Tuesday, September 12, 2017 was the meeting night of my Northern Virginia Numismatic social group Nummis Nova. Howard Daniel and I were the hosts. We'd chosen Legal Seafoods at the Galleria in
Tysons Corner. I arrived around 6:15 to a nearly full house.
I took one of the empty seats between Roger Burdette and Mike Packard. Robert Hoppensteadt and Howard were across from us and soon Julian Leidman took the last seat on the end next to Robert.
We had three guests with us, although one of those was actually a former regular, Bill Eckberg. He'd retired to Florida a few years back, and was in town visiting after evacuating with his
wife ahead of the approaching hurricane. It was great to see him and chat for a while.
Wayne Herndon's guest was a banknote dealer visiting from Israel. Gene Brandenburg and Dave Schenkman brought their frend Mike Tresansky. Rounding out our party were Ron Abler, Eric Schena,
and Steve Bishop.
I didn't have any numismatic items to display, but I passed around some literature - the newest Kagin's sale catalog, and the latest issue of Bo Tales, the official publication of
the Original Hobo Nickel Society.
Here are some photos of our group.
My dinner - the Salmon Bowl
From left clockwise: Wayne Herndon, Wayne's guest, Eric Schena, Dave Schenkman; Jon Radel, Ron Abler
Roger and I had a good discussion about his current research into the International Nickel Company private patterns. Ron Abler and I discussed the Newman Numismatic Portal and his work to provide
images from his Centennial medals book for the NNP image database.
Coin-Covered Siamese Tobacco Pipe
Howard's building a retirement home in Port St. Lucie, FL. It fortunately survived the hurricane well, although the new landscaping was now a mess. He passed along this interesting coin-encased
pipe. I'd never seen anything like this.
This is a Siamese tobacco pipe that I bought from the Midwestern US estate sale of a former Baptist minister who was gifted it just before he returned to the US before WWII. His mission was in
northeast Siam (now Thailand). It was sold to me as an opium pipe but my research has it being a tobacco pipe.
Eric Schena's Italian World War I Service Medal
I didn't get a chance to speak to Eric Schena, who was seated at the other end of our table, but I saw his exhibits passed around. He writes:
I brought an example of one of the more esoteric things that I collect. I don't stick strictly to Mid-Atlantic numismatica or medieval Russian coins, I also dabble in Albanian and
Albanian-related medals and decorations (of all thing) and actually wrote a book on the medals and decorations of Communist Albania in 2008.
I brought an Italian World War I Service Medal with ribbon bar with four stars, plus a photo of the recipient and its award document. The medal itself is quite common, though somewhat unusual with
the ribbon bar. What makes it special is the award document - those are as a whole quite scarce and this one especially so as far as I am concerned. It was awarded to an artillery corporal serving
with the 6th Transport Corps (6o Autoparco) on the Albanian Front, first awarded in theater (Zona di Guerra Albania) in December of 1916, with subsequent awards for period of service: three stars for
36 months in June 1918, and his fourth star in July 1919 for 50 months of service in the theater of operations in Albania.
I also have his combat veteran association badge, as well, though I did not bring it. The whole lot cost me all of $20 but it tells a story from one of the more overlooked periods of history in
one of the more overlooked portions of the world. I also brought a related medal, a silver regimental medal awarded to members of the 6th Transport Corps. These regimental medals had semi-official
status and were permitted to be worn alongside state awards on uniforms and are avidly collected. World War I ones are scarce as a whole and this one is quite rare: I have seen exactly two examples,
a bronze one and this one in my collection, in the more than 10 years I have been looking. Rare and obscure and downright neat as hell.
Collectors of these things are few and far between but am always interested in hearing from folks who are also students of the decorations as well as coins from this fascinating Balkan nation.
Steve Bishop's Selections
Steve Bishop has wide-ranging collecting tastes. His displays for the evening included toned and slabbed Morgan dollars, medals and Russian coppers. He provided these images. Thanks!
1880-CC Morgan PCGS MS64 Toned
1887 Morgan NGC MS65 Toned
Ralph Waldo Emerson Plaque by Brenner
Excellent plaque. Brenner was a master of portraiture.
1907 Schurz Plaquette by Brenner
1756 SPM 1 Kopeck Overstruck
I couldn't see the details in the restaurant's dim light, but the undertype shows clearly in the photos.
1796 EM 5 Kopecks NGC MS63BN
A beautiful coin. Thanks, Steve!
Fantasy CSA ID Tag
Dave Schenkman passed around this interesting item. Even in the dim light I suspected it was a counterfeit because of the poor date. But I couldn't make out the markings in the other side. I got
a better look at the end of the evening. Dave explained the piece, a fantasy Confederate ID tag, and told me about an article he'd once written about them (which he kindly provided for
publication here - see the article following this one).
Here are some more images of the group.
Facing camera, left to right: Mike Tresansky, Steve Bishop, Bill Eckberg, Jon Radel, Ron Abler; Back to camera: Dave Schenkman, Eric Schena, Wayne's guest, Wayne Herndon.
From the far end of the table, looking up. from left, clockwise: Mike Tresansky, Steve, Bill, Jon, Ron, Mike Packard, Roger; Julian, Robert, Howard, Wayne Herndon, Wayne's guest, Eric, Dave,
Before leaving I spoke for a bit with Wayne Herndon. My sons Chris and Tyler have been working part-time for him at his Wizard Coin Supply warehouse.
It was another great night of numismatic fellowship, although I didn't manage to get around the table to mingle as usual. The food and drinks were excellent, and I'm glad our choice worked
out. Many thanks to Howard for handling the legwork. 'Til next month!
Wayne Homren, Editor
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