The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 15, Number 34, August 12, 2012, Article 7


People are trickling home from this week's big convention of the American Numismatic Association in Philadelphia, PA. Here are a other notes readers have sent in for us. Thanks, everyone! -Editor

Pete Smith writes:

Just a single exhibit was shown in the Numismatic Literature class at the Philadelphia ANA. P. Scott Rubin presented "American Numismatic Literature of the 1850's. Included were four publications from the decade of the 1850's.

Paul Hybert writes:

A version of the Exhibit guide is available at but this needs a few little touchups (removing the sections for the three classes in which no exhibits were entered, for instance). Also, the awards are not yet entered.

Alan V. Weinberg writes:

I had approached the Philadelphia ANA with trepidation after seeing and hearing and sensing the economic fear and "hands in the pockets" atmosphere of recent shows .

Well, all I can say is the hobby is alive and well and dealers and collectors attended with great enthusiasm and an open wallet. The atmosphere was one of excitement and anticipation. I did not hear any negative or even mediocre comments.

StacksBowers had a literally "standing room only" Battle Born collection auction session of Carson City coins. I acquired the unique Mexican War entirely hand -engraved gold medal in the Rarities Night session. If nothing else happened, that was enough to place me on cloud nine.

There was a healthy attendance of overseas dealers and the variety of items for sale on the bourse floor was akin to a candy shop for kids. Like last year's Chicago ANA, the bourse was so large I just could not see every booth.

Numismatics is alive and well.

Here's an excerpt from the lot description. See a separate article in this issue for a few other lots that caught my eye. -Editor

Unpublished Gold Mexican War Award Medal

Voted by New York State in January 1849 Presented to General Ward B. Burnett, August 20, 1853

Unmarked, but probably struck from coin gold, .900 fine. Integral jump ring at 12 o'clock, fancy hanger in the shape of a vertical figure-eight with a hand-engraved and decorated belt charm attached. Entirely hand-engraved with designs imitative of the earlier medal authorized by the Common Council of the City of New York, designed by C.C. Wright. Legends unique to this medal, on obverse CHERUBUSCO, CHAPULTEPEC, VERA CRUZ, CERRO GORDO, CONTRERAS. GARITA DE BELIN. around the periphery, 1846-48 below the central device of America heaving a thunderbolt into Vera Cruz.

On the reverse, the periphery reads: "Presented by the New York Volunteers, To Bv't Brig. Gen. Ward B. Burnett." around the seal of the City of New York. Beautifully engraved in banknote-style intaglio on flat fields surrounded by a high square raised rim. Unlike the struck medals presented by the City of New York in 1848, this piece does not bear the signature of C.C. Wright, leading us to assume that it was not engraved by him like the dies for its earlier predecessor. Needless to say, whomever engraved this was a very competent engraver, likely based in New York City.

Burnett medal obv Burnett medal rev
Gold Mexican War Award Medal
Presented to General Ward B. Burnett

To view the complete lot description, see:

Alan adds:

One exasperating aspect of the ANA was the joint ANS/ANA exhibit. Last year 's exhibit error was repeated again this year. Incredible rarities were exhibited in vertical -standing wood and glass cases. The coins were standing upright on little plastic easels. The lighting came from small fluorescent lighting two feet or so directly above the coins.

Now common sense and a quick visual look will tell you that all you will see is a round dark shadow of a coin exhibited in this manner and even if you bend down below the coin on bent legs you can barely make out the coin's design. It was so obvious that the proper and effective way to exhibit the coins was to lay them down flat on the glass and let the light expose the entire coin's surface rather than hit the top rims of the coin and create a dark shadow.


DAVID SKLOW - FINE NUMISMATIC BOOKS offers Mail Bid Sale No. 17 on October 6, 2012, including: A series of ANA Convention Badges of all Conventions held in Detroit [1913-1994] - including the extremely rare 1913 Badge with Civil War Token attachment PH: (719) 302-5686, FAX: (719) 302-4933. EMAIL: USPS: Box 6321, Colorado Springs, CO. 80934. Contact me for your numismatic literature needs!

Wayne Homren, Editor

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