The E-Sylum v17#41 October 5, 2014

The E-Sylum esylum at
Sun Oct 5 19:21:01 PDT 2014

The E-Sylum
  An electronic publication of
  The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

Volume 17, Number 41, October 5, 2014

Click here to read this issue on the web

Click here to access the complete archive
To comment or submit articles, reply to 
whomren at



New subscribers this week include:
Lee Toone, 
John Hart and
John Ostendorf.
We now have 1,777 subscribers.

This week we open with a sale reminder from David Sklow, and an announcement from Kolbe & Fanning about their upcoming Baltimore sale.  Next up are two new books and one new periodical issue.

Other topics include modern Hobo nickels, money art, John Davenport, Bernard Poindessault, more great Newman colonials, African-American Issuers of Civil War Store cards, the Freestyle Medal,  polymer coins, banknote printer De La Rue, and Baldwin's new offices.

To learn more about  the art of the commemorative medal, the Schulman family of coin dealers, the Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn, the Siculo-Punic tetradrachm, Potlatch coppers and liberation dong, read on.   Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum


David Sklow forwarded this reminder of his upcoming numismatic literature sale, which closes Saturday.

MBS # 23 closes in one short week on Saturday October 11 at 8 PM.

Be sure to submit your bids and do not miss your chance to bid in our largest sale to date.

Bidding is accepted via USPS, Email, Telephone & Fax, up to and including closing day. Emails and faxes received before midnight closing day will be entered, as well as bids left on our answering service.

The sale catalog is on our web site if you have misplaced your copy, it can be downloaded, or printed out. A bid sheet is also there for your convenience. 

There are no changes to our terms of sale.

For more information, see:


David Fanning forwarded this press release about the Kolbe & Fanning numismatic literature sale coming up on November 1, 2014. Thanks!

Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers are pleased to announce that they will be conducting a public auction of important numismatic books on November 1, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. The auction will be held in conjunction with the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo at the Baltimore Convention Center. 

The sale features the outstanding library of a Journeyman Numismatist and other properties, and focuses on early American numismatics and closely related foreign areas. Among the highlights are:

--An extraordinary 31 different plated Chapman sales, including virtually all plated Chapman catalogues of American interest, including Bushnell, Winsor, Morris, Stickney, Zabriskie, Jewett, Earle, Parsons, Bascom & Brown, Hunter, Jenks, Alvord, etc.

--No fewer than 10 plated Thomas Elder catalogues, including the 1917 and 1920 Miller sales, the Gschwend, Mougey, McMullin, Wilson, and Lawrence catalogues, Lyman Low’s copy of the 1917 Carlton sale, the Hewitt & Bartlett sale, and the McCoy, Brown & Ezekiel sale.

--Abe Kosoff’s hugely important archives on the Josiah Lilly collection and the controversy surrounding its acquisition by the United States as part of the National Numismatic Collection, with inventories, photographs, correspondence and other materials.

--The breathtaking original photographic paste-ups of the plates for the 1975 EAC sale, featuring the fabled collection of Connecticut coppers formed by Q. David Bowers as well as a sizeable offering of important large cents. 

--An illustrated notebook prepared by Edgar H. Adams covering Connecticut, New York, Vermont and Confederatio coppers and the coinage of William Wood, and a second one covering Massachusetts silver and copper coins.

--George H. Clapp’s very rare suite of photographs titled Type Set of United States Cents 1793-1857.

--A first edition Crosby with both the 1873 and 1875 title pages, as well as the Maris Woodburytype plate and other special content bound in.

--A rare plated copy of the W.W.C. Wilson sale (Wayte Raymond, 1925).

--Strobridge’s 1873 Descriptive Catalogue of the Seavey Collection of American Coins.

The sale includes many other notable works, most especially on American colonial coins, featuring early plated sales and standard works as well as rarely offered photographic plates depicting specialized series. A number of items are unique, and many others are rarely encountered.

Printed catalogues are being mailed to established clients. A PDF of the catalogue has been posted to the Kolbe & Fanning website. Prospective bidders may also access the live online catalogue and register to bid through the main website at

The sale will begin at 3:00 pm in Room 306 of the Baltimore Convention Center on November 1. Lot viewing will be held on Thursday and Friday October 30 and 31 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and on the day of the sale from 9:00 am till 12:00 noon.

Absentee bids will be accepted via post, phone, email and fax (deadlines will be announced later). Live online bidding will be available through Kolbe & Fanning’s online auction portal at (managed through iCollector). Bidders planning to participate in the sale online are strongly encouraged to register in advance. 

Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers LLC is a licensed auction firm in the State of Ohio and is conducting the sale in conjunction with Jonathan Melnick Auctioneers, Inc., of Baltimore, Maryland. For more information, please see the Kolbe & Fanning website at
 or email David Fanning at 

df at 
We look forward to your participation.

Wizard Coin Supply is the official distributor 
for Roger Burdette's three volume series that won 
NLG Book of the Year awards for 2006, 2007 and 2008. 
Contact us for dealer or distributor pricing at .


Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing forwarded this press release on the latest edition of the firm's book on the 100 Greatest U.S. Coins.  Thanks.

New Whitman Book Explores the 100 Greatest U.S. Coins of All Time

Whitman Publishing announces the release of the fourth edition of the award-winning 100 Greatest U.S. Coins. The hardcover coffee-table book will be available October 25, 2014. Before then it can be pre-ordered online (including at and from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide for $29.95. It can also be borrowed for free from the Dwight N. Manley Numismatic Library as a benefit of membership in the American Numismatic Association (

In this beautifully illustrated book, numismatist Jeff Garrett, with fellow researcher Ron Guth, takes the reader on a guided tour of the American coins that have captured the imagination of generations of collectors. In the introduction Garrett asks the question “What makes a coin great?” His analysis explores factors such as rarity, value, quality, popularity, beauty, and history.

The introduction of the fourth edition has been expanded with more full-color illustrations and text describing the history of United States coinage, ways to collect U.S. coins, grading standards, determining values, and other facets of the hobby.

In the foreword, Mark Salzberg, chairman of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, notes that even though the 100 Greatest U.S. Coins are valuable, they’re undervalued in the broader context of rare collectibles. “The 250 highest prices paid for U.S. coins at auction total just less than $250 million in value,” he writes. “In context, that is a bit less than the sales price of the most valuable painting ever sold, Paul Cezanne’s The Card Players.” Kenneth Bressett, longtime senior editor of the Guide Book of United States Coins, writes, “Not all of the 100 Greatest U.S. Coins are unique specimens confined to one collection. A lucky numismatist could potentially find a 1955 Doubled Die Obverse Lincoln cent in their pocket.”

The 100 Greatest U.S. Coins were voted on and ranked by members of the Professional Numismatists Guild. In the fourth edition, the celebrated 1804 silver dollar rose to the No. 1 spot (up from No. 5, and displacing the 1913 Liberty Head nickel at the top of the rankings). The unique 1851 Liberty Seated dollar struck over a New Orleans dollar dropped entirely from the list, and the 1974 aluminum Lincoln cent made its debut, at No. 88.

100 Greatest U.S. Coins, fourth edition, also includes illustrated biographies of the “Great Collectors of the Past,” from Harry Bass to William Woodin; a price history of the 100 Greatest, from 1960 to date; a chart of the top 200 U.S. coin prices realized at auction from 1990 to 2014; a breakdown of the 100 Greatest by denomination and coin type; a glossary; a bibliography for further research; and a detailed index. The book is coffee-table-size, 144 pages, in full color, with photographs and stories for every coin. It also includes historical photographs, market values, field populations, certified-coin census reports, quantities minted, specifications, and coin design notes.

#    #    #

100 Greatest U.S. Coins, fourth edition
By Jeff Garrett, with Ron Guth; foreword by Mark Salzberg
ISBN 0794842755; hardcover, coffee-table (10 x 12 inches); 144 pages; full color; retail $29.95 U.S.

To read the complete article, see:


Tom Garver put me in touch with
Maria Saffiotti Dale of the Chazen Museum of Art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The Museum recently published a catalogue of medals that may interest many E-Sylum readers.  Thanks!

European Medals in the Chazen Museum of Art
Highlights from the Vernon Hall Collection and Later Acquisitions

Introductory Essay by Stephen K. Scher
Contributors: Philip Attwood, Arne R. Flaten, Mark Jones, Douglas Lewis, Eleonora Luciano, Joseph G. Reinis, Stephen K. Scher, Jeffrey Chipps Smith, Louis A. Waldman

Edited by Maria F.P. Saffiotti Dale
Softcover, illus. 28 B&W, 124 color 
205 pages
$39.95, plus postage
ISBN: 978-1-93327-017-3

This grouping of medals represents the museum’s Renaissance, Baroque, and nineteenth-century highlights and illustrates the history of the art of the commemorative medal. This catalogue incorporates the scholarship of nine international medallic experts. Their erudition, consummate research skills, and effective prose are evident in sixty-one essays on some of the masterpieces of this art form written for the education and enjoyment of students, specialists, and the general public alike.

Here is a summary of the collection from the Director's Foreword:

"While the medals range from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries, examples from the Renaissance and Baroque periods constitute the strength of the museum’s holdings. Of exceptional quality and rarity are five contemporaneous casts of Italian fifteenth-century medals, four by the painter and medalist Pisanello and one by Matteo de’Pasti. Other important Italian Renaissance medals include contemporaneous or early casts by Amadio da Milano, Giulio della Torre, and Andrea Cambi, called Bombarda. The Hall collection also includes important holdings in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century French medals, notable among which are the portrait medals of Louis XII and Anne de Bretagne by Nicolas Leclerc and Jean de Saint-Priest, as well as several major casts by Guillaume Dupré depicting the French kings Henry IV and Louis XIII. In addition, the collection possesses some fine examples of German and Netherlandish portrait medals, particularly those by Hans Reinhart the Elder and Coenr
 aad Bloc."

In addition to an introductory essay by Stephen K. Scher, "The Development of the Commemorative Medal: The Fifteenth to the Nineteenth Centuries," and 61 entries with medallists' biographies authored by nine experts in the field, this catalogue includes an extensive bibliography, an index of legends, and a general index. An illustrated Handlist of the remaining 240 medals in the Vernon Hall Collection with accompanying Concordances (which will allow the reader to correlate Chazen Museum accession numbers, the 1978 Hall catalogue numbers, and the new catalogue numbers for all 302 medals) will be published in digital format in the future and will be accessible through the museum's website.

Contributors inclide:

Philip Attwood, Keeper of the Department of Coins and Medals at The British Museum, is the author of Italian Medals c. 1530–1600 in British Public Collections.

Arne R. Flaten, Professor of Art History and Chair of Visual Arts at Coastal Carolina University, is author of Medals and Plaquettes in the Ulrich Middeldorf Collection at the Indiana University Art Museum 15th to 20th Centuries.

Mark Jones was Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum from 2001 to 2011 and as Curator in the Department of Coins and Medals at The British Museum authored A Catalogue of the French Medals in the British Museum.

Douglas Lewis was Curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the National Gallery of Art for thirty-six years before his retirement in 2004 and has written extensively on Italian Renaissance and Baroque medals and plaquettes.

Eleonora Luciano is Associate Curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the National Gallery of Art, where she contributed to the Systematic Catalogue of Renaissance Medals and has published on Italian Renaissance sculpture.

Joseph G. Reinis, Associate Curator, The Mossman Lock Collection, scholar, collector, and writer on nineteenth-century sculpture, is the author of the definitive catalogue raisonné The Portrait Medallions of David d’Angers.

Stephen K. Scher, medallic scholar and collector, curated the 1994 exhibition The Currency of Fame: Portrait Medals of the Renaissance at The Frick Collection and at the National Gallery of Art, and has edited and contributed to its accompanying catalogue.

Jeffrey Chipps Smith, Kay Fortson Chair in European Art in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin, has published widely on German Renaissance art.

Louis A. Waldman, Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin, has written extensively on Italian fifteenth- and sixteenth-century painting and sculpture.

Maria adds:

I hope this gives you and your readers enough information to whet your appetites to purchase this publication and to recommend it to fellow medals collectors, scholars, and enthusiasts. With a the print run of 500 copies, I encourage your readers to order the book online as soon as possible at the Chazen Museum Shop website.

The Chazen's permanent collection is searchable online through the museum website.  Of particular interest to medals collectors are two notable collections:
The Vernon Hall Collection, and The Andrew Laurie Stangel Collection of mostly German medals from Bismark to WWII, as well as papal medals.

For more information, or to order, see:

To view the museum collections, see:

To view the Vernon Hall Collection, see:

Vernon Hall Collection


To view the Andrew Laurie Stangel Collection, see:

Andrew Laurie Stangel Collection



Horacio Morero, President of the Instituto Uruguayo de Numismática, submitted this summary of the contents of the latest issue of the club's publication El Sitio. Thanks!

El Sitio” N° 12 contains, in its 24 pages, four numismatic articles, a note on the celebrations of the 59 years of the Instituto Uruguayo de Numismática and a chronicle about a conference on the Tammaro House, an old medal and tokens mint situated in the Ciudad Vieja of Montevideo city.

The cover of “El Sitio” N°  12 shows the picture of the obverse of a 50 centésimos La Giralda token, made in Paris by Francis Cartaux. La Giralda was a famous bar (confitería) in Montevideo at the beginning of the XXth century.

The four published articles are the following:

1) Francis Cartaux, graver and maker of the La Giralda token, by Horacio Morero Ferrero. 

2) Schulman, Synonymous for Numismatic, by Javier Avilleira.

3) The special sets of the First Exposition of the Instituto Uruguayo de Numismática in 1957, by Diego Artigalás. 

4) New variety in the 1828 4 soles of La Rioja, by Horacio Morero.

The article on the Schulman family of coin dealers is extensive and well-illustrated.   Below are a couple images of Schulman medals.

To read the complete issue, see:


In an email this week, Kolbe & Fanning announced a new offering of a fine specialty periodical.

Kolbe & Fanning are proud to announce that they are now the exclusive distributors of The Gobrecht Journal Collective Volumes.

Published by the Liberty Seated Collectors Club since 1974, The Gobrecht Journal is an invaluable source of information on the Liberty Seated coinages. The Collective Volumes ensure that articles published in individual issues are preserved for future generations of collectors who may not have the original issues. Volumes One through Five, comprising the first 78 issues, are available for individual sale or for purchase as a complete set through our online bookstore at


Last Sunday night, Larry Dzuibek pointed me to some interesting Hobo Nickels that had sold on eBay.  Thanks!

Larry writes:

These are getting attention & prices, but is it a “love token” or a true 
Hobo nickel?    Work of Art!

 His Only Friend 

To read the complete eBay description, see:

'His Only Friend'Hobo Nickel Carving by Shaun Hughes


 Just A Shell Of A Hobo 

To read the complete eBay description, see:

Hobo Nickel "Just A Shell Of A Hobo" Turtle Reverse by Howard Thomas


 Low Hanging Moon 

Larry writes:

Where is the basic Indian?     Notice the “trademark”?

To read the complete eBay description, see:

Hobo Nickel "Low Hanging Moon" Cat Kitten by Howard Thomas


 Skull & Buffalo Skeleton 

This auction is still open, with a high $495 Buy it Now price.
Perfect for Halloween, though.

To read the complete eBay description, see:



 Old Time Numismatist 

To read the complete eBay description, see:

1887 Morgan Hobo Nickel Dollar Carving "Old Time Numismatist" 24k Gold Inlay!


That last one is not for sale.  The first three have brought in the $300-$500 range on heavy bidding.  It's been interesting to see this genre of homespun art turn into something more mainstream.   Some of these artists are doing wonderful work.


The Columbus Museum of Art has a new exhibit of money art.  

The Columbus Museum of Art presents In __ We Trust: Art and Money from October 3, 2014 to March 1, 2015. In __ We Trust is a group show featuring 26 artists and collectives from diverse international backgrounds whose work addresses the nature of money and its complex relationship to art. The exhibition presents works that use currency as a material or subject, involve transactions, precious materials, alternative forms of exchange, and explore aspects of the financial economy. Anchored by select pieces from previous decades, the exhibition focuses on work made since the 2008 financial crisis. 

Artists include JSG Boggs, Sarah Cain, Susan Collis, Moyra Davey, e-flux Time/Bank, Claire Fontaine, Tom Friedman, Meshac Gaba, Ryan Gander, Ori Gersht, Roger Hiorns, William E. Jones, Komar and Melamid, Gabriel Kuri, Caleb Larsen, Shane Mecklenburger, Cildo Meireles, Ester Partegas, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Hugh Scott-Douglas, Reena Spaulings, Superflex, Mark Wagner, Nari Ward, Andy Warhol and Robert Wechsler. Money is a simple fact of everyday life, as well as fundamental to our social, political and economic order. Together, these artists explore issues of representation, value and exchange that have both personal and global impact. 

The Museum has an important focus on art that explores social issues, and money has a more central place in our society, and our art, than ever before, said CMA Executive Director Nannette Maciejunes. This show helps us consider the values, symbols and relationships that circulate along with our money. 

In __ We Trust: Art and Money is CMAs first major thematic exhibition organized by Tyler Cann, the Museums associate curator of contemporary art. Although we tend to think of money as inherently valuable, its value is a convention that depends on collective states of mind like trust and confidence, Cann says Like money, art requires some shared belief in its potential to hold meaning.   

The web page has a great video of collage artist Mark Wagner at work, slicing up and reorganizing dollar bills, sliver by sliver.

To read the complete article, see:

Columbus Museum of Art Presents
In __ We Trust: Art and Money



Across the Atlantic, the Museum of Liverpool has a statue of a favorite hometown character made of £1million in shredded banknotes.  Here's an article from Art Daily.

The Museum of Liverpool is to display a sculpture of one of the city’s most well-known characters, made famous by the Beatles song bearing her name, Eleanor Rigby. 

Created by Liverpool-born artist and sculptor Leonard J Brown, the 5ft 2 inch sculpture has been crafted out of £1million worth of old bank notes; a stark contrast when compared to the ‘bag lady’ who inspired the work, and died without a penny to her name. 

Just as the lyrics go - ‘all the lonely people’ - Leonard’s juxtaposition of the poverty-stricken Eleanor Rigby and her rebirth using old money, demonstrates the relationship between wealth and poverty, which Leonard hopes will pass on a positive message to visitors. 

A note accompanying the sculpture says ‘I cried because I had no shoes, until I saw a man who had no feet’, a saying which Leonard was often reminded of as a youngster growing up in Liverpool and believes is particularly poignant and still relevant today. 

Leonard said: “The sculpture serves to show people that money isn’t the only way to make you happy, or indeed ‘buy you love’ and we should all be thankful for what we have. There are people in every town and city like Eleanor Rigby who live a lonely life, and whose only worldly goods are kept in the bags that they carry.” 

Born in New Henderson Street off Park Road in Liverpool in the 1940s, Leonard recalls Post-War Liverpool Waterfront as a derelict area following heavy bombing of the city. As a child he and his friends spent their time playing in the area, running in and out of dock buildings and across the Hartley Bridge, which joins Mann Island and the Albert Dock next to the Museum of Liverpool. 

Leonard continues: “To have this sculpture on display here in my home city, and on the site of the place I used to play as a young boy, is absolutely phenomenal and a dream come true. I left the city in 1966 to pursue a career as a singer in the Channel Islands, but I still have the accent and will always be a proud Liverpudlian.” 

In order to get the high quantity of bank notes he needed to create his Eleanor Rigby sculpture, Leonard had to go straight to the top and started off trying to contact the Governor of the Bank of England to grant his request for £1million bank notes. 

After months of discussion, he was invited to London to pick up the notes, which were given to him in the form of shredded pellets. £300,000 worth of the notes make up some of the materials that fill the chest cavity, and the rest of the pellets were then mashed and moulded over a steel frame bound in wire, to create the figure. 

Leonard was inspired to create the sculpture after seeing an old lady – much like Eleanor Rigby - carrying a large number of bags through the centre of Hull where he now lives. The sight touched him and stirred his imagination of where she might have been going and what she struggles she might be facing. 

The sculpture took six months to complete and was finished in August 2013. It will be displayed in the Atrium of the Museum of Liverpool until January 2015.

To read the complete article, see:

Eleanor Rigby sculpture goes on display at Museum of Liverpool


High quality 

coin supplies & other numismatic accessories. Use coupon "coinbooks10" for an instant 10% OFF discount!


Dick Johnson submitted these thoughts on a recommendation of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. Thanks!

To their credit the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) is calling for the U.S. Treasury to issue two annual art medals. One, emblematic of Liberty and issued in a uniform series, would change only one side each year.

The other would be a Freestyle Art Medal allowing the artist to choose not only the subject but also a style to best present that theme. It is anticipated a medallic creation would be chosen by a new artist each year.

While the topic of issuing art medals struck by the U,S, Mint has long been discussed by the Committee, this is the first time the proposal has reached a full recommendation to the Treasury.

The Committee has substantial credentials for making such recommendation. Five numismatists have been members of the Committee during these discussions, including Michael Moran, Arthur Houghton, Roger Burdette and Robert Hoge.

Authorities from the medallic field include Heidi Wastweet and Jeanne Stevens-Sollman. Donald Scarinci, now in his second term, falls in both categories having collected U.S. Colonial coins and, within the last decade, has built the world's largest private art medal collection.

The recommendation suggests the size for each medal: 2-inch (40.6mm) for the annual Liberty series medal, and 3-inch (76.2mm) or thereabouts for the Freestyle Medal.

The Liberty Medal would contain one ounce of .999 fine silver, and the Freestyle Medal issued in both silver and bronze.

It is hoped the Mint resists the temptation to strike the Liberty Medal on a coining press, which it could easily do because of the size. As such it would fall within the bullion medal category and negate any art medal appeal, The design and model is hoped to be of such high relief it would be required to be struck on a medal press.

As for the Freestyle Medal its appeal will depend upon two things -- the reputation of the artist and the design of the image. The invitation for such a medal should attract only seasoned medallists. This should not be a training ground for wannabe medallists.

Unfortunately the initial submission of the design ideas must be as drawings. (I say unfortunately because exceptional art medal designs often cannot be expressed adequately as 2-dimensional drawings, they must be viewed as reliefs.) 

>From these entries however, a handful of designs would be selected and the artists must then furnish oversize bas-relief models. It is hoped the selection would be made by artists knowledgeable in medallic art and not government bureaucrats. 

Final selection would be made from these entries. No payment would be made to artists submitting drawings, payments should be made to compensate all artists submitting models, with a substantial amount to the artist creating the final selection.

Production of the dies is another important aspect. Current attitude at the Mint is to make all reductions by computer engraving technology, as the Mint has mothballed all their Janvier reducing machines. Art medals require the delicate, realistic, finite execution of die-cutting best accomplished on Janvier or similar machines from metal patterns. ("If it's in the model, it's in the medal.")

Computer engraving, while satisfactory for most die-cutting and exhibits great savings in time, the images it produces are somewhat more plastic, less detailed in comparison to the life-like, finite realism which can be obtained by earlier established technology.  

We welcome the Mint's return to art medal issuing. Previously it was phased out in the 1980s when all medal inventories were sold off -- some indignantly sold in grab-bags -- and no new medals issued, other than what was demanded by Congress.

The Treasury should not expect large sales of art medals, at least not like some of the coin issues they have come to experience recently. But issuing such art medals every year they are supporting a vital art media in America. They will earn a profit from coin issues; they will earn a reputation from art medal issuing.

We welcome this proposal.

Paul Gilkes wrote an article for Coin World about the CCAC recommendation at:

David Harper, editor of Numismatic News is conducting a poll, asking for comments and if you would purchase such art medals. He can be reached at: 

David.Harper at

I agree with Dick - I think this is a great (Back-to-the-Future) step forward for the Mint, and I'll look forward to the first products in this new program.


 Query: 1794 Starred Reverse Cent Photos Sought 
Dave Bowers writes:

Does anyone have sharp photographs of the following coin as described in U.S. Patterns?  I am reactivating a project of about 30 years ago in comparing the stars with those on the 1794 cent, S-48 starred reverse. At one time I had thought of writing a book on this coin. Photograph of an S-48 reverse attached.

 Two Dollar Bills Make a Statement 
Jan Monroe writes:

The story on stickered coins reminded me of the time I was president of a pool league in Newport Oregon around 1980 and gave out the league winnings in two dollar bills.  I am sure everyone complained but it got the attention of the merchants and banks that the league had an effect on the economy.  

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:





Coincidentally, I was in a bank branch earlier this week and out of habit asked for ten two dollar bills.  I paid most of them to my kids for doing some chores, and spent the rest.   Merchants accepted them, but some only grudgingly.

 50 Years of Coins in Lucite 
Fred Schwan writes:

The delicious diversity of numismatics and astonishing ability of The E-Sylum to cover it is demonstrated by the story on coins in Lucite that generated a letter and now a second. On reading the letter, I remembered the time in 1964 with a rather new driver's license I made my first solo overnight trip to Detroit. In addition to my official task, I visited coin shops. At one I purchased a current set of coins in a Lucite cube. I just went to the living room where the cube is on the coffee table. I thought that it held a proof set, but it is simply an uncirculated set of 1964 coins. I have been carrying it around for 50 years. Thank you for the trip down memory lane.

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:



NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: SEPTEMBER 28, 2014 : More on Numismatic Toilet Seats


 October PAN Show  Lecture Series 
Rich Jewell writes:

I see where Pat McBride sent you some information regarding the PAN Banquet and our guest speaker, Bob Evans, Friday night, October 24th but we also have the Lecture Series Speakers for that same afternoon starting at 12:00PM:

12:00PM- Simcha Kuritsky-"Israel's Innovative Designs that Avoid Graven Images"

 1:00PM- Bill Bugert- "Martin Luther Beistle-Numismatist Extraordinaire"

 2:00PM- E. Tomlinson Fort-"The Mints of the Aquitaine during the Reign of Charles the Bald: 840-877 AD" 

 3:00PM- Bob Evans-"S.S. America: An Update (2014)"

It promises to be a very educational and interesting Friday afternoon at the Lecture Series.

For more show information, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:



 The Wall Street Collectors Bourse 
Regarding the Museum of American Finance, 
Paul Bosco writes:

There will be a "coin" show, the Wall Street Bourse, October 23-25, 2014 at the Museum. Museum admission is free during the show.   As you'd expect, there will be stocks & bonds, as well as numismatic stuff.

For more information on the show, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:



 Postage Stamp Printing Plates  
Web site visitor Greg Ruble writes:

I have a query concerning a copper plate I picked up over 20 years ago that I’m hoping you can solve for me.

I was in a coin shop in Ohio one day going through a basket of old coins when I came upon the following:  A copper intaglio printing plate of the John F. Kennedy 5 cent postage stamp, the one showing the eternal flame.    It has a an extensive (what looks like) Federal  I.D. Number engraved on its back.

My question is: “How did an intaglio printing plate of the 5 cent JFK postage stamp get into a coin basket in a coin shop in Ohio?” Doesn’t the Postmaster General have the plates destroyed when the stamp is no longer being printed? Are there collectors of these printing plates?

Great question.  The Bureau of Engraving and Printing doesn't distribute printing plates for paper money, and I wouldn't think they'd be less concerned about stamp plates.  Readers?

 Medals By Anna Coleman Ladd 
Paul Bosco writes:

The Anna Coleman Ladd piece pictured last week, about Serbia in WW1, likely a piece given for contributions? I have had this –perhaps still do—but small, maybe nickel-size. If I recall it was wearable (looped).

This piece (shown at right - Editor) is uniface. The patina is green, very possibly a reference to the sea.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:



 Vicken Yegparian on the 1804 Dollar
Len Augsburger writes:

Vicken Yegparian made it onto CNN (re 1804 dollar).

Check out the video!  VIcken discusses the 1804 dollar and other $million+ coins, and coin investing in general.  Nicely done.

To view the video, see:

This dollar is actually worth $2 million



Last week Jeff Dickerson proposed creating an index of numismatic literature sales, starting with those of The Money tree.

Fred Lake writes:

As a starting point for Jeff Dickerson, he might begin by listing all of the numismatic literature dealers and their sales. Martin Gengerke’s eighth edition of American Auction Sales shows the sales of Function Associates (Lake Books), Charles Davis, George Kolbe, Money Tree, David Sklow, etc. with number of lots for each sale. This gives a starting point of many hundreds of thousands of strictly numismatic literature auctions so the task is a daunting one that Jeff is proposing.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:




David Alexander published a great article October 2, 2014 on CoinWeek about numismatic author John S. Davenport.  Here's an excerpt, but be sure to read the complete version online.

Rarely does a single individual become identified so completely with any area of numismatics as did Dr. John S. Davenport (1907-2001). Over a period of more than 50 years, his name became synonymous with the world of large-size silver coins, generally referred to as crowns and talers.

An educator of note with a distinguished career as professor of English literature, Davenport was born in Buffalo, N.Y. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell in 1928; his Master’s from Harvard the following year and completed his Doctorate at North Carolina in 1934. Most of his teaching career was spent at Knox College in Galesburg, IL.

Davenport began collecting coins in 1921 and carried on until his death 80 years later. Collecting of what were then called “foreign coins” was then in its infancy in the U.S. No comprehensive or specialized catalogs were available, but crowns and talers were a natural as a distinct collecting area.

German numismatists had published multi-volume taler catalogs in the 1700’s, which are sometimes still cited today, but such historic references as Madai and Schulthess-Rechberg were already major rarities in their own right in the 1920’s. There were no such pioneer volumes of world crowns, so the frustrated Davenport soon set out to create them.

Some of Davenport’s first cataloging appeared as articles in the American Numismatic Association’s journal The Numismatist and in Lee F. Hewitt’s Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine during the 1940’s. He found it possible to begin explorations of such clearly defined series as crowns of Swiss Cantons and cities during World War II, when paper shortages made publishing new books nearly impossible.

The first volume in a series of nine of similar size and format appeared in 1947, European Crowns since 1800, bearing the imprint of Foster & Stewart, Buffalo, N.Y. Within its 9¼ x 6½-inch purple-pebbled hard covers were 194 pages covering coins from Albania through Yugoslavia, plus appendices providing translations of hundreds of coin inscriptions and a detailed bibliography.

Though generally seen as separate volumes, Davenport looked upon his crown and taler books as a continuous record, ultimately assigning “Davenport numbers” to talers (1 through 10,063) and crowns (1 through 8,899).

To read the complete article, see:

A Crown and Taler Man, Reflections on Dr. John S. Davenport



The  October 2, 2014 issue of CoinsWeekly brought word of the loss of one of Europe's numismatic giants, Bernard Poindessault.

In her Editor's Note, Ursula Kampmann wrote:

Do you remember the days when there was only one public television channel per country in Europe? Then, TV carried a totally different weight. Every evening the whole family was gathered in front of the telly and the very next morning everybody would discuss the last evening’s programs.

The United Kingdom had the BBC, Germany the ARD, and France RTF Télévision. Between 1961 and 1967, the latter aired the series ‘Avis aux Amateurs’ (opinion of the amateurs) every week at prime time featuring week after week one collector presenting his most valued collection piece. Bernard Poindessault, too, was invited to talk. He spoke so enthusiastically about his coins that he received over 1,200 letters from the audience which caused him to change his profession. He became a coin dealer and founded the Centre Numismatique du Palais Royal in Paris.

More than 50 years have passed since and, of course, times have changed. Today you cannot even count the broadcasting channels; and a weekly series featuring somebody talking about his collection would not survive a single week not to mention seven years. One thing, however, has not changed: numismatics needs enthusiasts who infect others with their enthusiasm for numismatics. 

Bernard Poindessault was one of these enthusiasts. We mourn about a man who had the gift of carrying others along with his enthusiasm.

Below is the CoinsWeekly obituary by Fritz-Rudolf Künker, followed by a remembrance from George Kolbe.

In Paris in the 1970s there was a little joke circulating. Yes, there was a numismatic heaven, ruled by God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit. God the Father – and this is hardly a surprise – was identified with great Jean Vinchon, ‘veteran’ of the Parisian coin trade since 1945. The Holy Spirit was Emile Bourgey. Finally, God the Son – that could have been no one else than Bernard Poindessault, zealous prophet and herald of the numismatic message who became very talented in getting laypeople enthusiastic about numismatics. Not only the family grieves for Bernard Poindessault, the numismatic world has lost one of its leading figures. He died on 12 July, 2014. 

Bernard Poindessault was born as the child of two lawyers on 13 July 1935. Unsurprisingly, he chose to study law after finishing school. Between 1958 and 1961, however, he had to serve in the army, and that gave his life a new direction. At the very beginning of his military career he was sent to Algeria, in order to help setting up a training center at Khenchela. During his stay there the young enthusiastic man witnessed the thermae of ancient city of Mascula being archaeologically excavated. Amongst the material unearthed were numerous coin finds. Bernard Poindessault was thrilled. Being a child he used to binge-read the novels written by Alexandre Dumas with their historical backdrop and he owned his own collection of Roman sestertii. And there he was, experiencing an excavation first-hand, even unburying a few items himself that are on display today in the showcases of the museum of Constantine. 

When he returned to Paris, Bernard Poindessault worked at an insurance company. All of his leisure time, on the other hand, he spent on numismatics. He collected Roman coins. In addition, he felt the profound need to share his passion for numismatics. That was the reason for him to become a foundation member of Société d’Etudes Numismatique et Archéologie whose presidency he was to assume later. He created the journal Les Cahiers numismatiques and served as its editor. In 1965, his finest hour had come. The television broadcast “Avis aux Amateurs”, produced by T.F. 1 had invited him to speak about his hobby. Today, this is no big deal, but back then it was something of a sensation: T.F. 1 was the only television channel available in France. And so everybody watched Bernard Poindessault. But even the television experts did not see this incredible feedback coming: more than 1,200 letters arrived at the station – an unparalleled number. It took Bernard Poindessault 15 months to 
 answer them all, and during that time he decided to switch careers. He terminated his assurance business and became a coin dealer. 

Just two years later, the business premises in the Rue Montpensier already proved too small. In 1969, he moved to the coin dealers’ street, to Rue de Richelieu # 38 where the Centre Numismatique du Palais Royal is located until the present day, run by his wife Josiane. 

Apart from his daily routine as a coin dealer – as an expert, he conducted several auction sales at Hotel Drouot Paris, but he also organized auctions at Lyon, Marseille, Lille, Roubaix, Bordeaux and Poitiers – Bernard Poindessault always had the desire to actively promote numismatics. He published three monographs, two of which became standard works of reference to many collectors: Repertoire de la Numismatique Française Contemporaine as well as Repertoire des Monnaies Napoleonides. He initiated the journal Archeonumis and, in his function as secretary general, vice-president and president, played an active part in the French association of coin dealers called Syndicat National des Experts Numismates et Numismates Professionnels whose honorary president he was.   

In addition, Bernard Poindessault often was called in as an expert both by Tribunal de Commerce de Paris and Cour d’Appel in Paris. His most important ‘case’ was connected with the great heist at the Naples museum. Back then, it was his task to examine 3,500 confiscated ancient coins in order to identify the specimens that had been stolen from the museum at Naples. 

Bernard Poindessault was always open to the new media. His numismatic career having started with a television appearance, the end was marked by a new website that is currently hosted by the French journal Numismatique et Change.

With Bernard Poindessault the numismatic world is losing a dedicated representative who successfully managed to likewise fill outsiders and non-collectors with enthusiasm. I have lost a colleague and a friend whom I have been close to through numismatics. My sympathy goes to his widow, Josiane Vedrines-Poindessault, and his entire family.

George Kolbe writes:

In 1981, I attended two international book auctions, one in London in March, another in Düsseldorf in October. Typically, from this time on, anytime I travelled overseas I spent a few days in London, visiting Douglas Saville and buying books at Spink and, often, from Baldwins, Seaby’s, and David Edmunds. If memory serves, it was during the course of one of the 1981 trips that I flew from London to Paris one morning and returned to London later the same day. My goal was to meet Bernard Poindessault and to view his growing stock of rare and desirable numismatic books. After an uneventful flight, I arrived at 38 rue de Richelieu and met Bernard and Josiane Vedrines. Soon, we ascended well-worn, narrow circular stair steps to an upper floor, where the firm’s book stock was shelved. That day, I learned how deeply the French love their books. All were well cared for, most were in an excellent state of preservation, often in quality leather bindings of the period.

Midday we adjourned for a leisurely repast. I gave it little justice; I wanted to be looking at books! When we returned to the shop, I selected a goodly number of volumes, from which I purchased a respectable number. While Bernard’s prices were highly optimistic, many of the works in his stock were exceptional in one or more respects. I particularly recall acquiring a set of Barbier’s 1872–79 Dictionnaire des Ouvrages Anonymes, a classic bibliographic reference work I have used to advantage over the years. Another tool I acquired was Engel and Serrure’s Répertoire des sources imprimées de la numismatique française, both volumes handsomely bound in recent French red quarter morocco. A number of years later I was able to acquire a nicely bound set with the rare third supplementary volume, yet Bernard’s copy still resides in my library in a place of honor. 

Whatever other books I acquired that day do not come to mind but I do recall tarrying too long at rue de Richelieu, and the—beyond the call of duty—courtesy extended to me by a Parisian who, upon my inquiry, escorted me to the proper train traveling to the airport. Heavy briefcase in hand, I raced through the corridors of Charles de Gaulle Airport, only to just miss my flight. Fortunately, another flight left an hour later with me, if a bit dishevelled, on board.

As noted by Ursula Kampmann and Fritz-Rudolf Künker, Bernard Poindessault was a force of nature in the numismatic world. His devotion to coins was scarcely exceeded by his love of numismatic books. A few years later I visited Bernard once more. At the time he had a set in stock of Loubat’s magnificent Medallic History of the United States of America, inscribed by the author to Ulysses S. Grant. The price at the time was hefty; my regret at not buying it has haunted me ever since. 

A few years ago I “met” Bernard once again, at the 2010 numismatic book auction conducted in Osnabrück by Künker GmbH with the assistance of Douglas Saville. Among the over 2,000 lots on view were a number of instantly recognizable “Bernard” books: classic works often identifiable by their outstanding condition or, in the case of more modern titles, by their well-crafted French morocco bindings. Several made their way into the stock of Kolbe and Fanning, all of them quickly disappearing. I did not know Bernard Poindessault well on a personal basis. In the world of books we were simpatico.

To read the complete article, see:

Bernard Poindessault (1935-2014)


Archives International Auctions, Part XXI
4th Annual Wall Street Coin, Currency & Collectible Show Auction

U.S. & Worldwide Banknotes, Coins,Scripophily,
Autographs & Security Printing Ephemera

October 25th & November 4th, 2014

Highlights include:

Lot 731 El Banco Comercial Refaccionario De Chihuahua 1907

Lot 759 Palestine Currency Board, 1929 High Grade Issue

Lot 781 El Banco Nacional Del Paraguay, 1886 Issue Banknote Proofs

1580 Lemoine Avenue, Suite #7 
Fort Lee, NJ 07024 
Phone: 201-944-4800 

info at




The  October 2, 2014 issue of CoinsWeekly also has an excellent article by Ursula Kampmann on Numismatics at the Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn.  here is a very short excerpt.  Be sure to read the complete article online - it has many great pictures.

Dr Claudia Klages, head of the numismatic department at the LVR-Landesmusum Bonn, has quite a lot to offer, more precisely, round about 95,000 numismatic objects: coins, scales, coin dies, medals and the biggest collection worldwide of currencies and medals minted and found in the Rhineland.

This is Dr Claudia Klages, who receives us in her office at the coin cabinet. Behind the door with the pictures of the famous coin type “Tanzendes Männlein” lies the sanctuary, the large, walk-in vault.

The vault contains 95,000 objects, mainly find coins from the Rhineland region …
some on trays and some in boxes in order to store the large quantities effectively.
The museum is especially well-equipped with Roman coins. Among them, rarities and significant coin hoards, but we will see more of these later when we get to the permanent exhibition.

But let’s take a look at the permanent exhibition, which contains an unusually high number of coins and medals. A pleasure for all coin collectors. And if you keep your eyes open, you’ll spot many more objects that are of relevance for economic history.

To read the complete article, see:

Numismatics at the Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn



At my request
Maureen Levine forwarded me text and images for some more headline lots in the upcoming Heritage sale of Part V of the Eric P. Newman collection.   Thanks!

 1785 Inimica Tyrannis Cent 
1785 Inimica Tyrannis America / Confederatio, Large Circle Cent Original MS63 Brown NGC. Breen-1123, Whitman-5630, High R.7.
120.6 grains, 99% Copper per NGC metallurgical tests. There are two obverse dies known for this type, here with the legend INIMICA
TYRANNIS AMERICA and in the next lot, with the legend INIMICA TYRANNIS AMERICANA. The reverse dies are also distinctive, here
with the large circle of stars, and below with a small circle of stars. This extraordinary copper has full cartwheel luster with choice goldenbrown
surfaces showing a few splashes of greenish-steel toning. Although imperfectly centered, the strike is sufficient to show full border
details on both sides. A tiny planchet defect through the quiver will identify this example.

The obverse motto, "America Opposed to Tyranny," was taken from a longer Latin phrase, "Manus haec inimica tyrannis ense petit
placidam sub libertate quietem," attributed to Algernon Sidney circa 1659. Sidney was an English soldier and statesman was opposed to
King Charles II; he was executed for treason in 1683. A notice in the November 20, 1755 edition of The Pennsylvania Gazette described
Sidney as a "Friend of Peace." The second half of the Latin passage is the official motto of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The Large Stars Confederatio pieces are known as decads, the name given to a copper coin valued at approximately one hundredth of a
Spanish dollar. A sketch of the design appeared in the papers of the Continental Congress in 1785, and is considered by some as an
important pattern issue.

There's a numismatic term I wasn't familiar with before: decads.  

 1786/85 Immunis Columbia, Confederatio Mule 
1786/85 Immunis Columbia, Confederatio, Large Stars, Crosby VII, 16, Breen-1128, Whitman-5665, MS64 Brown NGC. 159.8 grains.
This extremely rare Confederatio piece combines the 1786 Immunis Columbia obverse with the 1785 Large Stars Confederatio reverse.
Walter Breen believed this mule was unique, and used this piece as the plate coin in his Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial
Coins. This is the first example of the variety that we have handled in the 40-year history of our firm. The Newman specimen is clearly the
finest example, and carries the longest provenance. The other known piece is a corroded VG example that was offered in the 2002 ANA
sale with no previous pedigree.

Facts about these pieces are extremely limited and confusing. A series of coins including various combinations of the Immunis
Columbia obverse, the Confederatio reverse, and related dies, includes a mule of the 1786 Immunis Columbia obverse and the New Jersey
shield reverse, also offered in the present sale. The various pieces are recorded in the Whitman Colonial Encyclopedia under catalog
numbers 5630-5700, listing 14 different varieties. These pieces are also punch-linked to the Nova Constellatio coppers of 1783 and 1785.
Eric P. Newman believes that these coins, including the Nova Constellatio coppers and the Immunis Columbia pieces, were produced
in England, probably at Wyon's Birmingham Mint. Earlier numismatic scholars, including Sylvester S. Crosby held the same belief in the
19th century. More recently, other researchers, including Michael Hodder, have developed an alternative viewpoint that the coins were
produced in America.

 1785 Washington Confederatio Copper 
1785 General Washington, Confederatio, Large Circle Copper, Crosby VII, 14, Breen-1125, Whitman-5665, VF30 NGC. CAC. 128.0
grains, 99% copper per NGC metallurgical tests. This was the second example discovered according to Sylvester S. Crosby, who reported
its earlier history in the April 1889 issue of the American Journal of Numismatics: Washington Confederatio.

The General Washington obverse die is seen here with the Confederatio Large Circle reverse; it is also known with the New Jersey
Shield reverse die C, and the 1786 Heraldic Eagle die, obverse 5 in the New Jersey series. The New Jersey mule lends credence to these
pieces being American colonial issues, rather than products of England. However, facts about these coins are just as rare as the coins

 1776 New Hampshire Copper 
1776 New Hampshire Pine Tree Copper VG8 NGC. CAC. Breen-708, Whitman-8395, High R.7. 142.0 grains, 99% copper, per NGC test
results. The obverse of this simply designed copper features a tall Pine Tree with the legend AMERICAN LIBERTY, while the reverse depicts
a harp with the date 1776. Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia lists six different varieties under the heading New Hampshire Coppers,
but that illustrated and offered here is the only variety that is considered a genuine New Hampshire copper. Sylvester S. Crosby reproduced
the legislation in Early Coins of America and noted that a copy of the original record of March 13, 1776 included sketched designs that are
nearly identical to the few surviving examples, such as this piece from the Eric P. Newman Collection.

Facts about these coppers are limited and surviving examples are extremely rare, although reproductions are commonplace. In his
book, In Yankee Doodle’s Pocket, Will Nipper writes: "New Hampshire patterns are so rare that the probability of encountering a genuine
specimen is almost zero. Yet, copies number in the millions."

Mark Borchardt of Heritage provided this image of the storage envelope from the Newman collection.  Thanks!

For more information, see:

2014 November 14 - 16 Selections from the Eric P. Newman Collection Part V US Coins Signature Auction - New York   #1215


To read the earlier article, see:



Browse and Shop Approximately 3,000 Numismatic Books from the Respected Library of John Huffman—All Books Recently Discounted 20%.    Click here or go to
click on “All Subjects” and select “John Huffman Collection”


Last week Ron Guth passed along some information about the Joseph C. Mitchelson collection at the Connecticut State Library.  Here are some reader responses.  Thanks.

Roger Burdette writes:

There are several boxes of archival documents among the Connecticut State Library holdings. I used them for research while writing the Renaissance of American Coinage series. The coins are among the few entirely original pieces remaining in US collections, and many pieces have documented origins direct from the Philadelphia Mint and Annual Assay Commission coins.

David Thomason Alexander writes:

I enjoyed brother Ron Guth's comments about Joseph C. Mitchelson, lovingly known as "Uncle Joe" (1856-1911) to his fellow members of the New York Numismatic Club. This venerable numismatic patriarch did indeed bequeath his magnificent collection to the Connecticut State Library, and a cautionary tale lies therein. Some numismatic luminaries of the past have expressed doubts as to the suitability of museums as repositories of numismatic materials. The late John J. Ford Jr. detested museums and museum people generally, often announcing that museum professionals were worthless incompetents "looking to come in out of the rain." As a former museum director I always resented this arrogant view.

However, the Mitchelson collection offers a fascinating insight into this question. Several years ago, vast swatches of the collection went to auction at Stack's-Coin Galleries, where I had the pleasure of cataloging quite a few fascinating pieces that had been off the market for generations. I believe some items remain in state hands, possibly including the Higley Threepence.

Then there is the Jewish Museum of New York, once famous for its rich numismatic holdings, notably in ancient Jewish coins, now inaccessible in deep, dead storage apparently for good, "and what's it to you!" A few years ago, the Jewish Museum received the Kagan-Maremba Collection of modern Palestine and Israel coins, medals, tokens and paper money. Housed in a "Stonehenge" of custom-built Capital Plastics panels, the collection included obverse-reverse examples of all Israel coins and medals, plus a galaxy of rarities including patterns, trial strikes, unique metal examples, printer's proofs and more. This "ultimate" collection first vanished in the museum's black hole storage, only to emerge as a single auction lot offered by Sotheby's, where it was blown away for a song...

Perhaps most museums are not ideal repositories for numismatic material. Coins and medals are generally small, difficult to see, hard to exhibit to a general audience, incomprehensible to museum staffers and administrators, costly to protect and insure. From a collectors' point of view, returning collections to the marketplace returns them to collectors. Take your pick.

To read the complete article, see:




Ultramodern numismatist Pabitra Saha submitted these thoughts on some new issues of the breakaway state of Transnistria.  Thanks!

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