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This week we open with a new issue of our print journal, highlights from the Salton library sale, three new books and a review, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, and more.
Other topics this week include Centennial So-Called Dollars, Continental Currency, Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, Christopher Comber, Tom Uram, auction previews, gold coin finds, and Minnesota banknotes.
To learn more about Ars Classica, Mexican numismatics, Allied Military Currency marks, Christian Gobrecht's engraving of Washington, the NNP Symposium, multi-generation numismatic families,
Hawaiian Government Stock Bonds, French colonial numismatics
and the Rod of Asclepius, read on. Have a great week, everyone!
Editor, The E-Sylum
The 2021 Autumn issue of The Asylum is on the way from our sponsor, the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. Maria Fanning edits our print journal, and she submitted this report and President Tom Harrison's message. -Editor
The Asylum Autumn 2021
The Asylum's Autumn 2021 issue will be mailing to NBS members soon. We had a great time seeing everyone at the ANA in Rosemont and hope to see those who could not attend next year.
Congratulations to Wayne Homren and The E-Sylum for winning First Place for the ANA's Outstanding Electronic Numismatic Publication!
A Simple Twist of Fateby Joel J. Orosz
Here are some more highlights from the upcoming Kolbe & Fanning sale of the Salton library. -Editor
Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers are selling at auction the Mark and Lottie Salton numismatic library on Saturday, September 18. The sale includes important publications on ancient, medieval and modern coins from around the world, as well as outstanding works on medals and an extraordinary collection of European auction catalogues. The sale is being held in cooperation with Fritz Rudolf Künker, of Osnabrück, Germany.
Some highlights of the sale include:
David Lisot alerted me to a couple of recent books on Mexican numismatics that we haven't discussed yet. Look for his video next week from the recent Texas Numismatic Association Convention. I reached out to author Greg Meyer and he kindly provided this information. Thanks. -Editor
Federal Republic Copper was written with Ricardo de Leon Tallavas and relates how the history behind the copper coinage of the Mexico City mint in the colonial period informs the first republic Mexico City copper coinage of 1829-1862. It has high resolution black and white photos of die varieties of each year and denomination.
This book discusses the New Spain and first Mexican Republic fiat currencies of copper. Specific focus of coin analysis is of the Federal issues from 1829-1861. Varieties are pictured and discussed in detail.
Here's the second recent book on Mexican numismatics by Greg Meyer. -Editor
Zacatecas State Coppers focuses strictly on the history of the Mexican state of Zacatecas in the first republic period 1824-1863 and events that led to reduced mintages or no mintage at all of copper coinage. It also has high resolution black and white photos of die varieties of each year and denomination.
A numismatic study and history of the Zacatecas state copper production from 1825 to 1863. Commonly known as 'Angels' or 'Angelitos' the quartillas and octavos of this coin series were essential to every day commerce and due to the finely detailed symbology on both sides of the coin, very hard to counterfeit with the common technology at the time.
An article by Uwe Bronnert on Geldscheine Online discusses a new book by Eckehard Gottwald on the emergency banknotes of the Dillkreis, a rural district west of Hesse, Germany. Below is a Google-translated excerpt. -Editor
A contribution to the history of the former Dillkreis. 2nd Edition,
Hofheim am Taunus 2021. 94 pages, full color illustrations, adhesive binding and cardboard cover, without ISBN.
Available from the author at a price of € 29.00 + € 4.00 postage and packaging, Brückenstraße 45, 65719 Hofheim a. T.
24 years have passed since the first edition of this study. Now the author, who is known for his books on the Frankfurt, Offenbach and Hanau emergency money, presents the collector community with a revised presentation of the topic, which at first glance is quite limited. When leafing through the book for the first time, it becomes clear that the author has a lot to say about the 500- and 1000-mark notes of the Dillkreis.
Steve Feller published the following review in the 11 September 2021 issue of MPC Gram, the newsletter for collectors of Military Payment Certificates and other military numismatica. -Editor
First, however, I present a few comments. My copy just arrived after purchase from Michael. It is a superlative book. It is a catalog and ever so much more.
In fact, the catalog part is a tiny aspect of the book. It is filled with contemporary references to the money that fills in many details about the issuance of AMC marks in Germany. It is filled with a tremendous amount of original data on the money.
Indeed, this book revolutionizes our knowledge of this currency—a currency a lot of us take for granted.
Now the book is written in German. This will require some patience to use as a result. Interestingly a lot of the original documents are in English as they were written by and for the use of the occupying powers.
This press release notes a new addition to the Mega Red Book. -Editor
1876 CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION SO-CALLED DOLLARS IN THE MEGA RED BOOK
The Deluxe Edition of The Guide Book of U.S. Coins will showcase So-Called Dollars
This is exciting news not only for so-called dollar collectors, but for the entire hobby as well because this will give exposure and educate collectors on a historically significant and diverse segment of our hobby.
So-called dollars from the 1876 U.S. Centennial Exposition are being showcased in the latest Mega Red Book, the seventh deluxe edition of A Guide Book of United States Coins, published by Whitman Publishing. Over 80 medals and 300 varieties are depicted, along with photos, values and rarity information, many of which have never been cataloged before. Contributing author Jeff Shevlin, an expert on so-called dollars, has incorporated a different section on so-called dollars into each edition of the Mega Red since its inception seven years ago.
Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following discussion relating to work of early U.S. Mint engraver Christian Gobrecht. Thanks. -Editor
Christian Gobrecht Engraving of Washington from the ANA Convention
Christian Gobrecht (1785-1844), U.S. Mint Engraver from 1840-1844, worked in a variety of media, as did many of the early Mint engravers. Gobrecht, for example, created three different copperplate engravings of George Washington, one print of which appeared in the Liberty Seated Collectors Club (LSCC) fundraiser auction held during their annual meeting at the recent ANA convention. This version of Washington appeared in J. Kingston's New American Biographical Dictionary (Baltimore, 1810). This author previously catalogued the copperplate engravings of Christian Gobrecht in Gobrecht Journal #101 (March 2008), available on Newman Portal.
Only one other copy of this engraving has been located and resides in the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. The present example is slightly different, with the text beneath the portrait off center. Apparently this text block was loosely attached to the printing plate and shifted in position. The Pratt Library example is correctly aligned. This print sold for $400.25, an odd amount ensured only by the ever-enthusiastic auctioneer Brad Karoleff. Having received a bid of $400, Mr. Karoleff then asked the same bidder for $425.
Four hundred dollars and twenty-five cents was offered, and, there being no further bids, completed the competition.
Link to Gobrecht catalog in The Gobrecht Journal, #101:
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 one on the recent Texas Numismatic Association Convention. -Editor
Coin Buyers Abundant at Texas Numismatic Association Convention 2021
One of the first major national coin conventions to take place was the TNA Convention in Arlington, Texas June 3-6, 2021. Doug Davis, Show Producer, talks about attendance, the buyers and the sellers at the convention.
An excerpt of the video is available for viewing on the Coin Television YouTube Channel at:
Another NNP Symposium is on the way! Here's the announcement. -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. Previous Symposia 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 seventy presentations from the August 2020 and March 2021 events, produced by Lianna Spurrier of Numismatic Marketing, are available for viewing at https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/multimediadetail/539070.
Newman Portal is pleased to announce the third NNP Symposium, which will take place via Zoom on October 15-17, 2021. While the course of the COVID pandemic remains unpredictable, online events have proven a reliable way of sharing numismatic knowledge across a widespread audience. Viewers from the March 2021 event noted
It's a good opportunity for those who cannot travel to an American Numismatic Association convention or a major show where presentations may be held and
Thank you for the fantastic job on the Symposium. I attended as many as I possibly could and will finish the ones I missed as soon as they are posted.
Ray Williams writes:
Numismatic Investigator A.J. Behul submitted these notes regarding the Muera Huerta notes recently discussed. Thank you! -Editor
Tom DeLorey submitted these notes on Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine contributor tokens. Thanks! -Editor
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
QUERY: PEACE DOLLAR MODEL (https://www.coinbooks.org/v24/esylum_v24n36a10.html)
Other topics this week include the Buddy Ebsen sale, multi-generation numismatic families, the Rod of Asclepius, American Morse Code, and the the $7.68 million 1804 Silver Dollar. -Editor
Reader Etienne LePen submitted these thoughts on the anniversary of 9/11. Thanks. -Editor
After years at the Sheraton, the New York International moved downtown to an attractive lower floor in the World Trade Center (as can be noted in the background of this picture).
While searching for other things I came across an interesting article from the May 1994 issue of The Numismatist discussing the pros and cons of issuing a CD-ROM of back issues of the publication vs creating a printed index. In a world where everything seems to have been digitized and made searchable online, it's an interesting view of the state of technology some 27 years ago. -Editor
Here's the second and final part of Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology entry on Finish and Finishing. -Editor
Oxidation (actually a sulphatization). The wire basket containing the abrasive-blasted medals are then immersed in a bucket containing the darkening chemical (as ammonium sulfide) for the next step of antiquing. The wire basket is rotated by hand holding the handle, swishing it around submerged in the liquid so it comes in contact with as much of every medal's surface as possible.
Time is quite critical. The chemical acts quickly. The medals turn black almost immediately. The sulfur from the ammonium sulfide combines with the surface molecules of the bronze or silver to form copper sulfide or silver sulfide. The metal reacts instantly with the sulfide, the process of sulphatization (unfortunately it is called oxidation, which implies oxygen, but the reactive ingredient is the sulphur, no oxygen is required). This chemical action occurs in from five to ten seconds.
Pete Smith has a great topic and photo for us this week. -Editor
Mint Director Presenting Half Dismes
There were no cameras to record the moment when Mint Director David Rittenhouse presented a tray of the first United States coinage to Martha Washington. The only visual record was provided by paintings with varying degrees of inaccuracy.
A photo exists showing an actor portrayal of the event. The characters include Rittenhouse presenting the tray to Martha while Alexander Hamilton, Mrs. Hamilton, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson observe from the background.
The latest article in Harvey Stack's blog series covers 1989 and the spectre of Federal regulations for the U.S. coin industry. -Editor
1989 was a year of great growth in the numismatic hobby. Many collectors entered the field, stimulated by the Mint's advertising program that promoted Mint sets, Proof sets and special commemoratives with the line "An investment in the future." This attracted young collectors to the field and appealed to their relatives who bought them these new issues to put away for the "future." Additionally, special reports from Wall Street by Salomon Brothers showed that coins were increasing in value more rapidly than art, precious metals and other collectibles, and this too was a stimulus.
Later this month St James's Auctions in London is selling the remarkable collection of Elizabeth I coins formed by Christopher Comber. With permission, we're republishing his biography from the September 23, 2021 catalogue. -Editor
Chris was born in New Cross, south east London, the only child of Arthur and Julia Comber on 27th October 1944. He attended Haberdashers' Aske's boys' school and was a proud Old Askean. In later years he continued to enjoy life to the full despite some health issues, enjoying family occasions and contributing to British Association of Numismatic Societies Congresses with his characteristic enthusiasm. Chris died on 2nd February 2019 aged 74.
Chris entered the world of marine insurance as a chartered average adjuster in 1963 and rapidly became very well respected in his field. Chris married Rita in 1971 and they went on to have two children, Matt and Franki. Chris loved music, with tastes ranging from traditional country and western to early rock ‘n' roll. He was an accomplished singer and guitar player and during the 1960s and 70s performed in London bars and clubs. Chris recorded three albums of old-time country music produced by a German record label, leading to him and his music partner conducting a tour of German folk festivals in the mid-1970s.
Louis Golino published a Coin Update article on Tom Uram, who recently concluded two terms on the CCAC. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor
Thomas J. Uram, a 30-year financial services industry veteran and coin collector for the past 50 years, recently ended his second term on the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee in the position that is recommended by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. His tenure began in 2012 and included two years serving as chairman of this important group that reviews the designs that appear on all U.S. coins, including circulating, bullion, commemorative coins, and congressional gold medals.
His second term on the committee formally ended on January 28. His successor is Dr. Harcourt Fuller, a historian of Africa who teaches at Georgia State University.
Here is the announcement for the September 22, 2021 sale by Archives International Auctions. -Editor
ARCHIVES INTERNATIONAL AUCTIONS OFFERS HUNDREDS OF HISTORIC U.S., CHINESE AND WORLD BANKNOTES, SCRIPOPHILY & HISTORIC EPHEMERA ON SEPTEMBER 22nd , 2021.
The auction will be held by Archives International Auctions at their offices in River Edge, N.J.
The September 22, 2021 auction by Archives International Auctions is highlighted by hundreds of rare and desirable banknotes, scripophily and historic U.S. Colonial and U.S documents rarely seen at auction. The Auction 70 catalog will consist of 878 lots of rare and desirable U.S., Chinese & World Banknotes, Scripophily, Historic Financial Ephemera and Security Printing Ephemera.
We are excited to offer early U.S. and Colonial fiscal documents from a new find as well as banknotes, bonds and shares that have been off the market for decades or are new to the collecting world, stated Dr. Robert Schwartz, President of Archives International Auctions.
Included in the upcoming auction are rare and desirable numismatic items that will enhance the collections of every level of collector and dealer.
MDC Monaco Auction 8 closing October 20-21, 2021 has been announced. Here is the press release. Great coins. -Editor
MDC Monnaies de Collections sarl introduces its next major numismatic auction by expert Nicolas Gimbert in Monaco. Our experts have carefully selected 1446 rare coins and medals gathered in a beautifully illustrated 488 pages auction catalogue. Auction will take place over two days, live with Biddr Switzerland and on all reference numismatic platforms. A sumptuous series of ancient Roman medallions of Magnentius, Maximian Herculius, Maxentius, also the return in Europe of an extraordinary quality and extremely rare English coin minted during the brief reign of Edward VIII, namely a 5-pound PROOF 1937 graded NGC PF 67 ULTRA CAMEO (lot 1050). Amongst others: a fine series of 30 rare Vatican coins; an ancient collection of XVIIth and XVIIIth century thalers in exceptional quality and often Fleur de coin.
The MDC Monaco Auction 8 closing October 20-21, 2021 includes selections from the Jean Lecompte collection of French colonial numismatics. Here's that section of the sale press release. -Editor
Jean Lecompte is the world-renowned specialist in French colonies numismatics and the author of the reference book on the subject (Monnaies et jetons des colonies française, Gadoury editions, 2007). French colonial empire numismatics is extremely rich and varied from all parts of the world and the five continents (America, Africa, Indochina, Oceania, and even Terre Adélie). The first part of his collection, the medals of the French colonies was sold in Paris, hôtel Drouot (expert: S. Sombart) in 2018. Today, it is a second part, with 161 lots presented in Monaco by experts: N. Gimbert and S. Sombart. Exceptional tokens, some unique or from prestigious collections such as that from King Farouk of Egypt, are on sale in this exceptional October 20 and 21 2021 auction. The Jean Lecompte collection is so significant a special catalog will be published separately from the auction.
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
This is an original document, dated 1786, Pennsylvania Assembly, where Thomas Mifflin and John Nicholson have signed an order to Robert Loller to count and burn currency....signed by Thomas Mifflin and John Nicholson on front and by Robert Loller on back. Document is 4x8, minor splits, repairs with acid free archival tape, overall good condition. Thomas Mifflin (January 10, 1744 – January 20, 1800) was an American merchant, soldier, and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He served in a variety of roles during and after the American Revolution, several of which qualify him to be counted among the Founding Fathers. He was the first Governor of Pennsylvania, serving from 1790 to 1799; he was also the last President of Pennsylvania, succeeding Benjamin Franklin and serving from 1788 until 1790.
Born in Philadelphia, Mifflin became a merchant after graduating from the College of Philadelphia. He joined the Continental Army after serving in the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly and the Continental Congress. During the American Revolutionary War, he was an aide to General George Washington and the Continental Army's Quartermaster General, rising to the rank of major general. Mifflin returned to Congress in 1782 and was elected President of the Continental Congress in 1783. He served as Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1785 to 1787, then as President of the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council from 1788 to 1790.
Mifflin was a delegate to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention and signed the United States Constitution. He then presided over the committee that wrote Pennsylvania's own constitution and he became the first governor after the ratification of the constitution. Mifflin left office as governor in 1799, and died the following year.
This auction has ended, but congratulations to the buyer. It's a very interesting document discussing the burning of colonial currency. Found via Ray Williams on the Colonial Coins Google discussion group. -Editor
To read the complete lot description, see:
1786, Thomas Mifflin signed order, burn Colonial currency, Robert Loller signed (https://www.ebay.com/itm/353603128880)
Other topics this week include a counterstamped Flying Eagle cent, and a banknote specimen sheet. -Editor
Robert Hoge passed along this story of a great Iron Age gold find. Thanks. -Editor
Ole Ginnerup Schytz's first time using a metal detector proved a rewarding one last December when the rookie treasure hunter found a stunning cache of 6th century gold jewelry in a field near the town of Jelling in Denmark.
As noted before, not all coin finds require metal detectors. Howard Berlin and Leon Saryan passed along this story of a nice find in a house under renovation in France. Pablo Hoffman and David Gladfelter passed along a Smithsonian article on the find. Thanks. -Editor
Builders discovered a stash of 239 gold coins at a manor in northwestern France which could earn up to 300,000 euros ($356,490) at auction later this month.
The three craftsmen found the treasure while working on the restoration of a house in Plozévet, Brittany, in the coastal area of Bigouden in 2019, according to a press release from auctioneers Deloys ahead of the sale. The property had been purchased by a couple in 2012.
Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor
It's been said that the second coin in the world was a counterfeit of the first. Today, counterfeits can hit the streets BEFORE the genuine ones. Here's a report from Coin World. -Editor
Suspected counterfeit 2021-CC Morgan dollars were offered on eBay in August at the same price the U.S. Mint offered genuine examples on May 24.
The eBay offer was subsequently removed, but not before a collector downloaded images of the fake in its crude packaging and posted notice on the Collector's Universe U.S. Coin Forum discussion group to warn hobbyists.
The Mint isn't scheduled to begin shipping the genuine CC privy-marked 2021 Morgan dollars to customers who ordered them until sometime in October, based on production schedules.
Other topics this week include a remorseful counterfeit-passer and laundering flood-damaged banknotes. -Editor
This week's Featured Web Site is Shawn Hewitt's Minnesota Nice Antiques, with a great collection of information on Minnesota obsolete notes and National Currency. Found via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume VII, Number 7, August 3, 2021).