The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 34, August 18, 2002: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


We have three new subscribers this week: Erin Klatt of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, Stefan De Lombaert of Belgium and Chris Fuccione. Welcome aboard! Our subscriber count is now 483. REMINDER: The E-Sylum will not be published Sunday, August 25th, or Sunday, September 1st.


In the July 14, 2002 issue, Ray Williams noted that Lou Jordan's new book about the Boston Mint was at the printer. It is now available for sale from the publisher, University Press of New England. The book's full title is "Studies on John Hull, the Mint and the Economics of Massachusetts Coinage." (348pp, 55 illustrations, folio size, cloth binding with dust jacket, $50.00) Ray has posted the table of contents on the C4 website: To order the book online, go to the publisher's web site at


Thanks to NBS President Pete Smith, Eric Holcomb and his digital camera, exhibitor Jim Neiswinter and webmaster Bruce Perdue, we now have another online numismatic literature exhibit on the NBS web site. "First Photographic Plate in American Numismatics" won 1st Place in Class 22, the Aaron Feldman Numismatic Literature category, at the American Numismatic Association convention in New York City earlier this month. Congratulations to Jim on a fine exhibit. To view it, go to our web site (, click on "Exhibits", then scroll down to the list of exhibits for all past years.


Howard A. Daniel III writes: "The fourth edition of the "Comprehensive Catalog of Military Payment Certificates" by Fred Schwan won the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) award for the best new book about United States Paper Money at the ANA Convention. There is also a "Collectors' Edition" with many additional pages to add notes, information about new pieces found, and other data. You can contact the author at "" or at "" for an autographed copy. The former email address is also where you can request to be sent the free emailed MPCGram newsletter, where MPC and many other militaria is written about and discussed."


Your Editor had a great time at the recent ANA convention. It was nice to see so many of our subscribers and put some faces to the names. The NBS general meeting was well attended and very enjoyable. A Friday afternoon visit to the American Numismatic Society library was a short but interesting diversion. I had no agenda in mind and simply browsed through the pamphlet files for amusement, making copies of a handful of items for my own files, including: A 1953 newsletter about Encased Postage Stamp literature published by F. H. Ames, Jr. of Richland, Washington. A September 1869 offprint from a Banker's Magazine by William E. DuBois on "Propositions for a Revised System of Weights and a Restoration of Silver Currency." A June 1952 article by E. R. H. Dicken on "Scottish Beggar's Badges" A May 1961 Coin World interview with John J. Ford on the menace of numismatic counterfeits made by the spark erosion process. An 1893 "Memoir of Jeremiah Colburn, A.M." by John Ward Dean AM.


New subscriber Chris Fuccione writes: "I was surfing last night trying to find info on Massachusetts coinage in the 1800s and I found your club's site. I've heard of your club but this was the first time I was here and I was very impressed. Can I sign up for your e-newsletter? " [You sure can, and you just did! Welcome! -Editor]


Bill Daehn has some questions for E-Sylum readers: "Most numismatic literature collectors have many auction catalogs for which they have no Prices Realized List (PRL). Certainly, there were far more catalogs printed than PRLs for most sales. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to easily acquire the PRLs we need to facilitate pricing research? Yet I never see literature dealers offering copies of them. Nor have I seen any offers from collectors to make copies available from their libraries. I presume PRLs are considered to be copyrighted materials, and thus legal and ethical concerns prevent the free exchange of photocopies. I'd like to hear from E-Sylum readers on this topic. Is it unethical/illegal to exchange or sell photocopies of PRLs? Do the dealers who presumably own the copyrights care? If someone lets it be known that they'd make copies of PRLs for E-Sylum readers, would anyone cry "foul"? Or must we quietly seek the copies we need from trusted friends? Opinions please."


Coincidentally, there is a new website for American numismatic literature. It features the online listings of literature dealer Karl Moulton, who has written several interesting numismatic articles which can be reviewed on the site: Karl specializes in American coin auction catalogues and prices realized lists from 1859 to date. There is a varied assortment of other reference materials offered as well. In response to Bill's question about PRLs, Karl writes: "As far as I'm aware, there is no problem in copying any prices realized for an auction of any sort. Since it is merely a reporting of figures, there is no worry about any creative copyright infringements. I have the largest selection of American prices realized for numismatic auctions, and have long believed they were an important, yet overlooked factor in the overall coin market. The first ever (4 page) printed prices realized list in this country, printed by Ed Cogan, sold for over a hundred dollars a page at a George Kolbe sale a few years ago."


U.S. numismatic publications crossing my desk recently include: Bowers, Q.David, "More Adventures With Rare Coins," a sequel to his popular 1979 book. A hefty 459 pages of great stories about classical and modern U.S. coins and tokens. Published 2002. Harris, Gordon L., "New York State Scrip and Private Issues," a heavily-illustrated 192-page catalog of private paper money, with rarity ratings. Published 2001. Neale, Robert S., "The Bank of Cape Fear of Wilmington, North Carolina," 192pp. Published 1999. [Who else has some recent works to mention or review for us?]


Rich Hartzog writes: "I would not think that monastery tokens are communion tokens, as such tokens are basically given out as proof the person is eligible to receive communion, for taking communion at a later date. Tom DeLorey writes: "I highly doubt that Monastery Tokens, whatever they are, would be communion tokens. In the closed community of a monastery, there would not be a need to identify the faithful qualified to receive the sacrament. Bob Leonard writes: "I believe that Gar is mistaken about "monastery tokens" being Communion tokens. They are mentioned in "British Tokens and Their Values" by Peter Seaby and Monica Bussell (Seaby's Numismatic Publications, 1970), p. 7: "Seventeenth Century Tokens - These tokens were the first genuine trade tokens to appear in this country. Hitherto crude lead tokens either in imitation of long cross pennies or bearing a rough design such as a pascal-lamb or a mitre had been issued by the monasteries to pay artisans employed by the monks. Villagers nicknamed them "Abbot's money" and they had a small local circulation." The mitre tokens from East Anglia are now thought to be "Boy Bishop" tokens. See Michael Mitchiner and Anne Skinner, "English Tokens, c. 1200 to 1425," BNJ 1983 (53), pp. 29-77, and "English Tokens, c. 1425 to 1672," BNJ 1984 (54), pp. 86-163, for additional information on early English lead tokens, including a bibliography."


Asylum Editor-in-Chief Dave Fanning writes: "I am in the process of working on a few research projects and am looking for help on the following: 1. I am compiling information on extant copies of Woodward's 92nd sale. I have been in touch with most people who own one, I believe, but I'm sure there are ones I don't know about. If you own a copy or know of one in an institution, please contact me so I can ask a few questions about it (basic bibliographical stuff). If the results of my research are published, I will not use the names of private owners. 2. If someone has a priced copy of David McGilvray's sale of the Henry Cook collection (July 30, 1862), would you contact me? My copy is priced, but really amateurishly and confusingly and I have a couple questions about particular lots. 3. I am in need of a photocopy or scan of T.H. Garrett's signature and one of T.H. Garrett's name in W. Elliot Woodward's handwriting. Would be very appreciative if anyone can help me out. Thanks. I can be reached at or at (614) 449-8408 (evenings)."


Following up on the recent exchange about the metal tantalum, Alan Luedeking writes: "My apologies -- Mr. Schmidt is right of course; moreover, I was wrong about the conductivity of tantalum altogether: While it is quite conductive, it is less conductive than both silver and gold, having a thermal conductivity of 57.5 J/m-sec-deg and an electrical conductivity of 80.321 1/mohm-cm. Silver and gold both have significantly higher values. For more information on all aspects of elements I recommend the following interesting website: I apologize to all for my misinformation!" [While web surfing your Editor came across the following related page - a listing by Tony Clayton of metals used in coins and medals: -Editor]


We certainly cover a wide range of topics here in The E-Sylum. David Lange writes: "While doing an Internet search on testing laboratories to find a facility that could perform a SEM/EDX analysis of a coin, I got the following reference: E-Sylum v04n03 ... could look up local laboratories offering SEM/EDX services or x-ray ... It seems the E-Sylum is like Mastercard . . . it's everywhere you want to go!"


Geoff Bell writes: "Could you ask our readers if they know where I can locate a copy of the book "Medals By John Pinches, A Catalogue Of Works Struck By The Company From 1840 To 1969"? Thanks!" [A web search located a couple of copies for sale. There is also a copy in the ANA library. It was published in hardcover in 1987, and later in paperback. Can anyone provide us with some more information about the firm and its work? See this week's Featured Web Page for a few early examples of the firm's work. -Editor]


Kavan Ratnatunga writes: "I found this item of Early Stress tests on the Euro which I thought you might find amusing Berlin, January 2): "Euro notes survive being washed at close to boiling temperatures but should not be ironed, a German daily said on Tuesday after its reporters put the new money through some everyday stress tests. The Bild newspaper found the notes looking as good as new, only wetter, after a half-hour wash at 95 degrees Celsius and a quick spin dry. They also survived being put through a tumble drier. But when the notes were ironed, their shiny security strip, which displays their value, quickly became pockmarked. The notes' embedded security thread also burned when put through a microwave, Bild reported. The notes changed colour and shrank briefly when dipped in red wine, but expanded again as they soaked up the fluid. Needless to say, the coins were completely destroyed when run over by a tram."


This week's featured web page features Medals of Robert Burns. The page is published by the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, Scotland. 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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