The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 40, October 1, 2000: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2000, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have two new subscribers this week:  Cory Collins of 
   Ocala, FL, and Jess W. Gaylor.  Welcome aboard! 
   This brings our subscriber count to 343. 


   Lake Books' 54th mail bid sale closes October 3rd. 
   The catalog can be viewed at this address: or you can 
   email Fred Lake at for more 


   Charlie Davis reports: "I have a mail bid sale of numismatic 
   literature, 1400 lots, with a closing date of November 4. 
   The consignors include John W. Adams, Ed Leventhal (J.J. 
   Teaparty to the uninitiated),  Denis Loring and the estates 
   of James Ford Clapp and George Ganter. The catalogue is 
   posted at 

   with about 70 photographs posted at 

   Catalogues will be sent out next week to those on our 
   mailing list." 


   Sebastian Heath of the American Numismatic Society 
   reports:  "The ANS is pleased to announce the publication 
   of John M. Kleeberg (ed.), Circulating Counterfeits of the 
   Americas (COAC 14). 277 pp. Illus. Bound in cloth. ISBN 
   0-89722-279-2. $35.00  plus shipping and handling. 

   The contributors are K. Davignon,  R. Doty,  H. Flatt,  B. 
   Karoleff,  J. Kleeberg,  J. Lorenzo,  E. McDonald,  E. 
   Newman,  P. Mossman, and C.Smith, . 

   This volume is available for immediate purchase from the 
   Society's on-line store at 
   As always, members receive a 20% discount." 


   Numismatic News reported in the October 3, 2000 issue (p52): 
   "On September 15, Coins Magazine co-founder and editor 
   Frank G. Spadone died at his home in Caldwell, N.J.  He 
   was 76. 

   Mr. Spadone launched You Name It? in 1955 with his brother, 
   John.  It became The Flying Eaglet with the third issue.  It was 
   called The Coin Press magazine when Chester L. Krause, 
   owner of Krause Publications, purchased the periodical." 

   The Flying Eaglet is an interesting little periodical and a 
   difficult one to assemble in its entirety.   There was an article 
   about it by Michael J. Sullivan in the Autumn 1986 issue of 
   The Asylum (p17-19 ). 


   Bob Cochran writes: "Just a short note to let you know that 
   bank histories "grew up" over the weekend!  Currency Auctions 
   of America auctioned Michael J. Sullivan's incredible collection 
   of bank & banking histories, formed over a 15-year period. 

   I was in the audience Saturday night, and so was Michael. 
   Neither of us really knew what was about to happen, but both 
   Lynn Glaser and Allen Mincho of CAA said they had some 
   "strong" book bids on several lots.  Well, we found out pretty 

   CAA had listed Michael's collection with their national bank 
   notes from each state.   The first lot was the 2-volume set 
   "Banking in Alabama 1816-1860" by William Brantley.  It's 
   a scarce SET, because copies of the first volume are quite 
   tough to find; a large hoard of the second volume came on the 
   market a few years ago.  In the blink of an eye the lot sold for 
   $250!  A group of ten Alabama bank histories brought $95; 
   three Arizona titles fetched $140, another AZ group of eight 
   sold for $160. 

   A beautiful copy of "Financial California:  An Historical 
   Review of the Beginnings and Progress of Banking in the 
   State," bound in the standard red leather, brought an 
   astounding $550!  Right after that, Michael's deluxe four- 
   volume set of "Financing an Empire: History of Banking in 
   California," by Ira Cross, sold for $750. 

   Nine Colorado bank histories and 2 references by Fred R. 
   Hiehaus  ("Development of Banking in Colorado," and 
   "Seventy Years of Progress:  History of Banking in Colorado, 
   1876-1949") sold to a dealer with Colorado ties for an 
   incredible $600!" 

   Consignor Michael Sullivan files this report: "The entire 
   collection realized about $23,000 (I didn't calculate this to 
   the dollar yet) which matched my pre-sale "guess" of 
   $20-25,000.  The 12-volume Financing an Empire: Banking 
   in CA, IL, and PA in deluxe cloth realized $2050.  In general, 
   states with limited bank histories available (Colorado, District 
   of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, etc.) did really 
   well in the sale.  The only "soft spots" in the sale were 
   Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, driven by the sheer number 
   of books in these states (over 100 each). 

   In going through the catalogue there are some "old friends" 
   that took years to locate.  I would estimate that 90% of the 
   material was offered to me only once in 15 years.  However, 
   there are a few standouts which I always thought were the 
   best finds: 

   1) History of Banking in Florida, 1910 which is one of two 
       known copies (lot 1914). 

   2) Banking in Hawaii, 1927 which is the only bank history 
        from Hawaii I was able to obtain prior to the 1980s; 
         (lot 1932). 

   3) History of the Bank of Kentucky, 1895 written by Civil 
       War General Basil Duke and includes several wonderful 
        banknote plates (lot 2113). 

    4) A History of the First National Bank of Marshall, TX in 
        deluxe format with original checks from the bank laid in 
        (lot 2608). 

    5)  One of my favorite pieces is a history of the Planters' Bank 
          of Tennessee, 1872 written by D. Weaver who was the 
          bank's cashier during the Civil War.  This is the only first 
          hand account of banking during the Civil War I ever 
          discovered (lot 2601). 

   Most Important:  Hats off to Currency Auctions of America 
   (L. Glaser and A. Mincho) for an outstanding catalogue and 
   sale.  They handled the collection expertly.  I was glad to see 
   the collection dispersed to numerous banknote collectors many 
   of whom now have the basis for great state collections." 


   Dick Johnson writes: "Paul Schultz's recommendation for 
   numismatic researchers to familiarize themselves with 
   genealogy techniques and tools is an excellent suggestion. 
   To gather data on America's 2,850 engravers, diesinkers and 
   medalists, I took a college course on genealogy. That led me to 
   join the local genealogy club. See their website: 

   I thought I was a purdy gud researcher until I came in contact 
   with a lot of little ol' grandmothers who tossed around complex 
   genealogical concepts as Census Soundex and ahnentafel files. 

   Their knowledge of techniques and sources was quite advanced. 
   But they were quite willing to share their knowledge and furnished 
   me with numerous tips.  And the club's field trips revealed lots of 
   nearby resources. 

   These newly acquired skills led me to find data often on 
   obscure coin and medal artists.  Example: personal data on 
   Salathiel Ellis, who created four presidential, two military and 
   the first Lifesaving medal for the Philadelphia Mint, is quite 
   obscure. Yet I found the names of his parents, the fact he had 
   eight brothers and sisters, but his place of birth is, as yet 
   unknown (it could be Vermont or Canada, as some directories 
   say). Also he trained Joseph Willson (19 years his junior) 
   to do cameo cutting and relief modeling. For the Mint, Ellis 
   would design and model the obverse portraits, Willson would 
   do the reverses. 

   But one directory is wrong on Ellis (Groce & Wallace says he 
   was born 1860) where it should be 1806.  Genealogy research 
   leads me to the correct data." 


   A regional meeting of the NBS will be held at 11am 
   Saturday, October 14th at the convention of P.A.N., 
   (the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists) held 
   at the Pittsburgh Expo Mart in Monroeville PA (Exit 6 
   of the PA Turnpike).   Members will gather at the 
   table of book dealer John Burns. 


   Eric P. Newman writes: "I was delighted to read the comments 
   in The E-Sylum about nature printing.  I have several large 
   Bradbury prints on our bedroom wall to soothe me when I 
   wake up thinking about a numismatic problem. 

   Unfortunately for Bradbury and those who describe his 
   work they had never heard of the nature printing of Benjamin 
   Franklin beginning in 1737 and used for decades thereafter. 
   I wrote this matter up in The Numismatist of February 1964 
   entitled "Nature Printing on Colonial and Continental Currency." 
   The only reason I call this to your attention is that Ben would 
   have wanted it that way." 


   David Cassel writes: "Today, I received my Stack's 65th 
   Anniversary Sale Catalog - October 17, 18, 19, 2000. 
   I  draw your attention the paragraph on page 151, just 
   below U. S. Pattern Coins: 

   "The following offering of U. S. Patterns contains a number of 
   coins struck in metals of heretofore inconclusive composition. 
   As has been the practice of modern specialists in this field, we 
   have listed all possible corresponding Judd numbers for each 
   coin in question.  Those successful bidders who wish to 
   perform the appropriate metallurgical tests may at such time be 
   able to further pinpoint the actual makeup." 

   I commend Stack's for this acknowledgment and would 
   suggest that they add to this paragraph for future use the 
   admonition that the possibility exists of finding coins that do 
   not appropriately fit into the existing Judd numbering system. 
   For example, in my area of specialization, Postage Currency 
   Coins, the reeded edge pure copper coin previously thought 
   to be billon (J-326) contains no silver and, has no niche in 
   Judd's system.  Likewise, the several varieties with previously 
   unknown metal alloys such as aluminum alloyed with iron, or 
   tin alloyed with lead, or tin alloyed with iron similarly have no 
   niche in the Judd numbering system.  Hopefully, other auction 
   firms will follow the lead of  Stack's, and other collectors will 
   have metallurgical testing performed on their coins, and who 
   knows, maybe discover some rarities." 


   Howard A. Daniel III writes: "I was having a conversation 
   with an antique book dealer in the Washington, DC area 
   about Southeast Asian numismatics, when he mentioned that 
   he had an unpublished draft with original photographs of a 
   reference about Polish numismatics.  After receiving the 
   E-Sylum, I realized it could be of an interest to an NBS 
   member.  I have no further details about it, but if an NBS 
   member is interested in it, please have them contact me at, and I will find out more 
   about it." 


   In response to the topic of "Devastating Reviews", Gilbert 
   Ray Malone writes:  "Perhaps the review discussed below 
   does not meet all the criteria set out by Tom Fort; however, 
   it probably falls somewhere between "constructive criticism" 
   and "published scorn". 

   I have assembled a small grouping of original numismatic 
   literature to be displayed at a future show in Canada.  The 
   title of the exhibit is "Coins, Tokens and Medals of the 
   Dominion of Canada: by Alfred Sandham -- A CRITICAL 
   REVIEW."  The centerpiece of the display is the neatly and 
   thoroughly annotated copy of Sandham's book used by 
   Professor Charles E. Anthon (editor AJN) in writing his 
   detailed, scholarly and sometimes cutting review of  Sandham's 
   book in the May 1869 issue of the AJN: 

   1.  "we intend to pay him the highest complement in our power, 
         by pointing out the deficiencies" 
   2.  "Looking at present edition as a first draught merely, we 
         repeat our call for a second one" 
   3.  "Our good Sandham must have 'nodded' over this page." 

   At times, Anthon verged on elitism: "And to Mr. Printer we 
   would observe that 'Boquet', as he uniformly spells it, savors 
   not of Ville Marie, ci-devant town of Novelle France; that his 
   Latin, in the legends of the Medals more particularly, is often 
   lame; and his English, as to orthography and punctuation, 
   sometimes blind." 

   My display is an attempt to document the reaction of the 
   numismatic community to publication of Sandham's book. 
   In the June 1868 issue of the AJN, Sandham's book was 
   announced with a very attractive broadside printed in color. 
   In March 1869, a card was inserted into the AJN 
   advertising the book - PRICE $1.00 American Currency. 
   Many collectors haven't seen these inserts since they were 
   frequently discarded when the AJN was bound. 

   Sandham did not heed Anthon's call for an immediate second 
   edition; however, he did issue a supplement in 1872 that 
   incorporated information provided by Anthon.  Sandham's 
   numbering system would continue to be used by cataloguers 
   of Canadian coins for about 15 years.   In the November 
   17-18, 1879 Bangs & Co. auction of Professor Anthon's 
   collection, Anthon catalogued his own Canadian cabinet by 
   Sandham number.  In 1884, Woodward referenced Sandham's 
   work in cataloguing the Canadian portion of the famous J. N. T. 
   Levick Collection.  Levick was a co-editor of the AJN at the 
   time Anthon wrote his review. 

   A theme of the display is the parallel development of 
   numismatics in the U.S. and Canada.  Sandham, in 1872, 
   started the Canadian Antiquarian and Numismatic Journal, 
   which he edited for about 4 years. 

   We don't know if Sandham was stung by Anthon's criticism. 
   Sandham had taken full responsibility for the book including 
   drawing all the coins for the eight full-page plates.  As R. W. 
   McLachlan notes in his sketch of Alfred Sandham (CANJ, 
   Jan. 1911), Sandham received only a regular common school 
   education -- cut short.  In fairness, Anthon's review also 
   contained much praise for Sandham.  However, we do know 
   that Sandham's book was not a financial success - 300 copies 
   were printed, 250 bound and only 100 sold." 


   "From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it 
   down I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend 
    reading it." 

    -Julius "Groucho" Marx, 1890-1977 


   This week's featured web site is an online exhibit of 
   medals of Robert Burns from the Hunterian Museum Coin 
   Gallery (Glasgow, Scotland). 

  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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