The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 11, Number 27, July 6, 2008, Article 10

J. ROY PENNELL, JR. 1924-2008

John and Nancy Wilson submitted the following note on dealer and author Roy Pennell, Jr, who passed away June 17. -Editor
It was with deep sadness that we learned of the passing of our good friend J. Roy Pennell, Jr. at the 32nd International Paper Money Show held in Memphis last weekend. Roy passed away on June 17, 2008. Up until a few years ago Roy always had a table at this important Syngraphic show. One thing we will miss is the wide smile he had on his face when we stopped by his table to say "Hi" and look at his material.

Pennell North Carolina Probably in the late 1990's Roy had Dr. Jack Vorhie's share or be at the table with him. Dr. Vorhies passed away in 2007. Roy's contributions to the numismatic hobby are not well known outside the Syngraphic area. He was an author of the Obsolete Banknotes of North Carolina published in 1966 in Anderson, SC. Mr. Pennell was an avid collector of South Carolina obsolete notes. He also reprinted some counterfeit detectors from the obsolete era. Roy also reprinted a Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson sheet which contained many different vignettes, denominations and ornaments of all kinds. We think 998 were produced in the middle 1980's by Roy. The ABNCo used the original plate to produce the sheets. One is framed on our wall in our home.

Few know this, but Roy also handled the sales of the ABNCo produced Souvenir Cards for the Society of Paper Money Collectors (SPMC). He handled that project for several years. We took it over in the 1980's from Roy and handled the sales for the SPMC for several years until the program ended.

We knew J. Roy Pennell, Jr. as a Dealer, Collector, Author, Speaker, Researcher and Coin Club Officer. Mr. Pennell served in several capacities for the SPMC. He was Secretary from 1964-1967; Second Vice-President from 1969-1971 and President from 1971-1975. He also wrote many articles for the SPMC publication Paper Money. He joined the American Numismatic Association in 1945. Mr. Pennell donated many rare items to the ANA over the years. He also donated to the American Numismatic Society. In 1985 the ANA awarded him their Medal of Merit and in 1998 the President's Award. Probably among others he received the SPMC Nathan Gold Memorial Award in 2006. He served on the U. S. Assay Commission in 1969.

Though Mr. Pennell had a stroke probably 20 years ago, it didn't stop him from taking a table at the annual paper money convention in Memphis. It was always nice to stop by his table and say "Hi" to him and look through his material. We remember about 15 years ago Roy started to bring out some very rare notes for sale. He had many Plate Proofs of U. S. notes as well as hundreds of Proof Obsolete Notes. He had many hundreds if not thousands of Die Proof Vignettes. We have probably a half dozen die proof vignettes that match up to obsolete notes we purchased from Roy. Our checkbook that year took a major hit, and it took us at least a year to pay Roy off for the material we purchased.

You will find below a link to his Obituary from the local newspaper, the Greenville News. Roy was a gentle, knowledgeable, friendly and dedicated numismatist who gave not only his talents and donations to the numismatic community, but also to the community he was a life long resident of. He will be missed by his many hundreds of friends in the numismatic community. We have made a donation to the ANA in his memory. All of our prayers and thoughts to his wife Arden and the rest of the Pennell family. Rest in Peace Roy, your memory will live on forever. To read the complete article, see: J. Roy Pennell Jr. (

The Pennell counterfeit detector reprints were made in 1977 and bound in green cloth. They are:

  • Gwynne & Day, Descriptive Register of Genuine Bank Notes, 1862
  • Hodges, Edward, Hodges' American Bank Note Safeguard

Click on the Title page below, then click "All Sizes" to see a larger image. Look closely and you'll see a note that the original from which the reprint was made was in the Eric P. Newman numismatic library.

Pennell reprint Gwynne and Day Pennell Gwynne and Day Title Page

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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