The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 21, Number 19, May 13, 2018, Article 27


Tuesday night was the regular meeting night of my Northern Virginia numismatic social group Nummis Nova. Our host was Aaron Packard and our venue was Southside 815, a restaurant on South Washington street in Alexandria, VA.

On my journey there after work I said some hurtful things to my GPS system, which managed to lead me into an express lane with no escape that forced me to cross the Potomac and turn around on a back road at the National Harbor complex.

When I arrived around 6pm several folks were already there, including Eric Schena, Joe Esposito, Gene Brandenburg, Dave Schenkman, and Robert Hoppenstedt. Arriving shortly thereafter were Steve Bishop, Lenny Goldberg, Tom Kays and Aaron himself, who took a seat next to me.

Snowden's Coins of the Bible
I've forgotten who I first spoke to about this little book in my numismatic library, but i brought it in to show.

Snowden Coin of the Bible cover Snowden Coin of the Bible title page

This tiny 1864 volume by U.S. Mint director James Ross Snowden is quite rare. Having spoken on the topic of coins of the Bible in Sunday school, he gathered his lectures into a book at the request of several members of the congregation. It was published by the Presbyterian Board of Publication.

1933 Double Eagles

Double Eagle book cover Illegal Tender book cover

Augsberger, "Treasure in the Cellar" With the 1933 Double Eagles being discussed at this weekend's PAN show, I decided to bring a couple books about the coins along with Len Augsburger's Treasure in the Cellar, abotu another valuable gold find.

Butte, Montana So-Called Dollars
I work with a woman from Butte, Montana and somehow we got to talking one day about the mines from that area and their tokens. She had seen an image of one she was curious about and shared it with me. I checked with some friends and quickly learned it was actually a medal, part of the So-Called Dollar series documented by Hibler & Kappen.

As it happened Dave Schenkman had all of the varieties in his collection and at my request brought them to the meeting so I could see them. He kindly provided these photos.

Anaconda Mine obv Anaconda Mine rev

Montana Hotel obv Montana Hotel rev

Parrot Mine obv Parrot Mine rev

Separately I obtained an example of the Anaconda Mine piece (HK734) from Jeff Shevlin so I can give it to her.

Admiral Dewey Relic Medal
Dave also brought along an interesting relic medal, and he shared these images and comments. Thanks! A relic medal is one made from material recovered from the thing being commemorated - in this case, bronze captured in the Spanish American War.

Dewey at Manila relic medal obverse Dewey at Manila relic medal reverse

Dewey at Manila relic medal with ribbon top Dewey at Manila relic medal with ribbon top closeup

Dewey at Manila relic medal with ribbon obverse Dewey at Manila relic medal with ribbon reverse

Dave writes:

While not rare, it is one of the more interesting pieces emanating from the Spanish American War. Overall length is approximately 120mm, while the medal itself is 45mm. The medal and bars are bronze. The wording on the reverse of the top bar is THE BRONZE IN THIS MEDAL WAS CAPTURED BY ADMIRAL DEWEY AT MANILA. An article about these medals, written by William S. Dewey (who was related to the famous Admiral) was published in the TAMS Journal many years ago.

Dinner in Camelot
Joe Esposito missed last month's dinner while he was travelling the country promoting his new book, Dinner in Camelot. Gene Brandenburg and I celebrated his return by wearing our Dinner-in-Camelot campaign-style buttons. I'd picked up mine at Joe's book signing at the Politics and Prose bookstore.

This week I noticed this great item on Joe's Facebook page:

Esposito JFK's Nerd Party

Several people have rightly suggested that his book about the night Nobel laureates and other intellectuals gathered at the White House in 1963 would make a fine basis for a film. I think that's what caused me to mention the upcoming film with Paul Rudd based on the book about Moe Berg called The Catcher Was a Spy.

Joe writes:

The other night we were talking about The Catcher Who Was a Spy. Here's the trailer.

The book on which it was based, The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg by Nicholas Dawidoff was very successful and an absorbing book.

To watch the movie trailer, see:
The Catcher Was a Spy Official Trailer #1 (2018) Paul Rudd War Movie HD (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: SEPTEMBER 11, 2016 : Moe Berg Jewish-American Hall of Fame Medal (

Before I knew it it was time to head home, but I'm already looking forward to next month.

Fred Weinberg ad02

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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