The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 17, Number 51, December 14, 2014, Article 21


The months fly by fast. Tuesday night was the holiday dinner meeting of my Northern Virginia numismatic social group, Nummis Nova. I arrived about 6:30 at the Union Street Public House in Alexandria, VA., and headed upstairs to where we had a table. I sat down next to Lenny Goldberg and across from Wayne Herndon and his wife Karin.

Soon we were joined by Heather and Eric Schena, Amelia and Gene Brandenburg, Joanne and Dave Schenkman, Alice and Joe Levine, Fran and Julian Leidman, and Steve Bishop. Illness had felled some of our other regular attendees, but it was still a great turnout.

I brought along a duplicate from my library that I'd sold to Eric Schena. It was a clothbound copy of the 1896 volume of Sound Currency, a publication of the Sound Currency Committee of the Reform Club. It's a great little periodical with articles on money, banking and banknotes, such as:

  • Bank Note Issues in Colonial New England
  • Massachusetts State Bank Currency
  • Rhode Island State Bank Currency
  • Connecticut State Bank Currency
  • United States Notes, commonly called Greenbacks
  • National Bank Notes
  • The Crime of 1873
  • Canadian Bank-Note Currency

Sound Currency 1896 The Currency Famine of 1893

The highlight of the volume for me (and Eric as well) is a February 15, 1895 article by John DeWitt Warner on The Currency Famine of 1893. The twenty-page article describes the preconditions and circumstances of the Panic of 1893 and illustrates some 39 examples of 1893 Clearing House Certificates and other scrip notes from around the U.S., including "Mount Vernon Shingle Script".

Eric writes

That is a perfect "as it happened" account of the Panic and could not be any more pleased to have that in my library.

Christmas Medalets
Dave Schenkman passed around these great Christmas medalets. Thanks for the images!

christmas-obv christmas-rev

xmas-obv xmas-rev

Dave writes:

The copper one is 32mm; the gilt brass one is 27.5mm.

1841 Gold Victoria Presentation Medal
Dave blew my socks off with this amazing Queen Victoria gold medal from 1841. Wow!

1841 Gold Victoria Presentation Medal obverse 1841 Gold Victoria Presentation Medal reverse

Dave writes:

This 45mm medal is listed in Laurence Brown’s British Historical Medals 1837-1901   as number 1991. According to Brown, they were "used as gifts from the Queen to foreigners who had made special presents to Her Majesty." He estimates about twenty struck in gold.

While corresponding with David Pickup I asked him about this medal, and he sent me a scan of the appropriate page of Brown's book (p55). Thanks! The recipients of twelve of them are known. Several recipients had sent the queen books or artworks. Some of the recipients were in the U.S.:

24 Jul 1851: Mr Cummings of New York 'who sent to the Queen a miniature of Mrs Washington'

23 Apr. 1858: Dr Wynne, of Baltimore, for a Report on the progress of Cholera in the United States in 1849

27 Sept. 1858: 2 gold medals, (large with Reverse No. 3, without loops) 'for two Senior Officers of the American Navy who assisted in laying down the Electric Cable'.

Dave adds:

Brown also mentions that 24 medals were struck in bronze for presentation to senior Foreign Office officials. And, a single medal in silver is known; in the Royal Mint museum. My medal was on a 1961 Seaby list. Joe Levine corresponded with Chris Eimer, and evidently some medals were engraved with the recipient’s name on the edge. Mine is not.

One More Nail in Your Coffin

coffin-obv coffin-rev

Heather Schena collects exonumia relating to undertakers. Dave writes:

I’ve always liked tokens with rebus inscriptions, and this one is quite rare. I brought it to show Heather because of the coffin.

The conversation was a delight, but unfortunately I couldn't stay. I had to leave at 8 so I could get home to take my boys to their basketball practice. I'm told the rest of the evening was equally delightful. With such a great crowd, how could it not be? I'm already looking forward to January.

CNG 2015-01 ad Triton XVIII

Wayne Homren, Editor

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