The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 15, Number 18, April 29, 2012, Article 16


Postage and Fractional Currency
Peter Huntoon writes:

I sincerely appreciate the essay Jerry Fochtman submitted concerning Civil War money with emphasis on postage and fractional currency. I found the link to Chittenden's contemporary article particularly valuable.

5c Postage Stamps closeup

Joe Boling adds:

The purchase of postage currency at a premium by merchants is exactly parallel to the situation in India today, where merchants have to buy small change coins at a premium to satisfy requirements in commerce. The mint insists that there is no shortage of small-denomination coins, but some merchant guilds are now striking tokens to use for making change - the mint is obviously not satisfying the need.

See the related story later in this issue about small change in Zimbabwe. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: PREMIUMS PAID FOR POSTAGE AND FRACTIONAL CURRENCY (

Bosco on Numismatic Gossip
Paul J. Bosco writes:

I disagree with Charlie Davis about the Alan Weinberg recounting of his besting of Jack Collins and John Ford. Just because it is gossip does not mean it is not information, and I for one am glad to see this revelatory numismatic vignette get printed. I would even say it had a happy ending. Weinberg, as usual, was most concerned about acquiring a great piece. Others were more concerned about not have to pay "all the money" to some old lady.

Mind you, I thought Jack was a prince. Once I bought for him, from a Glendining's (London) auction, a Washington "Voltaire" medal which, on receipt, Jack called the finest example known to him. Another time I sold him a great run of small brass 1932 Washington medals, pedigreed to the time of issue, for an average price in the upper single digit. A great collector, Jack --as was Ford. So is Weinberg. This inside account of their head-knocking is the kind of story that make the e-Sylum special.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: ALAN WEINBERG RECALLS JACK COLLINS (

On another numismatist, Paul adds:

I was a bit shocked to learn about Steve Pellegrini's passing

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: STEPHEN L. PELLEGRINI (

Shakespeare's Shove-Groat Shilling
Andy Singer writes:

The article on Shakespearean Numismatics caught my attention. There is a small book listing all of the numismatic references in Shakespeare's plays: J. Eric Engstrom, Coins in Shakespeare: A Numismatic Guide (Hanover, New Hampshire: Dartmouth College Museum Publications, 1964). There are both hardback and paperback editions. I just had reason to use this last month after buying a "shove-groat shilling".

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: SHAKESPEAREAN NUMISMATICS AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM (

More on Palestine Numismatics
Regarding Scott Barman's question on references about the numismatics of Palestine, Jim Duncan of New Zealand writes:

Fred Pridmore provides data in book two of his "The British Commonwealth of Nations".

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: QUERY: LITERATURE ON PALESTINIAN NUMISMATICS (

Corrections to the April 22, 2012 Issue
Ken Spindler noticed my ham-handed editing of the article about Canadian coin technology. So did our webmaster Bruce Perdue, who fixed the problems before posting the issue on our web archive. Thanks!

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: CANADA INTRODUCES NEW COIN TECHNOLOGY (

Ken also noticed the typo in Tom Fort's note, which read: " The cheque paid to Superman's creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster for the rights to their creation sold at auction for $160.00."

Of course, that was supposed to read "$160,000" not $160.00". Sorry I forgot to fix that one. At least I got the headline straight!

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: APRIL 22, 2012 (

Sri Lanka Scout Centenary Coin
Kavan Ratnatunga forwarded links relating to a new Sri Lanka Scout centenary coin. He writes:

2012 Scout coin Sri Lanka Sunday Times Plus Section 2012 Apr 29th See .

See also page for it on my website. .

George Washington's Acts of Congress
Here's an item I found interesting this week, and there is a numismatic connection. The early Acts of Congress include all of the important legislation authorizing the United States Mint and establishing the U.S. coinage system. How's this for a provenance! It will be interesting to see what this copy brings at auction.

Washington's Acts of Congress On June 22, Christie's New York will offer one of the most evocative and revealing American historical artifacts: George Washington's personal copy of the Acts of Congress, including the Constitution and draft Bill of Rights, a volume specially printed and bound for him in 1789, his first year in office as first President of the United States (estimate: $2-3 million). It is in near-pristine condition, after 223 years. On the cover, "President of the United States" is embossed in gold. On the marbled endpaper is Washington's personal bookplate, engraved with his motto, Exitus acta probat. Washington added to the title-page a bold signature "G˚: Washington."

Remarkably, in the margins of the Constitution, Washington has added careful brackets and marginal notes. These notations highlight key passages concerning the President's responsibilities, testifying to Washington's careful, conscientious approach to his powers and responsibilities in his ground-breaking first term. This elegant, slim volume epitomizes Washington's multiple, indispensable roles in the creation of the nation. As he affirmed at his first inaugural, in April 1789, "I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love."

It was printed and bound especially for the president by a New York bookbinder, Thomas Allen, who created two similar volumes for the first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, and Attorney General John Jay. Jefferson's copy is in the Lilly Library in Indiana, and Jay's is in a private collection. Washington's copy of the Acts of Congress remained in the library at Mount Vernon for many years after Washington's death in 1799, but in 1876, many of his books, including this volume, was sold at auction.

On Wearing Cotton Gloves
Kay O. Freeman writes:

BBC News America had a TV segment on British Library acquiring St. Cuthbert's Gospel which The E-Sylum mentioned last week. It surprised me that the librarian was handling the book and turning pages with bare hands -without wearing cotton gloves for protection. I thought that gloves were standard procedure for rare books - and coins?

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: APRIL 22, 2012 (

Yap Stone Money Cartoon
Dick Hanscom forwarded this cartoon found in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner this week.

yap cartoon

Dick adds:

Maybe I am dense, but I don't know how it could be amusing if you didn't know about Yap stone money

Agreed - if you think it's just a stone wheel it's not much of a joke. -Editor

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

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

To subscribe go to:



Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster