The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 23, June 2, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  We have one new subscriber this week: Bob Schreiner.
  Welcome aboard!   Our subscriber count is now 469.


  Yet again, a number of America Online subscribers
  reported not receiving last week's issue.   All WebTV
  subscribers have also been having problems due to
  an anti-spam designation for mail from AT&T
  Broadband.    These problems are beyond our control.
  Complaints to your service provider may do no good,
  but please make your voice heard.  Meanwhile,
  remember that back issues are archived on our web
  site, so you can still get your E-Sylum fix there.


  Charles Davis has issued his June 2002 fixed price list.
  The compact list covers mostly new books in all fields,
  with prices ranging from $25 to $1200.  Also offered
  is Neil E. Musante's new book, "The Medallic Work of
  John Adams Bolen".  For more information write to

  Karl Molton has also issued a June 2002 price list,
  a 45-page catalog of "Literature From the First 100
  Years of American Numismatics 1860-1959"  One
  interesting item is an 1881 catalogue of John Igo.
  "Igo lived up to his name.  He advertised for consignments
  for nearly a year in the numismatic publications and then
  left with the goods. He was never heard from again."
  [Say - would someone like to compile an article for
  The Asylum on numismatic neer-do-wells of the past?
  There's no shortage of candidates.  -Editor]


  Ferdinando Bassoli writes: "Regarding van Loon, I would like
  to underline that a nice copy of an original van Loon is worth
  at least the double of the figure mentioned (at least $ 2000).

  Also, I am a passionate reader of your bulletin and would
  very much like to know whether I am the only Italian
  subscriber and, if possible, who are the others."

  It's impossible to know exactly how many subscribers are
  from any particular country, since we don't track that
  information when people subscribe.  We can make some
  inferences from email addresses, however.   There are
  five subscribers whose address ends in .it, the Italian domain.
  In addition to Ferdinando Bassoli, we have Fabrizio
  Maddalena, Carlo Poggi, Enrico Saggese, and Gian Angelo
  Sozzi.  We're glad to have all of you with us.  Do we have
  any other subscribers living in Italy?


  David Lange writes: "I have only a brief recollection of Byron
  Johnson, but it's a memorable one.  I was familiar with him
  by name alone until we shared a bus ride. During the 1987
  ANA Convention in Atlanta the various hotels were far
  enough from the convention center that the ANA ran shuttle
  buses on a regular basis.  It was during my return to the hotel
  one evening that I found myself seated next to Byron. I
  recognized him from a photo I'd seen, perhaps in the Bowers
  & Merena auction of his coins. We had a nice chat about
  the hobby, the exact details of which I don't recall.  He was
  very neatly attired in a light blue blazer and tie, a level of
  commitment to style that was admirable given the intense
  heat during that Atlanta August. I believe it was just a couple
  years later that he passed away, but that brief encounter has
  stayed with me."


  Dave Bowers forwarded a copy of the Winter 2002
  publication of The Fellowship of American Bibliophilic
  Societies. The FASB newsletter is published twice a year,
  to keep member book clubs informed of news, events and
  publications of interest.


  In response to a request for clarification about the American
  Numismatic Society's on-line publication program, Sebastian
  Heath writes: "The current focus of the ANS' on-line publication
  program is the conversion of the Society's own content into a
  permanent digital archive.  The first step in this effort is
  establishing the technical infrastructure by using a range of
  documents as test cases. There is not currently any procedure
  for vetting external submissions.  Should the Society move in
  this direction it would probably be through establishing a
  parallel online version of the existing American Journal of
  Numismatics but there are no concrete plans to do this right
  now. In general, readers can expect to see introductory and
  exhibition texts, materials related to the summer seminar, and
  the occasional "electronic reprint" of older documents.  It is
  true that documents will be made available in preliminary
  versions but this will always be clearly marked and is felt to
  be an advantage of this type of publication."


  Granvyl Hulse writes: "Please tell Bob Shreiner that the
  Numismatics International library uses an Inland Marine
  Floater policy.  By providing them with a list of the books
  and their estimated value (we do it by floppy disk) they
  can get a reduced rate.

  My own insurance company got the floater for me through
  them with no trouble.   I have our library insured for about
  $45,000 and it costs a little over $100 per year."

  [See  We're not absolutely sure this
  is the same company, but we believe so.  -Editor]

  Howard A. Daniel III writes: "In another society of collectors
  of paper financial instruments called the International Bank
  Note Society (IBNS), we had problems with finding a librarian
  with the space, time to be librarian, and other things.  After
  chewing on the problem for awhile, Joseph E. Boling, myself
  and several other IBNS members decided to ask the American
  Numismatic Association (ANA) Librarian if the IBNS Library
  could be placed within it.

  It took awhile, but the ANA approved the transfer of the IBNS
  Library into their library.  IBNS members do not have to be
  ANA members and only need to identify themselves as IBNS
  members to borrow IBNS and ANA books!  This transfer
  produced a win-win situation for ANA and IBNS members
  and it can happen for SPMC too.

  Not only could the SPMC references be cared for by
  professional librarians, but insurance, storage, and the
  processing of reference requests would be the work of the
  ANA.  But Bob Schreiner should still be the SPMC Librarian
  to audit the society's references and taking care of any
  members' problems.

  I would like to see all other numismatic societies in the
  United States (and maybe in the world) without a
  headquarters building and library in it to transfer their
  references to the ANA too.  This will absolutely create
  the greatest numismatic library in existence anywhere
  in the world!"

  Doug Andrews prefaced a detailed reply (sent directly
  to Bob Schreiner) with this note: "I read in E-sylum that
  you are looking for some help on insuring the SPMC's
  library. I am answering because I have found NBS
  members - without exception - to be the most helpful
  and generous group of numismatists I have ever
  encountered in lending a helping hand with advice and
  good counsel. For me, it's a privilege to know quite a
  few NBS members, and I will be joining the organization
  myself soon."


  SPMC Librarian Bob Schreiner writes: "I was a member
  of NBS a decade or so ago and let the membership
  lapse for no particular reason.  Our correspondence and
  your web site convinces me to re-join, so my application
  is on the way.  I am not particularly a collector of books,
  but have many by necessity, others just by choice (you
  can easily deduce a great benefit of being librarian).

  Thanks for adding me to your mailing list, and thanks
  for the help you and the others have provided."


  Carl Honore writes: "On the topic of serious collectors --
  those figures from Heritage and superior may be misleading many of those auction bidders are collectors and
  how many are merely investors?

  I define collector as one who seriously studies a particular
  field and collects in that field (though someone else might
  define a collector differently) I have sold several collections
  mainly to purchase pieces for the collection I now have,
  namely pieces from the Soho Mint of Matthew Boulton
  and James Watt.  I would consider myself a collector
  based on the study I have completed on that mint and the
  coins that issued from it.

  How many such collectors are there out there?  These it
  would seem are the backbone of the hobby.  There is
  room for investors but the true collector also collects
  knowledge and shares ... a big part of our hobby, don't
  you think?"


  In the last few weeks a number of interesting items
  have been published in the numismatic press; there's
  not enough time or space to cover them all in detail,
  but I'll summarize a number of them - please comment
  if you have something you'd like to add to the discussion.

  Robert D. Leonard, Jr. has compiled an index to The
  Brasher Bulletin, the newsletter of the Society of Private
  and Pioneer Numismatics (SPPN).  The 13-year index
  was published in the spring 2002 issue.

  [Perhaps now that it has been compiled, the society will
  make it more accessible to the research community by
  arranging to make it available on NIP, Harry Bass'
  Numismatic Index of Periodicals:

  Donald H. Kagin, Ph.D. has published the first
  comprehensive listing of all known notes issued by
  San Francisco's "fascinating and romantic Emperor
  Norton I"  (Brasher Bulletin, Spring 2002)

  George Hull has a nice article (also in the Spring  2002
  Brasher Bulletin) about his discovery of the final resting
  place of the makers of the Norris, Gregg and Norris
  coins, in Brooklyn, NY.  He notes that "a book on the
  history of the Norris, Gregg, & Norris coin will be
  published in late spring, 2002."
  [If anyone has more information on this project, please
   let us know. -Editor]

  An article in the June 10, 2002 issue of Coin World,
  discussing a previously unrecorded 1794 dollar offered
  by Bowers and Merena Galleries, mentions an unpublished,
  book-length manuscript on the coins by the late Jack
  Collins, co-founder of the NBS.

  "The unpublished work listed every 1794 dollar known to
  Collins after exhaustive research, with photographs of most
  specimens listed."

  [Having discussed the manuscript with Jack a couple years
  before his death, I've always wondered what became of it.
  What would it take to get it published?  Is it tied up in an
  estate, or simply waiting for a motivated researcher to pick
  up where Jack left off and complete the task?   I believe
  Jack was considering a first edition print run of just 125, the
  reported mintage of 1794 dollars.  -Editor]

  Advertisements for Superior Galleries' display of "The World's
  Most Valuable Proof Set", the famous King of Siam set
  containing an 1804 dollar, would lead the viewer to believe
  that the coins have been rescued from their plastic tombs and
  returned to their rightful place in the original presentation case.
  The set will be on display at the upcoming June 5-8 Long
  Beach coin show, and at this summer's American Numismatic
  Association convention in New York City.  It would be nice to
  see the set in its original state as pictured in the ads
  (but don't count on it....).

  Mark Rabinowitz discussed "Building a Florida Paper Money
  Library" in the Summer 2002 issue of FUN Topics, the
  official publication of the Florida United Numismatists.
  By the way, the FUN web site has a great recent picture of
  "Mr. FUN" himself, Bob Hendershott, still going strong at
  Way to go, Bob!

  From the minutes of the 2002 Early American Coppers
  annual meeting in Las Vegas, NV, published in the May
  2002 issue of the club's journal Penny-Wise:

  "Denis Loring presented a new form of auction catalog
  being developed by Heritage Rare Coin Galleries.
  Collections of specialized coins (such as early copper) would
  appear both as part of a traditional large catalog, described in
  the usual way, and as a separately published specialty catalog.
  The latter would consist of descriptions and grades by an
  expert in the field under specific contract, using (for example)
  EAC grading and more extensive information on die states and
  pedigrees.  The specialty catalogs would be made available to
  all specialists in that particular series.  The concept is still being
  developed; comments and suggestions are solicited."

  In their ad in the June 2002 issue of Bank Note Reporter,
  Emporium Coin & Currency of Moorhead, MN write:
  "Our new book on GIORIS (tentatively titled "Giori Test
  Currency: The Last Frontier" is not our yet, but it's in
  progress now, and hopefully should be completed next

  An article by Mark Van Winkle in the June 3, 2002
  Coin World on "The Last Double Eagle" pictures a
  great piece of numismatic ephemera - a printing of the
  executive order recalling "all gold coin, gold bullion,
  and gold certificates."   It's not clear if the illustration
  came from a newspaper advertisement or a separately
  printed broadside.  Is anyone aware of a separate

  Volume 1, Number 1 of American Numismatic Society
  Magazine has appeared.  To be published three times a
  year, the new glossy publication replaces the former
  newsletter.  We wish the organization success in their
  new publication effort, and hope that advertisers continue
  their support in the years to come.
  [My only peeve is the jumbo-size address label glued to
  the otherwise beautiful illustrated color cover.  It's a shame
  to deface such a nice publication.  For those who ask,
  the ANA mails its journal, The Numismatist, in a plastic
  wrapper with the mailing address printed on a sheet inside.

  The May/June 2002 issue of Rare Coin Review by Bowers
  and Merena Galleries has an interesting article with excerpts
  from the writings of Albert D. Richardson, a New York
  Tribune writer working incognito in the South during the
  Civil War.   Richardson provides a few interesting
  contemporary anecdotes relating to numismatics, including
  a description of a one-hour visit to the New Orleans mint
  following its capture by the rebels.  Such first-hand reports
  are a numismatic researchers dream.   Thanks for publishing
  them, Dave!    Do we smell a book on Civil War numismatics
  in the works?

  A Viewpoint article by sculptor Alex Shagin in the May 28th
  2002 Numismatic News laments the poor artistic quality of
  U.S. Mint products in recent years.  This has been a common
  refrain over the years whenever new designs appear, but we
  wholeheartedly agree with Shagin that "It's about time to admit
  that it takes much more than cut-and-paste photographic
  images encircled by some lengthy verbal messages to create
  truly meaningful numismatic designs that will be destined not
  only to serve our people's needs today, but also impress and
  inspire the generations to come."

  NBS President Pete Smith's regular column in the ANA's
  Numismatist is titled "Names in Numismatics".  The June
  2002 article features Augustus G. Heaton (1844-1930),
  author of the classic, "Treatise on the Coinage of the United
  States Branch Mints" (1893).

  Q. David Bowers' column in the same issue, "Coins &
  Collectors", features a New Hampshire bank fiasco,
  "excerpted from a work-in-progress, "New Hampshire
  Provincial, State and National Currency", that I am working
  on with David M. Sundman of Littleton Coin Company."

  A short item on p624-625 of the June 2002 Numismatist
  describes a forthcoming book by Rita Laws on Indian
  Peace Medals.  See her web page with more information:
  "Rita Laws, Ph.D., is a third generation coin and medal
  collector and is a member of the Choctaw tribe."


  A news item about Philadelphia models who pose nude
  for artists wanting to form a union triggered my memory
  of who has modeled nude for artists creating medallic
  models. Of course, the Philadelphians wanted more
  money, $15 an hour instead of $12, and, perhaps,
  cushions for where flesh meets any hard surface.

  Both sexes are in demand for the human form. But it is not
  just for art students to learn the location of muscles and to
  commit graceful body curves to memory.  Experienced
  artists still need the realism a live model provides. In 1929
  Laura Gardin Fraser used her male studio assistant for
  America's most prestigious sculpture award, the National
  Sculpture Society's Special Medal of Honor.  We found
  the photograph of artist and model and reproduced it on
  the sleeve of the video I wrote for "The Medal Maker."
  [Are numismatic videos considered literature within the
  precepts of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society?]

  The nude human form removes time from a medallic design.
  Clothing dates a design because of fashions. The nude human
  is timeless and classic and was chosen by sculptor Robert A.
  Weinman when, in 1950, he designed a new series of the
  most artistic award medals for the N.C.A.A. (recently
  replaced by pictographs). He needed models for each sport.
  Surprisingly, my old boss at Medallic Art Company, Bill Louth,
  volunteered to do Golf.  So he is preserved in perpetuity in his
  best swing stance in the buff.  Both men are still alive and can
  verify this story, but it was also printed in Sports Illustrated in
  1972 in an article on sports awards and trophies.

  P.S. This does lead to some incongruities. The Ice Skater is
  also shown in the nude. Shiver!  The Philadelphia models
  story can be found at:


  This week's featured web site is a November, 1994 posting
  of your Editor's experiences at the first sale of the Armand
  Champa library.  The account is preserved on Lloyd Lim's
  Numismatica web 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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