The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization devoted to the study and enjoyment of numismatic literature. For more information please see our web site at


Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers (or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page link


There is a membership application available on the web site Membership Application

To join, print the application and return it with your check to the address printed on the application. Print/Digital membership is $40 to addresses in the U.S., and $60 elsewhere. A digital-only membership is available for $25. For those without web access, write to:

Terry White, Treasurer
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
P. O. Box 634,
Canal Winchester, Ohio


For Asylum mailing address changes and other membership questions, contact Terry at this email address:


To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, just Reply to this message, or write to the Editor at this address:

NNP Pagecount 1,038,504


Volume 20, Number 17, April 23, 2017

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.


Wayne Homren 2017-03-15 full New subscribers this week include: Andy Graber, courtesy of Russ Sears; Ken Rendell, courtesy of Dave Bowers; and Doug Davis, courtesy of Peter Huntoon. Welcome aboard! We now have 3,155 subscribers.

Please also welcome our newest advertiser, Jeremy Bostwick's Numismagram. Please support our sponsors by clicking on their ads and perusing their new inventory. Maybe you'll find just the piece you need for your collection, or something to start off a whole new collecting adventure.

Thank you for reading The E-Sylum. If you enjoy it, please send me the email addresses of friends you think may enjoy it as well and I'll send them a subscription with your compliments. Contact me at anytime regarding your subscription, or questions, comments or suggestions about our content.

This week we open with a request from the Numismatic Bibliomania Society, three new books, one review, and multiple items on numismatic digitization.

Other topics this week include the ANA Summer Seminar, the Idaho Quarter launch ceremony, calendar medals, 1804 dollars, 1933 double eagles, American fiscal paper, barbarous radiates, the 1605 Gunpowder plot, banknotes under ultraviolet light, and Britain's Treasure Act.

To learn more about the Wappenmünzen Scarab Beetle Didrachm, Roman coin portraits, Emperor Norton, George Casilear, Lincoln Vanderblatt, Charles Adam Windau, thefts from Sweden's Royal Coin Cabinet, the first dated taler, Manship's ashtray medals, and the money casket, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum


Numismatic Bibliomania Society board member Len Augsburger submitted this notice about this year's NBS fundraising auction. Please consider participating to show your support for our group's work for the hobby. -Editor

NBS Hosts Club Auction at ANA Convention in Denver

NBS Wiki logo As is customary, the NBS will conduct an auction of numismatic literature during the NBS general meeting in Denver. While all donations will be accepted, we especially welcome items with a value of $100 or more. David Fanning has graciously agreed to collect donations, which may be sent to Kolbe & Fanning, 141 Johnstown Road, Gahanna OH, 43230. This is a great way to support the NBS and to clear out stray items that no longer fit in your library.

Sketchbook and Notes of Lincoln Vanderblatt This auction always contains a few surprises and is well worth attending even if you do not directly participate. The Philadelphia 2012 edition saw the first appearance of The Sketchbook and Notes of Lincoln Vanderblatt, a previously unknown and unique manuscript, subtitled Good Manners for Today’s Polite Coin Collector. The work ostensibly dates to the 19th century – Vanderblatt’s lifespan is variously estimated as (1917-1842?). Discovered by Whitman Publisher Dennis Tucker, and delivered to the auction by George Kolbe in a nondescript brown bag, this important volume sold to a well-known Illinois collector for $1100.

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Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing forwarded this press release on the latest edition of the classic Red Book. -Editor

2018 Red Book Honors David Rittenhouse, First Director of the United States Mint, and 225 Years of American Coinage

2018 Redbook The classic hardcover version of the 71st-edition Guide Book of United States Coins (the hobby’s popular “Red Book”) celebrates the 225th anniversary of federal coinage in Philadelphia. On its back cover is a commemorative gold-foil portrait of David Rittenhouse, first director of the United States Mint, who was appointed by President George Washington in 1792. In addition to being the Mint’s first director, Rittenhouse was renowned as an astronomer, inventor, clockmaker, mathematician, surveyor, professor, public official, and crafter of scientific instruments. The first coinage under the Mint Act of 1792 consisted of half dismes (small five-cent coins made of silver), followed by copper half cents and large cents issued for circulation in 1793. Every copy of this year’s hardcover Red Book features the special portrait honoring David Rittenhouse and celebrating 225 years of U.S. Mint coinage.

Throughout this year, the United States Mint is celebrating the 225th anniversary of the 1792 congressional act, which also established the first Mint facility, in Philadelphia. Its social-media pages share factoids and human-interest stories (#MintMoments). Facebook and Twitter followers can search the hashtag #USMint225. The Mint’s YouTube page ( features videos of historical footage comparing old coin-production processes to those of the modern day.

Early in 2017 the Philadelphia Mint released Lincoln cents with a P mintmark—the first time a Philadelphia mintmark has ever been used for a one-cent coin—to celebrate the mint’s 225 years. In April the Mint released its 2017 high-relief .9999 fine gold American Liberty coin, with raised edge lettering (225th ANNIVERSARY) and the dual dates 1792 and 2017. Later in the year the Mint will offer silver medal versions of the same design in four different formats, one struck at each of three Mint facilities (Denver, San Francisco, and West Point) and two formats struck at Philadelphia.

The 71st-edition Red Book covers all of the Mint’s coins going back to 1792, including such popular issues as Indian Head cents, Wheat cents, Buffalo nickels, Mercury dimes, Liberty Walking half dollars, Morgan silver dollars, and gold coins up to the $20 double eagle. Its coverage of modern coinage includes the newest commemorative issues, and circulating coins from Lincoln cents to America the Beautiful quarters and Native American dollars.

Other sections explore in detail colonial and early American coins and tokens; Proof and Mint sets; die varieties; Civil War tokens; private and territorial gold; Puerto Rican, Philippine, and Hawaiian coins; error coins; silver, gold, and platinum bullion; and other series in American numismatics.

The 71st-edition Red Book debuted March 30 at the Whitman Coin and Collectibles Expo in Baltimore. It is now available online (including from and from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide, in several formats. The commemorative hardcover version with David Rittenhouse’s portrait retails for $17.95.

A Guide Book of United States Coins, 71st edition 464 pages, full color
By R.S. Yeoman; senior editor Kenneth Bressett; research editor Q. David Bowers; valuations editor Jeff Garrett
$15.95 spiralbound
$17.95 hardcover
$19.95 spiralbound hardcover
$29.95 Large Print Edition
$49.95 expanded Deluxe Edition (1,504 pages)

For more information, or to order, see:


A new book by Andreas Pangerl focuses on portraits on Roman coinage. -Editor

500 years of Roman coin portraits The team has assembled an image collection of superior quality portraits of Roman Emperors and their families on Roman coins as base of this reference book.

The book features ca. 800 highest quality Roman coins available with the finest style portrait types for all ca. 220 individuals ever represented on Roman coins !

464 pages in highest quality print. Hard Cover & thread bound

To order your copy for 59 € plus shipment (depending on your country), please send an email to

For more information, or to order, see:
PORTRAITS - 500 Years of Roman Coin Portraits (

A review by editor Ursula Kampmann was published in CoinWeek April 20, 2017. Here's an excerpt. -Editor

As the title “Portraits – 500 Years of Roman Coin Portraits / 500 Jahre römische Münzbildnisse” already suggests, this heavyweight publication is aimed at the international market, which makes sense, considering that the images are the main focus of the book. Readers will find 722 portraits on 233 pages, including a complete series of the Roman rulers in essence from Caesar – there are some emperors included – until Julius Nepos.

There are also spouses, sisters, mothers and Caesars. The objects were selected according to their beauty, considering condition, centring, die cutting and minting. Consequently flicking through the book will be a delight to everyone who enjoys coins. A short caption consisting of emperor, years of reign, denomination, minting date and location as well as RIC-quote is attached every image. There are no precise descriptions, nor does the book feature images of the reverses. However there is a selection of particularly beautiful and interesting reverses on pages 248 to 268.

The second part of the book unites different articles on several topics of Roman portrait art. The time spectrum starts at Caesar and ends with Theodosius. The authors, all of which have written their contributions in German – except for Olivier Hekster, who has written his “Severus – Antonine Emperor or the first Severan?” in English, consist of renowned historians like Werner Eck and Kay Ehling, coin dealers like Hans-Christoph von Mosch and Wilhelm Müseler, as well as numerous archaeologists like Christian Gliwitzky, Marion Meyer, Jörn Lang and Melanie Lang, and Markus Löx. The initiator of the book, although he is a doctor by trade, has contributed three articles himself. The articles thus cover the entire Roman imperial period.

To read the complete article, see:
500 years of Roman portrait art (

Schmidt E-Sylum ad 2016-11-20


Here's an announcement of a new book on central Asian coins. -Editor

Catalog of Pre-Modern Central Asian Coins 1680-1923 The new CATALOG OF PRE-MODERN CENTRAL ASIAN COINS 1680–1923 by Vladimir NASTICH and Wolfgang SCHUSTER has been published by the Bremen Numismatic Society (

No comprehensive catalog or detailed study covering all Central Asian coins exists so far. Contrary to most other coin issues of the 17th and 18th centuries, the pre-modern coinage of Central Asia has been rather poorly documented, insufficiently studied and therefore remained generally disparaged by the coin-collecting community outside the Soviet Union, resp. nowadays Russia and CIS countries. For East Turkestan, no adequate research of minting activities in the covered period has been carried out as well.

On more than 300 pages with 820 illustrations, the new catalog embraces all coin issues of Bukhara, Tashkand, Shahrisabz, Khoqand, Khiva, Khorezm Republic between the later Janid period (since 1680 CE) and the establishment of Soviet power in the region (1923 CE). Coinage of Islamic East Turkestan is represented from the Dzungar Khanate till the final Qing reconquest.

More details alongside a comprehensive review and where to order the new catalog are available on as well as on


Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger offers this review of Roger Burdette's new book on the United States proof coins of 1936-1942. Thanks. -Editor

Roger Burdette’s United States Proof Coins, 1936-1942

United States Proof Coins 1936-1942 As a young reader of the Guide Book in the 1970s, I was mystified by the lack of United States proof coinage after 1915. Roger W. Burdette explains all that and more in his latest work, United States Proof Coins 1936-1942. The reasons for suspending proof coinage (increased workload, collector complaints, cost of manufacture) today read like bureaucratic excuses, and the story of their reintroduction in 1936 is actually more compelling.

After 20 years, there was little practical knowledge remaining with respect to coining proofs, and workers struggled with the initial issues. Burdette capably documents the manufacturing variability throughout the series. The result is a collector’s guide that not only details the varieties in the series, but explains the why of the physical evolution. Altogether, the work synthesizes Burdette’s usual thorough scouring of the archives with examination of actual coins – the definition of true numismatics. The book is shipped along with a digital copy on CD, which provides readers a portable copy to read at leisure, or use for search purposes.

With permission of the author, United States Proof Coins, 1936-1942 is indexed on the Newman Portal, and brief “snippets” will appear in response to matching searches. Readers are then pointed to ordering information for the book. We encourage all authors to consider placing their newly published works on the Newman Portal in this way. Search terms in this particular case include “starburst effects” or “1937 proof dimes”.

Ordering information for United States Proofs Coins, 1936-1942:

Newman Portal search results for “starburst effects”:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

E-Sylum ad PAN Show 2017-04-23 Familiar Faces


The latest additions to the Newman Numismatic Portal are the fixed price lists of David Schenkman. Thanks to Dave for providing his personal file of these. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

Dave Schenkman, well-known for his reference works on American tokens, also issued a series of fixed price lists from 1968 to 1973. Focusing on Civil War and trade tokens, these mimeographed lists hearken back to a time when a substantial portion of the numismatic trade was conducted via the U.S. mail, and a dealer’s latest printed offerings always made for enjoyable reading. These lists catalog thousands of tokens, anything from a Chicago Board of Education milk token to a trade token for the Greybull, WY Smoke House Billiard Palace.

Schenkman was clearly familiar with the literature, and attributions to standard reference works are found throughout, including Miller, Atwood, Low, etc. While the presentation is basic, the value of this content is for the user who may someday locate the odd token in one of these lists that is mentioned nowhere else.

David Schenkman Fixed Price Lists on Newman Portal:

From the Scrip Meet in West Virginia Dave adds:

During the 1960s and later I went to antique shows, flea markets, and coin shows and shops frequently, and would buy anything I thought interesting or rare, and often I purchased large accumulations from dealers. Those lists consisted of items I didn't want to keep. I quit doing them because I knew someone would start eBay eventually and it would be easier than typing and mailing lists (and because I was setting up at more coin shows).


Participants in the discussion forums on the Collectors Universe site have been discussing the Newman Numismatic Portal. Here's a sampling of the comments. -Editor

OriginalDan writes:

This resource is incredible, many thanks to all involved.

Sonorandesertrat writes:

Some specialty numismatic organizations, however, have permitted substantial portions of their publication backfiles to be hosted by the NNP. Will this cause a decline in memberships?

yosclimber writes:

Note: the latest issue of the Gobrecht Journal is #128, so there is a lag between distribution to the members of the LSCC and making it available for free to everyone. I believe this strikes a good balance, as it provides the people who support the club financially with first crack at info on the new discoveries. And by sharing all the earlier issues with the public, it makes more people aware of the extent of the research done by club members (and thus encourages new members to join).

Regarding the impact on numismatic literature values, MrEureka writes:

The common stuff was already of little commercial value. The rarities are worth less now, but they'll bounce back. Bibliophiles will be bibliophiles, even if they can no longer justify their purchases as "valuable research material". In other words, they must now face their addiction head on, but that doesn't mean they will kick the habit.

Analyst writes:

Invariably, advances in technology and changes in cultural environments lead to some people incurring financial losses. In this case, the financial losses are minimal and the cultural gains are tremendous. Moreover, it would not be optimal for buyers who demand rare numismatic literature for information to be competing against buyers who demand the same items as collector's items, with the idea of touching them to a minimal extent. Given advances in technology, the hard work by Augsburger, Burdette, Feigenbaum, etc., and the generous funding from the EPNNES, it is logical for the rare items in physical reality to be acquired by people who desire such items as part of collecting plans, and for information-seekers to achieve their goals without depriving collectors of rare items.

Regarding the new availability of the Stack's catalogs, TheRegulator writes:

Excellent! A big thank you to Eric P. Newman, the people at Stacks, and all involved. What a great resource and thanks for sharing! I think I might leave the Dice Hicks catalog permanently tabbed...

numisma writes:

Thank you to all involved in this magnificent project. And this is coming from a guy who has lugged my large numismatic and auction catalog collection from home to home several times in two states over the past 10 years. It is actually faster to use the online resource than to refer to my own library 10 feet away from my desk now! Well, at the least my customers are impressed with my library!

CoinRaritiesOnline writes:

I feel like a guy on a horse who just saw his first automobile.

To read the complete discussion threads, see:
Newman Numismatic Portal (
We Shall No Longer Hear of Missing Stack's Catalogs (

U.S. Rare Coin Investments


The Newman Numismatic Portal partners with the Internet Archive for digitization and file storage. Internet Archive has also partnered with another group with a bit of a numismatic connection. E-Sylum readers are aware of Emperor Norton I, the 19th-century San Francisco eccentric who issued "bonds" to his "subjects" (and willing tourists) in exchange for cash. -Editor

Holabird 2012 Dec lot 116 Empreror Norton

Emperor's Bridge Campaign Partners With the Internet Archive to Bring Rare Emperor Norton-Themed Films Online

Internet Archive logo Following on from Lights! Camera! Norton! — its recent sold-out Emperor Norton film nights at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco — The Emperor's Bridge Campaign, the San Francisco-based nonprofit that advances the legacy of Emperor Norton, has contributed four rare Emperor-themed films to the Internet Archive, the nonprofit library that collects published works and makes them available in digital formats.

The films include the three that were shown at the Roxie, plus one more:

The Story of Norton I: Emperor of the United States (1936) — Columbia Pictures

"Emperor Norton's Bridge" (1956) — Season 1, Episode 8, of Telephone Time

"Emperor Norton" (1956) — Season 4, Episode 21, of Death Valley Days

"The Emperor Norton (1966) — Season 7, Episode 23, of Bonanza

All four of these films are rarely seen outside the confines of film screening societies and, occasionally, subscription cable television — and sometimes not even then.

The Campaign is delighted and grateful to have the Internet Archive as a partner in making these films available for viewing by a broader audience.

To read the complete article, see:
The Emperor's Bridge Campaign Contributes Four Rare Emperor Norton Films to the Internet Archive (

To watch the videos, see:
Emperor Norton (

To read the some earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

NBS Do You Love Coin Book card ad


Peter Huntoon forwarded this annoucement of speakers for the upcoming June 9-11, 2017 Kansas City International Paper Money Show Speakers Series. Thanks - great lineup! -Editor

IPMS Kansas City logo

2017 International Paper Money Show Speakers Series

Joe Boling Joseph Boling – The making of a specialist

Some hunter-gatherers are accumulators, others are hoarders, and some are fritterers. Once in a while one turns out to be a specialist. See how a high school philatelist—already a specialist—was converted to numismatics and wandered its paths for many years while specializing in such areas as pre-Meiji monies, military emissions, Imperial bonds, and finally extra-legal paper.

Steve Carr – National banks and notes from the other Kansas City

There is another Kansas City—this one just west of Kansas City, Missouri—that had eight note-issuing banks, all historically important and interesting in their own right. In fact, one was located on both sides of the border! Carr will show you that they issued some of the most interesting nationals in Kansas.

Carlson Chambliss – 106 years of Hawaii currency from scrip to WW II.

National Bank of Wailuku 5 dollar note

Hawaiian currency originated in 1839 with scrip issued by Ladd & Co., followed by college scrip on Maui in 1843. King Kalakaua circulated $10 through $500 silver certificates beginning in 1880. The Republic of Hawaii followed with more in 1896. U. S. nationals came along in 1900. Brown seal Hawaii WW II notes arrived in 1942. Chambliss will illustrate and breathe life into all of these fantastic notes for you.

James Ehrhardt – Iowa obsolete currency where private issues were banned

State bank of Iowa at Dubuque banknote

The Iowa territorial and state legislatures banned the issuance of paper money by private banks, yet there is a rich history of pre-Federal Iowa currency. Ehrhardt will survey this domain with a focus on the rare issues from the branches of the State Bank of Iowa. There is a reason those notes are rare - they were good!

Peter Huntoon-1 – George Casilear’s patented lettering on large-size U. S. currency

National Bank of Delaware $10 banknote

Currency designer and inventor George Casilear was Chief Engraver at the BEP whose patented lettering process dominated every new series of currency produced at the BEP from 1873 to 1885. He was the target of character assassination, political abandonment and rehabilitation. Both type and national bank note collectors should hear this talk to fully appreciate the quaint-looking notes they collect from his era.

Peter Huntoon-2 – How intaglio printing plates were made

See how U. S. intaglio currency plates were made prior to 1929. Learn what is meant by terms such as transfers, re-entry and white-line work, then cap it all off by viewing the most spectacular glitches that have been discovered on the proofs, most of which haven’t been found on notes by collectors yet!

Lee Lofthus – Are the published outstanding National Bank Note data any good?—the big picture!

The price of a national bank note often rides on the minuscule outstanding value of the bank’s circulation as reported in our currency catalogs. If you are a dealer or collector, Lofthus’ presentation is one you can’t afford to miss because he will tell you just where these numbers came from, what they mean and the gapping pitfalls built into them.

Roger Urce – Currency of the first Indochina War

History and the notes used by both the French and the newly independent Viet Nam during the First Indochina war (December 19, 1946 – August 1, 1954). The first few years of the war involved a low- level rural insurgency against the French colonialists. However, after the Chinese communists reached the northern border of Vietnam in 1949, the conflict turned into a conventional war between two armies equipped with modern weapons supplied by the United States and the Soviet Union. It got complicated.

Wendell Wolka – Old tales connected to obsolete paper money and banking

Wendell Wolka - master story teller, cataloguer and columnist for The Numismatist - will regale us with insightful sometimes poignant and other times humorous but always revealing tales from the obsolete bank note era that he has been bringing to life for us for the past several decades.

Jamie Yakes – Series of 1928 Federal Reserve Notes

$500 Federal Reserve Note

Discover the practical and technical factors that resulted in the numerous varieties within the Series of 1928 FRNs along with the political and economic realities that caused the series to be supplanted by the Series of 1934. Yakes will demonstrate that these notes are flush with history, intrigue and color!

2017 Intl Paper Money Show speakers

For more information on the International Paper Money Show, see:


The American Numismatic Association's 2017 Summer Seminar will be held in two one-week sessions June 17-29 in Colorado Springs on the campus of Colorado College, home of the ANA headquarters. Here are some selected courses and events. -Editor

Detection of Counterfeit and Altered Coins
counterfeit detection Learn the often subtle differences between genuine, counterfeit and altered coins, and apply your newly acquired skills using the ANA’s counterfeit detection set of more than 400 coins — ranging from half cents to gold and including U.S., world, ancient and colonial coins.

Students will handle “raw” genuine and counterfeit coins under direct supervision of the instructors. Topics include counterfeit coin production and methodology, types of counterfeit dies and castings, date and mintmark alterations, specific gravity testing and use of microscopes.

Instructors: Brian Silliman, Bob Campbell and Jim Robinson

The Coinage of Charles Barber
1909 Barber coin Learn the history and coinage designed by sixth Chief Mint Engraver, Charles Barber (1879-1917). Four of Barber’s circulation coin series will be studied in detail, including Barber dimes, quarters and halves, as well as grading nuances of the individual series, the key dates, rarity ratings, varieties, and authentic versus known altered/counterfeits. Students will examine proof and mint state issues and review some of Barber’s other designs with examples and hands-on work in class. Explore the collecting opportunities involved with Barber coinage, and share your experiences with the class.

Instructors: Glenn Holsonbake and Michael Johnson

Annual Library Book Sale
ANA Library book sale Students are invited to peruse a surplus of books, periodicals and auction catalogs that are available for sale at discounted prices. Books are available on a variety of numismatic subjects including world and U.S. Coins, paper money, tokens, medals and more. All proceeds benefit the Dwight N. Manley Numismatic Library.

The book sales take place June 17 and 24, and runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Collecting Roman Coinage: From Julius Caesar to Valerian I
Ancient coin This class will cover the first three centuries of Roman Imperatorial and Imperial coinage. Using digital images, handouts, and the coins themselves, we will discuss topics such as denominations, mints, legends, portraiture, reverse types, and coins as propaganda. Collectororiented topics will be collecting themes, grading and authentication, and the international marketplace for ancient coinage and how to participate. Class participants are encouraged to bring coins from their own collections. A basic knowledge of Roman history is helpful.

Instructors: Kerry Wetterstrom, and Mike Gasvoda

The Medal in America
Elephas Maximus medal A study of American medals from early to present day. Explore medals produced in Europe with reference to America, the first medals produced in America, and congressional medals commissioned by the new nation to honor its war heroes. Learn about medals produced by the U.S. Mint and private issues by prominent 19th and 20th century engravers. The work of C.C. Wright, Anthony Paquet, St. Gaudens and others is examined, as well as expositions and fairs, presidential medals and socalled dollars. Art Nouveau and Art Deco influence is considered in 20th century issues by the Circle of Friends, Society of Medallists and American Numismatic Society. Current art trends are analyzed in medals produced by the U.S. Mint and organizations such as FIDEM.

Instructors: David T. Alexander and David Menchell

For more information, see:


Eisenhower, Anthony, and More. Learn all about your favorite dollars of the past 45+ years in the Guide Book of Modern United States Dollar Coins, by Q. David Bowers. Large-sized Eisenhower dollars and their smaller cousins—Susan B. Anthony, Sacagawea, Native American, and Presidential dollars—are explored in volume 22 in the Bowers Series. 352 pages, full color, for $19.95, online at , or call 1-800-546-2995.


Last week Dave Bowers asked for reader assistance on the second edition of A Guide Book of Washington and State Quarters, seeking anecdotes, color pictures, or other information describing the quarters minted from 2006 to the present. -Editor

John Mutch writes:

The Idaho quarter launch ceremony was held at the Boise depot. It was in the middle of summer and we were having a hot spell, so our ex-Governor Dirk Kempthorne who was Secretary of the Interior at the time, advised those in charge to be prepared. Someone associated with the Mint had hand fans made depicting the quarter. Those were given out to anyone who wanted one. After the ceremony, I asked one of the Mint people if they normally gave out souvenirs (other than the quarters) at the launch ceremonies. She indicated that this was the first that she knew of. I haven't really kept an eye out for ephemera associated with the quarter launches, but have not been made aware of any.

Idaho Quarter Launch souvenir fan front Idaho Quarter Launch souvenir fan back

John adds:

Another bit of trivia regarding the Idaho quarter launch: from what I understand, this was the first state quarter launch that had two Cabinet Secretaries in attendance, Dirk Kempthorne and Henry Paulson, Treasury Secretary. This was in addition to Edmund Moy, Director of the Mint.

Thanks for the images and stories. Neat item! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: APRIL 16, 2017 : Quarter Book help Sought (

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More on Hubs and Master Dies Before 1836
Bill Eckberg writes:

Regarding the post on hubs, I pretty much agree with Dannreuther.

It's a bit of a chicken and egg question as to whether the Mint began with a hub or a master die in 1793. So few 1793 cent and half cent dies were created that it may not have been worthwhile to create a master die and then try to make hubs from that. The engraver may just have created a hub like a cameo; we can't be sure. The quality of the die steel was poor, and there was a substantial risk of breaking everything the more times you tried to punch something into steel. However, Robert Scot wrote in 1795 that his procedure was to engrave a master die and make hubs from that. So, there is no question that both hubs and master dies were in use WAY before 1836.

1819 Large Cent with overlaid 1820 design tracing With respect to the overlays in the original post, my experience is that overlays of photos that were not taken at the same time with the same lighting can be hard to align, but that isn't evidence the dies were not created from hubs/master dies.

The Mint did experiment with complete hubs including the wreath, lettering and dentilation for the 1794 half cent reverses. They weren’t very successful. The next complete hub for a half cent was made in 1840.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Reininger & Co., San Francisco
nabesnaSignature Dave Schenkman writes:

In response to Dick Hanscom’s question, I imagine “R. & Co. S.F.” is Reininger & Co. This company was located at 420 Market Street in San Francisco. Products, according to a 21mm brass advertising token they issued, included Stencils, Checks, Rubber Stamps, Badges, and Box Brands. It is listed by Kappen as #2201.

Thanks! Seems like a perfect match. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: APRIL 16, 2017 : Nabesna Alaska Token Help Sought (

American Medal of the Year Sales Boosted
Rememberance medal by Susan Taylor obverse Mel Wacks of Woodland Hills, CA writes:

As a result of your including the article about this year's winner of the American Medal of the Year, Susan Taylor sold four medals to your readers. She was delighted!

Glad to help! Putting great medals in the hands of great collectors is all part of our promotion of numismatic knowledge. Thanks for letting us know. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Male Outstanding Young Numismatist Award Winners Sought
Pete Smith writes:

I want to thank those who responded to my request for information last week. I was able to contact Leonora Dickson and we had a good phone conversation. We also were contacted by Paul Johnson who was named Outstanding Young Numismatist in 1972. He provided information on Canadian Young Numismatist Terri Roach.

This week my attention turns to male young numismatists. The general problem is that web searches may turn up references to names but I have not been able to confirm those were the winners of the award. Do you know what happened to any of these winners?

Jeffrey Coopersmith was from Washington D.C and was named Outstanding Young Numismatist in 1973. That year he testified before Congress in support of the"Hobby Protection Act."

Larry Gentile, Jr. [1981] was the son of Larry Gentile Sr. and from New Rochelle, New York.

John M. Greenslet [1983] was the son of Phil Greenslet from Reistertown, MD.

David Massey [1986] was from Chamblee, GA.

Matthew R. Zuckerman [1990] was from San Francisco.

If you know an email address or where they can be found as a adult, contact Wayne who will forward the lead back to me.

Thanks for you help, everyone. Pete's been making great progress with this excellent project. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: APRIL 16, 2017 : Female Outstanding Young Numismatist Award Winners Sought (

Fantasy Mexican Minas del Eden Token
Ralf W. Böpple of Stuttgart, Germany writes:

1874 Mexico Mina del Eden Zacatecas Token obverse As interesting and fascinating as it may look, I am afraid I have to tell you that the Mexican Minas del Eden token you linked to in the "Numismatic Nuggets" section is one of the many forgeries - or more precisely, fantasy issues - that were and most likely still are produced in Mexico. Normally they are sold, at rather modest prices, as curiosities in local street markets to tourists and other unsuspecting clients.

But eventually some of them end up in the numismatic market, usually on the internet (where it may or may not be possible to convince the seller of his error - mostly not, since potential buyers cannot be warned or informed). The fact that some of these creations even made it into the catalogs that are used as standard references does not help either...

Thank you. I didn't believe it was a necessity piece as described in the auction lot listing, and the token explanation I found was more plausible. It does look dodgy, but many tokens are crude as made. Thanks for calling this out as a fantasy piece. -Editor

Ralf adds:

Similar crudely made real tokens exist, which is why these are so easy to make (and make up).

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NUMISMATIC NUGGETS: APRIL 16, 2017 : 1874 Mexico Mina del Eden Zacatecas Token (

1809 Golden Jubilee of George III Medal
Mark Hotz of Baltimore, MD writes:

With regard to the inquiry from E-Sylum reader Jacob Lipson of Montreal on the George III Golden Jubilee Medal BHM-642 (E-Sylum v20n16 April 16, 2017), I have the same medal, also in silver. I have had it for many years, and I kept it because it had such a nice portrait of George III.

I would be interested in learning any more about it that Jacob Lipson might learn from the Ashmolean Museum.

Photos of my medal are attached.

1809 Golden Jubilee of George III Medal obverse 1809 Golden Jubilee of George III Medal reverse

Thanks! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: APRIL 16, 2017 : Notes From Jacob Lipson (

A Medallic Portrait of Christopher Columbus

Dick Johnson submitted these notes on portraits of Christopher Columbus. Thanks! -Editor

Columbus on a portrait-medal Gary Beals is exactly right in his statement in last week’s E-Sylum: we do not know what Columbus looked like. In 1975 the editors of the National Geographic magazine searched the world for a contemporary illustration of Columbus. Here’s what they said in print:

"What did Columbus look like? No one knows. No portrait painted during the Admiral’s lifetime appears to have survived, but scores of later artists rendered their Columbuses."

[It illustrated and described four of those numerous posthumous portraits.]

The search did discover what is believed to be a contemporary portrait on a ... [wait for the finish of a drum roll please] ... A MEDAL! It is attributed to the collection of Richard Gaettens of Germany. The caption describes it:

"(The medal) was made shortly before Columbus’s death. Then the discoverer’s voyaging was done, and he was vainly attempting to have his promised emoluments restored. The medal shows a man bent with age, face wrinkled from the rigors of life at sea."

The medal was obviously cast. Striking with a die would have sharpened the image perhaps. But it is better each of us remember Columbus in our own way.

See the National Geographic magazine November 1975 issue (page 618). I found the above image via an internet search using Dick's helpful reference to the Richard Gaettens collection. -Editor

For more information, see:
Columbus Monuments Pages (
Columbus on a portrait-medal, attributed to Guido Mazzoni (
Adriano Fiorentino (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: APRIL 16, 2017 : Notes From Gary Beals (

The Archival of Historic Odours

Relating to our earlier topic of studying the smells of old books and money, I came across this research article published April 7, 2017 in Heritage Science, the first comprehensive scientific treatise of the subject. -Editor

We don’t know much about the smells of the past. Yet, odours play an important role in our daily lives: they affect us emotionally, psychologically and physically, and influence the way we engage with history. Can this lead us to consider certain smells as cultural heritage? And if so, what would be the processes for the identification, protection and conservation of those heritage smells?

Our knowledge of the past is odourless. Yet, smells play an important role in our daily lives: they affect us emotionally, psychologically and physically, and influence the way we engage with history.

Check out their handy-dandy book odour wheel... -Editor

Historic Book odour-wheel

To read the complete article, see:
Smell of heritage: a framework for the identification, analysis and archival of historic odours (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

The Money Casket
Money coffin Ron Guth of San Diego writes:

My daughter sent this picture she took of a casket in the National Museum of Funeral History in Houston, TX. Who knew such a place existed? I'll have to add it to my bucket list (the "kick the bucket" list).

So maybe you CAN take it with you, after all... -Editor

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John Ferreri submitted this additional information on the Congreve proofs mentioned in the last issue. Thanks! -Editor

Congreve Check Plate BANK front

Ten or so years ago I spoke at length with Eric Newman about these proofs which at that that time were in a single frame of eight proof backs. This probably was the exact frame offered to me at George Wait’s apartment somewhere around 1975. I had made an appointment with him to purchase some of his New England obsolete notes and I was to meet him there in Bloomfield, NJ.

George and another collector (I can’t remember the name of the other person) had brought along some other interesting notes (Interest -Bearing Treasury Notes of 1812-etc. along with this framed piece). At that time, I had never come across anything “Congreve” but figured it must be something historic. I didn’t consider purchasing the frame as that wasn’t my main line of interest. Evidently, Eric purchased it sometime after I had the opportunity. The thought of the frame stayed with me however, and after speaking with Eric I started to document the different banks that might have used this device and maybe even find the reason, why. I am still trying to figure the reason why this was used as I am sure other anti-counterfeiting devices would have been available at a lesser expense. And, that might be the reason its use was not so widespread.

This device for the back of Perkins Stereotype bank notes saw its first use late in 1833 or early 1834 soon after New England Bank Note Company absorbed the Perkins shop. It is interesting to note that some of these banks not only used the Congreve Check Plate backs but also the black and white Perkins Stereotype plate for the backs. And, some of the issues even had plain backs. Trying to sort out which back designs were used when, is a chore I have not yet had time to investigate.

It would seem that the plain backs were used first, the stereotype backs second and the Congreve backs, third. But, this might not be the case for all the banks. The items that will appear in the auction are not all of the Congreve backs available. There are at least four others that appear on bank notes and seem to have been executed at a slightly earlier time and on examination appear a bit more primitive. The older back plates are not numbered as most of the newer ones seemed to be.

The eighteen banks I was able to determine that used the Congreve Backs for certain notes are listed here.

  • Bank of Bangor, Maine
  • Calais Bank, Maine
  • Canal Bank, Portland, Maine
  • Eastern Bank, Bangor, Maine
  • Mercantile Bank, Bangor, Maine
  • Portsmouth Bank, New Hampshire
  • Landholders Bank, Scituate, RI
  • Essex Bank, Guildhall, VT
  • Bank of Newbury, Wells River, VT
  • Duxbury Bank, Mass.
  • Fall River Bank, Mass.
  • Bank of Norfolk, Roxbury, Mass.
  • Northampton Bank, Mass.
  • Northampton Bank, Mass.
  • Railroad Bank, Lowell, Mass.
  • South Bank, Boston, Mass.
  • Taunton Bank, Mass.
  • Nahant Bank, Mass.

The Haxby volumes list some of the Congreve bearing banks as having “Check Plate” backs. I have found that some of these actually had the “Congreve” backs so it is possible that notes from more banks that used the Congreve back may still turn up.

Very little written information has been found on Able Bowen’s experiment with the Congreve Check Plate but that all could have been lost when his print shop, the Boston Bewick Company at 47 Court St went up in flames in 1835.

C. John Ferreri

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:


An article in the Friday April 21, 2017 issue of the Wall Street Journal by history professor Den Hartog discusses the history of the motto 'In God We Trust' on U.S. coins. Here's an excerpt. -Editor

Cent In God We trust On April 22, 1864, Congress approved a significant revision to the nation’s coinage: the addition of “In God We Trust” on several U.S. coins. This was more than a small change for small change: Governmental officials believed it would help America through a time of crisis. As the country continues to slog through an era of deep division, it’s worth studying the ideals that informed this refinement of American currency.

April 1864 was not necessarily an auspicious time for the U.S. The Civil War was raging. Bloody battles took place at Sabine Crossroads and Pleasant Hill, and free African-American soldiers were massacred when they were overrun at Fort Pillow in Tennessee. Southern secession left the nation physically and spiritually fractured.

With political life frayed and the war effort faltering, adding a new motto to American coinage might have looked like desperation or propaganda. It was neither. Abraham Lincoln and Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase had known about the idea for years. In an 1861 letter, the Rev. M.R. Watkinson of Pennsylvania asked Chase to consider recognizing “the Almighty God in some form on our coins.”

Chase, an abolitionist Ohio Republican, had liked the idea for years. “No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense,” he wrote to the director of the U.S. Mint in 1861. “The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins.” Some three years later the motto was approved by Congress and stamped on coinage in Philadelphia.

The change fit the mood of the time. Facing the dissolution of the Union, many Americans looked for divine aid to help heal the national divisions. They recognized that faith could sustain liberty and self-government. This echoed the acts of earlier generations of Americans, who during the Revolutionary War had flown battle flags bearing the motto “An Appeal to Heaven.”

To read the complete article, see:
‘In God We Trust,’ Even at Our Most Divided (

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Dick Johnson submitted this entry from his Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. Thanks. -Editor

Calendar medal obverse Calendar medal reverse

Calendar medals are ideal for issuing in series, often by national or private mints. This medal, by medallist Marcel Jovine, is one of a series of 15 prompted by the American Bicentennial of 1976. Further data on this series, and other calendar medals, can be found as one of four articles in the author’s medal blog at

Calendar Medal. A medallic item in which a calendar of one or more months (usually 6 or 12) is incorporated into the design. First issued in the 17th century, thousands of different design calendar medals have been issued throughout the world since then. Calendar medals in series are currently issued each year by the national mints of Austria, Japan, France and private mints elsewhere including the U.S. Themes for these medals have, of course, included ZODIAC astrological symbols, sundials, hour glasses and such obvious devices. Calendar medals are omitted from some national medal catalogs because, somewhat, of their ephemeral nature, but this is part of their charm to collectors, which consider them as important a topic to collect as any other.

This 1955 to 1982 perpetual calendar medal is made by acid etching with silkscreen black color added and issued as an adverting piece.

Perpetual calendar medal Perpetual calendar medals include a movable part to adjust a monthly chart for any of a large number of years in the past or future. These are classed with SHELL medals because they are made as separate diestruck shells that are assembled and attached with a center rivet that allows the separate pieces to rotate. Often there is a diecut (PIERCED) window in the outer piece that allows data from the central wheel to show through.
CLASS 12.6

Looking for the meaning of a numismatic word, or the description of a term? Try the Newman Numismatic Portal's Numismatic Dictionary at:


John Lupia submitted the following information from his   Encyclopedic Dictionary of Numismatic Biographies for this week's installment of his series. Thanks! As always, this is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This week's subject is midwest coin dealer and pearl specalist Charles Adam Windau. -Editor

Charles Adam Windau Charles Adam Windau (1860-1935), born the second of five children on March 3, 1860, in Hebron, Jefferson County, Wisconsin, son of August Ferdinand Windau (1835-1913), a merchant of Darmstadt, Germany, and Rosina C. Barth Windau (1832-1888), of Darmstadt, Germany. His parents came to America in 1860 just prior to Charles' birth.

Charles A. Windau was a traveling merchant in the jewelry business who also bought and sold coins and was active in numismatic organizations. He specialized in U. S. and foreign gold coinages. He was the paterfamilias of E. H. Windau and O. B. Windau who also were coin dealers. Edmund also specialized in U. S. and foreign gold coinages.

He appears to have married Caroline Elizabeth Hower (1855-1936), at Watsontown, Pennsylvania about 1885. They had a son Edmund Hower Windau (1886-1964), a member of the Western Reserve Numismatic Club. Charles A. Windau divorced Caroline Elizabeth Hower sometime before 1900.

In 1902, he was a pearl buyer and coin dealer and numismatic publisher at Vincennes, Knox County, Indiana

Windau Pearl buyer TRIBUNE, Fri June 11, 1909, p. 1 On October 28, 1902, he married Lillie Christine Worth (1875-1923), of Iowa, daughter of Frederick John Worth (1840-1920), of Maryland, and Ellen Wachter Worth (1851-1924), of Germany. They had six children...

In 1910, he lived in Red Wing, Minnesota, where he bought and sold coins and published his annual Fixed Price List and noted in them he did not buy 1853 U. S. Quarters with arrows at date or rays.

In 1913, he moved to Chicago. He was a member of the Chicago Numismatic Society. Windau donated a book on New York Store Cards to the Chicago Numismatic Society. He resigned in March 1914, when he moved to Elgin, Kane County, Illinois.

In May 1931, he was a visitor to the California Coin Club.

Windau Detroit Coin Club exhibit NUM Nov 1931, p. 801
On August 30, 1931, he was a visitor to the Detroit Coin Club and brought a large quantity and variety of U. S. and Territorial gold coinages including 100 small and large size uncirculated U. S. gold dollars; an 1849 Moffat $5 gold piece; two proof 1879 Stella $4 gold pieces; a proof 1804 $5 gold piece; three 1795 U. S. Silver Dollars and one each of 1796, 1797, 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803; 1830-1842, and 1845 Russian platinum 3, 6, and 12 Rubles.

On December 17, 1931, he was a visitor to the Detroit Coin Club and brought Austrian 4 Ducat of 1886 and 1899, and Russian platinum coins, an 1843 3 Rubles and an 1830 6 Rubles.

On September 6, 1932, Charles Windau was a visitor at the Atlanta Coin Club and exhibited his gold coin collection and entertained the members talking about coins.

WINDAU TOMB He died on July 2, 1935 at Bellevue Hospital, Manhattan, New York.

Windau sure moved and traveled a lot. Multiple members of his family became involved in numismatics as well. See the complete article for more information.

Many thanks to John Lupia for writing these biographies and sharing them with E-Sylum readers. Many peripheral figures like Windau are little-known today, yet they were quite well known and active in their day. This really helps bring alive the story of numismatics in this country. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:

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In a series of blog posts, Harvey Stack has been writing about his family's role in helping form the Josiah K. Lilly Collection. Here's the latest installment (#25) -Editor -Editor

The Josiah K. Lilly Collection

During the later part of 1960 and into 1961 Stack's continued to locate gold coins of the world to enhance the J.K. Lilly Collection.

Mr. Lilly made his annual fall visit to New York and he came in again in the spring on his return from Florida. He reviewed what we had acquired and talked with us about adding to his collection. Of course he wanted to learn how the import regulations would affect our ability to get the coins he needed to keep his collection growing.

As mentioned earlier, during the administrations of President Eisenhower and Kennedy, the influx of counterfeit gold coins was hurting the buyers in the United States. The Treasury put the Office of Gold and Silver Operations, (OGSO) in charge of controlling this and they instituted a licensing procedure for importation of any gold coin. As described before the procedure varied with each application. Each package that contained gold coins needed a license when arriving or carried into the United States. The coins could be held at Custom Houses around the country until a license was issued. Because the OGSO did not publish the requirements and what the criteria would be for a license, Stack’s searched within the United States for coins rather than fight for each import.

We did quite well the first few months of our purchasing, as many dealers were not fully aware of the import problems and willingly sold us coins from their inventories. But as the availability dropped, it became more difficult to find new and fresh coins to add to the Lilly Collection.

We explained the entire problem to Mr. Lilly and he instructed us to proceed the best we could with the handicap we were encountering in getting new material.

I made our customary delivery to Mr. Lilly at Eagle's Nest and while there reviewed the progress we had made. He loved to study each coin to learn more about the coins and coin series. He wanted to have a greater understanding of the monetary and political events that were taking place at the time of the minting of each coin in his collection.

During the period of 1962 and 1963 we were fortunate to be able to acquire some very special coins and offer them to Mr. Lilly. From earlier purchases he owed a legendary Brasher doubloon from America's colonial period. It had come from Charles Green, a Chicago dealer who had links to the extensive Brand collection.

Now we were offered and bought privately the half Brasher doubloon, a unique piece. We learned that it was held in an old-time collection and that it was now for sale. We researched the piece and confirmed it was genuine. We felt and Mr. Lilly agreed that it belonged in the Lilly Collection.

In 1962-1963 we offered for sale the Baldenhofer Collection, a cabinet that included many rare United States gold coins, and had, as part of the early half eagles, three varieties of the 1797. Two of the three varieties found in the Baldenhofer Collection were often found in extensive half eagle collections: 1797 Small Eagle, 1797 15 Star Large Eagle, but our research could not find any special reference to the 1797 16 Star Large Eagle. (No doubt this variety was struck as the dies for the others wore out!) We cataloged it as we saw it, and offered it as part of the sale. Before the sale we learned that this was the only example known of that variety.

We bid on it for the Lilly Collection and purchased it. Now the Lilly Collection was unique in its own way. It had two unique gold coins of the United States and Mr. Lilly was delighted.

To read the complete article, see:
Building a World Class Numismatic Gold Coin Collection The Josiah K. Lilly Collection Part 25 (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:


This U.S. gold coin doesn't look like much, but it's a rarity. Here's cataloguer James McCartney's description in his April 19, 2017 Stacks Bowers blog entry. -Editor

1810 Large Date, Small 5 Half Eagle

This week’s featured highlight from our official June 2017 Baltimore Expo Auction is an extreme rarity from the Capped Bust half eagle series that has been called “the rarity of this type!” by specialist John Dannreuther. The 1810 Large Date, Small 5 half eagle is a product of one of the most elusive die marriages from the early U.S. Mint, and any example is among a small but prestigious group. The fabled Class I 1804 dollar is much more common in comparison, and the famous 1913 Liberty Head nickels outnumber it by one piece.

Assigned a Rarity-7+ rating, just four coins are confirmed to exist including the present offering. Harry W. Bass, Jr. owned two of the four, including the finest that grades About Uncirculated and is part of the Core Collection on long-term loan to the ANA. The third piece was recently offered as part of the legendary Pogue Collection, a VF-25 (PCGS) example that realized $56,400 in our February 2016 sale.

Just three collectors have ever assembled a complete set of 1810 half eagles by variety, including Bass, Pogue, and George Gozan, whose set was purchased by Bass intact in lot 923 of Paramount’s Auction ’80. With one of the Bass coins effectively off the market for the foreseeable future, there have been, up until now, only two examples of the 1810 Large Date, Small 5 half eagle available to gold enthusiasts. The present newly discovered piece offers the opportunity for an additional numismatist to add his or her name to an exclusive roster of collectors.

The surfaces are uniformly glossy and smooth, evidently from time spent mounted as jewelry.

To read the complete article, see:
Extremely Rare 1810 Large Date, Small 5 Capped Bust Left Half Eagle to be Featured in our June 2017 Baltimore Auction (

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We don't often discuss pricing in The E-Sylum, preferring instead to look at the history of coins and collectors. But once in a while a coin's price is an interesting historical event in itself. This article from the April 21, 2017 CDN Greysheet sheds some light on the recent head-scratching offerings of the legendary U.S. 1804 dollar. -Editor


I’s no secret at this point that the Dexter 1804 dollar sold for $3.29 million on the evening of March 31, during Stack’s Bowers' fifth installment of the Pogue Collection. There was something of a collective gasp across the market at this surprisingly low number. The CDN Quarterly III Bid price for a gem proof 1804 dollar was $4.5 million! Even our PR63 Bid was $3.5 million, making this an incredibly good deal, or a really bad indication of the current state of the rare coin market.

There is, however, a third possibility. As counter-intuitive as it might seem, sometimes live auction can be an extremely inefficient way to sell a rare coin for its maximum value. In the curious case of the Dexter 1804 dollar, the most damaging obstacle to its saleability occurred back in May 2016, when the Child’s specimen (PR68) came across the block in Pogue IV. This now-infamous appearance of the finest-known example of this great rarity resulted in a confused auction room bidding the coin over $10 million dollars, yet failing to “sell” because it did not meet the reserve set by the consignor.

We have been told on good authority that there was a genuine underbidder on this coin, but it doesn’t help that the actual reserve was never disclosed, so we don’t know if the Pogues would have sold the coin at $12 million, $13 million, or even $100 million. Regardless, the Dexter coin came to the auction block nearly a year later with a black cloud hovering over its beautiful head. Some potential bidders for the Dexter coin perceived (incorrectly) that this coin might also be subject to a hidden reserve. Additionally, a strong price realized on the Childs’ coin would have naturally increased the perceived value of the Dexter specimen.

As further background, one has to realize that, as exciting and desirable it is to own an 1804 dollar, the market is very thin at the multi-million dollar level. Regardless of how many collectors would love to own such a relic, only a handful of buyers can actually afford to put their hand in the air at this level. Anything that distracts or gives cold feet to potential bidders of seven-figure coins can have serious consequences to a price realized in a live auction room. Under these circumstances, when the Dexter coin came to the podium, the room went cold. Potential bidders thought the coin would fail to meet reserve, or would sell above their estimation, so many simply sat out the process altogether.

When the music stopped, only Kevin Lipton and John Albanese remained with their “backstop” bid—an unthinkably low number for this prized rarity. According to Albanese, “we purchased this coin on spec and were really quite shocked that our book bid of $2.8 million (plus buyer’s fee) was successful. We both thought it would sell for $4 million or more Friday night. By Sunday, we had six interested parties who were calling, sending emails and texts wanting to buy the coin from us.” This is an incredibly telling statement. Where were these six bidders during the live auction?

Within 48 hours, the partners had sold the coin for a handsome (undisclosed) profit to Bruce Morelan, famed collector and Legend Numismatics partner. One can only speculate if this rarity would have sold for a million dollars more if it had offered privately from the outset. We’ll never know, of course, but this event is just one more chapter in what makes coin dealing dynamic and unpredictable.

To read the complete article, see:


Sometimes a nonevent is big news. what DIDN'T happen this week is that the U.S. Supreme Court did NOT agree to hear a case on the infamous ten 1933 Double Eagles from he family of Izzy Switt, the Philadelphia coin dealer who obtained them from the U.S. Mint. Here's the Numismatic News take. -Editor

Ten 1933 Double Eagle

A legal effort by the Langbord family to reclaim 10 1933 gold $20s from the federal government failed after a dozen years when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal.

Announcement of this decision April 17 left in place an Aug. 1, 2016, 9-3 ruling in favor of the government’s position by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Through all the legal wrangling, the government maintained that these gold coins were never legally issued and they have always been the property of the federal government.

The family came into possession of the coins when Philadelphia jeweler Israel Switt obtained them in the 1930s.

Switt’s daughter Joan Langbord said she found them in a safe deposit box.

The coins were sent to the U.S. Mint in 2004 for authentication. The coins were declared genuine by the Mint in 2005 but they were not returned.

Berry H. Berke, a New York lawyer was engaged by the family to take legal action.

Berke is the lawyer who successfully legalized one 1933 gold $20 that had been seized in 1996 from British coin dealer Stephen Fenton.

It was sold in 2002 in New York City auction for $7.59 million. The proceeds were split between Fenton and the government.

However, the winning evidence in that case did not apply to the Langbord coins.

The Treasury had issued an export license for the now legal gold $20 in 1944 so legendary Egyptian collector King Farouk could acquire it.

It was the existence of this license that kept the coin from being returned to the government, which had maintained throughout that the 1933 gold $20s were never legally issued and were perhaps stolen by Mint cashier George McCann.

To read the complete article, see:
Government can keep 1933 $20s (

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Alan Luedeking forwarded this article from Sweden. Thanks! A person has been arrested in the theft of approximately 1,200 items from the Royal Coin Cabinet there. Here's an excerpt in English from Google Translate. -Editor

Royal Coin Cabinet building 1,200 items with a value of around SEK 25 million has disappeared from the Royal Coin Cabinet in Stockholm, confirms museum director for Swedish Television News.

The suspect was a former employee of the Royal Coin Cabinet in Stockholm's Old Town.

At the Royal Coin Cabinet, which is responsible for national collections of notes and coins, the inventory showed a frightening result.

We can see that it is in the order of about 1200 objects are away, especially coins. Value is about SEK 25 million, but it's estimates. We have done a great job and inventoried since 2013 says Eva Ramberg, director of the museum Royal Coin Cabinet.

The majority of the items should have disappeared after the last inventory was taken in conjunction with the museum moved to the Old City in 1997.

It's a disaster, it is sad and a huge loss. It's irreplaceable cultural values ​​that have disappeared, says Eva Ramberg.

This is sad news for the numismatic community. Hopefully in time many of the objects can be recovered, but what a mess in the meantime. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
Thousands of coins disappeared from the Royal Coin Cabinet - former employee charged with larceny (


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




A very nice example, Spanish Silver 8 Reales.

Mint; M, Madrid, Spain.
Date; 1731

This one caught my eye as a nicely centered, well struck piece. Not without its problems, but a very presentable coin. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

1772 English Coin Weight, King George III, 2 DWT, 16 GR.

1772 English Coin Weight King George III, 2 DWT, 16 GR. obverse 1772 English Coin Weight King George III, 2 DWT, 16 GR. reverse


A very nice example, English/New World Coin Weight.
King George III
2 DWT. 16 GR.
Date; c.18th Century., 1772
Made of a Brass Alloy.

I'm unfamiliar with coin weights. Interesting piece. What's a good reference for these? -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

1826 Hibernian Bank One Pound Note

Hibernian Bank One Pound Token, 1 November 1826

Description: Hibernian Bank One Pound Token, 10 July 1826 No. 50. Low/early number, signed twice on back, cancelled with ink 'x' over clerk and cashier's signatures, fine.

What does the word "token" mean in this context? Is it acknowledging that this scrip note is not actually a real one pound banknote? -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Lot 401: Hibernian Bank One Pound Token, 10 July 1826 (

1843 British Archeological Society Medal

1843 British Archeological Society Medal obverse 1843 British Archeological Society Medal reverse

The reverse is quite interesting, although I'm at a loss to understand what it represents. Can anyone help? Click on the image for a larger view. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Lot 93: Great Britain 'British Archeological Society' Medals dated 1843 & 1850 (2 medals) (

1864 French Horticulture Medal

1864 French Horticulture Medal

Gold medal struck in 1864, awarded to the «Société Impériale et Centrale d’Horticulture de la Seine».
Bust of Eugénie left. Rv. Legende in seven lines.
Dies by A. Bovy from J. Peyre. 84 grs. 47mm.

19th century award medals are a great series to collect. Many are rare and quite beautifully executed by the day's top artists. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Gold medal struck in 1864, awarded to the «Société Impériale et Centrale d’Horticulture de la Seine» (

1881 New Zealand John Brinsmead Token

New Zealand John Brinsmead Token obverse New Zealand John Brinsmead Token reverse

A New Zealand Token. Obverse features New Zealand tribesman. Obverse: "Sole agents for John Brinsmead & sons pianos. Diameter: 32 mm. Circulated. Good condition.

Nice warrior image. I like tokens in general for their great variety and research opportunities. New Zealand tokens are a particularly interesting series, and a specialty of my friend Ed Krivoniak of Pittsburgh. -Editor

Ed Krivoniak writes:

This token is a Milner & Thompson token and was issued in 1881. There are 8 varieties. It was originally issued as an advertising piece for the Christchurch Industrial Exhibition of 1882. It saw very little circulation as a token since sufficient imperial bronze coinage arrived in New Zealand in 1876. When people tried to redeem them the company refused since they were not issued to combat the small change problem.

To read the complete lot description, see:
New Zealand Token (

1908 London Olympic Games Participation Medal

1908 London Olympic Games Participation Medal obverse Description: A London 1908 Olympic Games participation medal, by Vaughton, in white metal, designed by Bertram Mackennal with a winged figure of victory, and a quadriga winning a chariot race

Beautiful medal. Unfortunately, only the obverse is shown. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Lot 480: A London 1908 Olympic Games participation medal (

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Maureen Levine and cataloguer Bruce Hagen submitted this article highlighting five importamt items of American fiscal paper from the Heritage Eric P. Newman Collection Internet Part 3 sale. Thanks! These are some amazing pieces. -Editor

The loan certificates in Selections from the Eric P. Newman Collection Internet Part 3 are significant examples of the instruments used for financing the American Revolution.

Lot 89364: Massachusetts 1775 "King Phillip" Bond

Massachusetts 1775 King Phillip Bond front Massachusetts 1775 King Phillip Bond back

The King Philip bonds engraved by Paul Revere are noteworthy as the first loan certificates used in financing the American Revolution:

Colony of the Massachusetts Bay - Provincial Act of May 3, 1775 6% Loan due June 1, 1777. 5 Pounds 4 Shillings Augt. 10, 1775 Anderson-Smythe MA-1. PCGS Very Fine 20 Apparent.

A historic rarity printed on “American Paper” from copper plates engraved by Paul Revere. In The Price of Liberty, Anderson writes: “These certificates represent the first attempts to finance the Revolution; they preceded the first currency issues of Massachusetts and the Continental Congress by three and seven weeks respectively.”

Authorization was based upon Colonial enactments passed during the reign of George II, specifically the Royal General Court’s June 20, 1744, “Act for ascertaining the Rates at which coined Silver & Gold, English half pence & farthings, may pass within this Goverment [sic]… ,” and is engraved within the obligations.

The oblong vignette cut in the indented left end shows Native American King Philip (Metacom) with a codfish emblem near the top and “CMB” monogram at the bottom. This impressive financial instrument evokes the spirit of the early Revolutionary War.

Who was King Philip? Here's a excerpt from Brittanica,com. -Editor

Metacom Metacom, also called Metacomet, King Philip, or Philip of Pokanoket (born c. 1638, Massachusetts—died August 12, 1676, Rhode Island), sachem (intertribal leader) of a confederation of indigenous peoples that included the Wampanoag and Narraganset. Metacom led one of the most costly wars of resistance in New England history, known as King Philip’s War (1675–76).

Metacom’s dignity and steadfastness both impressed and frightened the settlers, who eventually demonized him as a menace that could not be controlled. For 13 years he kept the region’s towns and villages on edge with the fear of an Indian uprising. Finally, in June 1675, violence erupted when three Wampanoag warriors were executed by Plymouth authorities for the murder of John Sassamon, a tribal informer. Metacom’s coalition, comprising the Wampanoag, Narraganset, Abenaki, Nipmuc, and Mohawk, was at first victorious. However, after a year of savage fighting during which some 3,000 Indians and 600 colonists were killed, food became scarce, and the indigenous alliance began to disintegrate. Seeing that defeat was imminent, Metacom returned to his ancestral home at Mount Hope, where he was betrayed by an informer and killed in a final battle. He was beheaded and quartered and his head displayed on a pole for 25 years at Plymouth.

To read the complete article, see: Metacom WAMPANOAG LEADER (

Bruce Hagen adds:

King Philip has two different vignette styles appearing on Obsolete Currency, both rare and initially for use on Rhode Island.

Interestingly, the King Philip version engraved by Wellstood, Hay & Whiting also appeared on Indiana notes (frontier Indian vignettes often favored by midwest bankers then).

The Metacomet Bank title was used on Fall River, Massachusetts notes that crossed over geographically to Rhode Island as well.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Colony of the Massachusetts Bay - Provincial Act of May 3, 1775 6% Loan due June 1, 1777. 5 Pounds 4 Shillings Augt. 10, 1775 ... (

Lot 89370: Massachusetts 6% Treasury Loan Certificate

Massachusetts 6% Treasury Loan Certificate front Massachusetts 6% Treasury Loan Certificate back

Next is the historic Massachusetts Bay “Sword in Hand” certificate engraved by Nathaniel Hurd:

State of the Massachusetts Bay – (Act of May 2, 1777) 6% Treasury Loan Certificate due June 1, 1780 35 Pounds March 20, 1778 Anderson-Smythe MA-8.

This bond is from the “Sword in Hand” emblem series featuring additional authorizations and redemption due dates. These have another very iconic Massachusetts engraved style. Printed from a Nathaniel Hurd plate on laid paper. At upper left, a rattlesnake frames a standing patriot holding a sword and the INDE/PEND/ENCE scroll; the Latin motto circling around is ENSE PETIT PLACIDAM SUB LIBERTATE QUIETAM (By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts motto). Printed from a well-inked, early state plate, and exemplifying this Nathanial Hurd “Sword in Hand” bond well.

To read the complete lot description, see:
State of the Massachusetts Bay - (Act of May 2, 1777) 6% Treasury Loan Certificate due June 1, 1780 35 Pounds March 20, 1778 A... (

Lot 89390: New-York 6% Six Month Loan Certificate

New-York 6% Six Month Loan Certificate front

New-York 6% Six Month Loan Certificate back

The first example we have seen of this rare, six-months New York certificate:

State of New-York – Treasury of this State 6% Six Month Loan Certificate “…upon the Purchases of forfeited Lands” 2000 Continental Dollars June 5, 1780 Anderson- Smythe NY-UNL. PCGS Choice About New 55 Apparent.

A remarkable and exceedingly rare small-format certificate from New York. The great rarity of this loan certificate is due to the short term of six months and the fact that it is from New York (all New York fiscal paper is rare). The certificate may have been redeemed for State of New York “Guaranteed by the United States” notes, which are the rarest from that State-issued Colonial currency series. It appears most of those notes were eventually redeemed for subsequent instruments, and the remaining Guaranteed notes were destroyed by the State. A very important New York Colonial fiscal piece and the first we have seen.

Note the use of the hyphenated "New-York", an early practice carried on today by the New-York Historical Society. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
tate of New-York - Treasury of this State 6% Six Month Loan Certificate "...upon the Purchases of forfeited Lands" 2000 Conti... (

Lot 89353: Continental Loan Office Livres Tournois Certificate

Continental Loan Office Livres Tournois Certificate front

Continental Loan Office Livres Tournois Certificate back

Certificates for loans issued from the Continental Loan Office comprise a series of United States obligations collected with Colonial American currency and United States Federal Loans. These Bill of Exchange certificates were denominated in dollars and European equivalents depending on whether they were ultimately payable abroad or domestically at an authorized location. They represented the interest payments due for “Money borrowed by the United States” from the federal loan sales made at individual state loan offices as noted at the lower left of the obligations.

They were printed in sheets of four “Bills,” from a “First” at the top to a “Fourth” at the bottom. One or more could be sent simultaneously as necessary for payment abroad. Upon redemption of a First Bill, the other three would be void. According to William G. Anderson in The Price of Liberty, “If the first bill was lost or captured at sea ... the holder would then send the second bill; if it too was lost, he would send the third, and so on. In several instances Congress authorized duplicate sets issued when all four had been lost at sea ...” Only two “First Bills” have been confirmed extant as almost all were redeemed or destroyed. The majority known are Fourth Bills.

This Third Bill, payable “at Paris,” has an outstanding Francis Hopkinson signature:

United States of America - Continental Loan Office in the State of “Connecticut” Exchange for $30/150 Livres Tournois Third Bill, Payable at Paris March 10, 1779 Anderson-Smythe US-97- 1A.

This Connecticut certificate is representative of the most commonly encountered “at Paris” series. Printed on laid paper, watermarked “United States 3.” The exchange bill numeral is incorporated into the watermark for counterfeit deterrence. According to author and collector Ned W. Downing, the molds for the watermarked laid paper were fashioned by Nathan Sellers, who was released from military service for this purpose. The Francis Hopkinson (signer of the Declaration of Independence) signature is superb. Though Connecticut Livres Tournois certificates are available, the condition of this example makes it an ideal type piece from a most interesting chapter in the early debt financing of the United States.

One evening at dinner I said to my wife, "I've always wanted to say this - today we got a wire transfer from Sotheby's in London." It wasn't from the sale of the spare Renoirs from our country house, but for a $100 ad on the NBS web site. In the age of PayPal and all manner of electronic transfers it's hard to fathom a time when the financial system was fraught with months-long delays and physical dangers. Yet it's amazing to see how humans coped with and somehow managed to survive in the face of so many frustrating obstacles to their daily business. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
United States of America - Continental Loan Office in the State of "Connecticut" Exchange for $30/150 Livres Tournois Third Bi... (

Lot 89359: Continental Loan Office Holland Bill of Exchange

Continental Loan Office Holland Bill of Exchange front

Continental Loan Office Holland Bill of Exchange back

Rounding up the Colonial fiscal paper highlights in Newman Internet 3 is a very rare Holland Bill of Exchange payable at John Adams’s American Mission in Amsterdam:

United States of North-America – Continental Loan Office in “Pennsylvania” 550 Guilders Fourth of Exchange, Payable to “Honourable John Adams…in Amsterdam” January 27, 1781 Anderson-Smythe US-107-10A.

A Loan Office certificate issued from the Pennsylvania Loan Office through John Adams’s efforts in Amsterdam. While Franklin and Jefferson experienced the glamor of Paris life and dealt with the French nobility, Adams negotiated with a much more prudent Holland merchant elite while at the American Mission. This multi-colored certificate has a much different appearance from those with the Paris payable. Though High Rarity-6 (13-20 known) in Anderson-Smythe, by observation this is much rarer. An important opportunity to obtain a significant artifact of early American financing showcasing John Adams’s role as an Amsterdam diplomat.

Another interesting obsolete name: "United States of North-America". The Dutch connection in early American history is often overlooked, but was a huge influence in the developing country. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
United States of North-America - Continental Loan Office in "Pennsylvania" 550 Guilders Fourth of Exchange, Payable to "Honour... (

This auction of selections from Eric P. Newman’s collection offers many opportunities for both novices and sophisticated collectors. To view the complete sale, please visit

These early fiscal documents were critical in the founding of the nation and represent tangible connections to the hard work of the Founding Fathers. Closely related to colonial paper money, these rare fiscal paper items are even more important as primary historical source documents. The sale is a great opportunity to acquire some amazing rarities. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:


Joe Esposito submitted this report from the Early American Coppers convention in Philadelphia. Thanks. -Editor

Museum of the American Revolution logo An interesting side benefit of attending the Early American Coppers convention in Philadelphia this past week was the opportunity to visit the new Museum of the American Revolution. The museum, which opened with great fanfare on April 19, complements nearby sites related to the colonial, revolutionary and early Republic periods, most notably Independence Hall National Historical Park.

Currently, there are four galleries in the museum, which chronicle the road to conflict, the challenging years of the war, the later years, and the creation of an independent nation. There are various artifacts, artwork, videos, exhibits and interpretive material.

There also is a modest representation of numismatic items. One small case has four examples of colonial currency: a twenty-shilling note from Pennsylvania (1758); thirty-shilling from New Jersey (1762), three-pence from Pennsylvania (1764), and a one-dollar note from Maryland (1774). Another grouping has six Admiral Vernon medals, and there is an exhibit of three silver and two bronze colonial medals from England and France. All the medals were provided by the American Numismatic Society.

For more on the museum, see:

MikePackard Early American Coppers convention
The EAC celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with a lively bourse, exhibits and a number of talks. For the thirty-second year Mike Packard, an EAC stalwart and Nummis Nova member, provided a souvenir large cent to each attendee. He punches the year, convention site and first name onto each coin. Here is Mike at work at the convention as well as photos of my coin, an 1825 large cent with “EAC 2017” and “Philly” on the obverse and “Joseph” on the reverse.

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Kerry Wetterstrom of Classical Numismatic Group forwarded this press release for the firm's 105th sale. Thanks. -Editor

CNG Auction 105
An Internet and Mail Bid Sale

Closing Electronically on Wednesday, 10 May 2017, from 10 AM ET

Classical Numismatic Group is proud to present CNG 105, an Internet and Mail Bid Sale closing electronically on Wednesday, 10 May 2017, from 10 AM ET (U.S.). This sale offers 1246 lots with a presale estimate of almost $2 million.

Our annual spring sale features Greek, Celtic, Oriental Greek, Central Asian, Roman Provincial, Roman Republican, and Roman Imperial coinage. Additionally, there are featured selections of Romano-Byzantine Weights, Byzantine, Early Medieval, Islamic, World, World Medals, British, and British Medals.

CNG 105 features additional Greek and Roman coins from the Collection of a Director, as well as selections from the J. Cohen Collection of Coins of the Peloponnesos.

The Greek and Oriental Greek sections are highlighted by an exceptional Wappenmünzen ‘Scarab Beetle” didrachm from Athens, a Delphi tridrachm from the Ghazzat Hoard, a large selection of electrum coinage from Kyzikos, Mytilene, and Phokaia, an extremely rare drachm of Obodas I of Nabataea, Parthian coins from the Nisa Collection, and an exceptional group of Kushan bilingual double dinars.

The Roman Provincial section of CNG 105 is highlighted by a substantial offering of Roman Alexandria from the Hermanubis Collection. Roman coins from the Douglas O. Rosenberg Denomination Set are included, as well as further Roman coins from the Archer M. Huntington Collection. In the Republican and Imperial sections, bidders will find offerings from the Estate of Dr. Robert B. Beckett, Jr., as well as a diverse selection of Roman gold coinage, including aurei of Nero, Claudius Drusus, and Pertinax.

The Byzantine section features an extremely rare solidus from the Revolt of the Heraclii. Further selections of world coins and medals from the J. Eric Engstrom Collection are included in CNG 105, as well as an extremely rare Fatehpur mint Zodiac mohur. The auction concludes with a diverse selection of British coinage and medals.

Catalogs for CNG 105 have been mailed to our active mailing list and bidding is open on the site. Some of the individual highlights from CNG 105 are:

Exceptional Wappenmünzen Scarab Beetle Didrachm

Wappenmünzen Scarab Beetle Didrachm

Lot 102–ATTICA, Athens.M Circa 545-525/15 BC. AR Didrachm (20.5mm, 8.35 g). “Wappenmünzen” type. Scarab beetle / Quadripartite incuse square, divided diagonally. Seltman Group B, 20 var. (A14/P– [unlisted rev. die]) = Svoronos, Monnaies, pl. 1, 38 = Traité I 1112 = Weber 3420 = Photiades Pacha Collection (Hoffmann, 19 May 1890), lot 495; HGC 4, 1612 (illustrating Weber piece). Good VF, minor roughness. Extremely rare, apparently the second known, after the Weber/Photiades Pacha piece. Estimated at $30,000

Among the Most Artistic Kyzikos Staters

Kyzikos Stater

Lot 187–MYSIA, Kyzikos. Circa 450-330 BC. EL Stater (18mm, 16.09 g). Head of Apollo, wearing laurel wreath, facing slightly right; below, tunny right / Quadripartite incuse square. Von Fritze I 132; Greenwell 17; Boston MFA 1492 = Warren 1436; SNG BN 283–4; BMC 56; Gillet 1079; Gulbenkian –; Jameson –; Myrmekion 93 (same rev. punch); Prospero 460; Rosen –; Weber –. Good VF. Well centered. Among the most artistic types in the series. Estimated at $20,000

Cleopatra VII & Caesarion

Cleopatra Caesarion

Lot 456–PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Kleopatra VII Thea Neotera & Ptolemy XV Caesarion. 44-30 BC. Æ (28mm, 16.86 g, 12h). Paphos mint. Struck circa 47 BC. Diademed and draped bust of Cleopatra, as Aphrodite, right; to right, small winged bust of Caesarion, as Eros, looking up at his mother; scepter to left / BAΣIΛIΣΣHΣ [KΛEOΠ]ATPAΣ, double cornucopia bound with fillet; monogram to right. Svoronos 1874; Weiser –; SNG Copenhagen –; BMC 2; Noeske –; RPC I 3901.9. Good VF, rough olive patina, a few faint cleaning scratches. Extremely rare. Estimated at $10,000

This lovely bronze type, while ostensibly displaying Aphrodite holding Eros in her arms, was in fact a dynastic issue, following in the Ptolemaic tradition that rulers were represented in the guise of gods. Here, the identification of Kleopatra as Aphrodite is not controversial, as the two are often related in classical literature. The choice of this type is relative to its place of the issue, Cyprus, where an important temple to Aphodite was located at Paphos. In 48 BC, Julius Caesar gave Cyprus to Kleopatra, and the fact that Caesarion was his son by the Egyptian queen lends credence to the identification of Eros as Caesarion on this coin. Literary and epigraphic evidence clearly displays the intent of Kleopatra to elevate their son to the status of a co-ruler, and as such, his presence on the coin would be conventional.

Nonetheless, other candidates have been suggested, such as either of her sons by Mark Antony, Alexander Helios or Ptolemy Philadelphos. As the coin has no indication of date, it could have been struck later, after Kleopatra gave birth to Antony's children. Two facts, though, suggest that this isolated issue would not favor either of these children over Caesarion. In 34 BC, when Antony was celebrating his Armenian 'victory' at Alexandreia, Caesarion was given a higher status in the event than Antony's sons.

Also, numismatic evidence suggests that Caesarion retained his position as primary heir until Kleopatra's death (see O. Mørkholm, "Ptolemaic Coins and Chonology" in MN 20 [1975]). It seems appropriate that this exceptional issue would have been struck in commemoration of Caesarion's birth in 47 BC, on the island that had just been given to his mother, Kleopatra, by his father, Caesar.

Arsakes I Drachm from the Nisa Collection

Cleopatra Caesarion

Lot 460–KINGS of PARTHIA. Arsakes I. 247-211 BC. AR Drachm (19mm, 4.01 g, 12h). Nisa(?) mint. Head right, wearing bashlyk / Archer (Arsakes I) seated left on backless throne, holding bow. Sellwood 1.1; A&S Type 1, 1/4 (same dies); Sunrise 234; Shore 1. VF. Rare. Estimated at $1500

From the Nisa Collection.

The Fall of Jerusalem

ELEUCIS and PIERIA Tetradrachm

Lot 589–SELEUCIS and PIERIA, Antioch. Titus. As Caesar, AD 69- 79. AR Tetradrachm (27mm, 12.48 g, 12h). Dated “Holy Year” 3 (AD 70/1). Laureate bust right, wearing aegis / ETOYΣ Γ IEPOY, Eagle standing left on palm branch, holding wreath in beak; club to left. McAlee 379; Prieur 140; RPC II 1967. Near EF, lightly toned, a few scratches in obverse field. Fine style portrait. Estimated at $1000

The date “Holy Year” 3 coincides with the fall of Jerusalem in August of AD 70 to the Romans under Titus’ command. The portrait of Titus is similar to that seen on “Judaea Capta” bronze coins, and it is possible that these tetradrachms were struck at the same mint, probably Caesarea Maritima (see RPC II p. 276; McAlee p. 173).

From the Archer M. Huntington Collection

Pompey the Great Denarius

Lot 720–The Pompeians. Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great). Spring 48 BC. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.84 g, 3h). Uncertain Greek mint. Terentius Varro, pro quaestor. Diademed terminal bust of Jupiter Terminus right / Vertical scepter; to left, dolphin swimming right; to right, eagle standing left with wings folded. Crawford 447/1a; CRI 8; Sydenham 1033; RSC 3. Good VF, deep cabinet toning. Nice metal. Estimated at $1500

From the Archer M. Huntington Collection, ANS 1001.1.22847.

Ex Biaggi de Blasys Collection

Nero Claudius Drusus Aureus

Lot 809–Nero Claudius Drusus. Died 9 BC. AV Aureus (19.5mm, 7.76 g, 1h). Lugdunum (Lyon) mint. Struck under Claudius, AD 41-42. NERO CLAVDIVS DRVSVS GERMANICVS IMP, laureate head left / DE GE R MA NIS, two oblong shields, two pairs of spears, and two trumpets, all crossed over upright vexillum. RIC I 73 (Claudius); von Kaenel Type 13 (unlisted dies); Lyon 24 (Claudius); Calicó 317; BMCRE 105-6 (Claudius); BN 8 (Claudius); Biaggi 182 (this coin). EF, lustrous. Estimated at $20,000

Ex Leo Biaggi de Blasys Collection, 182.

Extremely Rare Revolt of the Heraclii AV Solidus

Revolt of the Heraclii Solidus

Lot 1035–Revolt of the Heraclii. 608-610. AV Solidus (16mm, 4.49 g, 6h). Carthage mint. Dated IY 13 (609/10). D N HЄRACΛI CONSVΛI IΓ, bareheaded busts of Heraclius the younger, beardless, and the exarch Heraclius, bearded, each wearing consular robes; cross above / VICTORIA CONSVΛI, cross potent set on three steps; IΓ//CONOB. DOC 3; MIBE 1; Lacam, Civilisation, pl. XXXI-A, 2 = Adams I 287 (same obv. die); SB 710. Near EF. An earlier obverse die state than the Adams specimen cited above. Extremely rare, with only the Adams example in CoinArchives. Estimated at $7500

Beginning in 608, the exarch of Africa and his son, both named Heraclius, began issuing coinage in opposition to that of the unpopular Byzantine emperor Phocas. This coinage named and depicted the Heraclii as consuls (though neither held the title at that time) rather than as emperors, a political move that promoted the Heraclii as champions of the people, not merely rivals to the throne. The revolt culminated with Heraclius the younger’s coup at Constantinople in 610, where he was welcomed by the population, crowned, and saw to the execution of his predecessor. The solidi dated to indictional year 13 constitute the final gold issue of the revolt.

First Dated Taler

First Dated Taler 1486

Lot 1091–AUSTRIA, Holy Roman Empire. Erzherzogtum Österreich (Archduchy of Austria). Sigismund. Archduke, 1446-1490. AR Taler (41mm, 31.66 g, 10h). Hall mint. Dated 1486. Crowned, draped, and armored figure standing facing, holding globe-tipped scepter on shoulder and hilt of sword; to left, coat-of- arms held by lion; to right, crested and crowned helmet / Knight in German Gothic armor, holding banner, on caparisoned horse galloping right; 1486 below; helmet decorated with elaborate crowned crest; coats-of- arms around. Davenport 8087; Moser & Tursky 64; Levinson IV-49a; Frey 274. VF, toned, lightly chased in fields, faint edge marks. An affordable example of the first dated taler. Estimated at $5000

Extremely Rare Fatehpur Mint Zodiac Mohur
Constellation of Varak/Mesha
Aries the Ram

Fatehpur Mint Zodiac Mohur

Lot 1121–INDIA, Mughal Empire. Nur al-Din Muhammad Jahangir. AH 1014-1037 / AD 1605-1627. AV Mohur (22mm, 11.86 g, 10h). Zodiac Type, Class A. Fatehpur mint. Triply dated AH 1028, RY 1[3], and RY 14 (19 December AD 1618 – 14/23 October AD 1619, but struck 20 March-20/1 April AD 1619). Constellation of Varak/Mesha (Aries the Ram): ram, head right, recumbent left; radiate sun behind; sanat 14 jalus (regnal year 14) in Persian below / sikka-e zar gist ba-Fatahpur faruzada nur-i nam Jahangir Shah Akbar Shah (Gold coin became lustrous at Fatehpur by the light of the name of Jahangir Shah [son of] Akbar Shah) in Persian verse; AH date in lower left. Liddle Type G-76 = S. Bhandare, “Important Indian coins in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna,” in ONS Journal 205 (Autumn 2010), Fig. 11 (electroype used for illustration) = KM 180.2 (illustration) = Zeno 143113 = Berlin Münzkabinett, inv. 18248179 (same rev. die); BM –; Wright –; Hull –; Nagpur –; Lucknow –; cf. Friedberg 762 (for type with no distinction to mint). Good VF, field marks, two shroff marks on obverse, three on reverse, with ornate suspension loop attached. Extremely rare, one of apparently two known. Estimated at $20,000

Ex Classical Numismatic Group 102 (18 May 2016), lot 1310.

The reverse of the Berlin example, lacking the shroff marks of our coin, reveals that the die was dated RY 13 – located below the word nur and with the number 3 almost completely obliterated by a shroff mark. This die was paired with an Agra mint obverse die (cf. Triton XIX, lot 2399) to strike this extremely rare mohur. The two known examples are struck from two obverse and one reverse dies.

Owing to an epidemic of plague in Agra, Jahangir encamped at Fatehpur during AH 1028 (see S.H. Hodivala, “The Chronology of the Zodiacal Coins of Jahangir”, NC 1929, p. 306). As recounted in his autobiography, the Tuzuk-e Jahangiri, Jahangir entered Fatehpur on the 28th Di, RY 13 (18 January AD 1619) and remained there until 31 Farwardin, RY 14 (20/1 April 1619). According to the Solar Hijri calendar, four zodiacal signs cover the period during which Jahangir resided in Fatehpur. The last of these, Varak/Mesha (Aries the Ram), refers to the month of Farwardin, enabling us to date this coin to that month. Given that the obverse corresponds with the month of Jahangir’s departure from Fatehpur, and the extreme rarity of this mohur type from that mint, it is quite possible that these coins were struck in conjunction with the emperor’s departure from Fatehpur, and were presented to those members of the local elite who had accommodated Jahangir during his stay.

Die Linked to the Beginning of Hiberno-Norse Coinage

Æthelred II penny

Lot 1197–ANGLO-SAXON, Kings of All England. Æthelred II. 978- 1016. AR Penny (20mm, 1.73 g, 11h). Crux type (BMC iiia, Hild. C). Watchet mint; Sigeric, moneyer. Struck circa 991-997. Draped bust left; trefoil-tipped scepter before / + SIGERIC M–O PECED, voided short cross; C R V X in angles. Blackburn, Mint 5 (dies A/a), Unseen coins (a) (this coin); SCBI 24 (West Country), 487 (same dies); North 770; SCBC 1148. VF, toned, some peck marks. Extremely rare and of considerable interest. Estimated at $2500

Ex Richard Cyril Lockett Collection (English Part I, Glendining, 6 June 1955), lot 686 (part of); Sir John Evans Collection.

In his study and corpus of the Watchet mint, Mark Blackburn demonstrated that there was sudden cessation of coin production very early in the issue of the Crux type. This coin was one of only six Crux type pennies recorded, all struck from the same pair of dies. Remarkably, the reverse die would have a second life across the Irish Sea where it was used with an obverse die in the name of Sihtric Silkbeard, the Hiberno-Norse king of Dublin (SCBI 32 Ulster 9). The Anglo Saxon Chronicle records Viking raids on Watchet in circa 988 and again in 997. However, these dates are not easily reconciled with the interruption of output and the reverse die may have made its way to Dublin by another route.


Printed catalogs for CNG 105 are now available. To order the catalog, please call our U.S. office at (717) 390-9194. Catalogs have been mailed to customers on CNG’s active mailing list. Prospective bidders may also view the virtual catalogs at CNG 105 Virtual Catalog. The sale can be viewed online at,, and 

In addition to Internet & Mail Bid Sale 105, CNG will also feature over 950 lots from many of the same collections listed above in their Electronic Auction 397, closing one week later on Wednesday, 17 May 2017, from 10AM ET (U.S.). Bidding for CNG Electronic Auction 397 will begin on 26 April 2017.

CNG is currently accepting consignments for future auctions sales. Please contact the firm for further details and consignment deadlines.

For further details and any additional information, please contact CNG, Inc. at:

Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.
P.O. Box 479
Lancaster, PA 17608-0479
Telephone: (717) 390-9194
Fax: (717) 390-9978

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Here's an article about contemporary copies of small roman bronze coins - the barbarous radiates. -Editor

Dalton 2014 radiate copy Cladius II AD268 to 270.jpg THERE can't be many archaeologists or metal detectorists in Cumbria who haven't come across at least one Roman coin-like object which the experts would call a barbarous radiate.

These copies of small bronze coins of emperors such as Victorinus and Tetricus II were made in the period 270 to 286 AD and form an accepted but irregular coinage used throughout Roman England.

Many of the copied coins – from single finds to hoards have been recorded with the help of metal detectorists on the national database of the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

It gives details of Cumbrian finds from places including Barrow, Dalton, Grange, Kendal and Maryport.

How they were made and used was explorer by Norfolk county numismatist Dr Adrian Marsden in a talk at Harrogate to the spring conference of the British Association of Numismatic Societies.

He said: "It is best to see them as a supplementary coinage."

Barrow 2008 radiate copy Tetricus I of 271 to 274.jpg Good quality gold and silver money from the early years of Roman Britain had been hoarded or melted down - but there was still an unmet need for large amoungts of currency for everyday transactions.

He said: "The gold pretty much disappears. It is squirrelled away and hoarded as bullion."

Copies of official Roman coins could be cast in moulds or struck on metal blanks using a hammer and a pair of engraved dies.

Coin moulds had been discovered at Lincoln and Lancaster - anything made from them would have a seam at the edge where the two halves of the mould met and would be under normal size as molten metal shrinks as it cools.

By 270 official coins had no more than two per cent silver cotent with the rest of the metal being a copper alloy.

An estimated 50 per cent of the coins in general circulation were fake.

He said: "Some are very competant copies, others are shocking."

To read the complete article, see:
Fake money was part of everyday life in Roman Cumbria (


This article, found via The Explorator newsletter, doesn't have any information or images of the coins involved, but it highlights the activity around the seizure and repatriation of cultural artifacts that is affecting the numismatic world. -Editor

Almost 200 ancient Roman coins. A book taken from the personal library of a 14th century archbishop. An illuminated page from a 15th century manuscript.

Those are some of the items of "significant cultural value" that US homeland security officials and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh plan to hand over to the government of Italy in a Wednesday afternoon ceremony.

The 198 coins were first seized by US customs officials in 2014.

Note - the coins were NOT part of the Boston Public Library collection - they were seized elsewhere; the Library is just the site of the planned handover ceremony. -Editor

Joining them for the ceremony are Boston Public Library's head of special collections, Beth Prindle; Boston's special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Matthew Etre; Acting U.S. Attorney William Weinreb; and Carabinieri Brigadier General Fabrizio Parrulli of Italy's police corps.

According to the US Department of Homeland Security, "HSI oversees investigations into the trafficking of cultural property from around the world. It also manages the return of such items to their rightful owners. Federal law gives HSI the authority to take a leading role in criminal investigations that involve the movement of stolen or looted cultural property."

The ceremony is set for noon at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square.

To read the complete article, see:
Boston Public Library takes part in returning nearly 200 ancient Roman coins and other artifacts to government of Italy (


SELECTIONS FROM THE JOHN HUFFMAN LIBRARY: Browse and Shop Approximately 3,000 Numismatic Books from the Respected Library of John Huffman—All Books Discounted 40%. Click here or go to click on “All Subjects” and select “John Huffman Collection”


While there are mixed feelings and opinions about new laws around the world dealing with the ancient coin trade, one thing everyone can agree on is the need for greater attention and enforcement of laws against the counterfeiting and deceptive reproduction and sale of numismatic items. A press release issued this week by the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA) describes its new Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force. Here's an excerpt. -Editor

The Industry Council for Tangible Assets has named an 11-member Steering Committee and has formed eight Work Groups to begin the work of its Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force.

ICTA created the Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force in January and named Beth Deisher as its director.

ACTF’s mission is to mobilize law enforcement resources to protect the integrity of U.S. and world coinage by educating officials on the economic impact and growing threat of counterfeit circulating, collectible, and bullion coins.

Experts who will join the Steering Committee in the work groups include: Joe Boche, Special Agent, Minn. Dept. of Commerce/Fraud Bureau; Joseph E. Boling, paper money specialist, U.S. and foreign; researcher and author; Doug Davis, Numismatic Crime Network; Bob Campbell, All About Coins, counterfeit detection instructor; Jeff Garrett, Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries, American Numismatic Association president; Kenneth Gubin, retired Chief Counsel of the U.S. Mint; Jimmy Hayes, former member of Congress and ICTA lobbyist; Barry Stuppler; Barry Stuppler and Co. Inc., incoming president of PNG; Fred Weinberg, Fred Weinberg & Co., error coin specialist; and Mary Lannin, independent numismatic researcher.

That's a high-powered group, many of whom E-Sylum readers are familiar with already from their participation in our weekly forum. Below are the eight working groups the task force has formed.

  • Law Enforcement Liaison -- Identify areas of cooperation and develop working relationships with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
  • Expert Networks - Identify and develop teams of experts in various areas of the United States who can identify counterfeits for law enforcement agencies and act as expert witnesses to testify in court proceedings.
  • Education -- Develop curriculum, workshops, and seminars to assist in educating law enforcement professionals about counterfeit coins and paper money in the marketplace.
  • Research -- Assist law enforcement by identifying methods of entry and distribution networks of counterfeit coins and paper money in the United States.
  • Packaging Security -- Develop direct channels of communication for law enforcement to be able to identify counterfeit third-party coin and paper money holders, fake certificates, and product packaging of various federal and private mints.
  • Transport and Storage Security -- Identify and develop best practices standards to prevent infiltration of counterfeit coin and bullion products into commercial transport and storage facilities.
  • Laws and Regulations -- Review and identify changes needed in current local, state, and federal laws and regulations regarding the manufacture, possession, and buying and selling of counterfeit coins and paper money. Also, review and identify changes needed to prohibit the use of fake certificates and packaging and the marketing of such items, including advertising practices in print and online offerings.
  • Finance and fundraising -- Development annual task force budget. Develop and implement fund-raising campaign to generate sufficient funding to support the work of the task force.

ACTF is totally funded through donations from businesses and individuals. For information about donating to support the work of the task force, contact Beth Deisher at 567-202-1795 or email Make checks payable to ICTA Anti-Counterfeiting, P.O. Box 237, Dacula, GA 30019.

To read the complete press release, see:
ICTA Names 11 to Task Force Steering Committtee, Forms Work Groups (

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The Royal Numismatic Society of New Zealand and the Numismatic Society of Auckland are sponsoring a July 2017 conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of decimal currency in New Zealand. For bibliophiles and researchers there will be book launches and some twenty speakers, including Ursula Kampmann (Germany), Jack Harwood (USA), Graeme Wheeler (Governor, Reserve Bank of New Zealand) and other Australian and New Zealand speakers. Here's some information from the RNS web site. -Editor

New Zealand decimal coinage

The Numismatic Society of Auckland Inc.
The Royal Numismatic Society of New Zealand Inc.


The Quality Hotel, 20 Gladstone Road, Parnell, Auckland

The message remains the same: If you do nothing else in 2017, make sure you get to this conference jointly hosted by the Numismatic Society of Auckland and The Royal Numismatic Society of New Zealand!

The conference will feature: - Welcome reception
- Closed delegates-only bourse with free table space for any registered delegate
- Optional visits to Auckland numismatic sites
- A large public fair featuring overseas dealers as well as major New Zealand dealers
- Conference Dinner
- Two full conference days with twenty speakers covering all aspects of numismatics – coins, banknotes, medals and tokens.

For more information, see:
DECIMAL 50 Conference 14 – 17 July 2017, Auckland, New Zealand (

Thanks to Jim Duncan of New Zealand for alerting me to the conference. He included an advertisement from New Zealand Post promoting the conference. I've taken some illustrations from there. Here's the event's commemorative medal. -Editor

New ZealandDecimal 50 commemorative medal


Dick Hanscom of Alaska and Philip Mernick of London forwarded this BBC News article about South Korea's coinless society trial. Thanks. -Editor

South Korean coins South Korea is starting a trial which could result in banishing its largely worthless coins from the country's economy.

Starting on Thursday, instead of accepting small change from purchases, customers at selected stores can instead opt to deposit it onto prepaid cards such as transportation cards, the Yonhap news agency reports. This means that customers won't have to carry change in their pockets after making cash payments, the Bank of Korea (BOK) says.

Some of South Korea's major convenience stores are taking part in the scheme and, if the initial trial is a success, bank officials plan to allow change to be remitted straight into bank accounts by next year. According to the Korea Herald, nearly two-thirds of people surveyed by BOK say they don't carry coins any more, with half of those polled supporting plans for a coinless society.

One of the major drives behind the move - apart from the convenience to the public - is the cost of producing the coins balanced against their actual value. The lowly 10 won coin represents the equivalent of around half a British penny; while the largest value coin is 500 won, worth around 35p, or 44 US cents. The lowest value bank note is 1,000 won. According to BOK, the country spent 53.7 billion won ($47m; £36.7m) on producing coins in 2016.

Cha Hyeon-jin, one of the officials behind the scheme, says that while no long-term decisions have been made, there's a "good chance" that going coinless could eventually lead to a totally cashless society in South Korea at some stage in the future.

To read the complete article, see:
South Korea begins coinless society trial (

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Jeff Starck of Coin World published an article April 14, 2017 highlighting an interesting jeton sold recently by Classical Numismatics Group. Here's an excerpt. -Editor


The course of history would have veered into a totally new direction had the conspirators of England’s Gunpowder Plot not been ratted out the day before Parliament met in 1605.

The discovery and disruption of the plot is celebrated even today, and not surprisingly has been commemorated in numismatic form.

A contemporary bronze jeton issued to commemorate the failed plot sold in Classical Numismatic Group’s e-auction No. 395, which closed April 12. The Good Very Fine jeton, as graded by the auction firm, realized a hammer price of $525, more than five times its estimate of $100.

Plotters upset with a ban on priests in 1604 planned to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of England’s Parliament, killing King James I of England and VI of Scotland. Around midnight before the Parliament opening, conspirator Guy Fawkes was found guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder underneath the House of Commons, and arrested.

The obverse inscription DETECTVS · QVI · LATVIT · S · C · translates to “the concealed one is discovered.”

A snake (representing the Jesuits) is coiled rightward, surrounded by roses (indicating England) and a lis (for France).

The reverse bears the inscription NON DORMITASTI ANTISTES IACOBI, translating to “you, the keeper of James, have not slept,” which was adapted from a verse in the book of Psalms, with a rosette and rayed name of God in Hebrew.

Having celebrated Guy Fawkes day with British friends many years ago, I've always been interested in this event, but was unaware of a numismatic connection. Thanks to Jeff for highlighting the piece. What other numismatic items commemorate the event? -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
Bronze jeton marks disruption of 1605 Gunpowder Plot (


We've mentioned these unusual medals previously - Paul Manship's famous Ashtray series. Thanks to Bob Mueller for alerting us to a complete set of twelve medals being auctioned. -Editor

Manship Zodiac Series Ashtrays Paul Manship (American, 1885-1966)
Zodiac Series Ashtrays: Complete Set of Twelve, 1946
Bronze with brown patina, each
6 inches (15.2 cm) (tondo, each)
Each inscribed: Paul Manship 1946

Cornish Colony Museum, Cornish, New Hampshire, "Cornish Art of the Past Century: Art for Art's Sake," 2001; Cornish Art Museum, Windsor, Vermont, "Coming Home: A Retrospective Exhibit of Parrish, Manship, Faulkner and Zorach," 2006.

LITERATURE: B. Mueller, "Paul Manship and the Fine Art of Smoking," Sculpture Review, Spring 2008.

Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Paul Manship (American, 1885-1966). Zodiac Series Ashtrays: Complete Set of Twelve, 1946. Bronze with brown patina, each... (Total: 12 Items) (

To read the complete articles, see:

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Mel Wacks submitted this announcement of the latest Jewish-American Hall of Fame Medal, which includes a discount for E-Sylum readers. Thanks. -Editor

Pulitzer Brz Obv Eugene Pulitzer Brz Rev Daub

2017 Jewish-American Hall of Fame Medal Honors
Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911).
Also commemorating the first Pulitzer Prizes--awarded 100 years ago.

For 100 years, Pulitzer Prize winners have been presented medals with the portrait of Benjamin Franklin. Now, at last, medals have been created that feature the portrait of the benefactor who made these awards possible—Joseph Pulitzer.

The Joseph Pulitzer medal was designed by renowned sculptor Eugene Daub. The high relief portrait was adopted from a painting by John Singer Sargent, and Pulitzer’s still timely quote is featured on the reverse: “Our Republic and its press will rise or fall together.” Medals have been minted by Medallic Art Company, who also produced the original Pulitzer Prize medals in 1917.

The 2-inch diameter Pulitzer art medals are limited to no more than 150 bronze, 75 pure silver (2 ½ oz.) and 35 gold-plated pure silver (2 ½ oz.) medals, offered for contributions of $50, $200 and $250 respectively to the non-profit Jewish-American Hall of Fame. Half of the cost may be considered as a tax-deductible contribution. To order, call 818-225-1348 or send payment to JAHF, c/o Mel Wacks, 5189 Jeffdale Ave., Woodland Hills, CA 91364. Mention that you read about it in The E-Sylum and you can take a 20% discount. Each medal is numbered on the edge, and comes with a certificate of authenticity.

Joseph Pulitzer arrived in Boston from Hungary in 1864 at the age of 17, his passage having been paid by Massachusetts military recruiters who were seeking soldiers for the American Civil War. Pulitzer was a part of Sheridan's troopers, in the First New York Lincoln Cavalry in Company L., where he served for eight months. On March 6, 1867, Pulitzer became an American citizen.

Pulitzer was no stranger to anti-Semitism. In his early career as a reporter, he was nicknamed "Joey the Jew." And when he was the successful publisher of the New York World, Charles Dana, the editor of the rival New York Sun, attacked Pulitzer in print, using derogatory terms like "Judas Pulitzer." In 1879, Joseph Pulitzer bought both the St. Louis Dispatch and the St. Louis Post, merging the two papers as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. With his own paper, Pulitzer developed his role as a champion of the common man, featuring exposés and a hard-hitting populist approach.

The Pulitzer Prizes were established in 1917 by money bequeathed by Joseph Pulitzer to Columbia University to recognize artistic and journalistic achievements in the United States. The prizes are given annually to award achievements in American journalism and photography, as well as literature and history, poetry, music and drama. The Columbia School of Journalism opened in 1912, thanks to Pulitzer’s philanthropic bequest.

The Joseph Pulitzer medal is the 48th issued by the Jewish-American Hall of Fame, which is the longest continuing series of art medals currently being issued in the United States.

For further information visit: (


"Short snorters" are banknotes signed by group of people to commemorate an occasion or event; they were common in the WWII era, when military units would all sign to create souvenirs of their time together. Here's an interesting story of one such note from a newspaper in Australia. -Editor

Battle for Bardia Short Snorter

BOILING a billy cost one digger an estimated $60,000 during WW2.

In 1941, Angus Abram Macqueen was in the 2/2 Battalion of the Australian Infantry Force and involved with the capture of the Libyan city of Bardia from the Italian army.

His son Don who still lives on the family property, Woolner's Arm, around 30km north-west of Casino, said the windfall wasn't recognised for it's true value.

"As they were working through the city the platoon came across a great stack of Italian currency as paper notes,” Mr Macqueen said.

"While they were congratulating themselves on their new-found riches, a lieutenant came along and burst their bubble, telling them that since it was Italian money it was worthless and the next best thing then was to boil the billy for a cup of tea, using the cash for fuel.”

Taking the officer's advice, Mr Macqueen's father and his comrades enjoyed a refreshing hot drink.

"My Dad eventually discovered that the Lira they found was still coin of the realm and worth its value and so estimated that their cuppa in Bardia cost them £30,000 ($60,000) which was a fortune in 1941, houses back then cost 500 pounds,” he said.

"But he saved one note, so we have at least one survivor of the battle for Bardia.”

The banknote is signed by some of his comrades-in-arms, many of whom came from the Northern Rivers, along with the area they lived in, Mr Macqueen said.

Signed in ink, as well as Angus Abram Macqueen, the names include AG Wilson Empirevale, HJ Nugent Lismore, Lindsay Merryweather Mullumbimby, Jack Ulrich Ulmara, Pat McGrath, Grant Palmer Griffith, C Grieg Corndale, Jack Young Grafton, Ray Lovett Lismore, MJ Murphy (town name illegible), AH Bairf Lismore, FW Topper, Vic Blaydon, RW Dwyer, JW Heathrington, A Lacey and C Robinson.

To read the complete article, see:
Money to burn during the capture of Bardia (

So what exactly does it mean to "boil a billy"? Here's an explanation from Wikipedia. -Editor

Billycan campfire A billycan is a lightweight cooking pot in the form of a metal bucket commonly used for boiling water, making tea or cooking over a campfire or to carry water. These utensils are more commonly known simply as a billy or occasionally as a billy can (billy tin or billy pot in Canada).

The term billy or billycan is particularly associated with Australian usage, but is also used in New Zealand, Britain and Ireland.

It is widely accepted that the term "billycan" is derived from the large cans used for transporting bouilli or bully beef on Australia-bound ships or during exploration of the outback, which after use were modified for boiling water over a fire;however there is a suggestion that the word may be associated with the Aboriginal billa (meaning water; cf. Billabong).

To boil the billy most often means to make tea. "Billy Tea" is the name of a popular brand of tea long sold in Australian grocers and supermarkets.

To read the complete article, see:
Billycan (

Exaltation of Larks We love words and phrases at The E-Sylum, and I had an amusing conversation about them with reader Roger Siboni at the recent Whitman Baltimore Expo. We'd both enjoyed a book reader Fred Michaelson alerted us to, all about collective phrases in English - a gaggle of geese, a pride of lions, a host of angels, etc. But neither of us old farts could remember the name of the book. "A Something of Larks..." "Yeah, a.. a.., yeah, definitely about Larks" "Oh I know, it was... a.. it was a great book, wasn't it?" Check out the earlier E-Sylum articles for some amusing collective terms in numismatics. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: DECEMBER 8, 2013 : More on Collective Terms in Numismatics (


AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS: Are your books carried by Wizard Coin Supply? If not, contact us via with details.


On Wednesday CoinTalk user ValpoBeginner encouraged forum participants to post images of banknote under ultraviolet light to illustrate the security devices. Here are a few that caught my eye. -Editor

UV image Scotland banknote

UV image Madagascar banknote

UV image Suriname banknote

To read the complete discussion, see:

For some time we've been following Britain's artist and micro-engraver Graham Short, who put tiny portraits of author Jane Austen on banknotes and spent them. Here's the latest update from the Birmingham Mail. -Editor

JAne Austen micro-portrait on £5 banknote The Birmingham creator of the Jane Austen £5 notes has revealed there is NOT a fifth note in circulation.

It was previously thought that Graham Short had put the fiver - worth up to £50,000 - into the UK money chain.

But now the micro-engraver has confirmed while there IS a fifth engraved fiver, it will NOT be put into circulation - but will instead go to a Jane Austen museum.

To celebrate the launch of the plastic fivers last year, Mr Short was commissioned by the Bank of England to put his unique mini engravings onto four of the notes.

The engravings contain a tiny portrait of Jane Austen and a line from her books.

They are not immediately visible and can only be seen by holding the banknote up to the light at a certain angle.

At first it was thought there were just four of the engraved fivers, but over Easter rumours started that a fifth had been created.

Artist Graham Short Mr Short, who lives in Bournville , said: “Somewhere along the line the story has lost its way a little.

“I visited the Jane Austen Centre in Bath last month. I really felt that I needed to know more about her life than I do.

“After spending nearly two hours at the centre, the staff were speculating that I had spent another fiver in the city.

“This is happening all too often. I visited a balti restaurant in Redditch recently, and the next day a member of their staff called me to ask if I’d spent a fiver there when I’d paid my bill!”

But he said he had created a fifth engraved note which has a quote from Persuasion saying: “You pierce my soul, I am half agony, half hope”.

“This will be presented, as a gift, to the Jane Austen Centre on July 18th, the 200th anniversary of the author’s death,” he said.

The engraved £5 notes are estimated to be worth at least £50,000 each.

Congratulations to the Bank of England for a wonderful promotion idea. The story traveled the world but served its real purpose at home by encouraging Britons to look closely at their new banknotes. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:

Fifth Jane Austen £5 note will NOT be put into circulation - but will instead go to Jane Austen museum (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:


David Pickup submitted this explanation of the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the 1996 Treasure Act governing coin finds in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Written in response to our earlier story about the single pierced coin declared NOT to be treasure, this also explains why the "piano hoard" discussed in the next article WAS covered by the law. Thanks! -Editor

Found holed silver Denarius Under the Treasure Act 1996 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, all finders of gold and silver objects, and groups of coins, over 300 years old, have a legal obligation to report such items. The local coroner will hold an inquest to determine if the object is treasure.

Single finds of coins are usually exempt. Presumably in this case the British Museum argued that the denarius was not a coin because it had a hole in it and was jewellery and did not come under the exemption. Section 3 (2) defines the term ‘coin’ as including any metal token that was, or can reasonably be assumed to have been, used or intended for use as or instead of money.

The finder argued the piercing could have been done at any time and therefore was it still a single coin and he could keep it.

There is a helpful guide on pierced coins on the PAS site.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a project to encourage the voluntary recording of all archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales. It does not only cover items which must be reported, but also any item of archaeological value.

The Treasure Act covers all “finds” so you go metal detecting all day and find nothing and then if you go home and find some gold sovereigns in your antique sofa you recently bought, you would have to report them.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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Remember that British piano tuner who found an old hoard of gold coins stashed inside? He'll get to keep a share of the treasure. Here's an article from The Telegraph. -Editor

Piano gold coin hoard It is the biggest gold coin hoard ever discovered in Britain - £500,000 worth of 19th century sovereigns found concealed inside an antiquated school piano.

For the tuner who chanced upon it during a routine inspection at a local school, it is a life-changing find that could see him pocket tens of thousands of pounds as a reward.

Such is the scale of the bounty, that 50 potential claimants stepped forward desperate to lay claim to its riches, only for their stories to dismissed by experts.

But for the couple who, having failed to discover the treasure inside, donated the instrument after owning it for 32 years, a cruel twist of fate now means they will not receive a penny.

However, despite the unfortunate turn of events, former owners Megan and Graham Hemmings said they were just happy to see the proceeds go to a “good cause”.

Unconvinced by the numerous stories put forward by sources eager to claim the gold for themselves, experts told coroner John Ellery that they had been unable to trace the whereabouts of the hoard’s genuine owners.

"I have been amazed at the stories that people have shared about their families - we are a nation which loves history and adores mysteries - and this is one that rivals the best detective fiction out there,” said Peter Reavill, the British Museum finds liaison officer who led the investigation.

"But nothing has been put forward to make me believe that we've found the person who is an heir to the person who stashed these coins away.”

He added that the true origin of the coins remain steeped in mystery, leaving Mr Ellery with no choice but to declare the one-tonne collection as treasure.

Under the provisions of the Treasure Act 1996, only the finder of a treasure hoard and the existing owner of the property are entitled to share the proceeds, the majority of which will be returned to the Crown.

Gold coin hoard piano with finder Martin Backhouse
Finder Martin Backhouse with the hoard piano

It means that a share of the fortune will be awarded to Martin Backhouse, 61, the tuner who discovered them, and the piano’s current owners, Bishop’s Castle Community College, Shropshire.

But for Mr and Mrs Hemmings, who purchased the piano and its hidden contents in 1983 to teach their four children music, the saddest part of the tale is not knowing where or when it all began.

"The sadness is that it's not a complete story,” said Mrs Hemmings, now a retired nursery teacher. “[But] I am delighted for that the college will benefit from the find. It's an incomplete story, but it's still an exciting one."

To read the complete article, see:

Proceeds from Britain's largest ever hoard of gold coins to be shared with piano tuner who found them (

The CoinWeek site hosts a British Museum video of the display. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:

British Museum: Exclusive Video of Piano Gold Coin Hoard (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:


Newman Numismatic Portal Partner of the Week

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FEATURED WEB PAGE: PAUL MANSHIP This week's Featured Web Page is on sculptor Paul Manship from the Medallic Art Collector web site.

Born on Christmas in St. Paul, Minnesota, to Mary Etta Friend (1844-1907) and Charles H. Manship (1843-1911), Paul Howard Manship considered it a good omen that he was the seventh child of a seventh daughter. He began to draw in emulation of his sister Adeline (1874-1893), but it was particularly his brother Luther (1879-1931) who served as an example. Luther earned his living as an engraver though his main interest was painting. Manship began his formal study of art at the Mechanic Arts High School and the Saint Paul School of Art (later the Saint Paul Institute of Arts and Sciences) in Minnesota. His initial decision to pursue a career as a sculptor was largely motivated by his color blindness; he had started out life as a painter. For a painter color blindness is obviously a severe handicap, but for a sculptor it might prove an advantage: the eye, not being distracted by color, could concentrate on form. Indeed, a great sensitivity to form, to contour, and to line was to prove one of Manship's major strengths.

By the age of nineteen, Paul Manship had saved enough from his work as a freelance illustrator and designer to head for New York City where he immediately enrolled at the Art Students League. His sculpture teacher there was Hermon Atkins MacNeil (1866-1947), the first of several sculptors trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts with whom Manship was to study. Soon after his arrival in New York, Manship also found a position as an assistant to Solon Borglum (1868-1922), who was working on two major equestrian monument commissions at the time. During his apprenticeship with Borglum, Manship worked almost exclusively on animal figures, developing proficiency with this subject that would serve him well on later commissions. Manship always credited Borglum as the master who had most influenced him.


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