The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 09, February 24, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  We have thirteen new subscribers this week, thanks to the
  kind gent who posted a copy of last week's issue on the
  Colonial Coins mailing list (and would prefer to remain
  anonymous).  Our new brethren are:

  Morris Hankins, Joseph Marchitelli of Staten Island, NY,
  Syd Martin,  Frank McGrath, David Menchell, Bob Merchant,
  Wayne Myers, David L. Palmer, Bob Rankin, Jeff Rest,
  Ray Turcotte, David Wnuck, and Ron Zak of Annandale, NJ.
  Welcome aboard!  Our subscriber count is now  444.


  Last week's reference to an article in the Asian Wall Street
  Journal referred to Yufuin, JAPAN, not Yufuin, China.
  Many thanks to Joe Boling for spotting the error.


  David Fanning writes: "I am looking for any information on
  the Bogert & Durbin Company (New York and Philadelphia),
  coin dealers.  In particular, I'd like to know if anyone knows
  if there was any relationship between this firm and the New
  York Coin and Stamp Company toward the end of the 19th
  century and beginning of the 20th.  The sum of my knowledge
  about the firm at this point is zero, so any help would be
  appreciated, however small. I can be reached at Thanks."


  E. Tomlinson Fort, the editor of our print journal,
  The Asylum, reports that the following articles, plus the
  regular President's Message column, will appear in the
  next issue:

  "My Amazing Story by a 1795 B-10 Dollar,"
  as told to W. David Perkins

  "Development of the Coin Album, Part 6,"
  by David W. Lange

  "Numismatics in the Age of Grolier,"
  by George F. Kolbe

  "A Selection of Desirable 19th Century Auction
   Sales Containing Important Canadian Numismatic
  Material," by Darryl A. Atchison

  "Authoring is the Collecting of Titles,"
  by Michael E. Marotta

  "'You Don't Say' Numismatic Gleanings from the Past,"
  by Myron Xenos


  Tom would like to add a call for submissions to the
  next issue.   "I would like to have material by March
  15th so we can send it to the printers by April 1."
  Please consider submitting an article of any length
  for the pages of The Asylum.  Perhaps something in
  a recent E-Sylum has sparked an interest.   We'd love
  to hear from you!


  Saul Teichman writes: "With regard to the Parmelee / Reed
  collection:  The unique ? 1797 16 star obverse with the reverse
  with one berry inside the wreath and the other outside which
  was sold in the 1996 sales and is now in the Bass foundation
  was also plated in the Parmelee sale.

  Of course, all of the Parmelee / Reed patterns pedigrees are
  listed in the website for the Western Heritage
  Museum patterns.

  Reed also bought from the Cleaney (1797 half dollar, 1829
  Small date half eagle , R.C. Davis ($50 half union pattern) and
  Linderman (1831 and 1836 half cent restrikes) to name a few."


  Mike Molnar reports: "About radiation damage: my mother
  in South NJ mailed some cash to a grandson in Virginia.
  This was right after 9-11. After a few months the letter
  arrived and the notes were yellow, apparently from
  irradiation.  My sister is keeping the notes as a memento."

  Mark Borckardt of Bowers and Merena Galleries writes:
  "In response to Tom DeLorey's question, we have not
  experienced a problem with books, however, we did have
  a problem involving PCGS graded coins.  We had sent two
  Proof Lincoln cents to a customer who never received them.
  Finally, after several weeks we had the original package
  returned to us.  The coins appeared to be ok, however, the
  slabs were yellow, warped, and just completely disfigured.
  We think, though, that due to the irradiating process, the
  coins might now be candidates for upgrade!!!"

  Dick Johnson notes: "In addition to banknotes and books
  Tom DeLorey mentioned in last week's E-Sylum,  be glad we
  are not in the jewelry business.   Gemstones shipped through
  the mail -- and irradiated -- are changing color!

  Finally, thanks go to Kavan Ratnatunga of the Pittsburgh
  Numismatic Society for pointing out the following article on
  irradiation damage from Linn's Stamp News:

  "A spokesman for the Philatelic Foundation, one of the
  hobby's expertizing bodies, told Linn's in mid-January that
  the Foundation is no longer using the Postal Service to
  ship stamps or covers.  The New York City-based
  Foundation now ships all philatelic materials via FedEx to
  avoid the possibility of any of its materials being irradiated
  by the Postal Service.

  Scott R. Trepel, president of Robert A. Siegel Auction
  Galleries Inc., told Linn's the same thing.  Siegel is no
  longer using the Postal Service to ship auction lots; it is
  using FedEx exclusively for delivery."

  A sidebar to the article illustrates an interesting
  collectible created as a result of the irradiation situation.
  It shows an ordinary business-sized envelope
  "... addressed to United States Department of Justice trial
  attorney David D'Alessandris, [which] became a desirable
  piece of modern postal history after it was irradiated and
  marked with a bold red "IRRADIATED" handstamp, upper
  right, before being delivered to D'Alessandris at his Justice
  Department office.  A second red handstamp at lower right
  indicates that the cover was received at the Justice
  Department mailroom Dec. 13, 2001, more than one month
  after it was postmarked Nov. 2, 2001, in Topeka, Kan.
  According to D'Alessandris, the Justice Department applied
  both handstamps to the cover. These interesting auxiliary
  markings likely are the result of the U.S. Postal Service's
  decision to irradiate all mail addressed to government agencies
  in the District of Columbia."


  Tom Fort adds: "Please let everyone know that according to
  AAA there is a safe place to store your valuables, including
  your books, to protect them against possible radiation
  damage -- your car.    The following editorial is from the
  October, 1951 edition of  The Pittsburgh Automobilist:

  Are Atomic Bombs Coming? Then Stay in Your Car

  Your automobile is one of the safest places to escape
  contamination after an atomic attack, said E.C. Timmermann,
  Jr., Secretary-Manager  of the Automobile Club of Pittsburgh,

  "Atomic bursts on or near the ground usually leave a limited
  area of heavy and often dangerous pollution near the explosion
  point," as the AAA official, who based his information on
  advice from the U.S. Civil Defense Administration.

  People in the contaminated area should take refuge inside a
  house or get into a car and roll up the windows, he said.
  It may be necessary to stay undercover for as long as three
  or four hours.

  "Car owners are advised by Civil Defense authorities not
  to leave the family car parked on the street during or after
  an atomic attack, because the way should be left clear for
  emergency vehicles," Mr. Timmerman said. "Keep the
  windows rolled up to prevent contamination of the interior
  by ground or underwater bursts.  Radioactivity will not
  interfere with the operation of car fuel and ignition systems,
  nor will it otherwise impair the operation of the car."

  The Club official said the battery-operated car radios
  may provide a vital connecting link between civilians and
  emergency authorities during and after an attack. Therefore,
  motorists should leave their auto radios on, in order to
  receive instructions."

  There, now all the book dealers who travel from show to
  show will know that their stock is safe from the evil designs
  of Saddam Hussein."


  Granvyl G. Hulse, Jr. writes: "Could anyone tell me whether
  or not M. Ralph Brown who wrote "Mexican Revolutionary
  Bills, 1913-1917" is the same person as Martin R. Brown
  who wrote "A Guide to the Grading of U.S. Coins"?


  George Fuld sends these thoughts on the "Perkins Bank Bill
  Test" of 1809:

  "Certainly one of the highlights of my book collecting career
  was the acquisition of an original Perkins Bank Bill Test of
  1809.  Although I am not certain, I believe I obtained this
  from the late Aaron Feldman about 1957.  My cost was
  certainly under $50, as I rarely bought anything more
  expensive in the 50's.

  I realized early the rarity of this, and as I recall I located
  one at the NY Public library, and probably one at the Library
  of Congress.  I was unaware of the copy in the collection of
  Eric Newman.

  In the summer of 1960 I personally reprinted the booklet
  using the offset press at the family printing operation at
  Fuld Bros. Inc.  I shot offset negatives in a big vacuum
  frame, and then retouched, opacquing where necessary.
  Actually I only ran about 20 copies as I did not know who
  would be interested.  I assembled with a tan mottled cover
  stock, imprinting the cover as to what it was.  I gave away
  about ten copies, retaining the rest.   However, I have no
  idea what happened to the remainders and I do not own a
  copy for myself.

  In the summer of 1959, I realized that Perkins was from
  Newburyport, and thought his family might still reside there.
  To my amazement after several calls, I found his direct
  relations.  I made an appointment to see what numismatic
  items they might own.  The first was the Washington gold
  oval funeral in a fancy casement with Masonic designs.
  They agreed to sell me the medal itself for $150 (rather a
  bit less than what it sold for in 1999 at $19,000),  but they
  donated the case itself to the Newburyport Historical
  Society.  The other item was a copy of the original Hancock
  die of the Washington Born Virginia coin of 1792!!

  As to how an English die of 1792 came into Perkins'
  possession is problematic.   Perkins was in England about
  1805, and because of his engraving interest probably knew
  Obadiah Westwood and his mentee John Hancock.  They
  must have given him this obverse die as a souvenir.

  The family realized the importance of the die, and wanted
  $5,000 for it FIRM.  I contacted Mrs. Norweb to see if
  she would purchase it and donate it to the ANS.
  Unfortunately, this did not occur.  Later that year, Albert
  Collis of Boston purchased the die and had the uniface
  restrikes made in copper, with copies in silver, gold and
  lead which were made in a more limited issue.  The coinage
  in copper was at least 1,000 pieces.  Collis did donate the
  die after usage to the ANA Museum where it still resides.

  I thought this background re Perkins would be of interest."
  [See The E-Sylum, January 5, 2001 (Volume 4, Number 1)
  for another mention of the Hancock die.  -Editor]


  Larry Dziubek asked: "I was surprised that the US gold
  "Fine Arts" series is not shown in the Redbook. What is
  the logic?  I wondered if they issued any in 1978, but I
  think they were in 83-84.   These were the 1oz. and half
  oz gold of such people as Steinbeck, Alex Calder, Louie
  Armstrong, etc. -  six or eight varieties in all.  I don't think
  they had legal tender status, but should be listed in the
  bullion section of the Redbook."

  To be honest, I wasn't paying much attention to mint
  products in the 80's.  A search for "Fine Arts" on the
  Mint web site turned up empty.  So for an answer I turned
  to Redbook editor Ken Bressett, noting : "Are these medals?
  If so, that would explain why they're not in the Redbook."

  Ken Bressett replied: "You guessed this one right. The "Fine
  Arts" series are gold medals.  They were made at a time when
  the government was still not able to make bullion coins, but
  wanted to have gold available for people to purchase. The
  medals were made at the U.S. Mint, and they are very
  attractive, and have a small following among collectors. They
  featured famous American "heroes" of the Arts.

  I am very aware of these medals, and have often been asked
  (and even tempted) to include some kind of a listing of them
  in the Red Book.  They are Mint made, and certainly are
  collected, and valuable. BUT, they are not coins, and as such
  I do not want to clutter the book with any more such things.
  As you know there are already too many pseudo coins listed
  in the book out of tradition."


  Dan Freidus, in his weekly "Colonial Americana" column in
  COIN World (February 25, 2002, p60) discusses three
  important books on the subject of colonial numismatics.

  The first is Edward Maris' 1880 "A Historic Sketch of the
  Coins of New Jersey":  "Maris' book is more than 120
  years old and is quite scarce, but no single reference has
  replaced it as the standard... The original remains .. a
  collectible in its own right.  When a nice copy is available,
  it often sells for around $1,000."

  The column also discusses Sylvester Crosby's "The Early
  Coins of America" (1875) and Montroville Wilson's "The
  American Numismatical Manual (1859).

  "A collector on a budget might seek the reprints while
  copies of the original editions would be fitting to go with
  collections that focus on rare varieties or high grade
  specimens.  Given that most numismatists were attracted
  to these coins in part for their interest in history, it's good
  to remember how historic numismatic literature connects
  us with earlier collectors and researchers."


  In the category of "you don't see one of these every day"
  comes lot 1873 in the March 7-8, 2002 Stack's auction
  sale.  The "Dr. Onuphrio Orlowski Poisoning Plot Medal
  1782" is a "tribute to botanist Orlowski, who detected
  and denounced a carefully organized plot to poison his
  chief, Jean Gilbert, Professor of Natural Sciences at
  Vilna (Vilnius) Academy."


  This week's featured web site is Ron Michener's online
  version of Andrew McFarland Davis' "Currency and Banking
  in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay".  Ron is on the
  Economics faculty at the University of Virginia.

  "Davis's two volume treatise on the currency history of
  colonial Massachusetts was the best piece of historical
  research done on colonial currency during his generation.
  Originally published in 1900, it was republished by Augustus
  Kelley in 1970. Volume one of the set covers currency,
  while volume two covers banking.  Converting the work to
  electronic text is a major job, which is far from finished. The
  chapters that are finished are accessible below."
	 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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