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This week we open with a major numismatic library sale, six new books, two obituaries, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, and more.
Other topics this week include the Early Paper Money of America, money in European Artworks, siege coins with a twist, The Centinel, Mexican Silver in the Danish West Indies, the stratosphere of numismatics, List medals, money artist Otis Kaye, auction previews, naughty ancient coins, Ferris Wheel medals, and the Journal of East Asian Numismatics.
To learn more about Scott Douglas, the paper money of Ireland, the first treatise ever written about numismatics, Bob Knepper, Jim Grady, 'Story of Money' trade cards, the Whitman Executive Coin Hobby Kit, the 100 Most Influential People In Numismatics, the Middlesex Christ's Hospital Six Pence, and Satyrs on Staters, read on. Have a great week, everyone!
Editor, The E-Sylum
An article by Jesse Robitaille in Canadian Coin News discusses the recent purchase of the Scott Douglas numismatic library by Howard Engel of Richard Stockley Books. Howard provided some updates to the article for E-Sylum readers. Thanks, everyone. -Editor
Prominent Canadian numismatist Scott E. Douglas sells his research library to Richard Stockley Books
Manitoba bookseller Howard R. Engel (left) and long-time numismatist Scott Douglas stand before the main stacks of the latter collector's library, where the duo agreed on the sale of the extensive literature collection on July 16.
Long-time collector Scott Douglas, whose decades of hobby experience has brought him widespread numismatic acclaim, has begun disposing of his literature collection through Manitoba dealer Howard R. Engel, proprietor of Richard Stockley Books.
Douglas, a celebrated author, researcher and leader in organized numismatics, considers his literature collection
as treasured as any of my numismatic collections, many of which he has assembled throughout his life. A coin collector since his youth, he began specializing in Canadian tokens and medals in 1992, the same year he dove into organized numismatics. All the while, his hobby endeavours were bolstered by books.
Kenny Sammut recently completed a summer internship at NGC. He published the following note on his blog today, noting a discount on the numismatic books in his eBay inventory. Check out the selections, books and all. He offers a number of interesting coins, medals and tokens. -Editor
From now through September 30th, Numismatics with Kenny is having a 15% off sale on all books. No coupon needed.
The 2023 Edition of Early Paper Money of America is now available from the publishers of the Greysheet. Here's the press release. -Editor
CDN Publishing announced the publication of the 2023 Edition of Early Paper Money of America, the seminal reference book on the first circulating currencies of North America. Authored by the renowned scholar, numismatist, and collector Eric P. Newman, this is the first new edition since 2008.
At 472 pages, this edition features hundreds of full color images, replacing the black and white plates of earlier editions. Pricing has been completely updated by CDN Pricing Editor, Patrick Ian Perez, a leading specialist for numismatic pricing.
The EPMOA, as it is commonly known, is the seminal body of work on this important and historic
numismatic subject. According to Perez,
there is simply no comparable work in existence that comes
close to the decades-long efforts of Eric Newman. It has been an honor and a privilege to participate in
bringing the much-needed 2023 Edition to life.
Pam West has published a second edition of the book on the paper money of Ireland. She announced these details in her latest email Newsletter 206 A Bank Note Affair. -Editor
Post in UK mainland £6
Post to Ireland / Europe £17
Post to USA £28
Post to Australia £32
A new volume in Christian Houle's series on Canadian coin errors and varieties has been released. The new one covers the five cents coins minted between 1982-2021. -Editor
These publications about errors and varieties on 1 Cent (2018) and 5 Cents (2021) minted during the Queen Elizabeth era (1953-1981). Released in July 2022 is 5 Cents minted between 1982-2021. The books are presented in both French (original) and English translation. The author has developed and adopted classifications, terminologies and conventions that are now standard in the hobby. Both books have a pricing table. The guides are a visual pleasure, printed in full colour, glossy paper, spiral bound. These guides are meant for someone just starting to collect coins with errors and for those who have been collecting them for a while.
Author Alan Roy has sold out of the first printing of his book on Royal Canadian mint medals, and a second printing has taken place. Here's Alan's report. -Editor
As you know, my book, Medals & Exonumia of the Royal Canadian Mint was recently introduced at the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association's convention in Ottawa. It was well received and I sold out my entire first printing of 50. In fact, I even sold several copies to mint employees! I have printed another small batch and will be bringing them to the Ontario Numismatic Association convention in Mississauga, Ontario September 9-11. If anyone is interested, they can ask for me there, or email me at email@example.com and I'll set aside a copy.
Mitch Fraas is a senior curator for special collections at the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. He passed along this new publication about one of the earliest examples of numismatic literature. Thank you! -Editor
DE SESTERTIO ET TALENTO - PORCELIO DE' PANDONI
Porcelio de' Pandoni's De sestertio et talento is a work of extraordinary interest for the history of Humanistic and Renaissance antiquarianism. This short work was written in the middle of the fifteenth century, and it throws new light on a little-known aspect of the vast and varied humanist learning. Moreover, to the best of our knowledge, it is the first treatise ever written about numismatics.
Although its origins are not entirely clear, it was completed in Milan. In a prefatory letter, in fact, Pandoni offers the work to the powerful secretary of Francesco Sforza, Cicco Simonetta. In fact, as Andrew Burnett speculates, it is possible that the letter of dedication contains statements that are only partially accurate and that the treatise was originally written in Rome, the city in which Pandoni was trained and in whose cultural milieu he had had close ties to the Colonna family, and in particular to Cardinal Prospero Colonna, a well-known patron with strong interests in antiquities. If so, it was re-purposed, a typical practice of Pandoni, and, in his dedication, he placed the interest, the fascination and the antiquarian and numismatic curiosity that had brought about the writing of the short treatise, in a Milan context.
Mitch Fraas also alerted me to this new book published by Amsterdam University Press. Thanks! -Editor
Money Matters in European Artworks and Literature, c. 1400-1750
Edited by: Natasha Seaman and Joanna Woodall
In the series Visual and Material Culture, 1300 –1700
About this book
This is the first book to focus on coins as material artefacts and agents of meaning in the arts of the early modern period. The precious metals, double-sided form, and emblematic character of coins had deep resonance in European culture and cultural encounters. Coins embodied Europe's impressive power and the labour, increasingly located in colonised regions, of extracting gold and silver. Their efficacy depended on faith in their inherent value and the authority perceived to be imprinted into them, guaranteed through the institution of the Mint. Yet they could speak eloquently of illusion, debasement and counterfeiting. A substantial introduction precedes paired essays by interdisciplinary scholars organised around five themes: power and authority in the Mint; currency and the anxieties of global trade; coins and persons; coins in and out of circulation; credit and risk. A thought-provoking Afterword focused on an American contemporary artist demonstrates the continuing expressive and symbolic power of numismatic forms.
This press release from the Central States Numismatic Society describes some big changes to the organization's logo, flagship publication and annual convention. -Editor
To provide even more service to collectors and dealers, the Central States Numismatic Society (www.CSNS.org) has enlarged the format of its quarterly publication, The Centinel, to a full-sized, glossy magazine, and will again expand its annual CSNS convention and provide additional security measures beginning with the April 2023 show.
Founded in 1939, the Midwest-based organization is open to prospective members throughout the United States as well as other countries. CSNS recently adopted an updated new logo and new slogan,
Building Collector Community.
The magazine's new editor, Barbara Gregory, former editor of the American Numismatic Association's official publication, The Numismatist, worked over the last six months to reimagine the CSNS flagship publication. The Centinel has modernized its format with full-color illustrations and added to its informative editorial content starting with the just-issued Summer 2022 edition.
Longtime E-Sylum subscriber Bob Knepper passed away earlier this year. Last week we discussed his "Wildman" collection being sold by Stack's Bowers. His daughter Ann provided this photo and obituary. Thank you. -Editor
Robert Curtis Knepper died on January 31, 2022 at Park Vista, Morningside, Fullerton, just shy of his 91st birthday. His loving wife of 68 years, Sue Knepper, and his daughters were taking care of him.
He was born on February 13, 1931 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania to Mabel and Curtis Knepper and was their only child. He earned an engineering degree from Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1952 and a Masters in 1953. He enjoyed his membership in Sigma Nu.
He married Susan Harmon, a beautiful nurse he met at a dance, on October 10, 1953. Bob and Sue moved to California and began their long-term enthusiasm for the California lifestyle of sun, surf and sports.
Numismatic literature dealer Orville "Jim" Grady has passed. Thanks to Stephen Searle for alerting me. -Editor
Orville "Jim" Grady, 78 years, of Fremont, Nebraska, passed away Monday, Aug. 22, 2022, at his home.
He was a husband, father, student, soldier, numismatist, and bookseller born on March 9, 1944, in Dodge County, Fremont, Nebraska, to Lowell and Eva Grady. Orville was the eldest of five children – sisters: Judy (Everly) and Denise; brothers Thoms and (Kevin deceased). Married Debra (Piper) in 1973, they had one daughter, Jennifer. Graduated from Fremont High School in 1962, served seven years in the United States Army from Jan. 19, 1965, to Jan. 27, 1972.
The latest additions to the Newman Numismatic Portal are videos of events at the recently concluded American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor
Bibliomania Reigns at the World's Fair of Money
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 siege coins with particularly interesting numismatic aspects. -Editor
A number of readers responded to the question about the term "MEX" on the 1890 Danish West Indies 3 Cent token. -Editor
Adrián González-Salinas of Monterrey, Nuevo León, México submitted these notes and images on the 1963 Don Bailey "Coins of Mexico" book published by SAICO. Thank you. -Editor
I read the "PRESIDENT COIN COMPANY ALBUMS" article by David Lange, and I would like to share the following information related to the "Coins of Mexico" book by SAICO:
More on the Reakirt Collection
David Fanning writes:
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: AUGUST 21, 2022 : More on the Reakirt Famous Old Collection (https://www.coinbooks.org/v25/esylum_v25n34a10.html)
Other topics this week include 'Story of Money' Trade Cards, and the August Moyaux sale catalogue. -Editor
In the latest issue of his Coin Board News newsletter, author Dave Lange shared photos of the rare Whitman Executive Coin Hobby Kit and other seldom-seen hobby accessories from the 1960s. With permission I'm republishing the article here. Thanks. -Editor
SOME FORGOTTEN ITEMS REVEALED My books on the products of both the Coin & Currency Institute and Whitman Publishing Company made reference to certain products that were likely to have been produced but had not yet been seen. The recent acquisition of a supply catalog published in 1964 by the Omaha dealership of Aubrey and Adeline Bebee revealed both images and pricing for three products that previously were in the dark. I'm reproducing those images here as a supplement to those books.
The first photo shows Whitman's Executive Coin Hobby Kit, which is described on pages 11-12 of Volume Three. The Bebee catalog reveals that the bulk of its $26.95 price (a whopping amount of money in the ‘60s) was due to the attaché case rather than its contents! I seriously doubt that more than a very few of these were sold.
Coin World has published their 2022 special issue with their 100 Most Influential People In Numismatics list. While there is naturally a lot of overlap with the inaugural 2021 list, there is also churn as people pass away, fade from the headlines, or make bold career moves.
Last year's list generated a great deal of discussion here and elsewhere - see the earlier articles linked below for background. One E-Sylum reader has already chimed in with an analysis (and suggestion for an alternate list) - here it is with my commentary. -Editor
This week I received the Coin World Annual issue listing the 100 Most Influential People in Numismatics. It occurred to me that numismatic leaders fall into three basic groups. For commercial numismatics there are dealers, auction houses and third-party grading services. Hobby leaders include officers and volunteers in local, regional and national clubs. Numismatic science falls to researchers, writers and publishers of numismatic literature. The Coin World list is heavily skewed toward commercial numismatics.
One way to measure the influence of a writer is to see how many times their name occurs on the Newman Numismatic Portal. I created a ranking of the 100 Most Influential People based on that number.
Jeff Garrett published an insightful article on the NGC site about the high end of the current red-hot numismatic market. -Editor
Each year about this time (leading up to the ANA World's Fair of Money), Heritage Auctions and Stack's Bowers Galleries send their catalogs for their summer auctions. This year's editions feature over 20 separate catalogs covering ancient and world coins, colonial coinage, early copper coins, regular issue US coins, paper money, tokens and medals. Several major specialty collections are being sold, with hundreds of six-figure-plus coins as well as a few multi-million-dollar coins offered. The combined sales this year will easily surpass $100 million.
Like most of those who ponder the state of the rare coin market, the obvious question is: How can the market absorb so much material at once? The question is especially pointed this year as the stock market has slipped, cryptocurrencies have fallen sharply and the general public is being stressed by the rising costs of inflation.
Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. I added images of a Diplomatic Medal and an 1862 U.S. Mint medal price list from my numismatic ephemera collection. -Editor
List Medal. Medal offered for sale to the public by the United States Mint. Many of America's national medals made by the U.S. Mint are authorized by Congress to be sold to the public. Beginning in 1861 these medals were publicized by lists sent to inquirers or prospects, hence the name. More than a century later, in August 1969, on the occasion of the opening of the new Philadelphia Mint building, the list was published in book form. Entitled Medals of the United States Mint (see References below and Bibliography in the Appendix), the book illustrated the medals, biographies of those Americans portrayed and events honored (but lacked numismatic data or collector lore desired by those in the numismatic field). The book served as a check list of the medals then available for sale (although supplemental sales literature has been issued thereafter as well).
American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on artist Otis Kaye. Thanks! -Editor
A recent issue of The E-Sylum had a question about a painting by Otis Kaye. Compiling a biography was very difficult as typical biographical sources are not available.
Otis Kaye is known for including images of money in the composition of paintings. He painted
in the trompe l'oeil style, a term meaning
fools the eye. Such paintings were popular in the
nineteenth century but made illegal by a 1909 law that prohibited reproductions of currency. His
first known painting was Hidden Assets dated 1920.
Here's the press release for the Legend Regency Auction 54. Some beautiful coins here. -Editor
Legend Rare Coin Auctions, the Official Auctioneer of the PCGS Members Only Show, will present the 54th Regency Auction on September 8, 2022, at the Omni Hotel in San Diego. Containing 347 lots, the sale is anchored by the Meridian Collection of Proof Barber Dimes; the Perfection Collection of Capped Bust Half Dollars; and the Ed Wielawski Collection of Oregon Half Dollars. Also included in the sale are several fabled rarities.
The Perfection Collection. The astonishing Perfection Collection of Capped Bust Half Dollars. A collection decades in the making, starting in the 1980s, Mr. Perfection, as he is known in the hobby, caught the Bust Half Fever, and over the course of these nearly 40 years, has owned many great examples, from AU to MS67. The 33-coin PCGS Date Set Registry Set begins with 1807 and ends with 1839-O. The coins in this set, which ranks as the current #2 set on the PCGS Registry, and #3 all time, as well as being the #2 CAC Registry Set.
Here's a selection of items that caught my eye in the upcoming Davisson's sale. -Editor
How could we not publish a teaser excerpt of Mike Markowitz's recent Coin Week article about eroticism on ancient coins? See the complete article online for more. -Editor
In Greek mythology, satyrs were lustful woodland spirits, companions of Dionysus the wine god (so they were often portrayed both drunk and aroused). For over a century (c. 525 – 411 BCE) the Aegean island of Thasos, famed for wine, issued coins depicting a satyr behaving inappropriately with a protesting nymph.
A learned auction cataloger writes:
Earlier this month error dealer Jon Sullivan published a nice article on the PCGS site about double-struck error coins. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor
A very popular mint error type is the double-strike. It is dramatic in appearance and easily understood. Some of the most valuable mint errors are double-struck coins. Double-strikes are found on the earliest ancient coins all the way up to the modern-day coinage. Because of how coins are made, being
struck with dies, it's an error type which will likely always be with us (and that's a good thing!)
As the name would suggest, a double-strike is a coin that is struck
twice. The double-struck coin typically will be struck correctly on the first strike, but then will be struck again either on-center or off-center. A double-struck coin is one that has just been struck twice, but the number of times a coin can be struck is infinite, and some coins are known with over 100 strikes on them.
This Noonan's press release describes an important Victoria Cross medal offered by the firm in their upcoming September sale. -Editor
The famous Indian Mutiny ‘Siege of Lucknow' Victoria Cross awarded to Irishman Thomas Henry Kavanagh will be sold by Mayfair-based Auctioneers Noonans on Wednesday, September 14, 2022 in a sale of Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria. This was the first civilian V.C. of five to be awarded and is one of only two that is not currently in a museum, it is estimated at £300,000-400,000.
Kavanagh, who was born on July 15, 1821 in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, Ireland, was employed as a clerk in the Lucknow Office prior to the Siege. In November 1857, he volunteered to leave the safety of the Residency disguised as a Sepoy (an Indian soldier serving under British or other European orders), accompanied by a Brahmin scout. The pair jostled past armed rebels through the narrow Lucknow streets and talked their way past sentries in the moonlight, crossed deep rivers, tramped through swamps and narrowly avoided capture after startling a farmer who raised the alarm. On finally reaching a British cavalry outpost, Kavanagh delivered Outram's vital despatch to Sir Colin Campbell and ably guided his column to the relief of the Residency garrison.
The Military Trader site recently published a new article on Franco-Prussian War Medals. Here's an excerpt. -Editor
Before 1871, the country of Germany was made up of a collection of independent states, including Bavaria, Saxony and Hanover. In total, there were 43 such states, styled as Duchies, Electorates, Principalities and even Kingdoms, each with its own army, the most powerful of which — and the most militaristic — being Prussia.
Indeed, so powerful was the Prussian state that on its own in 1866 it fought and won a decisive war against the entire country of Austria, which it defeated in only seven weeks. Four years later, Prussia was at war again. This time it against France, considered at the time to be one of the most powerful armies in Europe. France, under Emperor Napoleon III, had become concerned with the growing strength of Prussia and mobilized the army on July 15, 1870. Three days later France declared war against Prussia, and on Aug. 2 crossed the border.
R.S. Yeoman and His Remarkable Red Book,also tells the history of Whitman Publishing as well as his own unique life story in and out of numismatics. Enjoy more than 100 years of fascinating numismatic history in 352 richly illustrated pages, 8.5 x 11 inches, hardcover. Order your copy online at Whitman.com , or call 1-800-546-2995.
An article by Jay Turner published on the PCGS website illustrates some so-called dollars picturing the Ferris Wheel from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Designed by Pittsburgh bridge-builder George W. Ferris, the rides remain a staple of amusement parks worldwide. The 1893 World's Fair wheel and an earlier prototype built in Pittsburgh were demolished long ago. I've added an image of the early model from the Historic Pittsburgh website.
Here's an excerpt from Jay's article - see the complete article online. -Editor
It had been four years since the Exposition Universelle in Paris, France, where the world had been introduced to the centerpiece of the fair – a tower built by Gustave Eiffel. This tower, the tallest structure on the globe at the time, had instantaneously become a world wonder. The 1893 World's Fair in Chicago was America's chance to shine, but how could they compete with the exquisite exhibits on the ground, let alone the grand Eiffel Tower from Paris?
The United States needed its own Eiffel Tower, something that would stun, amaze, and would be talked about for years. The proposals ran from the ridiculous to the impossible. One such proposal was a tower made from stacked logs that would measure 2,000 feet with a replica of Abraham Lincoln's boyhood home at the top. Another absurd proposal called for a structure to be built so tall that visitors would ride an elevator to the top in Chicago and take a slide down allowing them to arrive in San Francisco or New York. An American civil engineer, George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., stepped forward with plans that would
out-Eiffel Eiffel and fit the planners' criteria for something
original, daring, and unique.
I didn't manage to get this into our last issue, and missed the sale date. But this Noonan's press release discusses an interesting historical banknote. -Editor
A Royal Bank of Scotland note dating from 1777, which is thought to be first tri-coloured note to be issued in Scotland and possibly in Europe will be sold by Mayfair-based Auctioneers Noonans on Wednesday & Thursday, August 24 & 25, 2022 in a sale of Banknotes. Known as the Red Guinea, it is estimated at £1,500-2,000.
This is as much an historical document as it is a banknote, says Noonans' Head of Banknotes Andrew Pattison.
Politics and finance originally came together to shape the history of Scotland with the collapse of the Darien venture. The Royal Bank of Scotland was able to prosper as a shareholding company because the Scottish regional banking system was not restricted by the monopoly of the Bank of England, as institutions were south of the Border.
Money art is featured in an upcoming exhibit at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Found via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume VIII, Number 9, August 16, 2022) -Editor -Editor
The £10 banknote is a work by Boo Whorlow called Harry of England/Ten Megs, a reworking of Banksy's Di-Faced Tenner which featured Diana, Princess of Wales.
Artworks in which Harry and Meghan take the Queen's place on "defaced" £10 notes are to go on display in Cambridge.
The exhibition, entitled Defaced! Money, Conflict, Protest, will be on show at the Fitzwilliam Museum from October until January next year.
Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor
Elsewhere in this issue Pete Smith's biography article discusses Otis Kaye's money-based art. Last month a new article was published online about money artist J.S.G. Boggs. See the complete well-illustrated article online. Also found via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume VIII, Number 9, August 16, 2022) -Editor
There was an argument to define if Boggs processes and creations were, in fact, art. As much as art dealers and collectors recognised him as an authentic artist, the Secret Service and other government bodies went after him as a fraud, a deceiver.
"They said I was a counterfeiter. They don't understand the difference between art and crime."
Boggs made art to critique money as a social construct, money being an idea created and accepted by people in societies, battling against money's established notion of value.
To read the complete article, see:
The Boggs Performance: A Money Art Interaction (https://banknoteartconcept.com/the-boggs-performance-a-money-art-interaction/)
To read an earlier E-Sylum article, see:
J.S.G. BOGGS (1955-2017) (https://www.coinbooks.org/v20/esylum_v20n05a04.html)
Other topics this week include the U.S. Mint Silver Eagle Program. -Editor
This week's Featured Web Site is The Journal of East Asian Numismatics (JEAN).