Volume 24, Number 02, January 10, 2021
Content presented in The E-Sylum is not necessarily researched or independently fact-checked, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
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This week we open with a numismatic literature sale, four new books, a periodical issue, a new publication award, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, and more.
Other topics this week include Inaugural medals, Australian & New Zealand tokens, the 1894-S dime, medal artists, coin pie crimpers, the 1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act, Hobo Nickel fakes, C. Wyllys Betts, auction lots, the zero cents no-tip coin, and apothecary weights.
To learn more about Alexander Hamilton, responsible 'Minthood', medallist Heidi Wastweet, J. Oliver Amos, Dick Johnson, coins as machine parts, Teddy Roosevelt dimes, the Man in the Hairdo, the Syphilis medal, Kookie Koins, Mars coins, brick collectors and Basic Intergluteal Numismatics, read on. Have a great week, everyone!
Numismatic Booksellers Kolbe & Fanning submitted this announcement of their fourteenth "Buy or Bid Sale" which closes on January 21, 2021. Good luck, everyone! -Editor
Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers have announced our fourteenth "Buy or Bid Sale," which begins now and will close on Thursday, January 21, 2021. With hundreds of new additions, the sale focuses on modestly priced books, giving collectors an opportunity to add to their libraries at minimal cost.
The sale includes over 1400 works on ancient, medieval and modern coins, as well as general works, periodicals and sale catalogues. "Buy" prices have been kept low to promote sales. To further encourage participation, the firm is offering free domestic shipping to bidders spending at least $300; there is also no packing and processing fee for this sale. Again, please read the Terms of Sale before participating.
A new book by Matthew P. Chiarello on Inaugural Medals has just been published. -Editor
A complete handbook of official presidential and vice-presidential inaugural medals from William McKinley to Donald Trump. This numbered first edition of just 100 copies contains 76 full-color glossy pages, along with a mintage and price guide for identifying medals and tracking collections. The guide is an oversize hardcover, with large text and true-to-life images of the medals. Profusely illustrated and the first authoritative book on the subject that has been published in decades. New mint condition. Painstakingly written and photographed by Matthew P. Chiarello.
Renniks has published a new book on Australian and New Zealand tokens. -Editor
Providing a sweeping overview of this important area of Australian numismatics, Renniks new Australian & New Zealand Tokens Values is simply a must-have for any token collector and anyone with an interest in Australian history. An impressive hardback publication, featuring a fantastic range of high quality photographs, the most important aspect of this vital reference is that the rarity AND the market values of every token have been completely revised.
A CoinsWeekly review by Ursula Kampmann alerted me to a new book in Danish on the medallist Anton Meybush. Here's a Google-translated excerpt of an advertisement for it in the November issue of Meddelelser fra Dansk Numismatisk Forening. -Editor
Karsten Kold writes about "Royal Court Medalist" Anton Meybusch's production of coins and medals and employment conditions in Stockholm, Paris, Copenhagen, England and Germany. 320 pages - nice and richly illustrated.
Price: DKK 375.
To read the complete issue (in Danish), see:
For more information, or to order, see:
The Boston Review published an interview with Christian Parenti about his new book Radical Hamilton: Economic Lessons from a Misunderstood Founder. Alexander Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury and created the country's modern financial system and central bank. -Editor
Christian Parenti: I wrote the book by mistake, because I stumbled upon Hamilton's often name-checked but rarely discussed magnum opus, his 1791 Report on the Subject of Manufactures. At first the plan was to just republish the Report with an introduction. But that grew into this book.
As I read up on the Report it became clear that there were major omissions and misunderstandings about Hamilton's political economy and its role in the course of U.S. economic development. Cast by most historians as the patron saint of free markets and financiers, Hamilton actually begins the Report with an attack on Adam Smith and laissez-faire economics. He then goes on to present a sweeping program of transformation-oriented economic planning. This is totally at odds with the mainstream story of American capitalism and Hamilton's place within it. Most books on Hamilton do not address Hamilton's vision of a planned economy.
Scripophily Editor Max Hensley submitted this information about the latest issue. Thank you! -Editor
Here is the most recent Scripophily issue, 114th in a line, for December 2020. It is our biggest one yet, 60 pages in print. All contributors and staff are volunteers with the International Bond & Share Society.
The main articles are about Fenian bonds, the Great Frog War of the Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad, Hoen and Co printers of Baltimore, scripophily watermarks, Russian railway bonds and shares, suspension bridges of Charles Ellet, Jr. and Swedish copper and iron mining. Also covered is news and an extensive auction report section.
Look at a past issue on-line at http://www.scripophily.org.
THE BOOK BAZARRE
I was sorry to learn today of the passing of longtime E-Sylum contributor David Klinger. Thanks to Fred Schwan for announcing it in the MPC Gram. -Editor
Born in Lykens, PA on January 25, 1940, Mr. Klinger spent his childhood years in Lykens before enrolling in Penn State University. After participating in the ROTC program and graduating with a degree in Engineering, Mr. Klinger began a distinguished 30-year career as a commissioned officer in the Submarine Service of the U.S. Navy. His initial service started in 1961 on the destroyers U.S.S. Norris and U.S.S. Agerholm, where he quickly rose through the ranks and was selected to complete Nuclear Power School training in California (where he met Marilyn). In 1965 he was deployed on the U.S.S. Francis Scott Key, a nuclear submarine based out of Groton, CT, followed by submarine assignments on the U.S.S. Seahorse (1968-71, Navigator) in Charleston, SC and the U.S.S. George C. Marshall (1973-77, Lt. Commander). From 1977-81 Mr. Klinger was Commander and Captain of the ballistic nuclear submarine U.S.S. Sam Houston based out of Pearl Harbor, HI and Bangor, WA.
Dale Seppa submitted this remembrance of numismatist David Brian Fiero. Thanks. -Editor
David Fiero, PhD, numismatist, author, teacher and friend passed away on December 28, 2020 at 11:20 am. His five-year-long ordeal with Multiple Myeloma and Bladder Cancer finally came to an end. David was 70 years old and despite a successful stem cell transplant at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in 2015 his final years were marked by chronic pain.
The Colonial Coin Collectors Club has created a new award for numismatic publications. Syd is a member of the NBS Board of Governors and the author of multiple award-winning books on U.S. colonial coinage. -Editor
The Sydney F. Martin Numismatic Publication Award
The C4 Board of Directors is pleased to announce creation of the Sydney F. Martin Numismatic Publication Award.
This award joins the Eric P. Newman Memorial Lectureship Series presentations and the Q. David Bowers Award for Excellence in Numismatic Research in recognizing the work of individuals for their contributions to the field of Colonial and Early US coinages.
This award will be presented to authors of books published through C4, and at the Board's discretion can also be presented to authors of works published outside of C4.
The Medal Collectors of America is inviting everyone to their next virtual meeting, where sculptor, medallist, past president of the American Medallic Sculpture Association and former Citizen Coinage Advisory Committee member Heidi Wastweet will speak. -Editor
We would like to inform your readers that we have 45 spots available for this month's Medal Collectors of America virtual meeting. We are hosting guest speaker Heidi Wastweet, a leading American Medallist and sculptor working in the San Francisco Bay area. The spots are available on a first come, first served basis for anyone who would like to attend. The particulars are:
When: MCA meeting Saturday, January 23 via ZOOM
The first NNP Symposium was a great success. The second event has just been announced. Be sure to register now for future updates. -Editor
Launched in August 2020, the Newman Numismatic Portal (NNP) Symposium brings together a diverse selection of numismatic presentations into a concentrated, three-day, Zoom-based format. The first event, held August 28-30, 2020, featured talks on a variety of topics including U.S. federal coinage, tokens and medals, paper money, and ancient and world numismatics. The complete set of over forty presentations from the August 2020 Symposium, produced by Lianna Spurrier of Numismatic Marketing, is available for viewing at https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/multimediadetail/539070.
The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is an 1896 letter from a woman asking about the 1894-S dime. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. Thanks. -Editor
The 1894-S Dime in 1896
Recently transcribed by Newman Portal is a letter written by Philadelphia resident Anna Clark to the U.S. Mint Director in 1896, asking about the collector value of 1894 dimes. Although brief, the letter reveals a number of things regarding the state of collecting in the late 19th century. First, there were no ubiquitous references that might have been known to the letter writer. Today, Guide Book has filled that role for nearly 75 years, not to mention the explosion of other references on the Internet.
The letter writer was also apparently unaware that local dealers would be a source of ready and accurate information (the Chapman brothers in Philadelphia were well established by this time), and instead applies directly to the Mint Director to answer her query. Finally, the nature of the query suggests there was already some public consciousness regarding the 1894-S dime and its potential value. The all-important detail of the mintmark was lost in translation, not surprising in the era before millions of coin boards served to educate the general public about coin collecting.
These are selections from the David Lisot Video Library that feature news and personalities from the world of coin collecting. David has been attending coin conventions since 1972 and began videotaping in 1985. The Newman Numismatic Portal now lists all David's videos on their website at:
Here's a recorded lecture by the late Dick Johnson. -Editor
What I Learned from 3000 Coin and Medal Artists
The creation of coins and medals spanning 350 years in America has taught the speaker the importance of changing technology in the field. For 200 years it was the hand engraver, but since 1900 it is the sculptor who creates these objects we collect. In this lecture-only video you will learn about:
A book has been written that complements the information in this video. Videotaped at the American Numismatic Association Convention in 2002.
To watch the video on NNP
The previous article in this issue links to a videotaped lecture on medal artists by Richard Wayne "Dick" Johnson, who passed away last week. Here is some more information about his life -Editor
"In addition to the Dick Johnson video produced by David Lisot, the Medal Collectors of America conducted a series of oral history recordings in 2008-2009, two of which feature Johnson. John Sallay interviewed Johnson, August 30, 2009, in two segments, while Johnson in turn interviewed Princeton curator Alan Stahl on November 19, 2008. The Stahl interview is presented in four sessions."
Readers have new responses on the image of the Second Philadelphia Mint that Pete Smith discovered. Thanks! -Editor
LEFT: Second U.S. Mint; RIGHT: 7th Presbyterian Church
Gabriel Kahan is the eldest son of Eitan Cohen of the Cohen Mint. He found our earlier E-Sylum articles on the web. -Editor
"Over the past few years, I have scoured the web for people still showing interest in my dad's work and it warms my heart that people are still curious about him. While I have not continued his mint, seeing his mark in the rare metals industry continue to be discussed after nearly a decade since he passed is incredible."
Gabriel kindly pulled together the following submission about his father and his mint. Thank you! It's great to make a connection like this and clarify information. -Editor
It's amazing what E-Sylum readers collect. Here are some follow-ups on last week's item about the Large Cent pie crimper. -Editor
Carol's Coin Pie Crimpers
"I have a few coin pie crimpers in my collection. One is a U.S. large cent and the other two are on foreign coins. Seeing the edge on the crimpers is really interesting. It would be quite a bit of work to make. To get the zig zag wider, two coins were sandwiched together on the large cent one."
Wow - small world! Thanks. Carol sent images of two of them. Neat. -Editor
"It is my sad task to report that Fernando Chao has passed away, having fallen into the grips of Covid-19. Fernando was the author of many titles having to do with Latin American numismatics and, of course, he joined with me to write "The Medallic Portraits of Admiral Vernon". As important as were his contributions to numismatics, even more impressive was Fernando Chao, the man. I hope to write an extensive piece on this subject for the next issue of "The Advisory"."
Fernando Chao with Regina and John W. Adams in 2016
Sorry to hear this news. We'll look forward to John's article in the official publication of the Medal Collectors of America (MCA). -Editor
Other topics this week include Hans and Jacques Schulman, and Merlin's Red Dragon. -Editor
In the how-about-some-GOOD-news-from-Washington department, the 1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act has been signed into law. Here's an excerpt from Coin World's coverage. I added the image from our earlier articles. -Editor
"Legislation was signed into law Jan. 5 by President Trump to authorize production in 2021 by the U.S. Mint of coins marking the 100th anniversary of the transition of silver dollar production to the Peace dollar from the Morgan dollar.
"H.R. 6192, the 1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act, was introduced in the House March 11, 2020, by Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky. H.R. 6192 was passed by the House Sept. 22, 2020. The Senate passed the measure Dec. 17 by unanimous consent.
"A mirror bill in the Senate, S. 4326, was introduced July 27, 2020, by Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.
"The successful legislative initiative was spearheaded by Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee Chairman Thomas J. Uram, and fellow CCAC member Michael F. Moran."
THE BOOK BAZARRE
With permission, we're publishing this excerpt from Carol Bastable's President's Message in the Winter 2020 issue of Bo Tales, the official publication of the Original Hobo Nickel Society, Inc. Thanks. -Editor
LEFT: Original carving; RIGHT: Fake copy
I would like to bring up the ongoing problem of hobo nickel cast coins that have been appearing on eBay. These are a problem from several perspectives. First, these are original designs stolen from the carvers that originally made them and can mean a loss of revenue for the carvers. Some people (maybe not members of our club) buy the castings because they cost pennies on the dollar compared to the original labor intensive carvings. Copies may even go as far as diluting the value of the original art. We have discussed the issue on our OHNS Facebook page ever since the first ones started showing up. China, who does not have copyright laws, has been the culprit in creating the copies. If you are an artist that has been copied, you can file a Vero report with eBay to try to have a listing pulled. It is a constant ongoing battle as one seller may get shut down; another one can pop up at any time.
Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology, a great one about coin collecting itself. -Editor
Coin Collecting. Gathering specimens of coins in systematic fashion as an avocation or numismatic pursuit. Collecting coins appeals to every age from the child who can identify the portrait on a small bronze piece to the senior who can understand the language and symbolism on an obscure piece from a distant land or time, from the person with limited funds to the wealthiest benefactor. Gathering coins, it has been said, appeal to the magpie instincts in humans who like bright, shiny objects. Contrast this to the scientist/numismatist that likes to classify every species and subspecies, who like to describe and catalog every specimen in their collection and preserve them for future students to enjoy.
John Lupia submitted the following information from the online draft of his book of numismatic biographies for this week's installment of his series. Thanks! As always, this is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This week's subject is U.S. numismatic pioneer and author Charles Wyllys Betts. -Editor
He was born on August 13, 1845, at Newburgh-on-the Hudson, Orange County, New York, the son of Judge Frederic Joel Betts (1803-1879) and Mary Ward Scoville (1813-1868).
In 1855, his family moved to New Haven, Connecticut. He and his older brother Frederic attended school preparing them for Yale where their father intended them to study law.
In July 1861, just before the outbreak of the Civil War, he was forced to leave school due to an illness. During his convalescence he began to collect coins as it was suggested to him for recreation. Since numismatics was suggested it probably meant that he was given to read on this subject. Contemporary with young Betts was the numismatic author, William Cowper Prime (1825-1905). In 1860, Prime published two articles in Harper's New Monthly Magazine; first, "Coins and Coinage," in January; and "Coins in America," February. The following year he published, Medals, and Seals, Ancient and Modern. Illustrated and Described... (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1861). Betts interest in coins was soon merged with his homeschooling lessons of early American history and his studies in the art of engraving.
Here's the press release for Stephen Album Rare Coins upcoming Auction 39. Some great coins as always, and many lots of literature for the researcher and bibliophile. -Editor
Stephen Album Rare Coins will hold its Auction 39 on January 21-25, 2021 at its offices in Santa Rosa, California. The auction is made up of an even 4,500 lots of Ancient, Islamic, Chinese, General World, and Indian Coins as well as Numismatic Literature. Featured in this sale is The John Sylvester Jr. Collection of Annamese Medals and Orders, highlighted by several pieces never-before seen at auction.
Some highlights from the sale follow:
Here's a selection of interesting or unusual items I came across in the marketplace this week. Tell us what you think of some of these. -Editor
1708 Augsburg Gold Two Ducats
Alexander Sigismund von Pfalz-Neuburg, 1690-1737. 2 Dukaten 1708, Augsburg. 6.95 g. ALEX Û SIG Û D Û - G Û EPISC Û AVG Û Brustbild r. darunter 1708 Û//C Û P Û R Û B Û I Û C Û - & Û M Û D Û P Û M Û & Die Wappenschilde des Hochstifts und von Pfalz-Neuburg, darüber Fürstenkrone, dahinter Krummstab und Schwert, unten Stern. Forster 401; Fb. 114.
GOLD. Von größter Seltenheit. Prachtexemplar. Feine Goldtönung, vorzüglich-Stempelglanz
From the Künker sale 346. -Editor
To read the complete lot description, see:
Other topics this week include a counterstamped Large Cent, a syphilis medal, and a rare 1964 half struck on a clad quarter planchet. -Editor
This Künker press release discusses a very interesting Russian coin. -Editor
The last years in the life of Jacques-Antoine Dassier
On January 28, 2021, a Künker auction presents a 10-ruble piece from 1757 whose die was created by the Genevan medalist Jacques-Antoine Dassier. But this is not the only special thing about it: A small collector's hallmark proves it once belonged to the Hutten-Czapski collection.
On August 3, 1765, Jacques-Antoine Dassier signed a contract engaging him to go to Russia as a medalist. What had led to this point? Why did Empress Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great, choose a medalist from Geneva, out of all possibilities, to design coins and medals at her court?
It's rare that a new coin design DOESN'T spark objections from various corners. The latest controversy is over the Royal Mint's new coin commemorating the works of author H. G. Wells. Scott Miller submitted these comments. -Editor
My son just sent me a message about the new UK H G Wells commemorative coin with the comment "can I just note that the big walking machine on the coin has four legs?"
For those unfamiliar with "The War of the Worlds", the appropriate passage is
"And this Thing I saw! How can I describe it? A monstrous tripod, higher than many houses, striding over the young pine trees, and smashing them aside in its career; a walking engine of glittering metal, striding now across the heather; articulate ropes of steel dangling from it, and the clattering tumult of its passage mingling with the riot of the thunder."
Perhaps we should blame it on the new math?
I didn't realize the website Quora was still around. The format is centered around questions that other readers are asked to answer. Like all social media sites, popular topics float to the top, resulting in a lot of clickbait about celebrities. I got sucked in during the pandemic lockdowns and sometimes find myself wasting time scrolling through because every now and then something turns out to actually be of interest, like this one.
This question ended up eliciting a somewhat numismatic answer from one of the respondents: "Have you ever directly told a waiter at a restaurant that their service was no good?" -Editor
Chris Neuzil passed along this article about a collection of coins found over the years along the beaches of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Thanks! -Editor
The William E. and Catherine F. Sell Coin Collection was donated to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras, North Carolina, in 2006. It includes 55 coins, the oldest of which date to 221-203 B.C. The newest, a five sucres coin from Ecuador, was minted in 1943.
The collection includes coins from China, Ecuador, England, France, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and the United States. Even long-gone civilizations like the Byzantine Empire are represented in the historically significant treasure trove.
All that on the Outer Banks? Experts believe that the vast array of coins is likely tied to the number of shipwrecks off the state's coast.
Think books are heavy? In the other-cool-things-people-collect department, here's an excerpt from a nice Atlas Obscura article about British collectors of bricks. -Editor
FOUR HUNDRED BRICKS LINE JASON Harris's hallway, and none of them hold the ceiling up. Arranged in an earthy ombre from ruddy terra cotta to cream, these once-functional rectangles are now purely for show. The London-based architect doesn't think this hefty display lends him much gravitas in British brick collecting circles, though. "I'm a lightweight brick collector because I just like the color and the shapes," Harris says. "I feel a little bit of a fraud amongst the collecting community."
And he'd definitely be a fraud among builders, since his bricks all face the wrong way. Their frogs, the indentations on the top sides, are exposed to reveal writing that's usually hidden in a wall.
Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor
Beloit Coin Shops
Here's a nice article about local coin shops from Wisconsin's Beloit Daily News . -Editor
"A lot of collectors start our interested in specific types of coins, certain eras, mint errors, and so forth," John Galvan said. "To me, as a kid, I would go through coins and I would want to collect them all. They are fun."
"I never knew I would have a shop," John Galvan said. "We needed a place with security after I was doing some pretty large transactions. We never thought it would explode like this."
He said no coin collector he sees at his shop is the same.
"Everyone has their niche," John Galvan said.
Ben Kasberger, owner of L&B Coins & Collectibles in South Beloit, said he was exposed to coin collecting as a kid through his late father Larry Kasberger.
"My dad would tell me stories about how he grew up in Marshfield and they would go into town and he'd go to the bank and sort through coins," Kasberger said of his father, who passed away in May of 2017.
Kasberger said working at L&B was "like a treasure hunt every day."
To read the complete article, see:
Other topics this week include the ANS Brasher Doubloon, and coins for Mars. -Editor
This week's Featured Web Site is about Apothecaries Weights.
Apothecaries Weights were the weights which Pharmaceutical Chemists (Pharmacists) used exclusively until the late 1960's.
The writer commenced his career in Pharmacy at the beginning of 1949 and used these weights on a daily basis for almost the next twenty years until they were replaced by metric weights.