The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 23, June 4, 2000: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2000, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have no new subscribers this week, but we do have an 
   updated subscriber count.   First off, there was a typo in last 
   week's count - it should have said 303.  Secondly, we lost two 
   subscribers this week: Cathy Early and Bob Christie.  This ought 
   to bring us to 301, but more on that in a moment. 

   Bob has the honor of being the first E-Sylum contributor to 
   send a submission via the U.S. Postal Service.  His letter 

   "I'm writing to tell you I'm no longer on the internet.  Thus, you 
   can drop my name from the E-Sylum mailing list.   I wasn't 
   using the internet enough to make it worth while being 

   Best wishes on The E-Sylum.  Membership has grown from 
   about 175 when I joined to over 300.  If I'm on-line again 
   some day and rejoin, it will be interesting to see how many 
   subscribers there'll be." 

   I guess this internet thing was a flash in the pan after all. 
   Oh well, we'll keep hanging in there.  Bob's note prompted 
   me to review the subscriber list, and after cleaning and 
   recounting, it seems the actual total is now only 296.   So 
   it'll be deja vu all over again when we get back up to 300 
   again, hopefully long before the ANA convention later this 
   summer.   So please be sure to mention the E-Sylum to 
   your fellow bibliophiles and researchers. 


   Paul Withers writes:  Peter Jones died on 3 March at the Carlos 
   Haya Hospital, Malaga.  Peter's name will be familiar to many as 
   the long-serving Manager of Seaby's book department.  Peter 
   joined B A Seaby Ltd in 1959 after working for a few months in 
   an estate office in mid Wales and exhibited a keen interest in 
   books. He was able to expand the stock of books (new and 
   secondhand), cabinets and numismatic accessories in 1964, 
   when the firm expanded into a shop at 63 Great Portland Street, 
   and in 1969, at the time of the move to larger premises in 
   Margaret Street. 

   Peter was then the cheerful and very efficient manager of what 
   was generally acknowledged to be the finest numismatic 
   bookshop in the world.  He was later to became Assistant 
   Managing Director of Seaby Publications Ltd and, in 1978, a 
   Director of B A. Seaby Ltd. 

   Peter was one of those members of staff who were made 
   redundant at the time of the recession 1982.  He continued 
   dealing in books from his home in Esher, where he lived with 
   his wife Donna, also a long time employee of Seaby's. 

   After some years of operating from home, Peter and Donna 
   fulfilled a long-standing ambition and moved on a more or less 
   permanent basis to their apartment on the Costa del Sol, 
   returning to Esher only occasionally to decorate their house 
   and host delightful dinner parties.  Those who attended one 
   of these occasions will remember good wine, splendid company 
   and Donna's wonderful cooking - I can only marvel at her ability 
   to provide so much good food, seemingly without any effort. 

   Never robust, Peter's health began to deteriorate earlier this 
   year and he spent some five weeks in hospital; he was able to 
   return briefly to the apartment before his final stay in hospital at 
   the end of February. Donna brought his ashes back to Esher 
   and a service for their interment, attended by some fifty friends 
   and relations, was held at All Saints Church, Weston, on 7th 

   Those who knew Peter will want to remember him in happy times 
   and perhaps send their condolences to Donna." 


   The web site of The Society of Paper Money Collectors 
   ( has this report about a longtime 
   NBS member and E-Sylum subscriber: 

   "Former SPMC President Bob Cochran suffered a heart 
   attack, but is recovering nicely and should be back in the 
   swing of things by early June.   A card or letter would surely 
   be appreciated.   Bob's address is: Bob Cochran, PO Box 
   1085, Florissant, MO 63031." 


   George Kolbe writes to remind us that bid rigging is a felony. 
   "Agreements among buyers at auctions not to bid against each 
   other for the purpose of purchasing goods at low and 
   non-competitive prices can be a criminal violation of the federal 
   anti-trust laws, punishable by heavy fines and imprisonment. 

   Section 1 of the Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. § 1) prohibits bid 
   rigging or pooling agreements among competitors if they affect 
   or restrain interstate commerce. Upon conviction, individuals 
   are subject to a maximum fine of $250,000 and/or three years' 

   Bid rigging, or "pooling," consists of any agreement between 
   bidders at auction which lessens competition between them.  In 
   recent years, the U. S. Government and private parties have 
   brought lawsuits to restrain and/or penalize bid rigging in art and 
   collectibles auctions. Pooling agreements can be attractive to 
   buyers who do not understand that it is illegal.  Not only is bid 
   rigging a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, it is a "per se" 
   violation, meaning that once a bid rigging or pooling agreement 
   has been found, the Government does not have to show that 
   prices were actually affected by the arrangement.  In other words, 
   it would not be a defense that the presence of other bidders at 
   the auction caused the books or other items to sell for their fair 
   market value anyway. 

   In the 1988 case of United States versus Ronald Pook, antique 
   dealers were convicted of pooling at antique auctions.  More 
   recently, several dealers pleaded guilty to pooling at an auction 
   of rare bank notes at Christie's in New York." 


   Tom DeLorey writes: "I have in front of me a copy of the Bangs, 
   Merwin & Co., sale of  December 15-17, 1863.  Besides an 
   exceptional 1802 half dime, the sale lists an extensive section on 
   pattern coins (not all of which are patterns, but never mind). 

   Excuse me if this has been answered before, but what is the 
   earliest known sale that lists patterns as such?  One of the 
   pattern lots is an 1838 half dollar that says  "...purchased at the 
   sale of  Dr. Muhlenberg's coins, where it brought $47." 


   David Cassel writes to note that his upcoming book on 
   U.S. Postage Currency Patterns is actually hardbound, not 
   perfect bound as stated last week. 

   In the printing industry, the term "perfect bound" refers to a 
   soft paper cover glued book.  His book will be hard cover, 
   glued and stitched.   "I have only twenty-nine books left out 
   of the 110 that I ordered published.  Nine books that I know 
   of went to E-Sylum subscribers."  David can be reached at 
   this address: 


   Doug Owens writes: "I have enjoyed your Monday morning 
   e-mail missives so much that I have joined NBS and look 
   forward to obtaining a set of back issues of the Asylum. 

   I am a relative newcomer to coins and numismatic books.  I 
   would really enjoy a discussion by you and your readers of 
   their favorite numismatic books.  I have a limited budget and 
   often think that my collecting dollar goes further with a book 
   than with the coins themselves. 

   I enjoy books with excellent photography (e.g. Hoberman, 
   "The Art of Coins and Their Photography" - this book has the 
   most spectacular color photography imaginable, and constitutes 
   a virtual coin collection in itself).   Other books with great 
   photos are Kent-Hirmer "Roman Coins", Kraay-Hirmer, 
   "Greek Coins", and a newly published book on the Wine and 
   Coins of Ancient Greece). 

   I like books on art and coinage, and books with narrative 
  description as opposed to catalogue-type books (such as "The 
   Splendid Shilling", Sutherland's "Art of Coinage", Anthony's 
   "Collecting Greek Coins", "Coins and Christianity", Bastien's 
   "The Coin Collectors",  and Berry's "Numismatic Biography"). 

   Other books I have and enjoy are Vermuele's "Numismatic Art 
   in America" and Seltman's "Masterpieces of Greek Coinage". 

   I would appreciate any advice you and your readers may have 
   along these lines, and also would like to hear from others what 
   they like to collect and why, as well as recommendations for 
   particular books." 

   Mr. Owen is certainly a very well-read newcomer, and 
   there's not a book among his list that I wouldn't heartily 
   recommend to others.  While I buy and hold innumerable 
   books and periodicals for reference,  the ones I cherish most 
   are those which provide a good read. 

   Three titles I always recommend are Carothers, "Fractional 
   Money", Willem's "The United States Trade Dollar", and 
   "The Fantastic 1804 Dollar" by Newman and Bressett.  These 
   are all on U.S. coinage, but that's my collecting bias.   The 
   Carothers book should be required reading for any student of 
   American numismatics - it lays out the history, economics and 
   politics of small change in a very readable and informative 
   fashion.  The Willem book does the same for a single series - 
   the Trade Dollar, and the Newman-Bressett book does it for 
   a single coin.  The research, scholarship, and numismatic 
   detective work in these books set a standard for those which 

   The Carothers and Willem books have been reprinted. The 
   Newman-Bressett book is long out of print, but it is relatively 
   common, and easier to obtain than the more comprehensive 
   (and also out-of-print) Encyclopedia of U.S. Silver Dollars 
   by Q. David Bowers. 

   To prove how nuts I am about these books, I've accumulated 
   multiple copies of the original editions, all either signed by the 
   authors or inscribed by famous numismatists to other 
   collectors.   I'm not the first to recommend them, and won't 
   be the last.   So - what titles do our E-Sylum readers 


   This week's featured web pages are from the U.S. Bureau of 
   Engraving and Printing's web site.  The pages describe the 
   designs of the newly-released five and ten dollar bills. 

   At the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists' show in 
   Pittsburgh last October, your editor had the pleasure of 
   meeting and sharing a dinner table with Thomas Raymond 
   Hipschen, the artist who engraved the portraits on the new 
   series of notes, beginning with the $100 note in 1996. 

   Back in October, Hipschen's work on the new 5's and 10's 
   had already long been completed, but the official release of 
   the notes waited until this May.  It's been worth the wait - 
   the grainy newspaper illustrations of the designs couldn't 
   hold a candle to the Real McCoy - there is no substitute for 
   seeing the intaglio prints in person. 

   I have one nit to pick with the BEP pages - they label the 
   sides of the notes "Obverse" and "Reverse" as if they were 
   coins - the proper terms in syngraphic circles are "Face" 
   and "Back". 

  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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