The E-Sylum:  Volume 8, Number 16, April 17, 2005, Article 11


Dick Johnson writes: "Congrats to Scott Goodman for
negotiating and purchasing the rights to Gunter W. Kienast’s
two books, the standard works on the German medallic satirist,
Karl Goetz. You asked for suggestions; here are mine.

1) A website is fine, but plan to publish a one-volume book
as soon as possible.

2) Continue to use Kienast numbering system. But nix the
author’s request to call these "Opus numbers." Instead, these
have long been called – and this should be standard throughout
the field – "Kienast numbers" to align with the long-standing
tradition to identify numismatic items by the cataloger’s last
name. Perhaps this is an unwritten law, but it has become a
firm custom in published numismatics. The cataloger’s surname
quickly becomes associated with that collecting specialty.
"Opus numbers" could be applied to ANY group of numismatic
specimens extensively cataloged.

3) When you add new varieties that Gunter had not included,
please continue the Kienast numbering system. Add "K" to all
numbers. Resist the temptation to call these Kienast-Goodman
numbers. (In abbreviations this would be KG numbers -- Karl
Goetz initials! This extreme coincidence would cause confusion
in citing these number.)

4) Name each medal and put this in bold face in your new
catalog. As part of the name include the medallic from. (Goetz
created medalets, medals, medallions, plaquettes, charms.)
Still in bold face include the date the medal was first issued
(made, cast or struck).

5) Write an accurate description for each variety. Unfortunately,
author Kienast described the political or economic situation
which led to the subject of each medal. This is interesting
background data, but collectors require an accurate description
of exactly what appears on each medal to correctly identify the

6) Goetz medal designs are steeped in symbols and symbolism.
Be sure to identify the symbolism for even the casual observer
who may not recognize the significance right away.

7) Be on the lookout for "collector lore" – what makes a particular
variety interesting to collectors. Goetz series is loaded with these.
("Black Shame Watch on the Rhine Medal, 1920" Kienast 262
is an example of this.) Describe these with a sense of good taste
even when a penis is depicted.

8) Consider an "American catalog" format. The greatest
contribution of Americans to world numismatic literature is
creating a format of cataloging numismatic items. This has been
copied all over the world. Thank you, Wayte Raymond, who
was the first to publish coin catalogs in a tabular format in what
has become somewhat standard. In 75 years this format has
been honed to its most useful form. This tabular form of data
has a line for each variety ending the line with an estimate of
value in one or more conditions.

9) Obviously publish two versions of this catalog, one in
English, one in German.

I have the greatest respect for Karl Goetz medals and for
Kienast signal work of this medallic specialty. Kienast is to be
honored for this early work and publishing his two volumes
but a great deal of work remains. The mantle is now passed
to Scott Goodman, who has the responsibility to update
Goetz total medallic work. Medal collectors and the entire
numismatic fraternity are looking forward to a new catalog of
this fascinating series to assist our future collecting.

Scott, you must contact William Nawrocki and Rich Hartzog,
both Illinois numismatists have considerable unlisted Goetz
varieties. I also recall a group of Goetz items sold at fixed
prices by Michigan dealer Joseph Lepczyk in Spring 1982
which even contained models, galvanos, dies and hubs.

For my medal auctions I accepted a consignment of a quite
lengthy run of Goetz medals from a Philadelphia Main Line
family whose collection was built in 1924-25 by an agent in
Europe; the family kept the collection intact for 65 years!
(Collectors’ Auctions Ltd 31: 682 to 859). Because of this
sale author Kienast consigned a large group of duplicates
from his personal collection to a following sale (CAL 32:

Perhaps every dealer in medallic art in the world has handled
some Goetz medals. Goetz was a master medallic satirist
whose appeal was worldwide despite his strong Germanic

[Dick Johnson is one of The E-Sylum's most prolific contributors.
The April 18, 2005 issue of COIN WORLD celebrated the
newspaper's 45th year of operations. Dick was the first editor
of the publication, and is pictured with the first staff on page 76.

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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