.''

Decorated with the head of Brutus on one side and a pair of daggers 
flanking a cap on the other, the denarius carries the inscription 
Eid Mar -- short for the Ides of March, or March 15, the date of 
Caesar's murder."

To read the complete article, see: 


Arthur Shippee forwarded this link from the Explorator newsletter 
to a brief article about a recent Roman coin hoard find:

"A massive hoard of Roman coins has been unearthed by archaeologists 
probing the former Shippams factory site in Chichester city centre. 
Many have congealed together down the centuries, and an accurate 
assessment cannot be given until restoration work is completed but 
they run into many hundreds, and estimates are up to 2,500.

They are being X-rayed and examined this week to see how they 
are stuck together and how they can be successfully taken apart."

To read the complete article, see: 


The Oroville Mercury Register of Northern California published an 
Associated Press story noting the opinions of Californians on the 
possible phaseout of the cent. Robert Hoge of the American 
Numismatic Society was also quoted.

"The idea of phasing out the penny is a good call," said Bill Souza,
proprietor of Souza's Liquors in Oakland. "Pennies are not taken 
seriously anymore. They're a pain to deal with. I say that both as 
a private citizen and as a retailer. 

"I was recently in New York City and all the vendors in Times Square 
have all their merchandise rounded out to the nearest dollar, nickel 
or quarter," he said. "It's time to get rid of the penny because 
it's not valued." 

Then there's Adam Lavine, chief executive of FunMobility in Livermore, 
who said he didn't "like the idea of the economy done in units of 
five. There is something unlucky about that." 

"Yesterday I was taking my 5-year-old daughter to the fountain in 
San Ramon where she threw in 10 pennies. We have an emotional and 
cultural attachment to pennies," Lavine noted."

To read the complete article, see:

An E-Sylum reader forwarded a similar story on the same theme, 
also from Associated Press.  This one interviews Dave Harper, 
editor of Numismatic News and New York dealer Tony Terranova, 
and opens with a quote from a person in Massachusetts.  

"Today it's a joke. It's outlived its usefulness," says Tony 
Terranova, a New York City coin dealer who paid $437,000 for a 
1792 penny prototype in what is believed to be the denomination's 
highest auction price.

"Most people find them annoying when they get them in change," 
he adds. "I've seen people get pennies in change and actually 
throw them on the floor."

To read the complete article, see:


According to a report published Wednesday by the Daily Racing Form, 
"The Jockeys' Guild board of directors voted on Monday to hire Dwight
Manley, a Los Angeles rare-coins dealer and sports agent, and the 
Rev. Jesse Jackson, the leader of the politically active Rainbow Push 
Coalition, to become the guild's national managers, guild officials 
and Manley said on Wednesday."

"Manley, 40, is a self-made millionaire and coin collector. His 
initial business was built on the rare-coin trade, but he branched 
into sports agency in the 1990's by representing the professional 
basketball stars Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone. He has recently 
struck several recent real estate deals in the Los Angeles area.

Manley said Jackson, 64, would serve as a co-manager of the guild 
but that he would provide most of the guidance for the organization. 
Manley and Jackson met in 1995, Manley said, and have worked on 
several aid projects together, including one for hurricane victims."

"Manley said that a friend of his who is a horse owner in California 
convinced him to seek the guild job. The horse owner flew Manley to 
Belmont Park for the Belmont Stakes on June 10, Manley said, and 
Manley spent part of the day visiting with riders in the jockeys' 
room. At those meetings, Manley told several jockeys that he was 
planning on bringing Jackson to the guild meeting this week."

To read the complete article, see: 


In response to last week's question about George Massamore, 
Gar Travis pointed out a reference was published back in November 

"David Fanning, Editor-in-Chief of our print journal, The
Asylum, has a nice article in the November 2004 issue of
the American Numismatic Association's Numismatist magazine
on "Collectors Who Served in the Civil War".  The article
discusses the military service of several early U.S. coin
dealers and collectors, including John Haseltine, Edouard
Frossard, Lyman Low, Ebenezer Locke Mason, Joseph N.T.
Levick, George Massamore, Richard Davids, Mark Collet &
William Bramhall.  Philadelphia physician Mark Collet was
killed in 1863 at the Battle of Chancellorsville; Davids
died the same year on the second day of the Battle of


Arthur Shippee writes: "Of Tuthill's spellings, since the variations 
from standard spellings are pretty consistent (generally elimination 
of silent letters, including doubles and final "e"), I suggest as a
hypothesis for testing that these are intentional, reflecting some 
theory of spelling reform.  From the time of Noah Webster there have 
been schemes for spelling reforms.  Mostly they're of no practical 
help and remain curiosities.  

Given the regularity of the changes and level of English style, my 
sense is that Mr. Tuthill generally chose these versions on purpose, 
in which case the cause, however much one may deplore it, is not 

David Gladfelter writes: "Tuthill advertised paper money in the 
Numismatist in the 1890s and 1900s, and wrote an article about 
confederate money in that publication. The witch on broomstick 
(hobby horse) and the phrase "We all have our hobbies" was copied 
from George H. Lovett's 1860 medal, Miller NY 491A, "dedicated to 
coin and medal collectors." I've run across that surname among 
Southerners and wondered whether it was pronounced as in "King 
Tut Hill" or as in "If you bite an olive pit, your tooth'll hurt.

He was apparently a devotee of that 19th century fad, phonetic 
spelling. Remy Bourne lists a numismatic periodical from the 1870s 
called "De Kuriositi Kabinet" published in that language. It later 
converted to English and changed the name to "The Curiosity Cabinet."


An E-Sylum subscriber writes: "Here's an article that mentions 
sculpture involving giant coins."

"Big Big Penny" is an outsized coin resting on its side, accompanied 
by mini figures: rich people, drinking champagne, balance atop the 
penny; poor people, propelling and being crushed by the coin, appear 
at its base. "Big Big Penny" rises outside Grand Rapids' Welsh 
Auditorium, a '30s structure evoking the Depression's darkest days."

To read the complete article, see: 


Speaking of Hawaii, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported on 
Friday that "Unless there's an upset, Hawaii's quarter should 
feature King Kamehameha I, the word "Aloha" and the outline of 
the Hawaiian Islands.

A commission narrowing down suggestions for the nation's last 
state quarter yesterday placed the three icons in most of five 
final sketches."

"Rounding off the top eight symbols still in contention are the 
state motto (Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono: The life of the 
land is perpetuated in righteousness), surfing, Diamond Head Crater, 
a female hula dancer and a lei. All could still earn a spot on the
commemorative coin, which is set to be released in the fall of 2008.

About 40 commissioners, chosen to represent all islands and 
different ethnic groups, spent two hours at the state Capitol 
yesterday before unveiling their concepts."

To read the complete article, see: 


Just when you thought there were enough U.S. coin designs featuring 
bison, along comes another, of sorts.  "The Montana quarter will 
feature a bison skull, first popularized by artist Charlie Russell, 
flanked by the image of mountains smoothing into the high plains 
and the words “Big Sky Country.”

"The governor's office received hundreds of ideas from throughout 
the state, Elliott said. Most dealt with the state's natural beauty 
in some way, although a few were funny and some a bit profane.

One featured a knobby-tired, three-wheeled all-terrain vehicle 
charging up a mountain. Another featured a Pork Chop John sandwich 
- a breaded, fried pork sirloin on a bun invented in Butte by John 
Burklund in 1924."

"The other designs included: a scene of a river winding out of the 
mountains, a massive bull elk standing on the prairie beneath the 
mountains, and the outline of the state of Montana with the sun 
rising over the prairie."

To read the complete article, see: 


The latest issue of BusinessWeek magazine has an article titled 
"Drinking With History", a tour of historic hotel bars around the 
U.S.  Numismatists might appreciate the Silver Dollar bar in the 
Wort Hotel in Jackson Hole, WY:

"The Historic Hotels of America recognize 21 bars around the country. 
Among them are the Menger Hotel bar in San Antonio, which in 1887 
was modeled after the bar in the House of Lords pub in London and 
where Theodore Roosevelt is said to have recruited many of his Rough 
Riders for service in the Spanish-American War. Others with equally 
colorful histories include the J-Bar in the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, 
Colo.; Oliver's Lounge in the Mayflower Park Hotel in Seattle"

"The centerpiece of the infamous Silver Dollar is the mahogany bar 
which is inlaid with 2,032 un-circulated 1921 silver dollars. The 
rest of the bar is a throwback to the rough and tumble days of the 
Old West, with original western oil paintings hanging on the walls.
For more information, visit "

To read the BusinessWeek article, see: 

[Have any of our readers been to this bar?  Let us know if you 
remember ... -Editor]


The Thanh Nien News reports that "Vietnamese police have foiled 
three Nigerians in their scams duping thousands of dollars out of 
Vietnamese women who lent them money to ostensibly buy chemicals 
to restore ‘blackened US banknotes’.  A source said they had been 
deported from Vietnam."

"In April, one Nigerian befriended a café owner in southern Vung 
Tau resort city and promised to give her a share in a restaurant 
he was about to open if she lent him US$20,000 to buy chemicals 
to restore blackened banknotes worth an astronomical US$1 billion.

He claimed he had purposefully blackened the notes to dodge 
customs screenings and taxation.

He then did an experiment. After rubbing and cleansing in a 
‘special solution’, he managed to turn two blackened papers 
the size of US$100 banknotes into real cash."

"The gullible woman later lent him $7,000 before being handed a 
stack of supposed banknotes wrapped in thick paper. He said the 
money had been treated with chemicals but had to wait for eight 
hours in cold temperatures before taking effect.

She then put the stack in her fridge and, after eight hours, 
opened it only to discover they were just plain paper."

"A policeman told Thanh Nien the tricksters secretly slid real 
banknotes underneath the black papers during ‘chemical treatment’ 
and secretly slipped the black papers out. The ‘chemical solution’ 
is just plain water, he added."

To read the complete story, see: 


John Kraljevich writes: "As a proud Croatian-American, I was 
pleased to see the piece on the new book on the coins of the 
modern republic of Croatia. However, I was dismayed to see the 
way my American computer rendered the name of the author: 
This reminds me of a fake news story once found in The Onion, 
a nationally distributed humor newspaper, noting in the mid-1990s 
that the UN had authorized "life-giving airlifts of vowels" into 
several Croatian towns, such as Vrsar, Rovinj, Krzanici, and Brna.
As for my family, we actually added a consonant when my grandfather 
came through Ellis Island -- the h on the end of my last name helps 
Americans render the c with an accent as a correct "ch" sound. The 
j in the middle of my name is pronounced with a Y sound, so think 
of the inferiority complex residents of the town of Krapje must 
have when they learn English. It's probably a more difficult process 
than most of us had trying to learn French or Latin in high school.
Just to make this vaguely numismatic, Frank Draskovic and I once 
discussed forming an organization for Croatian-American collectors. 
We decided to have a drink and call it a quorum instead."

[The vowel airlift was classic Onion humor, and had me ROTFLOL the 
first time I read it.  I wish I could locate an online copy, but I 
came up blank at  In the story the greatest vowel 
donors were the citizens of the great state of Hawaii, who have more 
vowels in their state motto than a warehouse full of Scrabble tiles.
Were the story true, it would have been the biggest vowel movement 
in history. -Editor]


John and Nancy Wilson of Ocala, FL write: "Here is another favorite 
site that should be of value to readers of The E-sylum.  It deals 
with Pattern Coins and probably everything you wanted to know about 
them.  The information on the engravers is also excellent.  It is 
on the Harry Bass Foundation site listed below.

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 
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 the U.S., $20 elsewhere.  For those without 
web access, write to:

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

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

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