The E-Sylum v11#02, January 13, 2008

esylum at esylum at
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.


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, 

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


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 
by Stack's.

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.


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 
Irish Halfpence.  

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 
early gold.  

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.


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 
by veterans.

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."  


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"

[The booklet by Sweeney is titled "Three Hundred Years of 
British Calendar Medals"  (28 pages, 2003) -Editor]



[This week Reuters covered the opening of the Museum of 
American Finance in its new home near the New York Stock 
Exchange.  -Editor]

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 
president, said.

"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 
Woodrow Wilson.

The museum will open to the public on Friday, with 
admission charges of $8 for adults and $5 for children 
and seniors.

To read the complete article, see:

For more information on the Museum of American Financial 
History, see: 


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 
up there. 

"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."


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 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: 

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 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:



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." 



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  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!"



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."



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 
obverse designs.

"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."



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:


[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 

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.


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.



[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:


[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:


[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:


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 
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

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