The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 44, November 3, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Recent subscribers include Joe Lasser, courtesy of John
  Adams and Frank Calandra, courtesy of Nick Graver.
  Welcome aboard!   We now have 498 subscribers.
  Perhaps we can hit 500 by year end!


  As all of you have seen by now, on Friday a message
  from subscriber Jørgen Sømod was inadvertently sent
  to all E-Sylum subscribers.  The message was meant
  only for me as editor (and I dutifully created an
  E-Sylum entry as intended).

  The mistake was not Jørgen's - he had innocently done
  "Reply All" instead of a simple Reply, which copied the
  message to the address esylum at  Rest
  assured that your email addresses were not given out

  The esylum address was supposed to be active only
  for those of us with the proper password and other
  secret incantations.   But somehow, it was not set up
  as intended.  They tell me the loophole has now been
  fixed - sorry for the confusion.


  Fred Lake writes: "Lake Books announces its 66th mail-bid
  sale of numismatic literature. The closing date for the sale is
  December 3, 2002.  There are 672 lots in the catalog and it
  can be viewed on their web site at

  Of interest to early copper enthusiasts are the 1952 ANA
  sale catalog featuring Homer K. Downing's Large Cents;
  the Frederick B. Taylor auction of state coinage that is
  renowned for its section on Connecticut coinage; auction
  catalogs from B. Max Mehl, McCawley & Grellman,
  Sotheby's Gene Reale sale, and a number of Stack's and
  Superior auction catalogs.

  Reference books include works by Crosby, Gilbert,
  Mossman, Newcomb, Rinaldo, Vlack, and many others.
  The Tokens and Medals section of the catalog features a
  number of Presidential Coin & Antique sales.  A long run
  of the Colonial Coin Collectors Club's "C4 Newsletter" is

  There are also sections devoted to reference works on
  World Coinage, Paper Money, Numismatic Literature,
  Guidebooks, etc. Of particular interest in the Numismatic
  Literature section is a copy of the Money Tree's "Out on a
  Limb" in a large format, deluxe edition. This is copy number
  6 of only 15 issued in this format.

  Bidders are advised to read the "Terms of Sale" section as
  there is a change to the buyer's fee which is now set at 15%.
  There is no change to the packing charges.

  Lake Books holds six auctions each year and is soliciting
  consignments to its 2003 sales."


  At the end of last year we announced a project
  aimed at producing a printed version of the first
  four volumes of The E-Sylum, taking it "out of
  cyberspace and onto shelf space" as a more
  permanent record.   We've been slowly but steadily
  working on it.  Our big break was David Fanning's
  offer to automate some of the required text editing,
  such as removing "line break" characters, inserting
  page breaks as needed, etc.  He also removed the
  common headers and footers to conserve space.
  Bill Malkmus has also been steadily working to
  maintain an index, which is now in the editing stage.

  The initial version (including the index) is on the
  order of 800 pages, but Tom Fort will work on
  squeezing it down to a more manageable number
  with double columns and a slightly smaller font.

  We do not have a selling price estimate yet, but it
  will be close to our cost.  Copies must be ordered and
  paid for in advance.   Several readers have indicated
  interest - please write to me if you'd like me to add you
  to the list.   Also, please let me know if you have an
  interest in a hardcover (or "Deluxe" hardcover) binding
  (or can recommend a binder to use).  Write to me at
  whomren at


  Saul Teichman writes: "Perhaps our astute bibliomaniacs
  have come across this in one of their auction catalogs or
  other publications:   Does anyone know how much the
  U.S. Mint charged collectors for the 1858 twelve-piece
  one cent pattern sets?"


  In the past we've discussed a number of different words
  coined over the years to describe numismatics and
  numismatists.   One word I've seen only once is
  "numismatography".  It appears in the title of a scarce
  pamphlet by Edward V. Wallace: "A Numismatography
  of the Lincoln Head Cent".  The publication date is not
  listed, but seems likely to be after 1950 based on the text.
  The CONECA library catalog (on the ANA web site)
  puts the publication date at 1954-55, and describes it
  as a Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine offprint.

  An internet search uncovered this definition from the 1913
  Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary:
  "Numismatography  (Nu*mis`ma*tog"ra*phy) n. [L.
  numisma, -atis (Gr. ) + -graphy.] A treatise on, or description
  of, coins and medals."

  The search also uncovered this in The Catholic Encyclopedia:
  "... a distinction should be made between numismatography,
  which is chiefly descriptive, and numismatology, which views
  the coin from its artistic, economic and cultural side."

  Curiously, the word also appears on a web site "dedicated to
  the Proposition that Shakespeare Wrote Shakespeare", noting
  that "every occurrence of any of these words in any text should
  be considered one of Francis Bacon's signatures."  The list of
  716 words also included numismatics, numismatist,
  numismatists, numismatologist and numismatology.


  Continuing the dialogue on "coin shooters", archeologists,
  collectors and museum curators, Larry Lee of the
  American Numismatic Association writes:

  "I can agree with several of David Fanning's points regarding
  coin finds in archeological context, including that it "is a
  touchy subject," and that it is "a bit off-topic for the E-Sylum."
  But if I could just revisit the discussion, I might be able to
  clarify a few of my previous points.

  Mr. Fanning said "the vast majority of museum personnel
  across the country know little to nothing about numismatic
  objects."  While I personally do not know the vast majority
  of museum personnel across the country, I do know Michael
  Bates, Dick Doty, Bob Evans, Gene Hessler, Bob Hoge,
  Louis Jordan, Doug Mudd, Brooks Levy, Alan Stahl, and
  Ute Wartenberg, among others, who do know something
  about coins and museums.

  I also know a good number of other curators who know
  enough about numismatics to know they don't know much
  about numismatics.  These people are more than willing to
  call in outside help if needed.  What we as numismatists must
  do is make sure the museum community knows of the
  numismatic expertise that is available to them, both locally
  and nationally.

  The ANA is trying to address that concern by offering a
  class during Summer Seminar called "Numismatics for the
  Museum Professional."  The class is advertised in museum
  journals and several scholarships are offered virtually on a
  first-come first-served basis to museum studies students
  and curators.  Last year's class was a very well received
  and included curators from the National Park Service,
  Cornell University and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

  Coin clubs and individual collectors can also get involved
  if they feel there is a problem by offering their help in
  identifying and attributing the numismatic objects in the
  collection at their local museums. Most museums would
  welcome qualified volunteers.

  In regard to Mr. Fanning's statement that "the odds are
  good that the coins will end up unlabeled, unattributed
  and stuck in storage somewhere," I would opine that
  most objects in museums, including coins, are in fact very
  well organized, even if they may not be numismatically
  attributed. And rather than castigate museums for having
  objects "stuck in storage," one must realize that sticking
  things in storage is exactly what museums do: i.e.,
  preserve objects forever, so that future generations can
  have access to them as well as this generation.  It is not
  a crime for a museum to store a coin, it is part of its basic
  job description.

  Nor is it a museum curator's job "to rush out to the scene
  if someone calls reporting a coin or two they found in the
  woods." Curators take care of objects after they are
  given to a museum. The proper person to report any
  archeological find to is the state archeologist, whose office
  is usually located in the state capital. They will indeed "rush
  out to the scene" if a site warrants rapid excavation: it is
  called salvage archeology and they do it all the time with
  sites uncovered in road and building construction.

  Like Mr. Fanning, I too do not support the idea that "once
  it's in the ground, it should stay there.?  There are many coin
  finds (like the 1971-D cent I found this week in the parking
  lot) that add nothing to the corpus of numismatics and they
  can very well go unreported.  The trick is to know which
  coins add to our knowledge and which clutter up the field
  with useless data. Some seem to believe it is only the
  dedicated coin collector who can make such a determination.
  I think there are a great number of people who have the
  knowledge to make such a decision, and some of them are
  even curators.

  In regard to the Native American Graves Protection and
  Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), I would like to make clear
  I am not defending the law, I am just reporting what it states
  as I understand it.  The NAGPRA act itself is very
  controversial and even unpopular, not just among archeologists
  and curators, but with many legal scholars who question some
  of the basic property right assumptions of this congressional
  act.  The issue is not whether the object (peace medal,
  Northwest beaver token, etc.) was in a burial or not, it is
  whether the Native American community at large, (and not
  just the local affiliated tribe), consider the object to be of
  significant cultural patrimony to their history.  If they do, the
  object must be returned to them, regardless of whether it was
  found by a pot hunter, excavated by an archeologist, or exists
  in a museum as an ethnographic specimen."


  Gosia Fort writes: "I was browsing the Internet Museum
  of the Polish People's Republic, when I found several items
  related to the field of numismatics. The site is mainly in Polish,
  but here is a brief guideline for the selected pages:

  "Polish People's Republic Money and National Bank of Poland
  bonds" has images of Polish paper money, bond and exchange
  notes issued between 1944-1990."

  "Money and postcards issued by the opposition" includes four
  specimens of paper money issued on Dec. 13th, 1981 (the first
  day of the martial law in Poland and in 1982 during the martial

   1. Banknot 1 zomol  ("zomol" is a made up word from the
       acronym ZOMO; that stands for the infamous police force
       created in the 80s to enforce the martial law in Poland)

  2. Banknot 10 zl with Adam Michnik (it has the same design
      as the circulating 10 zl, but pictures Adam Michnik, the
      serial number on the left is the date of introducing martial
      law, the serial number on the right is a date of establishing
      KOR [Committee for Workers' Defence] and the issue
      date is the date of bloody strike in Radom, which lead to
      creating KOR

  3. Banknot 30 srebrnikow (30 silvers with the image of gen.

  4. Banknot 50 groszy  (50 grosz of Solidarity issued during
      the martial law)

  "Documents marked by the opposition"  includes interesting
  examples of marks stamped by the Solidarity on circulating
  money to show that though delegalized and drawn to the
  underground, the Solidarity movement is undefeated and
  still fighting..."


  A pamphlet I came across a few years ago has me
  perplexed, and I'm wondering if any of our E-Sylum
  readers is aware of it.  Titled "Mint Processes of the
  United States," the 39-page booklet, apparently
  produced around 1890-1900, includes 15 black
  and white photos of mint machinery from ingot molds
  to coining presses, along with a great deal of text
  describing the coining process in detail.  Some of the
  sections were authored by:

  Charles E. Barber, Engraver
  Jakob B. Eckfeldt, Assayer
  William E. Morgan, Coiner
  D. K. Tuttle, PhD, Melter and Refiner

  No editor, publisher or publication date and place are
  listed.  I assume it is a U.S. Government publication
  produced at the Philadelphia Mint.  Does this item sound
  familiar to anyone?


  Dave Hirt writes: "At the PAN show in Pittsburgh I purchased
  a fixed price list issued by W.F. Greany in San Francisco,
  dated 1888.   Do any of our readers have more information
  about Greany?   I know that he was an advertiser in The
  Numismatist in the 1890's."

  [Remy Bourne's "Fixed Price Lists & Prices Paid For Lists
  of United States Coin Dealers 1850-1900 Volume I
  Addendum" lists three publications by Greany: a 24-page
  3rd Edition (1884?), a 4-page "Supplement to Catalogue"
  (1887?) and a 48-page 5th Edition [no date listed].  The
  3rd edition is illustrated in the book and it lists Greany's
  address as 827 Brannan Street, San Francisco.

  A web search found one coin with a provenance to Greany:
  an 1872-S half dime (lot 2104 in the Goldbergs' June 2002
  Long beach sale): "From Bowers and Merena's Louis
  Eliasberg Sale, May 1996, lot 1033; earlier from W. F.
  Greany, February 1905 to the J.M. Clapp collection until
 1942, then to the Eliasberg collection."


  At the P.A.N. show last weekend, Clifford Mishler spoke
  about Krause Publications history and the history of the
  coin collecting hobby in the U.S.  As a surprise bonus for
  attendees, he distributed several copies of "Pioneer Publisher:
  The Story of Krause Publications' First 50 Years".  Printed
  in 2001, the 240-page illustrated hardcover book written by
  Arlyn G. Sieber tells the history of Iola, WI, Chester Krause
  and his family, Numismatic News and Krause Publications.
  Great job!


  An October 30, 2002 article in The Houston Chronicle
  relates a story of a fight over the motto "In God We Trust"
  on display at local post offices.

  "What is good for the U.S. Mint is evidently not acceptable
  to the U.S. Postal Service.

  A post office in Montgomery north of Houston recently
  learned that it had to remove a framed poster of the national
  motto "In God We Trust" because it violates postal regulations.

  The donated 16-by-20-inch poster, which is matted and
  secured in a gold frame, displays "In God We Trust" in large
  white letters over the American flag colors.  It states at the
  bottom that the "national motto was approved by Congress
  and President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956."

  Retired chemical engineer Frank P. Williamson spent $3,000
  purchasing 300 of the posters, had them framed, and then
  donated them to city halls, schools, libraries, police stations
  and post offices across Montgomery County, where they've
  hung since this summer. "

  "Postal spokesman David Lewin, in Houston, said the
  Montgomery post office had not been authorized to hang
  the poster and was forced to remove it because it "did not
  fit within postal guidelines."

  "The motto was first used on a 2-cent coin minted in 1864,
  and now federal law dictates its inscription on all coins and
  paper money. It is also prominently engraved in the wall
  above the speaker's dais in the U.S. House of Representatives
  and appears over the entrance to the U.S. Senate chamber."


  Bill Murray submitted a couple of unrelated quotes touching
  on numismatics and bibliomania.  The second has been seen
  before in The E-Sylum, but it's worth running again:

  "Monetism -- the worship of money, so also Monetist -- one
  who practices monetism."  English Oxford Dictionary"

  "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.  Inside of a
  dog it's too dark to read."  Groucho Marx

  Your editor stumbled the following quote yesterday.  From
  the rear cover of the November 8, 1932 B. Max Mehl
  catalog of the R. Taylor sale (and undoubtedly published
  elsewhere as well by George Kolbe) comes this translated
  quote from the will of Edmond de Goncourt:

  "My wish is that my Drawing, my Prints, my Curiosities,
  my Books -- in a word, these things of art which have
  been the joy of my life -- shall not be consigned to the
  cold tomb of a museum, and subjected to the stupid glance
  of the passer-by; but I require that they shall all be
  dispersed under the hammer of the Auctioneer, so that
  the pleasure which the acquiring of each one of them has
  given me shall be given again, in each case, to some
  inheritor of my own tastes."

  de Goncourt's thoughts are a bit tangential to the above
  discussion of museums, but it could kick off an interesting
  new thread.  Personally, I'm on both sides of the fence on
  the issue - I feel that a few of my possessions would serve
  their highest purpose as part of a museum collection, yet
  also feel strongly that the bulk of my collections should be
  sold someday, ensuring that each, as per de Goncourt's
  wishes, will end up in the hands of the individual (or
  institution) which prizes it the most.


  Jørgen Sømod writes: "I have just published a booklet titled
  "Christian X's Projekterede Mønter" (Never issued coins
  from Christian X (1912-47), Denmark, Danish West Indies
  and Iceland)  Many illustrations of coin projects, text in
  Danish only, 40 pages, $ 10,- postpaid all over the World."
  For further details, write to Jørgen at: numis at


  J. Moens of Dilbeek, Belgium writes: "I am preparing an article
  on the use of platinum for numismatic purposes.  W. Fuchs
  mentions in his catalogue a medal, struck in 1881 on the
  occasion of the International Cotton Exhibition in Atlanta.  This
  medal is said to show a train, and is supposed to be in gold-
  plated platinum.  Would any of the readers of the E-Sylum
  have more information on this medal ?   Can it be found in a
  public collection ?  Any information would be appreciated.
  Thank you for your cooperation."


  My tongue-in-cheek headline for last week's item about
  1965 U.S. pattern coins encased in lucite prompted this
  note from Gar Travis, ANA Assistant National Club

  "The first "sonically" sealed coin slab was in the mid-
  1970s by The South African Gold Coin Exchange
  (Johannesburg) under the direction of then president /
  owner Eli Levine. Eli is a long time ANA member and
  represents the ANA's interests in South Africa as
  Country Ambassador in the ANA Club Representative
  Program. I have one of the first "slabs" locked in one
  of my safes and would take it out and photograph it
  for view...but I haven't been able to find the combination
  for that safe in two years."

  Mark Borchardt reports: "Regarding the "First Slab" ,
  your concept is only about 125 years late.  The late Russ
  Logan wrote an article that appeared in Volume 12, Number
  3 (December 1999) of the John Reich Journal. His article,
  "Slabbing Circa 1840," described a glass pitcher that he and
  his wife Brenda owned, containing an 1834 Capped Bust
  dime blown directly into the pitcher.  A fascinating, well-
  written article.  Brenda still has this glass pitcher, and it is
  really neat."

  [The headline on last week's item was mine, not Saul
  Teichman's - he wasn't attempting to define his item as the
  first slab - it was just my attempt at humor, which doesn't
  always work.  But all's well that ends well - now we have
  some interested references to other early forms of coin
  encasement.  -Editor]


  On Monday October 28th, Grzegorz Kryszczuk  wrote
  the following note on the CoinWebs list (for builders of
  numismatic web sites:

  "While working on my page of numismatic links I came
  across a somewhat disturbing phenomenon:  many links
  which once led to innocuous sites now lead to sites which
  peddle so called "adult" material.

  One site which was once a numismatic bibliography project
  is now something much, much different. Similar fate has
  befallen quite a few other sites/pages.

  Apparently, the purveyors of porn are no longer content
  to distribute their wares from domains they legitimately
  own, but also buy and abuse domains which have fallen
  into disuse.

  So, the gist of the warning is:  if you have a page of links
  on your site, better check them carefully on a periodic
  basis, because they may not lead to the original content
  anymore. Your visitors might be quite shocked when they
  click on a link to a page which ONCE was about coin


  This week's featured web site is on "cobs that were made
  in the Spanish territory of what is now Colombia."
  [the site is best viewed with Internet Explorer, and does
  not seem to contain any pornographic material]
  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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