The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 13, March 28, 2010, Article 14


Last week's experiment with character formats was a qualified success. Many readers reported that the troublesome characters were now displaying properly for them, including Jim Duncan, Ray Williams, Ron Greene, Ken Berger, Chris Hopkins, Bob Merchant, Yossi Dotan, Nick Graver, Allan Davisson, and Joe Boling.

But it wasn't smooth sailing for everyone. David Gladfelter and Alan Meghrig had some problems. Alan is on a Mac; he has offered some advice and I'll follow up with another test. Thanks, everyone, for your patience.

I don't think I published this query in The E-Sylum, but a reader inquired about Proof 1909 cents in the Chapman sale of the Jenks collection. I asked Dan Hamelberg who writes:

There were no single lot 1909 proof cents in the Jenks sale, but there were two lots where 1909 proof cents were included. Lot 6295 contained 14 proof cents and included 1909 cents with and without VDB. The lot sold for 5 cents.....9 cents below face value! Lot 6357 was an 1909 proof set which included the 1909 Lincoln's with and without VDB. It sold for $1.60 (93 cents face value).

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) Research Director Dave Lange writes:

I wish I could be at the EAC/JRCS gathering to hear the programs by Dave Bowers and by Len Augsburger and Joel Orosz. I'm particularly excited about the new Mint history book, and it was interesting to see the photo of Stewart's building being demolished. The wholesale destruction of many square blocks of downtown Philadelphia in the 1960s to make way for the quite sterile Independence Mall was a tragedy surpassing the magnitude of the original mint structure's loss in 1911.

I was reminded of this when I and some fellow NGCers hiked toward the waterfront following last fall's Whitman Expo in Philadelphia. Aside from the new mint itself, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, there is almost nothing to draw the eye in that part of the city. The area looks like a museum dedicated to the concrete and glass industries. A similar gutting occurred to Boston around the same time, and it's a sad reminder of how little our architectural and social heritage was valued in the 1960s era of Urban Renewal.

On the topic of printing in New Amsterdam (early New York) David Gladfelter writes:

Probably not. The following is from page seven of Isaiah Thomas, The History of Printing in America, with a Biography of Printers & an Account of Newspapers, 3rd ed. Edited by Marcus A. McCorison (New York, Weathervane Books, 1970). The original edition was published in 1810. “Except in Massachusetts, no presses were set up in the colonies till near the close of the seventeenth century. Printing then was performed in Pennsylvania, ‘near Philadelphia,’ and afterward in that city, by the same press [William Bradford’s], which, in a few years subsequent, was removed to New York.

The use of types commenced in Virginia about 1681; in 1682 the press was prohibited. In 1709, a press was established at New London, in Connecticut; and, from this period, it was gradually introduced into the other colonies; as well as into several of the West India islands, belonging to Great Britain.”

Joe Boling writes:

I am impressed that the obituary title for Peter Vottima included the word "numismatist." I wonder how any readers among the general public recognized it. Fortunately, for those who did not, the content of the obituary pretty well defined it for them.

Joe adds:

So where is the hole in the Eid Mar coin? It must have been repaired - I don't see it in the photos you published. Well, hell, I went to the linked article, and the coin there is completely different - not even from the same dies. Are you showing the one purported to be a counterfeit? Or is yours one of the silver ones, with a golden cast imparted by digital gremlins?

I was afraid that one would come back to bite me. I wasn't happy with the image in the original article because it was oddly cropped, so I used an image from a related article. I was in too much of a rush to think about the hole mentioned in the article. Usually I only add an illustration from elsewhere if the article itself has none. Sorry for the confusion. The image is linked to its proper source on our Flickr archive. -Editor

Regarding the portraits of Queen Elizabeth, Joe writes:

1960 was not the first year that a British monarch appeared on British paper money, or even on a £1 note. Not counting the scores of colonial and dominion notes that had portraits of the monarchs, George V appeared on homeland notes from WWI into the '30s.

I had concluded that the Bank of England was talking about notes issued by the bank itself when they said that such a portrait did not appear until 1960. (The earlier emissions were treasury notes.) I thought that the bank should not be so parochial in its writing. Then I went to the linked article, and found that the information did not come from a Bank of England press release at all - but from some commercial London website, written no doubt by someone who was born after 1960. THAT source needs better fact checkers.

Wayne Homren, Editor

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