The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 50, December 15, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  On a visit to San Antonio Texas this week, your Editor
  had a nice visit with NBS Board Member Col. Bill Murray
  and his wife Jean.  Bill's "The New Collector" column runs
  regularly in Coin World.  It's always fun to visit fellow
  bibliophiles and have a peek at their libraries.  Each is as
  unique as a snowflake, and no matter how large my own
  library grows, I always find a few books I don't already
  have.  Thanks, Bill!


  E. Tomlinson Fort, editor of our print journal, The Asylum,
  in response to last week's piece about the a 1588 "Discourse
  Upon Coins" writes:

  "I am afraid that Bernardo Davanzati's work is far from the
  oldest article on numismatics. That distinction belongs to Pliny
  the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus) who wrote a history of
  Roman coinage which appeared in his Naturalis Historia
  (The Natural History) which was published in AD 78. The
  work was the Encyclodedia Britannica of the ancient world
  and was widely circulated throughout Europe. Pliny is the
  only European writer to discuss coinage at any real length
  before the thirteenth century. Pliny also had a remarkable
  career, holding equestrian commands in Germany and
  procuratorships in Gaul, he was a personal friend and advisor
  of the emperors Vespasian (AD 69-79) and Titus (AD 79-81)
  and died a hero while saving refugees from the eruption of
  Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

  I am presently working on an "edition" and commentary of
  Pliny's numismatic discussion  that should (with a little luck)
  appear in the Spring issue of  The Asylum."

  [Thanks, Tom.  We'll look forward to your commentary
  on Pliny the Elder.  -Editor]


  "Father of his Country" George Washington died at his
  Mount Vernon, Virginia estate on December 14, 1799.
  Those of you who can count better than I are invited to
  compute the number of years it's been...

  Coincidentally, Stack's of New York's upcoming
  Americana sale (January 21-23, 2003) features the
  J. Harold Cobb Collection of George Washington
  Inaugural Buttons.

  From a Stack's Press release:  "The late J. Harold Cobb
  was one of the premiere collectors of the political buttons
  struck on the occasions of George Washington's two
  presidential inaugurations, 1789 and 1793. He
  corresponded with A.H. Albert, lending him materials and
  advice over the years. In 1963, Mr. Cobb published the
  fruits of his research in "George Washington Inaugural
  Buttons and Medalets 1789 & 1793".  Re-issued in 1968
  with revisions by Elmer Piercy, Cobb's book augments
  and supplements Albert's earlier work on the subject and
  has become a collectable in its own right.  Mr. Cobb died
  that year and his collection passed first to his son, then to
  his family, who have kept it intact ever since. Its contents
  have not been examined by anyone outside the family and
  it is generally unknown to today's collectors.

  The first anyone was aware the collection still existed came
  when a general request for assistance with a collection of
  Washington inaugural buttons was posted by a family
  member on a Usenet newsgroup.  Stack's responded
  promptly and was rewarded with the sale.

  The Cobb Collection includes 34 Washington inaugural
  buttons and 8 related pieces. The collection is notable not
  only for the rarity of its contents, but also for the outstanding
  condition of the pieces. Cobb collected with an eye to
  quality and his GW's are magnificent.  Many of the pieces
  in the Stack's auction are featured as plate pieces in Albert's,
  and Cobb's own, books.

  Stack's believes that the sale of the Cobb Collection will
  become a landmark event in the collecting history of this
  select and prestigious part of the hobby. Already, a lavish
  catalogue is being prepared with in depth cataloguing and
  illustrations of every button. George Fuld, recently named
  Washingtonia consultant to Stack's, has written a foreword
  to the catalogue.

  Other Washingtonia in the Stack's January, 2003 Americana
  sale includes important funeral medals in silver, gold, and
  white metal, as well as important Success Tokens, from the
  collection of the Western Reserve Historical Society via
  donation by Ambassador and Mrs. R. Henry Norweb. For
  further details, contact Mike Hodder at Stack's,


  One very infrequent feature of The E-Sylum is "Show and
  Tell," where subscribers are invited to write about new
  acquisitions for their libraries.  If you have something you'd
  like to share with us, please write.

  A few new additions to my own library are things I've
  wanted for some time.  They're not excessively rare, just
  things I somehow hadn't come across at the right price.

  First is a copy of Bauman L. Belden's "Indian Peace
  Medals Issued in the United States," a 1927 ANS
  publication.  It's out of date now, but still interesting.

  Next is an original copy of Ebenezer Gilbert's 1916
  work on "The United States Half Cents." It's ex-library,
  but the "JUL13 1917" datestamp provides added
  proof that it is indeed an original.

  Finally, something I once sold to a friend who needed
  one for reference -  that was a decade ago and I guess
  I've been too "thrifty" to buy another at the retail price:
  The 1967 reprint of Dalton & Hamer's "The Provincial
  Token Coinage of the Eighteenth Century."


  Alan Meghrig writes: "A few years ago someone was talking
  about an 1836 two-cent pattern. As I recall the question, it
  was about when was the example they were commenting on
  produced,  the production date being questionable because of
  restrikes.  If this is something one of or readers wanted to know,
  e-mail me. I will try to answer. My address is
  alanmeghrig at

  While I have everybody's attention....  Does anyone have an
  exact reference for separating Originals from Restrikes of the
  1836 Two-cent patterns?   I may have missed a clear statement
  by some cataloger.  My impression is, that it was once common
  knowledge how to distinguish them; but no one published it.
  The older listings refer to 'buckled die' when talking about the
  Restrike. Today we refer to it as a 'die crack'.  I am looking for
  a source reference."


  W. David Perkins writes: "For years I have had an interest in
  Capt. John W. Haseltine of Philadelphia.  I am a collector and
  researcher of the United States early silver dollars 1794-1803.
  Of particular interest to me is the Haseltine Type Table sale of
  1881, which offered Haseltine's personal reference collection
  of the early silver dollars, and Haseltine's involvement with the
  Economite Hoard, which contained a large number of these
  silver dollars. (I am also interested in  J. Colvin Randall's
  relationship with Haseltine, including research they shared
  with each other related to the early silver dollars).

  On August 31, 2000 I posted the following to an internet
  Genealogy Forum called GenForum:

  "Is anyone related to a Captain John W. Haseltine. He was
  born in Philadelphia, PA in 1838 and lived for 86 years. He
  was involved in mining, commercial art, was a legitimate Civil
  War Hero and was in the coin business. He had close
  relationships to the (then) new Philadelphia Mint.  He was a
  stockbroker for a while starting around 1885 (maybe until
  early 1890s)." (This information on Haseltine is from John W.
  Adams United States Numismatic Literature, Volume I,
  Chapter Five).

  I hadn't thought much about the information regarding
  Haseltine being involved in mining or that he was a
  stockbroker until I recently received the following via an

  "I saw your inquiry regarding Captain John W. Haseltine
  and it helped to shed light on an item in my collection.  It is a
  Pioneer Mining Company of Colorado stock certificate
  dated July 2, 1867, signed by John W. Haseltine as
  Secretary and William B. Haseltine as President (his brother?).
  John W. has also initialed and dated the 25c revenue stamp
  on the certificate.

  In researching the names, I kept finding references to the
  famed coin dealer and Civil War Colonel and suspected that
  he might be the same man who signed my stock certificate,
  but was not sure until I saw your inquiry which stated that he
  was in fact involved in mining. I'd be interested in knowing if
  you know whether William B. Haseltine was his brother, as
  my piece is signed by both of them and I can find no other
  info about William."

  The link to the scan of the stock certificate is:

  The following was included in a later e-mail:  "I have also
  found two other related references to Haseltine mining
  activities:  An 1879 Pioneer Mining stock certificate signed
  by President H. A. Stiles with John W. Haseltine as Treasurer
  and an American Exploring Company 1866 stock certificate
  signed by President William Stevens with William B. Haseltine
  as Secretary."

  Following is some information on the Pioneer Mine:
  "Reported, in 1871 to be the only quartz-mining company at
  work in the county, producing $40,000 in four months
  (Raymond, 1871, p 332) They later owned a large number
  of claims, including the Nova Zembela with ore at a depth
  of 200 ft running $200 in gold with some silver. Over 600
  tons had been removed from this mine, averaging over $60
  per ton. A tunnel was projected that would intersect this
  vein at a depth of 700 ft. The company had a 20 stamp mill
  updated with equipment necessary to concentrate and mill
  ore (Burchard, 1882, p. 525)."

  Can anyone shed some light on this information?  Is the John
  W. Haseltine that signed these documents the same Capt.
  John W. Haseltine that was the Philadelphia coin dealer?
  Is William B. Haseltine related to John W. Haseltine, and if
  so, in what way?  Does anyone have a signature of John W.
  Haseltine (the coin dealer) that they might compare to the
  signature on the stock certificate?

  I look forward to hearing from our readers.  Thank you"


  Alan Luedeking writes:  "The Fragility of Technology" was the
  the title used by Fred Schwan to describe his trials and
  tribulations in resurrecting the files for his book "World War II
  Remembered" in the IBNS Journal V.41 No.3, of which I was
  reminded by your piece on the Domesday Project.  Fred
  feared his hopes for a new expanded second edition of this
  excellent work would be dashed by his inability to access the
  files for the first edition because the state of computer art had
  advanced beyond the means to retrieve them.  If the loss had
  proven permanently irretrievable, he would have had to rewrite
  the work from scratch and recreate all the illustrations.  The
  average human lifespan is insufficient to afford such disasters.
  This is yet another example of why the printed work, on good
  acid-free paper, is essential.  Quite aside from the convenience
  of resting a book versus a hot laptop on one's belly whilst lying
  in bed, optical character reader technologies will always exist
  100 and 500 years from now (if we're all still around) that will
  be able to instantly convert the printed page to whatever
  electronic, chemical, or other storage medium is then popular."


  In response to the item on "Why do books cost so much?",
  author Morten Eske Mortensen asks about "the most
  OBVIOUS cost of all factors: the amount that one has to pay
  the author for the work of writing the book.  Or is it somehow
  that everyone puts that amount to: 0  [zero]  ? ! ? ! ?"

  Howard A. Daniel III writes that the item reminded him of
  his first book, "The Catalog and Guidebook of Southeast
  Asian Coins and Currency, Volume 1, France."  He writes
  that it took him two years of evenings while on active duty
  in the Army from 1973 to 1975 to write the book on an
  IBM Selectric typewriter.

  Then he found a local printer in a very small shop who had
  just immigrated from Germany and needed all of the business
  he could get.  He worked with Howard and his book was
  published in one hundred copies with a spiral binding.

  Someone told him to double the cost for the retail price in
  order to make a profit.  He did this and sold (except for
  a few donated to numismatic libraries) all of the copies in less
  than 90 days, and then was promptly transferred overseas.
  Once he was settled into his military quarters and had his files,
  he added up his printing costs, advertising, donations, etc. and
  subtracted it from the total received from sales.  Howard
  remembers making less than $10. for two years work, and
  his book was a sellout!"


  This week's featured web pages are about the Neutron
  Irradiated Dimes produced and sold as souvenirs by the
  American Museum Of Atomic Energy in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

  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.

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