Patrick McMahon of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston submitted these notes and images for our holiday numismatic roundup. Thanks! -Editor
Since you are still looking for Christmas items, here are a few more to share.
The first is a piece that came to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston from the Boston Numismatic Society in 1898. It’s a tiny medalet (17mm diameter / 1.93 g), looks like some kind of gilt metal or
even brass, and has the Lord’s Prayer on the reverse. That reverse is identical to the reverse of another object that came from the BNS—a Washington piece (Baker 650B) which is attributed to William
H. Key. But the obverse of the first one proclaims MERRY CHRISTMAS and shows Santa Claus on a rooftop, climbing a chimney with his bag. His sleigh is pulled by a single reindeer. Both medalets are
the same size and composition, but unlike the obverse of the Washington piece, there is no obvious signature or monogram on the Christmas version. Clearly they have some connection with each other,
but the quality of the engraving is not the same. I did my best to photograph them—they haven’t been shot by our photographers. The light wasn’t ideal and the color is a little off.
I don’t have a copy of Arlie Slabaugh’s booklet that Tom Casper shared so I don’t know if this is catalogued there. If anyone knows the full story behind it I’d be grateful! And I will update our
In last week’s E-Sylum you also mentioned Santa Claus notes. I don’t believe we have any in our collection, but I do have this pamphlet on the bookshelf in my office. It is one of
the things that came my way when our Classical department was helping Cornelius Vermeule go through some boxes after he retired. It was inscribed to him by the author, John Muscalus, presumably
around 1959 when it was printed. There is not much to it, just a brief, general text on one page and then full-size reproductions of four notes (one to a page). I’ve kept it for the inscription.
Happy Holidays and best wishes (to everyone) for 2018!
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
HAVE A NUMISMATIC CHRISTMAS (http://www.coinbooks.org/v20/esylum_v20n50a30.html)
CHRISTMAS TOKENS (http://www.coinbooks.org/v20/esylum_v20n51a24.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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