The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 26, June 23, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  We have two news subscribers this week, both courtesy
  of E. Tomlinson Fort:  Frank L. Wiswall and Rick Hayes.
  Welcome aboard!   Our subscriber count is now 471.
  Can we get to 500 by the time of this summer's ANA
  Convention?  Please recommend The E-Sylum to a


  From an ANA Press Release Monday, June 17:  "The
  American Numismatic Association (ANA) Museum,
  Library and headquarters building in Colorado Springs is
  not endangered by a Colorado wildfire that, in a week,
  has consumed more than 100,000 acres of forest land
  and more than 20 homes, and forced the evacuation of
  more than 5,000 people.

  "We have received numerous inquiries about the safety
  of the museum and library contents due to the national
  publicity focused on the largest forest fire in Colorado's
  history,"  says ANA Executive Director Edward C.
  Rochette.  "I want to reassure our members that the fire
  is more than 30 miles west of Colorado Springs and has
  been no threat to the city and the ANA home and


  A press release the following day announced: "Noted rare
  coin collector and sports agent Dwight N. Manley of Newport
  Beach, California, will contribute a check in the amount of
  $250,000 to the American Numismatic Association (ANA)
  Headquarters Renovation Fund, and will have the ANA
  Library in Colorado Springs, Colorado, named in his honor.

  "When I was a teenager I wanted to attend the 1981 Summer
  Seminar, but I couldn't afford the $400 fee on my own,"
  Manley says.  "With the encouragement of the ANA and the
  assistance of ANA Governor Florence Schook who was
  always tirelessly helping young numismatists, I won the
  scholarship that year and was able to attend my first Summer
  Seminar that launched my numismatic career.  I am privileged
  now to be able to show my grateful appreciation to the ANA."


  Howard A. Daniel III writes: "The item 'ANA Library Notes'
  by ANA Librarian Nancy Green was typical of  this excellent
  librarian and very nice lady.  Nancy has always proven to me
  to be the best librarian in the numismatic world.  I wish there
  is some way we could clone her so we can have a duplicate
  of her after she retires!"


  NBS Board member (and historian) Joel Orosz writes: "I
  recently made a fortunate purchase from a bookstore of an
  extra-illustrated copy of Thomas Wyatt's 'Memoirs of the
  Generals, Commodores and Other Commanders...Who
  Were Presented with Medals by Congress... '  published in
  1848.   Besides the usual 14 plates of medals, this edition
  contains an additional 40 engravings, depicting the
  commanders who received the medals.

  On the first free fly is noted "Bt. at Bangs Auction Nov. 1
  902."  Gengerke notes four auctions for that month and year,
  but only two are likely candidates:  Lyman Low's auction of
  11-26-02, and Manhattan Coin Company's Sale #3, of
  11-29-02.  If any E-Sylum  readers have access to copies
  of either catalogue, and would be willing to share with me
  auctioneer, lot number, price, consignor, purchaser, and
  any other relevant information, I would greatly appreciate it.
  The book would be described as red morocco, gilt, with
  marbled boards and gilt top edge, five raised spine bands,
  and of course, extra-illustrated."


  In reference to the outpouring of replies to his question about
  the Latin phrase "AMAT AUREA CONDERE SAECLA",
  NBS Vice President John W. Adams writes:

  "Those were indeed a fabulous set of responses.  The phrase
  (which I copied correctly) appears on a French medal dated
  1716.  Louis XV occupies the obverse with the usual royal
  inscription.  The reverse has the aforementioned motto over
  a rendition of the goddess of commerce.

  Sotheby's in its Duke of Northumberland sale (1980) ascribe
  the medal to John Law's Banque Generale, as does Bowers
  and Merena in its LaRiviere III sale last year.  However, there
  seems to be no other evidence linking the piece to John Law,
  who founded his bank in order to reduce dependence on
  specie, gold included.   Louis and his Regent, the Duke of
  Orleans had specifically declined participation in Law's bank
  (they reversed course in 1718), so the historical facts argue
  in some measure against Sotheby's and Bowers' attribution.
  My enthusiastic thanks to your respondents,"


  In response to the item about numismatic references in
  Sherlock Holmes stories,  Tom DeLorey writes:
  "There is another numismatic reference in "The Red-Headed
  League," namely the 15 crates containing 30,000 French
  20 Franc gold Napoleons that were the target of the plot.

  In "The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb," an unsuspecting
  engineer is called in to fix a stamping press being used to make
  counterfeit coins. He loses his thumb, but barely escapes with
  his life.

  In "A scandal in Bohemia," Holmes (in disguise) receives a
  Sovereign for witnessing the marriage of Irene Adler.  He later
  tells Watson that he means to wear it on his watch chain in
  remembrance of the occasion.  Earlier, three cab drivers are
  offered either a "half sovereign" or a "half guinea" if they can
  get the bride, the groom and Holmes to the church on time."


  In response to Denis Loring's question about a lot in the 1954
  King Farouk sale by Sotheby's,  Mark Borckardt of Bowers
  and Merena Galleries writes:  "It just so happens that we have
  Sol Kaplan's priced and named copy of the Farouk catalog in
  house, to be sold in our upcoming Rarities sale in July.
  Lot 355 sold to "House."

  It seems that this guy "House" bought quite a bit from that sale.
  Much like the fellow "Book" who often participates in modern
  sales of various firms."

  Dave Bowers adds this clarification:  "House" probably
  included Hans M.F. Schulman, who was owed money by
  the deposed king. Details are in my book about Abe Kosoff."

  Karl Moulton's copy shows the same information.  He writes:
  "In response to Denis Loring's question as to the buyer of lot
  #355, in the 1954 Farouk sale, it went to the book at $370.
  I have Gaston DiBello's priced and named hardbound copy in
  my library, which was used by him at the sale.  Although this
  still does not provide any accurate answers, it should be
  somewhat useful in pedigree research for this particularly
  scarce gold bar.

  Denis Loring writes: "Since my inquiry as to the buyer of
  Farouk lot 355 (a Moffat $16 ingot) was successful, I'll
  try a harder one.  Does anyone know of a listing of all
  known specimens of the Moffat $16 ingot?  Any auction
  writeups ring a bell?  If so, please contact me at
  and scroll down the the link to the articles  -Editor].

  Darryl Atchison writes:  "In the Asylum issue dedicated
  to Jack Collins is a well-balanced biography which was
  written by Jack but published posthumously.

  [A quick search in the NIP periodical index (see  located these
   articles on Breen in prior issues of The Asylum.
   Back issues are available from the NBS Secretary-
   Treasurer, David Sklow.  His contact information is at the
   end of this issue.

   article by Jim C. Spellman]\Asylum\1995 Wtr\XIII/1\Pg.8-9
   article by Jack Collins]\Asylum\1996 pr\XIV/2-4\Pg.25-28
   article by Michael Hodder]\Asylum\1992 Spr\X/2\Pg.3-8
   eulogy by Michael Hodder]\Asylum\1993 Spr\XI/2\Pg.14

  Ron Guth adds: "Oh, the things you find on the Internet.  For
  a  look into the details of one of the more disturbing facets of
  Walter Breen's life, visit"


  Brad Karoleff writes: "A customer recently asked me if I had
  seen a pamphlet about the Russian collection that Sol Kaplan
  spirited out of Russia that became the DuPont collection and
  finally was put in the Smithsonian.  He recalled it was a "sales
  brochure" about the collection when Sol owned it and stored
  it in Cincinnati.   A local businessman and coin collector
  financed the deal according to my customer.  His name was
  Charles Klench and he may, or may not, have been mentioned
  in the brochure.

  I would be interested in obtaining some of the pamphlets if
  they are available.  If not, a photocopy would be greatly
  appreciated.  You can reach me via email at

  Thank you for your efforts in advance.  I look forward to
  seeing what's out there."


  E. Tomlinson Fort writes: "Frank L. Wiswall is a history teacher
  at Cranbrook, a leading private school near Detroit, Michigan.
  His chief interests are England in the Late Middle Ages and
  royal minorities (the period when the king is a child and the
  kingdom ruled by others in his name) in Medieval Europe.

  He has published a number of articles including ones on the
  early years of the reign of Edward III of England and the
  minority of the German emperor Henry IV.

  Rick Hayes is a recognized expert on Germany and Austria
  in the High and Later Middle Ages.  He also knows an
  obscene amount  about early Medieval Germany but doesn't
  like to admit it. He has presented papers on the successional
  struggles in Austria at a number of Medievalist conferences.

  Both of these men have wonderful scholarly libraries and I
  often wish that I had a number of the works which they own."


  A short article by Kimberly Weisul in the June 24, 2002
  issue of Business Week (p14), says "Don't Toss Those Old
  China Bonds"

  "From 1913 to 1949, China issued millions of dollars' worth
  of bonds. When the Communists came to power, they claimed
  the debt was the obligation of a capitalist government that no
  longer existed. They never paid.

  But with China's economy now booming, a group of 345
  families holding old Chinese debt are trying to get their money
  back.  They've persuaded 40 members of Congress to sign a
  letter to President Bush asking him to take up their cause with
  Beijing.  An additional 15 are considering signing, according
  to the group, the American Bondholders Foundation. (A
  Chinese Embassy spokesman declined to comment.)  The
  bonds have a face value of $731,000, says the bondholders'
  attorney, Riney Green. ABF claims that, with 50 to 85 years
  of interest, they're worth $89 billion.

  Fat chance, you say?   Political pressure has worked before.
  China paid British bondholders $23 million in 1987 after
  Britain refused to allow China to issue new debt in London.
  That was about 62% of face value -- so the Americans can't
  count on getting much.

  Getting anything, says Geert Rouwenhorst, an expert on
  Chinese debt at the Yale School of Management, "depends
  on the willingness of the politicians to make a big deal of this."


  A piece of ephemera I came across in my library this week
  reminded me of our recent discussion of typos in numismatic
  literature.   It's a sign I saved from the 1989 American
  Numismatic Association convention in Pittsburgh.   It hung
  above the Numismatic Bibliomania Society table.  The sign

  Someone added the missing letters by hand.   It was an endless
  source of amusement among bibliophiles.     So ... does anyone
  recall who stood on a chair and corrected the sign?  Come
  forward and claim your spelling prize.


  This week's featured web site is John E. van Wielink's
  Magna Graecia coins database.  "My aim is to built lists of
  published Greek coin types of Italy and Sicily (including
  Carthaginian issues from Zeugitana, Sardinia etc.) till 212 BC.
  The coin illustrations come largely from the stock of commercial
  numismatists and private collections."

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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