The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

PREV        NEXT        V12  2009  INDEX         E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

About Us

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. For more information please see our web site at


Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers (or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page link


There is a membership application available on the web site Membership Application

To join, print the application and return it with your check to the address printed on the application. Membership is only $15 to addresses in the U.S., $20 for First Class mail, and $25 elsewhere. For those without web access, write to:

David M. Sundman, Secretary/TreasurerNumismatic Bibliomania Society
P. O. Box 82 Littleton, NH 03561


For Asylum mailing address changes and other membership questions, contact David at this email address:


To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, just Reply to this message, or write to the Editor at this address:


You won't regret it!


Wayne Homren Among our recent subscribers are Ans ter Woerds of the Netherlands, and Karl Burgess. We now have 1,224 subscribers.

This week we open with an update from literature dealer David Sklow and information on several new books and reprints in the numismatic field. We also look at two important new auction catalogs. Queries this week involve Salathiel Ellis, and a new mystery bibliophile.

Topics continuing from previous issues include Joseph Jenks, the John J. Ford collection, Hans Holzer, and Vietnamese play money. To learn about the recall of all U.S. paper money, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


David Sklow sent the following update on his upcoming sale. -Editor
Sklow logo On June 13, 2009, David Sklow-Fine Numismatic Books will close their 7th auction. Catalogs available by request; Send inquiries to: David Sklow-Fine Numismatic Books, P. O. Box 6321, Colorado Springs, CO 80934. Telephone: (719)-302-5686; Fax: (719)-302-4933; Email:

The catalog is in the mail and currently accessible on-line: Bids will be accepted by, telephone, fax, email and regular mail.

Several sale highlights: The Estate Numismatic Library of a Connecticut Bibliophile; Myron Xenos Personal Library of United States Copper Related Literature; The Personal Library of a Former Numismatic Literature Publisher and Dealer; Memorabilia From Laurese Katen; Several other Consignments;


Author Bill Bugert forwarded the following details about his new book, A Register of Liberty Seated Half Dollar Die Varieties Volume I, San Francisco Branch Mint by Bill Bugert with Special Edits by and Consultations with Randy Wiley -Editor
Bugert San Fancisco Liberty Seated Half Dollars The purpose of my new book is four-fold:

  • To document all the currently known Liberty Seated half dollars die marriages produced at the San Francisco Branch Mint
  • To assist the beginning or advanced Liberty Seated half dollar collector into expanding beyond type, date, or date/mint collecting into die marriage collecting
  • To aid the casual collector or dealer with proper variety identification and other pertinent information
  • To establish a standard nomenclature for the Liberty Seated half dollar die marriages.

Previously, The Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Half Dollars listed a finite and pre-determined number of the most easily identifiable die varieties of the series. This new book is different and individually documents the San Francisco Branch Mint Liberty Seated Half Dollar die marriages of the obverse, reverse, and collar dies currently known.

It is commonly misunderstood by many collectors and dealers that the Liberty Seated denominations have been studied as extensively as the older copper and bust series, where the discovery of new die marriages is rare. This is far from reality.

The older copper and bust series have been extensively collected, exhaustively studied, and completely documented for many decades. The Liberty Seated series are far behind in that respect and have a lot of catching up to do. I hope to help that along for the half dollars.

The book details all 228 known San Francisco Branch Mint Liberty Seated Half Dollar die marriages with narratives, photos of diagnostics, rarity ratings, background information, etc.

  • Includes nearly 1,400 photographs
  • 313 pages in 8.5 by 11 inch size
  • Printed on high quality 100# anthem gloss paper
  • Available in 3-hole punched format (ready for your binder) or plastic comb binding format
  • $45 plus $5 postage (Specify which format you desire)

Shipment date is late-May 2009. Order directly from the author at

Bill Bugert
1230 Red Rock Road
Gettysburg, PA 17325


Kerry Rodgers forwarded the below image of the new reprint of the 1897 guide to the New Orleans Mint entitled, How Money is Coined. Many thanks also to Kerry for making us aware of the reprint in an earlier E-Sylum submission. -Editor
New Orleans Mint pamphlet In 1897 author E.S. Gardiner spent some weeks at the New Orleans Mint. Gardiner took a series of photographs illustrating key aspects of the coining process and later that year published a comprehensive illustrated 30 page guidebook titled, How Money is Coined: A Visit in the United States Mint, New Orleans. It sold for 25 cents.

This booklet is excessively rare - I've never seen one. The Centre for Louisiana Studies has used an early negative photographic copy of one of the booklets, originally owned by a woman working in the Mint's adjusting department, to reprint the booklet in full. It comes complete with an introduction by Greg Lambousy, Director of Collections at the Museum.

Those wishing to purchase a copy should contact: Centre for Louisiana Studies, Dupré Library, P.O. Box 40831, Lafayette, LA 70504, or email The cost is $8 plus shipping.



Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing forwarded this release about their latest publication. -Editor
Snow Small Cents 2ndGuide Book of Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents. The full-color, 288-page book has 32 more pages than the 1st edition, updating pricing and other market data, new photographs and other content, and new appendices. It is available nationwide for $19.95.

As Q. David Bowers notes in the introduction, Flying Eagle and Indian Head cents, minted from 1856 to 1909, were once the most popular, most widely circulated, most plentiful coins in everyday American life. Several of them could buy a newspaper, or candy, or a streetcar ride. “Indian Head cents,” says Bowers, “were anywhere and everywhere.”

Now, in the 2nd edition of A Guide Book of Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents, award-winning author Rick Snow examines these beautiful coins by date, mintage, production, survivability, collecting challenges, and variety. His research is bolstered by the usual high-quality Whitman treatment: an engaging overview of the series by the “dean of American numismatics,” Q. David Bowers; high-quality photographs in full color; expert advice on collecting; market values in multiple grades, including Red, Red/Brown, and Brown Mint States, as well as Proofs; certified population data; and a wealth of background information.

The expanded 2nd edition includes an illustrated biography of coin designer James B. Longacre; an appendix on detecting counterfeit and altered coins; an appendix of recent auction records, by date and variety; a history of market prices going back to 1946; and a bibliography for further research—plus new sections on pattern coins and toned Proofs.

A Guide Book of Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents, 2nd edition, is available through online retailers and in bookstores nationwide. It can be ordered directly from Whitman at

A Guide Book of Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents, 2nd edition
By Richard Snow. Foreword by Tom DeLorey. Introduction by Q. David Bowers.
ISBN 0794828310
288 pages, softcover, 6 x 9 inches, full color
Retail $19.95


Dennis Tucker also forwarded this release about an useful new format for their classic "Red Book". -Editor
Whitman Publishing’s Guide Book of United States Coins (by R.S. Yeoman, edited by Kenneth Bressett, now in its 63rd edition) is available for the first time in a large-print format. The new option measures 8.5 x 11 inches, with a glossy softcover and spiral binding.

“The new Large Print Edition Red Book is 45% larger than the regular edition,” said Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker. “It has bold, easy-to-read print, and every photograph is enlarged in high detail. The book includes all the content of the regular edition—every price, mintage, and specification, and all the historical background text.”

Yeoman RB10_Comparison_Reg-LgPrint

Known among collectors as the “Red Book,” the Guide Book is the world’s most popular annual retail price guide for U.S. coins, tokens, and other numismatic items. More than 22 million copies of the Red Book have been purchased since 1946, making it one of the best-selling nonfiction titles in the history of U.S. publishing.

For the 63rd edition, more than 140 professional coin dealers, scholars, and other numismatic experts contributed their knowledge under the direction of editor Kenneth Bressett, valuations editor Jeff Garrett, and research editor Q. David Bowers.

I haven't seen a copy of this edition yet, but it sounds like a great idea. My own eyes aren't what they used to be, and bigger print is always better. I'm glad to know that the images are larger in this edition, too. I wonder if this is what the size of the book would have been anyway if the publisher hadn't kept with the original page size while year after year cramming more and more great information into the annual guide. -Editor
The 63rd edition of the Red Book is available online and at bookstores and hobby shops nationwide. In addition to the Large Print Edition and several formats of the regular edition, Whitman Publishing is also taking pre-orders for the leather-bound Limited Edition (1,500 copies autographed by Bressett). For more information and to order, the Whitman web site is


After seeing his ads in a Canadian numismatic publication I wrote to author Harry James for more information, and he submitted the following. For more information or to place an order, contact Harry at . -Editor
I have five books published on tokens and medals used by various businesses throughout southern Ontario. These are:

Numismatically Elgin, Numismatically Oxford, Numismatically Middlesex, Numismatically Norfolk and Numismatically Perth. Each of these books covers various businesses in the county covered and the tokens or medals they used. A brief history of the businesses and a description of the tokens used by them along with illustrations of the tokens and some of the stores is in each edition.

Numismatically Elgin is currently out of print but should be available shortly. The cost of the books are $15 plus $4 postage for Elgin, Oxford and Middlesex and $18 plus $4 postage for Norfolk and Perth.

I am currently working on a book for Waterloo County as well as Essex County. I am not expecting that either will be ready in the very near future. I also hope to begin on Brant County some time soon.


Our 98th mail-bid sale of numismatic literature features
selections from the library of Valerie Renee Nickles
(and other consignors)
Highlights include:
  • Lot A22 - McCawley & Grellman - Scott Barnes Sale - hardbound in leather and numbered.
  • Lot C10 - Q. David Bowers' American Coin Treasures and Hoards - signed by QDB and inscribed by John J. Ford, Jr.
  • Lot C31 - Ivy Press - 1990 - the two-part interview with John J. Ford, Jr. - Ford has written a rather caustic inscription relating to his situation vis-a-vis Territorial Gold, etc. Both issues are signed.
  • C34 - Alan Kessler - 1976 - The Fugio Cents
  • E15 - D. R. Cooper - 1988 - The Art and Craft of Coinmaking.....
  • E42 - G. Michailovitch - 1973 (reprint) - Monnaies de L'Empire de Russie:1725-1894
  • F55 - W. Wolka - 2004 - Nineteenth Century Ohio Obsolete Bank Notes and Scrip
  • H89 - J. R. Snowden - 1861- ......Medals of Washington........
  • J18 - C. S. Brigham - 1969 - Engravings of Paul Revere
The closing date of the sale is May 26, 2009 at 5:00 PM (EDT) and the catalog may be viewed at:


Last week I reviewed the new 2nd edition of Numismatic Photography by Mark Goodman. Joe Boling writes: Goodman Numismatic Photography 2nd ed
My criticism of it is that, although titled Numismatic Photography, all he deals with are fabricated metal discs (and a few paragraphs about plastic cases containing metal discs). There is not one word about paper money, orders and decorations, plaquettes, stocks and bonds, or primitive money, and almost nothing about items larger than 40mm.

My review was definitely lacking in failing to point out this obvious omission. Coin Photography would have been a far better title for the book. Joe's right; although the title proclaims the subject to be numismatic photography, it is restricted to just coins, not any other form of object in the broader numismatic field. -Editor

I also published a review by Joe Benice of Kansas Paper Money: An Illustrated History, 1854-1935 by Steve Whitfield. Regarding this book Joe Boling adds:
The lack of a straight alphabetical organization in Steve Whitfield's new Kansas paper money book is no problem so long as there is an comprehensive index - which Ron Benice does not mention. Is there one?


Joe Levine's Presidential Coin and Antique Company catalogs are a marvelous source for medal collectors. Joe writes: "Here is a link to our 79th Auction sale to be held in Baltimore. The physical catalog should be mailed in about two weeks." With permission I'm excerpting a few interesting items from the catalog; Joe kindly provided images.

The catalog contains 224 pages featuring a whopping 1697 lots plus a fixed price section of official Barack Obama inaugural medals. One of the featured consignments is a selection of medals from the estate of William Merritt Chase, one of the most highly respected American artists of the late nineteenth century.

Other sections of the catalog cover a number of items we've discussed in The E-Sylum, including American Numismatic Society Medals and Medallic Ash Trays. -Editor

Lot 23 ALGERNON SYDNEY SULLIVAN BOOK AND MEDAL, 1911. 60 x 80mm. Bronze. J. E. Roine, Sc. Unc. Obverse with Sullivan’s portrait to the left. Inscribed above: IN HONOR OF/ ALGERNON SYDNEY SULLIVAN/ 1826 1887. In the exergue: HE REACHED OUT BOTH HANDS IN CONSTANT/ HELPFULNESS TO HIS FELLOW MEN. The reverse bears a depiction of Sullivan, as an older man, reaching out to aid a youth and with his flaming torch, lighting the torch of the youth. The inscription in the exergue is a quotation from Lowell: AS ONE LAMP LIGHTS ANOTHER, NOR GROWS LESS/ SO NOBLENESS ENKINDLITH NOBLENESS.


The medal has been solidly inserted in the middle of a hardbound book recounting the life of Mr. Sullivan who was a prominent lawyer and numismatist in New York City. The book informs us that the medal “... is awarded each year to the five persons who stand highest in their examinations for admission to the Bar of the State of New York.” and is presented by the American Numismatic Society. A key piece for the collector of book encased medals. (

Lot 44 AMERICAN RED CROSS, 1919. Baxter 327; Marqusee 176. 70.4mm. Bronze. Daniel Chester French, Sc. Unnumbered (MACO). A nice Uncirculated example of this popular medal. Obverse bust left of a World War I soldier in uniform and helmet. The reverse bears a scene of a nurse attending a prone patient within a depressed inner cross. THE AMERICAN RED CROSS around the upper border. Issued by the ANS. Along with the British and French War Commission medal, Barbara Baxter considers this medal as one of French’s two most outstanding pieces.

Red cross-O REd Cross-R

Another interesting section of the Presidential 79th sale described above covers medals of artist Janet Scudder. -Editor
Born in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1869, Netta Dweezie Frazee Scudder was the daughter of a candy maker who encouraged his daughter’s artistic interests. He enrolled her in the Saturday drawing classes of William Ames at the Rose Polytechnic Institute, one of only two women admitted to the all-male school.

Scudder left Terre Haute in 1887 and enrolled at the Cincinnati Art Academy, receiving instruction under sculptor Louis Rebisso. It was here she also changed her name to Janet after a registrar informed her that Netta was not a real name.

Moving to Chicago three years later her talent earned her a place in the studio of Lorado Taft who utilized her on the sculptural decorations for the World’s Columbian Exposition. She became part of a group of women sculptors working under Taft that are now immortalized as the “White Rabbits.” She also received the commission to create statues to adorn the Illinois and Indiana state buildings for which she received a bronze medal.

Lot 68 LOUISE HARTSHORNE MOORE PORTRAIT OF LOUISE HARSHORNE MOORE, 1903. 113.2 68.8mm. Cast Bronze Thin Galvano. XF/AU. The portrait of Louise Hartshorne Moore is probably the most significant relief by Scudder in this grouping. The original marble bas-relief was exhibited at the Eighteenth Annual Exhibition of the Architectural League of New York in 1903 and illustrated in the catalogue.

Some contemporary sources state that this was one of two large medallions purchased by the French Government for the Musée de Luxembourg. Reductions were cast in bronze, silver and gold.

“Once, after one of his long twilight visits, I saw him [MacMonnies] bundling up several silver portrait medallions I had done in New York and brought to Paris with me. When asked what he was going to do with them he gave some evasive answer and left without satisfying my curiosity.

A week later he said casually: By the way those medallions of yours! I showed them to the curator of the Luxembourg Museum. He liked them so much he wants them for the museum. Would you mind giving them to the French Government?” Would I mind having my work in the Musée du Luxembourg the greatest honor any living artist can have! He might just as well have asked me if I wanted to go to heaven when I died. Nothing could possibly have given me so much inspiring encouragement.

To access the online catalog, see: Auction Seventy-Nine Featuring an Important Selection of American Medallic Art (


Australia's Monetarium will soon auction a landmark collection of rare Australian gold coins, and a limited edition hardcover book will be issued. The following text is from the firm's press release for the sale. -Editor
Australia Type-1-Adelaide-Assay-Office-Ingot The famed Quartermaster Collection, containing many of Australia’s most valuable and highest quality gold coins, will be going to auction on the 4th of June 2009.

Featuring many of Australia’s rarest coins, this Auction will be unlike any other seen in this country. The collection of 344 items is an anthology of Australian gold currency, spanning 1852 to 1931.

Tony Richardson, a director of Monetarium (Australia) Pty Ltd, says, "It’s an extraordinary achievement to have assembled such a comprehensive collection of rare coins. I doubt it will ever be seen again."

Some of the lots that will go under the hammer are unique or very few are known to exist, including:
  • the excessively rare Adelaide Assay Office Ingots & Port Phillip Patterns,
  • one of only two 1852 Five Pounds Coins, and
  • the finest quality Type 1 & Type 2 Adelaide Pounds

Australia Port-Phillip-Kangaroo-Office-Gold-Coin Australia Proof-1920-Sydney-Mint-Sovereign

For Australia, these coins are an invaluable source of recollection for this young country’s economic independence. For many years, they have been the most impressive presentation of Australia’s first currency and are some of the most prized and historically significant pieces attainable for a quality numismatic portfolio.

The collection also features a complete set of Australian Sovereigns and Half Sovereigns, which contains more unique and excessively rare coins including:
  • the 1853 Proof/Specimen Sovereign and Half Sovereign,
  • the 1887 & 1902 Sydney Mint (5 Pound, 2 Pound, Sovereign & Half Sovereign) Proof Sets,
  • Proof 1920 Sydney Mint Sovereign,
  • Proof 1893 Melbourne Mint Half Sovereign,
  • Several error coins, overdates and rare varieties

Every coin in the collection includes a record of provenance, which is an important element for many collectors of Antiquities.

To read the complete press release, see: Monetarium to Auction Australia’s Most Valuable Rare Gold Coin Collection (

The firm plans to issue a limited edition book based on the collection. The following text is from their web site. -Editor
Australia Quartermaster Collection THE QUARTERMASTER COLLECTION. 2009. FULL COLOUR HARD BOUND BOOK. Limited edition of only 200 copies. The most comprehensive Collection of early Australian Coinage ever assembled. Featuring Adelaide Assay Office Ingots, Five Pounds & Pounds, Port Phillip Patterns, 1887S & 1902S Proof Sets, Complete Collection of Sovereigns & Half Sovereigns.

For more information, see:


DAVID F. FANNING NUMISMATIC LITERATURE will be conducting its second mail-bid auction, closing June 4. Highlights include an important group of photographs and negatives of the Newcomer collection. For more information, go to .


Anne E. Bentley writes:
The Massachusetts Historical Society's two main published series, the Collections (1792 to the present) and Proceedings (through the end of the series, 1997) are now available through All of the MHS numismatic articles I cited at the Numismatic Bibliomania Society event in Baltimore last year are now available in full. Those who don't have access through their work (most universities are members) should check their local library. I access JSTOR through my Boston Public Library (free) account.

Great news! Historical society publication can be a trove of great information for numismatic researchers. At my request Anne forwarded some of the notes for her talk - see below for excerpts. Thanks! -Editor

Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society is a series devoted to publication of primary source materials from our library and others. Now in our 216th year of production.

Series 3, In 1832, James Mease reprinted his description of 17 colonial medals relating to Pennsylvania and most of the Comitia Americana set, and added descriptions of the 25 medals awarded by Congress in the War of 1812,

Collections vol. 76 is more familiar to you as Malcolm Storer’s Numismatics of Massachusetts.

Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society is a series that covers 1791 through 1997, documenting meetings and papers presented through those years. Several notable articles appear here. William Sumner Appleton presented a paper on coins and medals relating to America in vol. 11 of the first series (1791-1883).

In series 2 he also reported on Dupré and his work for America in connection with the collection of his materials at the Boston Public Library (Proc. Ser. 2, v. 5). Series 2 also features Andrew McFarland Davis’s A search for a pamphlet by Governor Hutchinson (Proc. Ser. 2, Vol. 12) as part of his bibliography of pamphlets on paper money in provincial Massachusetts.

Shepard Pond’s paper on Pretenders to the French Throne in Numismatics appeared in Vol. 67. Our late Adams Papers Editor, Marc Friendlaender, published an entertaining account of Charles Francis Adams’s numismatic exploits in Charles Francis Adams, Numismatist, Brought to the Bar: Groux v. Adams in Vol. 86.


Harvey Stack Mike Hodder writes:
It was good reading Alan Weinberg's recent posting about the Farouk Sale. Alan's one of those rare connoisseurs who cares about what makes numismatics really interesting. I might mention here that my friend Harvey Stack writes a column of reminiscences about the people and places of numismatics gone by that appears twice a month on Stack's own website (in the "news corner").

Named "Harvey Stack Remembers", it's always an interesting and enjoyable diversion. I recommend it to anyone who wants to read about the good old days when the coin business seems to have been fun and the characters in it larger than life.

To read Harvey Stack Remembers, see:


Dick Johnson writes:
I just finished an article on Salathiel Ellis, the cameo engraver who modeled four presidents (Fillmore, Pierce, Buchannan and Lincoln) for the Indian Peace Medal Series and two medals for the Military Series (Scott and Taylor) among others. These were all struck at the Philadelphia Mint.

Does anyone have an illustration -- or the actual item -- of any cameo portraits he prepared over his career in the 1840s to 1860s? Georgia Chamberlain illustrated two of these in plaster and a separate illustration of Gilbert Stuart in her book, American Medals and Medallists. Are there any others?

Email me please:


Pete Smith writes:
Franklin Mint Postmaster Library The item on Twilight Zone bibliophile Henry Bemis got a good response. Perhaps this item will generate some responses, too. Who is the book lover on the medal in the attached photo?

Unfortunately, I don't know the answer. This is part of the Franklin Mint series on Postmasters and Stamps. This is number 17 issued on October 10, 1974. The person is not identified on the medal. I believe this came in an envelope with text. Once those are separated, it can be difficult to identify the person.

It is still a mystery to me. I will be interested the reaction of E-Sylum readers.


Karl Moulton writes:
Apparently, there should have been some clarification made in the press release about my Ford/"Franklin Hoard" book. The Ford sales mentioned in the press release were the 21 separate, named sales conducted by Stack's between 2003 & 2007.

Other Ford collection items had been offered or sold previously beginning in 1983 when he sold his Hitler memorabilia. In 1990 & 1992, Ford consigned his 1852/1 USAOG "Proof" $20 to Superior. It failed to meet the reserve both times and was labeled as "Coiner John Kellogg's Personal Coin". Ford was not named as the consignor, but the same coin was sold in the Ford part II sale by Stack's, lot 363. In that offering, there was no mention of John G. Kellogg's prior ownership.

Other items were sold by Stack's in 1993 (slave hire badges & some Colonials). Other Ford Colonials (Connecticut) were offered in the June and September 1994 sales by Stack's. They list the consignor as the Ford Family Trust. Ford sold his Confederate States of America bonds in June of 1997 through Smythe at the Memphis show.

If there are other sales of Ford materials (especially foreign offerings) it would be nice to complete the list.

David Gladfelter writes:
Steve Tanenbaum has asked me many times, what happened to Ford’s substantial but unknown collection of U.S. merchant tokens? Any answers?

We do know, from Q. David Bowers, that his Nova Constellation silver pattern set was sold privately circa 2005.

David pointed out a tidbit I'd missed in Bowers' new Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins. On p74 he states that "in the early 21st century Stack's, acting on behalf of the Ford family, sold the coins to a private collector."

There are other UNSOLD segments of the collection; Alan V. Wienberg summarizes below the portions he's aware of. -Editor
Since you mentioned an unsold segment of the Ford Collection, I thought I might expand on the list so that collectors might anticipate that someday these treasures will be auctioned:
  • the finest collection of "Pseudo-Low" Hard Times tokens ever assembled, said by Steve Tanenbaum (who knew JJF well and is an expert in the HTT field) to surpass in value the original Low-listed Hard Times tokens auction by Stack's
  • allegedly over 500 political ferrotypes, the largest group ever privately assembled
  • an extensive collection of early Breton (listed & unlisted) Canadian tokens
  • an extensive collection of Sutler tokens (and scrip?)
  • an extensive collection of early American political tokens as listed (or unlisted) in DeWitt & Sullivan (and political ribbons?)
  • an extensive collection of Western territorial, Indian and Post Trader tokens

Some of these segments had already been catalogued by Dr. George Fuld for Stack's but remain unsold.


Lou Jordan writes:
I noticed you mentioned some information on Joseph Jenks. For an update on Jenks see my book John Hull, the Mint and the Economics of Massachusetts Coinage, pp.142-147.

Lou kindly sent me an electronic copy of the chapter, and with permission I've excerpted some text here. Thanks! -Editor
Jordan John Hull While there is no document directly linking Jenks to the mint‚ some suggestive evidence exists. A letter written in 1654 in London by John Hull’s brother‚ Edward Hull‚ to Joseph Jenks survives in which Edward Hull told Jenks he knew of a German die cutter willing to immigrate to Boston‚ but there is no evidence this person ever came to Massachusetts Bay (Morison‚ p. 152).

However‚ if Jenks was making the tools or die blanks for the mint it would seem quite logical for him to pursue leads on a diecutter among his former acquaintances in the profession. That he was corresponding on this topic with Hull’s brother strongly suggests the request was made in relation to the recently opened mint. Jenks may have been pursuing a diecutter as a personal favor to John Hull‚ who was probably one of Jenks’s customers‚ or‚ if Jenks produced items for the mint‚ he may have been doing this as part of a business deal.

In addition to this letter from the early years of the mint‚ there is a document from the later period. In the proceedings of the Massachusetts Bay General Court there is a record from May 15‚ 1672‚ stating the Court denied a petition brought forward by Joseph Jenks in which he requested permission to be allowed to open a mint (Crosby‚ pp. 79-80). It is generally assumed Jenks would not have gone through the expense and trouble to submit a petition unless he knew the trade and felt he could have successfully competed with Hull.

With the demise of Hammersmith‚ Jenks seemed to have been searching for a new profession and felt he could be successful as a coiner. If Jenks had produced the steel die blanks or possibly some of the tools necessary for the continued operation of Hull’s mint he would certainly be in a position to enter the coining business. Based on his reputation as a master ironsmith and interpreting both his 1654 inquiry to Edward Hull about a diecutter and his unsuccessful 1672 petition in the manner stated above‚ it is probable Jenks made some items for the Hull mint.

Specifically what Jenks may have produced for the mint is entirely conjectural. Various metal objects are possible candidates such as wrought iron rollers to roll out the molded sterling strips and possibly metal tools such as crucibles‚ ladles‚ tongs and metal parts for the furnace. However‚ the items most frequently suggested are punches and die blanks. Punches would refer to sets of hardened punches used to impress the letter grouping NE on the obverse and another punch for the reverse used to impress the denomination in Roman numerals directly onto each of the NE coins.

Many long held assumptions concerning the minting and emission of colonial coins have been modified or overturned in the past few decades. Sometimes‚ as in the recent editions of R. S. Yeoman’s guide‚ popularly known as the Red Book‚ it is stated Jenks may have made the punches‚ without commenting on the dies.

Interestingly‚ Hartley‚ in his book on the Saugus Ironworks‚ mentions Jenks had been credited with making dies for the Pine Tree shillings as well as constructing the first fire engine‚ but he was suspicious of those claims (Hartley‚ p. 11).


Last week we discussed the late Hans Holzer and the book he collaborated with Hans Schulman on, the Coin Collectors' Almanac. I pictured green and red cloth copies and asked "Is anyone familiar with the different binding variants of this book?" George Kolbe writes:
It also comes in blue cloth. The following is a description of a copy sold in the 2004 Ford Library sale.

Schulman-Holzer Coin Collectors Almanac Schulman-Holzer Coin Collectors Almanac red

Schulman, Hans M. F. & Holzer, Hans. The Coin Collectors’ Almanac…With Contributions by Leading Experts. New York, 1946. (6), 372 pages, text illustrations. Original brown quarter baby calf, gilt. Near new.

Special Leatherbound Presentation Edition. F. C. C. Boyd stamped in gilt at the base of the upper cover; inscribed in blue ink on the front flyleaf: “To Mr. F. C. C. Boyd with many thanks for his friendship and interest. A very merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. Sincerely, Hans Schulman, New York, Xmas 1946.”

The only such example we have every encountered. Apparently published in a substantial trade edition, in several different colors of cloth, the work itself is an interesting if unusual general work, boasting an Editorial Board of Howard D. Gibbs, Frank J. Katen, Abe Kosoff, Robert I. Nesmith, and others, and reflective of the unique attributes of its authors. Living up to its title, it provides information on an amazing range of numismatic topics, and is still of interest today.

I also asked if anyone knew of Holzer's other numismatic works. -Editor

George Kolbe writes:
Holzer was an associate editor of Stack's Numismatic Review; in 1965 published Collectors' Guidebook to Coins; and on April 26, 1939 delivered a speech to the Bronx Coin Club on "Gallienus and Regalianus" (we sold the typescript some time ago).

George Fuld adds:
It is interesting to note that silver Getz half dollar sold in the Ford II sale (lot 28 at $210,000) apparently came to the U.S. via Hans Holzer. It came from Seaby's circa 1950-51 at $350 to John Ford at $400 sold to F. C. C. Boyd at $500. So Holzer must have dealt with coins as well as ghosts.

The pedigree for this coin in the Ford sale was faulty as the origin for it from Waldo Newcomer is wrong as he never owned a plain edge Getz silver half dollar. It is discussed in the forth coming book on Getz issues due out in the coming months.


Oded Paz, Vice President, TEC (The Elongated Collector) submitted these thoughts inspired by last week's item on laws regarding coin defacement in Canada. -Editor
I read with interest the article regarding ARE CANADIAN ELONGATED CENTS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES? It is true that it is illegal to smash (elongate / squash) cents in Canada. I've heard that the reason is that it would be illegal to deface the Queen's portrait on the coins. Nevertheless, it is not illegal in the UK, where the Queen's image is smashed in elongating machines all the time. Many elongating machines (smashers) in Canada actually have two ways of getting around this problem:
  • 1. The machines use U.S. Cents that are pre-loaded into the machines
  • 2. The machines use Copper planchets that are pre-loaded into the machines

In both cases, the user just puts in the cost of the coin, and the machine uses the pre-loaded Cent or planchet to smash the image on it. Just thought that the readers might be interested in knowing this. All the best & KEEP ON SMASHING!


The Kindle e-book reader from Amazon is really on a roll - here's some of the latest news. -Editor
Amazon today unveiled a large-screen version of its Kindle e-reader, fulfilling the predictions of hundreds of tech bloggers. The Kindle DX has a 9.7-inch electronic paper display, a built-in PDF reader, an auto-rotate capability like that of the iPhone, the same 3G wireless technology as the old Kindle, and storage for up to 3,500 books. It will cost $489 ($130 more than the smaller Kindle) and will ship this summer.

To read the complete article, see: Surpise! Amazon Launches Large-Screen Kindle (

As if that news isn't enough - check out this statistic - Kindle books sales now account for 35% of sales for books available in both hardcopy and on Kindle. -Editor
kindle-book-sales-big Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos dropped a bomb on the book industry while rolling out the big-screen Kindle this morning, Dan Frommer reports:
Kindle sales are now 35% of book sales when Kindle editions are available. Huge jump in Feb when Kindle 2 went on sale.

To read the complete article, see: Kindle Books Now A Shocking 35% Of Sales When Kindle Version Available (

So... how long before numismatic periodicals and books are available on the Kindle? -Editor


DAVID SKLOW - FINE NUMISMATIC BOOKS Sale #7, closing June 13th 2009, Catalog is in the mail and available on line at our web site. Bidding is accepted via email. Telephone: (719) 302-5686, FAX: (719) 302-4933. U.S. Mail: P.O. Box 6321, Colorado Springs, CO. 80934.


Paul Bosco writes:
Periodically I Google myself, to see what lies are being spread about me, or to see which of my own lies are circulating with effect.

I stumbled on an April 2008 E-Sylum reference to the Yoachum Dollar. As I bought the piece in the Hartzog auction, and subsequently sold it in my November 2000 auction, I am mentioned. It would have been better to quote my auction description.

I don’t have a 1984 Red Book at hand, to verify the quote –sheer hogwash-- supposedly pulled from it, in support of the existence of a Yoachum Dollar before the 1980s. It is not in later Red Books. As for the account of the restriking of the Yoachum Dollar, in an edge-marked edition of 142, I doubt this ever happened.

I was just quoting a piece that had turned up elsewhere on the web, although in looking at the two E-Sylum pieces I could find on the coin in April 2008 I don't see the Red Book mentioned. Thanks for the background information. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see: QUERY: YOACHUM SILVER DOLLAR: APRIL FOOL? (


While looking up other things I came across this blog post on some "Haunting book-sculptures". Check 'em out! -Editor
Book Sculpture Artist Nicholas Galanin has created a wonderful collection of sculptures made from books, featuring reliefs of faces and traditional Tlingit forms.

To read the complete article, see: Haunting book-sculptures featuring Tlingit forms (

Kolbe 2009 May 10


A medal awarded by the Queen has been declared unlawful, according to this article in Britain's Times. The Trinity Cross (top) is to be replaced by the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (below). -Editor
Trinity Cross An honour established by the Queen has been declared unlawful after Muslims and Hindus complained that its Christian name and cross insignia were offensive.

The Trinity Cross of the Order of Trinity was established by the Queen 40 years ago to recognise distinguished service and gallantry in the former colony of Trinidad and Tobago. It has been received by 62 people including the cricketers Garfield Sobers and Brian Lara, the novelist V. S. Naipaul and many of the islands’ leading politicians and diplomats.

The Privy Council in London has ruled that the decoration is unconstitutional because it discriminates against non-Christians.

The Trinity Cross was established in 1969 and took precedence over all other decorations except the Victoria Cross and George Cross. The title and choice of insignia followed six years of consultation and research of national awards in other countries. Questions were raised, though, about the overtly Christian nature of the words “Trinity” and “Cross” and the use of a cross insignia, which led to some of those nominated refusing to accept the decoration.

The law lords refused to make the order retrospective, meaning that the recipients will not be stripped of their honours.

Hugh Peskett, editor-in-chief of Burke’s Peerage and Gentry, said that changing the names of titles to remove their Christian references would destroy hundreds of years of history. “Part of the significance of an honour is its antiquity and I can see no reason why they should be changed,” he said.

To read the complete article, see: Queen’s Trinity Cross honour deemed unlawful by Privy Council (


Regarding last week's item on the realistic-looking play money being sold in Viet Nam, Joe Boling writes:
Looking at the sheet of Vietnamese play money, I'd say it's about quarter scale. I hardly call that realistic.

Another article this week also notes the size difference. -Editor
Vietnamese Realistic Play Money Tiny, high quality imitation bank notes intended for play, with ‘face values’ of between VND 10,000 and VND 500,000 are still displayed openly for sale though the State Bank of Vietnam has declared that the sale of the play money is illegal.

Since local newspapers quoted officials as saying that the sale of play money copying real Vietnamese notes is illegal, big toy shops on Kim Ma and Luong Van Can streets in Hanoi no longer display the imitation bank notes. However, it’s still possible to purchase the play money in the ‘underground way’.

When reporters said they wanted to buy some play money, the owner of a shop on Kim Ma street said that she could give the ‘money’ straight away if only a small volume was needed. However, to obtain a lot of ‘money,’ the reporters would have to return the next day, she said. “As the sale of play money is prohibited, we dare not keep it in big quantity,” she said.

Meanwhile, on small alleys near elementary schools like Quan Tho, Nguyen Khang and Nui Truc, the imitation bank notes are on open sale.

Most of the imitation bank notes are only one-quarter of the size of a real bank note. However, the imitation bank notes have the colour and print quality of real bank notes.

A toy shop owner on Nui Truc street said the imitation money has been imported from China.

The ‘banknotes’ made of different materials. Some, made of cotton paper, are the size of matchboxes, and have face values of 5,000, 10,000, 100,000 and 200,000 dong. Children like the money because the bank notes are colourful and look like real money.

The sale prices of toy bank notes do not depend on the ‘face value’ of the money, but on the material of the ‘bank notes’. The cotton ‘bank notes’ are selling at 200 dong per sheet of A4 paper, while plasticized ‘bank notes’ are more expensive, 1,000 dong per sheet.

In fact, not only children, are buying the play money, but adults as well, who purchase the money for souvenirs or collections.

According to an expert, the play money has been printed with offset technology that allows to very accurate reproduction.

To read the complete article, see: Real-looking play money still on sale in Hanoi (


Loren Gatch writes:
I would never dream of dragging down the intellectual level of your estimable publication, but I hope you could a place to feature the following video from The Onion.

"Estimable" - is that kind of like "execrable" ? Anyway, here's the link to the video: -Editor

To read the complete article, see: Treasury Department issues recall of all us dollars (


This week's Featured Web Site is suggested by Joseph D. McCarthy. WorldCat is a site for locating books in libraries worldwide.

WorldCat is the world's largest network of library content and services. WorldCat libraries are dedicated to providing access to their resources on the Web, where most people start their search for information

PREV        NEXT        V12 2009 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

Back to top