The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 21, Number 41, October 14, 2018, Article 18


Steve's September 2018 Beauties
First, to clear up some old business, here are a couple images provided last month by Steve Bishop that I didn't manage to get into a diary. He brought these to the September 2018 meeting of our northern Virginia numismatic social group Nummis Nova. Steve's an active collector and eBay buyer who often brings interesting new purchases to our dinners.

1882-S Morgan PCGS MS64 Toned
1882-S Morgan PCGS MS64 Toned

1892 Danish Colombian Exposition Medal
1892 Danish Colombian Exposition Medal

The dollar looked nice in person - this image is yellowy. Great medal. There is such a great variety of these that I'm still coming across ones I hadn't seen before.

October 2018 Nummis Nova
Dinner in Camelot book cover Fast forward a month to October 9, 2018. After work I headed to The Esposito's Restaurant in Fairfax, VA. Joe Esposito was our host and no, it's not his restaurant nor is he in any way related to the owners. But that didn't stop us from kidding about it all evening.

I was the first of our group to arrive. Eric Schena pulled into the parking lot before I'd even exited my car. I was nursing a knee injury all evening and walking was painful. But I took a seat at our table and had a wonderful time.

I sat next to our host Joe Esposito and learned that sales of his new book are going very well. The hardbound first edition of Dinner in Camelot is nearly sold out. He and his wife were at the recent History Book Festival in Lewes, Delaware. It's a first-class event I wasn't aware of before. Check out their web site for more information: .

Book Lovers Old Book smell candle Joe brought me a gift from the festival - the "Book Lovers' Soy Candle" to evoke the scent of Old Books - aged paper, dusty shelves. I'm not sure my wife would appreciate that. I asked if they sold an "Old Man Smell" candle, too. We've already got enough of those scents around here.

Speaking of old men, one of the books I brought along I'd chosen randomly from my shelves at home: Fireside Yarns / 1001 Nights / Reminiscences of an Old Coin Man by Paul Dore Burke. Published in 1932, I'm sad to admit I've never actually found time to read it. Is anyone familiar with it? Glancing through I saw THE CANINE NUMISMATIST on p71.

I also brought along a copy of Peter Bertram's Confederate Numismatica Supplement One.

Burke Fireside Yarns cover Confederate Numismatica Supp1 cover 1

I passed around a couple small collections of U.S. paper money. The first was a group of notes found in circulation which bear some sort of overstamped image or slogan, such as "SPENT BY LAWFUL GUN OWNER", or a cartoon bubble making George Washington say "I GREW MARIJUANA."

Simce I mentioned a note signed by Treasurer Mary Ellen Withrow last week, I brought some notes signed by Bureau of Engraving and Printing engravers Tom Hipschen and Ken Kipperman.

Another little item I brought along was something I picked up at the PAN show last month. It's shiny and doesn't photograph well, but it's a thin metallic version of a $100 bill that makes a nice numismatic bookmark. Thanks to Pat McBride - he'd gotten these to give to the kids at the show, but let me snag a couple.

Gold $100 bill bookmark

It hadn't taken long for the table to fill up. Other attendees included Dave Schenkman, Gene Brandenburg, Tom Kays, Mike Packard, Julian Leidman, Roger Burdette, Steve Bishop and Jon Radel.

Next up is Tom's account from the meeting.

Tom Kays' Perspective
"Numismatic Nuggets” – A small addition to Wayne’s Numismatic Diary with Perspective from the Opposite Side of the Table
– Tom Kays

By now Wayne has written in his Numismatic Diary about the wide assortment of fantastic numismatic memorabilia displayed at The Espositos, a restaurant of no particular association with our Nummis Nova November dinner host, that distinguished author and scholar, Joe Esposito. Often we sit at large tables with different sidebar conversations held at the ends and middle, so that just one account of what we discussed may miss what happened over on the far side of the table.

Wayne brought a modern collection of notes with counterstamps, like chop marks of old. Included were “Where’s George” notes, and many others of less well known origin. You see, it is extremely difficult to impress the Nummis Nova diners, who have seen all manner of coins, tokens, notes, numismatic books, and ephemera, over the past years of dinners. Imagine what you would need to bring to impress us each month. Some of us have been through the best of our collections, yet need to maintain suitable dinner show-and-tell conversational skills, often with whatever none of the bunch has seen. It takes a special skill to stay fresh and engaging with numismatic trivia about the utter ends of our collections.

From my perspective I photographed a very special monogrammed note owned by Gene Brandenburg and held in his great esteem for years. Once upon a time, Julian Leidman, a Professional Numismatic Consultant these past 50 years and the retail genius behind Bonanza Coins, purchased a lot of circulated silver certificates, something like 13,000 of them in all. He made his mark on one such note from the hoard and (I presume) gifted this shortest of “Short Snorters“ with his initials to Gene years ago. It would appear Gene has carried this monogrammed silver certificate for years, because the note has separated into two pieces, right between “George” and “Washington.”

Gene brought this treasure to the November dinner and asked Julian to sign the torn half as well, so as to be sure both pieces bear the impressive “JL” seal. Julian did in front of us as authentication witnesses, and I photographed Gene looking triumphant as he finagled Julian into doubling his inventory of genuine “JL” signed notes for nothing.

Julian Leidman signed silver Certificate

Julian Leidman signed silver Certificate Gene Brandenburg Julian Leidman signed silver Certificate closeup
Gene and his silver certificate

Julian Leidman signed silver Certificate Wayne Homren Gene Brandenburg
Wayne Homren and Gene Brandenburg

It is a good bet that few others have such notable items. I would rate these notes as nearly unique, and look to the writers of auction catalogs in the future to link their provenance to this dinner, those two notables, and to price them accordingly. If Gene ever decides to part with one, you should know the origin and special aspects of these rare notes, in order to bid accordingly. Knowing Gene I might look for one at auction on his eBay site soon. He may even give a discount for volume purchases.

What would you bring to a Nummis Nova dinner that would impress us? Send us your best ideas, and if you own the items, send show-and-tell notes and images, for our virtual dining and dinner conversation pleasure.

Bishop's Beauties October 2018
We'll wrap up this Diary with a great selection from Steve Bishop, starting with an impressive Franklin medal. Thanks!

1819 Franklin Numismatica GM-45 Var Medal
1819 Franklin Numismatica GM-45 Var Medal

Steve writes:

The Franklin medal is excessively rare: Joe Levine listed one in one of his auctions and noted that he knew of only one other.

1893 Milan Columbian Exposition Medal White Metal
1893 Milan Columbian Exposition Medal White Metal

1881 Morgan PCGS MS65 Toned
1881 Morgan PCGS MS65 Toned

1881-S Morgan PCGS MS63 Toned 2
1881-S Morgan PCGS MS63 Toned

1947 Half Penny Double Brockage
1947 Half Penny Double Brockage

Steve adds:

The "double brockage" is probably a fake made outside of the mint, although I can envision a scenario in which it could occur at the mint.

Fred Weinberg ad02

Wayne Homren, Editor

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