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New subscribers this week include: David Carpenter, courtesy Judy Blackman; Robin Clay and Megan Pellegrino, courtesy Harry Waterson; Emma Howard of SPINK, courtesy Helen Wang; Whitney Nakata, courtesy Kellen Hoard; Thanks also to Tom DeLorey for an additional new subscriber. Welcome aboard, everyone!
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This week we open with three new books, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, notes from E-Sylum readers, and more.
Other topics this week include Reed Hawn, Bill Rau's pattern database, the La Capitina shipwreck, Thomason's scientific medals, keystone medals, the Sommers Island gold pound, Alan Turing, Alfred Wallace, Bauman Belden, Servant to the Home medals, the Medal of Freedom, coins and paper money from the Titanic wreck, and the oldest national bank still operating under the same original name and Office of the Comptroller Charter number.
To learn more about the Baldwin's sesquicentennial, U. S. National Bank Notes, Operation Bernhard counterfeits, the Magdalen Islands token,
Federal Reserve bank bags, Hillbilly Handfishing, Fred Weinberg, the Connecticut
Snipe Nose Copper, Make Business Better scrip, the missing 1,000 tola gold coin, a medal inspired by Isadora Duncan, carpet beaters, and the Fields medal, read on. Have a great week, everyone!
Editor, The E-Sylum
Chip Howell passed along this YouTube video announcing a new book produced by A.H. Baldwin & Sons (London) on the occasion of the firm's 150th anniversary. Although there is no information on their website, they say the book will be available in late July. Thanks. -Editor
To watch the video, see:
Celebrating 150 years of Baldwin's Coins | Baldwins Coins (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0XGJIaXlYg)
Here's the announcement for a long-awaited book - the Encyclopedia of U. S. National Bank Notes. -Editor
It is with excitement that Andrew Shiva announces the release of the Encyclopedia of U. S. National Bank Notes published jointly by his National Currency Foundation and the Society of Paper Money Collectors.
The encyclopedia is huge, currently containing some 1,500 pages, 1,400 illustrations and 210 tables divided into 144 chapters organized into 17 topical sections.
The MPC Gram is an email newsletter for collectors of Military Payment Certificates and other military numismatica. This week it contained an announcement for a new book on the Operation Bernhard counterfeits of WWII. I hope to have more information on the book in a future issue. The following is adapted from the MPC Gram and invites interested parties to a book launch event at the upcoming ANA convention. -Editor
The Spungen Foundation will celebrate the release of an important new book, Forging Secrets, with a dinner event at this year's World's Fair of Money®. Forging Secrets tells the story of Operation Bernhard, the Nazi counterfeiting scheme which used concentration camp prisoners to forge Bank of England notes in an effort to destabilize the British economy during World War II.
This book is one-of-a-kind, both in look and content. It features a die-cut cover, special insert sleeves for Operation Bernhard notes, and sixteen different authors, aided by an army of researchers, translators, and volunteers. (The sixteen contributors include editor and contributor Joseph E. Boling, James Downey, Ray Feller, Steve Feller, Fred Schwan, Danny Spungen and Kiel Majewski).
This book will expose audiences old and new to the faces and facts inside this secret Nazi scheme. In fact you will be meeting some very incredible people including descendants related to Operation Bernhard.
Your keynote speakers and panelists for the evening will include Charlotte Krüger, granddaughter of Bernhard Krüger, the Nazi SS officer in charge of Operation Bernhard; and Debbie Walter daughter of Hans Walter, one of the forgers of Operation Bernhard.
Space is very limited and an RSVP is requested.
Please RSVP by Wednesday, July 27 by email to Creative Operations Ambassador Mikayla Hoppe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For more information on the Spungen Foundation, see:
Ken Bressett alerted me to the passing of collector Reed Hawn. American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith kindly submitted this article on Reed and his father William. Thanks, everyone! -Editor
William Hawn was born in Butler County, Nebraska on April 12, 1918, the son of Texas geologist and oilman Richard Hugh Hawn (1895-1947) and Dorothy Hewitt Blakenay (1896-1967).
Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report on Ted Buttrey's massive list of auction catalogs. -Editor
The Ultimate Bibliography of Numismatic Auction Catalogs
During the ANS Long Table Zoom call on July 8, which was hosted by ANS President Ute Wartenberg Kagan and featured Basil Demetriadi and his library, the discussion noted the bibliographic catalogs developed by Ted Buttrey (1929-2018) at the Fitzwilliam Library in Cambridge, UK. These catalogs enumerate no less than 55,000 auction sale catalogs and fixed price lists. These lists were updated through 2016 and surely represent the most complete such compilation. While the Gengerke bibliography (American Numismatic Auctions, 1990) listed 18,000 items, this was confined to sales containing American material.
Buttrey's goal was to list everything, and, while gaps no doubt remain, these catalogs represent yet another legacy from this important numismatic scholar. As a test case, I looked up his entries on the Schulman series, which represents a tangled web spanning five generations. He dedicates 13 pages to the topic and includes a handy family tree that is useful in sorting out this complicated group of publications. The Buttrey lists are available in seven PDFs files that total about 1,300 pages. I lean digital and try not to print out things, but I'm considering making an exception in this case!
Is there a serious bibliophile out there willing to take over from Buttrey and bring this master list up to date? -Editor
Link to the Numismatic Catalogue Archive at the Fitzwilliam:
Link to ANS Long Table archives:
Newman Numismatic Project Coordinator Len Augsburger passed along the following report from NNP intern Kellen Hoard on a massive database of U.S. pattern coin auction appearances, most from the pre-Internet era. -Editor
In the course of my internship work for the Newman Numismatic Portal this summer, I had the opportunity to work on, without a doubt, one of the most impressive numismatic projects I have encountered. Few other words are needed to describe it, both because the above description is complete and because readers ought to spend less time reading this update so that they might spend more time exploring it.
The project I speak of is Bill Rau's essentially complete dataset of prices realized at auction for U.S. patterns between 1851-2001. It is a genuinely staggering document to behold; over 70,000 lots are listed, with detailed information on each. Even for a non-collector such as myself, it is simply interesting to explore by virtue of its scale. The spreadsheet which contains this meticulously assembled information spanning centuries is available on the Newman Numismatic Portal at the link below, and contains 12 different tabs with varying data.
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 treasure of the La Capitana. -Editor
Story of the La Capitana Shipwreck of 1654
Dave is an author, diver, maritime historian. He was responsible for the discovery of the La Capitana shipwreck. When the ship was built it was the largest vessel ever in the Spanish flotilla and it had the treasure just as large!
The video is available for viewing on NNP at:
Judy Blackman writes:
Thank you. Here's an excerpt. -Editor
Edward was born around 1769 in Birmingham, England. His father Edward Thomason Senior (1740-1793) was a manufacturer of buckles for over forty years, and his mother was Mary Garlick. During this period, shoe-buckles were worn by all classes of society, and Senior Thomason's manufactory produced as many as a thousand pairs of buckles daily.
Edward Junior began manufacturing in his father's factory around 1793, establishing a trade in gilt and plated buttons. The business expanded to manufacture medals, snuff boxes, watch cases, vases, sculptures, tokens and coins, and later plated gold and silver works. Later, at age 66, in 1835, Junior sold the business to Whitegrave and Collis.
Federal Reserve Bank Bags
Phil Iversen writes:
Great question - that would probably be some accomplishment. Anyone? -Editor
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
U. S. MINT CANVAS BAGS (https://www.coinbooks.org/v25/esylum_v25n26a11.html)
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JULY 3, 2022 : 1938 Nickel Mint Bags (https://www.coinbooks.org/v25/esylum_v25n27a12.html)
Other topics this week include the Rijksmuseum Coin Exhibit, and an Encased Postage Locket. -Editor
I have a hefty supply of email and realized this week that I hadn't published this note from Wayne Pearson on ideas for coin designs celebrating Freedom. Sorry for the delay - happy 10th of July, everyone. -Editor
If our coins were to represent us here are a couple of concepts that might be on them. First up are two half dollars, using a smaller, heptagon shape, so vending machines can accept them, showing our liberty to vote. This design is based on a pattern design for a Delaware state quarter.
Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. I added the medal image. -Editor
Keynote, Keystone. A medal associated with a series but with a feature different from all others in the series. The medal usually symbolizes the entire series and is most often struck first, or is presented with the entire purchase of the series. A Yellowstone Medal was a keystone medal for a National Park Centennial Series, 1972; or a Treasury Seal Medal with the 11-medal set of America's First Medals, 1976. The Medical Heritage Society Series issued by Franklin Mint included an Aesculapius Medal, 1969, as separate but similar item to the series. For their Apollo Flight Series Franklin Mint called the initial medal a keynote medal, as they did for a 1972 medal at the beginning of issuing the Great Olympic Moments Series. In France such a medal is called pre-series.
Mike Costanzo submitted this article about the fantasy Sommers Island gold pound. Illustrated is a modern example struck from dies originally created by Wuesthoff in the early 1880's. -Editor
From 1979 to 1981, Bowers & Ruddy Galleries sold the outstanding collection of
T. Harrison Garrett in four highly celebrated auctions. Among the 2,453 lots was a
highly questionable purchase made by Garrett in 1884 from dealer and future
author Lyman H. Low. The coin in question was a Sommers Island
shilling gold piece.
On October 24, 1884, Lyman Low wrote to Garrett offering him the
rarity and choicest gem which has ever come into my hands, a unique Sommers
Island twenty shilling gold piece. Low theorized that
a number of them were
struck off, but proving useless, they probably found their way to the melting pot.
Despite the piece appearing questionable to typical Sommer Island coinage, Low
considered it genuine and concluded
I bought it on my judgment and sell it on my
Stack's Bowers has a backlog of the late Harvey Stack's numismatic memoir articles and will continue publishing them. In this one Harvey discusses the year 1998, which opened with the signing of the Statehood Commemorative Quarter Dollar Coinage Act, some important museum collection sales and a Reed Hawn sale in May. See the article elsewhere in this issue about collector Hawn, who recently passed away. -Editor
1998 started off with a great numismatic surprise! In late December of 1997 Congress passed into law the Statehood Commemorative Quarter Dollar Coinage Act, and during the first week of January 1998 President Bill Clinton signed the law authorizing the new issues. This act provided for the Mint to each year issue five individual quarters for general circulation, commemorating each state's entering the Union. These quarters would be issued in the order that the states joined the United States, starting with Delaware and, in the first year, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut. The series would run for 10 years and result in a set of 50 state quarters. This followed the idea I had presented before the Banking and Finance Committee of Congress in 1995, and I was indeed honored that the idea was adopted. Over the next decade these quarters would be struck by the billions and offered a way for people to once again
collect coins from their daily change at just the cost of the coins' face value.
Published in two parts across two different ErrorScope issues earlier this year, Greg Bennick's interview with dealer and longtime E-Sylum supporter Fred Weinberg is a wonderful look at the hobby and business of error coin collecting over the last half century. With permission from the Combined Organization of Numismatic Error Collectors of America (CONECA), we're republishing it in four parts over as many weeks. Here's part one, where Fred discusses how he got started dealing in errors. -Editor
Fred Weinberg Interview
By Greg Bennick
For anyone who has collected error coins in the last half century, Fred Weinberg is both a familiar name and an inspiration. In 2021 when he announced his retirement, I knew that a comprehensive interview for ErrorScope would be a great way for the magazine to wrap up his career, especially since he did so much for the publication in its early days. This interview was conducted in February 2022 by phone and it has been an honor to put it together for the magazine!
Greg Bennick: So, tell me: why errors? With all the things out there to collect, what's the allure of errors to you as a specialty? What's fascinated you most about them?
Here are a few more items that caught my eye in Jeff Rock's Rosa Americana Colonial Coins fixed price list #23. To get your copy, contact Jeff at email@example.com. -Editor
1766 Pitt Halfpenny
10. 1766 Pitt Halfpenny. Betts 519, W-8350. Very Fine, well struck save for the extreme right edge of the reverse, an area that is often seen weak on this type; this causes a loss of the legend there, the remainder of the letters on either side mostly strong. The bust of Pitt and the ship are both sharp and show solid VF design detail. Nice medium brown, the surfaces hard and pleasing to the eye. A fascinating issue, one that is clearly important to the American colonial collector as the design not only names America on the reverse, but refers to the infamous Stamp Act which both propelled Pitt into prominence and, a decade later, the American colonies into revolution. Collectors of this historic issue are often faced with just two choices: paying a lot of money for an AU or Uncirculated specimen or finding a more affordable circulated one that is rough or damaged – this is the rare exception that is circulated, not damaged, quite pleasing in color and overall eye appeal, yet still quite affordable.......... $900
A nice pleasing example. -Editor
Here are some lots that caught my eye in the upcoming Holabird sale. -Editor
Foraker, OK - $10 1902 Plain Back Fr. 629 The First NB Ch. # 10356. An exceptionally rare note with two of the three reported notes are listed in the census without grades, having been off the market for so long that their grades are unknown. Last Known note to sell in public auction in 2010 was a "NET" Fine for $1,600.00. This Note is a Solid VF with wonderful embossing and color. Miniscule pin hole above cashier signature. Does not detract. Who knows when another will appear or be as nice?
A rare note in great condition. -Editor
To read the complete lot description, see:
FNB of Foraker $10 Large, Newly Discovered!  (https://holabirdamericana.liveauctiongroup.com/FNB-of-Foraker-10-Large-Newly-Discovered-153825_i45588281)
It's the case of the Missing Monster Mohurs. The government of India is seeking two large rare gold coins that went missing decades ago. Have any of our readers spotted them? -Editor
The gold coin that finds a mention in the travelogues of Venetian traveller Nicolao Manucci and Capt Hawkins was last seen in the possession of Nizam VIII of Hyderabad, Mukarram Jah, in the late 1980s.
The Central government has resumed the search to look for two special gold coins minted during the Mughal period, one of which, a 12kg gold coin, is touted as the biggest coin ever minted and has been missing for nearly four decades.
The Royal Mint has issued a commemorative 50-pence coin celebrating mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing. -Editor
Computer genius Turing is best known for breaking the German Enigma code during World War Two, leading to victory over Nazi Germany.
Historians believe he may have shortened the war by four years - saving tens of thousands of lives.
Morton & Eden will offer an extraordinary set of important medals awarded to one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century - Alfred Russel Wallace, a co-founder of and collaborator with Charles Darwin on the theory of evolution. Here's the press release. -Editor
Alfred Russel Wallace OM, FRS (1823-1913), was one of the greatest scientists and evolutionary thinkers of the modern era. Together with his contemporary Charles Darwin, Wallace is acknowledged as the co-founder of the theory of natural selection, more commonly termed today as evolution.
In a recent American Numismatic Society Pocket Change blog article, Scott Miller discusses medallic representations of dance. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online for more great illustrations. -Editor
As with other forms of decorative art in turn of the century France, medals were a part of popular culture just as they were a part of the art world. Whether produced for widespread distribution, or in limited numbers, they remain as contemporary illustrations of iconic people and events which help define the popular idea of France during the Belle Époque. Though little known today, it should not come as a surprise that dancers were a common theme for medals created during the period. The Société des Amis de la Médaille Française (SAMF) was the brainchild of Roger Marx, who was employed by the French government as Inspecteur Général des Musées des Départements.
In another nice American Numismatic Society Pocket Change blog article, librarian David Hill discusses artist Albert Weinert and his plaque depicting ANS secretary, librarian (and later, Director) Bauman Belden. -Editor
I was talking with ANS fellow Scott Miller recently and mentioned to him an article I was working on about Bauman Belden, who was the Society's secretary and librarian before being named director in 1908, one of the ANS's first paid positions. Scott referred to a bronze plaque depicting Belden hanging in our Sage room. What?! This was news to me, though I have sat underneath that portrait many times. In my defense, Belden's name doesn't appear on the plaque. But the artist's name does: A. Weinert.
Tucked away among family mementoes is a metal paddle with a wooden handle looking sort of like a swatter for giant flies. It's a carpet beater, an essential appliance in the modern 19th century home. It belonged to one of my grandmothers. Back in the day the regular household cleaning chores included hauling carpets outside, draping them over a line, and whacking them with the carpet beater - producing a big cloud of dust and a somewhat cleaner carpet to be hauled back into the room where it came from.
And where were the menfolk while this chore took place? Working at the mills, spewing filth into the skies, which eventually found its way into everyone's lungs, houses ... and carpets - the Circle of Life for dirt.
And in the early 20th century a savior appeared - the vacuum cleaner. The handy appliance we take for granted today was the hot new technology when it first appeared. And women whacked their men with the carpet beaters until they bought one for the house. They had Popeye biceps and a mean swing after all that practice, and the newfangled electric carpet cleaners flew out of the factories like the latest iPhone.
The Apple of the day was The Hoover Company. Their advertising slogan? "SERVANT TO THE HOME". Think "magic genie who does all the work for you", just like "AUTOPILOT" does all the driving for you in your new Tesla, while you sit back, relax and ignore the freight train approaching the crossing ahead.
Every good product needs a mascot, and the company went to work bringing their genie to life. Harry Waterson published a nice article on the Hoover company's SERVANT TO THE HOME medals in the January 2022 issue of The Clarion from the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists. With permission, we're publishing an excerpt here. Thanks to Harry and Clarion editor Rich Jewell for their assistance. -Editor
Nobel Prize medals may be the most famous medals in the world, but they aren't the only important medals for achievment at the highest level. We've written before about the Fritz Medal for engineering and the Fields Medal for mathematics. This week, four new Fields medals were awarded. First, some background. -Editor
The Fields Medal is often referred to as the mathematical equivalent of the Nobel Prize, but it is granted only every four years and is given, by tradition, to mathematicians under the age of 40, rather than to more senior scholars.
The Fields Medal originated from surplus funds raised by John Charles Fields (1863–1932), a professor of mathematics at the University of Toronto, as organizer and president of the 1924 International Congress of Mathematicians in Toronto. The Committee of the International Congress had $2,700 left after printing the conference proceedings and voted to set aside $2,500 for the establishment of two medals to be awarded at later congresses.
It's that time of year again, folks - the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony. Here's an excerpt from Washington Post coverage of Thursday's White House event. -Editor
Clockwise from left, businesswoman Laurene Powell Jobs, former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, Gold Star father Khizr Khan and lawyer Fred Gray
President Biden on Thursday awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, to 17 people in a wide variety of endeavors, including gymnast Simone Biles, Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington and, posthumously, inventor Steve Jobs and former senator John McCain.
Welcoming the recipients in the White House East Room, Biden called them
an extraordinary, extraordinary group of Americans who strive for the idea of America as the
the cause of freedom shines like the sun to light up the future of the world.
It wasn't a rock - it was a genuine Olympic gold medal that an Anaheim, CA woman found among trash while walking her dog. -Editor
When she picked up the McDonald's bag, it felt heavy and she thought there might be a rock inside.
She opened it and saw an object gleaming in the middle of the crinkled hamburger wrappers and empty french-fry boxes. It looked exactly like an Olympic gold medal.
I learned an interesting fact from this week's Featured Website. This article from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency discusses the oldest national bank still operating under the same name and the same OCC charter - First National Bank of McConnelsville, Ohio. -Editor
The First National Bank of McConnelsville in southeastern Ohio is the oldest national bank still operating under the same name and the same OCC charter—number 46, to be exact.
As of the first quarter of 2013, the bank had $141 million in assets and several branches in neighboring towns. But the town remains about the same size—under 2000 inhabitants—as in 1863. Bank accounts and shares of stock have been handed down through families from the time the bank was launched.
A court is sorting out ownership issues around numismatic artifacts recovered from the wreck of the Titanic. -Editor
The caretakers of the Titanic are battening down the hatches for a court battle to prevent four artifacts recovered from its wreckage site from going up for auction.
Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor
Greg Reynolds published a nice Greysheet article on the historical impact of the first 3-cent silver pieces. See the complete article online. -Editor
The law that authorized Type 1 Three Cent Silvers led to a permanent change in the monetary order of the United States. In the United States, silver was never again regarded as money to the extent that it was before trimes were minted.
Three Cent Silvers are unlike Three Cent Nickels, which were minted from 1865 to 1889. Three Cent Nickels do not contain any silver and Three Cent Silvers do not contain any nickel.
Type 1 Three Cent Silvers were minted from 1851 to 1853. Type 2 Three Cent Silvers were introduced in 1854, and the third type began in 1859. The distinctions between Type 2 and Type 3 Three Cent Silvers are not as significant as the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 coins.
To read the complete article, see:
The Huge Historical Impact of Type 1, 3-Cent Silvers (https://www.greysheet.com/news/story/the-huge-historical-impact-of-type-1-3-cent-silvers)
Other topics this week include the Yuan Shikai dollar, and the anonymous folles of Byzantium. -Editor
I guess we should have known this was coming - the U.K.'s Royal Mail has stamps with digital barcodes that will allow people to track their mail online. -Editor
To send a hand-written letter is to take a break from today's digital world, says Dinah Johnson. So when she heard about the U.K. Royal Mail was adding barcodes to their stamps, she wasn't exactly thrilled.
The new stamps, unveiled earlier this year, allow correspondents to track their letters and share link photos and videos by scanning the digital barcodes with an app.
This week's Featured Web Site is the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, suggested by Tom Kays. Thanks!