The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 13, March 24, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  We have one new subscriber this week:  Jose Luis Rubio of
  Montevideo, Uruguay, courtesy of Howard Daniel III.
  Welcome aboard!   Our subscriber count is now 444.

RUSS LOGAN, 1941-2002

  Longtime NBS member Russ Logan passed away unexpectedly
  on March 19th.  His son Rob sent the following:

  "Russ will also be missed by the John Reich Collectors Society,
   a research/education organization for students and collectors
  of American coinage of the Federal period that he co-founded.
  Russ has won the Jules Reiver Literary Award three times for
  articles published by the organization's journal.  Russ also
  co-authored the book "Early United States Dimes 1796-1837",
  (1984) and "Federal Half Dimes 1792-1837", (1998) which
  won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award 2000"


  An article in the March 18th, 2002 issue of USA Today
  reports: "Starting next year, green may not be the only color
  on the bills in your wallet.

  The government plans to roll out new currency in mid- to late-
  2003 as part of a stepped-up effort to combat counterfeiters
  in an age when computers have made copying money much
  easier.  Among other changes, the most noticeable will be
  color. Though now all bills feature green and black print on
  neutral-colored paper, the new money is likely to have ''subtle
  color'' in the neutral areas, though the government isn't saying
  what the colors will be.

  Changes won't be radical. ''They'll be traditional in their
  appearance,'' Bureau of Engraving and Printing spokesman Jim
  Hagedorn says, noting that size won't change and the same
  faces will appear on the same bills.  The new bills likely will be
  unveiled later this year before going into circulation.

  As in 1996, the $1 and $2 bills likely won't be changed
  because they're rarely faked. Old currency will continue to
  be accepted when the new money is released.

  The government plans to redesign U.S. currency every seven
  to 10 years to stay ahead of the currency copycats. That's
  necessary in part because computers and laser printers have
  made counterfeiting much easier."


  George Kolbe reports: "I'd like to share with E-sylum
  readers a few preliminary results of our March 22 auction
  sale.  Prices realized should be posted on our web site
  by Tuesday of this week.
  A few highlights follow (prices do not reflect the 10%
  buyers' premium):

  Lot 6: Ned Barnsley's Notebook on Vermont coppers
  @ $6,000

  Lot 11: full set of Numismatic Chronicle @$12,500

  Lot 389: set of Koehler's Muenz-Belustigung @ $3,250

  Lot 401: Pedrusi's 1694-1727 ten volume "I Cesari" @ $4,000

  Lot 614: Herrera's "Medallas Espanolas" @ $11,500

  Lot 765: "The Lives of All the Roman Emperors," a
  numismatically-illustrated 1636 work in English @$4,500

  Lot 962: Lange's Sammlung Schleswig-Holsteinischer
  Muenzen @ $1,000

  Lot 1310: W. W. Woodside's Rubbings of British &
  British Colonial Coins @ $2,400

  Excepting perhaps the Harry Bass Library sales, I think it is
  safe to say that this was the most active, hotly-contested
  sale we have held in many years."


  Stephen Pradier writes: "I received my copy of Dave Bowers'
  Bass Museum Sylloge today.  As usual for Dave Bowers, it is
  full of useful and insightful information.   The write-ups on Mr.
  Bass by those in numismatic circles was very interesting.
  It was particularly interesting to see comments from people
  that I have come to know in a way through my interest in
  numismatic literature.   In a word, the book is "Beautiful".
  I highly recommend it."

  Your editor reports:
  My copy arrived the other day.  As usual, it's a class act all
  the way.  I especially enjoyed the sections on "Personalities
  in the Field of Patterns" and the "Series of 1896 Currency."
  With color photos throughout, it is indeed a beautiful work.

  Back in April, at Dave's request I wrote the following
  reminiscence on Harry Bass for the book (p29) :

  "One day several years ago, an email message arrived at my
  office.  It was from a "fan" who had read some of my internet
  postings on numismatics, and was signed "Harry Bass".
  Before responding to the message I hurriedly emailed Harry's
  fellow Texan and bibliophile, Bob Metzger, asking,  "Is this
  THE Harry Bass???"

  Well, it was indeed THE Harry Bass, and his note turned out
  to be the first of a series of email exchanges about various
  topics relating to numismatics or numismatic literature.  To
  my great regret I never had the opportunity to meet him in
  person, or visit his library.   But he will always be THE Harry
  Bass, for few collectors could ever match his rare combination
  of knowledge and youthful zest for the subject."

  Actually, I probably had several opportunities to meet
  Harry and didn't realize it.  On the same page of the Bass
  Sylloge is a report on John Ford's address to the NBS at
  the 1980 ANA convention in Cincinnati, OH.  Bass was
  in attendance at this memorable talk, and so was  I.

  At that point in my numismatic career I probably hadn't
  yet heard of Harry Bass, let alone known what he looked
  like.  I could have been sitting next to him for all I know.
  Life is full of chance encounters.   Anyway, having someone
  like Harry for an email pen-pal was a marvelous experience.
  He would have enjoyed the E-Sylum and I know he would
  have been an active participant in some of our discussions.
  He passed away exactly five months before our first issue
  (which appeared September 4, 1998).


  Stephen Pradier adds: "For those with an interest in
  British Numismatics, I thought I would mention that I
  received the 2002 Jubilee edition of  "The Gold Sovereign",
  M. A. Marsh, 2nd ed. 18pp. Illustrated throughout, much in
  colour.  Hand bound half leather binding, limited to 100
  copies.  £30.   I have to mention that the smell of leather
  was deliciously overwhelming."


  David Sklow's 1st-place exhibit from last summer's ANA
  convention has been added to the NBS web site.  Thanks to
  Dave for providing the text and Eric Holcomb for the photos
  (and Bruce Perdue for some quick touch-up work)!

  The exhibit is titled: "ANA Membership: The Printed Record."
  Go to our home page and click on "Exhibits"

  It's not too soon to be thinking about placing an exhibit for
  this year's convention in New York.  The ANA's exhibit
  rules are on their web site at this address:


  Martin Gengerke writes: "At the R.M. Smythe Show this
  weekend in Lancaster PA someone showed me a Fractional
  Currency note he ordered and was mailed to him at his
  Washington, D.C. office.  The note was in a standard
  mylar (or maybe acetate?) currency holder in an envelope,
  but was irradiated by the Post Office.  The holder had
  turned an almost opaque half melted dark brown - you
  could still see the note (Fr.1297) inside the holder, but it
  was obviously worthless numismatically.

  The Post Office paid off on the insured value and let the
  recipient keep the note.  Funny part is he's been getting
  offers for the irradiated package that far exceed the value
  of the note!   Maybe I should send him some cheap fourth
  issue notes (the $8 kind) just to get them irradiated. I
  could make a mint!"


  In response to Rich Crosby's question, Dave Lange writes:
  "An example of Reed's reeded nickel is illustrated on page
  56 of my book, "The Complete Guide to Buffalo Nickels",
  Second Edition. The edge is clearly visible.

  I've seen a number of these coins, and I've noticed that the
  reeding is not always the same.  A few have much finer reeding
  than on the example illustrated.  This suggests to me that
  additional pieces have been made to sell as novelties.  For that
  reason, I don't advocate paying a significant premium for any
  example that isn't traceable back to the 1941 ANA Convention.
  Even then, its value is based on its memorabilia interest.  Such
  coins have no numismatic value.

  The piece illustrated in my book is, I believe, one of the 1941
  originals and has rather broad reeding. In case anyone didn't
  get it, Reed had these coins REEDed as a play on his name."

  NBS Board member and past President P. Scott Rubin adds:
  "I bought a set of these many years ago (1971 I think) from
  Sydney Smith and Son in Miami.  ANACS found out about
  this set which was believed to be one bought from Ira Reed
  in 1941.  They asked to examine the set and issue me a
  certificate of authenticity for the it.  They returned the set
  with a statement that the reeding did not appear to be a
  mint product.  Yet a few years later they did issue certificates
  for these coins for a short period of time.  I sold the set some
  years ago.  They seem to be collectible as a novelty item."

  [When I mentioned the Ira Reed coins to John Burns, he
  seemed to recall reading somewhere that there were also
  1937 cents with similar edge reeding - does this ring a
  bell with anyone?  -Editor]


  In response to Carl Honore's note about musicians and
  numismatics, Steve Pellegrini writes: "I wonder if Carl
  noticed Lot #7 in the upcoming Kolbe auction.  It  offers
  the Henry Chapman catalogue for the 1923 NYC sale
  of Enrico Caruso's extensive collection of gold coins.
  The great singer's knowledge and acumen of ancient
  numismatics was well known and respected during his

  When a courtier informed Italian King Victor Emmanuel
  that Caruso had just acquired a particularly fine specimen
  of rare Roman gold, he remarked with a sigh,  "If I were
  Caruso then I too could afford to buy such a coin".  --
  If  you've ever read the catalogues of Hans Schulman's
  marathon 1967 sale of the King's collection then you'll
  know that no crocodile tears need be shed for Old Vic
  Savoy or his coin collection."


  E. Tomlinson Fort, the editor of our print journal, The Asylum,
  would like to repeat his request for articles.  The Winter 2002
  issue of The Asylum is on its way to the printer, but the in-box
  is still a bit bare.  Tom may be reached at


  An article about a recent sale on eBay brings relates in a
  roundabout way to numismatic ephemera.  There are a lot
  of interesting items out there which have a close connection
  to numismatic items or numismatic literature, but which
  escape the attention of all but the most ardent collectors.

  From the March 2002 Wired News article:
  "A lot of seemingly worthless items are auctioned on eBay
  every day.  But perhaps taking the phenomenon to new
  heights, an empty cardboard box has just been auctioned
  for more than $500.

  The box dates from 1984 and contained one of the first
  Macintosh computers.  The box was sold without the computer.

  "My Mac is long gone," explained the seller in the auction's
  listing, "but the box has been sitting in my attic for the last
  18 years."

  The box was slightly yellowed and discolored on the top
  and sides, but did include all of the original packaging
  materials: the Styrofoam inserts, plastic sleeves and boxes
  for the keyboard and mouse.",2125,51208,00.html

  How many 19th century purchasers of U.S. Mint proof
  coins saved them in the original packaging?  How many
  of these envelopes and packages have been thrown away
  over the years?  Do any of our E-Sylum readers have any?

  Similarly, the packaging and marketing material for U.S.
  commemorative coins is also an interesting sideline.
  Over time we may find that these ephemeral items have
  a good bit of collector value on their own, much like in
  the book world where the lack of a dust jacket can
  slice hundreds of dollars off the value of an otherwise
  fine book.

  Has anyone seen this phenomenon in the numismatic
  literature market?   I know the late Ken Lowe told
  me that when cataloging books for The Money Tree
  sales, he deliberately left out any mention of a dust
  jacket,  preferring not to have to go into that level of
  detail to satisfy the few collectors who were concerned
  about them.  This practice also prevented nitpickers
  from using an imperfection in the dust jacket as a
  strike against the book, or casual catalog readers to
  mistake a dust jacket problem for one with the book
  itself.    If the winning bidder's book arrived with a
  dust jacket, it would be a happy bonus.

  While I never get too excited over a dust jacket, in
  in my own library I have continually upgraded the
  condition of my books, and always kept the nicest
  dust jackets.  I was surprised to discover that some
  jackets are indeed very hard to come by.  Some
  of my books are wearing the only examples of
  original dust jackets I've ever seen.  Thoughts,


  The USA Today web site has an interesting story about
  damaged currency redemption at the Bureau of Engraving
  and printing.  From the June 6, 2001 issue:

  "The cow story has become a legend around the Bureau of
  Engraving and Printing.

  It seems a farmer lost his wallet while he was plowing his field.
  The farmer suspected his cow ate the wallet so he had the
  beast slaughtered and sent the stomach to Washington with a
  request that the bureau retrieve the wallet and replace the
  damaged cash.

  The story has a happy ending for the farmer, if not the cow.
  Bureau examiners searched the cow's stomach, found the
  wallet and mailed the man a check for $600.  It's all in a day's
  work for the folks who not only print the nation's money but
  also are called upon to replace millions of dollars in damaged
  greenbacks each year.

  "We always tell people to send their currency in the original
  container, but that's not what we had in mind," says Lorraine
  Robinson, division manager at the bureau's office of currency
  standards, of the cow incident that happened in the 1970s."


  Stephen Pradier adds: "Have you noticed that most times
  when a new numismatic book of worth comes out they only
  publish 500 copies?  Is it my imagination, or are they just
  publishing for those of us in NBS (smile) ?


  This week's featured web site is about Canadian Paper
  Money Errors.

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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