The E-Sylum v10#2, January 14, 2007

esylum at esylum at
Sun Jan 14 19:03:17 PST 2007

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 10, Number 2, January 14, 2007:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2007, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers are Matthew Jones, Senior Cataloger 
for Bowers & Merena Auctions (courtesy of Gar Travis), Kris Lockyear, 
Duane Harper, Brian Zimmer, P. J. Lanham, Jim Petroff, Paul E. 
Goodspeed, Jeffrey Laplante, and Tim L. Shuck.  Welcome aboard!  
We now have 1,038 subscribers.

I'm not sure where this latest surge of subscribers came from, but 
I'm glad they're all here.  Our readers include numismatic bibliophiles, 
researchers and writers, and anyone with an interest in learning more 
historical background and lore about numismatics.  This week's issue, 
while lengthy, is a good example of what The E-Sylum is all about.  

The issue opens with two new items from our sponsor, the Numismatic 
Bibliomania Society.  First, the latest issue of the print journal, 
The Asylum, is at the printer.  This provides an appropriate opening 
to review the difference between this email newsletter (The E-Sylum), 
and the NBS print journal.  Secondly, NBS member Howard Daniel will 
be representing the organization at a table at the upcoming ANA 
convention in Charlotte.

Many E-Sylum issues include news and reviews of numismatic books old 
and new, and this issue discusses a book on Dutch Manhattan and the 
Founding of New York which has found many readers among collectors of 
colonial U.S. coins.  We also have further discussion of 'Double Daggers',
the historical novel about the EID-MAR coin commemorating the 
assassination of Julius Caesar.

Other E-Sylum fixtures are our readers' dead-on followups to queries 
from previous issues, and these have generated a lot of great reading 
for this issue.  Dick Johnson shares his knowledge about Loubat's 
'Medallic History of the U.S.', and he and others provide a great deal 
of background on the famous 'Inspecting the First Coinage' painting at 
the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.  Another very detailed item concerns 
William Woodin's acquisition of a trove of pattern coins from the U.S. 

We sometimes critique numismatic auction catalog descriptions, and in 
this issue we look at a recent offering of the Albany Church Penny.  
Rounding out the issue are items on a recent high-profile coin robbery, 
spy coins in Canada, library deaccessioning policies, and Emperor Norton 
of San Francisco.  Finally, wouldn't it be great if you discovered three 
chests containing an immense quantity of gold and silver coin?  Well, 
not if you can't keep a secret.  To learn what happened to George Kelway 
and his 1786 windfall, read on.  Have a great week, everyone.

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


The latest issue of our print journal, The Asylum, is currently at 
the printer.  The contents include:

* Alison Frankel - Discovering the Numismatic Bibliomania Society 
* Leonard Augsburger - Woodward/Chapman Correspondence at the American
Numismatic Society 
* E. Tomlinson Fort - Sir Frank Merry Stenton and the Coinage of 
the Anglo-Saxons 
* Leonard Augsburger - The ANS Chapman Files: Major William Boerum Wetmore

While The E-Sylum is free to everyone, only members of the Numismatic 
Bibliomania Society receive The Asylum.  Membership is only $15 to 
addresses in the U.S., $20 elsewhere.  There is a membership application 
available on the NBS web site at this address: 

To join, print the application and return it with your check to the 
address printed on the application.  We'd love to have more of you as 

Howard A. Daniel III writes: "I will be manning a club table for the 
Numismatic Bibliomania Society (and IBNS, NI and PCF) at the Charlotte 
American Numismatic Association convention March 16th to 18th.  If you 
are attending and find someone there you think will be interested in 
joining NBS or the other three organizations, please send them to the 
table for an application.  

If you have "extra" numismatic and related books, pamphlets, journals, 
etc. (and coins, tokens, paper money, etc.), that you would like to 
see in the hands of a young and/or new numismatist, please bring them 
to the table or have someone who is attending the convention bring 
them for you.  

In the past, NBS members have also shipped or mailed packages to my 
residence and to the convention.  A flyer and application form goes 
with each item so they know the organization that is providing the 
handouts.  Contact me at HADaniel3 at to make any special 

I didn't attend the recent FUN Show in Orlando for the first time in 
over a decade - I was under doctor's orders to stay close to home 
because I had not completely healed from some recent surgeries.  It 
was very gratifying that many people emailed, mailed and called to 
say they missed me at the show and hoped I get better soon."

[Many thanks once again to Howard for carrying the torch for NBS at so 
many major shows throughout the year.  We wish him the best of luck in 
his continuing recovery from surgery.  Please do consider sending Howard 
some of your inexpensive duplicate and unneeded numismatic literature 
for handouts at the table.  -Editor]


Roger S. Siboni writes: "There is a recently published book entitled 
'The Island at the Center of The World - The Untold Story of Dutch 
Manhattan and the Founding of New York' by Russell Shorto which has 
been making its way through the Colonial Numismatic circuit. In my view, 
the book is outstanding and a fairly quick read. It is the true story 
of the settling of New York by the Dutch, based upon some recently-
discovered records in The New York State Library at Albany that were 
written in Old Dutch. How they were found and translated is a story 
in itself, but it does cover Henry Hudson's intrepid voyages in search 
of the Northwest Passage to the far East.

"Henry Hudson made several voyages in search of a more expeditious 
passage to the Far East from Europe. Some were made on behalf of the 
Dutch East India Company (VOC) and some were privately financed. 
Virtually all the expeditions were directed at the discovery of a 
NorthEAST Passage as the shortcut to the Far East, but Hudson was 
convinced the secret lie in a NorthWEST passage. 

"He was so convinced that he simply disobeyed the wishes of his sponsors 
and crews in search of this Northwest passage. His unswerving determination 
to find the Northwest passage ended when his mutinous crew lowered him, 
his son and his few followers onto a small boat in the southern reaches 
of what is now Hudson Bay where they froze to death.

"Ironically, the mutineers managed to limp back to England where they 
were exonerated for mutiny and murder. Amazingly, they claimed that 
Hudson had indeed found the Northwest passage and that they knew where 
it was. Rather than being hanged, they received funding from King James 
and several prominent London businessmen to start the "The Company of 
the Merchant's Discoveries of the North-West Passage." From there, the 
race was on."


Dick Doty, Chief Curator of the National Numismatic Collection at the 
Smithsonian Institution writes: "Could you ask the Assembled Members 
whether anyone's ever heard of a reference on the emergency paper money 
of the Franco-Prussian War?  We've got enough French material for a 
small catalogue, and I'm inclined to do it if it hain't already been 


Doug Andrews writes: "I have a friend who has recently become curator 
of a large numismatic collection. Although she is a museum professional, 
she has no background in numismatics. Can E-Sylum readers suggest any 
book titles or online resources that would be helpful to her, covering 
preservation of numismatic collections, or other curatorial topics 
related to coins and notes? Thank you."

I asked Dick Doty at the Smithsonian and he writes: "As for beginning 
literature, the best single introductory thing ever written on 
numismatics as such (according to me) is 'Numismatics', by Philip 
Grierson (It's available in hardbound and paperback).  My own early 
publications ('Coins of the World', 'Money of the World', 'Paper Money 
of the World') would be useful in terms of the scope of numismatics, 
as would Joe Cribb's 'Coin Atlas'.  But Grierson's still best for a 
beginning curator.  As for conservation and registrarial issues, 
however, other readers may have some good suggestions.  I don't."


Regarding Jeff Reichenberger's review of his book, "Double Daggers", 
author Jamie Clifford (an E-Sylum subscriber) writes:

"In regards to Jack Weston using the denarius as a ballmark -- as a 
lover of history and numismatics I would probably agree with you that 
it would be almost inconceivable to use the coin in such a callous 
fashion. Looking back when I wrote that chapter I think I used Jack 
as a scapegoat for all the greed and stupidity that was occurring on 
Wall Street and in the corporate world at the time.  The Tech bubble 
had burst and the Enron, Worldcom, Tyco etc scandals were going on so 
I think I took it out on Jack Weston. 

"Full disclosure -- I don't want to sound hypocritical because I have 
been employed in the Investing Banking Industry for 16 years so the 
industry has been good to me but it still astounds me how much money is 
just thrown around or wasted sometimes. Maybe, I'm just envious or mad 
because it never gets thrown to me...

"Also, thank you for pointing out that it was Zsa Zsa's sister Eva on 
Green Acres.  I always liked Eva better than Zsa Zsa, so I can't believe 
I overlooked that! The publisher expects a third printing in March and 
that fact will be corrected."

[Thanks again to Jeff for his review and congratulations to Jamie on 
reaching the third printing milestone.  He's sending Jeff a signed 
hardcover copy of the book. -Editor]

Leon Worden writes: "I have just begun to read "Double Daggers," James 
R. Clifford's historical novel about the EID-MAR coin, discussed in the 
last E-Sylum. So far, I would agree that it is a fun read that meshes 
with historical accounts of the period. However, I am confused by the
author's account of the coins' manufacture.

"Clifford writes that production began at the mint in Rome on the day 
Brutus and others assassinated Julius Caesar (March 15, 44 B.C.). 
Clifford makes no mention of subsequent production, instead implying 
that all of the EID-MAR coins were made at the mint in Rome under 
Brutus' authority during the three-day period following Caesar’s 
assassination -- after which time Brutus fled east and Marc Antony, 
Brutus' enemy, controlled Rome.

"This does not jibe with my information. For a story that appeared in 
the November 2006 edition of COINage, I discussed the manufacture of 
EID-MAR coins with Greek government officials. According to the Hellenic 
Ministry of Culture -- which backed up its statements with numerous 
numismatic texts -- all known EID-MAR coins were struck two and a half 
years later, in the late summer and fall of 42 B.C. (Brutus died in 
October 42 B.C.)

"Moreover, Ministry officials said, the coins were not made in Rome; 
rather, they were struck at a mobile mint that traveled with Brutus 
while he was in Macedonia. Brutus issued the coins in payment to his 
troops, and the coins bore the "double daggers" design to remind them 
what they were fighting for.  (It was more than two years later. Can 
you say 'quagmire'?)

"A spokesman for Greek Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis explained 
to me: "They had an army, they were moving here and there, and while 
they were moving, they were issuing these coins. At some point, they 
were in the region of Dráma [in northern Greece] and they wanted to 
settle there and build a fixed facility to make the coins. It didn't 

"Clifford identifies the Roman coiner as Mettivus; however, the coins' 
own inscription, L PLAET CEST, identifies the coiner as Lucius Plaetorius 
Cestianus, the manager of Brutus' mobile mint. (Clifford identifies 
Lucius as Mettivus' son.)

"Now, I recognize that Clifford's book is a novel, but given the fact 
that his other accounts of events in 44-42 B.C. seem to “work,” I am 
assuming he intended to be accurate in his description of the manufacture 
of the coins.

"Thus I ask: Does any E-Sylum reader have credible information about 
the coins' manufacture that differs from (or, for that matter, validates)
the account provided to me by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture?"

Leon adds: "I suppose I should mention why it matters. If the EID-MAR 
coins were made in Rome, they're Italian. If they were made in (Greek) 
Macedonia, they're Greek. My COINage story dealt with the fact that the 
Greek government recently used a European Union rule on cultural property 
to "recover" an EID-MAR coin from a private party -- on the supposition 
that the coin was Greek."


The review of "Double Daggers" prompted Ginger Rapsus to write: "I 
noted with interest the comments on numismatic historical fiction.  
I have outlined a novel that takes place in 1792; the hero is an 
engraver at the Philadelphia Mint.  The heroine ends up being the 
model for the Birch cent.  The working title is "Eagle."  I am nowhere 
near finished with this story, and who knows if it will ever get 

"I do have high hopes for a Civil War novel I finished last September.  
I entered the manuscript in the Golden Heart competition, so we shall 

[Best of luck to Ginger and her historical novel manuscript.  Perhaps 
our readers could suggest some possible plotlines or subtexts, or point 
out some interesting historical facts and personalities worthy of 
consideration for the project. -Editor]


In response to John Adams' query last week, Dick Johnson writes: "I 
have no recall of the Loubat hoard, but I do offer some suggestions 
for your article.
"1)  Do not overlook mentioning the four-page flyer Loubat wrote to 
promote the sale of the books.  ANS should have a copy if you do not 
have one in your library.
"2)  I have owned or sold about a dozen sets of Loubat. I think I have 
three sets left. I felt I never needed the Flayderman reprint since I 
had such easy access to the original.
"3)  The physical book was a masterpiece of bookbinding at the time 
of publication. Unfortunately, the paste used in the bookbinding 
attracted varmints. I have observed copies with holes in bindings 
and pages. It seems insect bookworms are as attracted to the book for 
their lunch as human bookworms are attracted to its content for feeding 
their intellectual hunger. 
"4)  Volume two bears a different date of publication from volume one. 
Elvira Clain-Stefanelli, in one of her numismatic bibliographies, listed 
the set by the date in volume two - this has led to confusion. When I 
first observed this I thought this was a second edition - not so.
"5)  Loubat did a fascinating job researching these medals. not just 
the medals, but the data, the documents, and the dies!
"6)  Loubat, it could be said, was the 19th century Q. David Bowers, 
leaving no stone or source unturned to learn everything he could about 
this series of medals.
"7)  Loubat's editorial technique was what we call today "cut and paste" 
-- reprpoducing entire documents whole. (A technique also employed on 
occasion by QDB.)
"8)  What is missing from Loubat's massive 2-volume work was an analysis 
of what he had gathered. I would have liked for him to have interpret 
what he had; he had a duty to the reader to give a statement on how this 
series fits in with history, with numismatics, with the concept of 
awarding medals for outstanding human achievement. Instead, he left us 
with the collection of the sterile documents alone, forcing the reader 
to make his own judgments. Loubat, by his act of gathering all this data, 
blew it by not giving us his insight, opinion, or summary. I would 
have welcomed and respected such comments.
"9)  Loubat's love of these medals comes across in this book. More than 
a "labor of love" Loubat did an incredible service to later generations 
in researching and publishing this work.
"10)  Later researchers and writers have built on Loubat's core work by 
revealing data that was unavailable to him in his time. An example of 
this is the present writer's discoveries of biographical data on John 
Antrobus(c1837-1907) the British-American painter, portraitist, designer 
who Loubat could only identify as a Detroit artist. Antrobus designed 
the U.S. Grant Congressional Medal, 1864 (Loubat 73) engraved by Anthony 
C. Paquet and struck by the U.S. Mint."


Thieves have once again targeted dealers traveling from the Florida 
United Numismatists (FUN) show.  The Associated Press reported on the 
latest incident in a story published Wednesday.  As before, although 
the story does state that the robbery occurred off the show's premises, 
headlines and other text makes it seem like the theft occurred at the 
show.  One headline reads "Robbers net $4M in coin convention heist." 

"Robbers in surgical masks pulled off a $4 million coin heist at 
knifepoint outside a coin dealers convention, getting away with gold, 
silver and a rare 1843 set of currency once owned by President Tyler, 
authorities said.

"It was the second time in two years that the Florida United 
Numismatists' annual coin show had been hit, and this year's loss 
was much larger.

"On Saturday, a Minnesota coin dealer's employee was unloading an SUV 
outside a luxury hotel when a robber in a surgical mask and a hooded 
sweater grabbed him from behind and held a knife to his throat, 
witnesses and the victim told authorities. Two other masked men grabbed 
a suitcase from the SUV, according to authorities."

To read the complete story, see: 

Cindy Wibker of FUN writes: "The headlines are most irritating, since 
there has not been a single incident AT the FUN show.  All of these 
events occur after people have departed, and in all cases for the last 
two years that I'm familiar with, the people who suffered a loss did 
not follow the guidelines we gave them. They have either walked out 
the front door of the convention when we had provided a secure and 
private area for them, or they transported high value coins without 
an armed police escort or armored car service, or they stopped to eat 
a meal and left their goods unattended, etc.  

"FUN's security is outstanding, and this year it was greatly enhanced 
with many more uniformed off-duty sheriffs' department personnel.  They 
were highly visible and patrolling the parking lot and the building 
continuously.  FUN has done everything possible to maximize security 
at the show, but it takes the organization and the dealers working 
together to prevent these unfortunate events from occurring.  We will 
continue to feed security information to all our dealers and provide 
the best security available during our convention."

John Kraljevich writes: "This has a lot of folks pretty scared -- the 
front curb of the nicest convention-area hotel is a pretty spectacular 
location for an armed robbery. The parking lot of the convention 
center, after last year's spate of off-location robberies, showed far 
more visible security than usual including cruisers parked willy-nilly 
all over the place. Apparently if you're desperate enough (and drove 
ALL the way from Miami, where the attackers were allegedly from), this 
will just drive you to a less secure but far higher profile location 
to commit your crime."

[Fighting criminals is like a game of whack-a-mole.  Smack 'em down 
in one place, they only pop up again somewhere else.  Be careful out 

The coins stolen include a ten-piece 1843 U.S. Proof Set (Half Cent 
through $10 Gold Eagle).  The coins are in PCGS slabs with the notation 
"Pres. Tyler Presentation Set".  Other notable coins include an 1836 
Gobrecht Dollar, also in a PCGS slab with the notation "Ex. Troy 
Weisman".  Heritage has distributed a copy of the inventory to its 
customer list.  To report a possible sighting or get a full copy of 
the list, contact Chris Napolitano of Summit Rare Coins at (651) 
227-9000.  -Editor]

The St. Paul Pioneer Press published an article on the incident 
Thursday, January 11, interviewing Laura Sperber of Spectrum Numismatics.

"The attack by three masked robbers came in the lobby driveway of the 
Peabody Hotel about 6 p.m. Hundreds of dealers were in Orlando for the 
Florida United Numismatists' annual show, one of the largest in the 

"It would be the equivalent of going to a Vikings game and robbing a 
Vikings player during the game," said Sperber. "It was that brazen a 

"Dealers also are worried because the thieves took off with business 
records and a Rolodex of names. Sperber thinks this attack will bring 
a new safety focus."

To read the complete article, see:


Dan Friedus writes: "Perhaps this is a good week to provide a link 
in The E-Sylum to Steve Ellsworth's web site.  He has some of his 
articles there (versions of which have appeared in The Numismatist 
and other numismatic periodicals). I have to admit that years ago 
when I first heard Steve talk about his approach to security with 
coins, I thought it was over the top, but he makes a lot of good 
points that apply to both dealers and collectors.  Incidents such 
as those last week make it clear how important it is to pay attention 
and act deliberately when carrying or storing coins."

[Here are direct links to five articles on Ellsworth's web site, 
and one to Alan Weinberg's tips in a previous E-Sylum item. -Editor]








Regarding Joel Orosz and Len Augsburger's request for information on 
the oil painting by John Ward Dunsmore entitled "Inspecting the First
Coinage," Dick Johnson writes:

"There are three versions of the painting. The original is in the U.S. 
Mint (or at least it was when I researched it in 1989). They are correct 
in that it was commissioned by Frank Stewart in 1914. Stewart donated it 
to the Mint in 1916 where it has hung ever since.

"All figures but one -- mint workers and U.S. officials -- can be 
identified. Left to right are: Unknown worker (back to viewer), 
Alexander Hamilton, Mrs. Hamilton, David Rittenhouse, George Washington, 
Thomas Jefferson, Martha Washington (seated), Adam Eckfelt, Thomas Lear 
holding out a tray of coins for Martha to inspect, and Henry Voigt at 
the coin press in the background right.

"At some unknown date (1930s, 40s?) a 'New Jersian of great talent but 
little morals whose previous work was copying Rembrandts and other 
masterpieces (for which it is said he was jailed for his forgeries' 
painted a reproduction of the Mint’s original version. The second version 
is somewhat larger and the colors changed slightly, I was told. 

"I was consigned one of the second versions for the New England Numismatic 
Association 45th Convention auction sale, September 23, 1989, held in 
Danbury, Connecticut, at a CAL Auction number 33 (lot 1364). The consignor 
told me the above statement, also that he had obtained it from a 
Philadelphia art gallery.

"Description of this version is as follows: '(George and Martha Washington) 
Inspection of the First United States Coins Painting, 1914; 24 x 35 7/8 
inches (61.0 x 91.2cm) oil on canvas. By John Ward Dunsmore (1856-1945) 
painter of the original.' This reproduction bore the Dunsmore name. 
Further, the second artist painted craze (tiny cracks in the print) to 
give it an aged look to further the deception. 

"The scene is based on the apocryphal story that the half dismes being 
shown to the Washingtons were struck from silver furnished from their 
household table silver.

"The painting distributed by Dayton coin dealer Jim Kelly was an entirely 
different version, but based on the same theme if not the original painting.

I have one hanging above my desk now that I purchased from Jim Kelly 
perhaps 50 years ago. It is just beginning to show (legitimate) craze 
in the lower right.

"It bears the signature lower left of Hy (Henry) Hintermeister (born 1897) 
a New York City artist. It is smaller scope with fewer figures and a 
closer perspective of the mint scene. The figures: Henry Voigt in 
background, David Rittenhouse, George Washington (holding up sample 
coin), Martha (seated), Mrs. Hamilton (leaning over Martha’s shoulder), 
Alexander Hamilton, Adam Eckfelt (partly hidden) and Thomas Jefferson. 

"A coining press is on a table in the foreground of this painting 
(where it was in the background on the earlier version with scales 
more prominent in the foreground). The original is somewhat cluttered 
with furniture, a grandfather clock and belting shown above to drive 
the machinery. Composition of the third version is far more pleasing. 
I still get a thrill looking up from my desk as I did just now after 
I wrote this."

To view an image of the "Inspecting the First Coinage" painting 
(version unknown), see:

Dick Johnson adds: "Recalling other useful facts about Jim Kelly's 
painting is a problem, however. I don't remember when I got that 
painting, how much I paid for it, or even whether it was a gift.  
I lived in Dayton immediately after graduating from college and 
became close to Jim Kelly, attending all his auctions for example.
"He even recommended me to the Amos family when they were seeking 
an editor for a coin publication. When I moved to Sidney I, of course, 
renewed that friendship and we were involved with him on a weekly 
basis in the creation of "coin trends" the weekly report of coin 
"I should not have said he "commissioned" the painting. He had prints 
for sale and I acquired one of those prints. I cannot recall any 
further details than that.
"I don't believe he would have found that obscure painter, Hy 
Hintermeister to commission the painting. Probably, a print publisher 
offered these to him and he took on a small number to market.
"The print is lithographed on linen paper, it is not oil on canvas 
(which would have been the original). It does have the rippled surface 
in imitation of canvas, but it is paper.
"So there is another research project -- tracking down where the 
original of this painting is. Isn't numismatic research fun?"


Through a web search I discovered that the John Ward Dunsmore 
Collection at the Fraunces Tavern Museum in New York City consists 
of forty-five paintings donated by the artist.  The paintings depict 
key events in early U.S. history.  The collection includes a U.S. 
Mint-related painting titled "Washington Inspecting First Silver 
Coins."  This does NOT depict the same scene as Dunsmore's "Inspecting 
the First Coinage".  In it there are five male figures, with Washington 
seated at a desk viewing coins and the others standing watching.

To view "Washington Inspecting First Silver Coins," see  

The museum's web site notes that "Dunsmore was a late 19th/early 20th-
century painter best known for his realistic and historically accurate 
paintings. Dunsmore, the first Director of the Detroit Museum of Art 
and a member of the Sons of the Revolution, donated the majority of 
the collection directly to the Museum."

Fraunces Tavern is Manhattan's oldest surviving building.  On Pearl 
Street in the Financial District, it was built in 1719 as an elegant 
residence for the merchant Stephan Delancey.  Later it became a tavern 
run by Samuel Fraunces and was noted as a gathering place for patriots 
during the Revolutionary War.  The Sons of Liberty held meetings there 
before the British occupation of the city and in 1783 Washington said 
farewell to his Continental army officers in the tavern.

For more information on the Fraunces Tavern Museum, see: 


E-Sylum subscriber (and avid Half Dime collector) Stephen A. Crain 
writes: "I own a copy of the Frank Stewart version of the Dunsmore 
print, which I purchased at the 1999 ANA Summer Convention in Chicago. 
Since that time there has been occasional interest within the hobby 
concerning the original painting, the subsequent prints, and the 
historic occasion it depicts. 

"I wrote an article for the John Reich Journal (official quarterly
publication of the John Reich Collectors Society) which was published 
in Volume 13, Issue 1, July 2000, just prior to the 2000 ANA Summer 
Convention in Philadelphia. The article was published at the back of 
the Journal in order that the accompanying black and white copy of 
the Dunsmore print could be published contiguously with the article, 
on the heavy card stock of the cover, so that interested readers 
could remove the back cover and frame the picture.
"After many long years of searching, I inquired of numismatic book 
dealer Charles Davis if he knew of any prints ever made of the John 
Ward Dunsmore painting "Inspection of the First Coins of the First 
United States Mint". Charlie informed me that he recalled, many years 
previously, seeing a print of that famous painting on display at a 
coin show, somewhat appropriately in Philadelphia, but that the dealer 
who owned and displayed it was vehement that it was not for sale, and 
would refuse any and all offers. Not deterred, I was actually encouraged 
to learn that, in fact, prints evidently had been made, which might 
increase my odds of ever acquiring one. I informed Charlie that should 
he ever locate one, I was extremely interested in acquiring one.
"Many years passed with no success, until Charlie called me in my hotel 
room at the 1999 ANA Summer Convention in Chicago to inform me that a 
copy of the print had shown up on the bourse floor, and he had purchased 
it for me. I honestly do not know how Charlie even recalled that I was 
looking for the print, as several years had gone by since I mentioned 
it to him. Nonetheless, I literally ran back to the bourse floor to claim 
my prize. It remains one of my favorite numismatically related items, 
and hangs in a place of honor in my den (coin room).
"What I purchased is a twelve month calendar for the year 1916, published 
by the Frank H. Stewart Electric Co., in Philadelphia. Overall it is 
approximately sixteen inches (16") wide by fourteen inches (14") high. 
It has the twelve month calendar attached in the center at the bottom 
(along the 16" wide dimension). The calendar has individual pages for 
each month (still attached), which are five inches (5") wide by three 
inches (3") high, and are attached by a lime green ribbon with bow. 
There is another, slightly larger lime green ribbon at the top of the 

"The Dunsmore print is a separate piece, appearing in a window in the 
center, and is ten inches (10") wide by seven inches (7") high. The 
print is in full and vivid color, and depicts President and Martha 
Washington, Alexander and Mrs. Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, David 
Rittenhouse, Tobias Lear, Adam Eckfeldt, Henry Voight and another 
mint workman, all inspecting the 1792 half dismes, manufactured two 
blocks away in the basement of John Harper's saw manufacturing operation. 
The colors are extremely vivid, particularly in Martha Washington's 
lavender dress and Thomas Jefferson's red vest.
"When I acquired the calendar, it was carefully rolled up and placed 
in a tube to protect it from damaging light and other harmful damage. 
I subsequently had it professionally matted and framed using archival 
materials and UV resistant glass. Before doing so, I had two, and only 
two, professional photocopies made, reasoning that such an opportunity 
would not likely occur again, once framed. 

"For the color copy, I wanted to show my sincere appreciation to good 
friend Russell Logan for many years of mentorship, and for his continued 
kindness and generosity toward me, so I spared no expense in selecting 
a simple black frame from the offerings at my local Walmart store, and 
shipped the color copy off to Russ with a cover letter mentioned. (I 
was delighted to learn a couple of years ago that Brenda Logan had seen 
fit to offer the color copy to David Davis after Russ' passing). The 
black and white copy went to Brad Karoleff at the John Reich Journal 
for inclusion with my article.
"One of the decisions I needed to make when having the print framed 
involved the overleaf attached to the right hand side of the calendar. 
The overleaf contained a detailed description of the print, an historical 
account of the first Mint at Philadelphia, and a brief description of 
Frank Stewart's involvement. I knew that if I detached the overleaf it 
would destroy the original value of the calendar, but if I folded it 
back behind the calendar (its normal position) it would be forever out 
of view once framed. I elected to leave the overleaf intact, but to 
make a color copy of the overleaf (both sides), have it laminated, 
and placed into a pocket on the back of the framed print.
"I would be most willing, even eager, to share what information that 
I have on this calendar and print. However, it would be nearly impossible 
to make another color copy of it, as it is mounted in a large wood frame, 
and the print is recessed more than an inch from the front surface of 
the frame. Also, to protect the aforementioned ribbons, there are spacing 
beads behind the glass, spacing the calendar away from the glass to avoid 
compressing the ribbons. I would not like to remove it from its frame and 
protective kraft paper backing, but it should be possible to make a 
quality digital photo of the calendar and forward it to interested 
parties, or perhaps I can arrange to bring it to a prearranged location 
for others to see and study. 

"I have been in email contact with Len Augsburger within the last week 
regarding this very subject, and we each shared what information we had 
about the number of prints made, who might have made them, and their 
90+ year provenance. I related to Len my experience meeting Frank 
Greenberg at the 2000 ANA Summer Convention in Philadelphia, where 
he displayed an identical copy of this calendar. We talked for quite 
a time, I gave him a copy of my article in the JR Journal, and he 
related to me his recollection of the history of the prints, which I 
carefully wrote down at the time. This is a fascinating subject, and 
one that combines my love for American history, the early Federal 
coinage, the 1792 half dismes, and Thomas Jefferson, making it 
especially important to me.

[Many thanks to Stephen not only for his fascinating story but for 
his careful conservation and stewardship of the Stewart calendar.  
Thanks also to David Davis for alerting Stephen to Joel's research 
question. -Editor]

To read a Collector's Universe Coin Collectors Forum discussion 
of the painting, see:  


Regarding Frank Stewart, George Polizio writes: "I just wanted to 
add a little information. I do not know the inventory of his coin 
collection, but while researching Bust Quarters I found that he had 
bought an 1823 quarter out of the Gable sale (S.H.Chapman 5/14:1044). 
He used the pseudonym 'East'. The coin later appeared in the Russ Logan 
sale minus the graffiti that was on the bust of Liberty."


Last week R.V. Dewey asked about William Woodin's acquisition of a 
trove of pattern coins from the U.S. Mint, said to be part of a deal 
he made for returning two disputed $50 Half Union patterns purchased 
earlier from the Mint.


Saul Teichman writes: "The Ford library had the most interesting note 
regarding Woodin's purchase and subsequent return of the two gold Half 
Union patterns - the following is the excerpt I placed on the website. One of these letters from Woodin's attorney 
to U.S. Attorney Henry W. Wise on June 7, 1910 is shown below courtesy 
of George Kolbe.
[The URL is  -Editor]

'Col. Snowden, who had originally purchased these coins from the 
Director of the Mint in Philadelphia by depositing the bullion value 
and the charge for pattern pieces to save them from being melted down, 
in the course of negotiations between himself and Dr. Andrew, Director 
of the Mints, came to an agreement with the latter over all matters 
in dispute between them, and proposed to Mr. Woodin to repay him the 
$20,000 he had paid for these pieces, in order that he might carry 
out his arrangement with Dr. Andrew. 

'Mr. Woodin after numerous visits to Philadelphia and Washington 
and conference with Dr. Andrew, both there and in this city, decided 
to accept this offer, returned the 50’s to Col. Snowden, and I 
thereupon notified Mr. Pratt, as did Mr. Woodin, that the incident 
was closed, and we requested a letter from your office confirming 
the same. In view of the trouble and expense to which Mr. Woodin was 
put to facilitate Dr. Andrew in the adjustment of a very difficult 
situation, your letter seems a little unfair, in that it would tend 
to create the appearance of a record some time in the future that Mr. 
Woodin had been compelled to give up something of which he was 
improperly in possession.'

"What this letter tells us is that Col. Snowden owned the patterns, 
thus they were never a part of the Idler collection as often mentioned 
in the past.  It is believed that Haseltine and Nagy brokered the deal 
between Snowden and Woodin for the $20,000 purchase of the two Half 
Unions.  Articles in The Numismatist as the time seem to tell us that 
much.  It is likely that they received a commission of some sort for 
their participation. 

"The letter also notes that the coins were returned to Col. Snowden 
and that he was to return them to the U.S. Mint which he did.  Today 
the coins reside in the National Numismatic Collection at the 
Smithsonian Institution.  

"As for Woodin getting his $20,000 back, it appears that instead of 
cash, he got paid by receiving other pattern coins, probably from 
items still in Snowden's possession - not from items taken out of the 
U.S. Mint collection, although the latter is certainly possible.  If 
the Mint was involved it is NOT likely that their pieces were primary 
to the settlement.  It is also likely, though not provable at this 
time, that Woodin received items from the Idler collection via 
Haseltine & Nagy which covered their commission amount on the sale.   

"With regard to what were the coins Woodin received, the easiest way 
to figure it out would be to look into the gaps which exist in the 
Smithsonian's pattern collection today.  I do not remember the length 
of Snowden's tenure but the Mint collection has large gaps of items 
struck in the mid-1870s.  Among the items received include the 1872 
Amazonian gold set, the two 1874 Bickford eagles, the two sets of 
1875 sailor's head gold patterns, the two silver sets of 1876 dollar 
patterns and many 1877-1896 dated pieces.  

"It is likely that many of the items dated in the 1870s came from Col.
Snowden directly.  Many of the patterns dated after 1872 were extremely 
rare at the time, then they became more common after this deal.  For 
example, only three silver (Mint, Garrett and Vicksburg), one copper 
(Woodside-Brand) and one white metal schoolgirl dollar (offered in 
1895 Scott auction - purchased by Brand in 1896) were known at the 
time.  Today about another twenty pieces in silver and copper are 
now known. 

"Woodin did appear to have plenty of duplicates and offered them via 
Edgar Adams in one 1911 auction sale and three fixed price lists.  
Woodin also sold his regular gold collection at this time (excluding 
his Half Eagles, which went to Newcomer in the mid 1920s).  One wonders 
if he needed the money to cover his legal fees in this matter.  

"In any event, many of the patterns he received appear to have ended 
up with the great collectors of the day such as H.O. Granberg, Waldo 
Newcomer, W.W.C. Wilson and Virgil Brand to name a few.  Edgar Adams 
himself still had plenty of patterns by 1935 when he sold them in a 
Thomas Elder auction.  Woodin is also known to have had many of the 
1883 and 1896 patterns in his possession. 

"I do not know if the Newcomer inventories that sold in the Ford 
library mention the source of his patterns although it is obvious 
that he obtained many of Woodin's pieces.  The ANA Centennial Anthology 
did have an article on Newcomer's inventory - I do not know if it 
specifically mentions how much Newcomer spent on his patterns and/or 
how many parcels from Woodin he received.  

"I am also unaware of any specific inventory existing of the Granberg 
collection - his Adams & Woodin book does exist and was described as 
heavily annotated.  It is important to note that at least some of 
Newcomer's patterns also originated from Granberg - the 1872 Amazonian 
gold set being one of them as he apparently purchased the set from 
Woodin.  The Brand journal notes purchases from Adams in 1911 including 
ten 1877 half dollars in silver and one of the two known sets of 1875 
Sailor's Head gold patterns to name just a few.  He also later 
purchased W.W.C. Wilson's Gobrecht dollars and his 1874 gold Bickford 
$10 in 1919."

[R.V. Dewey's information on Woodin’s sales to Newcomer and Granberg 
came from "Abe Kosoff Remembers", p378 (a June 25, 1980 Coin World 
column).  Abe lunched weekly with Fred Boyd and got a lot of this 
information from him.  "Abe Kosoff Remembers" and Dave Bowers' "Abe 
Kosoff: Dean of Numismatics" are filled with great tales, well worth 
reading and re-reading.  -Editor]


Dick Johnson writes: "To answer the question proposed by R.V. Dewey 
on Flying Eagle pattern coins in last week’s E-Sylum, 'German-silver' 
was found as natural alloys in, obviously, Germany. It was imported 
into England in 1830. But it was famed New York City dentist, Dr. 
Lewis Feuchtwanger, who, in 1837, after experimenting with alloys, 
issued his own tokens in this composition.

"Feuchtwanger, it is well known, went to Scovill in Waterbury to have 
his one-cent and three-cent tokens and his storecards struck in this 
alloy. He tried to persuade the U.S. Mint to use his "Feuchtwanger's 
composition" for a U.S. coin metal but was unsuccessful. There is no 
silver in German-silver but its early use was obviously in imitation 
of silver.

"Feuchtwanger could have obtained this alloy from Germany, made it 
himself by adding nickel to a brass alloy, or ordered it made at 
Scovill, I suspect it was the later. One of his proposed alloys was 
53 copper, 29 zinc and 18 nickel. (German-silver has a range of 
formulae:  55-65 copper, 5-25 nickel, 10-30 zinc.)

"German-silver is a hard alloy. It is ideal for medals to be carried 
or worn (but not next to the skin -- it turns skin green). It has 
been used for pocket pieces, keytags and watchfobs. The name was 
changed to "nickel-silver" in America and England during World War I 
for anti-German sentiment. It is still widely used by medalmakers 
today for striking items that are likely to be subjected to very 
hard use.

"Incidentally, the use of the word "flyers" in this article without 
a capital letter is a numismatic buzz word. The word without the 
capital should be shunned in formal numismatic writing. It is also 
like "walkers" for Liberty Walking halves. 

"Buzz words do not lead to clear numismatic writing or easy understanding 
by the reader. Even after collecting U.S. coins for 67 years, this 76-year 
old collector had to read the sentence containing "flyers" several times 
to understand the writer was talking about Flying Eagle cents. (To me 
"flyers" without a capital is printed pages.) Best to adopt a style of 
capitalizing type coin names."

[Sorry for letting the 'flyers' reference slip - I did change some 
others in the item, but missed this one.  The usage had confused me 
at first, too. -Editor]


The Times-Union of Albany, NY picked up on the recent Heritage sale 
of the Troy Wiseman Albany Church Penny and published an article on 
Thursday, January 11:

"When is a penny worth more than a penny? When it is worth $64,000, 
plus a 15 percent buyer premium. That is what an original Albany 
church penny sold for last week after receiving international exposure 
on eBay.

"The cloudy-looking 217-year-old copper coin reads "D Church Penny" 
on one side and the other is smooth and blank.

"The Rev. Glenn Leupold, co-pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, 
said the penny functioned as sort of a church offering gift certificate.

'It was a coin you could put on the offering plate that represented 
an amount you had already given to the church in advance,' he said. 
'If I said I was going to give a dollar a week, which was a lot of 
money back then, I would put in one of these coins.'

"As for Leupold, he's only half joking when he says he'll scour the 
State Street church to see if there are any more of the pennies around. 
It would be unlikely: The church has moved at least twice since it 
was founded in 1763.

'This is reminder, as I sit here worrying about what is best for this 
church in the next five years, of just how long rooted this 
congregation is,' Leupold said."

To read the complete article, see:  

To view the Heritage lot description, see:

[The catalog description echoes portions of the Breen Encyclopedia 
entry on the Albany Church Penny, summarizing that "The purpose of 
the Albany pieces remains unknown. Nothing is known, either, of the 
issuer or of the manufacturer of the Albany Penny. Perhaps it is 
better said that the maker is forgotten. As well, it is presumed 
that these tokens were of local manufacture, for so they appear by 
their texture. That they were used, however, is evident. All of the 
few known pieces are quite worn..."

We bibliophiles hate to take "nothing is known" as our final answer.  
The cataloger may not know anything more about the piece, and we may 
not either, but we do know that surely SOMEone, SOMEwhere, SOMEtime 
in the past two centuries has recorded SOMEthing of interest.

The Times-Union article was far more specific, noting that "1,000 or 
so" were initially minted.  I was unable to find this mintage figure 
in Breen, but did find it in a great article by Howard R. Kurth in the 
April 1944 issue of The Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine (p284-9).  The 
article was based on a presentation to the Albany Numismatic Society 
and cites an 1850 work by Joel Munsell titled 'The Annals of Albany', 
where it is recorded that "on the 4th of January 1790 the Trustees of 
the First Presbyterian Church resolved that one thousand coppers be 
stamped 'Church Penny' and placed in the hands of the treasurer, for 
the purpose of exchanging with the congregation at the rate of twelve 
for one shilling, in order to add respect to the weekly collections."   
The circulating coinage of the day in Albany consisted primarily of 
"coins from other states, bungtown tokens, and old British halfpennies 
mostly worn smooth or counterfeit."

This background enabled me to make some sense of the coin's image 
(found on both the Times-Union and Heritage web sites).  The central 
portion of the design is deep, consistent with the counterstamping of 
a host coin.  Around the outer edges of the host coin are the 
difficult-to-read but readily apparent remnants of inscriptions.  
These could be the legitimately worn inscriptions of the host coin 
or the intentionally "worn-looking" devices of an evasion copper.  
These heavily worn (and worn-looking) pieces were quite plentiful 
in circulation at the time, making a ready supply of planchets for 

The Kurth article references several Numismatist articles of 1936 
and 1939, and discusses the specimens owned by leading collectors 
including Mickley and Bushnell.  The Numismatic Indexes Project (NIP), 
where I located the Scrapbook article reference, also lists a number 
of related articles in The Colonial Newsletter.  -Editor]


In a short item last week I wrote: "Escala has been in the news 
following the financial implosion of its unit in Spain."  I haven't 
tried keeping up with who-owns-who in the complicated international 
collectibles conglomerate that includes Teletrade, Bowers and Merena 
Auctions, and Spectrum Numismatics here in the U.S., but I'm told 
that the rain in Spain fell mainly on Escala's majority stock holder
(Afinsa), not the Escala Group itself.  However, on January 8 Escala 
announced that it received notification that NASDAQ "has determined 
to delist the Company's common stock from the NASDAQ Global Select 
Market, effective at the open of business on January 10, 2007."


Len Augsburger forwarded this Associated Press story from Hancock, MI. 
"Robert Nuranen handed the local librarian a book he'd checked out for 
a ninth-grade assignment -- along with a check for 47 years' worth of 
late fees.

"Nuranen said his mother misplaced the copy of "Prince of Egypt" while 
cleaning the house. The family came across it every so often, only to 
set it aside again. He found it last week while looking through a box 
in the attic."

To read the complete article, see: 

[The book, which was due June 2, 1960, carried a $171.32 late fee.  
See the following item for a related discussion on library 
deaccessioning policies. -Editor]


Regarding the previous story of the library book returned after 
forty-seven years, Len Augsburger writes: "This reminds me of a 
story Dave Bowers told - while a student at Penn State he was 
allowed to check out a certain volume for only 24 hours per the 
library rules, even though no one had checked out the book for 
one hundred years or so!"

[The Bowers anecdote relates to last week's item about the purpose 
of libraries.  While the 24-hour limit is harsh for a book in little 
demand, there's no question that the Penn State library was in the 
business of collecting material for the ages.  Had they discarded 
or sold the book somewhere along the way, it wouldn't have been 
available century later.

I ran into a similar situation when I first discovered the four-volume 
H. E. Kroos work, "A Documentary History of Banking and Currency in 
the United States."  I don't think it had ever been checked out of 
the library until I came along.  I pointed this out to the library 
clerk and offered to buy the set to no avail.  I don't know if the 
response was based on stewardship of the collection or simple 
bureaucratic inertia, but the volumes remained in the library.  
Eventually I found my own set. -Editor]

Coincidentally, Dick Johnson writes: "When I was a resident of 
Danbury Connecticut I visited the Danbury Public Library fairly 
frequently. In spring 1974, at a sale of surplus books, I picked 
up a small run of the American Numismatic Society's Numismatic 
Notes and Monographs. They had deaccessioned these a month or two 
"The card pocket and "Date Due" sheet were pasted in the back of 
each. The donor's name and 1935 date of donation were handwritten 
in the front. Every one of those NN&Ms were donated to the Danbury 
Library by nearby resident Anna Hyatt Huntington (she and her 
husband, Archer, were major ANS benefactors).  
"Not one of those monographs had been checked out since 1935! Not 
one entry on the Date Due sheet - reason enough to deaccession. 
[Unless your mission is to collect for the ages, of course. -Editor] 
Mrs. Huntington had died October 4th the year before. The library 
had kept those monographs on the shelf all those years while she 
was still alive. Was the reason for deacessioning that she was 
now dead?
"Incidentally, the Danbury Library's greatest deaccession occurred 
years later (February 1996). Every single book was deaccessioned 
for smoke damage after a fire. (A mentally disturbed person had 
dropped burning rubbish in the book return slot.) The circulation 
department was entirely destroyed, but they made a decision to 
replace every book in the library (and moved the book return kiosk 
away from the building).
"This was a tragedy for me. For research on my coin and medal 
technology encyclopedia I had often used the library's 5-volume 
set of Oxford's "A History of Technology" by Singer & others. I 
had made marginal notes in one volume in that library set. (Okay, 
not a good idea.) I'd give anything to own that set now."


The Western People newspaper of Ireland this week reported the 
story of the discovery of a 1924 football medal long thought lost.

"A rare piece of football memorabilia returned to the possession 
of well-known Knockmore GAA clubman Malachy Kelly recently, in the 
form of a winners medal from the 1924 Ballina Town championship. 

"For over 40 years Malachy had been unsure as to the whereabouts 
of the medal, originally won by his father, Jim, who played on the 
victorious Commercials team. However, the silverware re-emerged 
during the Christmas period, though the circumstances of the find 
were tinged with sadness. 

"Malachy’s brother, Martin, who resided in Leeds, passed away in 
late December and among the possessions returned to Malachy was the 
engraved 1924 medal, in pristine condition."

"'There’s a fair bit of history and nostalgia attached to the Town 
football competitions in Ballina so it’s just nice to have something 
like this by which to remember my father and brother by,' concluded 

To read the complete article, see:


The quiz question sparked by the U.S. Mint's First Spouse coin series 
led us to a number of interesting side topics.  Doug Andrews takes us 
in another direction.  He writes: "U.S. First Ladies are an interesting 
study. The query about "Presidential spouses who weren't First Ladies" 
can also be turned around to pose another intriguing question - Which 
First Ladies, or those who served as First Ladies, weren't Presidential 
"There are at least two. Chester Arthur's wife, Ellen, died in 1880 
before he was elected President. Chester Arthur's sister, Mary McElroy,
served in that capacity on official, state, and social occasions. 
Dolley Madison, wife of future President James Madison, served as First 
Lady to the widowed Thomas Jefferson. Hence, Dolley Madison served as 
First Lady before she became a Presidential spouse."

[Monica Lewinsky’s services to the President weren’t in an official 
or state capacity, so she thankfully wouldn’t appear on any such list.  
As Doug writes, "close, but no cigar..."]

Dick Johnson writes: "If you know two fields exceptionally well, Google 
wants to hire you. One is your own field of experience, say numismatics, 
and the other is what is on the Internet in that field.
"The pay is not great, only $5 to $10 per hour but you can work anywhere, 
anytime, and you can keep your day job. You will answer questions and 
guide people -- inquirers -- to locations on the net that will answer 
their questions in a live exchange. Google has established a new feature 
to direct people to a live knowledgeable person who can answer questions 
in that subject area.
"Currently Google has 2,500 Guides and is looking to raise this level 
to 10,000 by June. They did mention the easiest way to become a Guide 
is to be recommended by another Guide. If you cannot do that it may be 
a test of your internet savvy to find out how to get on board.
"Answering other people's questions strengthens your own expertise. 
Maybe that is more satisfying than the coolie pay. If you sign on as 
a coin expert, expect a lot of "I have this Indian head penny. What is 
it worth?" kind of questions."

[The "instant online expert" service is something multiple web sites 
offer.  Yahoo Answers is one, and it has been far more popular than 
Google's version.  Google actually shut down their Google Answers service 
last month, but they may be regrouping and planning to relaunch.  Dick 
saw the news item about Google's plan on television news just this week. 
He also noted the following article about one of the top experts on 
Yahoo Answers: -Editor]


Regarding Leon Worden's questions about the sinking of the S.S. Central 
America, Jim Duncan of New Zealand writes: "It crossed my mind that part 
of the ship might have been lightened by removal rather than lowered by 
overloading. Is it not also possible that someone ("unscrupulous bankers 
or others") unloaded a quantity of gold, and substituted something lighter, 
so that the ship floated stern down?


Author Eric Leighton has agreed to share with E-Sylum readers some 
excerpts from his new book "NUmiS WORTHY: Old Numismatic News 1752 
to 1800', a compilation of contemporary newspaper reports published 
in Nova Scotia.  This piece from the Nova-Scotia Gazette & Weekly 
Chronicle, Aug. 29, 1786, copying a report from London, June 7:

"On Wednesday morning as George Kelway a labourer was filling an 
old saw pit which had been dug amidst the ruins of a house at Lyme 
Regis, in Dorsetshire, he discovered three small oak chests, containing 
an immense quantity of gold and silver coin, to the amount, as it is 
said, of 2000l. and upwards chiefly of the coinage of Charles I. and II. 
and is supposed to have been buried there at the time of the Duke of 
Monmouth’s invasion, who landed at or near Lyme in the year 1786*. 
[*obviously an original misprint – EL]

The poor fellow, upon discovering the treasure, immediately loaded 
himself home with a part, and informing his landlord of the event, 
they both went and took another loading, but unfortunately having taken 
too much one of their pockets burst on the way, and the secret being 
thereby discovered, all the neighbourhood flew to the spot, and such 
a scene of disorder and confusion arose, that it may be litterally said, 
to have rolled in money; hats, caps, and every vehicle that could be 
procured, overflowed with the golden harvest, and scarce a person was 
present who did not reap to the amount of sixty or seventy pounds in 
value; even the gleanings were considerable. 

Kelway and his partner had secured about 240 pounds weight, but the 
next day Kelway, having entrusted the major part of this treasure 
(secured in a strong chest) to the care of his landlord, whilst he 
went to a neighbouring town to purchase cloath, &c. an artful tinker 
found means to defraud the landlord of the whole; and poor Kelway, on his
return home, found himself again reduced to poverty. 

The tinker, whose name is Roe, was taken into custody the same day, 
and is now confined to Lyme Regis goal, whence he is to be removed to 
Dorchester, to take his trial at the next assizes. A great part of the 
money has been regained and secured."



Stephen Searle, Ron Thompson and several others pointed out an 
Associated Press report published Wednesday that revealed that 
circulating coins have been used by spies to track people's 

"Can the coins jingling in your pocket trace your movements? The 
Defense Department is warning its American contractor employees about 
a new espionage threat seemingly straight from Hollywood: It discovered
Canadian coins with tiny radio frequency transmitters hidden inside.

"In a U.S. government report, it said the mysterious coins were found 
planted on U.S. contractors with classified security clearances on at 
least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006 
as the contractors traveled through Canada.

"What's in the report is true," said Martha Deutscher, a spokeswoman 
for the security service. "This is indeed a sanitized version, which 
leaves a lot of questions."

"Canada's physically largest coins include its $2 "Toonie," which is 
more than 1-inch across and thick enough to hide a tiny transmitter. 
The CIA has acknowledged its own spies have used hollow, U.S. 
silver-dollar coins to hide messages and film."

To read the complete article, see: 

To view a hollow dollar coin at the CIA's web site, see:

Scott Semans writes: "The article's author misses the point that the 
coin should be one likely to be saved and carried, rather than an 
ordinary circulating coin which the target would pass on.  Why would 
a spy put a tracking device in an ordinary coin that would be passed 
from hand to hand?  To find out where a target buys his morning cup 
of coffee, and which bank the coffee vendor sends the change to at 
the end of the day, and so on?  

"It seems to me the only point in putting a tracking device in a coin, 
unless you are researching patterns of money circulation, would be to 
induce the target to KEEP the coin, perhaps a target who knows better 
than to accept sweaters, tote bags, or more obvious harbors of RFID 
chips from strangers?  But, I'm no spy, so all is speculation."


>From January 5 through April 1, 2007, the Shelton Theater in San 
Francisco will present "Emperor Norton - The Musical."  Norton is 
known to numismatists for the rare scrip he issued.

"Expanded and revamped, with additional songs and a dynamic mix of 
new and returning cast members, Emperor Norton, the Musical remains 
a rollicking, hilarious tribute to San Francisco, its eccentric 
characters and the man who refused to let it be called “Frisco”!

"Based on a true story, businessman Joshua Norton lost a fortune, 
went mad and proclaimed himself "Emperor of the United States and 
Protector of Mexico" in post-Gold Rush San Francisco. Thanks to the 
free-wheeling spirit of the Barbary Coast, Emperor Norton went on 
to print his own money, conceive the Bay Bridge, propose to the Queen 
of England, befriend Mark Twain, consort with famed performers Lola 
Montez and Lotta Crabtree, and become the most beloved San Franciscan 
of the 19th Century."

To learn more about Emperor Norton - The Musical, see: 

To read an American History article (with an image of Norton scrip) see:

Dick Johnson writes: "Larry Dziubek wrote to me this week with a 
biography of Canadian engraver Thomas Church. He explained he had 
given this out at a coin club talk as a handout.
I replied: "Handouts are always a good idea. My files are full of 
them. But I caused laughter among a group of my genealogical friends 
at a field trip to the Pittsfield National Archives once when I asked 
the guide if the previous speaker that day -- on early American paper 
money -- had left any handouts."

"My fellow genealogical club members are always laughing at me. One 
meeting the guest speaker was on handwriting. She had each of us give 
her samples of our handwriting. Earlier in the business meeting I 
commented that as chairman of the development committee I wanted to 
create items the club could sell to raise funds.
For her analysis of my handwriting she said I would make a good 
"front man," mentioning my committee duties.
"Sorry!" I blurted out. "You misread that. I'm a leg man, not a 
front man." Of course I meant that I wanted to help SELL those 
items. But the dear old grandmothers in the audience took my 
comment in another vein."


This week's featured web site is 'The Play Money of American 
Children' by Richard and Wendy Clothier. 

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 
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