Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 35, September 3, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
No, there have been no E-Sylum delivery problems. For the
last two Sundays, The E-Sylum has been on vacation hiatus
as noted in the August 18th issue. Due to popular demand,
we're returning early. We'll get back on the regular publishing
schedule Sunday, September 8th.
We have two new subscribers this week, both from Littleton
Coin Company: Mary Knapp and Marianne Adams, Librarian/
Research Assistant. Welcome aboard! Our subscriber count
is now 485.
JOIN THE NBS!
Did you miss us while we were gone? This newsletter is a
service of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. While free
to all, we do hope it helps to attract some new members to
our organization. If you like The E-Sylum you should also
like our quarterly print journal, The Asylum, which is mailed
only to paid members. Please check our web site for more
information on NBS and how to join, or contact our
Secretary-Treasurer David Sklow at email@example.com.
Our web address is: http://www.coinbooks.org/
MOULTON WEB SITE CORRECTION
Thanks are due a sharp-eyed reader for pointing out the typo
in the URL for Karl Moulton's web site. The correct address
LAKE SALE #65 CLOSING
Fred Lake writes: "This is a reminder that our sale #65
closes on September 10, 2002. The catalog can be viewed
Please note the following changes: Lots A37, A112 and B49
have been removed due to incorrect cataloguing. The estimate
on lot C124 should read $100.00 rather than the $25.00
estimate that appears in the catalog."
PRICES REALIZED LISTS
John Cadorini writes: "I try to make a point of purchasing
back issues of ancients sales catalogs only if they have the
PRL included--whenever possible. The Numismatic Fine
Arts catalogs seem the most likely to frequently appear with
the PRL included. Most of this series also have the estimated
sales price list included as well, which is an essential when
comparing pricing and demand. The extremes between
estimated and actual sales price is an interesting area of study.
I am glad that no restrictions apply for copying these (as
suggested by Karl Moulton). Perhaps the Newsletter or an
adjunct to the website could be a request venue for wanted
copies of PRL's.
Not to risk flooding them with requests, but Sotheby's NY
was extremely helpful in sending me all of the PRL's for the
Hunt Brothers Ancient Coin collection sales catalogs (all 7-8
volumes). I had only to provide them with the catalog numbers.
As an E-Sylum subscriber and collector in general I would
willing share any Estimated and/or PRL's with anyone who
wishes them. My collection is new enough to be of less help
than some others, however."
Continuing on the subject of pricing research, Morten Eske
"On my website at this link
I have published such pricing researches for 8 specific coins,
the 2nd last research including 101 years of auction prices
[2 ducat coin]
and the last one no less than 197 years of pricing research!
Of course one will need a rather well assorted private library
to do such vast research tasks, so: Buy books (& catalogs etc.).
Certainly, there were far more catalogs printed than PRLs for
most sales, because collectors when offered the pre-opportunity
from the auction houses to pay for receiving such PRLs after the
auction was held, did not respond to the offer."
Bob Korver, Heritage Numismatic Auctions Director writes:
"Regarding your 18 August discussion on protocol for
duplicating printed prices realized: Heritage Numismatic
Auctions hereby gives permission for your members to
duplicate our printed prices realized from any sale, provided
free distribution is intended. I also invite everyone to visit our
Permanent Auction Archives, which contains descriptions, images,
and prices realized for 375,000+ lots."
[See http://www.heritagecoin.com/ and click on "Permanent
Auction Archives" (free registration required). -Editor]
JOHN PINCHES MEDALLISTS, LTD.
Dick Johnson writes: "For most of its 19th century existence,
John Pinches Medallists (founded 1840), was under the
shadow of the Wyon family of English engravers. While
Wyons were engravers (and chief engravers) at the Royal Mint,
family members ran a medal business outside the Mint. Pinches
was founded by John Pinches (1825-1905), who had learned
steel engraving from his mother's cousin, medallist William
Joseph Taylor (beginning when John was 15 years old in 1840,
and that's the year the firm determined as its founding).
Four Pinches were associated with the firm after the first John
Pinches: John Harvey Pinches (1852-1941), his son; then John
Robert Pinches (1884-1968), a grandson. A second John
Harvey Pinches and a cousin, Leslie Pinches, headed the firm
after World War II, and it is this John Harvey Pinches who
wrote the book: Medals by John Pinches; A Catalog of
Works Struck by the Company from 1840 to 1969. Published
Infrequently Pinches struck medals engraved by a Wyon, but
in 1932 Pinches acquired the J.S. & A.B. Wyon firm and all its
dies. But its most historical moment came in 1969, when it
sold out to the Franklin Mint, of Media, Pennsylvania, as part
of a European expansion.
Franklin Mint had Pinches reduce the famed Waterloo Medal
-- still in its archives -- which had only been issued before in
galvano form, and prepare dies to strike this in 1972. Franklin
Mint sold 5,000 of these medals worldwide.
The book records the notable productions of Pinches for the
129-year history of the firm. Interestingly, the author records
the height of the relief of most items -- as coin, shallow, bold,
high or very high -- in addition to usual data as size, composition
Of greatest interest to collectors, however, are the
Commemorative Medals in the next to last chapter. (These
are not detailed, and we yearn for more data about these.)
The last chapter recounts a handful of coins struck by Pinches,
including the famed Puffin coins of Lundy Island.
I have observed PINCHES name on medals of their
manufacture, but have never observed a Pinches mint mark.
Perhaps an E-Sylum reader can enlighten me if such exists."
A web site visitor asked, "Can you please tell me what the
Shields on coins represent?" My reply (assuming he was
referring to U.S. coins) was: "As I understand it, the shield
represents the Union. Typically there are thirteen horizontal
and vertical bands, representing the 13 original colonies.
The shield also represents military strength."
How'd I do? Did I get it right? Is there more to it than
TOKEN TELEPHONE BOOKS SOUGHT
Howard A. Daniel III writes that he is searching for
references that describe the telephones that used slotted
telephone tokens. These telephones were the old black
telephones and sat upon (or it was molded together) a
box with a slot in it for the token. They were generally
on the counter of a business and used as an extra source
The telephones he is searching for were likely made in
France in the 1920's and/or 1930's, but he will gladly
read other references from other European countries.
Howard can be contacted at Howard@SEAsianTreasury.com
while is now in Viet Nam searching for the telephones and
other items for his collection."
MONASTERY TOKEN PICTURES
Ed Krivoniak writes: "Since many people seem interested in
these and are trying to help, I thought I would make scans of
the pieces. The inscriptions are written in Cyrillic lettering and
three of them have a denomination of 5 para on them.
Since they came from an accumulation of coins from the
Bulgaria/Yugoslavia area, I thought they might be from either
Yugoslavia, Serbia or Montenegro.
The lettering appears to be "Ecclesia Monasterion (Agiov Apov
Dgiov Dpov?) Dimitriov" on the printed token. The same
lettering with the addition of "Chalon 5 para" appears on the
[Interested readers can request copies of the image files from
Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org. -Editor]
CASTENHOLZ WALL CHART SOUGHT
In the category of "things found while looking up other
things", your Editor came across an advertisement in the
March, 1972 issue of "The Numismatic Messenger",
issued by Castenholz and Sons of Pacific Palisades,
California (Vol. 2, No. 3, p61). It was for a "Table of
the Coinage of the United States of America - a wall
chart listing the entire regular coinage of the U.S.A.
The complete regular coinage can be seen at a glance.
Each mint is arranged separately, and the arrangement
is by date and denomination. Every coin type is included,
in abbreviated form which avoids a cluttered format.
Even the youngest collector will have no difficulty in
using this table. The chart is 22" x 28" and printed on
fine book paper. $3.00 each plus 25c postage."
Do any of our readers have a copy of this chart? I've
never seen one, but it sounds very useful - something
I might have tried my hand at myself someday if it
hadn't already been done. Does anyone know what
might have become of the Castenholz stock? Is there
a cache of these charts out there somewhere?
IN GOD WE TRUST PASTOR BACK IN THE PULPIT
On Monday, August 19, 2002, Staff Writer Tom Gibb of
the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published an interview with the
91-year-old minister whose sermon inspired the legislation
which put the motto "In God We Trust" on U.S. paper money
and in the Pledge of Allegiance..
"Huntingdon, Pa. -- Nobody would have faulted the Rev. George
Docherty had he begged out of donning his black
cassock and delivering a 25-minute sermon yesterday in a
sweltering, packed sanctuary. His best excuse: He's 91.
But he was born and raised a Scotsman. That's probably what
helped make him a stubborn 91-year-old.
"George is the proverbial race horse," friend Robert Stewart
said. "He always has a race left in him."
So, yesterday morning, before the 400-some people who
filled Huntingdon Presbyterian Church -- a multitude the
church doesn't see but for Easter and Christmas Eve -- this
regal, broad-shouldered Scotsman reprised his 1954 sermon
that helped to plug the phrase "under God" into the Pledge of
Back then, it was a sermon he delivered as pastor of the
landmark New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in
Washington, D.C. -- the powerful in attendance, President
Dwight Eisenhower in a front pew.
"To omit the words 'under God' is to omit the definitive
character of the American way of life," Docherty, a hale voice
with a hearty brogue, read.
"What the Declaration [of Independence] says, in effect, is
that no state church shall exist in this land. This is separation
of church and state. It is not and never was meant to be a
separation of religion and life."
Wire services carried accounts of what Eisenhower heard
in church that day, the sermon was copied into the
Congressional Record, and portions of the service turned up
on movie theater newsreels.
Sometimes, an intent congregation had to fish out words
hidden in Docherty's brogue or caught under the whoosh of
fans running at full bore just to keep room temperature near 80.
"But it was a wonderful sermon," said retired physician John
Hewlett, who drove from Hershey to hear friend Docherty.
In the aftermath, Docherty pronounced himself "a little tired,"
said he expects "under God" to remain in the pledge, but
allowed that, either way, he's probably made his last stand
in the pulpit.
For the full text of the article, see:
Darryl Atchison writes: "I am looking for copies of two Bowers
& Merena sales as follows: 1989 A.N.A. sale and LaRiviere
Collection part III (May 2001). I contacted Dave Bowers
directly about these but his firm does not have copies of either
one. If anyone has a duplicate or unwanted copy I would be
pleased to hear from them. Both these sales contained
significant Canadian material and I want to review them for
our bibliography before time runs out on us. We are planning
to release the text at next year's CNA convention in Windsor,
Ontario and this only leaves us a few months to finish compiling
data. Thank you for your help."
[Darryl lives in Ireland and can be reached at
USEFUL REFERENCE SITES
John and Nancy Wilson write: "We found some excellent
web sites. We are passing them on to the readers of the
E-Sylum. All of them are free and will be quite useful.
Universal Currency Converter:
Cheat Sheet for Travelers:
World Currency Exchange:
Encyclopedia of Days (The Bibliography is good):
World Public Holidays Database:
Time Zone Converter:
NBS TO BE ADDED TO NI/IBNS CLUB TABLE
Howard A. Daniel III writes that the idea came to him
when discussing a reference with an advanced collector
while he was manning the Numismatics International/
International Bank Note Society club table at the ANA
Convention in New York recently. Howard has found
that most numismatists joining NI and IBNS already
have a library and are looking for more to add that will
better inform them about their collecting area(s). Why
not also have NBS literature at the table so these
numismatists can have an excellent source of information
about numismatic and related references?
Howard will be provided with the NBS literature and
will use it at the next ANA Spring Show in Charlotte,
North Carolina. The club table can also be a place
where NBS members can join NI and IBNS members
to rest, meet and/or to leave messages.
INDIAN PAPER MONEY LAUNDERING
A story titled "The Money Launderers in India Really
Know How to Clean Up" was published in The Wall
Street Journal Monday, August 19. Here are a few
"NEW DELHI -- Bimal Jain stood in the cavernous lobby
of India's central bank, a garbage bag of ragged rupees on
a table in front of him. One of his assistants appeared, took
a bundle of torn 10-rupee notes and shuffled away on rubber
sandals to wait in one of a series of chaotic lines to turn the
bills in to the bank. Minutes later, another assistant returned
with a pile of crisp five-rupee bills, which Mr. Jain stuffed
into his bag.
"Some days we'll exchange more than 10,000 bills," brags
the portly Mr. Jain. "Business is good."
Mr. Jain is part of India's vast network of legal money
launderers. They use soap, water, tape and ingenuity to get
India's stressed-out bills into good enough shape to be cashed
in at the central bank.
Mr. Jain roams the crooked back streets of Delhi every day,
buying at a discount the dirty and decaying two, five, 10 and
20-rupee notes -- worth between four and 50 cents -- that no
one but beggars will accept. He then carefully washes, dries
and mends the bills before hauling them to the Reserve Bank
of India where he exchanges them for full face value.
The central bank has more than 5,000 employees checking to
see if bills are usable. In the Delhi branch, central bankers in
rows of dirty desks check envelopes full of questionable
notes, first to make sure they are real, then to confirm there
is enough of the bill left to make it exchangeable.
The amount of cash in the public's hands has almost doubled
in the last five years while the size of the central bank's staff
to process old bills has barely budged. "The soiled notes are
piling up and our capacity to handle them is limited," says M.P.
Kothari, head of the Department of Currency Management at
the central bank's headquarters in Bombay. "It's like a traffic
Dirty-money troubles aren't unusual in developing countries
that can't afford to print or mint more cash. India's neighbors
Pakistan and Nepal have similar problems. In developed
countries such as the U.S., for example, notes are taken out
of circulation by private banks and sent to the Treasury.
In India, bad bills are big business. On the cramped Kaccha
Bagh alley in Delhi's ancient center, a row of moneychangers
take in damaged notes. Each shop has cash cobblers, sitting
on the floor in front of wooden work tables, repairing bill after
bill, flattening them out, taping rips and pasting over holes with
pieces of brown paper. "People come from all over because
they know we accept damaged money here," says Ashok
Kumar, who owns a shop on the alley.
The toughest part of Mr. Jain's job, though, is mastering the
Byzantine system of rules around returning the bills. He spends
most of his day in the lobby of the central bank's New Delhi
branch, the vortex of a network of runners going back and
forth between him and dozens of bank windows. The knot of
lines, some of them hundreds of people long, is close to
impossible to untangle for the average person.
Runners and their bagmen arrive at the central bank two hours
before it opens to assure a good place in the right line. Mr. Jain
employs women because they are allowed to go to the front of
the line. Just knowing which line to pick is a challenge. Only a
few of the windows are for exchanging bad notes and each
window is specific to denomination, number of notes being
exchanged and how badly the notes are damaged.
Lines usually deteriorate into a mass of people around the
windows, with runners yelling and screaming that they were
first. Fights break out. The daily battles were so bad in April
that the central bank banned professional moneychangers from
entering for four days.
Nonprofessional moneychangers can be stuck all day trying to
change a few ripped rupees. That's where Mr. Jain's experience
comes in handy, and why others are willing to pay him as much
as a 20% cut to change their notes. "People don't have the
connections to do what I do," he says. "I've been doing this for
FEATURED WEB SITE
This week's featured web site is on Byzantine Coins --
"A private collection of Late Roman, Byzantine and western
contemporary imitative gold coins from 330 to 1204."
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
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