The E-Sylum v11#02, January 13, 2008
esylum at binhost.com
esylum at binhost.com
Sun Jan 13 19:39:25 PST 2008
Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 11, Number 02, January 13, 2008:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2008, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
WAYNE'S WORDS: THE E-SYLUM JANUARY 13, 2008
Among our recent subscribers are Chris Neuzil and Joseph D.
McCarthy. Welcome aboard! We now have 1,109 subscribers.
This week we open with discussions of the catalogs for two
upcoming sales, one of numismatic literature and one of
Americana. On a very different topic, next is a review of
a book on the coins and currency of the middle east. My
numismatic diary for this week touches on the Daniel Carr
Amero patterns and the 1933 Washroom Warrior medal.
In responses to last week's issue, David Schenkman discusses
William D. Hyder's January 2008 Numismatist article, and
George Cuhaj discusses the Gorham Company archives at Brown
University. Responding to last week's announcement of the
pending retirement of ANS Librarian Frank Campbell, we have
some appreciations of Frank's work by three E-Sylum readers.
So you thought the American Numismatic Society used to be
in a tough neighborhood? Try Baghdad. To learn about the
"Jack Bauer of librarianship", read on. Have a great week,
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
CHARLES DAVIS FEBRUARY 2008 NUMISMATIC LITERATURE SALE CATALOG
My copy of the February 2, 2008 Charles Davis numismatic
literature sale catalog arrived recently. As always,
Charlie's lot descriptions contain good tidbits of interesting
information, and I find myself learning new things about some
books I thought I was already familiar with. My area of
interest is U.S. numismatic literature so I can't comment
on the extensive selection of literature on ancient numismatics,
but I thought I'd mention a few interesting U.S. lots.
I've always enjoyed reading the "house organ" periodicals
issued by 19th century U.S. coin dealers. Lots 101-103
feature the Thomas Elder publications 'The Elder Monthly'
and 'The Numismatic Philistine'. Lot 107 is the 1990 Money
Tree reprint of Ed Frossard's 'Numisma', "the most lively
and libelous periodical in American numismatics." Two
interesting 20th century productions are: Lot 130, a
complete set of Jim Kelly's "Kelly's Coins and Chatter
and Lot 193, a complete set of the 1940's Numismatic Review
Lot 118 is a copy of Augustus Heaton's 1893 'A Treatise
on the Coinage of the United States Branch Mints'. Estimated
at $100, this little 54-page volume was "the first work to
draw attention to the scarcity of the coinage of the branch
mints." It's a scarce work in itself, and considering that
it launched the mintmark collecting craze that today fuels
stratospheric price levels for rare branch mint coins, any
collector, dealer or investor who specializes in these
ought to have a copy in their library.
STACK'S JANUARY 2008 AMERICANA SALE CATALOG
The January 15-16 Stack's Americana sale is a whopper. At
496 pages the catalog showcases the firm's largest (and
possibly the finest) offering of Americana ever. The sale
opens with a great selection of continental and colonial
currency, featuring a nice selection of early American
private scrip issues.
Next up is the French Colonies collection of Robert A. Vlack,
author of the definitive 2004 book on the subject. Over 150
specimens are plate coins from that important work. The sale
also includes the John P. Lorenzo collections of St. Patrick's
coinage and New Jersey coppers and Part 1 of the Michael K.
Ringo collection of Contemporary Counterfeit English and
I asked Roger Sibioni about the sale and he writes: "John
Kraljevich cataloged Mike's counterfeits and this catalog
will probably serve as the major reference piece for English/
Irish counterfeit halfpence for some time. The collection
has a great preamble introduction on Mike and this emerging
area of collecting by Vicken Yegparian."
Also included is Ringo's collection of American silver
and coin silver tableware, many of which have numismatic
connections. I was pleased to see a note that "photos of
single item lots not photographed in this catalogue may be
found online". Hip, hip hooray! I've been advocating this
bifurcated approach to numismatic cataloging for some time.
This is one of the first instances I've seen where the
printed and online catalogs of a sale diverge. Usually
these are carbon copies of one another, but it only makes
sense to take advantage of the unique properties of each
medium to present the sale in the best overall perspective
at a reasonable cost.
The U.S. medal section features many important specimens
including Comitia Americana and Libertas Americana medals.
The Civil War section features a number of interesting pieces,
including a so-called "Rebel Half Dime" (lot 7233). The sale
ends with a selection of U.S. coinage including some nice
One lot bibliophiles will appreciate is one of 400 deluxe
leatherbound copies of Dave Bowers' 'A California Gold Rush
History, featuring the treasure from the S.S. Central America.'
"The inside of the front board incorporates a pinch of
'authentic gold dust from the S.S. Central America' behind
a plastic 'window' for added Western appeal. The book is
protected by a heavy and precisely fitted slip cover of
rugged construction. Printed on heavy coated stock, the
volume includes a life-size glossy color photo of a Justh
and Hunter ingot from the wreck. This luxurious presentation
volume was originally offered only to buyers of substantial
Gold ingots salvaged from the S.S. Central America and each
book cost some $1,000 to produce."
Other notes and comments on the sale are welcomed. Will
the catalog become a classic reference? What was it like
in the sale room? See "John Lorenzo's Frontenec Sale
Purchase" later in this issue.
REVIEW: COINS & CURRRENCY OF THE MIDDLE EAST
I recently received a copy of the 2006 book from Krause
Publications, 'Coins & Currency of The Middle East' by Tom
Michael and George Cuhaj. While far from my normal area of
interest, the continuing news from that region of the world
makes a good topical subject for a book. I found it
interesting and think others will, too.
Covered countries include Afghanistan, Djibouti, Egypt,
Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon,
Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Somaliland,
Sudan, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
The time period covers that last quarter-century or so.
The book is a useful handbook-style compendium of information
on not just the modern coins and paper money of the region,
but military tokens, medals, challenge coins, propaganda
leaflets and more. The cover and title page describe the
book as "A Descriptive Guide to Pocket Collectible" and
that's a fitting description. It is clearly intended for
a Western audience, particularly people who served in the
military and diplomatic corps in the region, and their friends
and family members back home. Every generation of soldiers
brings back souvenirs of their deployment, and people will
be naturally curious to learn more about them. This book
is a "World War II Remembered" for today's generation. The
272-page card covered book is profusely illustrated in color,
and lists for $17.94 retail.
It seems a natural product to market directly to returning
servicemen and their families as well as collectors. I don't
know that many dealers would rush to buy it (except for resale
to collectors) because of the low value of most of the items
listed. Few are listed at over $100 and many if not most are
under $10. There aren't many "hidden treasures" that the book
could help a bargain hunter locate. But for the collector or
"average joe" with an interest in the topic, the new book is
an invaluable companion.
Tom Michael writes: "George and I had a lot of fun doing the
Middle East book and I think that shows in the end product.
I tried to keep the text light and airy. Our original intent
was to make this for the service personnel and their families,
though our marketing people completely re-wrote the back cover
copy and only distributed the book to bookstores and through
the numismatic trade. George and I wanted it in the PX's."
"Everyone we worked with liked our idea also, but sometimes
you just can't get the marketing and sales staffs to work
for something different. I think the designer did a great
job of creating a book for the service personnel, just as
we intended. It's one of my favorite books that I have done
over the years."
The book absolutely has the look and feel of a military
theme throughout. While the illustrations and price listings
(in two grades, "Worn" and "New") have the familiar Krause
flavor, they are augmented with many large color photos of
U.S. military personnel in the region. Critics could argue
that the selected photos have too much of an officially-
sponsored military publication flavor to them, with page
after page of soldiers handing out candy to delighted
children, smiling doctors administering vaccines and relief
workers handing out supplies to grateful locals - nary a
Green Zone checkpoint or car bomb aftermath among them.
But that's not what the book is meant to be about. I
found it a pleasant relief from the headlines and think
others will too.
The photos are good quality, printed on glossy paper. As a
numismatist I take issue with the layout of paper money
photos, however. For visual effect the designer made two
choices - one of them I can live with, but the other greatly
limits the book's usability for research purposes. The first
choice was to lay out the photos at slight angles, and while
reading the book I found myself tilting my head like a
quizzical dog. That part I got quickly used to and I came
to appreciate the not-your-average-coin-catalog feel. But
the other choice - to lay out the photos with the front of
each note overlaying the back - was grating. With parts of
the back design of nearly every note obscured, it felt like
the numismatic content had a gaping hole. While I realize
that numismatists are not the primary target readers, I was
disappointed with this choice - for me, I'd much rather trade
the space used for ancillary photos for space to properly
illustrate each note.
For bibliophiles there is a useful multipage section on
books relating to the conflicts. For fun, there are also
sections on comic books, propaganda leaflets and memorabilia,
including the famous decks of "most wanted" cards. I'm glad
the editors decided to include these items, as they often
accompany the coin and paper money souvenirs brought home
Overall I was quite pleased with the book. I think it will
be well received in its target market, and should still be
of interest and use in the numismatic market despite the
banknote illustration shortcoming. In the category of
nitpicks I feel compelled to note there are some misplaced
apostrophes in the narrative text that would have given my
grammar teachers conniptions. The only error that was
jarring to me was the misspelled heading for the Appendices
section (on p262, "Appenices").
I hope the military readers among us help promote the book
by posting notices on various military web sites and blogs.
And if anyone has a connection with people stocking the PX,
put in a good word - I think the book would be a good seller.
It's a little outdated now as we enter 2008, but still quite
useful and interesting.
George Cuhaj adds: "It was our first full color book from
the KP Numismatic staff, thus quite a learning curve. It
was the first in a long time to have coins and paper combined.
The idea was not to show every item, so not every banknote
got illustrated. The positive military photographic spin
was intentional. We had plenty bad images in the public
press and decided that our book would have a different tone."
NEW BOOK IN PROGRESS: CALENDAR MEDALS AND STORECARDS
George Fuld writes: "The featured web site on January 6th
about calendar medals brings up a topic that I am now working
on. From January, 1956 to February, 1974, my father and
I published over 250 pages on Calendar Medals and Store
Cards in The Numismatist. Elston Bradfield, the editor,
had the intent to publish a summary of the articles as a
"Now that digital printing has arrived, I am preparing to
republish these articles as a hard back book. This will
include all the Fuld articles as well as a fine compilation
of British calendar medals by James O. Sweeny. Sweeny's
study of British calendars, privately printed in 2003
traced more than double, the medals found by the Fuld's.
"Scanning the articles is now underway, and the book should
be available within the next six months. It will retail
for under $50. I would welcome inquiries from people if
such a book would be of interest. This will influence the
original press run. Contact George Fuld at fuld1 at comcast.net."
[The booklet by Sweeney is titled "Three Hundred Years of
British Calendar Medals" (28 pages, 2003) -Editor]
FEATURED WEB PAGE: 1799 PETER KEMPSON CALENDAR MEDAL
NEW MUSEUM OF AMERICAN FINANCE OPENING
[This week Reuters covered the opening of the Museum of
American Finance in its new home near the New York Stock
The museum located at 48 Wall Street will display gold
bars, numismatic treasures, interactive exhibits on
entrepreneurship and more.
With its 30,000 square feet of space in a landmark building,
the museum will also serve as the de facto visitors' gallery
for the New York Stock Exchange, Lee Kjelleren, the museum's
"Our purpose is to bring Wall Street to Main Street and
to show the importance and richness of our financial
markets and promote a deeper understanding," he told
reporters at a preview.
Increased security after 9/11 has meant the Big Board is
off limits to the public, but at the museum a short
distance away visitors will be able to see the action
from the world's largest stock exchange on large video
screens, he said.
But the museum isn't all numbers-crunching or the "dismal
science." Displays include coins salvaged from Spanish
treasure ships to the New World, a gold ingot weighing
60 pounds, ticker tape from the Great Crash of 1929 and
a Treasury bond bearing the first use of a dollar sign.
Ever wonder who is pictured on the $10,000 bill? Lincoln's
Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase. But eventually the museum
hopes to display a $100,000 bill. That features President
The museum will open to the public on Friday, with
admission charges of $8 for adults and $5 for children
To read the complete article, see:
For more information on the Museum of American Financial
ON ANS LIBRARIAN CAMPBELL'S RETIREMENT
Joel Orosz writes: "We frequently toss off cliches like "a
lifetime of service," but in Frank Campbell's case, cliche
has become demonstrable fact. Consider: when Frank joined
the American Numismatic Society, I was one year old. Upon
his retirement, I will be an AARP card-carrying fifty-one
year old. The ANS library existed before Frank dedicated a
lifetime of service to it, but its richness and scope today
is essentially his creation. He leaves that collection a
fit monument for his life's work. Truly, the next ANS
librarian will have to quote Jefferson, speaking of following
Franklin as ambassador to France: "No one could replace him:
I merely succeed him."
Roger S. Siboni writes: "When a few of my Colonial numismatist
friends and I including Ray Williams, Roger Moore, Jack Howes
and Neil Rothchild all took a research trip to the ANS Library,
we asked Frank for volumes and volumes of material on various
subjects ranging from inscribed Maris', to Vatican coinage
that may have inspired St. Patrick Halfpennies to John Work
Garrett's original notebooks. Frank cheerfully handled our
many varied requests. In fact, Frank saw how much fun we were
having, and he decided to just put out on the table the
original partnership agreement forming Machin's Mill. The
very same clandestine partnership that produced some of today's
most highly sought after colonial coinage. We were speechless!"
George Kolbe writes: "Over the years, what has been most
striking in terms of Frank Campbell's half century stewardship
of the American Numismatic Society Library is his unwavering
devotion to preserving, maintaining, and expanding the library
and, at the same time, making its vast resources available
to all serious students of numismatics. But we all know this.
"In personal terms what I particularly like about Frank is
his utter lack of pretension. In the course of visits to the
society's stately headquarters building in Audubon Terrace,
Frank and I would often venture out to lunch in the neighborhood
after exploring the treasures of the library. In the early
years this was perceived to be perilous. Yet Frank was
completely comfortable in a changing neighborhood-he grew
"We might visit a cafe favored by locals, a deli or, heaven
forbid, we even went to McDonald's on occasion. Often, we
would take a stroll afterwards; once or twice we detoured to
walk by the large complex where Dr. Sheldon and Dorothy Paschal
lived while at Columbia University Medical Center. Other times
we absorbed the local atmosphere and talked about not much
of anything and everything. These are my favorite memories
of an uncommon man who I am proud to call a friend."
SO THAT'S WHERE THAT'S BEEN HIDING
Ray Williams writes: "It pays to clean off your bookshelves
occasionally! I don't know if any of you have ever misplaced
any coins, paper money or books... and have had them reappear
after you had given up on ever finding them. That happened
to me over a year ago... I thought I had misplaced a grouping
of colonial notes. I figured they would show up sooner or
later. After about six months I was starting to wonder if
they fell off the table (blame the cats) into recycling or
a garbage can. Just a couple weeks ago I was looking for
several books for David Fanning, and in the process I found
a wooden box propped upright like a book. It had my missing
notes and my Abel Buel spoon! What joy I had at being reunited
with the missing items. Has this happened to any E-Sylum readers?"
[Absolutely. I've certainly had that experience, and I'm
sure many of our readers have, too. And some of us have
discovered surprises tucked in books we've purchased - things
long forgotten by their owners and overlooked by the booksellers.
Anyone have tales to tell? -Editor]
ON WIKIPEDIA AS A RESEARCH SOURCE
[On Tuesday Ed Snible published a blog post about the
use of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia as a source for
numismatic information. Some excerpts are published below,
but I encourage readers to take a look at the complete post.
Last July's issue of The Celator contains an editorial
from Kerry Wetterstrom. Kerry has decided he can no longer
accept articles that reference Wikipedia.
Kerry won't accept articles citing Wikipedia because
1) "trolls" are creating deliberate falsehoods in it,
2) Universities are banning the site and
3) An excellent Celator submission had errors in rulers
dates and the source was Wikipedia.
Errors in regnal dates don't bother me. ... However,
authors should also consider that citing Wikipedia makes
them look kinda dumb. It is better to obtain the books
and articles cited in the ===References=== section of
the Wikipedia article and see what the experts actually said!
[I have to agree with Ed that citing Wikipedia is risky,
although I'm of two minds on whether it should be banned
altogether. Some Wikipedia entries are downright marvelous;
others, not so much. But one has to take ANY reference from
ANYWHERE with a grain of salt and due skepticism. This very
topic came up at the office this week as I was doing research
for a proposal for our company's board of directors. The
best source we were able to find for a certain bit of
information happened to be on Wikipedia. I was very much
against using it initially, but after cross-referencing
some key bits and pieces to check accuracy we decided to
include it. -Editor]
To read Ed Snible's complete blog post on Wikipedia, see:
ROYAL CANADIAN MINT RELAXES COIN IMAGE STANCE
Dick Johnson writes: "The Royal Canadian Mint backed down
from charging the City of Toronto a ton of money for using
the illustration of a Canadian cent in an advertising
campaign, designed to elicit favorable opinion for a
proposed cent tax increase. We first reported on this in
The E-Sylum October 7, 2006 (volume 10, number 40, article 24).
"The RCM had sent an invoice of $47,680 for the use of
illustrating the image of a shiny 2007 Canadian cent.
When the invoice arrived, $10,000 was cited for using
"one cent," $10,000 for the campaign phone number 416-ONE-CENT,
and $27,460 for uses such as the onecentnow.ca web address.
" 'Everyone should understand that they can't get a free
ride from the mint when it comes to them using our
intellectual property,' said an RCM official. The minimum
invoice for use of a coin image or term in ads is $350,
plus a royalty of about 2% of an ad campaign's value.
Schools and news organizations are exempt.
"The official would not disclose other fee ranges, but
said "they are normally different from public institutions
and a commercial enterprise.
"The Royal Canadian Mint is doing extremely well. They
are leading the world in some of the ethnology they have
developed. Their order books are completely full for the
entire 2008 year for custom minting for other countries.
They don't need to engage in such harassing tactics.
"In other countries, the illustrations of a country's
coins are considered the property of the people. No mint,
to my knowledge, has ever charged for the illustrations
of coins they manufacture. This was a first for Canada
and a very ill-advised move on the part of the RCM. It
should have been rejected and should not be repeated
in the future."
To read the complete article, see:
CANADIAN NEWSPAPERS TOUT CENT DEMISE
TAMS AND THE EDITOR'S DILEMMA
David E. Schenkman writes: "I found Terry Trantow's
comments in the January 6, 2008 E-Sylum interesting.
Unfortunately, in recent years the Token and Medal Society
has had problems getting enough original material for the
"TAMS Journal." As editor of that publication for the past
twenty-five years, I'll point out the obvious: we can
only publish what members submit. And, to those who complain
that the issues are not as large as they'd like, I can only
ask, 'when did you last write an article?'
"I certainly understand the allure of submitting an article
to "The Numismatist" instead of the "TAMS Journal," and I
don't fault anyone who chooses to do so. However, if the
Token and Medal Society ceases to exist due to lack of
support, who will publish the myriad of specialized articles
on esoteric topics that have appeared over the years in that
organization's Journal, not to mention the many books that
have been sponsored by TAMS? The ANA? I hardly think so.
"As for William D. Hyder's article 'In His Shoes: The True
Story of Sailor Jean and Colonial Jack' in the January 2008
'The Numismatist' which Mr. Trantow praises, I enjoyed
reading it several months ago when it was sent to me for
review. However, as I pointed out when I returned my comments
page to the editorial staff of "The Numismatist," the author
evidently was unaware of the fact that there is a second
type of Colonial Jack token, which he issued in 1911 to
promote another walk. This omission is surprising, especially
in view of the fact that these tokens are not especially
scarce. Even more surprising is the fact that the article
was published without being revised to include mention of
the missing token (I offered to photograph the piece but
was never asked to do so, although I assume my comments were
forwarded to the author).
"So I must disagree with Mr. Trantow's assessment of the
article as "a wonderful work." It was well written and
entertaining to be sure, but incomplete."
TAMS JOURNAL, THE NUMISMATIST, AND EXONUMIA ARTICLES
MORE ON GORHAM COMPANY MEDALS
George Cuhaj writes: "It was nice to read the Gorham request
in the January 6th E-Sylum. The archives of the Gorham
Manufacturing Company are now in the library at Brown
University in Providence.
"There is a fellow who cataloged the collection for the
University and can do individual research projects for a
fee. There are some very interesting Gorham Co. plant
photos on the website but the buildings are now all
demolished. I do not know if he ever did a full listing
of medals or segregated out the medallic artists from
the designers of silverware and other items.
"I made use of his services researching a Pennsylvania
Railroad Medal issued in the 1920s, and he was able to
produce a copy of the workroom order ticket for it.
"The contact information is Mr. Samuel Hough, The Owl
at the Bridge LLC, 25 Berwick Lane, Cranston, RI 02905-
3708, owlbridge at verizon.net. He has done extensive work
on the artisan employees of the company, regarding time
of employment and special project information.
"I had Mr. Hough look up info for me on a Pennsylvania
Railroad Heroic Service Medal which I've known about
since the 1970s (one is in the ANS collection, unawarded),
I acquired two others in the 1990s (one awarded and one
unawarded). He was not able to find info out about the
original 1923-24 order, but did find a work order and
pricing schedule sheet for a modification to a duplicate
die made in 1929 changing the legend name of "Pennsylvania"
to "Long Island", using the same central steam locomotive
motif. I had not seen or heard of a LIRR medal until
that documentation was uncovered, but about 4 months
later, a LIRR modified legend awarded medal shows up
in the July 2007 Coin Galleries sale!"
DICK JOHNSON ON MEDALS BY THE GORHAM COMPANY
MORE ON SCOTTISH BANKNOTES
Fred Schwan writes: "I have a little to add about Scottish
notes. As an emergency measure Scottish notes were made
legal tender during World War II. This status may have
been in Scotland only or in some combination of UK
constituents. My original source for this information was
well-known and now long-missed collector Bill Benson. He
collected Scotland seriously and of course I seriously
gather information about WWII so we had a small intersection
there. I would be pleased to learn any additional details."
ON THE LEGAL TENDER STATUS OF SCOTTISH BANKNOTES
MORE ON THE 1922 "NO D" LINCOLN CENT
Regarding the item on grease filled dies and the 1922d Lincoln
Cents, Carl Honore writes: "The way to tell if the die has
been filled with grease would be to look at any blurring
of details in the design other than the date. I would check
the coins for possible deformities in reverse as well as
"For excessive die polishing, I would look for scratches
in the coin's fields (which would, or course, show as
raised areas in the fields). In the case of the Lincoln
cent obverse, the design is rather simple compared to the
buffalo nickel (famous for its three legged variety caused
by die polishing.) This can be tricky however. I am not
sure when the dates became part of the regular die punching
process along with the legends and the main profile, but
it could be that some of these so called grease filled
dies could be mis-punched dates. Of course this would not
be the case AFTER the dates were fixed."
ON THE 1922 "NO D" LINCOLN CENT VARIETIES
ANOTHER MAP MEDAL: DRAKE'S VOYAGE
Regarding the 1815 map medal offered by Coin Rarities Online,
Gar Travis forwarded the following web page:
"Illustration: The Silver Map of the World. Both sides of a
medal struck off at the time of Drake's return to England,
commemorating his voyage around the world. The faint dotted
line shows the course sailed by him in the Golden Hind."
To view the 1815 White Metal Map medal, see:
AUCTION ANTICS: JOHN LORENZO'S FRONTENEC SALE PURCHASE
[Tales of collector and dealer behavior at coin auctions
are entertaining glimpses into the dynamics of relationships
among people in our hobby. U.S. colonial coin collector
John Lorenzo published the following account of his "most
memorable & unusual purchase" this week in the Yahoo Colonial
Numismatics forum. I'm reprinting it here with minor edits.
It concerns a coin in his collection which is now up for
sale in the latest Stack's Americana auction. -Editor]
With the sale almost upon us and I guess with basically all
the talk & private queries about the coins completed and
answered I will give my most memorable & unusual purchase
within the collection which surrounds the NJ Copper M.15-J
Entering Frontenac I knew this was the most under-catalogued
coin in the sale from the Boyd duplicates. At that time and
still today in my opinion it is the Second Finest Known and
tied with the Fourth C4 Coin which was graded AU in the Fourth
C4 Sale. I had not discussed my research with Bill Anton Jr.
on this sale but he would generally call me a week before
most sales and ask me what coins I thought were good or no
good or over catalogued, etc. - he always tested my knowledge
but I guess he always wanted to hear my opinion - just in
case there was something EXTRA - he may have overlooked
(not often) - which was fine.
During the day of the sale one regular bidder of Colonials
who was of Bill's generation who I had seen all the time but
never got his name since he never bought much and never
really interfered with my purchases in the past - always
sat next to Bill. His catalog was always COVERED with notes
so I knew this guy did his homework. When the bidding started
on M.15-J it when up the normal expected path and as usual
if I really wanted a coin and if it was not a R7/8 Bill would
generally let me have it - (but then again usually in most
cases once a coin went above $1,000 I would generally pass
as that was my mental/budget limit).
Then something strange happened - this gentleman next to
Bill kept nagging him & loudly - telling him - Bill - what's
wrong with you - BID! - BID! After about 30 seconds of this
ORDEAL as I was only two rows behind hearing all of this -
Bill got up and at the top of his lungs right in the middle
of the auction yelled out SIX inches from this guy's ear
"I AM GIVING THIS COIN TO JOHN LORENZO BECAUSE HE IS A COLLECTOR!"
The auctioneer started laughing, this guy turned RED as
a tomato - I started laughing - and Bill almost missed
sitting back in his seat - no one else picked up on the
scene in terms of the significance of this coin although
the auction stopped for at least a minute. I won the coin.
With each coin of course having its own unique set of
circumstances, U.S. Colonial collectors from my experience
over the years unquestionably have a higher passion and
knowledge base than collectors of any other coin series
within U.S. Numismatics. Usually, when a numismatist arrives
in U.S. Colonials - he never really leaves ... even after
his collection is sold. It was after this sale that J.Griffee
initially came to me and pressured me to publish the initial
New Jersey Condition Census in Penny Wise - the rest is history.
WAYNE'S NUMISMATIC DIARY FOR JANUARY 7, 2008
On Monday evening I had the pleasure of attending the third
meeting of the numismatic social club I started here in
Northern Virginia. Eight of us met for dinner at a restaurant
in Herndon, VA. The good news for me was that the location
was within walking distance of my office. The bad news was
that my son Christopher had basketball practice and I had to
run home to deal with our other two kids while my wife took
him to the school gym. But after some racing around I made
it back to the restaurant in plenty of time for a post-dinner
drink and numismatic "show and tell".
I sat next to Chris Neuzil. It was the first time we met.
I invited him at the suggestion of Joe Levine - he collects
U.S. Mint medals relating to the War of 1812. He's also our
newest E-Sylum subscriber. Another E-Sylum subscriber that
I met for the first time that night was Bill Eckberg, who
recently submitted his review of Karl Moulton's book. I
invited him at the suggestion of Tom Kays. It was a pleasure
to meet them both. In addition to Chris, Bill, Joe and Tom
were "regulars" Dave Schenkman, Wayne Herndon and Roger Burdette.
Dave started off our show-and-tell by passing around three
different tokens of John Krohn, subject of the cover article
in the January Numismatist. I passed around a number of
recent numismatic publications, including the Sotheby catalog
of the Washington/Lafayette Order of the Cincinnati and
'Striking Change' by Michael Moran. My numismatic display
was a set of Daniel Carr's Amero coin patterns, which we've
discussed earlier in The E-Sylum. Tom Kays passed out copies
of a numismatically-related fiction article 'The Gallows Man'
from an 1850 Southern Literary Messenger.
But none of us could top Joe Levine, who passed around a
galvano of the famous Huey "Kingfish" Long Washroom Warrior
Medal. Cast in bronze, the galvano measures 9 1/2" x 8 1/2"
at the extremities. In the shape of a toilet seat, it
commemorates the night in 1933 when the drunken politician
had an altercation in the men's room of a Long Island nightclub.
The medal was struck by Medallic Art Company. While visiting
Medallic Art in the early 1980s Joe spotted a plaster model
for the medal and paid for a galvano to be made for him.
The evening ended all too soon for me, but it was great to
have the opportunity to rub shoulders with some great local
numismatists. Our next meeting is scheduled for February 12th.
HUEY LONG WASHROOM WARRIOR MEDAL: HOW MANY WERE STRUCK?
BAGHDAD'S BRAVE LIBRARIAN
[The following are excerpts from a lengthy Christian Science
Monitor article published this week. -Editor]
Like most librarians, Saad Eskander, director of the Iraq
National Library and Archive in Baghdad, has to deal with
a number of disturbances: people speaking loudly in the
study area, lost books, and the occasional sniper fire or
Katyusha rocket attack.
"Our building was rocketed a few times," says Dr. Eskander,
in the same level tone he might use to describe a trip to
the grocery store. "It was mortared and part of our fence
was destroyed.... Stray bullets and sometimes snipers'
bullets smashed some windows as well, including my office."
Though none of Eskander's staff have been injured in these
attacks, five have been killed in sectarian violence, and
death threats have displaced dozens of his 300-plus staffers.
Eskander hardly seemed the Jack Bauer of librarianship as
- during a recent tour of the US - he recounted his
experiences in the Cambridge apartment of his colleague,
an archivist at Harvard University. A slight man, Eskander
is soft-spoken and not easily excitable. His wire-rimmed
glasses and slick sports coat belie the stereotype of
librarians committing 30-year-old fashion faux pas. But
then again, Eskander is not your typical librarian.
"I heard before visiting the National Library and Archive
that it was damaged, but I did not know the extent of the
damage," recounts Eskander. "I was astonished when I found
it in a total ruinous state."
Eskander was also confronted by an unraveling security
situation. If ever there was a place on the proverbial
wrong side of the tracks - even by Iraqi standards - the
National Library and Archive was it. It is sandwiched
between Baathist militant strongholds, Al Qaeda hotbeds,
and an American military base. Eskander has watched US
helicopters rain down fire on targets just outside the
Security around the library has noticeably improved since
late September, says Eskander. Recent community efforts
combined with US and Iraqi military campaigns have purged
many fighters from the area.
"Culture is important, especially secular culture and
especially an institution that documents the cultural
and scientific achievements of a nation," says Eskander.
"The country was on the verge of dismemberment and
institutions like us and like the Iraqi Museum could
play a role in the fact that they provide common symbols
to all Iraqis. We are not a sectarian institution; we
are a national institution."
To read the complete article, see:
SURPRISE! YOUNG ADULTS ARE USING LIBRARIES
[Joel Orosz forwarded an article from the Philanthropy News
Digest at the Foundation Center's Web site about a study
which found that "Younger, Wired Adults Use Libraries Most".
He writes: "It looks like there is hope that we will have
someone to buy our books when we go to the great bindery
in the sky...." -Editor]
A new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project
and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign finds
that young adults are the biggest users of public libraries,
the Associated Press reports.
According to the study, 21 percent of Americans between
the ages of 18 and 30 looking for answers to questions
related to health conditions, job training, government
benefits, and other concerns turn to libraries, compared
with 12 percent of the general adult population. Moreover,
these young adults visit not only for the access to
computers and the Internet that libraries provide but
also for the reference materials, newspapers, and magazines.
The study noted that library usage drops gradually as
people age. According to the study, 62 percent of Americans
between the ages of 18 and 30 said they visited a library
in the past year, compared with 32 percent among those age
72 and older. The study also found that library usage is
lower among those without Internet access...
A 1996 report from the Benton Foundation warned that
Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 were the least
enthusiastic supporters of spending tax dollars to maintain
library buildings, but since then many libraries have
rearranged spaces to accommodate expanded computer usage.
"It was truly surprising in this survey to find the youngest
adults are the heaviest library users," said Lee Rainie,
director of the Pew Internet Project. "The notion has taken
hold in our culture that these wired-up, heavily gadgeted
young folks are swimming in a sea of information and don't
need to go to places where information is."
To read the complete article, see:
HANG YOUR BOOKS FROM THE RAFTERS
[Found recently while looking for other things. -Editor]
"Love this storage idea for sticking your books up in the
rafters. I get rid of books as fast as I can, but I overflow
my shelves all the time and end up colonizing the floor with
tottering heaps. Better to colonize the ceiling!"
To read the complete article, see:
FEATURED WEB PAGE: 1933 HUEY LONG WASHROOM WARRIOR MEDAL
This week's featured web page is the 1933 satirical Huey
"Kingfish" Long "Washroom Warrior" medal from the Wayne
Homren consignment in the American Numismatic Rarities
Lake Michigan & Springdale Collection sale in June 2006.
Shaped like a toilet seat for good reason, see below.
Obverse with fist and jaw caricature, MCMXXXIII and PUBLICO
CONSILIO PRO RE IN CAMERA GESTA around, BY / PUBLIC ACCLAIM /
FOR A DEED / DONE IN PRIVATE / SANDS POINT / AUGUST 26 /
1933 on seven lines on reverse with Medallic Art's logo
[I hated parting with this one but perhaps I'll snag another
example for my collection someday. The catalog description
is in error when it places the location of the incident in
Sands Point, Louisiana. I believe the incident occurred
in Sands Point, Long island. -Editor]
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 LittletonCoin.com
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, just
Reply to this message, or write to the Editor at this
address: whomren at coinlibrary.com
Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers
(or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page:
All past E-Sylum issues are archived on the NBS web site at this address:
Issues from September 2002 to date are also archived at this address:
More information about the Esylum