The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 17, April 21, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  We have four new subscribers this week:  Gary Trudgen,
  courtesy of Phil Mossman,  Samuel K. (Sam) Nolt, courtesy
  of Nick Graver, Jason Childers, courtesy of Nick Graver,
  and Robert Gilbert.  Welcome aboard!  Our subscriber count
  is now 468.


  Bill Murray writes: "In Craig Whitford's auction at
  the May 10-11 Michigan State Numismatic Society
  convention,  there are 13 Belgium numismatic literature
  items, lots 2233 through 2255.  Some E-Sylum readers
  may be interested."

  My own copy of the catalog arrived the day of Bill's
  message.  Whitford can be contacted at this address:     A couple highlights of the
  section are:

  Guioth, M. Leon, "Historie numismatique de la Revolution
  Belge", 2 volumes bound together, 1844, 406pp, 62pls.
  (lot 2247)

  Simonis, Julien, "L'art du Medailleur en Belgique" 2 vols,
  Brussell & Jemappesue Meuse, 1900; 1904. 230pp,
  26 pls. + 7 text plates. (lot 2251)


  The Whitford sale also includes several lots from the
  estate of a direct descendant of U.S. Mint Chief
  Engraver George T. Morgan.  The consignment
  features Assay Medals from the 1915-1923 period,
  and a unique 1920 Pilgrim Tercentenary Half Dollar
  die trial in lead.


  Coincidentally, John Merz, in reference to Dick Johnson?s
  upcoming book on coin and medal artists, writes:  "I have a
  1921 Pilgrim half dollar with designer?s initial ?D? for Cyrus
  Dallin.  I also have an ?Official Souvenir Medal? dated 1921
  from the Plymouth (Mass.) Tercentenary Committee,
  commemorating the three hundredth anniversary of the landing
  of the Pilgrims.  The medal has no designer?s initial (that I can
  see).  Could it have also been the work of Dallin?"

  Dick's reply: "To answer your specific inquiry:  Cyrus Edwin
  Dallin (1861-1944) DID do a 1921 Plymouth Tercentenary
  Medal. But so did three other known artists (and perhaps a
  couple unknown artists).  And this is the reason for specialized
  collections and numismatists who collect, organize, describe
  and published specialized numismatic topics.  Bless their

  Malcolm Storer -- the medical doctor whose father was
  Horatio Storer who gathered and published the monumental
  work on medical medals -- gathered, organized, described
  and published the work on Massachusetts numismatic items.
  His "Numismatics of Massachusetts" was published by the
  Massachusetts Historical Society, 1923.  [I suspect his
  collection was started by his father, he inherited it, added to
  it and published HIS book.]

  Malcolm lists these medals for the 1920 Pilgrim Tercentennial:
  Storer 1558 by G.L. Turner (struck by Reed & Barton).
  Storer 1559 by the Dutch medalist Jan Pesynshof.
  Storer 1560 by Cyrus E. Dallin (signed Dallin).
  Storer 1561 by Julio Kilenyi (unsigned but struck and signed
      by Whitehead & Hoag).
  Storer 1562 and 1563.  Unsigned (and probably created by
      some unknown factory artists, perhaps at Blackinton or
      Robbins, nearby New England medalmakers).
  (Unfortunately Storer did not illustrate any of these medals.)

  Fifty years later, a Massachusetts numismatist, Robert Heath,
  began collecting, organizing, describing, and published his
  "Commemorative Medals of New England Cities & Towns,"
  beginning in 1977. His seventh Massachusetts edition (1995)
  lists five of these medals (omitting the Dutch medal); and adds
  one more. (His numbers: MA239-5 thru MA239-10).

  Heath did not illustrate the Dallin medal, However, this medal
  is illustrated in the book by Rell G. Francis  "Cyrus E. Dallin;
  Let Justice Be Done" as Figure 246, page 241.

  I cannot identify which medal is yours from the description you
  gave. Probably not Dallin since he did sign his medal. Perhaps
  a search of Heath would identify your medal quickly.

 Related problem:  Dallin did sign his models with his last name
 (he was a sculptor, not an engraver).  An earlier artist on an
 1883 Brooklyn Bridge Medal signed C.E.D. (same initials as
  Cyrus). He was an engraver, not a sculptor. All the work of
  this artist (we still do not know his identity) were struck by
  J.A. Diehl of Philadelphia.  [I suspect, but cannot prove,
  that C.E.D. was related to Diehl.]  Research continues."


  One more item on the topic of U.S. commemoratives:
  The current issue of the Bowers and Merena Galleries
  Rare Coin Review (#146) offers an archive of material
  "relating to the 1936 Elgin commemorative half dollar:
  correspondence from Gloria Rovelstad, the widow of
  the sculptor, Trygve Rovelstad...  Included are telegrams
  from the Treasury Department, correspondence from
  Trygve Rovelstad, ... relating to the commemorative half
  dollar, its design, the models, and so on." (p64)

  [See The E-Sylum volume 4, numbers 29 & 41 for
  discussions of Rovelstad's Pioneer Family Memorial in
  Elgin, IL. -Editor]


  Dan Gosling  writes "I continue to really enjoy the E-Sylum.

  Recently I purchased lot 791 in Kolbe's Sale 87 (March 22,
  2002) which included Trowbridge's 1970 "Crowns of the
  British Empire".  I noticed a spider's web inside the cirlox
  binding. On closer examination the web includes a perfectly
  preserved Spider.

  Does this increase the value of the book as it may be the only
  surviving example of a Spider from the library of John
  Davenport?  Is a Spider in the spine the same as a "fly on the
  wall"?  Have any of your other readers purchased items with


  Dan continues: "I also purchased lot 1324 which included
  Sheldon's 1949 "Early American Cents".  In the sections I
  have read so far there is a wealth of interesting quotations.

  For example, on page 34 he talks about the practice of
  dealers buying a coin based on one grade and reselling it at
  a higher grade.  "There you have a nice profit of several
  hundred per cent, and the sucker gets the experience at no
  extra charge.  But if the basal value of the coin had been
  known, and if the coin had been graded quantitatively, the
  fishing would have been more difficult, and therefore more
  fun.  My object in writing this book then, is not to prevent
  fishing but to make it more sporting."

  On page 38 he comments on uncirculated coins:  "Tons of
  paper and barrels of ink have been used to tell prospective
  buyers just how beautiful and desirable these almost
  perfect coins are."  There is another nice one at the top of
  page 39.

  I wonder if  your subscribers might share quotes from other
  publications that your readers would enjoy?"


.   In response to our earlier discussions of book jackets,
  Steve Pellegrini writes; "Yes, I think it is ridiculous to add or
  detract great amounts of money on the presence or absence
  of a book's dustjacket, most especially on modern, retail
  copies of standard editions.

  For example:  I'd recently been looking for a copy of the
  Hibbler-Kappen 'So-called Dollars'  book.  One offer I
  finally received was for an earlier edition in moderately used
  condition: $60.00 w/o a dustjacket or $90.00 for one with
  jacket.  I thought that I just might be able to get by without
  this particular dust jacket. -- This spreading phenomenon
  seems just another example of the market's recent strategy
  of adding qualifiers on top of qualifiers as a means of upping
  the ante on rather common material -- books and coins.


  Editor Gary Trudgen sends this note about the current issue
  of  The Colonial Newsletter:

  "The April 2002 issue of The Colonial Newsletter (CNL)
  has been published.  It features a paper by Dr. Louis Jordan
  on John Hull's Massachusetts Mint.  Lou has greatly
  broadened our understanding of this historic coinage by
  investigating the technical operations of the mint which he
  gleaned from an extant ledger of mintmaster John Hull and
  also by studying the political and economic factors that
  influenced the operation of the mint.

  Lou's complete research on the Massachusetts Mint will be
  published in a book by C4 (Colonial Coin Collectors Club)
  later this year.  Also included in this issue are reports by
  John Kleeberg on Peter Rosa's colonial coin replicas and
  Brian J. Danforth on a newly discovered reeded edge
  Wood's Hibernia halfpenny. An Ask the Editors piece on the
  August 30, 1787 Albany newspaper article titled "Beware
  of Counterfeits" completes the issue.

  The Colonial Newsletter (CNL) is a research journal
  dedicated to the study of early American numismatics.
  If you are not a CNL subscriber, first checkout some
  sample CNL articles posted on the ANS website at   If you like what you see,
  download the subscription form, fill it out and mail it to
  the address provided on the form."


  Bob Leonard writes: "I'm still researching small California
  gold for the 2nd edition of Breen-Gillio and have a question.
  There is an item in the August, 1881 issue of Scott's The
  Coin Collector's Journal on this subject.  When this issue
  was actually published?  (Sometimes journals are quite late,
  while magazines for newsstand sale have a "pull date" instead
  of the actual month.)   Do any copies survive with
  postmarked mailing envelopes, or postmarked covers?"
  [Now there's a good example of the research value of
  numismatic ephemera!  -Editor]

  "Did any of Scott's contemporaries review the August,
  1881 issue, and, if so, on what date?  Are there any other
  clues from the contents (I don't have the whole issue, just
  copies of two pages.)  Any help your readers can render
  will be much appreciated."

  [My set of the Scott CCJ is from the Nelson Thorson library.
  It's bound, and there are no covers or mailing envelopes
  present.    I located nothing in the August or September
  issues to indicate a publication or mailing date, although the
  September issue states that the "auction sale of the Blake
  collection mentioned in our last issue" had not been published
  yet.  -Editor]


  Regarding the item about the executors who threw away
  a trove of research material only to change their mind
  when the material was discovered at the dump, Granvyl G.
  Hulse, Jr. writes:

  "[The finders] should have gotten a second opinion. The
  executor had no legal right to the material once it had been
  dumped.  I would have quietly told the executor's lawyers
  to take me to court, that it would be covered extensively
  by the newspaper, and that their stupidity would come out
  in bold headlines for all the world to read."


  Stephen G Searle sends this link to a New York Times
  article about the upcoming auction of the infamous
  1933 Double Eagle:

  "It is a $20 gold piece from 1933 that was ordered
  destroyed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Stolen
  from the United States Mint, it was exported for a king
  after the government committed the bumble of all bumbles,
  was contested in an interminable legal donnybrook,
  and even came close to being lost in the destruction of the
  World Trade Center.

  It is the 1933 double eagle, and it could fetch a record
  price for any coin when it is auctioned in July for an
  estimated $4 million to $6 million."

  Stephen adds: "By the way, there is a HUGE color photo
  of the coin on the front page of the Metro section of the print
  version of the NY Times today (Friday 19 April 2002).  It
  takes up about half of the space above the fold."


  Chet Dera, who signs his note "Loyal Reader", writes:
  "My wife found out about this stuff while watching the
  Do It Yourself channel.  The website is
  The items below from are their FAQ pages:

  "Archival Mist preserves and protects all forms of paper-
  based materials. It deposits a safe, non-toxic alkaline buffer
  into the structure of the paper.  This buffer material neutralizes
  acids that can rapidly weaken the paper and cause it to
  become brittle.

  The buffer materials are microscopic particles of an alkaline
  compound (magnesium oxide). The particles are dispersed and
  suspended in an inert liquid material (a blend of non-toxic,
  fluorinated materials). When the product is sprayed on paper,
  the buffer particles blend with the paper structure. The inert
  liquid simply evaporates. Because the formula contains no
  water, the liquid does not make the paper wet and it will not
  cockle or stiffen from the application. The buffer particles
  readily absorb and neutralize the acids in paper.  The material
  continues to absorb acid over the life of the paper.  This is a
  permanent treatment for the life of the paper."

  [Is anyone out there familiar with this product? -Editor]


  Found while looking for other things in book dealer inventories,
  I came across a listing for the following interesting item:
 "Contemporary Numismatics"  by Robert Turfboer

  "This book, now available for the first time in an English
  translation, was published in Dutch in 1732 by lawyer Gerard
  van Loon.  His aim was to give the reader a pleasant and
  informative tour of the history of coins and medals and the
  result is an astonishing, entertaining and surprisingly modern
  numismatic work.  The format, layout and plates of this English
  translation follow closely those of the original edition.

  This translation opens up to modern readers of all kinds the
  fascinating thoughts and advice of a numismatist, historian
  and philosopher who lived and wrote more than a quarter
  of a millennium ago."

  I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Turfboer over lunch
  one afternoon with the late James Groninger, a local
  collector who corresponded with Turfboer.  At the time,
  he was still working on the translation, and he shared a
  few passages with us.  It was indeed a fascinating text.
  Are any of our readers familiar with this book?  If so,
  would you care to share your thoughts with us?


  Also found while looking for other things is this article
  from the Las Vegas Review-Journal (February 19, 2002)
  about Nevada native and current mint director Henrietta
  Holsman Fore.

  "She became the highest-ranking Nevadan in the new Bush
  administration on Aug. 7, when she was sworn in as Mint

  Fore said she was working on the morning of Sept. 11
  when she learned about the East Coast terrorist attacks.
  "In the beginning, it was just disbelief," she said.  Then, Fore
  said, she and her staff started focusing on how to protect the
  nation's mints.

 "You just worked through the day being sad but being
  purposeful at the same time, because you didn't know what
  was going to happen next," she said.

  Fore said the Mint has its own police force that is considered
  a world-class leader in guarding assets.  In addition to
  guarding the nation's four mints and the U.S. Bullion
  Depository in Fort Knox, Ky., the police force helps other
  countries preserve and protect their assets, she said."

  "Fore, the owner of a North Las Vegas wire and metals
  company, said her background in both manufacturing and
  foreign affairs has served her well in the new position.

  Although Fore never aspired to become Mint director, she
  said she considers herself lucky to have the job.  "It is such
  an honor," she said. "You're working for the people."


  Joel Orosz sends the following item clipped from News of
  the Weird  (  It was
  filed under the "Unclear on the Concept" category:

  "Carol Urness, recently retired University of Minnesota
  librarian,  opened a used-book store in February in St.
 Anthony, Minn.,  consisting of about 1,000 books from
  her own collection, but told a Minneapolis Star Tribune
  reporter that often she refuses to sell a book on the shelf
  because she can't stand to part with it.

  "The first day, a woman walked in and bought three
  books,"  she said, "and I about had a stroke." "This
  bookstore is hard to find," she added, "and once you
  get here, it's almost impossible to buy anything."
  [Star Tribune, 3-1-02]"


  This week's featured web site is the Kernunnos
  Celtic numismatic site:

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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