The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

PREV        NEXT        V5 2002 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 29, July 14, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  We have three new subscribers this week:  C4 member Brian
  Danforth, NBS member Amanda Rondot  and Jim Barry of
  Aiken, South Carolina, courtesy of Gar Travis.  Welcome
  aboard!    We've also lost a few subscribers due to email
  address changes.  Our subscriber count is now 475.

  Among the lot subscribers are: Jack Wadlington, Douglas
  Bennett,  David Peter, and Larry Gentile.


  Tom Sheehan writes to "remind the Asylum subscribers
  to mail in their ballots to vote for their favorite article of
  2001.   I need to have the ballots by 7-19-02.  My
  address is:  Tom Sheehan, P. O. Box 1477, Edmonds,
  WA  98020-1477."     [Ballots were included with the
  Spring 2002 issue of our print journal, The Asylum.
  Be sure to mark BOTH sides of the ballot - on the other
  side is a motion to amend our constitution relating to
  Honorary membership. -Editor]


  Just a short reminder of the NBS events at the upcoming
  ANA convention in New York City:

  Thursday, August 1, 2002
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society Symposium
  Ziegfeld Room

  Friday, August 2, 2002
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society General Meeting
  Ziegfeld Room

  Your Editor will be at the show this year, and I hope
  to see many of you there.


  Past NBS President Michael Sullivan writes: "The ANA
  Convention is just around the corner, but a little trivia
  from the past may be in order.   How many of you attended
  G. Kolbe's "First ANA Numismatic Book Auction" in
  Baltimore, July 1993?  As usual, George did an outstanding
  job cataloguing, catalogue layout, etc.  One of the most
  intriguing parts of the sale was the last eight lots consisting
  of "Antique Coin Cabinets."  The catalogue states "Color
  Photographs Available on Request (please include $1.00
  for each."

  I recall having seen the photos in 1993 being unsuccessful
  in my quest to secure one of the cabinets.  Fortuitously the
  photographs reappeared in my library while cleaning through
  some correspondence files recently.  The photographs are
  3.5 x 5 inches with each lot number neatly written in red ink
  on the back.  While its true I've thinned out 25% of my
  library in the last few years, but I still cannot find things!
  As one recent visitor put it, "Michael - at least the boxes
  running along the walls are now gone."  Mystery solved.
  Modern rarity rediscovered."


  Ray Williams writes: "I just wanted to let everyone know
  that I've had posted at the C4 website, the Table of Contents
  for Lou Jordan's book about the Boston Mint.  This will give
  anyone interested in colonial numismatics an idea of what to
  expect.  It is at the printers and should be at the distributor
  at the end of July.   Sample copies should be at Tony
  Terranova's Table at the ANA convention in New York.
  Here's the site to "click" on:


  Fred Lake writes: "The Prices Realized List for our sale #64
  has been posted to our web site at:


  Bob Cochran sends this report on the recent Memphis
  paper money show:  "The Memphis Show was a lot of fun,
  as usual.  I shared a table with Tim Kyzivat from Chicago;
  He was selling paper and I was selling selections from Don
  Fisher's library.

  A few observations about the Memphis Show:  Most of the
  dealers who had tables were complaining about the lack of
  good material to buy.  Some of them had  many of the same
  notes I'd seen in their cases a year ago.  Many dealers
  attended the auction sessions and were active bidders; I
  don't know if they were bidding on the notes for inventory or
  for customers - probably a bit of both.

  The general consensus is that the HUGE auctions now
  dominate every show - certainly no surprise there!  Quite a
  few people who stopped by our table said they were
  waiting to see if they were successful in the auction before
  they would try to find something to purchase  on the bourse

  In the "book arena," the standard references did really well.
  I sold most of the SPMC and privately-published references
  for Obsolete notes, and a long run of the Muscalus booklets.

  Also sold quite a variety of catalogs of Confederate notes by
  Criswell, Slabaugh and others.  Don had several early copies
  of Robert Friedberg's "Paper Money of the United States" in
  nice condition, and they sold quickly.   So did a few copies
  of "The Comprehensive Catalog of U.S. Paper Money" by
  Gene Hessler, which, in my opinion, is by far and away the
  BEST general reference book ever published about U.S.
  Federal issues.

  All of the non-U.S. titles sold, but I must say that I priced
  them to "move."

  My personal observation is that many paper money collectors
  continue to have VERY narrow collecting interests.  As such,
  they usually invest in ONE "general" reference, such as the
  Hessler, Friedberg or Krause-Lemke book about U.S. Federal
  issues, and individual state books (if they exist) for obsolete

  Probably the most popular book out right now is the "Standard
  Guide To Small-Size U.S. Paper Money," by my fellow SPMC
  members Dean Oakes and John Schwartz.   The small-size notes
  issued 1928 to date are WHITE HOT, and this book is now in
  its 3rd or 4th edition!"


  In response to Karl Moulton's item last week, Bob Leonard
  writes: "You have probably heard this from others, but there is
  indeed such an index--and it has gone through two editions:

  (J. Kimmell), Kimmell's Analysis of Pioneer Gold, n.p., n. d.,
  spiral bound.  Despite its unprepossessing appearance, this is
  apparently the source for the rarity ratings in Kagin.

  Kimmell, Jerry Jr., Jerry Kimmell Sr., Jerry Kimmell Pioneer
  Gold Auction Analysis 1991, Avon Lake, OH, 1990, spiral
  bound.  A pretty exhaustive list--covers auctions from 1878
  through December 1990.  About 75-80% have prices realized.
  I have noticed only a single mistake, but have obviously not
  attempted to verify this massive effort.  Essential."

  [Karl missed this one, and so did I - I didn't stop to think
   while I was editing the item that I have a copy of Kimmell
   in my own library.  But I believe Karl was using Pioneer
   Gold as one example of the larger problem of the lack of
   a general index of all topics.  Kimmell's work is a great
   illustration of what could be done on a broader basis.


  Dick Johnson writes; "There is a one-word answer to Karl
  Moulton's discussion (and previously by John J. Ford Jr.) of
  an auction index mentioned in last week's E-Sylum.  That
  one word is:  "Grants".  If you want something done in the way
  of numismatic research, writing or indexing, establish a grant
  for this and fund it.

  There are a handful of us researchers in the numismatic field
  who have received grants for such numismatic drudge work.
  I won't reveal who -- or how -- we get these grants.  But I
  will say most of the others are academics with lots of university
  degrees (and letters after their name from the fields of history
  and such). I am one of the few who are more commercial
  (my degree was in business).

  I like numismatic projects whose end result is a book which
  will have the greatest benefit to the largest segment of our field.
  Case in point is my current project, nearing publication, a list
  of all the coin and medal artists in America (the designers,
  diesinkers, engravers, medalists and sculptors who create our
  beloved coins and medals).

  There are costs involved in numismatic research (travel takes
  the biggest chunk).  Sure, you can write sitting in your
  personal library, and you can even gather a lot of information
  on the internet. But for most research, I have found, you have
  to travel.  The desired data is always located at a distance.

  I will be eternally grateful to the Pennsylvania Association of
  Numismatists for bestowing on me two of their grants. Their
  officers recognized this, and even called it a Research Travel


  Regarding last week's items about the numismatic spelling
  bee,  Martin Purdy writes: "We need to tell your spell-checker
  that "Brachteate" is mis-spelt (no "h")!

  One thing that I'm curious about: how would the spelling bee
  deal with the sort of acceptable alternative spellings found on
  coinage, such as  "kreutzer"? "

  Well, on the first point, you're absolutely right -
  "Brachteate" was one of the four I missed in the written
  portion of the bee, and I obviously didn't learn anything
  from the exercise.   I also wrote down four different spellings
  of "Aureus" before finally deciding on one, only to discover
  at the end that none of the four were correct.  No points
  were awarded for creativity, unfortunately.

  As for the final word on spelling, our moderator, Sam Deep,
  used Richard Doty's "Macmillan Encyclopedic Dictionary
  of Numismatics" as a reference.

  Sam adds: "I also perused Breen's glossary in his Encyclopedia
  of U.S. and Colonial Coins as well as Chamberlain and
  Reinfeld's 'Coin Dictionary and Guide' and Mort Reed's
  (of numistamp fame) 'Cowles Complete Encyclopedia of
  U.S. Coins', but settled on Doty as the best reference for
  the bee.

  I suppose a more professional version of the bee would
  have to be armed with information about acceptable
  variant spellings, which I was not."

  George Kolbe adds: "Brachteates ??????
  For what it's worth, a perusal of my everyday dictionary
  defines "brach" - in polite terms - as a "female hound."
  Combined with the second half of the word??? Hmm."


  Web site visitor Marina Andreeva writes: "I was wondering
  is there a term for paper money collecting like numismatics
  for coin collecting?"

  My response was "syngraphics", although I didn't have time
  to elaborate.  Her reply:

  "I need to know if this term "syngraphics" a widely used and
  well-known term.   Would it be easily recognized among
  collectors in the English-speaking world?  I'm editing a  book
  translated from Belarusian into English and it's important for
  me to pick the right term for paper money collecting.  Or
  should I stick with simply "paper money collecting"?  I've found
  the word syngraphics only in two other places on the Internet
  but nowhere in dictionaries or encyclopedias and the word
  doesn't seem to be familiar to most people.  Thank you.  I
  really appreciate your assistance in this matter."

  Gene Hessler had a hand in coining the term.  In response
  to my query he writes: "In 1974 I went to Reverend Richard
  Doyle, Chairman of the Department of Classical Languages
  at  Fordham University in New York and made the request
  for a word. His creation was syngraphics.

  The Greek syn, means with or together (as in synagogue --
  a place where people come together), and graphikos, which
  means to write. In Latin, syngrapha means a written agreement
  to pay, a promissory note, a bond.  The Oxford Dictionary
  defines paper money as "a written promise to pay." In the
  same source syngraph is defined "as a written contract or
  bond signed by both or all parties, an obligation or bond
  between two or more."

  The first paper money in the western world was a handwritten
  goldsmith receipt.  The art of engraving, etching and other
  methods by which copies of an original design are printed
  from a plate, block or the like is referred to as graphic art.
  Modern bank notes are no longer handwritten but are made
  from engraved plates. Therefore, syngraphics is interpreted
  as the collecting of paper money, and since a serious collector
  studies what is collected, he or she is a syngraphist.

  Syngraphics is a legitimate word with Latin and Greek roots.
  Since our community is small, the term is seldom used outside
  journals including Paper Money, the International Bank Note
  Society Journal, the Bank Note Reporter and The Numismatist.

  After the word syngraphics was introduced I did not lobby to
  have it included in encyclopedias and dictionaries. Before the
  last edition of the Oxford Dictionary was released I submitted
  it and received a favorable response. However, I'm uncertain
  if it was included."

  So, readers...  Do you know if the word has made it to any
  non-numismatic dictionaries or encyclopedias?


  Allan Davisson writes: "A question stemming from an exchange
  with Douglas Saville, head of books at Spink: During the 60's
  and 70's the Seaby firm seems to have been far better known
  to North American collectors than Spink.  I suggested that part
  of the reason was their issue of standard catalogs for British
  and ancient coins.

  Another part of the reason was the frequent trips some of their
  staff would take to various American cities to see collectors.
  Anecdotally, I know that I am able to buy old Seaby Bulletins
  far more often than Spink Circulars from American collectors
  who sell their libraries.

  Both Douglas and I are intrigued by the question of American
  perceptions of these two venerable firms.  I would appreciate
  comments on the issue.  Were you among those visited by
  Seaby staff in the '60s and '70s?   I know that Lincoln,
  Nebraska was a frequent stop.   Did you have more contact
  with one than the other in that period?   Did the break-up of
  Seaby (books went one way, coins another and antiquities a
  third) serve as a catalyst to do more with Spink?

  This may all result in a brief article in the Circular sometime."
  [Allan may be reached at:  -Editor]


  Dick Johnson writes: "Bob Fritsch could have added two
  very fine art medals to his exhibit of Sherlock Holmes
  numismatic items. In 1987 two California artists created
  Sherlock Holmes Art Medals: Alex Shagin and Marika

  Both medals have a portrait of the famed investigator.
  Shagin mentions Baker Street on the reverse (remember
  the number?) Somogyi employs an openwork keyhole
  for the portrait eye; it has been exhibited four times by
  AMSA, American Medallic Sculpture Association, and
  once at an international F.I.D.E.M. exhibit.

  I cataloged both Holmes medals for a Collectors' Auction
  Ltd auction of May 14, 1989, lots 334 and 354. Both
  were illustrated there."

  Bob Van Ryzin writes: "In reference to Bob Fritsch's
  comment in V.5 No. 28 July 7, 2002, The E-Sylum,
  concerning detailed references to Holmes and numismatics,
  I can offer the following:

  I know of at least one extensive study of numismatics in the
  Canon. It appears in Simpson's Sherlockian Studies by A.
  Carson Simpson, privately printed between 1953 and 1961
  in nine volumes.  In 1982, these volumes were compiled into
  book form by Magico Magazine, with an introduction by Isaac
  Asimov.  If memory serves me, original sets of the Simpson
  volumes were scarce even back in the 1980s.  The book I
  purchased was issued in an edition of 100 hardcover copies
  signed by Asimov and a trade version.

  Volumes 5, 6, and 7 feature a three-part series on the coins,
  paper money, medals and orders in the Canon. Each of these
  "parts" runs in the range of 40 pages, with detailed descriptions
  of the various numismatic items that may have been encountered
  as well as Conical references.  There's also a volume titled
  "Conical Philately."


  In their inventory listings, Broadfoot's Rare & Out-of-Print
  Books of Wilmington, NC includes the following description
  of original acts of the British parliament:

  "Original Acts of Parliament have long been valued and
  collected, appearing frequently in auction records and dealers
  catalogs.  After an Act was passed by Parliament, it was printed
  by the Crown printers in London. Only a few Acts, perhaps the
  Acts for the week, were printed at one time, loosely sewn
  together at the inner margin.  For this first printing, each Act
  had its own individual cover page.  At the end of each year, all
  of the Acts were reprinted and issued in book form; in this
  annual compilation the Acts did not have individual title pages.

  It's not inappropriate to call the first printing of each account
  the first edition, first issue and the yearly printing in book form
  the first edition, second issue, explaining why some Acts have
  separate printed cover sheets and others do not. Thus Acts we
  describe as being "removed" have been taken out of a bound
  volume and as such may have small holes, notches or bits of
  glue in the inner margin where formerly sewn and glued.

  The Unknown English Bibliographer:  Most of these Acts are
  from the library of Harvard University as attested by the small
  and faint blue exchanger stamp dated January 1, 1944 verso
  the title pages. Many of the Acts are in protective cream
  wrappers with the Act noted on the wrapper in black ink in a
  fine and elegant hand, as handsome a penmanship as I have
  ever seen.

  Furthermore, in many cases, the unknown English bibliographer
  penned succinct comments, which place the Acts in historical
  perspective and evaluated their importance.  I'm indebted to
  this person and thus let us raise a toast in thanks to him, "the
  unknown English bibliographer."

  I doubt this person was head of the library and perhaps this
  may be the greatest recognition he received for a job well
  done. I can well envision someone during the war years deep
  in the catacombs of London, sitting on the high stool a la Bob
  Cratchitt, writing up endless stacks of Acts of Parliament by
  a dim light.  If any of you can perhaps determine who this
  person might have been and if he still breathes, I should like to
  send him best wishes and a bottle of the South's finest."

  [There are several compilations of U.S. laws relating to
   numismatics - Dunbar 1891, 1897, a House of Representatives
   document of 1904, a compilation of laws on commemorative
   coinage by Lewis, GPO 1936, David Ganz' compilation and
   Pete Smith's 1998 "Laws of the U.S. Congress Authorizing

    Is anyone aware of an index or compilation of British Acts
    of Parliament related to numismatics?    Or the identity of the
    "Unknown Bibliographer?"   -Editor]


  Hal V. Dunn writes: "I had never heard of Rev. Bingle until
  receiving the most recent issue of The E-Sylum.  I have
  always assumed that the word "bingle" simply referred to
  tokens and was not the surname of a real person.

  In Ronald J. Benice's Alaska Tokens, there are three
  bi-metal pieces listed as Chatanika 1.A, B, C, issued by
  Bingle Fritz.   He is identified as Thomas Frederick (Fritz)
  Welch, operating there between 1914 and 1923.

  In the Winter 1966 issue of Nevada Highways and Parks,
  there appears an article entitled "Bingles, Slugs & Tokens,"
  by Samuel Clover, describing Nevada merchant tokens and
  the collection of Jack Barry, the dean of Nevada token
  collectors.  To quote from the article:

 "What are they?  They're substitutes for money -- tokens we
  call them now -- issued by businessmen and merchants when
  minted coins are in short supply.  The Civil War years and
  the depression of the 1930s prompted a large issue of
  tokens in years past.  Today, when silver dollars have
  virtually disappeared from circulation, tokens -- or bingles,
  if you date from before the depression, or slugs, if you are
  older than that -- are back again in a big way."

  I first met the late Jack Barry in the early 1960s shortly after
  I "discovered" Nevada trade tokens.  Over the years I made
  many visits to his law office in Reno.  We spent many hours
  looking at tokens, discussing them and making frequent trades.
  I also had the opportunity to see some wonderful Nevada
  currency, assay bars, CC coins, and other rare Nevada
  material not frequently encountered.

  Jack never mentioned the source of the word "bingle" and I do
  not recall him ever associating it with a minister.  He was
  cataloging all Nevada exonumia and numismatic material for a
  future book, which unfortunately was never published.  He
  had a wealth of knowledge that has been lost forever to the
  collecting community.

  So, does anyone have a well documented story of the source
  of the word "bingle" and its connection to the Rev. Bingle?"

  [So far, I've seen nothing to confirm a connection to Rev.
  Bingle.  Readers?  -Editor]


  Nolan Mims writes; "This may not be an appropriate question
  for the E-Sylum, but I don't know the answer and I figured
  that some of our readers would know.  Other than customs
  duties, what were the main sources of revenue for the federal
  government from its inception until the war between the States?
  How, for example, did we pay for the Louisiana Purchase?
  Any help would be appreciated."


  Found while surfing the net:  Queen Lovisa Ulrika's Collection
  of Numismatic Literature at the Library of the Royal Academy
  of Letters, History and Antiquities, Stockholm, Sweden.  See

  "The Queen's numismatic library, which consists of about 10
  metres of books from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, was
  transferred from Drottningholm Castle in the1790s. The
  volumes are in mint condition.   A considerable number of the
  books have been bound by the Royal bookbinder Christopher
  Schneidler, and are decorated on the front cover with the
  Queen's coat of arms in gold... A printed catalog is in

  "Queen Lovisa Ulrika (1720-1782) ... acquired many coins
  and coin books.  The collection is named after her but the
  greatest part of the books were in fact collected by Carl
  Gustaf Tessin (1695-1770).

  "The aim of the project is to complete a manuscript and to
  produce a printed catalog of the collection in English.  The
  catalog will be richly illustrated with photographs.  Time for
  publication will be announced..."

  "The library collects numismatic literature from all over the
  world as well as Swedish bank history and Swedish
  economic history. The collection totals c. 600 meters of
  books and journals. Queen Lovisa Ulrika's Collection of
  Numismatic Literature is the cornerstone with the oldest
  books printed in the 16th century, whereas the majority of
  the books are from the 20th century.  The library holds
  subscriptions for about 70 numismatic journals."

  The web site is a bit out of date - the book has already
  been published.   In fact, George Kolbe has copies for
  sale.  He describes it as follows:

  "A beautifully printed volume carefully recording 16th,
  17th & 18th century numismatic works in the Library of
  the Royal Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities,
  the largest holding of its kind in Sweden.  It is written
  entirely in English. Every title-page is illustrated, and key
  bibliographical data is also included, often accompanied
  by important, little-known information about the work itself
  and a biography of its author.  Underwritten by the Royal
  Academy, this scholarly, profusely illustrated volume would
  sell for considerably more if published commercially. Simply
  indispensable to anyone interested in early numismatic books,
  and a joy to read."

  For more information see George's web site:


  This week's featured web page is John Stafford-Langan's
  Irish Hammered Coinage (~995 to ~1660).  Be sure to drill
  down on the links for more information and images.

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.

PREV        NEXT        V5 2002 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

NBS Home Page    Back to top

NBS ( Web