The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 07, February 10, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  We have one new subscriber this week: Chuck Hakes.
  Welcome aboard!  Our subscriber count is now  429.


  Tom Hilt found some back E-Sylum issues while searching
  the web.  He writes: "I am the brother of Robert P. Hilt, who
  is referred to in several items in your publication.  I may be
  able to shed some light on some of the comments if anyone
  is interested.  My email address is:"


  Allan Davisson writes: "Our latest catalog, Auction 16, is in
  the mail. In addition to a fair run of Greek and Roman coins,
  the extensive British section includes crowns of Charles I
  with bibliographic information from key British Numismatic
  Journal articles.  It also contains a specialized farthing
  collection with bibliographic information included.  Scottish
  and Irish coins and British tokens and medals follow. The
  book/reference section is fairly short but includes some
  important works on British material. The sale has 515 lots;
  99% of the coins are photographed.  We are happy to send
  a free copy. Contact us via email:


  In an article in the February 11, 2002 issue of Coin World,
  John Andrew reports on the results of the November 28-29,
  2001 auction by Dix Noonan Webb, including the
  numismatic literature lots:

  "Volumes from the numismatic library of Jean-Claude
  Baudey were keenly sought.  Baudey had been DNW's
  European representative since its first auction in 1993.
  As he specialized in commemorative and art medals, it is
  not surprising that most of the books related to this subject.
  [While the article listed priced realized in both pounds and
  dollars, only dollar values are reported here. -Editor]

  The French dealer J-F Loez secured the most important
  single volume. This was a copy of Dompierre de Chaufepie's
  Les Medailles et Plaquettes Modernes.... It sold for $692
  against an estimate of $358 to $501.   A nice copy of the
  American Numismatic Society Catalogue of the
  International Exhibition of Contemporary Medals, New
  York, 1910 sold for more than double its lower estimate
  at $362.

  What caught my eye was a copy of D. L. Walter's
  Medallic Memorials of the Great Comets and the Popular
  Superstitions Connected with their Appearance.  Published
  in New York in 1893 and comprising just 55 pages and
  five plates, it was estimated at $43-$57.  Although
  extremely scarce, this offering has a loose and repaired
  cover, but it otherwise internally clean.  It sold for $149."


  Alan Luedeking  writes: "Responding to Bob Dunfield's request
  for help on Howard Gibbs material, I would suggest he take a
  look at Kolbe's Sale 56, lots 6, 110, and 135, and Sale 72,
  lot 680, for a description of unique sets of Gibbs' original
  typescripts and rubbings of his collection of West Indies cut
  and counterstamped coins, and primitive money, including of
  the "Ancient Mexicans."


  Dick Johnson writes: "A word on Howard D. Gibbs' library.
  At one time he had all the books in his numismatic library
  rebound.  All the original bindings were removed and
  replaced by a uniform RED BINDING.  Imagine library
  shelves all with books of different sizes, but all in a uniform
  color!  Hans Schulman sold his library, including those in
  red rebindings; only Gibbs' more recent acquisitions were
  still in original bindings."


  Carl Honore writes: "Some years ago I won a prize as a
  member of Early American Coppers for a contest they
  were running.  Much to my happiness the prize was several
  auction catalogs, given to me by Editor of PENNYWISE,
  Harry Salyards.

  Of utmost importance was a reprint copy of the catalog
  for the Lorin Parmelee sale. As any knowledgeable
  collector knows, many of his coins subsequently ended up
  in important collections and then auctioned again and so

  The plates were superbly arranged and many of today's
  cataloging techniques can be traced back to that sale.

  I have always wondered how many auctions to which
  a coin can be traced.  Other than the obvious 1804
  dollars or the rarer Gold pieces I wonder in how many
  auctions a nice large cent can be seen?   There is one very
  famous one in the Bowers and Merena Sale of the Louis
  Eliasberg Collection.

  I know that Parmelee acquired many of his coins directly
  from the Mint as did Virgil Brand after him, so he was the
  first owner and one would look at subsequent catalogs
  to trace something from his cabinet.  This would be an
  interesting project for the novice collector of Numismatic


  Stephen Pradier writes to note that the "Numismatics in the
  Age of Grolier"  book is now available from a distributor of
  the publications of The Grolier Club.

  The Veatchs Arts of the Book sells the exhibit catalog for
  $15.00 plus $4.00 for shipping payable by check or credit card.
  Their web address is:  Sounds like
  the distributor is more egalitarian than the publisher in making
  the book available to the public.


  Regarding Library of Congress assistance, Patrick Parkinson
  writes: "I work for the federal government in Washington (not
  the LOC).  We have received very little mail since the anthrax
  episode.  As I understand the situation, all mail is being shipped
  to Ohio for irradiation but the amount of mail far exceeds the
  capacity of  the irradiation equipment.  So there are tremendous
  delays in delivery.

  These days the only effective way to communicate with the U.S.
  government is by e-mail.  I would advise going to the LOC's
  website and checking for an e-mail address for inquiries."

  I checked with Bob Lyall to learn how he had gotten in touch
  with the library.  His reply:  "My original communication was
  snail mail but my heading gave them an email address as well
  as a snail mail address.

  I understand what  Patrick Parkinson is saying but it is amazing
  that they presumably have sheds full of unopened mail!  What
  is the way forward,  I wonder!  Abandon enveloped mail?

  Anyway, I've now been informed by Dick Hanscom of an
  email address at the bottom of the Researcher's Services
  page ( and so have sent an email this
  evening.  I'd tried to find one previously without success.  So,
  I now hold my breath - will this be the culmination of 5 years
  searching to attribute a couple of tokens to the correct country,


  Ed Krivoniak writes: "Regarding Dick Johnson's email lauding
  the lacquering of coins, I have a few words to say.   Every
  lacquered coin I have purchased over the years has had
  major problems when the lacquer was removed.  These
  problems are mainly many large scratches over the entire
  surface of the coins. They were probably caused by
  improper cleaning of the coin originally.

  The problem with lacquering is not that heavy concentrations
  of the lacquer are unsightly but that the lacquer fills up the
  crevices and makes the damage impossible to see.

  This has also happened in modern times with dealers wiping
  nose oil on the surfaces of Morgan dollars to remove hairlines
  and trying to get a higher grade."


  Paul Schultz writes: "In my reprint of "The Early Coins of
  America" by Sylvester Crosby, the following quote comes from
  the section on Machins Mills in the Vermont chapter (p 191).
  It is a quote from a letter written in the mid-1800s, when the
  operation of the Newburgh mint may have been in the memory
  of those who were alive then.

  "The Mint House at Newburgh...    The coins were made by
  James F. Atlee.  Many of them bore the obverse 'GEORGIUS
  III' and rev. 'INDE ET LIB.'  Others bore the figure of a
  plough on one side."

  The text goes on to assume that these plough coins are
  Vermont coppers, and I know of no other possibility myself.
  However, there are much more recent references to the
  Vermont coppers. On the ANA web site, there is a section
  on Vermont coppers at the address

  The section covering the plow design (B1-6 or R 2-7) has the
  heading "Rupert Mint Issues, dies by William Coley". A later
  section, on Newburgh Mint Issues  notes "All of Bust Type".

  Considering what was apparently an early personal observation,
  noted in Crosby, that some plow coins were made at Machins
  Mills, why do we now assign all plow designs to Rupert?
  Can we be certain that the early observation was in error?"

  [Paul doesn't have the most recent references on Vermonts,
  so perhaps the issue has already been settled - can any of our
  readers shed some light on the topic?  -Editor]


  Paul Shultz adds: "Second question. It is often noted that
  early dollars frequently have problems, such as an X or
  initial scratched into them.   It seems much more common
  than on smaller denomination coins. It occurs to me that
  this may not be coincidence.

  A dollar was a very large amount of money for many
  people at that time, and may possibly have been held as
  savings for years.  If it were stolen, what better way to
  identify that it was yours than to scribe a distinctive mark
  on it?  Smaller denominations, which were worth less and
  may have changed hands more often, may not have gotten
  inscribed nearly as often. Is this theory possible, and is
  there any contemporary evidence for it, such as a letter or
  document describing someone scribing a coin to identify it?"


  ...with proper planning, of course.  Dick Johnson has been
  surfing the internet this week, and he sends this:  "Abdul
  Kassam Ismael, Grand Vizier of Persia in the tenth century,
  carried his library with him wherever he went.  The 117,000
  volumes were carried by 400 camels trained to walk in
  alphabetical order."  (From
  The site offers other facts such as:

  "A B-25 bomber airplane crashed into the 79th floor of the
  Empire State Building on July 28, 1945.

  A 200 year old piece of Tibetan cheese was auctioned off for
  $1,513 in 1993."

  These facts are all unattributed, so while interesting, they
  require work to verify.   After the events of September 11th,
  2001, the B-25 incident seems prophetic, and really did
  happen - for example, see

  But cheese?  And alphabetically walking elephants?     Has
  anyone heard of Abdul Kassam Ismael before?  Where is his
  story documented?


  This week's featured web site is recommended by John and
  Nancy Wilson, who write:  "We found the below site and it is
  very informative and interesting.  It is the Bank of Canada
  Currency Museum site.  When you get to the page, just press
  the language you want to view it with.  We highly recommend
  it to E-Sylum readers."

  [We featured this site in the March 5, 2000 E-Sylum (Volume
  3, Number 10), but a good numismatic site is always worth
  revisiting.  -Editor]

 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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