The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 18, May 2, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  No new subscribers this week.  The issue is being published
  earlier in the day because your editor has to catch a plane for
  a business trip.   I'll have a lot of mail to plow through on my
  return, so if you're awaiting a reply, please be patient.


  Karl Moulton's latest fixed price list has been published.
  Covering American numismatic auction catalogs from
 1860 to date, the list is the most comprehensive of its
  kind.   Karl's annotations are great references in themselves.
  This list includes a significant run of William H. Strobridge
  sales.   For more information, see Karl's web site


  Howard A. Daniel III writes: "I recently received a book
  catalog from the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in Paris.

  The first numismatic book in it is "Monnaies Chinoises II. Des
  Qin auz Cinq Dynasties" by Francois Thierry.  304 pages, card
  covers and illustrations, ISBN 2-7177-2239-4 for 78 Euros.

  The second book is "Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum. France
  6,1. Italie: Eturie, Calabre" by Anna Rita Parente.  141 pages
  and 141 plates, ISBN 2-7177-2232-7 for 140 Euros.

  All of the references in my library written by Francois Thierry are
  of the high quality of research, and the photography is absolutely
  fantastic,  I don't know the author of the  Greek book, but I
  expect it to be first class too.

  The address to write to for the above references is Bibliotheque
  Nationale de France, 58 rue de Richelieu, F-75084 Paris
  CEDEC 02 France or email them at commercial at"


  Regarding a book we first mentioned last week, Bill
  Rosenblum writes: "U.S. and Canadian subscribers who are
  interested in purchasing "Jewish Paper Money in Russia" might
  have an easier time purchasing it from me then from the
  firm in Prague. A reader tried to buy two copies from them
  but because they do not accept credit cards or Paypal it was
  a bit difficult. They suggested that the reader contact me. I sell
  the book for $37 plus $3 shipping.

  The book is very good and a useful reference. It should be
  noted that Mr. Kharitonov's collection was stolen shortly after
  he completed the book, so if the plate notes turn up it is a very
  good possibility that they were stolen.

  I've also been meaning to write a note about the gentlemen who
  wrote concerning Bibliographies, estimates and errors in auction
  catalogs, but I spent the month of March writing our mailbid
  catalog - which included a bibliography, estimates and no doubt
  errors. I've spent April trying to clean up the office from a month
  of writing a catalog. One day I'll forward my two cents."


  Ron Abler writes: "The U.S. Mint issued a "so-called dollar"
  for the 1926 Sesquicentennial, depicting Ben Franklin on the
  obverse and Pegasus on the reverse.  It was minted in nickel,
  bronze, copper (I believe) and gilt.  My sources say that it was
  actually produced on-site at the 1926 Philadelphia
  Sesquicentennial Expo on an electric press.  All compositions
  are known for flat strikes with poor detail, perhaps due to the
  lower striking pressure of an electric press.  However, there is
  a high-relief version of the bronze medal that is strikingly better
  detailed and much higher relief than its low-relief counterparts.
  I suspect that it was produced on a more powerful, perhaps
  hydraulic, press.  Can anyone point me to the answer?  Perhaps
  the high-relief version was contracted out by the Mint?  If so,
  to whom?  Medallic Arts?  Greenduck?"


  In reference to William S. Baker's 1885 work, "The Medallic
  Portraits of Washington," Ron Abler writes: "Is Baker's original
  text available - the one in which he first proposed the now-
  standard Baker numbers for Washingtonia medals?  I have the
  Rulau-Fuld edition, but the numbers seem to be inconsistent in
  some areas."

  [The original work does appear on the market from time to
  time, and is not unduly expensive.  There is also a 1965 reprint
  with updates by George Fuld. -Editor]


  Regarding our earlier question, RW Julian writes: "The first
  reference I can find to the use of "Eagle" for the ten dollar
  piece is in a law of August 8, 1786:

  "That there shall be two gold coins: One containing two
  hundred and forty-six grains, and two hundred and sixty-eight
  thousandths of a grain of fine gold, equal to ten dollars, to be
  stamped with the impression of the American eagle, and to be
  called an Eagle: One containing one hundred and twenty-three
  grains, and one hundred and thirty-four thousandths of a grain
  of fine gold, equal to five dollars, to be stamped in like manner,
  and to be called a Half-Eagle."

  Perhaps someone has an earlier citation?"

  Bob Neale writes: "For anyone interested, it does indeed appear
  that Thomas Jefferson was first to propose the term "eagle", as
  reported by D. Klinger. This is even better documented in an
  article by George Fuld in Numismatic News, June 22, 1999.
  Therein, Fuld presents TJ's Congressional Resolution of August
   8, 1786.  This document talks about standards for US gold
  and silver coinage and comes to this paragraph: "That there
  shall be two gold coins one...equal to ten dollars, and to be
  stamped with the impression of the American Eagle - & to be
  called an eagle." And the next paragraph: "One containing...
  fine gold equal to five dollar to be stamped in like manner and
  to be called a half eagle."


  Rich Hartzog forwarded the following query from an artist
  in the Los Angeles area looking for a Janvier reducing

  "My name is Charles Danek and I am one the artists working
  in the Artistic Infusion Program of the U.S. Mint.  Presently,
  I am seeking to create 'Art Medals' of some of my designs to
  further my sensibilities in the medium.  I live in Los Angeles,
  and I was wondering if you knew of any facilities in my
  area that may be able to assist me, or who might be interested
  in collaborating. Ideally, I would like to have access to a
  reduction machine.

  Rich replied: "Not too many of the Janvier lathes around! I
  don't know of any in the L.A. area, but I know a group that
  does know the answer to all such questions.  I've forwarded
  this reply to the group moderator; the once-a-week email
  goes out Sunday.

  The short answer is to check my page for commercial
  manufacturers of medals.  And, there is the American Medallic
  Sculpture Association (AMSA), which as a medalist, you
  should join.  Lots of contacts there! AMSA"


  [Your editor is slipping - the following note arrived this week,
  but I've lost or misplaced the original and didn't record the
  name of the author.  My apologies.]

  "Concerning "Konowal's 40 dollar fortune:" Could his "two
  American $20 bills" have been Canadian? Check this with
  others more knowledgeable, but I don't believe that in 1913
  any official Canadian bills of the $20 denomination had been
  issued. However, there were bills in circulation of that
  denomination issued by chartered banks, and according to
  the Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Bank Notes
  (I have the 2nd edition, 1989), most but not all were
  redeemable. The circulation of chartered bank notes
  continued into the 20th century in Canada because that
  country did not tax the bank notes as the United States did
  in 1866. This possibility occurred to me because I think of
  Canada and Mexico, as well as the United States, as
  "American" (remember that discussion). Just a thought."


  The Konowal story revolved around the recovery of
  his stolen Victoria Cross medal.  Coincidentally, from
  London comes a report that another hero's Victoria
  Cross has set a price record:

  "A Victoria Cross awarded to an airman who climbed onto
  a Lancaster bomber's wing at 20,000ft to put out a fire has
  sold for a record price.

  It went for ,250 at the Spink auction house in London
  on Friday, smashing the old record for a VC of  ,250."

  "Mr Jackson was 25 when his crew came under fire from
   a German fighter on a bombing raid on the town of
   Schweinfurt in April 1944.

  He climbed out of the cockpit into a slipstream to try to put
  out the flames, before falling off and crashing to the ground
  under a burning parachute.

  Despite serious injuries, he managed to crawl to a nearby
  German village and spent 10 months in hospital before
  being transferred to a prisoner of war (POW) camp."

  To read the full story, see: Full Story


  David Gladfelter writes: "Concerning Benjamin C. True:
  Groce & Wallace, The New-York Historical Society's
  Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564-1860 (New Haven,
  Yale University Press, 1957) has a brief listing for him
  as an "engraver, seal engraver and die sinker" working in
  Cincinnati, 1850-60. He is credited with the Wealth of the
  South tokens of the 1860 Presidential campaign which are
  listed in Fuld as Patriotic Civil War tokens as well as in
  Sullivan as political medalets. See Melvin and George Fuld,
  "The Wealth of the South Mulings," in 24 Numismatic
  Scrapbook Mag. 1785 (Sept. 1958). One of the
  "President's House" dies in that series is signed with his
  initial T. Benjamin C. True may be a relative (son and
  nephew) of the Troy, NY engravers Benjamin C. and
  Daniel True, who produced some of the Hard Times
  tokens of that city. See "Miscellany," 24 Numismatist 42
  (Jan. 1913). This isn't much, but hope it helps."

  Alan Luedeking writes: "Regarding Andy Lustig and Saul
  Teichman's request for info on the engraver Benjamin C. True,
  I turned of course to  L. Forrer's "Biographical Dictionary of
  Medallists, Coin-, Gem-, and Seal-Engravers, Mint Masters,
  &c." Here is a verbatim transcript of what can be found on
  pages 145-146 of Volume VI:

  "TRUE, BENJAMIN C. and DANIEL (Amer.) There were
  two Die-cutters in Troy named True, --- Benjamin C. and
  Daniel ; judging by the appearance of their names in the
  Directories, the first was the elder, but whether relatives or
  not, I have not found. Benjamin C. was a "letter cutter,"
  having a shop at 7 Beaver Street, and residence at 134
  Lydius Street, as early as 1832 ; in 1834 he is called a
  gunsmith, and in 1835 a die-cutter, at 7 Beaver Street,
  "up-stairs"; in 1840 he added to his business as a die-cutter
  that of a "military store keeper," --- perhaps making military
  buttons --- and his store was in 88 North Market Street, if
  the notes furnished me are correct.  In 1842-4 he was in
  business with J. Roseboom & Co., in Church and Division
   Streets, but I have not been able to trace him further. Daniel
  True was a die-cutter at 48 Union Street as early as 1837,
  and continued to do business as such at various locations,
  in time adding that of seal-engraving, until 1856, when he
  seems to have been the senior partner in the firm of True &
  Pilkington, and his address was "Bleecker Hall ;" in 1858 he
  was at the same location, alone; in 1868, the same name, ---
  presumably the same person --- appears as a die-cutter and
  steel engraver, in Hudson Street, and afterwards at 396
  Broadway until 1879. The work of this engraver (whether
  Benjamin or Daniel is uncertain), as shown on the tokens, is
  not of a very high order.

  A number of Tokens signed T are described in 'American
  Journal of Numismatics,' 1899, p. 119. The above notes are
  extracted from this paper."

  There is nothing further to be found in the Supplement to
  Forrer's  work, and I have not looked in the AJN as I don't
  have it!"

  Dick Johnson writes: "To answer Rick D. Whisman about
  Benjamin C. True, I have four pages on True in my
  biographical databank of American Artists, Diesinkers,
  Engravers, Medalists and Sculptors. Here is the first

  TRUE, Benjamin C. (fl 1832-79)  Early American engraver,
  diesinker, seal engraver, letter cutter; Albany, New York
  (1823-38); Cincinnati (1849-1879).  Listed in Albany first
  as letter cutter (1823-33) then gunsmith, but left for
  Cincinnati in 1849. His Albany business was carried on by
  relative Daniel True (q.v.) [who Richard Kenney believed
  to have been his brother].

  The next paragraph tells of his portraits of Lincoln,
  Breckenridge, John Bell and Steven Douglas and his
  stock reverse that he offered to anyone who wanted
  his services. Then I list 20 campaign medals for which
  he was most noted and 16 medals the dies of which I
  can document he engraved. With each item listed here
  are all citations to numismatic literature, appearance in
  auction sales, and public collections containing that item.
  (The ANS citations here are most useful, as it gives the
  accession number where you can go on the ANS
  website to find the full description of that item in their
  massive catalog databank.)

  After this, I list 16 references on Benjamin True for
  further research including biographical articles that Rick
  will find useful in "The Numismatist" (December 1941)
  and two references by Gladfelter in "Journal of the Civil
  War Token Society" separated by eight years as he
  corrected his data (1970 and 1978).

  I even mention that NBS president Pete Smith has included
  True in his unpublished manuscript on private mints in North
  America. I have attempted to include most of what has been
  published (and some unpublished!) data on every American
  coin and medal artist.

  I might mention the publication of this directory has been
  delayed due to conversion of 118,309 lines on 3,356 artists
  from the program in which I entered it, into some very
  sophisticated software demanded by my publisher.

  However, for numismatists seeking data in the meantime,
  please contact me.  I will email a summary, but will not send
  any text -- destined to be copyrighted -- on the internet.
  If you wish more extensive listings (even full text) I would
  mail this in hard copy for a small fee.  Like four pages on
  Benjamin True for $5.

  [It never ceases to amaze me what information E-Sylum
  readers can come up with.  Dick's email address is
  dick.johnson at   -Editor]


  Alan Luedeking writes: "I recently saw an Israeli 5 Agorot
  coin depicting an ancient coin on it. I also remember having
  seen a Hungarian 2000 Forint of 1996 depicting 13 coins
  upon it, and a couple of Isle of Man coins with several coins
  on them.  This got me wondering if there are any other such
  coins. Is there anybody out there who collects coins on
  coins, and is there any reference specifically on this topic?"


  Jim Spilman writes: "The Colonial Newsletter Foundation,
  Inc. (CNLF) has changed the back-issue availability for the
  Colonial Newsletter (CNL) to a digital format by producing
  a CD of back-issues #1-103 in .PDF format.  The CD (for
  PC or MAC) includes a computer searchable Cumulative
  Index - also in .PDF format.  The price is $65.00 postpaid
  within the USA or Canada and it can be ordered from
  CNLF; P.O.Box 4411; Huntsville, AL 35815.

  Also available is one set of hardcopy issues #1-103 (the
  CNLF issues) and two sets of issues #104-124 (the ANS
  issues).  Please contact CNLF at Comcast.NET for details.

  When these sets are gone, that will be the end of hardcopy
  availability from CNLF except for a few individual back
  issues and odds and ends of this and that.  After these are
  sold the only source will probably be the secondary market.

  Over the years, CNL has become the premier publication
  on Early American Numismatics (prior to 1793).  As we
  have entered the Digital Millennium, CNLF has established
  a group of 18 eSIGs (electronic Special Interest Groups)
  for each of the primary areas of interest in this field.

  [See the February 8, 2004 E-Sylum (v07n06) for more
  information on the CNLF eSIGs. -Editor]


  Dave Bowers sent us a copy of an article about the brouhaha
  over U.S. Presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry's Vietnam
  war medals:

  "At issue is Kerry's participation in a 1971 protest at which
  several veterans discarded their medals in protest of the
  Vietnam War.

  Kerry threw away the ribbons from his medals, along with
  the actual medals of two veterans who were not able to attend
  the ceremony, according to the candidate's Web site.

  Karen Hughes, a campaign adviser to President Bush,
  described herself as "very troubled" by the fact that Kerry
  only throw away his ribbons -- not the medals themselves.

  "He only pretended to throw his," she charged Sunday..."

  "Kerry has said he did not throw away his own medals
  because he did not have them with him."

  To read the full article, see: Full Story


  This Reuters report from Dallas, Texas isn't numismatic in
  itself, but it's amusing and raises the question, "Just what
  happens to all the banknotes that get splattered with dye in
  a foiled bank robbery attempt?  Are they simply returned to
  the Federal Reserve to be destroyed?   Have any found
  their way into numismatic channels?  Of course, there's no
  easy way to authenticate such notes, and they would have
  no premium on the market.  Still, I think it would be interesting
  to to have such a note if the story were known.  Wouldn't it
  be interesting to have one of the notes stolen in a famous
  robbery of the past?   Collectors often wonder what stories
  their acquisitions could tell, if only they could talk.

  "A Texas woman was arrested on Wednesday after a pink
  dye pack attached to money she is suspected of stealing
  from a bank exploded when she took the cash to a different
  bank to open a new account, police said.

  Fort Worth police said Sharon Luck, 43, was arrested on
  suspicion of robbing a bank in the city early on Wednesday,
  after a woman gave a bank teller a threatening note and
  walked out with cash to which the dye pack had been

  "When she opened her purse, the dye pack detonated,"

  "Police said she was easy to find because she was covered
  in pink dye."

  To read the full story, see: FullStory


  This week's featured web site is dedicated to the Victoria
  Cross, "the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry
  in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and
  Commonwealth forces."

  The site notes that "Fourteen men not born British or
  Commonwealth citizens have received the VC; five Americans,
  one Belgian, three Danes, two Germans, one Swede, a Swiss
  and a Ukrainian."

  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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