The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 20, May 14, 2000: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2000, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have one new subscriber this week: David Fanning 
   Welcome aboard!   This brings our subscriber count 
   to 301. 


   New subscriber David Fanning writes: "I'm happy to be on 
   board.   I've recently reclaimed my interest in numismatic lit -- 
   I was very into it when I was young (in high school and early 
   college), but grad school really put an end to my hobbies. 
   George Kolbe told me about it today on the phone and had 
   an NBS application in the catalogue I received today 
   (I sent it in as well).  My main interest right now is material 
   by Ed Frossard." 

   Welcome back to numismatic literature!  Your editor feels 
   like an old timer at 41, having been into the hobby for 20 
   years now.   I actually got started in grad school.   I had 
   always been interested in numismatics, but didn't start buying 
   books until I lived in Ann Arbor while getting a degree  at the 
   University of Michigan.   There were lots of used  bookstores 
   and I browsed whenever I got a chance, finding the occasional 
   early Redbook and several standard references.  From there it 
   snowballed into full-blown numismatic bibliomania. 


   Many thanks to literature dealer and NBS co-founder George 
   Frederick Kolbe, who printed a lovely NBS flyer based on the 
   text from our web site.   The flyer was included with every one 
   of his latest catalogs (oops - "catalogues"....)   Every bit of 
   promotion helps, and is greatly appreciated by the NBS 


   Subscriber Anders Frösell of Sweden writes: "The Royal Coin 
   Cabinet of Sweden has an good offer.  They sell the book on 
   Swedish plate money by Bertel Tingströms for SEK 150(<20$); 
   that is less then 1/3 of the earlier price.  You can read most of 
   what is known about the largest real currency in the world. 
   They have a lot of other good books, too.  Write to:" 

   The Museum's web address is  Although an English- 
   language version is under construction, it will not be available 
   until later this year. 


   Your editor has picked up another book relating to 
   New Orleans mint official John Leonard Riddell, who 
   was discussed in The E-Sylum last year.  In 1994, 
   Texas A&M Press published "A Long Ride in Texas," 
   The book is an annotated reprint of "a lively diary 
   Riddell kept"  while traveling through Texas in the 

   The book's editor, James Breeden, writes in the 
   introduction:  "Riddell's education was meager because 
   of limited opportunities and having to work on the family 
   farm, which he hated to the point of being characterized 
   as "a very lazy boy", and receiving "frequent floggings." 


   In response to last week's discussion of the term "Sylloge", 
   Stuart Segan writes:  "Yes, we are thankful that the term sylloge 
   isn't bandied about much by the American dealers.  I can't 
   imagine someone of the ilk of B. Max or Kosoff referring to 
   the sylloge they compiled. 

   However, Dave Bowers loves the term sylloge and uses it 
   every chance he can get!  While attending the Bass sale, Part II, 
   I heard Dave mention at least three times that he was preparing a 
   sylloge of the Bass gold coins. Truth to tell, let's grant Dave carte 

   blanche use of the term. Of all the American dealers he is up to 
   the task of preparing a sylloge - and as far as the Bass coins go, 
   one is greatly desired and there is no one better prepared to 
   create one than Mr. Bowers." 


   Greg Heim writes:  There is a site called alt.usage.english.FAQ. 
   I e-mailed someone about this when I read the supposed origin 
   in Money Talks.  It sounded a little glorified and they told me 
   that they were almost certain the origin of the word predated the 
   1880's, but never got back to me with any more information.  I 
   am glad to see that someone else dug a little deeper." 

   Bob Van Ryzin of Krause Publications writes: "Thought you might 
   be interested in the following from my 1995 book "Twisted Tails." 
   It was provided by Eric von Klinger who used to work here. 

   "Another favorite story among numismatists is that the popular 
   phrase of disbelief  "you're joshing" originated with Josh Tatum 
   and his passing of plated $5 gold coins.  Sorry, as writer Eric von 
   Klinger pointed out, its origin dates to much earlier. 

   "The American Thesaurus of Slang, for example, notes of 'josh': 

   'To banter, 'kid' (U.S.-1845). Origin obscure. The earliness of the 
   usage rules out the supposition that it derives from 'Josh Billings,' 

   who had not yet gained a reputation as a humorist.'" 

   Oh well.  The story of Josh, as well as the Billings quotes, 
   were entertaining while they lasted.   As at least one NBS Board 
   member can attest, I thought immediately of Bob's book when 
   the subject first came up, I just couldn't put my hands on it in 
   my newly reorganized library.  Shame on me - I cleaned things up 
   a little too well... 


   Bob adds "Sorry to hear about Mike Craven.  He was one of the 
   nice guys."    The news was certainly heartbreaking;  his numismatic 
   film work was outstanding, and his death is a major loss for 
   numismatics.  Let's hope his unfinished film on U.S coinage will 
   someday be completed and released. 


   Mike Jones would like to thank our readers for their detailed 
   replies to his questions on Oriental numismatic literature.  He 
   would also like to clarify his question on the Schjoth Chinese 
   Currency book.  What he seeks is information on the 
   original edition, in original format.   "...the original was issued 
   with flimsy paper covers;  in fact, the pages were of better 
   quality than the covers ... have any of the readers ever owned or 
   actually held such a copy?  ....if  seen in an auction catalog, 
   then which one?   Again, I am not talking about rebound copies 
   of the original but THE original with paper covers.  Thanks." 

   On the subject of Kann, George Kolbe adds: "there are TWO 
   editions of Kann's  "The Currencies of China," 1926 & 1927. 
   But, oops, the 1978 reprint is a facsimile of the first edition, 
   lacking, if memory serves, a plate or two." 


   In the "just for fun" category, let's compile the E-Sylum list of 
   past and present celebrity numismatists - not famous collectors, 
   but famous people who collect.   These are people who are 
   (or were)  famous in their own right and generally known to 
   the population at large.  Examples would include actors, 
   sports figures, authors, political figures, etc.   In the world of 
   philately, for instance, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt 
   was known to be a stamp collector.  So who are the brightest 
   stars to grace the numismatic stage?   Send me your nominations 
   and I'll compile a list. 


   American Poet Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) wrote:  "Time is the 
   coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can 
   determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people 
   spend it for you."   Non-numismatic, but inspirational nonetheless. 
   -- from the quotation service at The People's Cyber Nation 


   This week's featured web page is "The Circulation of Irish 
   Coinage in Pre-Federal America"  by Philip L. Mossman, M.D. 
   Editor, The Colonial Newsletter 

  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 21704 

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

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