The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 1  January 2, 2000: 
a Y2K-compliant publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have four new subscribers this week:  Bob Dunfield, Simon 
   Prendergast, Stuart Levine, and Jerry Stubblefield.  Welcome 
   aboard!  This brings our subscriber count to 269.   Many thanks 
   to Jon Warshawsky,  who gave our newsletter a plug in this week's 
   EAC Region 8 Newsletter, an email publication of the Early 
   American Coppers society. 


   As noted earlier, issue no. 4 of the current volume of our print 
   journal, The Asylum, will be delayed a month due to the 
   transition to our new editor,  E. Tomlinson Fort.   We plan to 
   publish on January 31, 2000.   The deadline for article and 
   advertising submissions is January 15th,  2000.  

   Please let us know soon if you would be interested in showing 
   your support  for our organization by purchasing advertising 
   space in this issue (members only), or submitting an article for 
   this or subsequent issues (open to all).  Tom can be reached at: 


   It drives collectors nuts when periodical publishers delay or 
   misnumber issues, and perhaps there's a quiz question in 
   there somewhere.  But mishaps aren't limited to numismatic 
   publications.   An Associated Press article published today 
   reports, "Normally punctilious about correcting its own errors, 
   The New York Times used the new millennium to fess up to 
   a mistake that had appeared on its front page every day for 
   more than a century.  

   Saturday's Times is actually issue No. 51,254 - not 51,754.  

   You hadn't noticed? - Neither had anyone else, according to 
   the paper, until 24-year-old news assistant Aaron Donovan 
   recently "became curious about the numbering" ... and 
   "wondered about the potential for self-perpetuating error."  

   Using a spreadsheet program, Donovan ran the numbers 
   back to issue No. 1 on Sept. 18, 1851, and discovered they 
   added up to 500 fewer than had been thought.  Then, doing 
   further research, he homed in on Feb. 6, 1898, as the date 
   of infamy.  

   On that day, he found, a now-anonymous predecessor ... 
   added 1 to 14,499 and came up with 15,000 rather than 


   Numismatic literature dealer Fred Lake reports that "Function 
   Associates is holding its 50th sale of numismatic literature with 
   a  closing date of January 25, 2000.  

   The sale features 740 lots of books and catalogs on the wide 
   spectrum of numismatics. United States, Foreign, Ancient 
   coinage plus sections relating to Tokens and Medals, Paper 
   Money and Exonumia are included.  

   The catalog can be emailed in one of three different formats. 
   They are MSWord, WordPerfect or PDF (requires Adobe's 
   Acrobat Reader to view).   Please let us know your preference 
   and we will be happy to send a copy to you." 


   An article by Paul Gilkes in the January 10, 2000 COIN World 
   states that "a collection of approximately 5,000 ancient and U.S. 
   coins, plus several hundred numismatic books and catalogs, are 
   being relocated temporarily, if not permanently, from its home at 
   the University of Nebraska State Museum in Lincoln to the 
   Durham Western Heritage Museum in Omaha.  

   The Omaha facility currently houses the famed Byron Reed 
   numismatic collection, which went on permanent display in 


   A recent ebay auction lot carried a $400.00 minimum bid and 
   this terse description: "a complete set of 1948 numismatic 
   magazines f condition".    Such a bargain! 


   Speaking of ebay, that first-to-be-certified Sacagawea dollar 
   coin reported recently in the numismatic press has made it to 
   The Wall Street Journal.  The article in the December 31, 1999 
   issue quoted U.S. Mint Director Philip Diehl, James Taylor of 
   the Independent Coin Grading service (ICG), and others 
   regarding the coin which was accidentally released by the Mint 
   three months early.  The coin's owner had placed it for sale on 
   ebay, where it drew bids up to $1,100 before being withdrawn 
   after questions from the U.S. Secret Service.  The coin had 
   apparently gotten out of the Mint in a shipment of new quarters to 
   Colorado.   The author of the article (Peter McKay) highlighted the 
   irony of the mishap:  

   "The Sacagawea dollar coins - with smooth edges in addition to 
   the gold color - will replace the Susan B. Anthony coins that 
   have proved unpopular over the last 20 years with collectors 
   and spenders, in large part because they were easily confused 
   with quarters.  

   But U.S. Mint officials and the private experts who have seen 
   the Colorado coin say that won't be a danger with the 
   Sacagawea dollar, even if one did slip through the government's 
   own fingers amid quarters." 


   W. David Perkins writes: "Congratulations on a great first year! 
   I appreciate all of the work you put into this publication. 

   Jeff Oxman writes: "Having read the latest E-Sylum, I just 
   wanted to write and commend you for the consistently 
   excellent work you do!  Having assembled and published a 
   Journal myself, I know the deadline pressures and the work 
   that's involved.  So thanks from those of us who remain on the 
   sidelines, but always sit back in our armchairs and enjoy your 
   E-Sylum efforts!"  [sent in response to v2n51] 


   Alan Luedeking adds: "It was interesting to note that the 
   Canceled Sale quiz responses consisted exclusively of U.S. 
   sales, in keeping (unfortunately) with the general focus of The 
   E-Sylum and The Asylum.  Nevertheless, at the risk of boring 
   our 250-strong membership, here's my 2-cents' worth:  

   Postponed due to the commencement of Desert Storm, Swiss 
   Bank Corporation's Sale #27 of the tremendous Emilio Ortiz 
   collection, originally scheduled for Jan 24, 1991, in Basel, 
   canceled and later held on Sept. 17, 1991 in Zurich. This sale 
   featured (among many other stupendous rarities) the "Rincon 8" 
   which graces in gilt the cover of the Guttag catalog, (and which 
   was also the highlight of Sellschopp's collection - Swiss Bank 
   #20, where auction fever over this coin ended a lifelong 
   friendship and set a price record.)  An example of the original 
   (unadulterated) catalog, and the later much rarer edition (with 
   its new date sticker covering the old date) recently sold in 
   Kolbe's sale 79 (lots 622 & 623). Of interest is Kolbe's 
   footnote to lot 623, mentioning the "...Lars Emil Bruun collection 
   of  Swedish coins [whose] first component, featuring medieval 
   coins, was sold in May 1914, but the eruption of World War I 
   prevented the second part of the sale, scheduled for October 26 
   & 27, 1914, from taking place."  Seems George already had 
   your contest in mind long before it started!" 


   To further add to our inventory of  "Sales That Never Were", 
   George Kolbe writes: "Thus far, unless I missed it, no one has 
   mentioned the May 31, 1956 R. H. Burnie Mail Bid Sale. 
   "Canceled" may  not be the proper term, though the sale never 
   took place since the coins offered did not exist.  To my 
   knowledge, the "catalogue" has been offered for public sale only 
   once, in my June 1, 1996 auction, where the substantial catalogue 
   description is headlined  "The Numismatic Scam of the Century." 


   Think you have trouble spelling "Sacagawea"?  This week's featured 
   web page is from the official Lewis and Clark Expedition web site. 
   It gives some historical background on the subject of the new U.S. 
   dollar coin, and the woman's name, which is found spelled at least 
   fourteen different ways in the explorers' original manuscript journals. 
   "Although their flair for inspired spelling created some interesting 
   variations, in every instance, including three additional spellings on 
   Clark’s maps, all three of the journalists who attempted to write it 
   were consistent in the use of a "g" in the third syllable." 

  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 
  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, 
  contact Dave Hirt, NBS Secretary-Treasurer, 
  5911 Quinn Orchard Road, Frederick, MD 21701  

  (To be removed from this mailing list 
   write to me at   

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