The E-Sylum v21n44 November 4, 2018

The E-Sylum esylum at
Sun Nov 4 19:08:18 PST 2018

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

Volume 21, Number 44, November 4, 2018
WES RASMUSSEN (1934-2018)
JAMES GALEN (1840-1906)

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Content presented in The E-Sylum  is not necessarily researched or independently fact-checked, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


New subscribers this week include: 
Phil Beauchamp of the Pheli Mint;
Glen Wilson, and
Jeff Wing.
Welcome aboard! We now have 5,779 subscribers.

Thank you for reading The E-Sylum. If you enjoy it, please send me the email addresses of friends you think may enjoy it as well and I'll send them a subscription (but let me know if they are located in the European Union). Contact me at whomren at anytime regarding your subscription, or questions, comments or suggestions about our content. 

This week we open with selections from the upcoming Newman numismatic library sale, a Kolbe & Fanning Bid-or-Buy sale, two new books, a review, and a remembrance of large cent collector Wes Rasmussen.

Other topics this week include the emergency money of Leiden, hydra images in numismatics, collector and publisher James Galen, manufactured rarities from the U.S. Mint, more Eric P. Newman collection highlights, the Royal Mint's Brexit coin, and Norway's pixellated banknotes.

To learn more about Cogan's 1858 sale of U.S. cents, George Clapp's annotated Doughty, Mormon currency, how coin blanks are made, J.T. Stanton's “tighty-whiteys”, 
two-headed Morgan dollars, the Venice Film Festival Award medal, the temptation of the succubus, the the hefty howtizer, and banknote cufflinks, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren 
Editor, The E-Sylum


The magnificent numismatic library of Eric P. Newman is being auctioned this week by Heritage.  Here are some lots that caught my eye.  For more, see another article on the sale later in this issue

 Lot 15162 : Abel Brewster's Plan 

Brewster, Abel. A Plan for Producing an Uniformity in the Ornamental Part of Bank or Other Bills Where There Is Danger of Forgery, and for Furnishing the Public with a Convenient and Infallible Test for the Same... Philadelphia: Printed by Thomas Town, No. 3, Norris's Alley, 1810. 8vo, self-covered and stitched, as issued. 16, (2) pages; 1 finely engraved plate depicting ornamental bank note designs framing descriptive text relating to them. An extremely rare publication, virtually unknown to most of the collecting world. Eric P. Newman had acquired this copy by January 30, 1964, at which time he wrote about it to Dr. Julian Blanchard. It was reproduced in the Winter 1966 issue of the Essay-Proof Journal.

Brewster's pamphlet was published in direct competition with Jacob Perkins. Brewster states that Perkins had been trying to thwart his efforts in the area of bank note security by claiming infringement of patents, which Brewster considered baseless. Perkins had published his famous Bank Bill Test (also present in this sale) just the year before. Brewster's plate is very well printed, and he clearly understood the problems faced by bank note printers and had sound ideas about addressing them. It is also clear, however, that the battle was won by Perkins. Shaw & Shoemaker 19634. Worn and with some fraying at the edges; plate with some browning and light wrinkles, but better preserved than the text due to its smaller size. Good, with a very good plate. This may be the first time this work has been offered in the sale of a numismatic library.
Estimate $2,000.

To read the complete lot description, see:

Lot 15196 : Original Subscription Set of Crosby

Crosby, Sylvester S. The Early Coins of America; and the Laws Governing Their Issue. Comprising Also Descriptions of the Washington Pieces, the Anglo-American Tokens, Many Pieces of Unknown Origin, of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, and the First Patterns of the United States Mint. Boston: Published by the New England Numismatic and Archaeological Society, 1873 / Published by the Author, 1875. 4to [30.5 by 24.5 cm], as originally issued in 11 fascicules numbered 1-12 with printed paper covers. 1873 and 1875 title pages and introductions present. (2), v, (5), 11-381, (1) pages [different pages (2), v, (1), comprising the revised title and introduction, laid into Fascicule 11-12]; 110 wood engravings in the text; 2 folding heliotype manuscript facsimiles; 10 fine heliotype plates of coins and tokens. Housed in a black cloth slipcase.

An original subscription set of Crosby's masterpiece, the foundation upon which all subsequent works on early American coinage have been built. Entirely in its original state. The Early Coins of America was not intended to be the work of Crosby alone. Appointed the head of a committee of six by the New England Numismatic and Archaeological Society and charged with publishing a work on early American coinage, Crosby soon found himself alone in the pursuit. Not only was the research and composition of the work done almost entirely by Crosby, ultimately he also had to publish it. The 12 parts (as issued in 11) were published separately and distributed to subscribers in printed wraps: it was left to the subscriber to eventually bind his or her copy upon completion. Very few sets remain extant as here in their original state.

State with overprinted coin numbers on Plates IV and V (see Eric P. Newman's "Bibliographical Foreword" to the 1983 Quarterman reprint for information on plate states). Coin 15a on Plate VII hand-numbered in pencil, apparently as always. Without the handwritten correction, occasionally seen, to Miss Eliza Susan Quincy's name in the subscribers' list on page 381. Clain-Stefanelli 12115*. Davis 291. Grierson 218. Sigler 603. Parts 11 & 12, as issued in one fascicule, with detached (but present) front cover. Generally an exceptionally fine, well-preserved set.
Estimate $12,000

Wow.  These unbound subscription sets are scarce as hen's teeth and a centerpiece of any library of American numimatic literature.  A great prize for the winning bidder.

To read the complete lot description, see:

Lot 15203 : George Clapp's Annotated Doughty 

Doughty, Francis Worcester. The Cents of the United States: A Numismatic Study. Extensively Illustrated from Selected Specimens. New York: Scott, 1890. 8vo, original olive-brown cloth, elaborately decorated and lettered in gilt, depicting a 1793 Flowing Hair large cent. (6), 115, (1) pages; text figures; 2 tables (1 folding); 4 lithographic plates of coins. Very good. Heavily annotated throughout in pencil by George H. Clapp with numerous inserts laid in, including: two handwritten letters from Charles Clapp on Classic Head large cents; two typewritten studies of 1808 cents by S.H. Chapman; one handwritten letter by George Henry Davis also on Classic Head cents; a typewritten letter by James Macallister; two handwritten letters from Howard R. Newcomb, both on large cents, one of them continuing onto a second sheet; a number of inserted notes written by George H. Clapp; 4 pages of handwritten commentary by George Clapp on 1808 cent varieties; several rubbings and impressions o
 f large cents; a printed advertisement for the Doughty book; and a Lyman Low circular signed by Frank Higgins. Previously in the library of Frank C. Higgins, with his bookplate; signed on the front blank by Higgins and dated 1899; signed by George H. Clapp on the same blank, dated 1921, below which Clapp has written: "The notes on margins in this book are the beginnings of my revision of these early dates."

An extraordinary volume. The Doughty work is not terribly well appreciated in our day, as it is generally regarded as little more than a compilation of existing research (most of it conducted by David Proskey)--which is true, but this particular copy of Doughty is the most exciting large cent book we have encountered in years. The commentary in the annotations is thorough and rigorous, as is all of Clapp's writing. He was not one to suffer fools gladly, and his comments on Doughty's work are not infrequently harsh, but this book has far more to offer than entertainment value. It would be important even if it hadn't a single inserted item--but it does, and the letters and other inserted notes are also substantive and important. The letters from Newcomb in particular show the level of cooperation between these two researchers and their mutually held trust and respect. The letters from Charles Clapp show quite clearly that his knowledge and observations have been underappreciate
 d over the years, overshadowed as he was by his brother. This is a wonderful item and is one of the highlights of the Eric P. Newman library.
Estimate $5,000.

A unique and important item - you can't get much closer to numismatic history than this.

To read the complete lot description, see:

Lot 15232 : Hall's List of the Connecticut Coppers 

Hall, Thomas. A Descriptive List of the Coppers Issued by Authority, for the State of Connecticut, for the Year 1787. Boston: Privately printed, for additions and corrections, 1892. 8vo, original black half calf, gilt, with brown cloth sides; upper cover lettered in gilt. 58 pages. First 16 pages with corresponding reverse page numbers filled in by hand in ink.

 Hall's rare work was intended to be distributed among a select circle of fellow collectors. With the benefit of their comments and additions to the list, a final version of the work was to be published--but it never reached fruition. The original leather binding used poor materials and most copies are either rebound or (as here) in well-worn condition. Spine worn and chipped. Contents very good or better.
Estimate $2,000.

A classic rarity.

To read the complete lot description, see:

 Lot 15323 : BEP Specimen Scrapbook 

[Jewell, H.C.]. Specimens and Cost of Engraved Work. Spine title cited. Scrapbook of finely engraved portraits, vignettes, and bank note design elements, assembled for the use of Bureau of Engraving and Printing Chief Henry C. Jewell, possibly by BEP Chief Engraver George W. Casilear, c. 1876-1877. Oblong 4to, original brown half morocco, gilt; spine with four raised bands, ruled and lettered in gilt, with H.C. JEWELL impressed in gilt at the base of the spine. Approximately 60 leaves, interleaved with ruled paper. Of these, 25 leaves have various finely engraved portraits, vignettes, bank note elements, and related designs affixed to them. There is a total of 11 portraits, 8 vignettes, and 143 design elements. No text accompanies the engravings.

An intriguing scrapbook with some exceptionally well-rendered engraved design elements, many of them made for bank notes and bonds. Beyond the spine lettering, there is no text to assist us in determining the context in which this book was assembled. A very interesting letter from Raphael Ellenbogen to Eric P. Newman, dated October 28, 1996, attempts to shed some light on the matter, and speculates that the book was compiled by George W. Casilear between 1865 and 1870, but this is not entirely accurate. At least two of the engravings make reference to committees planning for the U.S. Centennial in 1876, and one is dated 1872, giving us the earliest date at which it was likely to have been made. Given that Jewett served as Chief of the BEP only in 1876 and 1877, it seems safe to assign the production of this volume to those years. It was clearly not intended for special presentation, as the binding is fairly ordinary and the spine lettering points to a purely practical functio
 n. While the binding is rubbed and worn at the extremities, the engravings are clean and crisp. A lovely book.

A trophy for the collector with an interest in art and engraving.

To read the complete lot description, see:

 Lot 15404 : The Case, Trevett against Weeden 

Varnum, James M. The Case, Trevett against Weeden: On Information and Complaint, for Refusing Paper Bills in Payment for Butcher's Meat, in Market, at Par with Specie. Tried before the Honourable Superior Court, in the County of Newport, September Term, 1786... Providence: Printed by John Carter, 1787. 8vo, somewhat later red quarter straight-grained morocco with marbled sides; spine lettered and decorated in gilt. (4), 60 pages. Very rare. Evans 20825. Sabin 98638. Binding quite worn, with spine covering mostly lacking and front cover detached, but present. Pages a little browned, but generally very good or better. Estimate $600.

Ex: Charles I. Bushnell, with his bookplate.

To read the complete lot description, see:

To read earlier E-Sylum article, see: 




Numismatic Booksellers Kolbe & Fanning submitted this announcement of their eighth “Buy or Bid Sale” which closes on November 14, 2018. Good luck, everyone!

Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers have announced their eighth “Buy or Bid Sale,” which begins now and will close on Wednesday, November 14. The sale focuses on modestly priced books, giving collectors an opportunity to add to their libraries at minimal cost.

There will be no printed catalogue. The PDF catalogue is available now for downloading from the Kolbe & Fanning website at 

As the name of the sale suggests, customers may bid on items they wish to acquire or buy them outright at the published price. The Terms of Sale will give full instructions on how to participate: please read it carefully. 

The sale includes over 1300 works on ancient, medieval and modern coins, as well as general works, periodicals and sale catalogues. “Buy” prices have been kept low to promote sales. To further encourage participation, the firm is offering free domestic shipping to bidders spending at least $300; there will also be no packing and processing fee for this sale. Again, please read the Terms of Sale before participating. 

Please send all bids to 

orders at

 or use the bid sheet included at the end of the PDF catalogue. 


Here's the press release for a new book on So-Called Dollars by Jeff Shevlin and Bill Hyder.

So-Called Dollars from the Pacific Coast Expositions

So-Called Dollar dealer Jeff Shevlin and William D Hyder announced the release of their new
book, So-Called Dollars from the Pacific Coast Expositions. It is an illustrated reference and is
the second in a series of books Shevlin plans to publish to redefine and expand the field of
collecting So-Called Dollars. Preface by Q. David Bowers.

Shevlin and co-author William D. Hyder share the stories, history and events of the expositions
that were held on the Pacific Coast. From the 1894 California Midwinter Exposition through the
1962 Seattle World’s Fair there were eight major expositions held on the Pacific Coast. The
heart of the book is the in depth analysis of all of the So-Called Dollars, historical U.S. medals,
associated with those great expositions. Dozens of previously unknown medals and varieties
are identified that will help collectors interested in this fascinating series of historical medals.

1894 California Midwinter Exposition

1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition

1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition

1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition

1915-16 Panama–California Exposition

1935-36 California Pacific International Exposition

1939-40 Golden Gate International Exposition

1962 Seattle World’s Fair

So-called dollars are historical U.S. medals that commemorate a person, place or event in the
United States history. They are 33mm to 45mm in size.

Hardbound editions with over 300 full color pages, 81⁄2 x 11, are $59.95. A very special signed
and numbered collector’s edition with a medal encased in the cover, limited to 95 copies, is
available for $95. Shipping is $4.50 per book.

To order your book contact:

Jeff Shevlin, the So-Called Guy
1894 E. Willian St., Suite 4-240
Carson City, NV 89701
Phone: (916) 955-2569
Email: SoCalledGuy at


I don't believe we were aware of Volume 1 of Jeffrey Wing's book when it debuted in January 2017.  I came across the book's web site this week and discovered a Volume 2 was just published in June 2018.  This volume focuses on German Notgeld (Emergency Money), where the first volume covered the world.  A planned third volume "will focus on Paper Money that is Christian themed."  Here is information from the web site and Amazon.  The price is $49.99.

This Volume 2 continues the author’s intriguing account of paper money, focusing on the German notgeld used for emergency currency in the early 1900s. Notgeld is particularly interesting for the imagery and text used in its design, which will connect the reader to a broad range of historical subjects, such as the hyperinflationary period that struck Germany between 1914 and 1924 and the struggles of the Jewish people in that country and others. 

The author uses the notgeld to explain the devastation of the German economy when the price of goods increased by the hour and for instance a 1,000,000,000,000-mark note had the value of only 22 cents (U.S.)! Many of the notgeld seen in this book was used by the Nazis for propaganda against the Jews and expressed the anti-Semitism so prevalent in that day. Battles, witches, spirits, Christianity, miracles, and the Catholic Church are some of the many themes expressed by the notgeld artwork and the associated text. The reader will find this abundantly-illustrated book to be rich in history and a rewarding study of paper money.

Amazon review by Steijn (5 Stars):

This is a lavishly-produced and intelligent review of the subjects and symbolism found on German "Notgeld" banknotes of the hyperinflation period. Given that the catalog of such notes runs to many volumes, a book like this can really only show a sample and point the way, but the book does so very, very well. There are so many hidden messages, jokes and complaints in these notes that you can study them for decades and still find surprises.

Printed on high-quality paper and in full color throughout, this is a book you don't just park on your coffee table, you read and reread it over and over again. A great addition to your "Notgeld" library and an essential book if you are interested in what the German national mood really was while their currency's value evaporated. Highly recommended!

Amazon review by Tony (5 Stars):

This 2nd volume in the ‘Paper Money Messages’ series by Jeff Wing, specialises in German notgeld (emergency money issues). There is a whole story to be told about notgeld and Jeff has really done an excellent job here. The imagery on the depicted notgeld issues are superb and illustrate the different and varied points being made throughout the publication. The many different topics and themes depicted on the notgeld are discussed with great enthusiasm and research has obviously been actioned with great diligence.

The author obviously has a real passion for banknotes and notgeld issues and that oozes from the narrative. The hidden messages of the graphics and texts are explored in great detail and the reader is slowly drawn into an historical web of feelings, beliefs and out-cryings. This is a ‘must-buy’ for any passionate banknote and notgeld collector. Superb in presentation and depictions, you will not be disappointed. You will learn a lot from this book and the notgeld will become even more interesting as a result.

About the Author
Paper Money Messages, a Pictorial Perspective (Vol 1 and 2) is a result of Jeffrey J. Wing’s journeys over the past twenty years to more than thirty countries, including particularly those to some of the world’s poorest countries. Volunteering with Engineering Ministries International (EMI) and TransformAsia in Cambodia, he has used his engineering skill to assist the Christian organizations in the development of schools, orphanages, and hospitals in those countries. 

Jeffrey’s interest in paper money originated from these diverse travels when he began to collect local currencies. Experiencing a country that had faced economic and political turmoil made him reevaluate the true value of paper money. In addition, he recognized that the imagery on a nations currency was often a significant reflection of that nation’s history and value system.

 More and more Jeffrey realized the importance that a book about paper money might have to those with not only a general interest in currency but the subject would have a much wider appeal, extending to persons with an appreciation of the money’s colorful imagery or to students of history. Jeffrey resides in Raleigh North Carolina, with his wife, Christy, and children Reese and Hannah.

Product details
Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 17, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1981161368
ISBN-13: 978-1981161362
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 11 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

For more information, or to order, see:


On October 30, 2018 Mike Markowitz published a CoinWeek article recommending a group of coin books for beginning collectors of ancient coins.  He made some great choices.  Here's a short excerpt - see the complete article online.

The best advice this or any other coin collector ever got is, “Buy the book before you buy the coin.”

For beginning collectors of early and modern American coins, the choice of reference books is simple. If you have The Official Red Book®, you’re probably good to go. With 463 compact pages of comprehensive, reliable information — at a list price of just $17.95, the Red Book is a no-brainer.

Collectors of ancient coins face a more daunting task.

Ancient coins come in tens of thousands of types, with hundreds of “issuing authorities” (empires, cities, tribes, and rulers) and the books that document all this information represent centuries of accumulated scholarship — not all of it in English.  Ancient coin books can be costly, and hard to find.

In general terms, ancient coins fall into two broad categories:  Roman and “Greek.” For convenience, coins issued by many peoples who spoke Semitic, Celtic, Central Asian and other languages are lumped into the “Greek” category.

CoinWeek asked me to recommend five books that might make up a beginner’s reference library for classical numismatics.  But as J.R.R. Tolkien used to say, the tale grew in the telling…

If you’re not quite sure where to start, the best 
first choice is Ancient Coin Collecting by Wayne Sayles. With a list price of about $22, the second edition delivers 312 pages of solid advice, with over 300 photographs and many charts and tables.  As one reviewer noted, “I wish I had this book twenty years ago when I began collecting.” Other titles by the same author cover Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and other coins, plus Classical Deception, the best non-technical book on counterfeit ancients. If these are the only ancient coin books you ever buy, you will be glad you did.

To read the complete article, see: 

Ancient Coin Books: A Collector’s Reference Library for Classical Numismatics



WES RASMUSSEN (1934-2018)

Pete Smith submitted this remembrance of large cent specialist Wes Rasmussen.  Thank you!  The top photo is from the Heritage sale of Rasmussen's collection.

Wes Rasmussen

(10/5/1934 – 11/2/2018)

I met Wes Rasmussen in the early 1980’s through our mutual friend, Dick Punchard. The
three of us became the Minnesota contingent to EAC conventions and travelled together to
California copper auctions including Phil Van Cleave (1986), Robbie Brown (1986) and Jack
Robinson (1989). On a couple of our trips we were joined by Bob and Tom Matthews.

When Wes bid at auction, he was not just interested in adding to his collection. It was a
competition and he did not like to lose. There were times when I saw two large egos with deep
pockets go up against each other. The result may have been a sale price well above current
market value.

Wes was in the printing business doing general commercial printing with Litho-Tech
Services. I recall that they specialized in printing vinyl covers for loose leaf binders. In 1986
Wes arranged for Litho-Tech to print and distribute Penny-Wise to members of EAC.

Litho-Tech printed the Attribution Guide for United States Large Cents 1840-1857 by J. R.
Grellman and Jules Reiver (1986). The two-volume set had a printed vinyl cover.

Litho-Tech also printed Bill Noyes’ book on large cents. In 1991 I traveled with Bill Daehn
to Chicago for the ANA convention. We packed up 100 copies of the book in Bill’s car to deliver
to the show in Chicago.

Litho-Tech published the John Wright book on middle date cents in 1992. They
continued to publish Penny-Wise until 2005. The company was sold to Glen Taylor, owner of the
Minnesota Timberwolves.

Wes was active with the Lions Club and served as president of the local chapter. He asked
me to speak about Colonial coins at one of their lunch meetings. I learned about the Lion’s tail
twister but don’t think he would do well at a coin club meeting.

Canterbury Downs opened as a Minnesota race track in 1985 and the state promoted horse
racing as an industry. Wes hopped in the saddle as a horse owner (not as a rider). I don’t recall if
he won any races as owner.

I frequently visited him in Bloomington, Minnesota, in a large house on the bluff overlooking
the Minnesota River. Wes enjoyed watching deer and other animals in the parkland below. When
Wes was considering a move to Las Vegas, he and his wife, Judy, wanted to stay in Minnesota
until their daughter Kathy was married. Wes wanted to see his daughter coming down the grand
staircase in her wedding gown.

I didn’t see much of Wes after he moved to Las Vegas in the 1990’s. He served as president
of EAC from 1996 to 1999 and as host of the EAC convention in 1997 and again in 2002 with Al
Boka and Jeff Gresser. I don’t know how much he was a gambler. I know that he collected
casino chips and was an active member of the “Silver Strikers”.

In 2005 I attended the FUN show with my employer. The Heritage sale of the Wes
Rasmussen collection was held at the same time. I greeted Wes and Judy and a lot of old EAC
friends at the sale. I had my eye on a couple of coins but was not a successful bidder.

In June of 2010 I went to Las Vegas for the CC&GTCC convention. I was surprised to see
that Wes had a table there. He was selling ten ounce silver rounds from casinos. As the show was
closing I talked with him about his success at the show. He said that sometimes you can buy your
way out of a show. Apparently his purchases were better than his sales.

Judy died on October 29, 2016, after sixty years of marriage. Wes moved to Wisconsin, at
least for the summers, but continued to visit Las Vegas. It was on one of these visits in October
that he suffered a stroke and did not recover.

Pete Smith, Dick Punchard and Wes Rasmussen at the 1986 Philip Van Cleave sale; photo courtesy Kagin's via Pete Smith


The latest additions to the Newman Numismatic Portal are two books by Doug Nyholm on Mormon currency. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report.

Mormon Currency, 1837-1937 and Updates & Short Stories Added to Newman Portal

Author Douglas Nyholm has released two volumes related to Mormon numismatics for publication on Newman Portal. Mormon Currency, 1837-1937 (2nd edition, 2015) begins with the 1837 Joseph Smith-signed notes of the Kirtland (OH) Safety Society Bank. Interestingly, the Smith signature is desirable even though many examples are thought to have been signed by Smith’s “scribes” and not Smith personally. Notes are also signed by other Mormon church dignitaries. 

Mormon paper money follows the migration of the church from east to west, including bank notes of Monroe, MI and scrip from Nauvoo, IL. From here Nyholm moves to the more well-known gold coinage of the Gold Rush era. To complement the gold pieces, a host of scrip and small-denomination currency continued to be issued. This portion of the catalog is the most valuable contribution of the book, illustrating and detailing hundreds of emissions. The overall work is indispensable for collectors of Mormon numismatics, and will be the standard reference for some time. The NLG named this work the Best Book on U.S. Currency for 2010.

Doug Nyholm has also released a companion volume, Updates & Short Stories About Mormon Currency (2018). This work contains a variety of supplementary material including historical essays, grading, trial strikes, and a review of the Eric P. Newman collection of Mormon scrip, several examples of which sold at the 5-figure level. The Bishop’s General Storehouse $10, pictured here, sold for an astounding $25,850 (Newman VII, 10/2015, lot 18616). Prior to the Newman sale, Nyholm speculated the Bob & Carol Campbell example was the only such piece held privately.

Link to Mormon Currency (2nd edition, 2015) on Newman Portal:

Link to Updates & Short Stories About Mormon Currency (2018) on Newman Portal


In a press release this week the U.S. Mint announced two new appointees to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.  

The United States Mint is pleased to announce the appointment of two new members to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC). The two new members will fill the vacancies created by the expiration of appointments.

Samuel H. Gill was appointed to represent the interests of the general public, replacing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Mr. Gill is a transportation, logistics, and supply chain technology expert who has run his own consulting business for more than 20 years. Mr. Gill is a former executive at the American Trucking Associations in Alexandria, Virginia, and started his career with Arthur Andersen and Company in Washington D.C. He is a certified public accountant and has been an avid coin collector since childhood.

Robin Salmon was appointed as the member specially qualified in medallic art and sculpture, replacing Heidi Wastweet. A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Ms. Salmon has been on the staff of Brookgreen Gardens, a sculpture garden and wildlife preserve located just south of Murrells Inlet, in South Carolina, since 1975. She oversees the acquisition, exhibition, and conservation of Brookgreen’s art, history, library, and archives collections, and directs the activities of the Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. Center for American Sculpture, bringing prominent sculptors to Brookgreen annually for residencies, lectures, and workshops.

Congratulations, and good luck. I added a portrait of Robin Salmon found on the web.

For more information on the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, see:



The American Numismatic Association is recruiting exhibitors and speakers for the Pittsburgh National Money Show March 28-30, 2019.  Who better than E-Sylum  readers, the smartest bunch of collectors around!  How about some numismatic literature exhibits?

APPLICATIONS. Exhibitors must file a separate application for each exhibit, designating the group and classification
in which it will be entered. Exhibit applications must reach the ANA no later than January 18, 2019. 

EXHIBIT TEXT GUIDELINES. Exhibitors, in preparing their texts, may choose to use information verbatim from
one or more sources. For details judged as “basic numismatic information,” such as mintage, designer, composition, etc.,
it is sufficient that sources for such information will be shown in a list of references. For text relating more to “special
numismatic information,” such as historical, biographical, or economic matters, it is best for exhibitors to present
information in their own words. Text or illustrations lifted directly from other sources should be directly attributed to
those sources. Instances where material is presented as “original” that has been copied from other sources will result in
significant point deductions. 

For an application and rules, see: 

Exhibit Application


Exhibit Rules


ANA Money Talks presentations are 30- to 45- minute programs, including questions from the audience, and should include a digital presentation.  They are scheduled on the hour.  

A brief description of your presentation as well as a brief biography is required and these items must be submitted with your proposal form.  This information is used to promote your talk and for your introduction.

The following equipment will be provided: a laptop computer (Windows, Office, and PowerPoint 2007), a digital projector, a projector screen, a laser pointer, and one exhibit case.  

To submit a proposal, see:



 Cogan's 1858 Sale of U.S. Cents 

Earlier this week Jim Neiswinter

160 years ago today, Nov. 1, 1858, was the first Ed Cogan sale. The 77 cents realized $128.68. The result of this sale was published in Philadelphia newspapers and was credited by Cogan as "the chief cause of the unprecedented demand that arose for obtaining coins."

Thanks!  A landmark event.

 Another Brasher Doubloon Electrotype 
Bob Marcus of
Chapel Hill, North Carolina writes:

I discovered with great interest the Stack’s Baltimore sale this week of the Dubois Brasher electrotype (circa 1860).  I was greatly impressed  by Craig Sholley’s communication to The E-Sylum displaying great knowledge.  Then following carefully considers my careful examination of the original on exhibit in the Smithsonian Institution (slide by side) and the photos of the electrotype just sold.

I own what I am 100 percent certain is an electrotype of the doubloon made by Dubois from the original, circa 1860.  My example is identical in every respect (save one).  Briefly, it exhibits the scratches, weaknesses, depressions, etc. that are present on both the aforementioned genuine example in the Smithsonian and the electrotype just sold this past week.  The distinction is that the electrotype I own is fully gilt which I assume was done at the time of production.

Here is the provenance (or circumstances)as to how I acquired the piece.  In the late 1960s I was friendly with Colonel Bill Smothers who was affiliated with Midas Coins od Annandale, Virginia.  Bill purchased an extensive collection of colonials, politicals, and tokens directly from a family which had not been disturbed in any way since the 1880s.  The collection was extensive yet did not include any U. S. Coins.  I purchased the subject electrotype from Bill in addition to some colonials and Lincoln politicals.  It became clear to me this indeed was a Dubois electrotype.  My problem had been there was no known example of another Dubois electrotype to compare it with and have it verified to be as described.  I submitted it last year to ANACS for authenticating and they returned it as “counterfeit”.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 



 John J. Ford and New Netherlands Office Photos Sought 

Dave Bowers writes:

I  am preparing an extensive article on the life of John J. Ford, Jr., and invite anyone with pictures of JJF, New Netherlands office and auction room, or related to send them to me, for possible use (will be credited).

Can anyone help?  Here's one photo The E-Sylum  has of Ford.  It was taken at the 2000 ANA S.S. Central America exhibit (by Dave Bowers!)

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 



 Grover Criwsell's Two Dollar Bills 
Kevin Flynn's old "counterfeit" $10 bill reminded Bob Leuver of a related story. The former Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and Executive Director of the American Numismatic Association submitted this in May, 2016.

The indomitable Grover Criswell, a man of many numismatic talents and as keen sense of humor, was on a tedious flight from the East coast to the West coast. In need of a libation to shorten the trip, he asked the flight attendant for a stout spirit drink. To pay, he pulled out a half-sheet of $2 bills, and cut one out to pay for the drink - or did he tear one off from a checkbook he'd made?  Anyway...

The flight attendant notified the captain, who called ahead to Los Angeles, the flight's destination. Grover was met by the police and Secret Service when he exited the plane. It took Grover a bit of time, probably in an inconspicuous and dungeon-type room at the airport, to explain he wasn't a counterfeiter, but, rather, THE preeminent, worldwide numismatic scholar and coin dealer--as only Grover could. May Grover rest in peace and the stories of his life brighten any numismatic conversation.

Thanks. I never met Criswell, but he was one of a kind.

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see: 

NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MAY 8, 2016 : Grover Criswell's Two-Dollar Bills 




 National Coin Hobby Act Enforcement 
Yosef Sa'ar of
Elat on the Red Sea writes:

Do you have an information on enforcement of the National Coin Hobby Act  which required the word COPY on replicas, fakes and other junk?
I would be eager to read something about this US regulation. Maybe your readers can help

I haven't heard much lately on if or how this is being enforced today.  Can anyone fill us in?  Thanks.

 Bikini Coingirl 
John Regitko writes:

What were the coins again? I forgot to look at the coins.

Um, wheat cents.  I think.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 




Henk Groenendijk submitted these comments on the emergency money of Leiden.  Thank you.

In the October 28, 2018 E-Sylum a 5 Stuiver or ¼ Gulden paper emergency coin from the Dutch city of
Leiden is shown. The manufacturing process is described as follows: “shredded prayer books and
bibles were made into a macerated pulp and formed into pressed cardboard-like sheets. The sheets
were than impressed with dies and either struck in collars or trimmed into perfectly round "coins."”

This is not correct, a description of this process, together with lots of other information, can be
found in “Het Noodgeld van Leiden, waarheid en verdichting” (The emergency money of Leiden, fact
and fiction) by Arent Pol and Bouke Jan van der Veen. (ISBN 978-90-12-12452-2). This booklet, based
on a study of contemporary documents, is the printed version of a lecture given in 2007 in Leiden
commemorating the siege and relief of Leiden in 1574.

In this booklet it is stated that the cardboard sheets were made by bookbinder Jan Adriaensz. by
gluing together unused printed sheets. Two types were made, thick cardboard for the 1 Gulden (20
Stuiver) pieces and a thinner one for the ¼ Gulden. From these glued together pages planchets for
coining were cut by stamping. From specimens that have fallen apart the separate sheets can clearly
be seen. An example of such a paper 1 Gulden piece from a recent MPO auction is shown below 


Interesting is that nearly all surviving specimens show a small counterstamp of a lion in an oval of
dots. This counterstamp can also be seen on the Newman specimen, near the right leg of the lion.
The counterstamp was applied to authenticate genuine pieces. This was needed as already within a
few weeks after issue fake specimens appeared.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 

NEWMAN SALE X CURRENCY HIGHLIGHTS : Lot 20014: 1574 Netherlands Siege of Leiden 5 Stuiver



Bob Schuman writes:

 In response to your article on the “RISLEY & McCOLLUM” token in the last issue of Ihe E-Sylum, I am the owner of the piece pictured. It was very interesting to read about the history of Thomas McCollum and the circus researched by Margaret Kirby. This type of historical background is one of the joys of collecting tokens. 

>From the numismatic perspective, I also own the very rare piece with the same obverse but with the reverse inscribed PREMERIE (which I take to be a misspelling of the word PREMIERE). I know of no other specimen, but would love to acquire an example with DEUXIEME on the reverse if one exists. Do any of your readers know of such a piece? Thanks again for producing the most interesting and informative publication in numismatics.

You're welcome, and thanks for sharing your information.

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see: 

NUMISMATIC NUGGETS: MAY 21, 2017 : Risley & McCollum's Hippodrome Token





Last week we discussed a German medal featuring a man battling a hydra, and I wondered about  other coin or medal designs featuring that mythical multi-headed creature.

William Todd writes:

The image of a hero in combat with a hydra is one of the most common of German or Austro-Hungarian images in First World War medallic art.

I attach an image from my collection of one of the finest - artistically speaking - by a Swiss artist working in Hungary, Richard Adolf Zutt.  It’s not an exceptionally rare piece and bronze examples (as opposed to silver) can usually be picked up relatively cheaply.

I also suggest anyone interested in the subject examine a copy of a book reviewed in your pages some months ago:
Klose, Dietrich O. A. Europas Verderben 1914 1918: Deutsche und österreichische Medaillen auf den Ersten Weltkrieg.  2016.
This book contains a number of excellent examples illustrated in color.

Gary Greenbaum writes:

The medal for the 1801 Battle of Copenhagen issued by the (losing) Danes shows a soldier battling a hydra-like creature.

To read the complete item description, see:

Medal 1801 World Medals Denmark Christian VII Silver Battle of Copenhagen PCGS AU55 TOP GRADE PCGS AU55 TOP GRADE


Ed Hohertz submitted these classical  images of the hydra from the auction archives of Classical Numismatic Group. Thanks.  

For the complete lot description, see:

For the complete lot description, see:

For the complete lot description, see:

For the complete lot description, see:

For the complete lot description, see:

For the complete lot description, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 

NUMISMATIC NUGGETS: OCTOBER 28, 2018 : WWI German Medal Man Battles Hydra



Dick Johnson submitted these entries from his Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology.  Thanks.  

 Blanked, Blanking 
The process of cutting out blanks, from metal strips of proper thickness (gauge) prior to striking into coins, medals or other items. The manufacture of blanks is the first step of many metalworking processes by cutting blanks from previous rolled strip stock. The goal of blanking is to provide the correct metal composition in a form suitable for the required press with the blank in the proper shape, weight, diameter and thickness. To these five requirements is often added three others, particularly for coining presses, the proper preparation of the edge, by upsetting; coin blanks are also annealed (to soften them for striking) and metal cleaned (to rid all surface adherents).

Blanking is accomplished with blanking dies in a press (most any kind of metalworking press). It is called cutting-out in England, and the blanking press that accomplishes this a cutting-out press. Americans called it simply cutting – particularly with a single blank – until 1896, when multiple blanking was introduced and the term "blanking" was thereafter applied to all blank production.

History of Blanking.   Globular lumps of metal were first used as blanks for the earliest coins. Later, the metal was hammered into thin, flat sheets and cut to approximate shape by hand shears (providing struck pieces with very irregular edges). Attempts were made of casting blanks to be later struck (cast blanks). However, it was Leonardo da Vinci, and later goldsmiths, who developed a rolling mill to create flat plates from which blanks could be cut. Da Vinci also made a drawing of a crude blanking punch (see illustration). It is doubtful it was ever used, as the blanks had to be ejected through a opening in the punch.

Da Vinci also drew plans for a blanking press based upon the concept of a drop hammer. A manual wheel pulled a weight on a cord to the top of the press; when released it dropped on a spring blanker. The blanking dies cut out the circular blank from metal strip. The spring caused the blanking die to retract separating it from the metal strip (stripper). There is no record that da Vinci's press was ever built (or would have worked in the 16th century). However, in the 20th century the International Business Machine Company financed the construction of a full scale model from da Vinci's drawings. (This model is now in the Smithsonian Institution, Washington).

Leonardo da Vinci envisaged several important blanking technologies: using strip stock, employing a blanking die and stripping the skeleton strip from the blanker. (Da Vinci's drawing also indicated a duality in his concept – blanking was done on one side, embossing on the other with a blanking press coupled to a striking press. In theory, he reasoned correctly, a blank had to be created before a piece could be struck. Perhaps he intended that with a single impact from the drop hammer, that a piece could be struck and a blank for the next striking be formed at the same time.)

Before, and long after da Vinci's time, coin blanks were cut out with shears from hammered flat plates. They were then trimmed to approximate circular shape by grouping together a handful in a stack and filing their edges. This repetitious work was all done by hand. It was only then they could be struck by moneyers.

As a substitute, or when round blanks could not be made, coins were often struck on square or lozenge-shaped blanks, called klippe. These were easy to cut with shears. If even this could not be done, blanks were cut in a closely circular shape, resulting in mis-shaped coins. At Spanish-American mints with no blanking equipment (Mexico City, 1535-1732, Lima and Potosi until 1767) the coins struck from these oddly shaped blanks and are called cob money.

The first blanking press for making coin blanks was developed by Max Schwab in Augsburg, Germany in 1550. He developed the blanking press – along with a rolling mill – to accompany the screw press he had improved upon. He tried, unsuccessfully, to sell these to the Vienna Mint, but it was the French ambassador who learned of his innovations and ordered these for the Paris Mint.

A mintworker from the Lyons mint, Aubin Olivier, was instructed to go to Augsburg, learn the operation of these machines and transport them to Paris. He arrived at the Paris Mint 31 January 1551 with a rolling mill, draw plates, a blanking press and one of Schwab's improved screw presses. Placed in use immediately, blanking was done from stock drawn and rolled on Schwab's equipment. Quantity blanking was in production there by Antoine Brulier for coins struck in early 1552.

The first known supplier of blanks to coinage mints was Avesta, a Swedish mint near a large copper mine ("copper mountain") in central Sweden. In 1672 Avesta supplied copper blanks to the Royal Mint London for the regal copper coinage of Charles II.

Birmingham metalworking factories, notably the Anglesey Copper Company, as early as 1787 were manufacturing blanks and tokens of fine quality. But it was Matthew Boulton who made tremendous improvements in blank manufacture at his Birmingham factories, and later in his Soho Mint, not only in cutting out perfect circles of correct gauge metal, but also in edge preparation. He did this with the aid of Jean-Pierre Droz, who he had hired away (1789) from the Paris Mint. By 1790 Boulton could blank uniform disks of proper metal in quantity with an upset edge for coining and striking coins, tokens or medals.

Back at the Paris Mint, Droz had left behind his inventive associate Philippe Gengembre. Gengembre was the mint's machinist with whom Droz had worked on a press feeder, one of the innovations that had attracted Boulton. Gengembre continued working to improve the mint's equipment and, by 1797, had succeeded in matching even Boulton's blanking technology.

Subcontracted blanking.  Whenever a new mint is established, a steady supply of blanks is usually its greatest problem, solved by most early mint officials by securing blanks from outside sources. Early American mints purchased blanks from Boulton and other English manufacturers. Then the mint obtains its own equipment and expertise to manufacture its own blanks. Recently, the source of blanks has gone full circle; need for special blanks (clad or sandwich, plated, bimetal, or such) that private manufacturers outside of mints are again supplying blanks by contract, leaving mints to do only die preparation and striking.

For mints and medal makers, outside sources for blanks of precious metals are desirable since it precludes any need of salvaging scrap and reprocessing this (with potential scrap loss). Thus a small separate industry exists of supplying custom blanks of prescribed composition with exact diameter, thickness and other characteristics to order for mints and medal manufacturers.

Multiple blanking.  It wasn't until the early 20th century that blanking dies of more than one punch were widely used in production blanking for coins. Dual punches were first used in England prior to 1888 (in the U.S. as early as 1896). The Tower Mint was blanking shillings two blanks at a time and as many as five copper coin blanks were cut out with each cycle of the blanking press. This was particularly useful for coins of small diameter (say, under one inch) where great quantities are in constant need to keep presses supplied.

The first person to develop multiple blanking is unknown. It probably originated in Germany; Cooper attributes this important coining development only to a German Dr. May. It was probably used in the metalworking field before it was adapted to coining and spread to all major mints nearly the same decade, before the turn of the 20th century.

Continued improvement in blanking now permits as many as 30 blanks to be created with each press cycle. This requires a wider strip of metal – with an elaborate blanking pattern – and very high quality steel to make the blanking die plate. Multiple blanking tends to reduce slightly the amount of scrap remaining after blanking, with far fewer malformed blanks, in a more efficient operation.

How blanks are made.  Blanks are cut from strips that are made from ingots of correct composition;; rolling mills roll the strips to proper thickness (gauge and width (length of the strip is not that important). The strips are then fed into the blanking press. For short runs the strip may be fed by hand. For production blanking the strips are fed continuously for the length of the strip. After the blanks are punched, the leftover strip remains as skeleton scrap, destined to be melted and reprocessed into strips again. (From 30 to 35% remains as scrap in even the best blanking pattern.)

Blanking is accomplished on a blanking press with specially prepared blanking dies. Actually a "die set," blanking dies are formed of three basic parts:  (1) a plate into which a hole is cut the exact shape and size of the intended blank, (2) a punch which fits into the opening in the plate, and (3) a stripper which removes the scrap from the punch. A separate punch holder is sometimes required to fasten small punches into the chuck of the blanking press (where changes to different diameters or shapes are required).

The plate and punch are made of hardened steel. The aperture in the plate has a slight flare – the hole widens slightly in the body of the plate – so the blank ejects easily. The plate and punch are positioned (setup) in the blanking press; its action can be described as follows: the punch forces the metal strip (of soft material, as bronze or silver) against the plate and pushes it through the aperture in the plate. This shears or cuts out the blank as the punch continues it's downward motion forcing the blank through the plate (to fall into a hopper or tote box below). As the punch withdraws the stripper forces the skeleton strip free of the punch.

Striations on the edge of the blank are the evidence the blanks have been sheared.

These shear marks are caused by tiny imperfect edge irregularities inside the aperture of the blanking plate. (See illustration.) When the blanking plate is freshly made, there are few striations. As it wears these tiny nicks may appear, and more striations appear on a well- worn blanking plate.

As the punch forces the metal through the aperture in the plate, there is a tiny trail of metal debris on the edge of the blank. This burr is typical of all cutting and shaping in metalworking. Only one side has this burr and it is called the burr side. All burrs must be removed; blanks to be coined are deburred by upsetting. Blanks for striking with open face dies may be struck without removing the burrs first, as these will disappear during multiple striking and trimming.

Blanks are made of any size or shape with close tolerances. coin blanks must be exactly the weight of the intended coin; the upsetting does not remove any metal, but shapes the blank and makes it perfectly round. Then the blank can be fed into a coining press to be struck within collar dies. (Blanks before they are upset are called first process blank by collectors, a second process blank after they are upset.)

Blanks to be struck with open face dies may be made slightly larger than the intended diameter of the final piece; exact size blanks are not a requirement. These some- what oversize blanks, will have a part of their material – flash – removed after they are fully struck up after multiple striking.

Maximizing the number of blanks.  During the sequence of blanking, irrespective whether the strip is hand fed under the blanker – or whether the strip is fed automatically –it is desirable to cut the blanks as closely together as possible. This is done to reduce cost by maximizing the number of blanks obtainable from the strip (and also reduce the amount left as skeleton scrap).

This blanking pattern is dramatically shown on the leftover strip and how successful the blanking press operator was to maximizing this number (for hand-fed blanking). The ingenuity of the press operator is even more dramatic for blanks that are irregularly shaped and hand fed: how to blank as many pieces as possible in the quickest time from the long strip of metal.

Cleaning blanks.  In most metalworking operations, cleaning the workpieces is a step just prior to any metal forming, as in coining or striking. Removing oil or grease – and other surface debris – is required of this step of cleaning (see degreasing). Because blanks contain no detail yet, they can be severely cleaned by removing the top layer of metal. This removes all toning, tarnish and corrosion. The goal is to provide a surface which can be formed without any imperfections which the above surface contaminants may cause.

Blanks are cleaned by any of several methods: blanching, abrasive blasting, shot peening, acid dip (pickeling), heat treating, water hone (remeoving unwanted metal with a whetstone) . But the most popular in coin and medal production is barrel tumbling. Blanks are placed in a large drum along with sawdust, ball bearings, shot or other metal particles and the barrel is set to rotating.

The tumbling action causes all these objects to knock against each other. This removes toning, tarnish and corrosion by lightly removing the top surface. Afterwards the aggregate is removed and the blanks are separated (by screening). At this stage the blanks will have an activated surface, which, depending upon the environment, will start natural toning in from two days to six months.

Blanking anomalies.  A broad spectrum of errors can occur in blanking. For the most part the most common is a clipped blank where the full circle of metal is not cut out as desired (the strip is not advanced far enough and the punch "clips" a part of a previous hole). double clip and multiple clip, as well as straight edge clip can also occur.

An incomplete punch shows the partial impression in metal that is later blanked and struck. A saddle strike is a modern error from the use of dual dies. Struck fragment is the aberrant use of a fragment of metal instead of a full blank. A very rare blanking anomaly is out-of-round blanks.

Too large a planchet is called a broad flan if this is noticed and the blank is reduced in size, it is a cut-down blank. An incorrectly chosen blank is wrong planchet. While a dumb blank contains gas pockets so it does not ring properly, it is a result of incorrect milling and rolling.  [Other blanking errors occur, particularly in coining, see section 06.9 in the Study Guide Outline.]

Future of blanking.  While new alloys, clad or sandwich metal compositions – bimetal and trimetal compositions – do not present blanking problems (if the composition can be rolled flat to a prescribed gauge), perhaps in the future we will see computer-controlled laser cutters that will provide blanks of any shape or size – particularly for unusual shape medals – to very close tolerances and maximize the number of blanks per given strip.  Or, perhaps, blanks will be formed to any shape or size by high density molding. But for the present, as it has for the last 450 years, cutting out blanks of required size from strip metal stock remains the most satisfactory method of obtaining blanks for creating struck coins and medals.

C43 {1966} Gilbert, blanking presses, #25, 27, pp 21.

C66 {1988} Cooper [ancient blanks] pp 10-12; [early blanking] 97-101; [modern] Chapter 17, 187-199.


Book lovers should be word lovers as well.

Looking for the meaning of a numismatic word, or the description of a term?   Try the Newman Numismatic Portal's Numismatic Dictionary at:


Or if you would  like a printed copy of the complete Encyclopedia, it is available.
 There are 1,854 terms, on 678 pages, in The Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology.  Even running two a week would require more than 19 years to publish them all. 
If you would like an advance draft of this vital reference work it may be obtained from the author for your check of $50 sent postpaid. Dick Johnson, 139 Thompson Drive, Torrington, CT 06790.   

JAMES GALEN (1840-1906)

John Lupia submitted the following information from the online draft of his book of numismatic biographies for this week's installment of his series. Thanks!  As always, this is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This week's subject is publisher James Galen.

James Galen was an early numismatic and philatelic publisher with a magazine beginning during the nation's Centennial Celebration in 1876. He was an avid coin and stamp collector as well as a collector of curiosities of all sorts especially natural history, and plant species in particular. Unfortunately, he is unknown in the coin and stamp communities since he was a contributor to these fields, but has fame as a botanist. He never married and lived with his mother until her death in 1896.

He served during the Civil War in 1863.

James Galen (1840-1906),was born on March 23, 1840, son of Edward Galen (1811-1873), and Nancy Armstrong Galen (1818-1896). The family lived in Martic Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He lost the election as town assessor in 1881.

Galen published The Philomath, a semi-monthly journal devoted to the collecting of coins, stamps. etc.,  printed at Rawlinsville, Pennsylvania, from 1876 to 1877,  comprising four 5" x 8".  At. least fifteen numbers were issued. 

James Galen was reported to own the largest numismatic cabinet in Lancaster County in 1883. 

He was a botanist and published on local flora : Galen's First Annual Catalogue of North American Herbaceous Plants, Orchids, Shrubs, Climbers, Alpine, Aquatic, and Bog Plants, Rare Ferns, Etc: For 1882; and  Galen's Flora of Lancaster County, Penna., (1884)

He also published in 1884 A Catalogue of Books, Catalogues and Circulars.

In 1892, he moved to Bethesda, Pennsylvania.

He died of paralysis on November 29, 1906. He is buried at the Rawlinsville Methodist Cemetery, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

John Lupia adds:

I cannot find much on his coin activity, collection, and what happened to his very large coin cabinet filled with coins from antiquity to U. S. series. I think he has been a very overlooked person and deserves a more prominent position since he published a journal The Philomath, for collectors of coins, stamps, natural history, etc. He is certainly someone readers of The E-Sylum, especially the bibliophiles should get to know and hunt down his collecting magazine.

Indeed.  For someone purported to have the largest cabinet in the country he's a ghost today.  Many numismatists of the era like Galen also collected stamps, Indian relics, bird's eggs and the like.  But what became of his coins?

To read the complete article, see: 



* * * * *

The entire inventory of the Lupia Numismatic Library is for sale.  Individual items will be available before the remaining archives are broken up into parcels sold at philatelic auctions in the U. S. and Hong Kong.  Check frequently as dozens of new items with estimates will be posted daily until everything is sold.

All inquiries will be given prompt and courteous attention. Write to: 

john at


In an October 29, 2018 Mint News Blog article, Dennis Tucker remembers J.T. Stanton.  With permission, we're republishing it here.

J.T. Stanton, Mike Ellis, and Bill Fivaz pose with the 

Cherrypickers’ Guide at the American Numismatic Association’s

 summer 2006 World’s Fair of Money in Denver, Colorado.

J.T. Stanton, one-half of the creative team (along with coauthor Bill Fivaz) behind the Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare Die Varieties of United States Coins, died October 19, 2018, following a brief illness, at the age of 66. He was surrounded by his family at the time of his passing.

If you asked J.T. what his initials stood for, he would reply, “Just Terrific!” (Actually, it’s Jeffery Thomas.) He was born in Macon, in the heart of Georgia, about 85 miles south of Atlanta. J.T.’s career was in retail management and printing, but the hobby community knew him best as a professional numismatist and educator who helped popularize “cherrypicking”—the art and science of closely examining what appear to be normal coins, looking for doubled dates and other die anomalies that reveal them to be rare and valuable varieties.

J.T. and Bill debuted the first edition of the Cherrypickers’ Guide at the January 1990 Florida United Numismatists show in Tampa. They sold out the 500 copies they brought to the show and gathered a backlog of orders to be mailed. The first print run of 3,000 books sold out in less than 10 months. Word-of-mouth publicity and excitement in the numismatic press convinced the authors to create a second edition, with more listings, the addition of retail values, and other improvements. It took collectors about six months to snap up the second edition’s print run of 5,000 books.

The third edition featured about five times as many varieties as the first. It went into six printings totaling more than 28,000 copies—a best-seller in the antiques and collectibles market.

By the fourth edition the Cherrypickers’ Guide was so large it had to be divided into two volumes. Volume I covered half cents through nickels. Whitman Publishing acquired rights to the book and published volume II, with half dimes through silver dollars, gold, and commemoratives, in 2006.

I first met J.T. Stanton in December 2005, in Atlanta, after Whitman bought the Cherrypickers’ Guide. He was 15 years into his journey as one of the most famous popular names in the hobby—but he was as humble, down-to-earth, and good-natured as anyone I’ve met. He insisted that we put him up at “the cheapest hotel you can find,” and not make a fuss. We had breakfast at the local waffle place.

J.T. was always forward-thinking, upbeat, and optimistic. He cared deeply about the hobby and coin collectors. “Above all,” he and Bill have written in the Cherrypickers’ Guide, “always use courtesy and respect in all your dealings, be honest, and always act in a professional manner. You’ll make some friends along the way, and we guarantee you’ll come out ahead in the long run.”

Over time I would learn some of Bill Fivaz’s “J.T. stories.” In the mid-1990s, the two of them flew out to Colorado Springs to teach a class at the American Numismatic Association’s Summer Seminar. When they unpacked their suitcases, Bill realized he’d forgotten to pack his undershorts. J.T. kindly drove his friend to the local K-Mart to restock. Later in the week, Bill was auctioneer at the Young Numismatists benefit auction. He ballyhooed a “Mystery Lot” that saw spirited bidding and finally sold for $400. J.T. insisted that Bill open the Mystery Lot in front of the audience. Turns out it was a pair of his “tighty-whiteys”—J.T. had purloined them after they arrived at their dorm, had everyone at the ANA Summer Seminar autograph them, and put them up for bid as a prank. “That pair of underwear appeared in at least three more YN auctions over the years,” Bill recalled, “and in the last one, they’d been ‘slabbed’ between two 
 pieces of plastic. Thanks, J.T.!”

The last time I talked with J.T. was a few months ago when we had several conversations about coins and life in general. He and his wife of 38 years, Susan, had recently moved from their longtime home city of Savannah to Townsend, Georgia, about an hour south and slightly inland. “I love it here,” he told me. “I feed the deer twice each day, and the freshwater lake is 75 feet from my back door. Every day Susan and I are down here we enjoy it more and more.” He talked about having privacy but also the advantages of a community. “And I’ve always loved nature,” he said, “so this really is a slice of Heaven.”

Our last acts of collaboration as publisher and author/researcher illustrate J.T.’s generosity to the hobby. When I told him Whitman needed some photographs of modern Lincoln cents, Roosevelt dimes, and Washington quarters, he threw open his entire image library of coins. He said if there was anything he hadn’t photographed yet, to just let him know. And if one of the large groups of photos weren’t in the style or format we needed, he could reshoot everything in three weeks.

When J.T. passed away, he had been happily selling coins on eBay (with more than 17,000 positive transactions), was still very active in discussion and analysis of die varieties, and had pitched a new book idea in recent years. Just a few days before he passed, I was telling several others on the Whitman staff about J.T.’s generosity in sharing his excellent high-quality photographs. His death took us all by surprise. Bill Fivaz attended his funeral, which was held at Radiant Life Christian Fellowship in Savannah on Monday, October 22, with his cousin, The Reverend David Stanton, presiding. Other numismatists at the service included Kyle Vick, Tony Mesaros, Bob O’Brien, and Jim O’Bryant.

J.T. is survived by his wife, Susan; sons Jamie (Meredith) and Jeffery (Liz); grandchildren Henry, Thomas, and Katie; sister Barbara (Kirk); and “many dear cousins and his loyal dog Kobe.”

“He had a deep appreciation for the military and never passed up an opportunity to thank a member of the Armed Forces for their service,” his family noted. They suggest that remembrances be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka Kansas 66675-8517.

To read the complete article, see: 

A great educator and ambassador: The hobby community marks the passing of J.T. Stanton


To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see: 

J.T. STANTON (1952-2018)





Harvey Stack's blog series focuses on growing up in a numismatic family. Here are parts 28 and 29. Nothing beats a report on numismatic events and personalities direct from someone who was there to witness them in person. Thanks, Harvey!

As with everything in the world, nothing remains the same. The coin business grew quite successfully in the decade of the 1950s as more collectors entered the field after World War II. People had more time and money to devote to their hobbies and  build and maintain their collections. While things like television created a distraction taking time away from studying coins, those who had developed the collecting spirit continued to be attracted by building and completing collections.

At the U.S. Mint, the 1950s saw Proof set mintages grow from about 50,000 to over three million sets. Speculation in such sets and Mint State rolls as a store of value had peaked and by the beginning of the 1960s the growth bubble had started to burst as the supply kept growing.

The Treasury's new law to try and stop counterfeits from entering the country, mandated that all gold coins entering the U.S. must be licensed and examined. The Office of Gold and Silver Operations had to set up criteria as to what could be imported and what would not receive licensing. Imported gold coins had become a great source for building collections, and even among United States issues, there were many opportunities to purchase from overseas. Especially among $20 double eagles, quantities had been found in vaults where they had been hidden by the Axis powers. Many such coins had been sent overseas before World War II to pay United States debts and the value of such coins had risen above face value. But, importing United States coins was subject to the same regulations that had been put on all gold coin imports, making getting these coins to the United States more difficult and less desirable.

The new regulations said that no license would be issued for any coin dated after 1933, an attempt to adhere to the Gold Act of 1933-4. The Treasury established a guideline for importing, in accordance with criteria that they created and did not reveal these rules to the importers or to the public. Because of this those who wanted to buy overseas never knew what would or would not be licensed. It became difficult to access important sources of coins from overseas.

Old time collectors who had maintained their collections after the 1933-4 law, became afraid that the Treasury's policy of permitting gold collections would change and they might seize all gold coins in America. The 1930s gold law specifically exempted collector items made before 1933, but some numismatists still worried and some were discouraged from collecting until policies were clearer. Some even worried about putting their collections up for sale or auction. Collecting slowed down and many stopped buying for the time being.

The market seemed to almost stop dead for part of the year of 1961.

Stack's still received consignments, and had two major sales in 1961. The Howard Egolf Collection had been started by the consignor's father, with some of the series completed by the son. As he was getting older, the consignor was ready to see it sold. In addition, we were able to offer a world gold coin collection that had been built over many years. The collector wished to sell the collection while he was still alive, rather than leave it to be dealt with as part of his estate.

What was a great help to us, was that we were able to buy foreign gold coins that were already in the United States from dealers and collectors nationwide and sell them to J.K. Lilly as he expanded his collection. And Mr. Lilly was able to acquire some very nice and rare coins at favorable prices, because some collectors had concerns about ownership in the current market.

As 1961 came to an end, things began to turn around. A better understanding of the new import regulations led to a feeling of optimism as 1962 opened, and gave hope for a revival of interest in coins.

To read the complete article, see: 

Harvey Stack Remembers: Growing up in a Numismatic Family, Part 30 October 30, 2018


To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 




David McCarthy of Kagin's penned a nice article for CoinWeek on an interesting pioneer gold design overstruck on a large cent - the "Baldwin Horseman" $10.   Here are a couple paragraphs of a lengthy piece - be sure to read the complete article online.

As luck would have it, a package of these coins arrived at my office while the discussion was going on, and alongside the “restrikes” there was something a little more interesting: an 1844 large cent overstruck with dies for a Horseman $10. This Horseman $10 wasn’t one of the imitation pieces, but it wasn’t a Baldwin $10 either. When I saw it, the first thing I thought was, Holy shit, that’s rare!

The coin’s 1850-dated obverse bore the familiar Horseman motif: probably the best-loved image on any coin of the California (or any other) gold rush. The reverse was different from the famous Baldwin $10: it was inscribed “KOHLER & Co. SAN FRANCISCO” around a small eagle and 31 stars, an apparent reference to California’s impending status as the 31st U.S. state. Known by a small handful of numismatists since the 19th century, the Kohler $10 pattern was still quite mysterious: the only published picture of the piece had been taken nearly 70 years ago, making it impossible to determine whether it was a clever fantasy or an important piece of California history.

To read the complete article, see: 

Holy Sh*t, That’s Rare: A Horseman $10 of a Different Color



Web site reader Tree Sturman asked about "a two-headed nickel copper Morgan Dollar coin dated 1879."  His piece turned out to be a trick coin, but there do exist "real" examples - not from the U.S. Mint, but from John Pinches Ltd. in England.  
Here's a Numismatic News fun fact published August 13, 2018.

Is it true there are unofficial two-headed strikes of the 1879 Morgan silver dollar?

Unofficial is almost an understatement. John Pinches Ltd. in England produced transfer die two-headed 1879 silver dollars in copper and copper-nickel in an ill-fated effort to obtain a contract to strike U.S. coins commercially. Several examples later entered the coin collecting market through the 1947 auction of the John Harvey Pinches estate.

To read the complete article, see: 

Reopened ‘O’ Mint made proof dollars


Above are images of Tree's coin.
Here's more from Dave Bowers' silver dollar encyclopedia.

Two-Headed 1879 Morgan Dollars

In or around the year 1879 the firm of John Pinches, Ltd., of England, desired to obtain a contract to strike United States coins on a commercial basis. Sample 1879-dated Morgan dollars were made up, consisting of two-headed coins. Apparently, Pinches had a very advanced technology for making transfer dies from existing coins, for the few known specimens struck from these dies are all very well struck and for all intents and purposes are as fine as the Philadelphia product. Strikings exist in copper and copper-nickel metals.

Glendining's London Sale of the John Harvey Pinches estate, July 29, 1947 offered examples. Also see Stanislaw Herstal Sale (Bowers and Ruddy); Glendining Sale of Nov ember 18, 1987, Lot 109; Superior's Auction '88, Lot 237. The 1987 Glendining Sale offered two obverse dies and other items fitted into a case. (Information courtesy of Michael]. Hodder.)

So - does anyone have images of these?  Where are they today?
Interesting item.

To read the complete article, see: 

Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States - A Complete Encyclopedia



Reader Vic Mason
of Mamaroneck, NY submitted these thoughts on the Mint's plan to purposely manufacture rarities for circulation.  Thanks!

Many thanks for forwarding Patrick Heller’s excellent summary of the proceedings of the United States Mint’s Third Annual Forum on October 17th.  

The new director of the United States Mint, Mr. David Ryder, has generated considerable
excitement in the hobby by proposing to issue a rare circulating coin in 2019, without specifying what it
might be. But serious doubts have arisen about the feasibility of the proposal, as expressed by Coin
World Editor Bill Gibbs and two CW letter-writers in that publication’s latest digital edition. They worry
that most coins in the rarity-release program will end up in the hands of big dealers gaming the system
rather than of “the little guys” who have always loved the hobby but think that now the coin distribution
system at the Mint is rigged against them.

But Mr. Ryder’s proposal is about making business-strike coins intended for immediate release
into the mass of circulating coinage. It’s not about announced, timed-release uncirculated, proof,
commemorative or bullion products. The good thing about Mr. Ryder’s proposal is that it recognizes
that the romance and beauty of coin collecting that got most of us hooked early on have always
centered on unexpected discoveries in pocket change. It was the thrill of the hunt. That’s how most of
us grew up as little kids, searching passionately for scarce and rare coins already in circulation.

In the early 1950s in Detroit, for example, I could find oodles of Lincoln wheat cents, Liberty
Head and Buffalo nickels, Mercury dimes, Standing Liberty quarters, Walking Liberty and Franklin halves,
many Barber dimes, quarters and halves, and even 19th and early 20th century Canadian copper, nickel
and silver coins (then valued at parity with American coins) in circulation. In those days, it was not
uncommon to find coins with greater than face value, as based on the prices published in the Blue Book
and the Red Book. That likelihood quickly fell, 40 or 50 years ago, as production numbers for coins of all
denominations soared and especially after all silver coinage disappeared in the mid-1960s.

Now many see the hobby and the industry at a crossroads. Rick Amos, CEO of Amos Media – in
a panel discussion (entitled: “Coin World: Open Forum Discussion on Our Hobby Moving Forward”) at
the World’s Fair of Money of the American Numismatic Association last August in Philadelphia – quoted
a dealer who said, “In ten years, 70 per cent of those dealers (in the bourse upstairs) won’t be there.”
The implication was that, as the hobby and the industry keep “graying,” those dealers won’t be
replaced. Others have written recently about the steady decline in the ANA’s membership, in coin shops
around the country and in coin clubs in many areas.

I noted in my CW Guest Editorial this week that it’s too bad the Mint did not think last year
about making between 500,000 and one million Lincoln cents in Philadelphia without the P mint mark.
The Mint, thinking bureaucratically, assumed collectors would be excited by the novel manufacture of
over four billion 2017 pennies at the Philadelphia Mint with the P mint mark for the first time ever. Had
the Philadelphia Mint deliberately dropped the P from a few dies, sharp-eyed collectors nationwide
would soon have thrown the coin-collecting community and the country into “a frenzy” of searching for
the “rarities,” which would likely have generated three- and perhaps even four-figure premiums in
dealer auctions or on eBay.

In 2017, the Mint made 8.634 billion pennies for circulation, roughly half each at the
Philadelphia and Denver Mints. One million cents minted last year without the P or D mint mark would
have constituted less than one in every 8600 coins produced – for collectors, perhaps akin to looking for
a needle in a haystack, but a lot better odds than winning the recent Power Ball lottery. If 500,000 had
been produced, the odds would have been one in around 17,000 pennies made last year. (Remember
that the mintage of the iconic 1909-S VBD Lincoln cent was 484,000.) And this year, the Philadelphia
Mint could have done the opposite, producing half a million to a million pennies with the P mint mark
hiding in the coinage. Over the past 18 months, up to two million American kids could have been
happily searching their families’ change, notifying coin publications of their finds, showing the coins to
classmates and to coin club members, and reluctantly putting up their coins for auction to earn money
for holiday season gift-buying.

But how to get from here to there? I suggest in my CW Guest Editorial this week that the main
stakeholders (as the Europeans would call them) in the American numismatic community take the lead
in forming a public-private partnership (PPP) to help the United States Congress – which a century ago
gave the ANA a very special charter to encourage coin collecting in American society – and the US
Department of the Treasury, which oversees the Mint, with good “bottom-up” suggestions for new
approaches to imaginatively designing, producing and distributing the planned scarce and rare coins for
circulation. Included among those stakeholders must certainly be: (1) the Treasury Department, led by
the Mint; (2) the ANA, led by the Professional Numismatists’ Guild (PNG), to ensure the highest
standards of ethics, integrity and probity in the overall running and oversight of the program; (3) the
leading third-party authenticating and grading services: PCGS, NGC, and ANACS, whose operational by-
word must always be trust; and (4) the numismatic publishing community, led by The Numismatist, Coin
World and their leading counterparts.

Patrick Heller wrote in his valuable summary in 
last week’s E-Sylum that, at the Third Annual
Forum of the Mint in Washington, DC, on October 17th : “Going forward, Ryder said that Mint staff
would become more proactive at helping to write [coin-production] legislation so as to incorporate
ideas that would be of higher appeal to coin collectors.” This is crucial. So is the necessity of keeping
the program transparently honest. Four years ago, we saw how easily the program to produce and issue
the US Federal Marshals Service commemorative coins was tarnished, when top leaders at that agency
were revealed in late 2014 to have received early releases of the sets produced to honor the history of
that service – but dated 2015, the Congressionally-mandated year of issue! The recipients were forced
to return those coins to the Mint. [And much of the controversial news about that agency since then
has suggested widespread improprieties in its leadership, both at the Washington, DC, headquarters and
around the country (which anyone can see by googling references to that agency).]

I believe the Federal Government, aided by the PPP-led commission created to help administer
and regulate this special program, can run the rare-coins program as efficiently as the 50 states run their
lotteries, even given the much greater complexity of this rare-coin proposal. The 50 states learned years
ago from the Massachusetts lottery how easily insiders can undermine trust in a government system.
(The same person won that state’s lottery twice within a relatively short time. He hasn’t won since.)

I suggest in my CW Guest Editorial that it is essential that the coins of any new circulating rarity
be thoroughly mixed into the general population of coins at a central gathering place in a completely
anonymous, random fashion. In that way, the odds of two of the coins ending up in the same roll would
be infinitely small. And the commission would need to ensure that the bagged or rolled coins have a
demonstrably equal statistical chance of ending up in banks in every region of the country and in small-
town as well as large-city banks nationwide.

The Mint should never announce what the forthcoming rarity, or rarities, are in advance, or how
many it plans to produce of each. Let sharp-eyed collectors discover them from their unexpected finds
in circulation. That would produce a veritable flood of interesting articles and announcements in the
numismatic press all year round. I would expect to see a revival of coin shops and clubs nationwide.
(The same approach can be taken with all denominations of coinage involved in this program: cents,
nickels, dimes, quarters, halves and dollars.)

Once the rarities in circulation start to be identified by collectors, the usual suspects (as in
China) will hurry to counterfeit them, so I hope that the PPP’s commission will anticipate that problem
with innovative design features aimed at thwarting the crooks. One example is to create alloys with
microscopic trace levels of secret ingredients that only the US Treasury’s metallurgists would know
about. That, of course, would make the job of the third-party grading services a bit more difficult than
in the past in determining the authenticity of submitted coins – but, I think, essential.

Multiple varieties could be produced with any and all the coinage, as we saw with the 2004-D
Washington [Wisconsin] “illegal” extra-leaf quarters and the year-2000 Sacagawea “legal” dollar coins
with the enhanced eagle tail feathers and with the “wounded eagles.” And there needn’t be just two
varieties. Variations in design could also be carried out on the paper bills. And why not with the
postage stamps, to help revive stamp collecting?)

Finally, one of my principal motivations in advancing these ideas in support of Mr. Ryder’s
proposal is to buttress the value of that huge inventory of common, less-common, scarce and rare US
coins “out there” languishing from lack of demand (due to lack of buyers and interest among the
American people). Without that interest in common coinage types going back to the founding of the
republic, demand for many valuable, hard-to-find key dates is falling. (I know; I closely watch the price
tables as on the valuable PCGS Coin Facts web site.) Coin collecting in this country is a wonderful
activity. But most of the country’s citizens don’t know that. If they can get kids and their parents back
into their shops, dealers should show them all the different denominations (and varieties) of coins that
have been produced by this country – and give away or sell very cheaply raw coins, including “problem
coins” (with disclaimers in writing and with clear explanations about the implications of re-selling), to
help them fill up blue books or their equivalents. Make them knowledgeable because they are showing
interest, in the same way that coin collecting apparently first really took off in the mid-19th century. It
took off because people inexpensively wanted one example of everything, preferably coming from
pocket change -- not expensively buying rarities at auctions or putting together costly registry sets. Let’s
remember where the romance of coin collecting came from and where it needs to return to thrive: in
the hearts of little kids.

I agree that the magic of the proposal is in relatively rare business-strike coins released to circulation.  The 50 State Quarter Series was a great boon to collecting in this country, but it checked only two of those boxes - the coins are not rare, and after the initial public frenzy, premiums over face evaporated.  A coin of 1909-S VDB rarity (common in absolute terms at nearly half a million, but rare in relation to its peers) would far more likely develop and retain a premium.

The devil is always in the details of implementation.  Where in the supply chain would the coins be introduced?  If mixed into bins at the Mints there could be multiple points where "the big boys" could purchase supplies in bulk and find the coins before the public does; there would also be no guarantee of even nationwide geographical distribution, as the majority would naturally flow to population centers due to the needs of daily commerce; and in a recession the coins could pile up in warehouses until needed again.  

At the other end of the supply pipeline are bank branches and retail establishments.  A "coin drop" style program could ensure wide distribution but requires an army of foot soldiers, each one of whom could succumb to the temptation of palming a few  rarities.

So what's the answer?  Perhaps a trusted team within the Federal Reserve could insert the coins into the commerce stream in each of the twelve districts.  But regardless of the implementation plan chosen, I think it's a concept well worth trying.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 




Our friends Down Under are already on board with the concept of a circulating coinage treasure hunt.

Check your wallets, folks: the Royal Australian Mint has launched a national treasure hunt.

The mint has released 3 million specially marked $1 coins into circulation and people are being urged to check their change.

The coins are marked with the letters A, U or S, are date stamped 2019 and have the number 35 to mark the 35th anniversary of the $1 coin (which is on May 14, 2019).

People who collect one of each coin can enter the competition for the chance to be one of eight to win a trip to Canberra with a stay at the Jamala Wildlife Lodge.

The eight winners - picked from each state and territory - will also get the opportunity to mint their own one-kilogram pure silver coin and receive a VIP tour of the mint.

Royal Australian Mint chief executive Ross MacDiarmid said the golden ticket-style competition was launched to encourage children to collect coins.

"Australia’s Dollar Discovery is a nationwide treasure hunt that we hope encourages Australians of all ages and from every state and territory to check their change for these special coins,” Mr MacDiarmid said.

The five kangaroos design was created by Stuart Devlin, and hundreds of millions of the $1 coins have been minted since 1984.

What a fun idea!  It will be interesting to see the news coverage of the results.  The competition closes April 8, 2019, and the winners will be drawn on May 14, 2019.

To read the complete article, see: 

Royal Australian Mint launches a Willy Wonka-style treasure hunt



Jeremy Bostwick at Numismagram passed along some interesting pieces from the most recent upload of material to his site. In addition to the items below, there is a particular focus on figural art medals and historical medals relating to World War I---timely in that November marks the 100th anniversary of the end of 'the war to end all wars.' Visit to view all of them.

 Big Bertha Medal

100421  |  AUSTRIA-HUNGARY. Alexander Freiherr von Krobatin bronze Medal. Issued 1916. World War I series (65mm, 108.85 g, 12h). By A. Hartig.

K. u. K. KRIEGSMINISTER GEN. OBST. FRH. v. KROBATIN, uniformed bust left / Heavy mortar siege howitzer ("Big Bertha") left, manned by two soldier; forest and mountaintop in background. Edge: Plain.

Hauser 7559; Wurzbach 4773. Choice Mint State. Yellow-bronze surfaces, with a charming underlying luster and a few light spots. An impressive piece displaying the large "Big Bertha" howitzer.

The Minenwerfer-Gerät, a 42cm siege howitzer better known by its nickname, the "Big Bertha," was an extremely large piece of artillery utilized by the German and Austro-Hungarian armies during World War I. Weighing nearly 50 tons, the hefty howtizer could only fire 8 shells per hour, but could reach a distance of nearly six miles.

How many guns have their own medal?  Impressive.

To read the complete item description, see:

 Suez Canal Medal 

100433  |  FRANCE & EGYPT. Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez silver Medal. Dated 1869. The Opening of the Suez Canal (42mm, 47.98 g, 12h). By O. Roty.

L'EPARGNE FRANÇAISE PRÉPARE LA PAIX DV MONDE, Progress, holding branch and torch, seated right on bundled package; overflowing cornucopia below; to right, Industry standing left; implements of manufacture to outer right; outline of canal in background / COMPAGNIE VNIVERSELLE DV CANAL MARITIME DE SVEZ / AU CENTRE LE / 17 NOVEMBRE / 1869 / LE CANAL MARITIME / A ETE OUVERT / A LA / GRANDE NAVIGATION in seven lines. Edge: «cornucopia» ARGENT.

Divo 606; Peltzer 2409. Mint State. Charming matte surfaces with an attractive old cabinet tone; a few lightly scattered hairlines.

Formed in 1868, the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez was held primarily by French private investors, with some capital coming from Egypt as well. Shortly after its opening, the Khedive of Egypt and Sudan, Ä°smail Paşa, faced severe debt in his realm, and was forced to sell his shares of the company to the British government. For the next 80 years, the French and British held all of the shares of the canal company, and the British used this foothold to increase their influence in Egypt. In 1956, however, European control of the canal zone came to pass, as Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the canal and restricted Israeli usage. The Suez was also a key issue in the Arab–Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973, before finally returning to regular usage under Egyptian control. The original compagnie finally became defunct following its merger with Lyonnaise des Eaux, which resulted in the formation of Suez S.A.

Great medal for a great engineering achievement.

To read the complete item description, see:

 Bosphorus Bridge Medal

100425  |  TURKEY. Bronze Medal. Dated 1973. Commemorating the Opening of the Boğaziçi Köprüsü (Bosphorus Bridge) and the 50th Anniversary of the Republic (75mm, 165.90 g, 12h). By A. Kumuk.

BAYINDIRLIK B KARAYOLLARI G MD 17 BÖLGE BOǦAZIÇI KÖPRÜSÜ AÇILIŠ HATIRASI, view of the suspension bridge with the Hagia Sophia below in foreground; star and crescent in sky / CUMHURIYETIN 50 YILINDA / ASYADAN AVRUPAYA, view of Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa, with an inset zoom view of the Turkish Straits; star, polylobe, and floral scrolls in exergue. Edge: Plain.

Cf. Sincona 13 (16 October 2013), lot 3034 (for a similar, yet inferior, example which realized a total of ChF 360 [after buyer's fee]). As Issued. Enchanting bronzing, with layered hues. Very rare.

Officially known as the 15 Temmuz Şehitler Köprüsü (15 July Martyrs Bridge), the Bosphorus Bridge is the first of three suspension bridges crossing the Bosphorus Strait, and was opened for traffic on 30 October 1973, one day after the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey. Its construction marked the first such bridge to cross the Bosphorus since the time of the Persians, some 2,400 years prior.

A nice medal for a important bridge.

To read the complete item description, see:

 Zdeněk Michael František Burian silver Medal 

100462  |  CZECHOSLOVAKIA. Zdeněk Michael František Burian silver Medal. Dated 1984. Commemorating the Life of the Famous Painter, Illustrator, and Palaeoartist (40mm, 31.35 g, 12h). By L. Havelka.

1905 + 81 Z • BURIAN, bare head right / Tyrannosaurus Rex advancing right, head left. Edge: Plain.

Gem Mint State. Most attractively toned, with hints of goldenrod, sea foam green, cobalt and burnt sienna throughout, along with an alluring underlying tone.

Born in 1905 in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Zdeněk Burian would come to play an important role in the development of palaeontological art and reconstruction. Through the government run Czechoslovakian publishing house, Artia, his work, especially on dinosaurs, reached a western audience beginning in the 1950's and 1960's, and offered a vivid, lifelike picture into the prehistoric world. It's hard to imagine the dinosaur "craze" of the 1980's and 1990's without him.

Gotta love the dinosaur!

To read the complete item description, see:

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