The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 04, January 27, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  We have two new subscribers this week, both new NBS
  members:  David Crenshaw of Lawrenceville, GA, and
  Len Harsel.   Welcome aboard!  We lost three due to
  email bounces, bringing our subscriber count to 427.


  Fred Reed writes: "Last summer you published a note from
  Granvyl Hulse, the Numismatics International Librarian,
  asking if someone was interested in cataloging motion
  picture prop money and offering assistance.

  I contacted Granvyl and told him I was interested.  He put
  me in contact with John Pieratt, and I began the project by
  cataloging John's collection.  Six months and about two
  dozen additional contributors later, our catalog effort is
  coming along fine.  I thought I'd send a progress report
  since The E-Sylum was the catalyst.

  The manuscript is now 400 pages.  It has about 1,100
  illustrations and catalogs about 700 different motion
  picture, TV, stage and advertising prop notes.  Since
  no catalog of this material has ever been done before,
  this effort is ground breaking if not monumental.

  If any E-Sylum readers have movie prop notes or related
  items, they can contact me at

  I'd be obliged for any help your readers could render, and
  I thank you for putting out such a wonderful medium for
  numismatic research and publication."


  George Kolbe writes; "A press release for our upcoming
  auction sale follows. The catalogue should be posted on
  our web site by February 10th or earlier.

  Featuring outstanding surplus works from the American
  Numismatic Society, along with the John S. Davenport library
  & numismatic archives, the March 22, 2002 sale by George
  Frederick Kolbe/Fine Numismatic Books will be one of the
  most important auctions to be conducted in many years
  featuring rare and important works on foreign and ancient

  A number of important works on American numismatics
  and Renaissance and historical medals will also be sold.
  The catalogue is accessible at the firm's web site: and illustrated catalogues may be
  obtained by sending $20.00 to the firm ($10.00 to NBS
  members not currently on our mailing list).

  Sale highlights include a complete set of the Numismatic
  Chronicle;  Ned Barnsley's unique notebook on Vermont
  copper coins;  Adolfo Herrera's monumental 56 volume
  work on Spanish medals, one of only twelve sets issued;
  George Clapp's large cent microscope; a 1636 work in
  English featuring illustrations of ancient Roman coins; John
  S. Dye's 1855 Bank Note Plate Delineator; C. E. Green's
  deluxe leather-bound copy of the 1941 Dunham sale
  catalogue; several rare titles on Latin American numismatics
  by J. T. Medina; an outstanding selection of rare works on
  Islamic coins; an extensive offering of key works on
  German coins and medals, including a complete set of
  Koehler's Muenz-Belustigung; a large number of early
  numismatic books; major works and sale catalogues on
  ancient Greek and Roman coins; etc."


  Eric P. Newman  writes: "It is important that the 19th
  century U.S. Mint Die Retention matter was published
  in the January 20, 2002 E-Sylum as submitted by Bob
  Dunfield.  It helps emphasize what unusual practices
  took place.  It is all detailed and discussed on pages
  84-86 in THE FANTASTIC 1804 DOLLAR,
  (published in 1962), but needs reemphasis."


  Allan Davisson writes: "Re Granvyl Hulse's request for
  references on farthings:   I do not think there is anything
  more recent than Freeman. He should familiarize himself
  with Colin Cooke's excellent farthing catalog. I used his
  latest (List 41) as a reference as I worked through two
  important farthing collections. (They are listed and
  described in detail in the sale catalog I am taking to the
  printer this week.)  [Claud Murphy adds: "Lobell covers
  them pretty well in his book but I don't have the exact title

  Plagiarism?  It is a problem and I am aware of a breach or
  two of ethics in the use of one person's work in someone
  else's publication.  I personally usually do not place a
  "copyright" notice in my catalogs. This does not seem to
  me personally to be as important as it once was since most
  of what I write in my catalogs is casual.  But serious work
  should be credited (which I try to do--several years as a
  college prof made me sensitive to such issues.)

  Finally, if anyone has a copy of Valsto on Tarentine coins,
  an original, I would appreciate hearing about it.  I met an
  enthusiastic new collector this past weekend at the New
  York International Show and he is collecting by Vlasto
  type without owning the book."


  Alan Luedeking writes: "Just got back from the New York
  International coin show and  thought I'd share a bit of the
  experience. The Waldorf Astoria hotel was nice, but seems
  a far cry in opulence and service from its heyday way back
  when.   It was very nice to be back in the heart of Manhattan
  instead of downtown at the World Trade Center.

  The show was spread across three small rooms and one big
  one, interconnected via a labyrinthine network of passages.
  There was a lot of grumbling amongst dealers set up in the
  less favored rooms.  The only literature dealer present was
  John Burns (in the littlest room of all), whose stock consisted
  90% of material on ancient coinage.  He took a page out of
  Art Rubino's book and set up the wooden packing cases
  into a bank of bookshelves.  I'm sorry to say, his cases did
  not appear substantially denuded by show's end, despite
  what seemed to me reasonable prices.   Dealer Del Parker
  also had lots of books, 95% on ancients as well.  His stock
  likewise appeared far from depleted at show's end. Jan Lis
  of London had an original Medina on proclamations in a
  modern cloth binding with front (but not rear) cover bound
  in; with an initial asking price of £850, needless to say it went
  back home with him.  I'm quite sure he would have sold it for
  less had anyone dared ask, but I know he turned down an
  offer of US$500.

  I also took a hike up to the Grolier book club, very mindful
  of E. Tomlinson Fort 's missive in E-Sylum v4n46. Upon
  arrival, a solitary lobby attendant took time to help me and
  confirm that the fabulous "Numismatics in the Age of Grolier"
  exhibit had been dismantled and the books dispersed back
  to their owners.  I then asked for the exhibit catalog, and
  purchased mine for cash on the barrelhead.   Only four are left.
  I later asked a friend of mine (a strong collector of world gold
  coins and respected Manhattanite) how to become a member
  of the Grolier book club. I was surprised to hear that
  membership is extremely hard to obtain, as it is by invitation
  only. I'm told these invitations are very rare indeed, being
  restricted to only the most serious book collectors in the world,
  having a certain social and economic standing.  I'm told that
  member meetings are very formal dinner gatherings followed
  by brandy and cigars and erudite discussions on books where
  everyone present can quote from their 1500's tomes without
  an instant's hesitation.   Oh, how I'd like to experience that...
  then again, maybe better not!"


  The January 15-17, 2002 Stack's Americana sale included
  some items of interest to bibliophiles.  Here are a few
  highlights.  Hammer prices listed are unofficial - these were
  taken over the phone.  Stack's hasn't yet posted the official
  prices realized list to their web site.

  LOT 475:  "George T. Morgan Letters and Receipt for
  Proof Morgan Dollars and Bechtler Proof Restrikes, 1921-
  1922".  4 pieces. $4500.

  LOT 476: "1906 Photographic Album of the United States
  Mint at Philadelphia" 15 photos.  $3750.

  LOT: 488: "Delightful 50c Note of California's Famed Emperor
  Norton I / The Marckhoff Plate Note" $4250.

  LOT 522: "Numismatic Manuscripts.  'Rare United States
  Coins' A.M. Smith's handwritten signed manuscript copy of
  the text published on pages 133-115 of his 1881 (4th ed.)
  'Coins and Coinage: The United States Mint, Philadelphia;
  'American Game Counters' Howard H. Kurth's typewritten
  manuscript dated 1940. 2 pieces. $200


  David T. Alexander has a nice article on the Chapman
  Brothers in the March 2002 issue of COINage magazine.
  Writing first of Philadelphia coin dealer Capt. John
  Haseltine, Alexander writes: "Amid a long and event-
  filled career, few of Haseltine's acts had the long-range
  effect of his hiring of two youthful trainees, Samuel
  Hudson Chapman and Henry Chapman in 1876.   ...
  The brothers left Haseltine during 1878 to launch their
  own business ..."

  "...they wasted little time in reaching their highest goals
  and within three years scored an amazing coup, obtaining
  the Charles ira Bushnell collection for auction on June
  20, 1882."


  Bob Cochran writes: "The article about General Joe Foss
  being "hassled" about his Congressional Medal of Honor
  jogged my memory.  When I first started working for
  Hewlett-Packard in 1973,  I was calling on Land Surveyors
  and Civil Engineers in the upper Midwest.

  I often flew Frontier Airlines in those days, as it provided the
  best service to the smaller cities in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa
  and South Dakota.

  If I haven't lost my mind completely, I believe that General
  Foss ("Call me Joe") was also President of Frontier Airlines
  at that time.  I can distinctly remember his by-line in their
  "in-flight" magazines, and the wonderful viewpoint he brought
  to the adventure of "puddle-jumping" from town to town in a
  Convair 580 Turboprop!  One story in particular stands out,
  one in which Governor Foss and many members of the South
  Dakota Legislature were "snowed in" for several days at the
  State Capitol building.  They slept in the halls, ate bread
  sandwiches, and, according to the former Governor, passed
  quite a few bills!

  In World War II Joe Foss was credited with shooting down
  26 enemy aircraft and received the Congressional Medal of
  Honor.  When he returned to South Dakota he was instrumental
  in organizing the South Dakota Air National Guard."

  [Here's a web page with more background on Foss. -Editor ]


  Tom Delorey writes: "Not only can the Congressional Medal
  of Honor not be bought, sold or traded, it can only be inherited
  by a descendent of the recipient. I would assume that this
  means that if a recipient or his lineal heir(s) dies without
  children, the medal would revert to the government.

  The status of other U.S. military decorations is vaguer. The
  government tells dealers that they cannot buy or sell other
  decorations, but nobody can seem to quote a law forbidding
  it. Enforcement is very spotty, if at all.

  P.S. The website for the Orders and Medals Society of
  America is"


  The Euro rollout is generating a lot of press.   A January 22,
  2002 article in The Wall Street Journal attempts to answer the
  question: "Will Europe's new currency stand the test of time?"
  The answer?  "Maybe, provided you keep it out of the washing
  machine."   The article describes a number of tests and
  experiments designed to see how well the new currency will
  stand up to the rigors of circulation.

  "The banknotes ran a gauntlet of everyday hazards, from
  vigorous crumpling to spilled wine, and from a tumble with
  sweat-stained laundry to the kiss of a steam iron. We even
  sent them to the dry cleaners.  In the end, all the bills showed
  wear and tear. But the euro looked more haggard than some,
  losing much of the shiny hologram strip that runs down one
  edge. The 1,000-yen, 10,000-lira and 10-mark notes,
  meanwhile, came through relatively unscathed. ...Whether our
  euro's drubbing is a bad omen for the currency's long-term fate,
  only time will tell.  But the shimmering holograms that are
  designed to bedevil would-be counterfeiters certainly appear
  fragile for other currencies as well  (flecks from the one on the
  10 pounds note came back from the dry cleaners pasted to
  poor Queen Elizabeth's face).

  "If there are fewer features on a note, there's less to come off,"
  says Bert Melis, managing director of Joh. Enschede en Zonen
  Bankbiljettendrukkerij BV, a Dutch company that is printing
  euros for several countries, including the Netherlands,
  Luxembourg and Greece. "Those banknotes are not made out
  of steel."

  "Since the Jan. 1 launch, euro bills have gone through numerous
  public tortures in their short street lives by media and consumer
  groups. The European Central Bank generally declines to
  comment on the many tests, including the ones by the Wall
  Street Journal Europe. But Peter Walter, head of the German
  central bank's banknote division, which is responsible for
  printing about a third of all euro banknotes, says simply: "A
  banknote wasn't made to be washed."

  That didn't stop a German laboratory from sniffing out small
  quantities of toxic chemicals on 10-euro notes, prompting
  consumer magazine Oeko Test to warn that they should be
  considered poisonous. That earned this response from ECB
  board member Eugenio Domingo Solans:  "There is a product
  in the ink which, if you ingest 400 notes, becomes toxic," he
  said. "So, besides being expensive, it is not recommended to
  eat euro notes."

  "Printers and central bankers have tried to make banknotes
  more robust ever since they came into widespread use in
  10th-century China. But their task has always required a
  balance between making bills stand up to the wear and tear
  of daily use, and making them difficult for amateurs to
  reproduce -- a much greater challenge in the days of personal
  computers, fancy scanners and printers.

  The euro reflects European central bankers' love of anti-
  counterfeiting technologies, such as intricate water marks,
  holograms and special inks that change color when the light
  shifts. They're used even on the smallest 5 euro bill.

  The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, meanwhile, has
  been conservative about adopting such whiz-bang features,
  particularly on the small-denomination bills that take the most
  punishment. The upshot: euro bills cost an average 8 euro
  cents to produce, compared to 4 U.S. cents for dollars."

  When the U.S. redesigned some bills in 1996, printers
  considered adding holograms, but decided they were too
  fragile. "It's a very thin piece of foil," says Thomas Ferguson,
  director of the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing in
  Washington. Even without the hologram, when it comes to
  thwarting counterfeiters, "we think the dollar stands up well
  against other currencies," he says. "It's just not very flashy."

  [Next time you're in the company of currency collectors,
  try working the name "Joh. Enschede en Zonen
  Bankbiljettendrukkerij BV" into casual conversation...


  Ron Guth writes: "Here's a tidbit from the May 20, 1953
  Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine.  I hope the Smithsonian
  doesn't follow their lead.  Ouch!

  "Milwaukee Museum Collection Being Cleaned

  George Herrl of the Milwaukee Public Museum is engaged
  in the task of cleaning some 10,000 coins owned by that
  institution.  He states "collectors don't clean coins because that
  reduces their value some, but the purpose of the museum is
  different.  We are an educational institution.  The public gets
  nothing out of looking at coins that are so tarnished you can't
  see the inscription."

  After cleaning the coins are being lacquered.

  Silver polish and a sodium compound are used on silver and
  nickel coins and cyanide dip for the copper and brass."

  [Do any of our subscribers know if this collection still
  exists?   The museum's web site has information about a
  stamp collection curated by Herrl, but nothing about coins.
  See  -Editor]


  An article about physicist Stephen Hawking and his popular
  book,  "A Brief History of Time" (which few buyers were
  able to read beyond Chapter Two) prompts Dick Johnson
  to ask:  "What is the numismatic field's most unread book?
  My vote:  Albert Stockvis, a Cleveland coin collector who
  cataloged his own collection. Ever (never?) heard of it?"

  [I have heard of it, and may actually have a copy in my
   "archive" (i.e. unstructured mess) of numismatic ephemera.
  Cleveland numismatic publications were one specialty of
  The Money Tree's Ken Lowe; perhaps the Stockvis booklet
  was written up in one of their sales.  -Editor]


  This week's featured web site is recommended by Jørgen
  Sømod of Denmark.  He writes: "It is not in English, but try
  anyway to take a look.  It is probably the biggest coin site
  in the world and only very few Danish collectors need now
  much more books than a price catalog. And the site is still
  growing day for day. Even if you spend a week with the site,
  I feel sure, you have not been on all the pages."

  From the home page: "The WEB-site Dansk Mønt ("Danish
  Coins") is probably the largest site on Coins on the internet.
  The actual size is about 4500 files, roughly equally divided
  between text and illustrating files.

   This WEB site is a free service offered by Niels Jørgen Jensen
  and Mogens Skjoldager - with due thanks to our contributors.

  It is our ambition to present a maximum of information on
  Danish coins.  The main emphasis is laid on the coins and
  coinage of historic Denmark - 1380-1814 including Norway -
  plus the coins struck under Danish rulers in the rest of
  Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland, Tranquebar and Danish
  Virgin Islands.

  Although most of the site is in Danish, some articles include
  an English summary - and enjoying the illustrations requires
  no knowledge of Danish! "

 Wayne Homren
 Numismatic Bibliomania Society

Content presented in The E-Sylum is not necessarily researched or independently fact-checked, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the 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.  Visit the Membership page. Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers (or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page link.

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