The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 48, November 19, 2000: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2000, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have one  new subscriber this week:  F. J. Wagner, 
   Welcome aboard!   This brings our subscriber count to 353. 


   One of the star rarities of American numismatic literature 
   traded hands on Thursday, November 16.  An 1850 
   first edition of  "New Varieties of Gold and Silver Coins, 
   Counterfeit Coins, and Bullion, with Mint Values," by 
   U.S. Mint Assayers Jacob R. Eckfeldt and William E. 
   DuBois, sold for $9,500 to an anonymous buyer at 
   an auction by Pacific Book Auction Galleries of San 

   The first edition of this cambist contained "actual samples 
   of California gold underneath two small formica disks 
   mounted on p.45", plus "a leaf printed in gold on blue paper 
   showing varieties of California and Mormon coins." 

   From the catalog description, in which other bibliographers 
   are quoted: "Rare first edition of one of the most sought-after 
   and most fragile books on gold coinage at the time of the 
   California Gold Rush.    The second edition of the following 
   year, with slightly expanded text, did not contain the original 
   samples of California gold which add to the unique character 
   of the work.  Streeter calls the slender volume "An important 
   reference book for the beginning of gold mining in California," 
   and Wheat remarks that "Actual samples of California `grain' 
   and `bar' gold, and reproductions of privately minted 1849 
   gold coins of California and of the Mormons in Utah render this 
   little book an extraordinary and colorful contemporary souvenir 
   of the Gold Rush."  Pages 21 to 31 describe four varieties of 
   California gold coins issued from the following mints: "N.G. & 
   N." of San Francisco, Oregon Exchange Company,  Miners' 
   Bank of San Francisco, and Moffat & Company of San 
   Francisco; chapter IV is entitled "Gold  from California." 


   Spink and Son announces: "We have published an extensive 
   on-line book list, containing more than 500 titles, some of them 
   very hard to find anywhere."   The address is: 
   For more information, contact 


   Literature dealer John H. Burns reports that he will have 
   a table at the Thanksgiving-weekend Michigan State show 
   in Dearborn, MI, as well as at the Lanham, MD show the 
   weekend of December 1-2. 


   Within minutes of the publication of last week's E-Sylum, 
   Paul R. Hybert came through with an email address for 
   dealer Sheridan Downey, and others followed his lead. 
   W. David Perkins writes: "Sheridan Downey does not currently 
   have a web site.  One is "in progress" but no date to be on-line 
   is established.  (I spoke with him today about this)" 


   Serge Pelletier writes: "I am doing some research of the Maria 
   Theresa Thaler and have come acroos the following "Readers 
   Ask" column in Coin World (April 4, 1994): 

   "The Maria Theresa taler of Austria is probably the coin most 
   often officially restruck of any coin in the world. It has been 
   restruck by Mints in at least 11 countries since it was 
   introduced in 1780. The same date appears on all restrikes. 

   There have been many good articles on the Maria Theresa 
   taler published.  Coin World published a detailed history of 
   the coin in the Sept. 15, 1976 issue.  The various restrikes and 
   countermarks are address in detail in "The Most Beautiful Coin 
   in the World, The Story of the Maria Theresa Taler" by David 
   Thompson and in the article "Kontermarken auf Maria- 
   Theresientalern, Insbesondere auf Levantetalern" by Franz 

   Thompson published his book privately in 1990. He can be 
   contacted through Thompson Publishing, 3803 Half Turn Road, 
   Box 234, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80917. 

   The 1992 article by Leypold was published in the fourth issue 
   for that year of "Mitteilungen der Osterreichischen Numismatischen 
   Gesellschaft." Write to Osterreichischen Numismatischen 
   Gesellschaft, Burgring 5, Wien (Vienna) 1, Austria about the 

   Would you or one of your readers have ready access to any of 
   that material?" 


   David W. Lange writes: "I've been told by my publisher that 
   the second edition of The Complete Guide to Buffalo Nickels 
   will ship from the printer November 22. The regular printing 
   is entirely in pictorial hardcover and retails for $36.95.  I'm 
   offering copies at $30 plus $4.50 for 1st class shipping.  I'll be 
   pleased to sign and/or personalize any copies I sell. Please 
   specify your wishes when ordering. 

   At present, the deluxe edition is oversubscribed. Those whose 
   copies are reserved have already been notified.  I'm maintaining 
   a waiting list for those who presently do not have a copy 
   reserved, so if any of the reserved buyers drop out, waiting list 
   customers will be notified in the order their request was 

   Please address any orders to me at POB 288, Morris Plains, 
   NJ 07950 or email me at  I'll be away 
   November 16-26, so please understand if I don't respond to 
   emails during that time." 


   Philip L. Mossman writes: "I'd like to comment regarding the 
   reference to "Pike's Arithmetic -- A New and Complete 
   System of  Arithmetic Composed for the Use of the Citizens 
   of the United  States." 

   I agree this is a fascinating text which explains clearly the many 
   intricacies of the colonial and early federal monetary systems. 
   I used it liberally, in addition to other resources, in my own 
   book, “Money of the American Colonies and Confederation,” 
   (New York, 1993)  for the preparation  of Appendix I.  In 
   that section, I attempted to outline the complex computations 
   used to convert currencies between the various local monies 
   of account of the period and the new federal denominations. 
   I’m glad to see that other readers appreciate Pike’s work - 
   200 plus years later!" 

   Eric P. Newman adds:  "I was delighted to have Edward A. 
   Krivoniak make reference to numismatic material in the early 
   American arithmetic books of Nicholas Pike through reading 
   Isaac Asimov who seemed to write about almost every subject. 
   This is serendipity at its best.  I have both Pike editions in my 
   library and used them and other early American mathematics 
   books and pamphlets to prepare the tables beginning on page 
   471 of the fourth edition of The Early Paper Money of America. 
   The ability of Americans to make complex money exchange 
   calculations during the American Colonial and Confederation 
   periods and beyond is astounding.  All of this points to the 
   broad and exciting scope of  numismatic literature." 


   NBS member Morten Eske Mortensen writes: "Here is 
   information concerning a new World Numismatic Bibliography 
   written by Mulder & Purves and published here in Denmark. 
   The publishing house has no more remaining copies. For price 
   and shipping cost details for those few copies I have left, please 
   contact me at  First come first served: 

   Mulder, C.P. & Purves, A.A.: Bibliography of orders 
   and decorations, Gylling 1999, 321 pp, ill. 17 x 24 cm. 
   Bibliography. 3.331 numbered entries + appr. 700 extra 
   sub-entries all with relation to orders and medals. 
   Thousands of  mainly/pure numismatic stand alone titles, 
   off-prints as well as some articles of over 50 pages. 
   English language.  Printing run: 400+68 copies." 

   Mr. Mortensen also has a price list of nine other Scandinavian 
   printed numismatic bibliographies. 


   Pete Smith writes: "I would like to comment on the study and 
   collection of coin holders. 

   Earlier this year I did volunteer work at the Minnesota 
   Historical Society reviewing their coin collection. Most of the 
   collection has no historical connection to Minnesota and may 
   be considered for deaccession. The largest donation was 
   made in 1921 by a former president of the Society, Charles 
   Phelps Noyes, and part of my contribution was a biography 
   of Noyes. 

   It is clear that the coins have no connection to Minnesota. 
   They might have a value to the Society from a different 
   perspective, representing a leasure-time activity of a 
   prosperous Victorian gentleman. An additional part of my 
   contribution was a review of books Noyes donated to the 
   Society and what they said about his study of coins and his 
   assembly of the collection. 

   After this study was well under way, it occurred to me that 
   most of the collection was housed in brown Whitman envelopes. 
   The collection was donated in 1921 and Whitman envelopes 
   were not available until the 1950's.  Other parts of the 
   collection were kept with rectangular pieces of cardboard with 
   round recesses to hold the coins. Many of the Noyes coins 
   retained glue residue from an even earlier mounting.  It was my 
   conclusion that the collection, now being considered for 
   reholdering in 2000, had been reholdered at least twice since 
   it was donated. Any while this reholdering may protect the 
   coins, it had destroyed the evidence of the way Noyes had 
   inventoried, marked and stored his collection. 

   I found myself educating the curatorial staff on the history of 
   coin holders.  One of my recommendations was that examples 
   of old holders be kept with the collection along with a description 
   of previous reholdering.  Although these notes add nothing to 
   the value of individual coins, they are essential to understanding 
   the historical context of the collection. 

   While collectors of "white" Morgan dollars or commemorative 
   coins may have no interest, collectors of toned silver coins 
   should study holders and their effect on toning.  Advanced 
   collectors preserve old envelopes and holders as part of the 
   provenance of the coins history. 

   As with any specialty area, study of holders is not for everyone, 
   but we should appreciate those who appreciate the topic and 
   share their information with us." 


   The November 27, 2000 issue of COIN WORLD has 
   some articles of interest to the bibliophile: 

   Summer Douglas has an article about 19th-century 
   American coin dealer Edward Cogan (p122); 

   Ken Potter announces the availability of Volume 2 
   of his reprint of Error-Variety News (p97) 

   Susan Maltby's "Preserving Collectibles" column (p91) 
   provides addresses of some useful web sites on 
   conservation, including: 


   Robert W. Hoge, ANA Museum Curator, writes: "Sadly, a 
   note should be added to George Kolbe's mention of Attinelli's 
   p.75 reference to the collection of ancient medals in Benjamin 
   Franklin's Library Company of Philadelphia as being the 
   earliest recorded in this country.   The collection was stolen by 
   a burglar not long after it was acquired, thus undoubtedly 
   making it a candidate for the oldest recorded numismatic theft 
   in this country, as well.  I have never seen a description of the 
   contents, if one exists." 


   Dr. Hoge's note inspires a question - what are the top 
   coin thefts in numismatic history?   In the field of U.S. 
   numismatics the theft of coins from the Joseph Mickley 
   collection comes to mind, as does the Dupont theft of 
   important U.S. rarities, several of which were recovered 
   many years later.   Please send in any interesting stories 
   relating to coin thefts, and ideally, where are the thefts are 


   This week's featured web site is The Handbook of Biblical 
   Numismatics by Mel Wacks. 

  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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