The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 17, April 25, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Among recent new subscribers is Scott Goodman, courtesy
  of  Steve Pellegrini.  Welcome aboard!  We now have 656


  I'd like to thank everyone for their kind wishes on the birth
  of our daughter, Hannah.  I've heard from subscribers all
  over the U.S.,  plus Great Britain, Israel and Italy.

  Ferdinando Bassoli writes:  "I supposed you were, as I am,
  an old retired gentleman, busying himself, in free time, with
  numismatic bibliomania. To my utmost pleasure I discover
  now that you are a young happy father..."

  Well, I feel like an old-timer sometimes.  I've been involved
  with numismatic literature for 25 years now, but I started
  when I was 20.  Dee and I married seven years ago and now
  we're raising 3 children.  Free time is hard to come by, so I
  get on the computer when everyone else is asleep.

  When Hannah was born I missed my regular 2nd Wednesday
  meeting of the Sphinx Society, a marvelous local coin club
  here in Pittsburgh that I've written about before.  I had spoken
  to fellow Sphinx member Don Carlucci earlier that day.  He
  said if I came to the meeting he'd buy me a drink --  and
  promise to testify on my behalf at the divorce proceeding....


  Our other new father, David Fanning of Fanning Books, still
  has a few copies available of his second fixed price list of
  numismatic literature. The list features 19th-century U.S.
  material primarily dealing with American numismatics.  For
  a free copy, e-mail him at fanning32 at The list
  is also available as a PDF file.

  David is the Editor-in-Chief of The Asylum, our quarterly
  print journal.  I've ordered two items myself, but those who
  place orders quickly still have some great items to choose


  Fred Lake writes: "Our 74th mail-bid sale of numismatic
  literature is now available for viewing on the Lake Books
  web site at 74th Bid Sale

  The auction has a closing date of May 25, 2004 and contains
  515 lots of fine reference material covering United States,
  Ancient, and World coinage.  In addition, there are books
  that relate to Paper Money, Tokens, Medals, Numismatic
  Literature and an interesting section of Miscellaneous subjects.
  A highlight of the sale is a formal request from Louis Eliasberg,
  Jr. to Bowers & Ruddy for a proposal to auction the Eliasberg
  Gold Coin Collection. The submission contains detailed
  information on each coin and is accompanied by photographs
  of the coins in their original trays. The sale was eventually
  held by B & R on October 27, 1982. A listing of Dr. John
  Muscalus works on paper money is offered with designations
  of each shown by their "K" numbers. These numbers were
  devised by Frank Katen and Lake Books will send a copy
  of the full listing to each person who submits a SASE to
  them requesting this list. A hardbound copy of the 1876/77
  "American Journal of Numismatics", Volume XI, is offered in
  Mint condition."

  Email, telephone, fax and regular mail bids are accepted by the
  firm at Lake Books, 6822 22nd Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL
  33710 - (727) 343-8055  FAX: (727) 345-3750."


  I published last week's issue a little early, and while checking
  the news one last time before bed I saw a story I would have
  liked to have included in the issue.  Last Sunday, the Chicago
  Tribune reported that the remains of the eight crew members
  of the Confederate sub Hunley were laid to rest the day before
  in Charleston, S.C.

  The E-Sylum first reported on the Hunley in the May 27, 2001
  issue (v4n22):

  "Civil War history buffs have been following for some time the
  story of the Hunley, the Confederate submarine which sank in
  Charleston harbor on February 17, 1864 after first sinking the
  Union ship Housatonic.   The Hunley made history by becoming
  the first submarine to sink a ship in battle."

  "There is a numismatic connection:  Lt. George Dixon, the sub's
  commander, carried with him a special $20 gold piece.
  "Early in the war, in Mobile, Ala., Queenie Bennett (Dixon?s
  fiancée) gave him a $20 gold piece.  While at Shiloh, a Union
  bullet penetrated his trouser pocket and struck the coin.  The
  impact left the gold piece shaped like a bell,  with the bullet
  embedded in it. If it wasn't for that coin, he probably would
  have died on the battlefield?and the Hunley might never have
  made history. He would carry that coin the rest of  his life..."

  "The coin that senior archaeologist Maria Jacobsen pulled out
  of the muck of the Hunley ... bears the cursive engraving:
  "Shiloh / April 6, 1862 / My life Preserver / G.E.D."

  Here are some excerpts from Sunday's article in the Chicago

  "The Confederacy buried the last of its Civil War dead here
  Saturday, laying to rest in Southern soil the long-lost crew of
  the legendary submarine Hunley in a glittering pageant of rebel

  "After so many decades in the dark of the deep, the men were
  buried beneath a bright Southern sun in Charleston's Magnolia
  Cemetery alongside the graves of 13 earlier Hunley crewmen
  who drowned during trial missions and 1,700 other
  Confederate dead.

  Thousands of Civil War re-enactors in colorful Confederate
  uniforms accompanied the dead, who were borne to the
  cemetery on horse-drawn caissons, their coffins covered with
  Confederate battle flags. The procession included 100 or more
  women with Civil War-era dresses, veils, hats and parasols of
  mourning black."

  "According to estimates, nearly 50,000 visitors were in
  Charleston for the day's events, some from as far as away as
  England, France, Germany and Australia. An estimated 8,000
  to 10,000 spectators lined the 4 1/2-mile funeral procession

  "The commander, Lt. George Dixon, believed to have been in
  his mid-20s, had been a Mississippi River steamboat engineer
  who was in Mobile, Ala., when the Civil War broke out and he
  enlisted in the Confederate army. He was identified in part by a
  $20 gold piece he carried--a piece that had prevented a Union
  bullet from doing serious damage when he was shot and
  wounded at the battle of Shiloh."

  To read the complete story  (registration required), see: Complete Story


  Greg Burns writes: "Once again I'm seeking the help of your
  readers. I'm pulling together the final bits and pieces for my
  book, ?The Lusitania Medal and its Varieties? and need to
  fill in some gaps.

  I've been told that Guido Goetz, son of the famous German
  medalist, Karl Goetz (1875-1950), supposedly authorized a
  Japanese firm to fabricate reproduction medals based upon his
  father's models sometime in the 1970?s.  I haven't found any
  specific details regarding this arrangement, the name of the
  Japanese firm, how the pieces were produced and sold, when
  or at what price. I thought perhaps someone in your
  knowledgeable reader base may be able to generously pass
  along some helpful information. I'd appreciate any aid that can
  be provided, and for significant material that I end up using will
  gratefully acknowledge that fact in the book."

  [See also More Information  -Editor]


  Alan Luedeking writes: "During the first ANUCA (Central
  American Numismatic Association) Numismatic Congress
  held in San José, Costa Rica in 2002, I received a request from
  Mr. Carlos Iza Terán, the curator of the numismatic collections
  of the Central Bank of Ecuador, to find proof that would
  discredit the Ecuadorean 50 Francos gold coin of 1862 as a
  modern fake. This coin was stolen from the collection of the
  Central Bank of Ecuador in 1994 and remains missing to this
  day. Mr. Iza based his suspicions about this coin on the
  apparent contradiction of a gold coin in the Francos
  denomination being struck concurrently with silver issues in
  the Reales denominations.   I said I would be pleased to help
  if I could, and immediately  turned to my friend Carlos Jara.
  At that time, all he could say  about the coin was that its first
  auction appearance was in the Schulman/Kreisberg Golden
  Sale of the Century auction in  1962, and that it was either
  unique or extremely rare.

  I then searched for a more specialized expert opinion before
  making any final judgment on the matter. Fortunately, the two
  greatest authorities on the numismatics of Ecuador, Michael
  Anderson and Dale Seppa, enthusiastically acceded. Dale and
  Michael are the experts on Ecuadorean coinage, and a result
  of their years of research on that topic is the definitive reference
  work "A Numismatic History of Ecuador", authored by
  Anderson and published in 2001. Their curiosity was aroused
  by my request, since they had worked on the 1862
  Ecuadorean coinage issue for a long time, without conclusively
  solving its mysteries themselves.

  During Michael and Dale's investigations, the profoundly
  knowledgeable numismatist Alfred Buonaguro had assisted
  them. As a result of all this past work, Carlos and I were
  instantly provided with practically all the extant numismatic
  knowledge concerning the coinage of 1862. Although their
  collective opinion was that the 50 Francos was a genuine coin,
  the previously cited authorities also agreed that the current
  knowledge of the 1862 coinage was then insufficient to fully
  explain the mystery of an apparently simultaneous issue of coins
  from two different monetary standards; many questions were
  still left unanswered, and some obscure points in the documents
  and decrees relating to the coins still remained.

  Through the internet, a fine numismatic team was formed and
  the effort to find the proof that would discredit the Ecuadorean
  50 Francos gold coin of 1862 as a modern fake continued.
  In the process, enormous amounts of historical documentation
  (mostly supplied by Dale Seppa) was read and carefully
  analyzed by Carlos Jara. Although the conclusions reached from
  the research eventually ended with the refutation of our friend
  Iza Terán's suspicions concerning the 1862 50 Francos, all of
  the other mysteries surrounding the coinage of this period were
 also cleared up.

  I am now very pleased to announce the result of this collaborative
  effort.  It is Carlos Jara's fourth great numismatic book, his first
  outside the realm of Chilean numismatics, entitled "The Strange
  Concurrence of Coinage in Francos and Reales in Ecuador from
  1858 to 1862 and the Fabled Fifty Francos of 1862." In Carlos'
  prologue to the book he writes "this research has been one of my
  most gratifying numismatic ventures. I feel privileged to have
  provided, in a joint effort with the authorities on Ecuadorean
  numismatics, what they consider a worthy contribution, and, most
  of all, to call them my new friends.  I respectfully dedicate this
  work to them, and again thank them for their generous and highly
  skilled assistance."

  As usual, anybody interested in obtaining a copy of this book
  (a limited edition, profusely illustrated hardcover) is invited to
  contact the author directly at clejara at


  Victor S. Holden writes: "The following  may be of interest to
  some subscribers who may not be aware of its existence.
   Keep up the good work."

  Jewish Paper Money in Russia
  by Dmitri Kharitonov

  Catalogue of paper money issued by Jewish communities in
  Russia as a means of payment in the period 1917-1920.

  · Detailed description of about 300 notes
  · More than 200 original colour photos
  · Many notes are published for the first time
  · Indication of variety, rarity and market valuation in Euro
     for two grades
  · Bilingual English and Russian edition
  · The first and only reference of its kind
  · Promises to be the standard reference for years to come
  · 136 pages,  15 x 21 cm (A5) , laminated soft cover
  · Price:  29.00 Euro
  · Postage  within Europe ? 6.00 Euro, outside Europe ?
      9.00 Euro

  PARTNER PRAHA s.r.o.    ISBN 80-239-0258-X
  Gen. Janouska 900
  19800 Praha 9      E-mail: partnerpraha at
  Czech Republic      Tel/Fax +420-281913668


  Paul Withers writes: "I have great pleasure in announcing the
  publication, on the birthday of the Bard of Avon, the latest
  monograph in our Small Change series.

  Irish Small Silver - John - Edward VI.  Identifying Irish
  Farthings and Halfpennies, 1172 - 1553.   It also includes
  the three-farthings coin of Edward VI, which was struck
  with the name and portrait of Henry VIII.  Details follow :

  56 pages.  A5 2004.  Price, including postage 13 GBP or
  USA $27.  Available from the authors  Paul and Bente Withers.
  Galata Print Ltd., Market Street, LLANFYLLIN, Powys
  SY22 5BX.  UK.  US cheques to be made payable to
  'Paul Withers'.

  This is an easy to use guide, with lots of enlarged photographs
  and line drawings, and every type is also illustrated natural size
  as well, so as to show what the real thing looks like in all its
  tiny glory. All legends, so far as they are known, are shown
  in full. All the known mints, Dublin, Waterford, Limerick, Cork,
  Killkenny, Downpatrick, and Carrickfergus, are represented,
  and whilst there are no major new varieties for the coins of
  John as Prince, most of the known specimens of which come
  from two already published hoards, we have managed to find
  several new legends and small varieties which were not known,
  or noted by O'Sullivan.  The main importance of the book is
  for the coins of John as king, and Edward I, where there are
  some major varieties - new types, or denominations for the mint,
  and legend varieties listed for the first time, as well as this being

  the first real study of the small coins of Edward I for Ireland !
  No keyhole stuff here though, as we show these tiny coins
  twice as large as life !

  There is an historical introduction, largely on the earliest of the
  people involved, because unless one is irish, one tends not to
  know very much about what, why and when the events
  happened - and they are different from english history, even
  though some of the characters involved appear in both countries.
  Indeed, it does even throw some light upon the conquest of
  England by the normans, who show up, by and large, as a
  load of really nasty folk, intent upon the good life for themselves,
  whilst they pillaged and practised ethnic cleansing on others, but
  just to show that they were even-handed, they did kill each other
  too. The indigenous inhabitants of the Emerald Isle were not that
  pleasant either; but we get some of them in, including the dreadful
  Dermot MacMurrough who started the whole thing off by inviting
  the normans to his country, so that he could reclaim his kingdom.

  Mother Church also comes into the picture, appearing as a
  greedy, growing pan-european monarchy, with many of its the top
  posts sinecure rewards for faithful civil servants.  What did the
  Church get from it?  Honest holiness, piety, charity?  Nah, in
  yer dreams man; this was the middle ages!  They wanted to get
  Peter's pence!   Are we biased?  No, not really.  What we
  present is a personally-selected  series of chronological events,
  chosen to encourage the reader to read more widely for himself.
  If it seems to be sensationalist and limited, so what ?   Pursue the
  truth, whatever that might be, yourself.  This book is intended to
  encourage you not only to collect old bits of worn, clipped metal
  (irish coins are a bit like that), but to read.  Do I need to preach
  the joys and virtues of reading here? Probably not, but even the
  most ardent of numismatic bibliophiles need prodding from time
  to time, to make them realise that there are other viewpoints and
  books about different subjects worth reading in the pursuit of
  information about your coins - that¹s where all the fun lies

  Please note our new e-mail address:  Paul at
  Visit our website:"


  On April 6, The Toronto Star reported that the Royal Canadian
  Mounted Police seized a rare medal believed to have been
  stolen from a museum in 1973.  The medal had been awarded
  to Cpl. Filip Konowal, a Ukrainian immigrant to Canada.

  "RCMP officers have seized a rare Canadian-won Victoria
  Cross from a London auction house that was preparing it for

  "Konowal, then 30, was one of 10,000 Ukrainian-born
  immigrants who enlisted in the Canadian forces to fight in World
  War I. War records show that in August,  1917, at Hill 70 in
  France, he single-handedly took out three gun positions and
  killed 16 German soldiers.

  Konowal's medal was pinned on him by King George V, as
  he lay in an English army hospital "after half his face was shot
  away by a German sniper" the day after his  heroic exploit,
  Luciuk said.

  Luciuk said the war hero left the medal to his widow "who fell
  on hard times and sold it to a collector," who in turn sold it to
  the war museum for $3,750."

  [For the full story, see:  Full Story

   For biographical information on Konowal, see: Biographical Info

  The medal has been in the news before.  This article from
  1999 states that the medal had been lost for years and
  was replaced with a replica. Replica Article ]


  My web search for Konowal information also uncovered
  this August 2000 article with a heartbreaking numismatic

  "Three generations of Konowals had secreted a keepsake
  of Filip's. Out it came. Two American $20 bills, of 1913
  vintage. Both had been carefully folded over and over.
  Konowal had mailed them to his young wife and child just
  before the First World War and the 1917  Bolshevik coup
  severed him from them, forever.

  Worthless today as currency, these bills represented a small
  fortune in the early decades of  the last century. They could
  have more than paid for enough food to keep Anna and many
  of  her fellow villagers alive through the 1932-1933 famine.
  But to possess foreign currency was a crime among the Soviets.
  They would have demanded that Anna explain why she had it.
  They would probably have accused her of being an agent of
  Western imperialism, a spy, an anti-Soviet Ukrainian nationalist.
  The entire family might have been liquidated.  And, of course,
  the Communists weren't interested in Ukrainian lives being
  delivered. Stalin and his minions deliberately orchestrated a
  genocidal famine to crush Ukrainian resistance to Soviet rule.
  Millions perished, among them Anna.

  When Filip Konowal emigrated in 1913, he joined others who
  came to Canada to earn enough for a better future for their
  loved ones in the old country. He must have worked very
  hard to save $40 and get it home before war broke out in
  1914. His separation from his family was meant to be temporary.
  Anna concealed the money that should have saved her and died
  slowly of hunger. Maria survived but also kept hidden her
  father's gift. She died in 1986."

  [The article states incorrectly that the bills are worthless.
   They have never be repudiated, and are still legal tender
   at face value.  -Editor]


  The following question was forwarded to us via Andy Lustig
  and Saul Teichman.  Can any of our readers help?

  Rick D. Whisman, MA writes: "I'm attempting to locate
  biographical information on an engraver named Benjamin C.
  True located (living) in Cincinnati, Ohio during the 1850s.
  Any information you could provide about this gentleman would
  be greatly appreciated. I would like to thank you in advance
  for your time regarding this request."


  A page one article in the April 23, 2004 Wall Street Journal
  describes a thriving secondary market for the new Iraqi

  "Plenty of amateur investors -- policemen, construction workers,
  a dentist, even a college student -- are taking the dinar plunge.
  As tension rises in Iraq, these people are making a bet most
  professional currency traders wouldn't touch -- that the dinar
  will appreciate."

  "For Mr. Rodinec and hundreds of others, Mr. Burbank is the
  dinar man. A 48-year-old former Navy SEAL with a middle
  linebacker's physique, Mr. Burbank says he has sold more than
  $500,000 in dinar since he started his business in October. The
  recent violence in Iraq caused the currency's value to fall
  modestly but hasn't hurt sales, he adds.

  "I never thought of myself as a currency trader," says Mr.
  Burbank, who still works three days a week as a fireman in
  San Diego. "But I called the smartest people I know -- a
  corporate lawyer, a Wall Street guy -- and they said it sounds
  pretty viable."

  Today, he sells dinar on his Web site,
  Prices are negotiable, depending on the size of the order and
  whether payment is in cash or check. But Mr. Burbank generally
  hands over about 500 dinar in exchange for one dollar. He gets
  his dinars from three Middle Eastern suppliers."

  "Mr. Burbank's interest began last year when he bought 1.25
  million dinar for $3,000 on eBay. He struck up a relationship
  with the Jordanian who auctioned the new currency and began
  buying directly from him.

  Several competitors have sprung up in recent weeks, outfits
  with names such as and
  Some post photos of the new currency. The red-tinged 25,000
  dinar note features a Kurdish farmer on the front and a drawing
  of Hammurabi, ruler of Babylon from around 1792 to 1750 B.C.,
  on the back.


  Howard A. Daniel III writes: "I have previously written about
  the excellent books that show up in The Book Bin - Pacifica
  catalogs and have found another one.  Book 410 in their
  catalog number 21 is "Census of the Philippine Islands: Taken
  Under the Direction of the Philippine Legislature in the Year
  1918", Vol IV, Part 2, Bureau of the Census, Bureau of
  Printing, Manila, 1921, 762pp, b/w   photos, Softbound, 8vo.,
  Ex-lib., cover worn, Good+ and priced at $75.00.

  I believe this will be a good reference for the serious
  researcher of Philippine numismatics because one of the areas
  this volume covers is "Banks & Insurance".    The email address
  for The Book Bin - Pacifica is seasia at and they
  are located in Oregon.  They take Visa and Mastercard to pay
  so the buyer will not need to send a check."


  On April 22, 2004, The New York Times published an
  extensive and interesting article on the effects of the Internet
  on libraries, and the results may be surprising to many.
  The article, "Libraries Wired, and Reborn" describes how
  many libraries have become very active community centers
  as a result of the draw of Internet access, and the new funding
  provided by governments and private foundations to support
  computers and communications nationwide.

  "The transition has come quickly. In 1996, 28 percent of all
  libraries had PC's for public access to the Internet. Now, 95
  percent of libraries offer Internet access. The Gates foundation
  accelerated the trend. There are now more than 120,000
  Internet-connected PC's for public use in municipal libraries
   nationwide. Since 1998, the foundation has installed or paid
  for more than 47,000 PC's. "

  "And Internet-connected computers are clearly bringing more
  people into libraries. A year after computers are put in libraries
  that do not have them, visits rise 30 percent on the average and
  attendance typically remains higher, according to a study led by
  Andrew C. Gordon, a professor of public policy at the University
  of Washington. Over the last six years, visits to the nation's
  16,400 public libraries have increased more than 17 percent, a
  trend that can be partly attributed to the spread of computers
  with Internet access."

  "The computers are put to all manner of uses. E-mail, Mrs.
  LeBoeuf said, is perhaps most common, from messages to
  friends elsewhere in Louisiana to those to relatives in the
  military stationed in Iraq. One local woman who was adopted
  found her biological parents by searching on the Internet,
  Mrs. LeBoeuf said. But most of the uses are more workaday
  inquiries, like looking up prices on the Web before haggling
  with merchants."

  "Mrs. LeBoeuf walked through the bustling new library as
  mothers with toddlers gathered for story time, the staff
  stocked shelves with books, and people of all ages sat at
  clusters of flat-panel PC's. Computers and the Internet are
  changing libraries irrevocably, she said.

  "Books are never going away, but the future of libraries is
  much more as community centers," Mrs. LeBoeuf observed.
  "I worked here for 22 years and never thought we'd have
  something like this."

  Library Article


  Max Spiegel writes: "I would like to respond to the question
  sent to Lou Jordan, asking "why the word 'eagle' was selected
  to define specific gold denominations mentioned in Section 9
  of the Act of April 2, 1792."

  The American bald eagle had been used on colonial coinage
  for many before the passing of the Coinage Act of 1792.  It
  became a sort of national symbol and was a key element of
  the Great Seal of the United States, which was adopted in
  1782. Five years later, the bald eagle was officially made
  the emblem of the United States. In 1790, Congress called
  upon Alexander Hamilton to craft a proposal for the nation's
  first coinage which he submitted on June 20, 1790. In his
  letter to Congress, he stated that the $10 coin be called the
  eagle and depict one. Although it seems to be an obvious
  choice, being the national emblem, Hamilton stated that he
  only chose the eagle because "nothing else occurred" to him.
  When Congress drafted the Coinage Act of 1792, which
  was passed on April 2 of that year, they used Hamilton's
  proposal as a guideline and thus decided to call our largest
  denomination the "eagle." They subsequently named all
  other gold coinage (excluding the $1 and $3, which were
  minted later) based on the "eagle."  I hope this answers
  your question."

  Chris Fuccione also had the answer, found in Don Taxay's
  "U.S. Mint and Coinage."  He writes:  "He (Alexander
  Hamilton) suggested that the dollar be known also as the
  "unit" and its tenth part as simply a "tenth."  The largest
  gold piece might be called an "eagle." The appellation, he
  admitted, was not very expressive, but he could think of
  nothing better........."

  David Klinger reports a slightly different version of events,
  but it may well be that Hamilton was the originator here,
  too.  He writes: "In the "Dictionary of Coin Names", by
  Adrian Room, and published in London (1987), the entry
  for Eagle reads (in part):

  "Eagle - The name was proposed in 1785 by President-to-be
  Jefferson for the 10-dollar coin introduced in the United States
  in 1795. At first, the representation of the eagle on the
  reverse was informal, but from 1797 a heraldic type appeared."


  We've had some more responses to our quiz question about
  numismatics and riots.  John Burns had written: "Off the top of
  my head I seem to recall a medal struck for the Haymarket
  riot in 1893.  Also, I recall  that it was a  relic medal in having
  a piece of shrapnel from a bomb embedded in it."

  In response, Tom DeLorey writes: "These do exist. The last
  time we had one in stock (many years ago), I tested the
  embedment with a magnet. It was magnetic, for what that is

  Larry Dziubek writes: "In connection with previous
  discussion:  Here is a relic-medal that ties into history,
  economics, and numismatics.  I just discovered a book titled
  1877- Year of Violence by Robert V. Bruce, 1970 that may
  show the reasons for the riots. This was a period of serious
  economic depression nationwide.

  At a location within walking distance of the upcoming 2004
  American Numismatic Association convention in August is
  the site of the most serious destruction. The Pennsylvania.
  National Guard was finally called in from Philadelphia after
  many trains were looted and burned at the P.R.R. yards.
  Many were killed under martial law, and in earlier turmoil.

  I purchased the relic medal on eBay a couple years ago.
  It is a brass planchet about the size of a half dollar. The
  following lettering is punched thereon:

  FROM BURNT BELL OF / ENG. / 415 / P. R. R. //
  RIOT AT PITTSBURG / 104 / ENGINES / DEST.D / 7.22.77

  I don't know how many were made, and in fact this is the
  only reference to the event that I have seen other than in


  Not all fakes are worthless, as most numismatists are aware.
  The same thing holds in literature.  While not numismatic, our
  readers may be interested to learn of the recent sale of a
  20-year-old fake diary:

  "A volume of the forged diaries of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler
  which fooled the world in 1983 fetched $7,700 in a Berlin
  auction on Friday.

  Forger, painter and military antiques dealer Konrad Kujau,
  who died in 2000, copied Hitler's handwriting and sold 60
  volumes of the diary to Stern magazine for about $5 million.

  The manuscript is the last in the series, with the final entry
  dated April 30, 1945, the day Hitler committed suicide with
  Eva Braun in his bunker as the Third Reich collapsed."

  "Included with the auctioned volume is a hand-written
  document -- also forged -- certifying the authenticity of the
  writings, "signed" by Hitler and several other top Nazis."

  To read the full story, see the Reuters new site: Full Article


  Another non-numismatic note of interest to general bibliophiles
  was submitted by the editor of our print journal, The Asylum,
  E. Tomlinson Fort, who writes: "I thought this might make an
  interesting filler for The E-Sylum. By the way, Hillman Library,
  at the University of Pittsburgh, also has a first edition elephant
  follio Audubon. They have a special display case where they
  show a different plat."

  "A LIBRARIAN turns the pages with infinite care, her gloved
  hands moving with the respect reserved for a treasure valued
  at £7 million.

  For a century, the book and three companion volumes that
  comprise Audubon?s Birds of America have been in a vault,
  too valuable to be exhibited in public.

  But soon, 102 years after they were gifted to Glasgow's
  Mitchell Library, they will go on display to attract Glaswegians
  and international visitors alike.

  Curators plan to make Audubon's Birds... the centrepiece of
  a new visitor attraction.

  "It's one of the world's best kept secrets, but it will at last be
  available to all," said Pamela Tulloch, the information services
  manager at the library.

  Glasgow's "double elephant folio" - the books measure 39in by
  27in - is one of  the few remaining complete sets created from
  paintings by the 19th century artist-adventurer John James

  For the full article, see: Full Article


  Larry Mitchell sent the following link to the Celtic Coin Index:
  For the web page:

  "All the British Celtic Coin Index Records from 1961 to 2001
  are now online! This means you now have access to over
  28,000 records and images of British Celtic coins, a remarkable
  resource for study!"

  It is easy to see the enormous growth in information about
  Celtic coin finds in Britain when you realize that, only ten years
  ago, there were only 12,000 records in the Celtic Coin Index
  at Oxford (Derek Harrison, 1992, p. xv), which represents the
  records of thirty years. In the following ten years, 20,000 new
  records were added, so that currently there are more than
  32,000 records in the Index.

  Celtic Coin Index


  On the subject of the coins placed in the cornerstone of
  the San Francisco Mint building, Tom DeLorey writes:
  "Strictly as a matter of personal opinion, I think that the
  existence of the officially unreported 1870-S silver dollars,
  half dime and $3 gold piece make it almost a certainty that
  an 1870-S quarter was struck. Why go to the bother of
  creating three otherwise non-existent denominations and
  not create the fourth as well?  These were methodical
  people who very carefully left a paper trail, and bureaucrats
  to boot. Nothing could have stopped them."


  R.S. Neale writes: "While very true that carbon spots aren't
  carbon, I think that the writer of this commentary, admittedly
  not a chemist, should consult one to get his terminology
  straightened out. For example, when copper reacts with sulfur
  in some form or other, it becomes copper sulfide (not copper
  sulfate), and the process does indeed involve oxidation
  (wherein an element loses electrons to become a positively
  charged ion)."

  Joe Boling writes: "I believe most coin graders and conservators
  agree that "carbon spots" are usually the result of droplets of
  saliva (and an occasional dandruff flake) that have landed on
  coins while they were being handled and talked over. As such,
  I'm not sure that sulfur has any connection with them, though I
  don't know what the principal culprit would be. What's in

  [What's in saliva probably depends on what the person was
  eating...  -Editor]


  Regarding the excerpts published last week about the coming
  closure of the Smithsonian's Numismatics Hall at the Museum
  of American History in Washington, D.C,  Jørgen Sømod
  writes:    "The world's largest collection of money and medals?
  These gentlemen have never been in Europe, I understand."


  Alan Luedeking alerted us to the following article in
  "Automation World" magazine about automated visual
  inspection systems at the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and
  Printing.  It was published in the March 2004 issue (p46).
  The article is lengthy and I recommend reading the full
  version, which include images of some of the equipment
  discussed..  Here are some excerpts.

  "Like all printers, the BEP must verify that its printed materials
  are clear and accurate.

  However, the BEP also needs to ensure that various security
  measures are in place to help deter counterfeiting and to allow
  the government to account for all bank notes. To help meet
  these demanding requirements, the BEP converted several of
  its inspection stations from human operators spot checking
  currency to automated visual inspection of each note."

  "In order to reduce or eliminate inconsistencies associated
  with physical note size and the location of engraved images
  on the chrome intaglio printing plates on which the currency is
  printed, the BEP?s Production Engineering group developed
  a Plate Measurement Device (PMD).  The PMD uses state-
  of-the-art positioning technology and machine vision to
  automatically measure the layout pattern of the security
  features on these plates.  The engraved artwork and
  registration marks are gauged before production to verify plate
  accuracy?which is essential for precise print registration ?
  and afterwards, so that any distortion caused by prolonged
  intaglio printing is identified."

  "... the Production Engineering group developed a vision-based
  note measurement system that automatically measures and
  records 27 note registration features (137 data points) on each
  cut bill. These include substrate size, intaglio print size and
  position (on both sides) and positions of the seals and serial
  numbers. Measuring banknotes in reflected light is quite
  challenging, as the intaglio printing process is somewhat variable
  by nature, and finding print edges consistently on the fine
  engraved artwork is very difficult."

  "The Production Engineering team is currently making
  improvements to the existing systems to gain even greater
  reductions in print variability and to inspect even more
  sophisticated security features. The group continually makes
  improvements to its processes for quality assurance and
  security purposes, and machine vision plays an important role
  in this regard. The data received from these inspection systems
  also will be instrumental in implementing future security or
  design changes."

  To read the full article, see: Full Article


  On April 21, 2004,  Reuters reported that "A former British
  Royal Air Force employee has returned a history book to
  the Malta public library 42 years after he borrowed it and
  was given a cup of coffee instead of a fine.

  Ernie Roscouet, a resident of the Channel Islands,
  inadvertently packed the book when he left Malta in June
  1962 and returned it when his wife gave him a holiday to
  Malta as his 65th birthday present.

  "It's actually been on my conscience all this time," he told
  the Times of Malta newspaper."  Full Article


  This week's featured web page is an enlarged image of
  Lt. George Dixon's "lucky" gold coin, recovered from the
  wreck of The Hunley.  Incidentally, replicas of the coin
  are available for $10 on the Friends of the Hunley web
  site (

     Coin Image

  Wayne Homren
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society 

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