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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 1, January 6, 2008, Article 11

GLEANINGS FROM RECENT NUMISMATIC PUBLICATIONS

[Every now and then I plow through my stack of recent
numismatic periodicals and catalogs and note some of the
items that catch my eye.  As always, your questions and
comments are appreciated.  What have YOU seen lately that
deserves a mention? -Editor]

 ELIZABETH JONES PRODUCTION PLASTER
 The January 7, 2008 issue of Coin World has an article (p4)
 about material relating to former U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver
 Elizabeth Jones in the upcoming Heritage auction (Sale 454,
 Lot 3430). The "Archive of Elizabeth Jones Appointment
 Documents and Production Artwork" includes her Senate
 Resolution (dated September 29, 1981), Presidential Appointment
 Certificate, Three Sketches for Medals, and a Production
 Plaster for 1982 the George Washington Half Dollar Obverse.

 Jones' Washington Half is a groundbreaking coin which opened
 the door for the torrent of modern commemorative issues to
 follow.  A production plaster pedigreed to Jones would be a
 centerpiece of any modern commemorative collection.  And
 where else can you get a Chief Engraver's Presidential
 Appointment Certificate?  It will be interesting to see
 what the lot sells for.
 Full Story

 CIVIL WAR MONEY OF S. STEINFELD
 The Fall/Winter 2007 issue (#14) of The Numismatic Sun
 from Stack's has a nice article (p14-16) by Q. David Bowers
 on "Civil War Money Issued by S. Steinfeld".  Simon Steinfeld
 of New York first caught my eye as an issuer of Encased Postage
 Stamps, but he also issued Civil War Tokens.  I collected both.
 Dave has always been interested in Encased Postage Stamps, and
 his articles on the topic in The Sun and its forerunner Rare
 Coin Review helped spark and maintain my own interest in the
 series.  As always, the publication also features a very extensive
 fixed price list of numismatic literature - a great source for
 important and hard-to-find books.

 BEST CHRISTMAS AD
 My vote for the best Christmas-themed ad from a coin firm goes
 to Coin Rarities Online, run by Dave Wnuck and John Agre.  See
 the December 17, 2007 issue of Coin World (p66) for an example.
 It features a Massachusetts Pine Tree Shilling with the tree
 cleverly decorated for the holiday with colored ornaments and
 presents below.  The copy notes that "no coins were harmed in
 the making of this ad".  The firm's web site features some neat
 coins and medals.  Can anyone tell us more about the 1815 50mm
 white metal map medal? It has a map of the Western Hemisphere
 on one side, and the Eastern Hemisphere on the other.
Full Story

 NUMISMATIC IMAGES ON AMERICAN PAPER CURRENCIES
 The catalog for the January 15, 2008 Stack's sale of the
 Lawrence R. Stack Collection of numismatic images on American
 paper currencies.  Paper money picturing coins is an interesting
 topic that has attracted a number of collectors in the past,
 including former American Numismatic Association President
 George Hatie.  While I never collected them myself, I always
 appreciated these curious notes.  This 189-page color catalog
 is the most comprehensive treatment ever written on the topic,
 and it's sure to be a valuable reference work for future
 collectors.

 LAWRENCE R. STACK COLLECTION OF ANCIENT GREEK COINS
 The catalog for the January 14, 2008 Stack's sale of the
 Lawrence R. Stack Collection of Ancient Greek Coins is a
 stunningly beautiful record of an important collection of
 numismatic masterpieces.  The photography and presentation
 are absolutely gorgeous.  While there's been much discussion
 of whether computer technologies are making printed catalogs
 obsolete, technology is also reducing the cost and increasing
 the quality of printed catalogs.  Long live the catalog!

 MEET THE INDUSTRY
 Numismatic News has a section called Meet the Industry.
 It's unclear to me as a reader if the articles contained
 within are independently written and edited, or if they're
 just full-page advertisements in the form of articles. The
 fine print at the bottom of the page does say "Special
 Advertisement Section."  Perhaps the layout is intentionally
 ambiguous, although I think the end result is a win-win all
 around.  It's interesting to learn more about the background
 and history of the firms in our industry, something that
 ordinary ads donít always provide.  Two of the better ones
 I've read recently were in the December 25, 2007 issue -
 Northwest Territorial Mint (p40-41) and Modern Coin Mart
 (p42-43).

 COLONIAL JACK & HIS TOKENS
 The cover article of The Numismatist's January 2008 issue is
 "In His Shoes: The True Story of Sailor Jean and Colonial
 Jack" by William D. Hyder.  "On a bet ... a Boston newspaperman
 ... set out in April 1903 to walk to every U.S. state capital
 under the pseudonym 'Sailor Jean' while pushing a 'trolleyette,'
 a wheelbarrow made from galvanized iron, wood and a bicycle
 wheel."

 As part of the bet his sponsor would publish a book about
 the journey.  To defray expenses, aluminum souvenir tokens
 were struck and sold along the route.  A book never materialized,
 but the man, John Krohn, made the journey not once but twice,
 walking thousands of miles each time.  Only his tokens live
 on to tell the tale.  A great story and a great article - a
 perfect example of what makes numismatics such an interesting
 hobby.   See below for a note from Terry Trantow about this
 article.

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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