The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 2  January 9, 2000: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have five new subscribers this week:  Carl Greve, 
   Thomas P. Wolf,  Clement V. Schettino, Adrian Gonzalez 
   Salinas of Monterrey, Mexico,  and Mark Van Winkle, 
   Chief Cataloger at Heritage Auctions  Welcome aboard!  

   However, we also have five lost sheep whose email 
   addresses are no longer valid: Mike Grogan, Terry Guthrie, 
   Reed Marton, Michael Rea, and Carlo Poggi.  This keeps 
   our net subscriber count at 269. 


   In last week's issue I neglected to include literature dealer 
   Fred Lake's email address - it is 
   I already forwarded to Fred all requests for catalogs that 
   we sent to me instead. 


   Unless NBS member Brad Karoleff has an evil twin, 
   something's fishy about his new column, "Designs of the 
   Times", which began appearing in the January 17, 2000 
   issue of COIN World.  The column will address Flowing 
   Hair, Draped Bust, and Capped Bust designs of the U.S. 

   In my copy, the article appears on p44 and AGAIN, in 
   its entirety, on p58.   It's not a binding error - the pages 
   are quite different except for the article. 


   My apologies for the delay in publishing this note from 
   Georges Depeyrot, responding to November's 
   discussion on laws relating to the reproduction of 
   currency:  "There is the same problem in France.  The 
   Banque de France does not allow reproduction of bank 
   notes.  A periodical for collectors did it and reproduced 
   all the bank notes.  The Banque de France went to court.  

   The first time to stop immediately the periodical (they lost). 
   It was a very quick procedure.  The second time to stop 
   the periodical (they lost).   The next time they asked a new 
   court to break the first and second judgments. 
   They lost last week... " 


   Michael J. Sullivan writes: "With all of the controversy over 
   the recent Spink's sale cancellation, it may be time to return 
   to the time-honored tradition of reaching for a good book. 
   During my 11 years seeking out bank histories across the 
   United States for my burgeoning collection, I found the 
   following item:  

   Richter, A.  Century of Banking in the Rogue River Valley. 
   Medford, OR: Pacific Coast Banking School, 1967.  vii, 204 
   pp. "Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the 
   Pacific Coast Banking School conducted by Western States 
   Bankers Association of the University of Washington, Seattle." 
   The book includes a history of the Oregon Exchange Co. gold 
   coins (aka "Beaver Money") which is reasonable well written.  

   A copy of this thesis can be borrowed from your local library 
   on the inter-library loan program.  The copy I borrowed was 
   secured from the Jackson County Library System, Medford, 
   OR in June 1998." 


   Allan Davisson writes: "The discussion of sales that did not 
   occur as scheduled suggests another numismatic publishing 
   byway -- great collections that would have made an 
   outstanding sale that were bought and then published before 

   Arguably the most important catalog I have in my library that 
   fits this description is the October 1890 publication by Spink 
   and Son of the Montague collection of milled English coins 
   featuring patterns and proofs. They published a special catalog 
   of this "unrivaled collection of English coins -- a portion so rich 
   in patterns of extreme rarity--we felt it would be a matter for 
   regret did we not make some permanent record of it"  

   The items were numbered (1853 lots) in the same manner as a 
   sale catalog. The plates, however, are photos in the text rather 
   than plates at the end. My copy also has the prices neatly 
   inked in in the same manner as sale catalogs from that era.  

   And another "never held" sale:  

   Henry Platt Hall's collection of British coins; Part III 
   catalogued by Glendining's for a July 26, 1950 sale but the 
   entire collection was purchased outright by Spink before the 
   sale. 423 lots with a particularly important group of Charles I 
   provincial issues included; 11 plates." 


   Dick Johnson writes: "This week's E-Sylum mentions eBay in 
   two separate items. I find eBay sellers are quite chatty.   I 
   bought a book from a Maine dealer and dropped her a line 
   why I was buying it.  I was working on two books and a film 
   script, I mentioned, and that I was 69 but staying active by 
   writing while retired.  

   She wrote back that she was 74 and selling books was her 
   passion, and that at this age you have to be passionate about 

   Also, I wish the use of the term Mint as a condition would not 
   be permitted on eBay.  While searching for Denver Mint up 
   came "Denver Co Mint" but was a postcard of the Denver 
   skyline in mint condition. I have yet to learn how to search for 
   our kind of mint, and eliminate the word for the condition of 
   the piece." 


   According to the Fall 1999 issue of the American Numismatic 
   Society Newsletter, "the library's dictionary card catalogue is 
   now completely converted to machine-readable records. 
   Some 120,000 records, representing the entire catalogued 
   library collection of books and periodicals, have been 
   converted."   Auction catalogue records are still being 
   processed.  The records will "ultimately appear on the 
   Society's web site where they can be accessed by keyword 
   searching."   Wow! 


   A four-column comment article by Q. David Bowers 
   regarding the "Great Debate" over Western Assay Bars 
   appears in the same issue of the ANS newsletter.  While 
   the article contains much of interest to numismatic 
   bibliophiles, I'll just quote one paragraph, which follows 
   up on an earlier mention in The E-Sylum:  "Researcher 
   Dan Owens has completed the manuscript for a new 
   book, the working title of which is "An Encyclopedia of 
   California Coiners and Assayers Related to Numismatics, 
   1849-1863."  Upon publication, Mr. Buttrey will find 
   hundreds of pages of documentation about firms that 
   issued gold bars, nearly all of this material having come 
   from readily available sources."  

   The ANS newsletter's editor notes, after stating the usual 
   disclaimer that all such articles and publications do not 
   represent the opinion of the ANS, its officers, and staff, 
   that "this communication will conclude discussion on this 
   topic in any of the publications of the American Numismatic 


   In an interview in the January 4, 2000 issue of Numismatic 
   News,  U.S. Mint Director Philip N. Diehl remarks: "I very 
   much want to see a new home for American numismatics. 
   What I'm really talking about here is a visitor's center and/or 
   museum here in Washington, D.C., that pays tribute to the 
   American coin collector and to numismatics...  

   There has been a lot of talk about the National Numismatic 
   Collection and the fact that there hasn't been a great deal 
   invested in it over the last several years.  We have been 
   talking to the Smithsonian about the possibility of entering 
   into an agreement that would allow the Mint to take a more 
   active role in that collection."  

   The new Mint headquarters building was designed to have 
   a visitor's center on the ground floor.   It would be an 
   interesting turn of events to see part of the collection come 
   full circle and return to the Mint, where it was started 
   (albeit in Philadelphia, not Washington).    Having driven 
   past the building this spring while it was under construction, 
   I can attest to the fact that it is a substantial structure, located 
   at the edge of Washington's Chinatown, with plenty of 
   restaurants nearby. 


   This week's featured web site is a page from the U.S. Mint 
   site listing the past Directors of the Mint from 1792 to date, 
   David Rittenhouse to Philip Diehl. 

  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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