The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 54, December 31, 2000: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2000, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have one new subscriber this week: NBS member Tom 
   Oristian of Virginia.    Welcome aboard!   This brings our 
   subscriber count to 358. 

   [The actual count is probably four fewer, as we've been 
    getting some bounced email messages in recent weeks. 
    We'll adjust the count after a review early in the new year. 


   The 2000 No. 4 issue of The Asylum is at the printer; 
   unfortunately, their skeleton holiday staff was not able to 
   complete it before the end of the year.  But it should be 
   in the mail to paid-up NBS members very shortly. 


   Next week's E-Sylum will not come out on Sunday as usual; 
   Your Editor will be on the road in Orlando, FL.  Time and 
   submissions permitting, the issue will come out on Friday the 
   5th; if  not, we'll skip a week and catch up on the 14th. 

   There will be a regional meeting of the Numismatic Bibliomania 
   Society at the F.U.N. Show in Orlando, Florida, at  11:00am on 
   Saturday, January 6, 2001.   Our speaker is Mike Ellis, former 
   President of CONECA and editor of the fourth edition of "The 
   Cherrypicker's Guide to Rare Die Varieties."  His topic is 
   "The Proliferation of Recent Numismatic Literature on the 
   Subject of Varieties and Errors." 

   Numismatic & Philatelic Arts of Santa Fe seems to be the only 
   numismatic literature dealer scheduled to set up at the show. 
   Art Rubino writes: "We will have about 20,000 rare, out of print, 
   used and new numismatic, philatelic, history, and rare collectibles 
   books, coin trays and book preservation supplies on sale at the 

   I'll look forward to seeing some of you at the show on 
   Saturday.  I'll be spending the following week vacationing 
   with my family. 


   ANA Education Director Gail Baker writes: "The U.S. Mint pops 
   up in the most unlikely places!  I recently purchased "Travels in 
   Philadelphia" by Christopher Morley (David McKay Company, 
   publishers) circa 1920.  It has a happy little chapter titled "At The 

   Mint." He talks about the operations and about producing coinage 
   from other countries including Peru, Argentina and "a big order of 
   the queer coins of Siam, which have a hole in the middle, like 
   Chinese money." Interesting... 

   On another subject - Jacob Perkins. While touring the offices at 
   the Franklin Institute, I came across an oil painting of Jacob Perkins. 
   It is unlike the only other picture I have ever seen of him.  Guess I 

   should not have been so surprised to see his picture - but I was. 

   Dick Johnson recently wrote about a 3-part series of articles 
   which ran in the weekly newspaper "Philadelphia Dispatch", 
   January 23 and 30, 1853 and February 6, 1853, headlined "The 
   Way Coins Are Made, A Rare Visit to The United States Mint" 
   Where could one find this article?   I would very much like a copy!" 


   Last year ( Volume 2, Number 52  December 26, 1999:) 
   Jørgen Sømod of Denmark asked: "Can you tell me what the 
   opinion was, when Dye's Coin Encyclopaedia,  Philadelphia 
   1883, turned up?" 

   He is still interested in the subject - can anyone point us to 
   contemporary references to Dye's book?  What did people 
   think of it at the time? 


   I'm sure Joel Orosz would have a more colorful name for it, 
   but recent ads by the "California Gold Marketing Group" 
   really take the cake for overblown hooplah.  Picturing The 
   Louvre, The Smithsonian, and The Hermitage, it asks: 
   "What do the following world-class museums have in common?" 
   Picturing Virgil Brand, Louis Eliasberg, Lorin Parmelee, 
   Robert Garrett, and The Norwebs, it asks "What do the 
   following world-class collectors have in common?" 

   The answer?  "None of them ever owned an original gold 
   ingot from the California Gold Rush recovered from the S.S. 
   Central America!" 

   That would have been quite a feat, given that the S.S. 
   Central America was sitting at the bottom of the ocean 
   for the entire time these collections were being formed. 
   The same statement could be made for the 2000 
   Sacagawea dollar, which was equally unavailable until 
   this year. 


   Author and numismatic literature dealer Paul Withers posts 
   the following information on his web site 

   "Since I gave up teaching 26 years ago we have been full-time 
   dealers in coins and numismatic books. Another main activity 
   is writing.  We have just published A Catalogue of British 
   Copper Tokens 1811-20. We have also written British 
   Coin-Weights, A Corpus’; Lions, Ships and Angels - 
   Coin-weights found in Britain, and A Catalogue of the Collection 
   of Coins, Tokens, Dies, etc., in the Assay Office, Birmingham. 
   Currently we are researching european coin-weights, lead 
   weights, the halfpence and farthings of Edward I to Charles I - 
   and simmering on the back burner are several other works 
   which are too far into the future to even think about at present. 

   Our house, a former pub, built before Colombus set sail, is 
   stuffed with our ever-growing personal library of around 4500 
   numismatic books.  We moved here, to the wilds of Mid-Wales, 
   seven years ago, to get away from urban nastiness. 

   I am a fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society and a member 
   of the British Numismatic Society. I am membership secretary 
   of the Oriental Numismatic Society. My wife is a member of the 
   British Art Medal Society.  We are interested in almost the 
   entire spectrum of numismatics from ancient to modern. We 
   collect: coins of India, coin-weights of the world, weights and 
   scales, 19th-century copper tokens, brothel tokens, numismatic 
   books, books on cookery and engraved glass measures." 


   We discussed numismatic word definitions several issues ago. 
   Mr. Withers' web site uses a word your American-bred Editor 
   hadn't seen before:  paranumismatica.  In context: "World 
   Paranumismatica  -  Tokens, Countermarks and the like from 
   around the globe." 

   A web search turned up 25 pages using the term, one defining 
   it as the "British term for exonumia"  I'm sure Paul would prefer 
   a definition along the lines of "Exonomia: American term for 


   Eric P. Newman was being punny when he submitted the 
   following:  "As to Dave Bowers' interesting comment in the 
   December 24 Bulletin that Jacob Perkins was "highly 
   esteemed" in Newburyport and might have made or used 
   a  Boulton & Watt type steam coining press I surmise that 
   Perkins was not that "highly esteamed" and neither was the 


   NBS member W. David Perkins writes: "I came across this 
   website today with a photo of Col. E.H.R. Green.  I have 
   been researching Col. Green for around 10 years (as he 
   owned a large number of early United States silver dollars 
   1794-1803).  I don't recall seeing a photo of him before. 
   I'll have to check my copy of "The Day they Shook the 
   Plum Tree" which is at home - it may have a photo, too." 

   [Notes:  The web page describes a railway car owned by the 
    Terrell Heritage Society of Terrell, Texas.  The page states: 

   "Col. E. H. R. Green was the son of Hetty Green, who was 
   known to be the richest woman in the world at the time of her 
   death. He was active in politics in Texas and maintained his 
   voting residence in Texas by leaving a suit of clothes and one 
   of his wooden legs in a rented room in one of fine residences 
   of Terrell. Col. Green also maintained the main offices of the 
   Texas Midland Railway, in Terrell. 

   [The] photo (exact date unknown) shows Col. E.H.R. Green, 
   President; W.P. Allen, Vice-president; and L.W. Wells, 
   General manager, Texas Midland Railroad.  Note the comical 
   gesture made by Col. Green above Mr. Allen's head." 

   Below are a few web sites with more information on 
   Hetty Green: 



   It's been a great year for The E-Sylum and the Numismatic 
   Bibliomania Society.   We ended 1999 with a subscriber 
   count of 265; at the end of 2000 we have over 350 readers. 
   The NBS membership roster contains nearly 300 members. 

   Please resolve to help your society in one or more ways 
   this year.  Small contributions from just a handful of members 
   can  make the difference between an average year and an 
   outstanding one.  Please consider contributing in one of the 
   following ways: 

      1. Write an article for our print journal, The Asylum. 
           Any topic in the realm of numismatic literature is 
           fair game.  I'm sure every one of you has an interesting 
           story or two to share. 

      2. Participate in The E-Sylum;  write a thoughtful 
          response, or submit an interesting research question. 
          Start a new topic related to your favorite area of 
          numismatic literature. 

     3. Promote the NBS and The E-Sylum;  Tell your collecting 
         friends about us, even if they don't actively collect 
         numismatic literature.  We welcome experts and novices 

     4. Give a presentation at a regional or national meeting 
         of NBS. 

     5. Serve as an officer.  Elections are coming up this year. 
         Any one of the present Officers and  Board Members 
         can confirm that service is not an onerous task;  with the 
         availability of email, society business has been carried on 
         throughout the year with relative ease.  We particularly 
         encourage our overseas friends to consider becoming 
         more active in the Society. 

     6. Coordinate a special project for NBS.  This could be 
         any task in which you take a special interest, such as 
         compiling bibliographies, putting literature or bibliographies 
         on our web site, or reprinting classic works in numismatic 

   An organization such as ours lives and dies by the contributions 
   of its volunteer members.  Please make this a year where you 
   resolve to give something of yourself to make your 
   organization the best it can possibly be. 

   Happy New Year! 


   Roman emperor Vespasian (Titus Flavius Vespasianus) 
   ruled from 69 AD til his death in 79 AD.   One famous 
   Vespatian quote is "Pecunia non olet" -- literally, "Money 
   has no smell." 

   Vespasian was replying to Titus's objection to his tax on 
   public lavatories;  holding a coin to Titus's nose and being 
   told it didn't smell, he replied, 'Atque e lotio est' 
   ("Yes, that's made from urine") 

   When fatally ill, Vespatian is reported to have said: 
   "Vae, puto deus fio" --  "Woe is me, I think I am becoming 
   a god." 

   (Taken from  Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars, as quoted in 
   The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, (c) Oxford University 
   Press 1999) 

   The "Non Olet" quote is featured in an online exhibit 
   at the web site of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in 
   Vienna, Austria: 

  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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