The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 35, August 27, 2000: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2000, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have one new subscriber this week: Gosia Fort, wife of 
   Asylum editor E. Tomlinson Fort.   Welcome aboard! 
   This brings our subscriber count to 335. 


   Michael Sullivan reports: "Currency Auctions of America 
   will sell the Michael J. Sullivan Collection of United States 
   Bank Histories at public auction September 23rd in 
   Cincinnati, Ohio.  The collection, consisting of nearly 900 
   publications representing 75% of known related works, 
   was assembled over the last 15 years.  It represents the 
   largest collection in the world with the second largest 
   collection in the hands of a Midwest Collector and the third 
   largest in the repository of Harvard University.  Many of the 
   works include photographs and historical information on 
   notes of issue, banker's biographies, and financial history. 
   Included in the collection is the important 12 volume set 
   "Financing an Empire: History of Banking in California, Illinois, 
   and Pennsylvania.  For information on the sale or catalogues 
   contact Lynn Glaser, P.O. Box 111, Forest Hills, NY, 
   or call 718-268-3221." 


   The August 29th issue of Numismatic News reported 
   that "The ANA Board of Governors authorized a $1.9 
   million renovation of headquarters in Colorado Springs, 
   CO, that will expand library space by over 70 percent, 
   and the museum by 50 percent." 


   In response to last week's question about E. I. Barra's visit to 
   the San Francisco Mint, Mike Hodder writes: "One volume 
   of the SF Mint visitors book does survive. Entitled "Register 
   of Visitors to the Mint, 1854-1892", it is catalogued as 
   record 9.1 of the Preliminary (1995) Inventory of the Records 
   of the San Francisco Mint. It's in the National Archives - Pacific 
   Region (San Bruno, CA)." 

   Dave Bowers notes that "Barra was a Forty Niner in the 
   Gold Rush," and also points out that his collection was sold 
   by W. Elliot Woodward in 1865.   Your editor couldn't find a 
   reference to Barra in Adams, Durst, or Gengerke, but did 
   find a listing in Gengerke for a catalog by L. Keller of San 
   Francisco (2/19/1863, 512 lots, 24 pages, available in the 
   ANS library).  Lorraine Durst lists it as containing lots of 
   Roman coins, foreign coins, U.S. colonials, coins, and tokens. 

   A web search turned up this entry at the Oakland Museum 
   of California - it's a quote from Barra's journal, describing the 
   approach to San Francisco from aboard the Urania in 1849: 

  "on the larboard hand the green hills and deep valleys of the 
  Marin shore came into full view, gladdening the eyes of every 
  person on board On our starboard bow we saw a bluff jutting 
  into the bay on the [top] of which were two or three small 
  brass cannon. Rising far above the cannon was a tall flagstaff 
  from the top of which waved the glorious flag of our country As 
  we sailed into view our eyes were greeted with a sight that they 
  never have encountered since. Shipping in such numbers that it 
  was absolutely impossible to enumerate them; they looked to 
  us as if they were piled up one on top of the other." 

   Your editor smells enough tangible clues to make for an 
   interesting research project. 


   Secretary-Treasurer Dave Hirt reports that the donation 
   auction at our general meeting at the ANA convention 
   raised $1,450 for the NBS coffers as follows.  It should be 
   noted that some of the prices reflect the fact that the authors 
   of the works were in the room and available to provide 

   [Lot] [Description] [Hammer Price] [Winning Bidder] 

   1. "Copy number 1 of 25 unnumbered copies" 
       of George Kolbe's reprint of Browning on quarter dollars, 
       $150 [P. Scott Rubin] 

   2. NBS, Two copies of The Asylum editor's proofs, $60 
       [Mike Paradis] 

   3. Jack Collins, FPL of Washingtonia,  $60 [George Kolbe] 

   4. Eric Newman & Ken Bressett, The Fantastic 1804 
       Dollar, $80 [Glenn Peterson] 

   5. John W. Adams' reprint of the Chapman 
       Jackman sale (with plates)  $425 [Bob Schulman] 

   6. Two Stack's Guides (1940's) [Eric Newman] 

   7. AJN Vol II, No. 8  $25 [Ron Thompson] 

   8. Bowers & Merena hardbound catalogs  $90 
       [Steve Abromowitz] 

   9. Eric Newman's Good Samaritan Shilling, $50 
       [John Huffman] 

  10. Newman-Mallis, Coin Scales $100 [Bill Swoger] 

  11. Copy No. 7 of Jack Collins' July 4 1987 sale, $35 
        [Wayne Homren] 

  12. Gilbert-Elder on 1796 cents, $35 [Dave Hirt] 

  13. Kolbe's John Adams sale, advance copy No. 24 of 35. 
        $25 [Wayne Homren]  (NOTE: The title page contains 
        a typo which went unnoticed and appears in the final 
        catalogue:  "Counterfeiting" is spelled with two R's) 

  14. Swoger, Brasher Doubloon monograph, $50 
        [John Huffman] 

  15. Hibler-Kappen, So-Called Dollars, $50 [Ken Barr] 

  16. Griffiths' Story of American Bank Note Company, $90 
        [Ron Thompson] 

  17. Bowers' Abe Kosoff, Dean of Numismatics, $25 
        [Dick Johnson] 

  18. 1964 "Redbook" autographed by author R.S. Yeoman. 
         $25 [Wayne Homren] 

   Thanks again to our donors:  John W. Adams (lot 5), George 
   Frederick Kolbe (lot 1), Tom Sheehan (lot 15), Bill Swoger 
   (lot 14), Wayne Homren (lots 2 & 7), Eric Newman (lots 4 
   & 10,  and Myron Xenos (all remaining lots). 


   Asylum Editor E. Tomlinson Fort writes: "While doing some 
   research upon another topic I came across the following 
   document.  It is an Old English record of the presentation of a 
   work now known as the Golden Gospels to the monks of 
   Christ Church Canterbury: 

   In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I, Ealdorman Alfred and 
   Wærburh my wife obtained these books from the Viking army 
   with our pure money, that was with pure gold, and this we did 
   for the love of God and for the benefit of our souls and 
   because we did not wish these holy books to remain longer in 
   heathen possession.  And now we wish to give them to Christ 
   Church to the praise and glory and honor of God, and in 
   gratitude for his Passion, and for the use of the religious 
   community which daily raises praise to God in Christ Church, 
   on condition that they will be read every month for the sake of 
   Alfred and Wærburh and Ealhthryth, for the eternal remedy of 
   their souls, as long as God has foreseen that the Christian faith 
   will continue at that place. Moreover I, Ealdorman Alfred and 
   Wærburh beg and implore in the name of Almighty God and 
   of all his saints that no man be so presumptuous as to give 
   away or remove these holy books from Christ Church, as long 
   as the Christian faith may endure. 

   Ealhthryth their daughter 

   The gospel book is an English work dating from the eighth 
   century. How and where a Viking army acquired them is 
   unknown, though they were probably taken in a raid on a 
   monastery or church. This record is not dated, but the 
   ealdorman Alfred is presumably the one whose last will and 
   testament dates from sometime between 871 and 888 [The 
   will mentions both King Alfred the Great of Wessex, who 
   came to the throne in 871, and Archbishop Æthelræd of 
   Canterbury, who died in 888]. Thus, Ealdorman Alfred must 
   have made his grant during the last quarter of the ninth century. 

   Alfred's notice that he paid for the book in gold coin is 
   unusual since such had not been produced in western 
   Europe since early in the reign of Louis the Pious (814-840). 
   One wonders if the gold may have been a part of the hoard 
   of Roman gold coins recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 
   [s.a. 418] and which may have inspired the types struck 
   between c.874 and c.885 by Alfred the Great and Ceolwulf II 
   of Mercia. 

   Today, Ealdorman Alfred's Golden Gospels are in the Royal 
   Library at Stockholm in Denmark.  When the library acquired 
   them is not known. But it is likely that the book was lost to 
   Christ Church during the Reformation and that it somehow 
   made its way across the North Sea to Denmark. 

   By the way, the giving of books to churches and monasteries 
   was not uncommon in the early Middle Ages. Simon Keynes, 
   "King Athelstan's Books" in Learning and Literature in Anglo- 
   Saxon England, ed. M. Lapidge and H. Gneuss (Cambridge, 
   1985), pp.143-202, records that King Athelstan of England 
   (924-939) was not only a bibliophile, but also that a number 
   of the books which he owned or donated still survive." 


   Steve Crain writes: "I only recently joined the NBS, during 
   the recent ANA Convention, in Philadelphia, yet I have 
   collected early United States coins for nearly twenty years. 
   Like many serious collectors, I have also assembled a large 
   numismatic library to aid in my ongoing research. 

   I am presently working to produce a comprehensive reference 
   book on the Liberty Seated half dimes of 1837 - 1873. As 
   part of that research, I am trying to compile any available 
   biographical information on Daniel W. Valentine, the author 
   of the half dime reference currently in use by most half dime 
   collectors ("The United States Half Dimes", ANS NN&M 
   #48,1931, NY).  I would appreciate hearing from any 
   E-Sylum readers who may any such information.  I can be 
   reached at this email address: 

   I look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship 
   with the Numismatic Bibliomania Society." 


   Bob Dunfield (who describes himself as "A happy E-Sylum 
   subscriber")  writes: "I was fortunate to find a small 
   paperbound book published by Sociedad Mexicana De 
   Antropologia, entitled: Revista Mexicana De Estudio De 
   Antropolologicos..."Antes Revista Mexicana de Estudios 
   Historicos".  Vol. XXI, 1967, which lists many examples 
   of the  Azteca Hoe Money.  Hopefully more are available as 
   reprints from the 'Sociedad Mexicana De Antropologia, Av. 
   Revolution 1279, Mexico 20, D.F.  Mostly in Spanish, but 
   much English also!" 


   An undated flyer advertising "Coins, Minerals & Indian Relics" 
   for sale by H. Klingbeil of  Philadelphia has this to say about 

   "Electrotypes show the exact fac-simile of the original coins, 
   both in silver and copper, therefore, they are much more 
   instructive, than wood-cut prints, or empty spaces.  The 
   original of most of these pieces are so rare that they cannot 
   be got only at a great cost, some of them not at any price. 
   No Cabinet or Collection of Coins is complete if the proper 
   spaces are not filled with electrotypes, and they add greatly 
   to the beauty of the Collection, and the price is so low that 
   any collector can procure them.  A supply is always kept 
   on hand for sale." 

   A couple of web pages give more information on 

   The first is from the Coins of Colonial and Early America, 
   A Project of the Robert H. Gore, Jr. Numismatic Endowment, 
   University of Notre Dame.  The page pictures and describes 
   an electrotype copy of The Washington Roman Head Cent of 

   The second is an article titled, "Forging ahead: How to avoid 
   Buying a Forgery",  By Bernard Wells.  The article describes 
   how to detect electrotype and other types of copies of ancient 


   If you're wondering why last week's E-Sylum arrived a bit 
   early, it's because your editor's son arrived a bit early, too. 
   Tyler Seth Homren was born at 6:00pm EDT, Sunday, 
   August 20 - 9 pounds even, 21 inches long.  Mom, Dad, 
   and brother Christopher are doing fine. 

   On hearing the word, NBS Board member Joel Orosz 
   wrote: "Wayne, great news!  I am slightly disappointed, 
   however, that you and Dee ignored my suggestion to name 
   him after a wonderful numismatic author - Lucius Quintus 
   Cincinnatus Elmer!" 

   That's one of my favorite numismatic names too, but 
   we decided to pass on that one. We do however, sometimes 
   refer to Christopher as "The Cincinnati Kid" in honor of our 
   trip to the 1998 ANA midyear convention in the Queen City... 

   Joel's comment makes for a great quiz question, though - 
   who can tell us what numismatic book Elmer authored? 


   This week's featured web site is from The University of 
   Melbourne (Australia), on the Preservation of Records. 

  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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