The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 41, October 8, 2000: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2000, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have three new subscribers this week: Francisco Prado 
   of Spain, Fabrizio of Italy, and Janet.  Welcome aboard! 
   This brings our subscriber count to 346. 


   Numismatic literature price list #24 (October 2000) is 
   available from J R Castledine, "Numismatist and 
   Bookseller" of Herts, England.  Castledine can be reached 
   as follows: 



   Last week we mentioned the death of Frank Spadone, 
   publisher of a magazine initially called "You Name It." 
   Charles Davis, in his November 4, 2000 sale, offers a 
   run of 77 of the 86 issues published (lot 999). 

   "The run is full of sequencing anomalies ... In the middle 
   of the run, Spadone jumped from volume numbers to 
   consecutive issue numbers without dropping the volume 
   designation... Perhaps Spadone should have called the 
   first issues "You Figure It Out." 


   Tom DeLorey writes: "I read with interest your note on the 
   passing of Frank Spadone. In the early 1960s, his error and 
   variety book (mistakes and retouched pictures notwithstanding) 
   led me deeply into the field of errors and varieties, which led 
   to my working for Coin World in the Collectors Clearinghouse 
   department, which led to my working for the ANA as an 
   authenticator, which led me to where I am today.  All because 
   of one book. Such is the power of writing." 


   A great example of Tom DeLorey's writing appears in the 
   November 2000 issue of COINage magazine, asking the 
   question,  "How do you accurately count billions of coins?". 
   In "Heavy Numbers" (p30),  he examines the U.S. Mint's 
   practice in recent years of counting coins by weight, and 
   goes on to discuss earlier methods, such as counting-boxes. 

   After discussing how mintages were often reported by 
   counting the number of $1,000 sacks or kegs filled, he asks 
   another key question: "What happened to the leftover coins 
   that could not fill up a bag at the end of the year?" 

   The answer?  ".. if you are a wise coiner, you will keep 
   these coins on your books as planchets and deliver them as 
   coins the following year.  Thus, your first bag for each year 
   should be a mixed one - and unless that bag is opened by 
   a coin collector, nobody will ever care. 

   That did happen one time, however, in the early 1950's - 
   with amazing good fortune to the collector who opened 
   a Mint-sewn bag of 1894-S dollars only to find 20 
   brilliant uncirculated 1893-S dollars mixed in the bag. 

   All of the other 100,000 1893-S dollars records by the 
   Mint were released into circulation shortly after striking, 
   and to this day virtually every uncirculated 1893-S 
   dollar can be traced to that bag of 1894-S's." 


   John and Nancy Wilson write: "The below search engine is 
   pretty good and if you think it can benefit E-Sylum subscribers 
   please pass the site on.  We think it is the most simple way to 
   get numismatic related stories all at one time.  Go to the site 
   and try it out with numismatic terms.  Make sure you also use 
   the Reference/Ed tool on the left." 


   Mike Bozovich writes: "Thanks for your continued issuance 
   of our little electronic journal of ramblings. 

   I was intrigued to read Dick Johnson's example of Salathiel 
   Ellis in conjunction with his extolling the virtues of 
   genealogical research - an opinion with which I heartily 
   concur.  I had never before encountered this name, other 
   than in association with one of my wife's direct ancestors, 
   Salathiel Starkey.   Furthermore, Ellis is the surname of a 
   distant ancestor in *my* line. 

   There really must only be six degrees of separation." 


   David Lange writes: "The second edition of my book, The 
   Complete Guide to Buffalo Nickels, is now at the printer and 
   is expected in about four-six weeks. The publisher is again 
   DLRC Press.  John Feigenbaum of DLRC tells me that he is 
   doing the entire standard edition in pictorial hardcover. The 
   printer is the same one used by Bowers & Merena, so the 
   book should be similar in treatment to their recent publications, 
   such as QDB's books on the 1804 dollar and early American 
   numismatics. I don't yet know the retail price, but I would 
   estimate it around $40. 

   I'm pleased to say that this book is a tremendous advance 
   over the first edition, which has been sold out for the past 
   three years. It is nearly 200 pages and includes an extremely 
   thorough, fully documented history of the creation of Fraser's 
   nickel. Letters that were only excerpted or paraphrased 
   by Taxay and Breen will appear in their entirety for the first 
   time.  All other chapters have likewise been expanded and 

   As with my previous books on Mercury Dimes and Lincoln 
   Cents, I'm planning to have Alan Grace bind 25 numbered, 
   signed and dated copies in quarter calf with marbled boards 
   and endpapers. E-Sylum readers probably know already that 
   Alan was the binder for Armand Champa's library, and his 
   work is of incomparable quality.  As may be expected, costs 
   have risen. The price of this edition will therefore be $185, 
   which represents my combined cost for the unbound signatures 
   and Alan's services.  Since I will be offering this at no profit to 
   myself, I will do it only if there is sufficient interest to cover my 

   Of course, previous purchasers of my limited edition books 
   will have the right of first refusal to their established numbers. 
   Since a few of the previous buyers have either passed away or 
   withdrawn from collecting, there will also be some slots available 
   for new purchasers. I ask that anyone interested in ordering this 
   limited edition, whether a previous or new buyer, contact me 
   ASAP.  My email address is, and my 
   mailing address is POB 288, Morris Plains, NJ  07950-0288. 
   If you know someone who may be interested in this edition and 
   does not have email access, please pass this notice on to them. 
   I'd really like to produce this edition, but I cannot unless there 
   is sufficient response from bibliophiles." 


   The American Numismatic Society has published its long- 
   range planning goals.   The document is available on their 
   web site at this address: 

   Bibliophiles may be interested in the plans for the ANS' 
   incomparable numismatic library.   The Library goals are 
   shown below: 

   "Library Goal: Support the informational needs of 
   membership, scholars and the general public and staff 
   through the referencing of numismatic publications, 
   domestic and foreign utilizing information technology. 

      1. Complete library's online catalog component as part of 
           already established ordering, acquisitions, and subject 
           authority database (LOAC). 

      2. Provide "clean" bibliographic records devoid of 
          unauthorized/incorrect subject headings, editing records 
          online using global change capabilities of the online catalog. 

      3. Ensure the reader is guided to all works of a single author 
          by developing and installing a procedure for  name 
          authority work. 

      4. Provide comprehensive and timely coverage of articles in 
          all numismatic journals; catalog backlog of approximately 
          12,800 articles. 

      5. Explore possible use of RLIN or downloading records 
          from Library of Congress at no cost. 

   Goal: To become an information center that efficiently uses 
   modern technology. 

      6. Provide online public access computers for library visitors 
          allowing quick searches by keyword, title, author, ISBN 
          etc and the capacity to print search results. 

      7. Provide access to numismatic websites by cataloging them 
          according to accepted standards; incorporate  a strategy 
          for updating cataloging of numismatic websites on a regular 

      8. Provide information about  the library and its collections 
          over ANS website. 

      9. Acquire multi-volume reference works or journals in fiche, 
          film, or CD-ROM and microfilm/fiche reader/printer 
          equipment to facilitate use of non-paper format." 


   In recent years, your editor acquired two books authored by 
   U.S. Mint Director James Ross Snowden, who served from 
   June 1853 to April 1861.  Most U.S. bibliophiles are familiar 
   with Snowden's books on the Mint Cabinet and Washington 
   medals (printed in 1860 and 1861, respectively).  But these 
   two acquisitions are much less commonly seen, and it would 
   be interesting to learn if other bibliophiles have copies. 

   The first is a small tract published in 1866, titled "The Coins 
   of the Bible, and Its Money Terms." This copy is 16mo in 
   size, 94pp, covered in raised green cloth with gilt lettering. 
   It is the "enlarged edition."  The first edition was published in 
   1864.  In his foreword Snowden notes: 

   "A few years ago the writer made some remarks to a 
   Sabbath-school with which he was connected, and exhibited 
   specimens of some of the Coins mentioned in the Bible, 
   namely, a denarius, or "penny;" a shekel, a silver stater, and 
   a lepton, or "widow's mite."   There was present on that 
   occasion a clergyman, at whose request  the writer prepared 
   a series of articles on the same subject, which were published 
   in the "Sabbath-School Visitor." 

   In compliance with the repeated request of the same 
   gentleman, and other clergymen and laymen, the writer has 
   arranged these articles, and with several additional chapters, 
   and some introductory remarks, they are presented to the 
   public in the present form. 

   As the articles were originally written for a Sabbath-School 
   paper, so now, this little work is mainly intended to be used 
   as a Sabbath-school book .The writer begs to express the 
   hope its pages will give useful information to youthful inquirers 
   after truth; and that the statements and tables herein presented, 
   will be found valuable to all readers of the sacred Scriptures, 
   into whose hands it may come, and thus advance the interests 
   of our beloved Zion." 

   The book was published by "The Trustees of the Presbyterian 
   Board of Publications"   While scarce, the book is known, and 
   is listed in the Sigler and Clain-Stephanelli bibliographies. 
   George Kolbe reports that a copy appeared in his Sale 65, 
   lot 260. 

   We'll save the second Snowden book for next week, and I'll 
    be quite surprised if anyone can guess what it is.  Hint: it's 


   The topic of Snowden brings to mind your editor's all-time 
   favorite typo in a numismatic book.  The following is from 
   Richard Snow's "Flying Eagle & Indian Cents", 1992, p8: 

   "In late 1856 the new small nickel cent was being pushed 
   through Congress by Snowmen." 

   A runner-up is referenced in lot 647 of the current Charles 
   Davis sale: "Comprehensive Guide to American Colonial 
   Coinage.  It's {sic} Origins, History and Value," 1976, 
   Sanford Durst.  The lot description notes "What else can you 
   say about a book that has a typographical (or grammatical?) 
   error in its title." 


   From the Quote Archive: 

   "I must say that I find television very educational. The 
   minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and 
   read a book." 

   "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. 
   Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read" 

   And some non-book quotes: 

   "Remember men, we're fighting for this woman's honor; 
   which is probably more than she ever did." 

   "Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted." 

    -Julius "Groucho" Marx, 1890-1977 


   This week's featured web is The Celtic Coin Index - 
   "a collection of more than 31000 images of Celtic coins 
   found in Britain." 

  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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