Volume 24, Number 04, January 24, 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 sad news of the loss of another hobby great, five new books and a review, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, and more.
Other topics this week include Peter, the Mint Eagle, the National Numismatic Collection, counterstamps, queries from readers, the Tulsa Race Riot survivor medals, coin photography, coin silver, Margie Sheaffer, M. H. Bolender, online forums, upcoming auctions, and bronze ring money.
To learn more about Annam zinc coin varieties, Breen's Breen, Walter H. Childs, Czech emergency money, numismatics of the Isle of Man, grading using artificial intelligence, the Two-Holed Pie Crimper token, the Oxford Millenary Medal, the collection of A. M. Smith, the First Pacific Rim Banknote Conference, and Tenino's OTHER wooden money, read on. Have a great week, everyone!
Former ANS President and Numismatic Bibliomania Society Governor Syd Martin has passed. -Editor
The American Numismatic Society announces with great sadness the death of its Trustee and former President, Sydney F. Martin.
The family has provided the following obituary. The Society will publish a longer obituary and appreciation of his numismatic life and work in the upcoming ANS Magazine.
Roger Siboni of the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4) submitted this great remembrance of the late Syd Martin. -Editor
How many people have you run across in life that you can truly say, with unwavering conviction, now there goes a person who EVERYONE has nothing but a kind, appreciative, warm hearted word to say about them?
I have known a lot of people over the years, numismatically and otherwise. And across the many endeavors I ventured out upon with Syd Martin, I found him amazingly unique in that way. There truly wasn't anyone that did not have a kind word to say about him. One of the most decent, intelligent, generous, funny, warm hearted people I have had the good fortune to know and consider a close friend in all my days.
"I was saddened to hear of the passing of our friend Syd Martin who served on the NBS Board since 2009. On behalf of the NBS I want to share a word of appreciation and gratitude for the years of dedicated service Syd provided to the NBS. Syd was a staunch enthusiast supporter of the NBS and will be missed by the many people he touched throughout the numismatic community."
Craig McDonald writes:
"Since bursting on the scene, Syd was a true force of nature in our little collecting community. His knowledge and willingness to share information on just about any Colonial series was just one of his many strong suits. He will be sorely missed."
Dave Lange submitted this note on a great new book by Dave Bowers. Thanks! -Editor
I recently received a great little book purchased on eBay. It's an octavo volume by Q. David Bowers that was published by Stack's Bowers in 2020, but somehow had escaped my codex radar completely. I don't remember seeing anything about this in The E-Sylum or any other publication. Perhaps, it's mentioned at the SB website or in its mailings, but in this age of pandemic it's been a long time since I received more than a few publications that are shipped to my company address. For example, I've received just three hard copies of The Numismatist since March! Where did they all go?
The title is Coin Collecting: Those Who Led the Way. It's an anthology of biographies dealing with the dozen individuals depicted on the cover. I haven't had a chance to sit down and read this book, but it certainly tops my stack of publications awaiting that quiet moment.
The American Numismatic Association has published a new book compilation of the columns of Rod Gillis. -Editor
Coin collectors and history buffs alike are sure to love this entertaining, large-format book of author Rod Gillis' colorful "Past Tense" monthly column, which appeared in The Numismatist magazine from July 2011 through March 2020.
The beautifully rendered, 112-page softcover volume provides snapshots in time – beginning with Continental Currency in 1776 and concluding with the Westward Journey nickel in 2004. In addition to sharing obscure information about select coinage, each page includes fascinating historical information from that year. "Past Tense is a wonderful example of how coins help illustrate history and how history provides context to coin collecting," says Doug Mudd, curator of the American Numismatic Association's Money Museum.
Ted Puls writes:
"I have completed a pamphlet in spreadsheet format of my collection of 320 varieties of zinc coinage from Annam. Many varieties are not in Zeno.ru website nor Historical Coinages of Vietnam of Mr. Barker. I would like to share this spreadsheet information with collectors of this area.
"The pamphlet assumes that the collector understands the terminology of cash coins to identify the coinage in the Barker book. The varieties are arranged first by the reign title, then by the marks on the reverse. From this start, I group by variations in the obverse characters and the coin's outer and inner diameter (diameter from inner rim to inner rim). I have taken photos of the coins but the internet limits of sending this amount of data."
Ted can be reached at email@example.com . Here is an excerpt from the pamphlet's Introduction. -Editor
While it was published in 2005, here's a Google-translated excerpt of a new article by Hans-Ludwig Grabowski on the Geldscheine-Online blog about a book on Czech emergency money. -Editor
Nouzové Penežní Poukázy v ceských zemích v letech 1848 - 1850
Emergency notes in the Czech lands in the years 1848-1850
408 pages, illustrated in black and white throughout with eight pages of color plates in the appendix, format 21 cm x 29.7 cm, paperback, 1st edition, Brno 2005, ISBN 80-903662-2-8
Price: 990 CZK (reduced 695 CZK, equivalent to around 26.50 EUR)
Owen Linzmayer publishes The Banknote Book, a useful, constantly updated electronic reference. The chapter on the banknotes of Yugoslavia is now available for $9.99. -Editor
This 64-page catalog covers notes issued by the Narodna Banka Kraljevine Jugoslavije (National Bank of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) from 1929 to 1943, the Democratic Federative Yugoslavia from 1944 to 1945, the Banca per l'Economia per l'Istria, Fiume e il Littorale Sloveno (Bank for the Economy of Istria, Rijeka and the Littoral of Slovene) in 1945, the Narodna Banka Federativne Narodne Republike Jugoslavije (National Bank of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia) from 1946 to 1955, and the Narodna Banka Jugoslavije (National Bank of Yugoslavia) from 1963 to 2002. Published 21.01.2021.
THE BOOK BAZARRE
John Lupia passed along this book review of a new collection of essays, some of which touch on numismatics of the Isle of Man. Thanks. From The Medieval Review. -Editor
Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press, 2019. pp. 212. ISBN: 978-9-46298-939-9 (hardback).
On their Northeast Numismatics blog this week, Tom Caldwell, Chris Clements and Brian Alty remember their late friend and colleague Margie Sheaffer. -Editor
We are very sad to announce the recent passing of our friend and colleague, Margie Sheaffer. She passed away at the age of 71, with her husband Gary by her side. Margie started working the coin shows with us back in 2011. Based out of Pennsylvania, she would fly out and meet us at all of the major shows. She primarily took our coins around the bourse floor to show other dealers, but she also provided invaluable assistance behind the table.
Margie's time in the coin business started well before she started working with us, however. In fact, she started in the biz almost 50 years ago. To this day many still knew her by the name of Margie Sharp from her single days. Over a 50-year span, Margie has worked for Worldwide Numismatics, Britt Simons, Bob Hughes, Dennis Steinmetz, Frank Greenburg, John Maben, Modern Coin Mart, us here at Northeast Numismatics, as well as others. She was known by almost every dealer in the show circuit and was well-liked by all.
John W. Adams passed along links to additional tributes to author Fernando Chau. Thanks. Here's a Google-translated excerpt. -Editor
The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is a letter about Peter, The Mint Eagle. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor
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 talk by Elvira Clain-Stefanelli on highlights of the National Numismatic Collection. -Editor
Star Coins of History from the Smithsonian
Elvira Clain-Stefanelli, Executive Director of the National Numismatic Collection (NNC), presents a brief history of the Smithsonian Institute and its founder, James Smithson, followed by the history of the NNC since its inception in the 1840's. Using a series of slides, Dr. Clain-Stefanelli shows some of the treasures of the NNC collected over a century and a half. Among them will be familiar pieces from the U.S. Mint and Chase Manhattan collections, from Josiah K. Lily, the Norwebs and many other generous donors. Lecture with slides.
An excerpt of the video is available for viewing on NNP at:
Active Interest Media, which in 2019 purchased the bulk of Krause Publications (including Numismatic News and other periodicals but not the printed Standard Catalogs) has teamed up with NGC and PMG to make pricing data available online. -Editor
Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) and Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®) have entered into a license agreement with Active Interest Media. The Standard Catalog of World Coins and the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money license will support the popular NGC World Coin Price Guide and PMG World Paper Money Price Guide .
Active Interest Media is one of the world's leading enthusiast media companies, with a presence in 85 countries. They provide millions of readers, fans and attendees with consumer and trade events, websites and magazines, as well as films and TV shows.
The earlier-reported sale price for Collector's Universe has been bumped up almost 20% to $92 per share, a $825 million valuation. -Editor
Memorabilia authenticator Collectors Universe (CLCT) jumped nearly 20% Wednesday after the company announced that the investment group led by collector Nat Turner, D1 Partners and Cohen Private Ventures has increased its acquisition offer to $92 per share in cash.
The new offer represents an 18% premium over the company's closing price on Tuesday, and a 32% premium over its share price on Nov. 25, the last day of trading before Collectors Universe announced the original offer.
Competition is heating up in the sports card grading space - NGC parent Certified Collectibles Group announced it will "make use of artificial intelligence to automate many of the more time-consuming aspects of grading." Is AI coming to numismatic grading as well?
Found via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume VI, Number 30, January 12, 2021). -Editor
Last year, the company announced its intention to launch CSG in the wake of unprecedented backlogs at established graders PSA, SGC and Beckett Grading Services. A large, global company with nearly 400 employees and headquartered in Sarasota, FL, CCG is already well-known for grading comic books, magazines, concert posters, coins and paper money.
U.S. Young Numismatist Scrip Sought
"I'm now working on a book of Young Numismatist scrip from everywhere in the US. If I can compile enough information to make the book, I'll send contributors a free PDF copy.
Jonas is a fellow member of the Fairfax Coin Club. He participates in the YN events held at the Annandale coin shows. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . If your club runs YN auctions or other events using some sort of YN scrip or "auction dollars", please let him know and send images if possible. Thanks. -Editor
Other topics this week include numismatic stereoview cards, Miss Banks' Continental dollars, and a medal for Magawa the Rat. -Editor
Bob Rhue submitted these notes on a fascinating multiply-counterstamped Hard Times Token. Thanks! -Editor
Because of its multiple countermarks I find this to be one of the more interesting ones I've recently come across. The host coin is a Hard Times Token 158, Low 84.
It has the following seven Countermarks on one side, each in a cartouche: Boston, Lowell (stamped twice), Merrimack, House, F. Lamson, and Nashua.
Louis Golido writes:
"I thought readers might like to see these images of some recent acquisitions that may also be of interest. One is the Biden inaugural medal, and the other is a gorgeous restrike of the Libertas Americana medal made by Intaglio Mint and sold by Limited Mintage, its retail division. They make a lot of tributes to famous coins, and this one is especially well done in high relief with a 39-mm diameter and made from 2 ounces of silver. Very reasonable at only about $10 over the silver value. I got one regular finish and one in antique finish as you can see from the pics. They are sold out but may get more."
David Pickup submitted this request for assistance in researching a medallion that may (or may not) have a connection to the U.S. -Editor
Andrew Wager, co-editor of the UK Historical Medal Journal, is researching a medallion by the sculptor and medallist H. W Page for an article in the 2021 edition. The silver medal is 52mm in diameter and uniface.
In a Martin Luther King Day Washington Post article I noticed a short mention of a gold-plated medal given by the Oklahoma state legislature to survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot. -Editor
"Reparations to survivors and their descendants were never paid. Instead, the Oklahoma legislature passed a law to "facilitate the redevelopment of the Greenwood area" and presented each survivor with a gold-plated medal bearing the state seal."
In a blog post this week, John Brush of David Lawrence Rare Coins discusses a topic broached last week by Doug Winter - photography in today's coin market. -Editor
A few years ago we shifted away from scanning images of coins and switched to exclusively using cameras. While this slowed down our imaging productivity, it improved the quality of our images dramatically. Because of this shift, it's difficult to produce the quantity of images that we'd like, but with our focus on showing you what we'd want to see when buying a coin, we definitely feel the change was worthwhile.
As a coin buyer during the pandemic, I find myself checking out photos of coins on MANY websites and I also get photographs of coins sent to me via text message, Facebook, email, and other venues. I've become more and more analytical in viewing these photos in past months and as a collector, I know the importance of an accurate photograph. While it will never be as good as holding the coin in-hand, we knew we had to make improvements to further the hobby and instill trust in our customers. The technologies are there to be had (that's exactly why we jumped on nuTilt), but I find myself frustrated that our industry is still lagging behind in this very important regard. I don't know how to encourage growth along these lines, but I think that it's an essential step in numismatics nonetheless.
Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. -Editor
Coin Silver. A fineness of 900 fine; 9 parts silver to one of alloy, usually copper; silver United States coins have been struck in this fineness from 1837 to 1964. This formula provides a metal that is easy to strike yet has excellent wearing qualities. In America when silver bullion was otherwise unavailable, some manufacturers, including those producing tableware, would melt silver coins, hence would use this term for their product. Also called coin, pure coin, dollar standard, premium or C. The practice of melting coins for the silver metal declined by 1870 when silver became more readily available from western mines. By law coin silver has been marked (on all items except those produced by national mints) in Great Britain (since 1904) and in the United States (since 1906) with a variety of figures or words: coin, .900, or 900/1000. Coin silver has a specific gravity of 10.31 and a melting point of 869° centigrade (1614° Fahrenheit). See SILVER.
THE BOOK BAZARRE
Here's another entry from the online draft of John Lupia's book of numismatic biographies. This is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This week's subject is dealer and author M. H. Bolender. I added the image of Bolender's classic book on early U.S. dollars. -Editor
Bolender, Milford Henry, Orangeville, Stephenson County, Illinois, Coin dealer who held 197 mail coin auction sales from 1925 to 1960, and published at least 55 special fixed price lists by April 1934.
He was born on August 23, 1894, at Orangeville, Illinois, the son of Stewart E. (1861-) and Clara A. (1865-) Bolender. He was the third of six children. His father was born in Illinois and worked as a stone-mason. His mother was born in Wisconsin.
He began collecting coins as a schoolboy receiving collectible coins as a reward for good grades and good schoolwork.
The ANA has announced the cancellation of the 2021 Summer Seminar. -Editor
The American Numismatic Association (ANA) announced that the 2021 Summer Seminar, scheduled for June 19-24 (Session 1) and June 26-July 1 (Session 2), has been officially cancelled.
Traditionally held on the Colorado College campus adjacent to ANA headquarters, Summer Seminar is a once-a-year opportunity for numismatic learning and camaraderie that offers hundreds of collectors from around the world a varied selection of week-long courses designed for discovery and continued study.
Ray Czahor submitted this report on the January 16, 2021 virtual Philippine Collectors Forum. Thanks! Earl Honeycutt, Neil Shafer, Allen Menke and John Riley kindly provided image assistance. -Editor
Philippine Collectors Forum
Virtual 'Zoom' meeting Notes by John Riley and Dennis Tucker
The Philippine Collectors Forum met for the second time virtually on Saturday, January 16, 2021 as a mid-winter 'escape' from home lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the 'Zoom' platform, 54 collectors came together for the most diverse range of Philippine numismatic topics to date. The meeting was timed to begin at 7 PM Eastern time so that fellow enthusiasts in the Philippines could join (8 AM on Sunday morning in Manila). It was however a challenge for a European participant to join at 1 AM in Germany! Our most far-flung group of interested participants ever, a collector in Canada was also online.
Fabrizio Raponi, Education Programs Manager of the International Bank Note Society submitted this report on the group's new offerings. Thanks! -Editor
The Society runs an online lecture and presentation once a month to share the passion and knowledge on anything related to banknotes.
While the live session where you can interact with the presenters is available only to the IBNS members, a recording of the presentation, available to all, can be found on the IBNS YouTube channel here: https://bit.ly/3sHcwXL
The following is the upcoming program for the next few months:
Here's a selection of items that caught my eye in the World Banknote Auctions Sale 3, which closes on February 4, 2021. -Editor
Lot 3016: 2019 Aruba 10 Florins
Aruba 1.1.2019 PMG Superb Gem UNC 67 EPQ 10 Florins
Here's a selection of items that caught my eye in the January 2021 Archives International Auction 64. -Editor
Lot 929: Columbia Turnpike Road Stock Certificate
Maryland. February 1, 1814, 1 Share, I/U stock certificate, S/N 151, black on light beige paper, Issued to John Ellicott and signed by Samuel Godfrey as President and Samuel Heston as Treasurer. Embossed corporate seal at the left next to the small ornate counterfoil. S/N 151. On January 10, 1810, the Columbia Turnpike Road Company was chartered by the General Assembly of Maryland to "make a turnpike road from where the road leading from Montgomery courthouse to Baltimore intersects the Baltimore and Frederick turnpike road near Ellicott's lower mills, in a direction towards Georgetown, until it intersects the line of the district of Columbia, and so that it shall cross Rock creek at not less than three miles above Georgetown". XF condition. Printed by J. Robinson, 96 Market Street, Baltimore, MD. Rare and early Maryland Turnpike certificate.
Heritage will soon be offering the Hunter collection of U.S. colonial notes. Cataloger Bruce Hagen submitted this selection of highlights. Thanks! Great notes. -Editor
Over 400 Different Colonial Note Types
The Hunter Collection, carefully collected across three decades, contains notes from all thirteen colonies plus Continental Currency types; most are in choice condition. Notes for all interest areas and budgets will be featured in this diverse presentation. Iconic rarities from the Maryland Allegorical series and Massachusetts Revere "Sword in Hand" issues (there are 18 examples) are cataloged alongside affordable favorites from Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. All will be offered unreserved at auction on Thursday, February 11, 2021.
In March Dix Noonan Webb will offer coins from the collection of author Rev. Richard Plant. Here's the press release. -Editor
More than 300 lots of British, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Coins from the Collection of the late Richard Plant will be offered in a live/online auction of Coins and Historical Medals on Tuesday March 2, 2021 by International coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialists Dix Noonan Webb via their website www.dnw.co.uk. Comprising thousands of individual coins, the collection is expected to fetch more than £100,000.
The Reverend Richard J. Plant (1928-2020), who died peacefully at his home in Bawtry, South Yorkshire, on 2 August 2020, had a distinctive approach to writing about coins which arose from a life-long quest to make them accessible to collectors who lacked his own classical education. His articles and books, typically illustrated by his own meticulous hand-drawn illustrations brought coins to life - he focused on making connections to the history, myths, places, objects and people on them.
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
Bruttium, Caulonia. Silver Nomos
Silver Nomos, c. 475-425 BC.
Obverse: ??V? (retrograde), Apollo, nude, advancing right, holding a laurel branch, small daimon running on his left arm. Stag in right field. Reverse: ??V (retrograde), stag standing right, laurel branch to right.
(HN Italy 2046).
From Baldwin's online Virtual New York Show List 2021. A nice spare and stylized design. -Editor
To read the complete item description, see:
Other topics this week include a steamboat note, a British North Borneo pattern, Tenino's other wooden money, and a Churchill Navy medal. -Editor
Arthur Shippee passed along this New York Times article about the Bronze-Age use of metal rings as a medium of exchange. Thanks. -Editor
A pair of archaeologists believe they have identified a very early example of commodity money in Europe, used some 3,500 years ago during the Bronze Age, with denominations that took the form of bronze rings, ribs and ax blades. People at this time frequently buried collections of these ubiquitous items, leaving a wealth of scattered "hoards" across the European continent.
Sydney Masters writes:
"I thought you might be interested in a 1934 $10,000 bill that was just obtained by M.S. Rau in New Orleans, Louisiana.
"I found out from Bill Rau, the owner, that they procured the bill from a partner and there is an interesting twist to the story. There were 100 $10,00 bills in the gold arch and they were all glued to the glass. When they were removed, 80 or so of them were damaged and had to be restored because they'd gotten torn. The one that M.S. Rau has was one of the 10 bills that did not have to be restored, which is part of the reason it has a higher grade.
"Additionally, on a side note, Johnny Cash had a lot of these specific bills but not sure if Johnny Cash owned this particular bill but it is likely."
Public radio's Marketplace addressed a question for curious bibliophiles - why do modern books have prices printed on them? -Editor
"Why are books actually marked with a price on them? Music isn't. Movies aren't. Most retail items that I could think of that you would find at resellers aren't in fact."
Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor
Ursula Kampmann has a nice article in the latest CoinsWeekly about the latest state of the art in minting technology. -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
Other topics this week include the Brasher Doubloon, and coins in Death Rituals. -Editor