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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 1, January 5, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


SUBSCRIBER UPDATE

  Among recent new subscribers are two former subscribers
  who had left or gotten lost in an email address change:
  Larry Brilliant and Peter Mosiondz, Jr.  Welcome back!
  We now have 512 subscribers.


NBS MEETING AT FUN SHOW

  The Numismatic Bibliomania Society will hold a meeting
  Saturday January 11th at the Florida United Numismatists
  show in Orlando, FL.   The meeting will be held in Room
  231C from 11:30am to 12:30pm.   NBS Secretary-
  Treasurer David Sklow will be speaking on the 1894
  Numismatist January issue with a rare different cover.
  For more information on the show, see the FUN web
  site:  http://www.funtopics.com


COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG  NUMISMATICS SEMINAR

  From Gail Baker, ANA Education Director:  "In August
  2003,  Colonial Williamsburg and the American Numismatic
  Association will partner to host a very special seminar on
  Colonial Numismatics.  Richard Doty, numismatic curator at
  the Smithsonian Institution and John Kraljevich, numismatist,
  Bowers and Merena Galleries will join Erik Goldstein,
  numismatic curator at Colonial Williamsburg and the
  professional staff of Colonial Williamsburg for a
  once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about 18th century
  numismatics in the original 18th century setting.

  Participants will view Colonial Williamsburg's foremost
  collection of Colonial and Continental paper money; coinage
  from the era, including extensive sets of French, Dutch and
  Spanish colonial pieces; exquisite Massachusetts and New
  England silver; Continental Currency, Colonial copper coins
  and much, much more. Students will go behind the scenes
  of the DeWitt Wallace Museum Collections and Conservation
  Building at Colonial Williamsburg for demonstrations in the
  state-of-the-art conservation areas, photography studios and
  archives.

  Williamsburg, Virginia was the capital of the colony of Virginia
  from 1699 to 1780. Here, Thomas Jefferson studied law, and
  later he, George Washington, Patrick Henry, and other patriot
  leaders plotted America's freedom from Great Britain. Today
  Colonial Williamsburg has been recreated with more than 500
  restored and reconstructed buildings with historical interpreters
  representing citizens from the 18th century. Colonial
  Williamsburg is a living, working city.  Skilled craftsmen create
  items like saddles, garments and cartwheels; people actually
  live in the homes you'll pass by, and real commerce takes place
  within the town's many shops and taverns.

   Please contact ANA Education for more information."

  [This sounds like a wonderful opportunity.   The seminar
  dates are August 3-6, 2003.   Gail's email address is
  education@money.org.  -Editor]


PHILIPPINE COLLECTORS FORUM PLANNED

  Howard Daniel writes: "Ray Czahor (cjcpi@comcast.net) is
  working on an event that is called the Philippine Collectors
  Forum (PCF).  It will be the first ever forum of its kind and
  held during the 2003 ANA Convention in Baltimore.  Many
  collectors, researchers, authors and publishers interested in
  Philippine numismatics and exonumia will be attending the
  PCF from the Philippines, U.S., and other parts of the world.

  What I would like to see is that the speaker(s) at our NBS
  meeting at this convention speak about Philippine references
  and sources, and that we invite the PCF attendees who are
  not members to attend our meeting.  And that our attending
  members bring a list of the references in their libraries that
  have Philippine information in them, so a comprehensive list
  of all references can be started.  Those not attending can
  send their lists to me at Howard@SEAsianTreasury.com
  and I will see that they are added to the list.

  I am sure we can attract some new members from the PCF
  attendees and support an area of numismatics that is closely
  associated with U.S. numismatics, but largely overlooked."


MARK HOFFMAN BOOK

  George Fuld writes: "I was most gratified to see the details on
  Mark Hofmann in the last E-Sylum and immediately ordered
  the White Salamander book from Utah Press.  At $8.00 it is
  a sure bargain and I am very interested in the litigation involving
  Hofmann.  Anyone vaguely interested in this area should get
  the book.   How the LDS  feel  about the bogus documents
  is another matter.  Rust and a few others including Campbell
  were sure taken in by this clever counterfeiter.  Again thanks
  for bringing up this important matter."

  [The transcripts of Hoffman's trial make a dandy tutorial on
   how to construct pipe bombs.  And how not to go about
   delivering them...   -Editor]


CRITIQUING "NUMISMATIST"

  Greg Heim writes: "I just received my copy of the January
  2003 "Numismatist."  Here are my observations:

  1)  The dropping of the article "The" was unnecessary.
  2)  The lack of presence of columns from Dave Bowers and
        Ken Bressett is a mistake unless these gentlemen chose
        to discontinue writing for the publication.
  3)  Despite the first two items, I agree that the previous issues
       of "The Numismatist" were not suited for the average ANA
       member.  I heard this complaint from members of my own
       local coin club, who are very intelligent and advanced
       collectors who told me that the articles were too specialized
       or erudite for their liking.  If this group of serious collectors
       says this, than what was the rest of the ANA membership
       saying?

      The ANA made a good decision in "lightening" the format
      as "Numismatist" is the primary benefit to the majority of
      ANA Members.  Granted it does not bode well for members
      of specialty clubs, but we can turn elsewhere for the
      advanced scholarship we crave.  With that said, it is important
      for us to make our opinions known to Barbara Gregory that
      an occasional article "from the days of old" be printed so
      the publication preserves its rich tradition and integrity."


NEWS FROM THE U.K: 2002 TOKEN CONGRESS

  Paul Withers writes: "At the beginning of November my wife
  and I attended the 2002 Token Congress, held in Cheltenham.
  For those who are interested in 'paranumismatica', i.e., struck
  or cast bits of metal that have served a purpose of one sort or
  another, from money to tool checks, to a representation of
  money for fruit picked, and just about everything else that you
  can think of, this event is a must.  From 2.30 on Friday
  afternoon through until we finished lunch on Sunday, it was a
  whirl of events, beginning with a visit to Gloucester museum,
  which was followed by lectures and talks, and a bourse and
  we were kept gainfully employed.

  As well as selling at the bourse, I was able to get around and
  found some items for our collections and some several bits
  for resale.

  With an attendance of around 100 - nobody stayed still long
  enough for me to count all the legs twice and divide by two,
  this was a record.  Only one visitor from the US this time;
  someone who had stayed on after Coinex.

  The event was ably organised by Barry Greenaway and his
  wife Di.  Sadly, since then Barry has died and will be sadly
  missed by those who collect tokens.  Barry was a dealer
  who was not known widely abroad, but found many
  interesting pieces for interesting specialist collectors, tracking
  down elusive material.  He was also a tireless worker for
  charity, which few people knew.

  The expertise available at the event is astonishing, with dealers
  such as Alan Judd, John Whitmore, Nigel Clark, Gavin Scott,
  and Richard Gladdle present, to mention but a few.  Authors
  present, besides ourselves, included Alan Henderson, Michael
  Dickinson, Alan Judd, Yolanda Courtney (Stanton), Andrew
  Andison, Bryce Neilson, Alan and Noel Cox, Bob Lyall,
  David Magnay, Gavin Scott, and, of course, Gary Oddie,
  editor of the Token Corresponding Society Bulletin, who hit
  us with some interesting research which has enabled him to
  re-attribute several 17th century tokens previously thought
  to have been from St. Ives, Cornwall, but which are quite
  clearly St. Ives, Cambridgeshire."


NEW PAMPHLET: KRUGER POND IMITATIONS

  Paul Withers continues: "We chose the 2002 Token Congress
  to publish 'Kruger Pond Imitations'.  Now whilst publishing is
  not exactly a new event for us, this was is a first inasmuch as
  our pamphlet is entirely illustrated with digital images and
  printed on a laser printer, instead of our more usual offset-lith
  machine.  The quality is, we believe, comparable with, and
  may even be superior to that which can be achieved by
  traditional methods.  Interestingly, the phone number of one
  of the advertisers in our little pamphlet has changed since he
  sent us the text for his advert, so we were able to change the
  number for the second printing.

  A copy of 'Kruger Pond Imitations' was sent to the British
  Museum.  An e-mail came back from the Department of
  Coins & Medals thanking me for it and saying that it would
  be useful, but it caused a problem, as they couldn't decide
  where to file it !

  O.k., so you try :  Forgeries ?  No, because they are not;
  indeed the pieces themselves, for those that do not know them,
  clearly state that they are 'imitation'.  They are not fantasies
  either.  Jetons seems to be the best place, because they were
  almost certainly used as counters.   Is this a wise decision,
  because clearly they do not really fit into the traditional 'jeton'
  category?  In one of the most used sections of our little library
  (4,000 volumes, and growing) we have a 'paranumismatica'
  section, where everything that isn't straight currency / coinage
  goes. What do other bibliophiles think ?"


NEW BOOK: RAISING THE HUNLEY

  Coincidentally, after writing Sunday's note about the Edward
  R. Hamilton bargain book lists, a fresh copy of their catalog
  arrived in the mail Monday.  In it I found a copy of "Raising
  the Hunley: The Remarkable History and Recovery of the
  Lost Confederate Submarine" by B. Hicks & S. Kropf.
  (Ballantine, 301pp).   At $16.95 it wasn't discounted much
  from the $25 retail price, but it was only published in March
  2002.   Amazon and Barnes and Noble offer the book for
  slightly more, and "used" copies are already appearing for
  sale as low as $11.

  We discussed the Hunley in the E-Sylum in May and June
  2001 (v4, nos 22-24).  Lt. George Dixon, the sub's
  commander, carried with him an engraved $20 gold piece,
  which was found in the ship's wreckage.

  I ordered a copy of the book for $11.50 from another
  dealer and it arrived Friday.   It contains a section of color
  photos, including a shot of the famous gold piece.  Another
  item of numismatic interest is pictured:

  "It was copper, about the size of a half dollar, and it was
  stuck to the back of the first officer's skull.  On one side was
  a relief profile of George Washington, just like a modern
  quarter, and on the other side was a name: Ezra Chamberlin.

  The medallion was the sort of thing a young soldier in the
  Civil War bought with his own money to help identify his
  body in case he were killed; it would be a half century before
  the advent of official dog tags.  These medallions were made
  by private merchants and sometimes even sold on the sidelines
  of battlefields.  It was stamped with enough information to
  cause the biggest uproar of The Hunley's excavation so far.
  Ezra Chamberlin had entered service early in the war --
  September 6, 1861 -- as a private in Company K of the
  Seventh Regiment of Connecticut Volunteers.  The scientists
  were speechless.  Could it be true? -- a Connecticut Yankee
  on a Confederate sub?"

  For a picture of the item and more information, see
  http://www.hunley.org/main_index.asp?CONTENT=IDTAG
  http://www.thehunley.com/Crew/chamberlin.htm
  http://www.qvcc.commnet.edu/brian/KHS/chamberlin/chamberlin.html


DEALING WITH REPORTERS

  Gar Travis writes: "Early this morning (December 31st) I was
  awakened by a phone call from the Charlotte Observer
  (Charlotte, North Carolina) seeking information about United
  States currency issues. Reporters just "kill" me with their
  questions. They have all the resources, but lack the knowledge
  to utilize their research capabilities.  This fellow said he found
  my name on the Internet, associated with the ANA and wanted
  to know if the Federal Reserve ever issued a million dollar
  silver certificate and if so where to find information in its regard.

  Of course I directed him to visit the web site of the Bureau of
  Engraving & Printing, where information could be ascertained
  about the largest denomination issued, $100,000 featuring
  Woodrow Wilson (an inter-bank transfer currency of the late
  1930's) http://www.bep.treas.gov/document.cfm/18/118 and
  that perhaps contacting the Federal Reserve Bank in Charlotte
  would yield additional answers to his inquiry about United States
  currency issues and he said: "There's a Federal Reserve Bank in
  Charlotte? Really?" Yes, a branch office  of the Federal Reserve
  Bank of Richmond.
  http://www.rich.frb.org/generalinfo/visitors/charlotte.html

  Well....at least he knows the Internet exists."


KENNETH RENDELL

  Regarding last week's item about document dealer Kenneth
  Rendell, Len Augsburger writes: "Remarkable.  I was in
  Manhattan a couple weeks ago, walking down Madison in
  the upper 70s, and there was a manuscript and autograph
  shop I passed by that I thought would be nice to include on
  a tour with family and friends.   I thought no more about this
  until later when I couldn't recall the name of  the establishment.
  Until now, when I saw the Rendell name and recognized it!"


FRANK LAPA

  Following up on last week's discussion, Bill Rosenblum adds:
  "Frank Lapa was convicted of murder and has passed away.
  (I believe while he was in jail.)  If my brain was working at a
  better pace I could come up with more details, such as who
  he murdered. It's a shame that we remember the criminal and
  not the victim (who was a customer of mine!).  My excuse,
  other than the aging process, is that my two grandchildren
  (2 & 5) have been visiting the past week and I'm into Dr.
  Seuss, dinosaurs and bunny rabbits this week rather than
  numismatics.

  Happy New Year to you and all the E-Sylum readers."


  Neil Shafer writes: "Just a few comments about Frank Lapa.
  I knew him rather casually for a number of years- sometimes
  stopped into his shop in Chicago I believe, bought some coins
  and a little paper from him.  He was certainly knowledgeable
  in several areas of numismatics.  But  I never saw an
  individual who could get so furiously angry at something or
  someone in a twinkling; Frank could do that.  He was
  convicted of killing Ray Yablun and spent years in prison.

  Hobby New Year to all!"

  Rich Hartzog writes: "His wife, Joan, was an early member
  of TAMS, and on the 1966 ANA Convention Committee,
  in Chicago; as well as a graduate of the Roosevelt University
  Numismatic courses; and a contributor to French Emergency
  Tokens, 1914-22.  I believe she is still alive, in California."

  Tony Tumonis writes: "Regarding Frank Lapa the Counterfeiter,
  one of his more common counterfeits was the (1345-1382)
  Silver Denar of Poland/Lithuania featuring the Spearpoint and
  Cross on the obverse and Columns of Gediminas on the reverse.
  To an experienced numismatist it was an obvious fake, for the
  artistry was not near an original.  However, someone new to
  the field could possibly be duped.  I don't think his fakes were
  that good."

  Scott Semans writes:  "I've heard a number of secondhand
  stories about Frank Lapa, his behavior at coin shows, the
  murder, and his time in jail, but perhaps others can relate
  these.   While in prison, he produced a revised version of
  his Kandy Kings of Ceylon,  1986, in 8.5x11 spiral bind,
  though I'm not sure he ever marketed this edition.

  I have a 3x scan showing 5 Lapauanian items from my black
  museum and would  be happy to send the scan to anyone
  wanting a copy.  The Russian piece is Feodor Alexievitch,
  not a particularly rare item.  The clumsy Lithuanian wire
  piece is Vytautas, 1384-92, Vilnius Mint and I'm not sure
  if this is a fantasy or a known type.  The others are modern:
  Cambodia, Danish E India Co. and British E. India Co.
  The last is actually a fairly common type.  He also produced
  and actively marketed an Andaman Islands token.  When
  visiting another dealer I saw a roll of Thailand 4 Att 1876
  that had come from Frank,  all brilliant UC and with edges
  so sharp you could have shaved with them.  The dealer
  returned them, and I have never seen this piece on the
  market, but  they must still be out there somewhere, and
  it's a very scarce type in UC.

  He liked to copy things that were obscure, not necessarily
  of great value.   None of the pieces in this scan are
  particularly deceptive to someone familiar with the real items,
  but I do recall the Thai pieces as being pretty good, except
  for the sharp edges.

  [Scott's email address is SSemans@aol.com. -Editor]

  Paul Schultz writes: "There was an article on  Lapa's
  activities in The Numismatist several years ago.  From the
  note I wrote in my copy of his Russian Wire Money book,
  it was November 1996, p1346-1348, "The Other Side of the
  Coin" column by Ed Rochette.  The heading for the column
  was "Murder Most Unconventional."

  There is also a postscript in a letter to the editor, February
  1997, p127.   I seem to remember that Lapa spent less time
  in jail than one might have expected (a few years?) and then
  died relatively soon after being released from prison."

  [A search of the Numismatic Index of Periodicals (NIP) at
  the Harry Bass Foundation web site brought up the following
  listings for Lapa
  (see http://www.harrybassfoundation.org/search_numlit.asp).
  One reference is to the Numismatic Scrapbook, and the others
  are to The Numismatist.

  BOOK REVIEWS\ Vatican City 1929 (Frank A. Lapa)
        \ANA\Vol.82\1969 SEP\Pg.1241
  BOOK REVIEWS\ Russian Wire Money (Frank A. Lapa)
        \ANA\Vol.80\1967 SEP\Pg.1143
  BOOK REVIEWS\ Check List Of Siege And Necessity
        Issues, 16th-20th Century (Frank A. Lapa)
        \ANA\Vol.81\1968 MAY\Pg.607
  BOOK REVIEWS\ Kandy Kings Of Ceylon (Frank A. Lapa) ]
        \ANA\Vol.82\1969 FEB\Pg.174
  [SHIPWRECKS & TREASURE TROVE].\ The other side of
        the coin: the unlucky oysterman of Willapa Bay (Edward C.
        Rochette) \ANA\Vol.104\1991 OCT\Pg.1632-34\ill.
  GENERAL\ Lapa, Frank \Scrapbook\Vol.35\1969 SEP\Pg.1348
  -Editor]

  Bob Leonard adds "I attributed some Roman coins for Frank
  Lapa when he had an office in downtown Chicago around
  1964-5, and still have a number of foreign coins that I
  purchased from him at various times (including some Russian
  wire money which I believe to be genuine).  Frank was an
  artist and had a drawing board and drafting instruments, etc.
  in his office.  A number of his paintings are still around.  He
  issued several price lists.

  As far as his other forgeries are concerned, the only one that
  comes to mind is a square copper piece purporting to be from
  the Andaman Islands, which he "discovered" in the early 1970s.
  But I believe there are others, as Bill Rosenblum says.  Perhaps
  a list is available somewhere; if so, it should be published.

  The story of his arrest is rather long, but briefly, Chicago coin
  dealer Ray Yablun disappeared August 13, 1975 after leaving
  Chicago, on his way to Los Angeles to attend a coin convention.
  I can't find clippings on the balance of the story, but a body was
  discovered a few weeks later which was identified as that of
  Yablun by a finger ring, and informants appeared who said that
  Lapa killed Yablun with an ashtray stand.  Lapa sold a 1795
  eagle that was supposedly Yablun's property in a Wilshire
  Boulevard coin store the same day Yablun vanished, and
  Yablun's "denim leisure jacket" (old-time coin dealers were
  such fashion plates!), empty wallet, and several business
  checks were found in a trash can in the same block as the
  coin shop the same day.

  On the basis of this evidence and testimony from Lapa's
  "accomplices," he was convicted of Yablun's murder and
  sentenced to prison in California.

  But I have always wondered whether Lapa was framed.
  My friend Bob Greinstein, who now works for Harlan Berk,
  visited Yablun's store the day after his disappearance and
  found "no coins" there (there must have been some coins).
  Lapa claimed that the 1795 eagle was consigned to him
  (he was Yablun's "employee and West Coast agent, having
  moved his office to Beverly Hills from Chicago) and not stolen.
  Yablun was accompanied on the flight by a "Mr. Van Cleef,"
  though he was supposed to be traveling to Los Angeles to
  meet with a customer of this name; L.A. police concluded
  that the name was phony.  Was the battered body, identified
  only by Yablun's ring, really his?  Were the "witnesses" to
  his murder truthful?   Did Yablun clean out his store, arrange
  for a body and witnesses -- then ditch his wife, frame his
  employee, and skip?  Who was Van Cleef?

  Lapa is the author of three booklets, Russian Wire Money,
  Check List of Siege and Necessity Issues, and Kandy Kings
  of Ceylon 1055-1295 A.D., all self-published and nicely
  illustrated by him personally.  He thus joins a short list of
  authors of numismatic books who have served time in prison,
  others being Walter Breen, Robert H. Burnie, and Lynn Glaser.
  Perhaps there are more.

  Lynn Glaser is an especially sad case; the dust jacket of his
  Counterfeiting in America (1968) says that he published his
  first numismatic article when he was 15.  In the early 1960's
  he was a frequent contributor to the Numismatic Scrapbook
  and Numismatic News.  But according to Miles Harvey's
  The Island of Lost Maps (Random House, 2000), Charles
  Lynn Glaser served seven months for map thefts around 1975;
  in 1978 he was arrested for further thefts, pled guilty, and
  served six months more; he pled guilty again in March 1992
  to mutilating a copy of the 1628 edition of Munster's
  Cosmographica, by cutting a map out of it; out on probation
  less than a month later, he was discovered in the stacks of
  Lehigh University, wearing surgical gloves and carrying a
  hammer -- not the usual accouterments of a library researcher.
  (We fervently hope that he does not return to numismatics!)."


PORTLAND, OREGON BOOK HAUNTS

  Steve Pellegrini writes:  "With a little patience many
  if not most modern books can be found at discounted
  prices. In Portland we have an outlet store which sells the
  thousands of books and periodicals which regularly get cleared
  from the public library system.  The bookstore is located in a
  retired Public Library building and is stocked with shelves
  complete with sets of References, rare old archives from the
  Oregon Historical Society, biographies, literature -- something
  for everyone. On one shelf is a 50 year run of 'National
  Geographic at .25 an issue - with a thick hardback Index for
  an extra 5.00.  One gem I managed to pick up here was a
  matching set of Will Durant's 'History of Civilization.' Ten
  volumes, so nearly unused that they still smell of printer's ink
  and glue. They were tagged at $3.00 a book or $20.00 the set.

  Also here in Portland is 'Powell's New & Used Books' which
  bills itself as the largest bookstore in the world. It's a small
  city of discounted books where you can easily lose an entire
  afternoon on the browse. Book bargains are everywhere."

  Larry Gaye adds: "I do want to comment on John
  Dembinski's missive regarding full retail prices.  I too refuse
  to buy retail and have done so for a long time.

  I am fortunate enough to live in Portland, Oregon and have
  Powell's in my backyard, well almost, only about a half mile
  away.  I continually haunt the stacks for deals.

  Some of my best buys have been there.  Whether it's
  numismatic literature or just plain "stuff,"  I love the books
  I find there.  I have made exceptions to my rule.  I purchased
  a signed first edition of both The Sparrow, and The Children
  of God by Mary Doria Russell; two of the most compelling
  stories I have ever read.  I needed almost six months to lapse
  before I could read The Children of God , the sequel to The
  Sparrow.  These are two amazing books.

  If any of you are planning on coming to Portland for the 2004
  National Money Show plan a little extra time to visit Powell's.
  It's quite easy to get to from the convention site.  If you want
  directions just contact me and I'll be happy.  I'll be easy to find;
  I'm the show chairman.  See you here in 2004."

  [The American Numismatic Association's National Money
  Show will be in Portland, March 26-28, 2004.  The summer
  convention will take place in Pittsburgh, PA  August 18-22,
  2004, and I'll be chairing that event.  Like Larry, I hope to
  see many of you at the show.

  I attended the 1998 summer convention in Portland, and
  visited Powell's while I was there.  It is indeed a pleasant
  place to browse for books.  If memory serves, it was enroute
  to Portland that my plane stopped in St. Louis where none
  other than Eric Newman boarded.   I quickly switched seats
  and spent the rest of my journey swapping numismatic yarns
  with Eric.   The chance to catch up with old friends is the best
  feature of any convention.  -Editor]


DO THE RIGHT THING:  PAY FULL FREIGHT!

  Steve Pellegrini writes: "I've been following the "Why Do
  Books Cost So Much?" discussion for the last few weeks.
  I feel that one consideration hasn't been mentioned. When
  it comes to Numismatic Books I'm of an entirely different
  mind.  I always make an effort to buy numismatic books
  directly from their author - when it's possible.  In this way
  I've accumulated all of Christopher Eimer's books and
  quite a few others from favorite authors sprinkled through
  my bookshelves. Right now I am eagerly waiting the
  publication of Dick Johnson's book on the American
  numismatic artists and artisans who've produced our tokens,
  coins and medals. I wouldn't even consider buying this book
  from anyone other than Dick himself.  This type of book that
  we enjoy and treasure so much is the result of years of
  exhausting, expensive research, endless hours of organization
  and writing, followed by all the thankless tasks of publication -
  editing, correcting, re-writing - negotiations and little
  diplomacies with sloppy printers and unenthusiastic publishers.
  All for little or no recompense.

  For the pleasure these books give me, I feel I owe their authors
  a measure of support and loyalty.  It seems ungrateful and a
  little shameful to wheedle a copy from these tiny editions for
  less than full freight.  Or to try to out wait  these dedicated men
  and women until their book ends in the remainder bin where it
  can be picked up on the cheap."


COIN BOOKS FROM HEAVEN

  This week I read a draft article Len Augsburger wrote
  for The Asylum, and his intense research efforts reminded
  me of one time a tiny bit of research yielded a real prize
  for my library.

  In 1991 looked up an obituary of George H. Clapp.  It
  mentioned names of several offspring.  I picked up a phone
  book and found a listing.  I called and found I was speaking
  to a family member.  I explained who I was and that I was
  interested in any books or ephemera relating to coins.  He
  said there was nothing left in the family, but took my address
  just in case.

  A few weeks later, I stopped at my house after my father's
  funeral.   In the mailbox was a package from the gentleman
  I spoke to.   I opened it and found a copy of Clapp's 1931
  book on the cents of 1798-1799.  It was inscribed by
  Clapp to his secretary.  It was sent without insurance in
  an unpadded envelope, but arrived OK.

  I called to profusely thank him and offer to pay for it, but
  even after telling him it was a valuable book, he insisted I
  keep it.  So I did.   I figured someone in heaven was
  keeping an eye out for me.   Thanks, Dad.


FIRST SLABBED COIN?

  Tom Fort, editor of our print journal, The Asylum, writes:
  "My family and I recently returned from a much-needed
  vacation in lovely Key West, Florida.  While there we visited
  the famous house where Ernest Hemingway lived through
  much of the 1930s. During the tour we were shown the
  swimming pool that his wife had built for him while he was
  away covering the Spanish Civil War.  The pool cost $20,000,
  a colossal sum at the time, especially when you consider that
  the Hemingways paid only $8,000 for the property.  When
  Hemingway came home he saw the pool and loved it, that is
  until he saw the price tag.  According to our guide he shouted
  at his wife for wasting all his money and told her that she might
  as well take his last cent.  He reached into his pocket, pulled
  out a penny and stuck it into the still drying concrete before he
  stormed off.  His wife was very amused by this outburst and
  put a clear plastic cover over the coin where you can still see
  it today. By the way, Mrs. Hemingway was a rich heiress --
  she paid for the pool out of her own money."


FEATURED WEB SITE

  This week's featured web site is a fine excuse for all of us
  to head to warmer climes -- The Numismatic Museum of
  Aruba.  "The Numismatic museum was established on
  November 13, 1981 and lodges the private collection of
  Mr. J. Mario Odor and is the first Numismatic museum
  established on Aruba. The museum contains over 35,000
  different pieces covering over 400 countries."

     http://www.visitaruba.com/facts/general/musea/numismatic.html


  Wayne Homren
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society
 

  The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a
  non-profit organization promoting numismatic
  literature.   For more information please see
  our web site at http://www.coinbooks.org/
  There is a membership application available on
  the web site.  To join, print the application and
  return it with your check to the address printed
  on the application.   For those without web access,
  write to David Sklow, NBS Secretary-Treasurer,
  P.O. Box 76192, Ocala, FL  34481.

  For Asylum mailing address changes and other
  membership questions, contact Dave at this email
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Copyright © 2003 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

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