The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 19, Number 38, September 18, 2016, Article 19


2016 September Nummis Nova Clyde's Tyson's Corner On Tuesday September 13 I arrived at Clyde's Restaurant in Tyson's Corner about 6pm for the latest meeting of my Northern Virginia numismatic social group, Nummis Nova. I'm the host for September, along with Howard Daniel. He was out of town, but had helped me with the restaurant choice. It was an easy pick, as we'd enjoyed our dinner here last year.

But in an attempt to explore other options I'd found a second restaurant nearby and asked Howard in an email what he thought. Before he could reply a synapse in my brain belatedly fired and I asked, hey, isn't that other place where Eric got so sick he ended up in the hospital? Yep. We're not going there again. Clyde's would be our pick.

Clyde's has been dependable, despite accessibility problems. Perched atop a hill in the shadow of a giant communications tower, it's an oasis amid a circle of business and retail locations and surrounded by endless highway ramps and road construction. It's not an easy place to find, even if you've been there before. I circled the ramps myself, thinking "there is it", "here it comes" and "what happened - where'd it go"?

But by paying closer attention to my GPS system, cursing and obeying everytime it told me to take a U-Turn, I'd finally made it to the parking lot.

Several regulars were already there, including Roger Burdette, Wayne Herndon, Steve Bishop, Eric Schena, Dave Schenkman, Chris Neuzil, Joe Levine, Gene Brandenburg, Joe Esposito and Tom Kays. Last to arrive was Julian Leidman.

I would call the decor mainly Art Deco, with classy sculptures placed throughout. Very nice atmosphere.

2016 September Nummis Nova Clyde's Tyson's Corner2

Coin Scale


Tom Kays writes:

Scale-with-Five-Dollar-Gold-Piece Many of the regular customers met at Clyde’s of Tysons Corner on Tuesday night to renew old friendships and discuss our theme of new purchases as well as depictions of science and technology. Gene Brandenburg brought a balance scale and slot tester for U.S. Gold coins marked “J. T. McNALLY - INVENTOR.”

We tried it out on an 1861 five-dollar gold piece and it indicated our test specimen was legitimate - not too large and just the right weight. It is nice to see fine old instruments working just as well today as their inventors imagined a century and a half ago.

2016 September Nummis Nova Velvet devil Merlot Gene Brandenburg Joe levine
Gene Brandenburg offers Joe Levine Velvet Devil Merlot

Un-Slabbing a Medal
2016 September Nummis Nova Chris Neuzil Dave Schenkman Chris Neuzil is an avid collector and research of medals of the War of 1812. And he doesn't care for slabs. When one of his recent auction purchases arrived in a slab, he liberated the medal. As proof he brought the cracked slab to show us, and it was HUGE. I held it up to take this framed photo of Chris.

2016 September Nummis Nova Herndon Homren kays Burdette Neuzil
Wayne Herndon, Wayne Homren, Tom Kays, Roger Burdette, Chris Neuzil

Clyde's Tokens

Clydes-50-obv Clydes-50-rev

Tom Kays writes:

Two of our diners thought ahead knowing we were to eat at Clyde’s. They searched the Internet or ransacked old purchases to find “Good For” tokens from the Old Ebbitt Grill / Clydes Restaurant Group. These tokens in $50 and $100 denominations are “Local Tender for Food, Drink, and Merriment,” and are individually serial numbered.

Clyde's token box The Old Ebbitt Grill was established in 1856, and was acquired by the Clyde’s Restaurant Group in 1970. The tokens have no expiration date and are good at all restaurant locations. Dave found a $50 token at a discount from face value online, and made money on his meal. Wayne Herndon simply spent his, being one of a small stack he purchased some time ago. I know I’ll be looking for them in the future.

These are nicely done. A solid "coin" in a fancy box makes for a classy gift. I assume the management tracks these closely and recycles them somehow. Change is returned not in cash, but gift cards. The group owns fourteen restaurants in the greater Washington D.C. area. Are there many restaurants that employ such tokens today? These are related to the ubiquitous Good-For tokens of years past, but "Good For" a much higher value than just a beer. I'm not aware that these have been catalogued anywhere, or who the manufacturer was.

To visit the Clyde's Restaurant Group site, see:

2016 September Nummis Nova Joe Esposito, Gene Brandenburg, Joe Levine
Joe Esposito, Gene Brandenburg, and Joe Levine

2016 September Nummis Nova coins by candlelight
Gene Views Coins by Candlelight

Schenkman's Tokens
Dave Schenkman can always be counted on to bring some interesting items to show. He stumped me on the second one.

shell card-rev shell card-obv

Dave writes:

The shell card is one of my purchases from the Stacks ANA sale. It is listed in the Bowers’ catalog, The Token and Medal Society Guide of U.S. Shell Cards 1867-1880 as B-OH-1120. Bowers notes “2 or 3 known” and I agree. It is interesting as an issue of a patent agency that operated in Cincinnati and Washington, D.C.

bridge-obv bridge-rev

Dave writes:

I purchased the other token on eBay a couple of weeks ago. It was described as “Coal scrip WWII Ridge Company 10 cents merchant trade token.” The only thing the seller had right was the denomination. I passed it around to see if anyone could identify it. Nobody could, although I disqualified Eric because we had corresponded about it before the dinner.

It is an issue of the Wood County Bridge Company, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. The company issued four denominations: 2½, 10, 15, and 25. The 10 is by far the rarest. The bridge was opened in 1867 and many of the tokens, including this one, were struck over Civil War tokens. The word “Ever” can be seen on the obverse, and the host token was undoubtedly one of the “Union For Ever” patriotics.

Some Medals

Austria-1873-obv Austria-1873-rev

Berlin-1844-obv Berlin-1844-rev

Tom Kays writes:

Passing by at dinner were a handsome 1873 Vienna Austria, World Exhibition Medal in Proof, White Metal, an 1844 Berlin Industrial Exhibition Medal in Gilt Bronze with early steam engine crossing a stone bridge on the reverse.

Dave and Chris 2016 September Nummis Nova Neuzil Schenkman Schena Herndon
Left: Chris Neuzil and Dave Schenkman
Right: Dave Schenkman and Eric Schena discuss a token.

McKinley Campaign Procession Badge

McKinley-obv McKinley-rev

Tom Kays writes:

This is one of the largest presidential medals I have seen, made for McKinley by James H. Murdock Jr, (1839 – 1924) a Cincinnati engraver and die sinker. Suspended from a gilt eagle pin is a plaque saying “An Honest Dollar” and below a dinner-plate-size likeness of William McKinley for President, that could not be ignored by anyone wearing it due to its gargantuan size. The reverse includes a paper insert calling it,

‘The “Hurrah” Campaign Procession Badge. Manufactured by Jas. Murdock, Jr. Stamp Cutter, Engraver & Die Sinker, Cincinnati O., “Our Standard Bearer’s,” – Letter of Acceptance was simple in Language, unassailable in arguments and displayed the Highest Order of Statesmanship – Until International Agreement is had it is our duty to maintain a gold standard. – Independent free coinage of silver at 16 to 1 would speedily contract our currency. – Honest Money and a chance to earn it ensures Happy Homes, Contentment and Prosperity. – Open freely our mills and not our mints. – The Republican Party is wedded to the doctrine of protection to American industries. – A Revenue raising Tariff sufficient to supply the need of the Government. – We Council Advantageous Reciprocity. – ‘Rah! For McKinley, ‘Rah!

What a humongous billboard to post an entire platform! This is probably the largest campaign medal of any presidential campaign until superseded by the bumper sticker as a medium of expression.

Joe Esposito adds:

I recently purchased this badge because it appealed to my interest both in numismatics and political memorabilia. This 128-mm wearable procession badge has an embossed brass shell obverse and a cardboard reverse. Murdock also did similar badges for William Jennings Bryan and Admiral George Dewey. He was responsible for many store cards and tokens.

Dave Schenkman writes:

Regarding the large McKinley piece, I have a different one, and there are at least three or four other types. Murdock also produced two of them with Adm. Dewey’s bust.

From Steve Bishop: Morgan Dollars and Siberian Polushkas

Steve Bishop sent me these images of some of his display items.

1879-S Morgan Dollar Toned
1879-S Morgan Dollar Toned

1883-O NGC MS64PL Morgan Dollar
1883-O NGC MS64PL Morgan Dollar

Series of Siberian Polushkas

1771 KM Siberia Denga
1771 KM Siberia Denga

1785 Polushka
1785 Polushka

A Nummis Nova Motto?
Tom Kays writes:

As usual we all had a good time. Images of certain of our party attest to the fun. We are considering what might be the Nummis Nova motto, logo, and design for a token or T-shirt that would help commemorate our years of fellowship. How about “Caveat Emptor” says one of our group, and a great white shark ready to devour something small, fuzzy, delicious? How about “We don’t need no stinkin’ motto,” said another of our group in line with our no rules, no duties, no agenda, modus operandi.

Obviously we need to think about this before the wine course, a nicely devilish red merlot, as it were. How about: “We may buy numismatic history but we cannot buy culture,” after Nathan Mirts, or “Diners fascinated by small shiny objects.” Saying it in Latin will help. But then, this is beginning to look something like one of those four letter words we Nummis Nova’ians abhor: “work,” “duty,” “task,” so keep your fingers crossed that it might rather be “fun,” a “joy,” and even better, that it costs us “zip” to do. We would like that.

You know, The E-Sylum itself could do with a snazzy motto, logo, t-shirts, posters, etc., for tagging and identifying its contributors, readers, and leader at conventions, in coin meetings, and elsewhere we may choose not to remain virtually anonymous in cyberspace. Ideas anyone?

Dave Schenkman adds:

Regarding a motto: "You can lead a collector to slabs, but you can’t make him think….." Or "Slabs; we don’t need no stinkin’ slabs."

I've often toyed with the idea of selling E-Sylum or NBS swag. It would be nice to see some folks walking around coin shows and auctions with our name prominently displayed.

It was yet another night of great numismatic fellowship, and I'm already looking forward to October's meeting.

Charles Davis ad01

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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