The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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


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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:


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You won't regret it!

Volume 12, Number 33, August 16, 2009

Click here to read this issue on the web


Wayne Homren

Among our recent subscribers are Roger Persichelli, courtesy of Bob Neale, Ian Jones, and Larry Adams. Welcome aboard! We now have 1,244 subscribers.

Harold Levi writes:

This week the formatting of The E-Sylum is perfect. Keep up the Great Work!!

Paul Petch writes:

I don't know how much manual effort you had to put into the appearance of the latest issue, but everything looks perfect to me. I thought I should let you know how much your effort is appreciated,

Thanks for bearing with us as we work out these issues. With the change there is some more manual effort required, but this change may be temporary. Regardless, it's worth it to see know that the issue is being formatted properly now for most readers.

Thanks are also due Michel Prieur of Paris, who published a nice article (in French and English) about The E-Sylum in the September 2009 issue of his firm's Bulletin Numismatique

Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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John Adams writes:

Q. David Bowers was accorded a full house for the 2009 NBS Symposium. The ostensible topic of the Symposium was Dave's new book, The Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coinage. This outstanding addition to our literature was referenced from time to time but, more often, the audience was treated to a wealth of anecdotes about numismatists and numismatics in general. To say that we were "riveted" is understatement.

Dave donated a hardcover edition of The Encyclopedia, which was then passed around for the signatures/home towns of all those in attendance. This marvelous memorial of the occasion was auctioned the following day at our regular NBS meeting, where it fetched $7500 ! QDB was present to see just how much we bibliophiles think of this great author.

Bowers, QD w John Adams and $7,500 book! ANA 2009-08-07

Dave Bowers adds:

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society Symposium was very well attended, and everyone seemed to enjoy the presentation. The convention itself was very enjoyable, and at the Stack's bourse table, quite a bit of business was done. However, public attendance seemed to be very low, and some dealers said this was the slowest ANA Convention in recent memory. For me, the event was quite enjoyable, as I enjoyed seeing people, attending events, and the like.

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Numismatic Bibliomania Society Secretary-Treasurer David Sundman prepared these notes on the August 7, 2009 General membership Meeting. There were approximately thirty people in attendance. -Editor

Old Business:

1. President Dan Hamelberg reported on the results of the NBS Board Meeting held on 8/06/2009 in Los Angeles.

Report on August 6, 2009 NBS Board Meeting proceedings

a.) The slate of Officers from the recently concluded mail ballot tabulated by David Lange, was read into the minutes and approved as follows:

Dan Hamelberg, President
Dan Freidus, Vice President
David Sundman, Secretary Treasurer

Board of Trustees:

P.Scott Rubin
Frank Campbell
Leonard Augsburger
David Fanning
Marc Ricard
W. David Perkins.

b.) Bylaws revision: the NBS Board of Trustees voted to amend the by-laws, increasing the number of Trustees on the Board from six to nine, plus officers (total of 12). This increase left three vacancies on the board that needed to be filled.

c.) Gifts:

At the suggestion of Board of Trustee member Marc Ricard, The Board voted to establish a $1,000 scholarship, to be given to a designated Young Numismatist to go towards attendance to ANA seminars. In addition, to encourage new collectors of numismatic literature, the NBS would offer a discount of 50% to YN’s to join the NBS.

In other action at the Board Meeting, at the suggestion of board member and incoming President Dan Hamelberg, the NBS Board voted to donate $1,000 to the ANA Library, and $1,000 to the American Numismatic Society Library.

New Business:

a.) President Dan Hamelberg asked for and accepted nominations from the floor for the above three board vacancies:

John Adams
Syd Martin
Martin Logies

Those members in attendance voted unanimously and Adams, Martin and Logies were elected Trustees, bringing the full board to nine members.

b.) Treasurer’s Report.

David Sundman then presented the Treasurer’s Report:

Balance as of 6/30/09 $22,189.01
Balance as of 7/30/09 $18,478.69
Accounts Receivable (Advertising) $ 810.00

As of 6/30/2009 there were 375 current members (includes 34 life members and 14 comps) compared to 381 last year. In the past year there were 28 non-renewals and 17 new members.

Collins Award

c.) As voted on by the membership and tabulated by David Lange, the recipient of the newly established Collins Award for the “favorite article by a first-time Asylum author” was Bill Bugert for his article entitled “The Martin Luther Beistle Book on Half Dollars”. Bill will receive a check for $500. The Collins Award was established this year in memory of Jack Collins, whose family donated $1,000 to the NBS, in addition to the valuable book on 1794 Dollars, which will be auctioned off at this meeting. Proceeds of that sale will be used for future literary awards.


Numismatic Literature Dealers in the audience were asked to report on new books, and upcoming auctions:

George F. Kolbe

New Books for sale:

1. The Feel of Steel: The Art and History of Bank Note Engraving in the United States by Mark Tomasko, price $600-150 copies printed by Bird & Bull Press.

2. The Washington Pattern Coinage of Peter Getz by George Fuld, based on original research by Jack Collins. Pre-publication spiral-bound edition price $75; cloth-bound edition price $110; (a spiral-bound proof edition appeared in the NBS auction).

The next Kolbe auction will be January 9, 2010 in NYC in the Waldorf, featuring highlights of the The Stack Family Numismatic Library. For more details, see

Karl Moulton:

Karl announced his upcoming book, John J. Ford, Jr’s. 1950s Correspondence and The Franklin Hoard. This is a compilation of correspondence from a lot purchased from the George Kolbe auction, of various correspondence from John Ford in the 1950’s, at New Netherlands. The publication will be sometime after the first of next year. There is a lot of history on the Franklin Hoard. Forms the basis of what the Franklin Hoard material was. Karl has categorized the hoard, pictures, handwritten notes, invoices, pictures, etc., The object is to provide a public record accounting.

Karl will send review copies to most of the principals involved in the controversy and get their written input as an addendum. 250 copies will be made, the pre-publication price is $350 (hardbound) Reg. price $395. This is a most interesting study of one of the most controversial topics in numismatics in the past 50 years. For more details, see Karl’s website:

The year 2009 is proving to be a bumper year for libraries coming out for auction. Dave Bowers has sent Karl 340 cartons from his research library. He has scheduled three sales for next year. These auctions contain much that David Bowers has used to put his wonderful books together.

The Annual NBS Auction:

Dave also sent some pictures. This one shows Brad Karoleff calling the NBS auction flanked by Dan Hamelberg and Nancy Green. -Editor

NBS member Q. David Bowers arrived after completing his participation at the PNG’s "Share the Knowledge Seminar" where he was the featured speaker.

Hamelberg-Karoloff-Nancy Green NBS Auction 2009-08-07 Brad Karoleff then called the auction amidst much kibitzing, with all six lots enthusiastically bid, particularly by Hamelberg Adams and Orosz. The grand total realization for the six lots was $14,550.10, smashing the previous NBS auction record of $7,201.00 established just last year.

Of particular note this year, was the World Record price of $7,500.00 received for the Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and American Coins, by Q. David Bowers, which had been signed by all in attendance at the NBS Symposium on Thursday, August 6th. Thanks to all who participated.

2009 NBS Auction Results

Lot #1. 1794: The History and Genealogy of the First US Dollar, by Jack Collins and Walter Breen. Donated by the Collins Family to the NBS/ Sold for $5,000.00

Lot #2. Special images from upcoming book, Pictures of the First United States Mint: The Numismatic Legacy of Frank H. Stewart, by Joel Orosz and Leonard Augsburger. Sold for $350.

Lot #3. The John Weston Adams Collection of Medallic Distinctions Awarded to North American First Peoples, Stack’s catalog, January 13-14, 2009. Sold for $300.

Lot #4 Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and American Coins, by Q. David Bowers, signed the author and all in attendance at the NBS Symposium held August 6, 2009 . Sold for $7,500.00

Lot #5. The Joseph Brobston Collection of United States Half Cents. New York, 1999. 24pp reprint of Stacks 1963 fixed price catalog, Special limited (25) hard-bound edition. Sold for $600

Lot #6. The Washington Pattern Coinage of Peter Getz, by George Fuld. Special edition. Sold for $500

Total raised: $14,550.10

At the close of the auction the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

David Sundman

Numismatic Bibliomania Society
PO Box 82
Littleton, NH 03561

Ray Williams writes:

I saw that Syd Martin was elected as one of the new Directors of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. I have to say that I've worked with Syd on a number of numismatic projects, and he is professional, knowledgeable and a good person! He wrote THE book on Wood's Hibernias and in doing so has set a new standard for future authors to follow.

He is the C4 Newsletter Editor and I attribute a great part of the success of C4 to the quality of our quarterly publication. I could go on about his involvement with ANS and other organizations, but I'll just close by saying how fortunate NBS is to have him on staff. As the old saying goes, "If you need to get something done, ask a busy man". That's what NBS has done.


DAVID SKLOW - FINE NUMISMATIC BOOKS Sale #8, Saturday October 3, 2009, highlights are now posted on my web site (catalog will be posted next week).

The sale includes: scarce and limited edition Red Books; long run of The Numismatist, long run of deluxe Bowers & Merena catalogs, Rare 1910 work on Clearing House Loan certificates by James Cannon; runs of Bluestone, Hesslein, Elder, Kosoff, Charles Fisher, Ben Green catalogs; Complete set of the Numismatic Scrapbook; Three volumes of British Historical medals by Laurence Brown; Several Mitchiner’s on Jetons; numerous scarce periodicals; Deluxe leather Russian Silver Coinage by Julian; Bound Coin Collectors Journal 1934-1945; Deluxe Bound Stack’s catalogs; Rare 1962 First Printing of the 1804 Dollar Book by Bressett & Newman;

PH: (719) 302-5686, FAX: (719) 302-4933. EMAIL: USPS: Box 6321, Colorado Springs, CO. 80934. Contact us for your numismatic literature needs!

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George Kolbe forwarded this note about the status of his recent fixed price list of numismatic literature. -Editor

Kolbe Numismatic Bookseller Q. When are book sales REALLY good?

A. When you sell EVERYTHING!

All of the items have been sold from The Numismatic Bookseller No. 49 Post-Moving Sale. Initial sales were excellent and, several days ago, all of the remaining items were sold at a price agreeable to both buyer and seller.

I feel a bit guilty that many bibliophiles continue to pore over an admittedly disorganized fixed price list to no avail. If time permits, I will issue another such price list in the fall.

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Loren Gatch of the University of Central Oklahoma submitted this review of Mark David Miller’s 2007 thesis Printing China’s Gold: The American Bank Note Company and the Customs Gold Units of 1930. -Editor

Not only does the Internet keep in circulation books long out of print, it also makes available material that might remain unpublished. Case in point is Mark David Miller’s "Printing China’s Gold: The American Bank Note Company and the Customs Gold Units of 1930" (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2007).

In his Master’s thesis, Miller, recounts how the Chinese government in the late 1920s sought to fortify its finances in order to handle its burdensome foreign debt. Key to the problem was the worldwide depreciation of silver, the metal in which China’s import duties were denominated. Based on the advice of Edwin Walter Kemmerer of Princeton University, the renowned "money doctor"” whose financial advice was sought by many governments, China created its own central bank and introduced a gold-backed instrument, the "Customs Gold Unit" (CGU), with which import duties would be paid. Printed initially by the American Bank Note Company, CGUs soon served as a parallel medium for financial transactions alongside China’s traditional tael and other local currencies. This reform not only matched China’s tariff revenue with its international gold-denominated liabilities, but also put the country on the road towards monetary and financial modernization.

1930 Central Bank of China 10 cents Alas, while CGUs were used through 1949, conflict with Japan and then the Chinese civil war put a brake on these reforms. What is distinctive about Miller’s work is that he makes extensive use of correspondence acquired by Arthur Morowitz at auction from the American Bank Note’s archives to explore the relationship between a private bank note printer and a sovereign central bank. A banknote collector himself, Miller shows how collaboration between collectors and academics enriches our understanding of both numismatic and financial history.

As a Master’s thesis, Miller’s work is a quick read (chapter 8 in particular focuses on ABNC). But the appendices alone are worth a look for the detail they give into ABNC’s role in this remarkable undertaking. A full copy can be downloaded from ProQuest’s Dissertation Abstracts at any decent academic library. Otherwise, I would be happy to email a copy to anybody (naturally, under "fair use" guidelines). Write me at:

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Ralf W. Boepple writes:

Joe Boling's comment enticed me to give my two cents' worth (what came immediately to my mind when I read the first contribution): There may be pros and cons in the question of repairing coins, but "expertly repaired" is definitely a plus for any book that is not in the Guttenberg bible sphere. In my coins, I look at the surface, in my numismatic books, at the content!

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

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Joe Ciccone of the American Numismatic Association writes:

Regarding tabloid-sized archival storage boxes, there are at least a few places to check. The first would be Hollinger Corporation ( They're the granddaddy of archival product companies and are recognized by professional archivists as producing some of the highest quality archival supplies.

Other companies include either University Products ( and Gaylord Brothers (, both of which are well-respected.

Dan Freidus writes:

Here are some vendors of archival boxes as well as folders and other storage material: (recently merged with “metal edge” and has been the standard against which other archival boxes have been measured for decades. also carries archival boxes but I mention them especially for a better selection of “portfolio boxes” and “presentation boxes”. However, note that much of their material is intended for photographs so that, while it is acid-free, it is not buffered and therefore offers less protection.

Other good companies in the field include: University Products , and Conservation Resources .

Better for single sheets than entire newspapers, I also like using Itoya portfolios when plastic is okay instead of paper for storage. They are polypropylene and quite inexpensive. They’re available at most good art supply stores and many places on the web. They come as small as 4x6” (sized for standard snapshots but they work for some paper money and small documents) and as large as 18x24”.

Thanks for the great suggestions, everyone. Now none of our readers has an excuse not to treat their library right with professional archival storage products. -Editor

To read the previous E-Sylum article, see: A SOURCE FOR ARCHIVAL STORAGE BOXES (


OVER 300 NUMISMATIC TITLES: Wizard Coin Supply has over 300 numismatic titles in stock, competitively discounted, and available for immediate shipment. See our selection at .
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In last week's issue I quoted an article discussing the 1840 "Count Fortsas" bibliophile hoax perpetrated by Renier Chalon. Len Augsburger writes:

Some time ago I translated the obituary of Renier Chalon (1802-1889) which was published in Revue Belge (1889). George Kolbe had previously shared with me his research file on the Count Fortsas affair. The translation remains unpublished, for we are searching for a book which provides further information, namely Documents et particularitíes sur le catalogue du comte de Fortsas by Emm. Hoyois (1857). Should anyone in the reading audience have a copy they might be willing to lend we would be grateful to see it.

If anyone in numismatic already had a file about this hoax, it had to be George Kolbe. Hopefully the book Len seeks will turn up soon! -Editor

To read the previous E-Sylum article, see: CHALON'S 1840 BIBLIOPHILE HOAX (

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Ralf W. Boepple writes:

Gadoury Olympic Medals and Coins Regarding Howard Daniel's review of Gadoury's Olympic Medals book, Baden-Baden is part of Baden-Wurttemberg, not Bavaria, which changes neither the beauty of the town nor the usefulness and recommendability of any numismatic work published under the name of Mr. Gadoury.

William P. Houston of Frankfurt am Main writes:

In the last edition of the E-Sylum Mr. Howard Daniel offered some notes about the late Victor Gadoury and his catalog Olympic Medals and Coins. (First edition; Monte-Carlo, Monaco; 1996).

I too knew Victor for many years and was quite saddened by his early death. I have a number of his books in my library, some with nice endorsements to me.

I bought a copy of the Olympic book immediately after it was published. I still have the promotional flyer for the book. Herein it says the edition of the English language translation was 2000 copies and the list price then was USD 80.00. The French edition had a run of 1000 and cost FF 395.00.

As far as I know there are no later editions of the catalogs. And this despite the popularity of Olympic items and the tons of coins struck for larger and larger series every couple of years now. It seems to me that the catalogs are actually little known.

A slight problem I have observed while using (not only) this catalog is that the English is sometimes unclear to baffling. The proofreading seems not to have been overly exact. Thru personal experience I have come to the conclusion that it is extremely difficult to be entirely fluent in a foreign language. It seems to me that persons thinking of writing or publishing a book or article in a foreign language should, if at all possible, at the end make efforts to find a native speaker to check the text for problems. Even if the writer is considered proficient in the foreign language.

And finally a quick correction for Mr. Daniel. The city or town (it has about 50,000 residents) of Baden-Baden is not in Bavaria. The name of the place is trying to tell us something -- it is the town/city of Baden in the duchy/grand duchy of Baden. Not to be confused with Baden bei Wien (Baden by Vienna) -- both places are spas. The arms of the Austrian Baden show a man and a woman in a bath tub. The arms of the German Baden are just a heraldic shield. To be entirely correct, today Baden-Baden is in the Land (state) of Baden-Württemberg.

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Speaking of Bavaria, David Klinger suggested a new E-Sylum topic: Unusual numismatic books. In 2004 he wrote an article for the MPC Gram about one unusual book he owns, and later posted a blog entry about it. Here are some excerpts. -Editor

This is an unusual book inside a "coin". The coin is two shells which fit together much like an old-time pill box (2" x 1/4"). The book is a 30 page fan-fold book with disc shaped pages and a ribbon binding. The pictures and text of the book depict heroes of the era (1914/16),and various battles and home front themes.

Unusual Coin Book 2c

Obverse coin legend: LUDWIG III, KING OF BAVARIA
Reverse coin legend: IN LOYAL CELEBRATION, BAVARIAN THALER, 1914/16
The end page reads: TO THE MEMORY OF THE GREAT WAR, [with blank lines to enter names etc.]

To read the complete blog article, see: Unusual WWI Coin Book (

Below is another image David forwarded. We have discussed a few unusual numismatic books in the past, but now's a good time to reopen the subject. Tell us your candidates for most unusual numismatic book! -Editor

Unusual Coin%20Book%201c

David adds:

This begs another general question: just what is a book? Webster says: A volume made up of written or printed pages fastened along one side and encased between protective covers. Is a book of matches with printing on the paper matches really a book? How about an e-book (Kindle) etc.?


DAVID F. FANNING NUMISMATIC LITERATURE offers rare and out of print material on numismatics from around the world. For our ANA book catalogue, from which much remains available, see our Web site at .
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Ray Williams writes:

I would be very interested to hear if the Spanish actually minted Lion Daalders in Mexico. I had never heard of this and I wonder where Lee Hallman got his information, as stated in the August 9th 2009 E-Sylum.

Good question. It wouldn't be the first time a non-numismatist (or anyone for that matter) got a numismatic fact twisted. Can anyone set us straight? -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 1643 LION DOLLAR UNEARTHED IN PENNSYLVANIA FIELD (

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Kay O. Freeman writes:

This article ("Memory Stream") was in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, August 9, 2009. It shows the first U.S. mint and the painting by J. W. Dunsmore (both paintings very romanticized!) that was mentioned in Aug. 2, 2009 E-sylum. That E-Sylum issue, Vol 12,#31, had many items of special interest to me, especially Dick Johnson's visit to Gorham Co. archives.

Dunsmore 1st Philadelphia Mint Dunsmore Washington Inscpecting 1st Coins

The article is a brief filler using content provided by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. -Editor

During the summer of 1792, the U.S. government constructed its first public building. The three-story United States Mint, at Seventh and Filbert Streets, came to be known as "Ye Olde Mint." Congress authorized the construction of the mint with the passage of the Coinage Act in April 1792. President George Washington appointed David Rittenhouse, a native of Germantown and an accomplished scientist and astronomer, to be the first director. In September 1792, the mint got a smelting furnace, though it would be another year before it began producing coins regularly.

To read the complete article, see: Memory Stream Dipping into Philadelphia's illustrated past (

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Regarding the Gorham Co. archives, Kay O. Freeman writes:

I have been there for silver symposiums and know Sam Hough, who is remarkable. He is also a rare book dealer in Cranston, RI. His company is called The Owl at the Bridge. (after Ambrose Bierce?). The website is

There are lots of useful biographies of Gorham workmen and designers on the site. That is how I got interested in numismatics - because of the cross-over of medals, and other commemorative items, within silver companies IE Tiffany, Peter Krider (Philadelphia), Shreve (San Francisco) etc.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NUMISMATIC RESEARCH IN THE GORHAM COMPANY RECORDS (

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Alan V. Weinberg submitted these thoughts on the recent American Numisamtic Association convention, along with a recollection of Henry Christensen. -Editor

The Los Angeles ANA has just concluded . I had alot of fun, learned alot and acquired a few nice things. But it was the worst summer ANA I've attended since I started attending in 1964 and this opinion was echoed by many longterm attendees with whom I talked. No, it wasn't the economy in the main - it was the isolated Los Angeles downtown convention center. Altho I've lived in Los Angeles since 1970, I've never ventured to downtown LA and no one does unless they work there. Negative word of mouth concerning the venue was prolific several months ago and many regular summer ANA dealers and collectors just didn't come.

Other complaints such as mediocre ANA-chosen hotels quite some walking distance away, outlandish hotel parking fees, $12 daily convention parking, 1st time $6 daily admission fees to non-ANA members (the vast majority of collectors are not ANA members) , dismal uninviting surroundings around the convention center, and many other factors lead to a spiritless "just a big Long Beach show" atmosphere. The aisles were often almost empty, unlike the vigorous, crowded Portland and Baltimore ANA's recently attended.

From the numerous (dozens) of conversations I had and overheard, most everyone who attended echoed my sentiments while there. Even the many ANA show comments on the PCGS Coin Forum are almost totally in agreement with what I said. Location!

Larry Stack attended the show for the first two days only, walking around only and chatting with old friends, including yours truly. He's lost perhaps twenty pounds (and proud of it!), and looks relaxed and rested.

National Gold Exchange, discussed in The E-Sylum, had a large corner booth and Mark Yaffe was there - gotta give him credit with all the negative publicity for having the courage to attend. Curiously, his cases were full of merchandise.

There was quite a run on the new U.S. Mint high relief proof bullion gold pieces at $1,289 apiece. The U.S. Mint booth restricted you to 10 pieces which you could pay for on your credit card. Many used their 2% back American Express cards and also got enormous airline mileage credits to boot with an almost $13,000 purchase. Then, they'd turn the 10 pieces around for a $50+ apiece profit and sell their entire purchase to any one of perhaps 5 major dealers there buying them up for massive orders they had.

One major dealer had an order for 500 pieces he had to fill and bought and bought 10 piece limits over and over from dealers, their assistants, their wives, their children, etc. That injected a bit of excitement into a rather lackluster show.

Simply put (and expressed by dozens of people I talked to or overheard), the ANA needs to choose venues a lot more carefully and consider many factors, NOT just the cheapest venue. Otherwise, shows and attendance will shrink dramatically and membership will drop off, exactly the opposite from the ANA's current intention with the new $6 daily show entry fee for non-members.

With respect to Henry Christensen- I recall his slender frame, strong jawline and wire rim glasses. I guess I'm getting "that old".

I own a superb 1652 Massachusetts Oak Tree threepence which I bought from Tony Terranova a few years after he bought it in one of Henry's auctions, an auction session containing several superb Mass colonial silver coins. There were 4-5 lots of extraordinary Mass silver , apparently all from one source (European?) which HC didn't normally handle. As I recall, Dick Picker chased the coins up.

It is the finest known rare variety Noe 24. It was sold in Christensen's December 1978 auction sale and Tony sold it to me in 1984.

Thanks for the update! Sorry I missed the show. Seeing old friends and making new ones is the best part of any convention.
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Howard Daniel submitted these notes on the recent Los Angeles ANA convention and Tuesday's meeting of our Northern Virginia numismatic social group, Nummis Nova. Because of the ANA convention and vacation season, only six folks attended, including Howard, Joe Levine, Dave Schenkman, Roger Burdette and Traci Poole. -Editor

With so few of us Tuesday night, there was no talking over someone else's conversation so it was quite an easy time to participate instead of trying to keep track of two or three conversations going on at the table with the usual more attendees. We also received a solo singing performance from the restaurant owner. He sang an opera song with English words about the Washington Redskins and it was absolutely hilarious.

I was the only person to bring something and it was a book: Burma's Currency and Credit by Dr. U Tin Wai, Orient Longmans Ltd, Calcutta, India, 1953, 222 pages. It has a ton of little tidbits about many different types and varieties of Burma's financial instruments. It was a very lucky find from the bibliography of another book. I always look through every book's bibliography for possible other useful references. Every once in awhile, I find a treasure like this one.

I also brought a small Burma silver coin of 1852. The Rupee size coins of the series are fairly common but the minors were generally melted for jewelry. I bought it at the Los Angeles ANA for $6, which is about one-tenth its value. A nice find, and in better condition than the one in my collection too!

Traci Poole brought me a box of new archival quality two pocket pages for paper money and other pieces of paper. The pages are much wider than normal but I am pretty sure they will fit on my library and safe shelves. They are really, really much better than the PVC pages and I told her I will likely order about five more boxes so I have enough to lay out my next catalog and safely protect the paper items.

The LA ANA was not busy for most dealers but we in the club row in the back were busy! One dealer came over to me and told us we had more people at our tables than he and his neighboring dealers. This is not good! I gave out all of the references I brought and all of the 400 packets of coins, a note, and a flyer about my organizations.

The International Bank Note Society (IBNS) meeting I moderated on Saturday had a new record attendance of 33 people! It was a great meeting. The Numismatics International (NI) meeting that followed it also had many more than usual but not a record. The speaker was Everett Jones, "the" man in numismatics about chopmarked coins. He gave a fantastic talk and kept everyone there until we had to vacate the room.

I always have show and tell in the IBNS meeting I moderate because I want everyone to get to know the other people around them and what they collect. Many have connected with people with similar interests and I like to see everyone networked and not feel alone. I try to limit each person's time to one or two minutes but many have a lot to say.

With almost 30 people in the room for the IBNS meeting, I knew there would only be time for the show and tell and then the planned MPC Mini-Fest in the last 15-20 minutes, so I cancelled my talk about the military coupons used by the Chinese military after they invaded Vietnam in 1979 and used in the Sino-Vietnam War of 1979-80. But I did briefly mention them in the show and tell. Then more people arrived late and the total was 33 people, so the show and tell went on for quite awhile!

The MPC Mini-Fest was conducted by Colonel Bill Myers, who is in the active Army Reserve, and two tour veteran of Iraq as an orthopedic surgeon. He created special Military Fest Certificates (similar to Military Payment Certificates (MPC)) commemorating the 1942 Battle of Los Angeles. Right after WWII started someone thought there were Japanese planes coming to bomb Los Angeles and the anti-aircraft guns started shooting wildly into the air at nothing. There were no planes but it was a helluva night and there were several casualties from falling shrapnel of the anti-aircraft rounds. Everyone who stayed for the Mini-Fest received a MPC.

I contacted Everett Jones well before the ANA and asked him to be the speaker at the NI meeting. He agreed to speak about his chopmarked coin collection and his research. I picked out about a dozen chopmarked coins from my collection and circulated them through the dozen plus attendees (usually only three or four) while Everett talked and also circulated some of his pieces. I think several of the attendees will become collectors of chopmarked coins. I also showed a chopmarked Chinese banknote and told everyone that the Chopmarked Collectors Club (which Everett started) would add banknotes and other chopped paper to its interests. My first article to the club newsletter will illustrate the chops on about ten current US $100 notes. Chops are still used to authenticate currency!

Thanks for the update, Howard! Bibliography-diving is one of my favorite hobbies, too. One of the first things I read in a new book is the bibliography, and if I see an unfamiliar reference that looks interesting, I make a note of it. Today one can just go online and enter a "want" and forget about it - when the book comes up for sale, you'll be notified. It takes part of the fun and much of the work out of book searching, but the delight is the same when you add a long-wanted title to your library. -Editor
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Jim Duncan of New Zealand submitted the following query. Unfortunately, we don't have an image of the item in question. Does anyone have any guesses? Could you point us to an image on the web that might match the description? Thanks. -Editor

Help! I have been shown a coin - silver dollar size, and looks to be silver. It has on obverse an Indian head (as 1 cent) with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around in serif face, and * * under neck.

The reverse is also UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around in very plain sans serif, a wreath within and within the wreath 1 / DOLLAR / 1851 (also very sans serif). No initials or mint marks of any sort.

Both sides have tiny pointed denticles around, and the reverse is generally not as crisp as the obverse, the UNITE is especially weak.

I think it's a fantasy, but the owner has hopes. Can anyone in the USA provide more information please?

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Dick Johnson submitted these notes on the Guttag Brothers medals. -Editor

Guttag Brothers 1926 token I cannot answer Bob Rightmire's specific question on the Guttag Bros. "token" in aluminum he is researching as mentioned in last week's E-Sylum. However, I may add some details he may find useful in his further search on these fascinating numismatic items issued by the famed New York City coin dealers.

All Guttag items were struck by Medallic Art Company in New York City, and all were created in the twenties by sculptor Jonathan M. Swanson (1888-1963). Not all the varieties have been cataloged and not all have been published. Perhaps Bob may realize he has a lifetime chore in gathering all known specimens. And numismatists would certainly welcome his publication of what he does uncover. They do not come on the market all that often (thus it may require that lifetime chore, Bob).

When I came to cataloging these medals when I was at Medallic Art Company, I threw up my hands. The files were missing and the records were nonexistent. I did have some samples to work with and I realized these were struck in two separate years, 1926 and 1927. I assigned a catalog number for each of these years (26-37 and 27-36). In my notes I find the dreaded "nc" next to each. That indicated "not yet cataloged."

The Guttag Brothers invented Coin Week (still being conducted 81 years later!). So one variety has the notation "National Coin Week." I sold half a dozen of these varieties when I was a medal dealer, and I note Joe Levine has sold a couple of these in his auction sales as well. Another variety can be considered the Guttag Bros. "storecard." This was illustrated in the November 1926 issue of The Numismatist (page 619).

I wouldn't call this a "token" -- it is a medal (as most storecards are medals). I'm a purist. To be a token it has to express some value in a money denomination or merchandise. No value, then it's a medal.

For the earliest version of that Guttag issue I wrote in my notes I found "5 kinds." This could have been die varieties or mules -- I didn't count striking in a different composition as a different "kind." So, Bob, you are going to have tons of fun chasing down all the different metals any of these Guttag items were struck in. And you may find some different die varieties as well.

Last thought: If the Guttag brothers attended the New York Numismatic Club monthly meetings they didn't have far to look for the sculptor for their medals. He may have been sitting next to them. Swanson was very active in the Club and president in 1925 and 1926, remaining active until 1940. He prepared the portraits of 12 club presidents for their presidential medal series (including his own among the most famous names in numismatics!). Can you imagine, he did this from 1909 until 1941, when that commissioned was then passed on to Karl Gruppe for their 1943 medal.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: QUERY: RESEARCHER SEEKS 1926 GUTTAG BROTHERS TOKEN (

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The mania for the new Lincoln cent designs continues. Here's a nice article from an Illinois newspaper covering official launch ceremony for the latest design. -Editor

Central Illinois and out-of-state coin collectors scrambled to be among the first to get their hands on the latest Lincoln commemorative penny after it was unveiled at the Old Capitol on Thursday morning.

In the line snaking across the Old Capitol lawn were plenty of people like Donna Park and Julia Carey of Louisville, Ky., who have traveled hundreds of miles this year to collect each subsequent Lincoln penny, four of which are being offered.

2009 Lincoln Cent State Capitol ReverseSpringfield IL Lincoln Cent launch

"We went to the first penny launch in Hodgenville, Ky., where they’ve built a replica of Lincoln’s birth cabin," Park said. "We liked it so much, we went to Indiana for the launch of the second penny, which shows Lincoln’s boyhood home."

Park, who arrived in Springfield Wednesday, said she and Carey planned to spend some time visiting the local Lincoln sites. They also plan to visit Washington, D.C., for the November launch of the fourth penny, which commemorates Lincoln’s presidency.

As the crowd thinned outside the Old Capitol, the line at the post office at Fourth and Monroe streets lengthened. Collectors affixed their rolls of pennies with stamps to be "canceled" by the postmaster, proving they were in Springfield for the launch.

"It validates that we got them today," explained Eric Sutton of Louisville, Ky. "It costs 44 cents to cancel the stamp out. I’m getting a lot of things canceled."

With his father and fiancé, Sutton has attended all three Lincoln commemorative coin launches. He keeps his pennies in a banking box already bearing stamps from the Feb. 12 and May 14 events. On Thursday, he was also getting mint $5 bills bearing Lincoln’s portrait canceled.

Lincoln cent designer Joel Iskowitz attended the ceremony. In this picture he holds a Sharpie marker after signing his autograph on a commemorative "Good Cents" poster designed by Springfield Artist Jonathan Benning. The event programs, posters, T-Shirts and other ephemera will make great collectibles of the event. -Editor
Iskowitz Joel Lincoln Cent

To read the complete article, see: Hundreds line up for new Lincoln penny (

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The Presidential Medal of Freedom was awarded by President Obama to sixteen individuals in a ceremony this week in the East Room of the White House. -Editor

Presidential Meda of Freedom At his first Medal of Freedom conferral, President Obama ran a tight ship of a ceremony, which began slightly after 3 p.m. and clocked in at about 40 minutes' worth of speechifying and medal-bestowing in the glittering East Room, the largest room in the White House. This year, actor Sidney Poitier, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Broadway star Chita Rivera, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and former Irish president Mary Robinson were among the 16 who received the nation's highest civilian honor.

The president's introductory remarks (smoothly delivered, apparently without written notes) continued in this manner, bowing more to the medal recipients' achievements than to his own experiences with them. After pronouncements were pronounced, Obama clasped medals around 16 necks, engaging in a great deal of hugging, cheek-kissing, whispering and back-patting -- a prolonged bout of physical affection that the recipients happily returned.

Guests mingled festively beforehand in the surreal grandeur of the White House foyer, where a clutch of musicians in red uniforms with brass buttons provided background sounds ("I Could Have Danced All Night" and "Night and Day"). At an open bar in the corner, a bartender presided over various liquors, glasses of champagne and a few beer bottles.

To read the complete article, see: 16 Honored With Medal Of Freedom (

Physics Today published a short article and photo focusing on awardee Stephen Hawking.

Stephen Hawking Professor Stephen Hawking was a brilliant man and a mediocre student when he lost his balance and tumbled down a flight of stairs. Diagnosed with a rare disease and told he had just a few years to live, he chose to live with new purpose. And happily, in the four decades since, he has become one of the world's leading scientists.

His work in theoretical physics—which I will not attempt to explain further here—has advanced our understanding of the universe. His popular books have advanced the cause of science itself. From his wheelchair, he's led us on a journey to the farthest and strangest reaches of the cosmos. In so doing, he has stirred our imagination and shown us the power of the human spirit here on Earth....

At a moment when cynicism and doubt too often prevail, when our obligations to one another are too often forgotten, when the road ahead can seem too long or hard to tread, these extraordinary men and women—these agents of change—remind us that excellence is not beyond our abilities, that hope lies around the corner, and that justice can still be won in the forgotten corners of this world. They remind us that we each have it within our powers to fulfill dreams, to advance the dreams of others, and to remake the world for our children.

Great honors like Presidential Medal of Freedom are not bestowed lightly, yet I can't help but be amused imagining the scene, which sounds for all the world like the setup for a joke. Let's see, Chita Rivera, Stephen Hawking, Sidney Poitier, Billie Jean King and Archbishop Desmond Tutu go into a bar, and ... well, for good measure let's throw in Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow -- High Bird, the only surviving Plains Indian war chief. He received his medal from President Barack Obama, who tried to avoid getting a face full of feathers. -Editor

Obama Barack

To read the complete article, see: Hawking receives US medal of freedom (

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The wholesome-looking man who brokered the return of rare war medals stolen from New Zealand's Waiouru Army Museum in December 2007 is hoping his effort will be rewarded with leniency ... on unrelated charges. -Editor

Crichton Daniel The man who negotiated the safe return of one of the stolen war medals says he should not spend any time in jail if convicted of serious methamphetamine charges.

Daniel William Crichton was granted bail while facing serious drugs charges after arranging the return of one of the priceless war medals stolen from the Waiouru Army Museum in December 2007.

He was bailed in January 2008 after organising the return of a George Cross to police as "a sign of good faith".

The rest of the medals, including nine Victoria Crosses, were returned four weeks later.

Two men have subsequently been charged with the burglary.

To read the complete article, see: Don't jail me, says medal case man (

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This week's Featured Web site is John C. Pontorno's online guide to Feuchtwanger Cents.

Feuchtwanger Cent HT-268

Welcome to An online guide: Feuchtwanger Cents. Here's a site devoted to the token series created by Dr. Lewis Feuchtwanger. All coins listed are from my collection.

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