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The E-Sylum: Volume 17, Number 2, January 12, 2014, Article 29

COIN CARD POSTCARD ALBUM CENSUS

Frank Draskovic submitted these notes and images about the coin card postcard albums. Thanks! -Editor

Since your recent mention of the coin card postcard album, I searched for mine, and found it. My notes indicate I bought it in May 1989. I made some scans as your readers might be interested in the images.

PC coin card 1 album cover My album has 46 different cards mounted photograph style on 23 pre-corner cut album pages. The front cover states quite simply "The coinage of different countries". Inside the back cover is a small label placed by the original seller of the album, the "Parfumerie und Papierhandlung 'ZUR FORTUNA' ", at "Josefstadterstrasse 58, Wien, VIII", (Austria) at the time Austria-Hungary.

PC coin card 3 GNG In the early years of the 20th century the entire world was involved in the postcard collecting craze, and a craze it was! I seem to recall reading that, in this initial PC frenzy before World War One, 1905 was the year when the most cards were published, well into the hundreds of millions. The text of this set is in English (on all but the Papal States card in French), even though sold in German speaking Austria, likely for the many foreign tourists making the Grand Tour so popular at the time. The same images would have been available in other major languages like French, German and Spanish.

The latest date on any country's coin shown is 1904, so it's safe to assume both individual cards and album sets were sold soon thereafter. Each card shows the country's coinage, embossed and colored in the appropriate metallic tint for bronze, silver and gold, along with the nation's flag and in the center, a currency exchange table current in various other countries, this feature very informative for present day researchers seeking the relative values of coinage at the time, the pre-WW I period when most of the world was on a hard currency silver or gold standard.

PC coin card 4 back Brazil This set was published by the German firm "H.S.M.", the acronym for Hermann Sonntag of Munich in the Kingdom of Bavaria. Most, but not all, of the cards have that maker imprint in an upper obverse corner. In the late 80s when I was much more into PC collecting, I would find these at postcard shows in both postally used and unused condition, priced at $5 to $35, depending on scarcity and condition, but the vast majority were in the $10-15 range. The USA card was always the most expensive and difficult to find, a function of greater demand, not because fewer were printed. I focused on small and popular countries like German New Guinea, German East Africa and cards whose countries were numismatically hot at any given time. The handsome Bird of Paradise coinage of GNG is shown in a following scan, along with the divided back reverse on all cards, this one from the Brazilian card where the heavy embossing is very clear.

PC coin card 2 album label It would be interesting to do a census of existing albums still extant, including the various formats and publishers, along with a list of all the countries eventually published, perhaps a fun project for E-Sylum readers? So, as of now, we have two albums, yours from the mid 1920s and mine from about 1904. How many more are out there?

The item pictured was from a Goldberg sale. As noted on the cover, the set was presented to President Calvin Coolidge. As for a census, David Gladfelter wrote about these in The E-Sylum in February 13, 2005, quoted below. -Editor

Blumel postcard set "Off the top of my head I can now account for 6 of these albums: President Coolidge, Library of Congress, Johnson, Xenos, Brown (cited in his bibliography of embossed coin books) and Gladfelter, ex Jonah Shapiro, ex Imogene Vogel. Who, you might ask, is Imogene Vogel? A child, probably a tourist on vacation with her parents, who many years ago received my copy of this book and scrawled her name in the back. The book is not identified as a limited edition and does not look like one. I have my doubts that only 10 copies were made."

To view the Goldberg lot, see: The Coinage of Different Countries presented to Calvin Coolidge. (www.goldbergcoins.net/catalogarchive/20000624/031596.htm)

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
POSTCARDS AND NUMISMATICS (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v16n51a25.html)
BLUMEL NUMISMATIC POSTCARD ALBUM CENSUS (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v08n07a08.html)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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