The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 22, Number 20, May 19, 2019, Article 20


Tuesday May 12, 2019 was the meeting night of my Northern Virginia numismatic social group Nummis Nova. Aaron Packard was our host, and the venue was Southside 815 at 815 S. Washington St in Alexandria, VA. It's a classic bar and restaurant with great food - we've been there three or four times now.

Catalogue of Ceylon and Sri Lanka Banknotes book cover I arrived about 6pm and already seated were Gene Brandenberg, Dave Schenkman and Eric Schena. Soon Aaron, Steve Bishop, Mike Packard (no relation to Aaron), Julian Leidman and his guest Scott Spitzer arrived.

My only numismatic exhibit was a new book on the banknotes of Ceylon & Sri Lanka, sent to me by my old friend Kavan Ratnatunga. It had only take five days to ship from Sri Lanka! Stay tuned for ordering information once the book is more broadly available.

Old-Time Postage Stamps
I'd been to the post office earlier in the week and picked up some postage stamps for the few dues payments and cards I still sent the old-fashioned way. Several are memberships to coin clubs that don't have an easy way to pay online.

Anyway, I brought my purchases along to the meeting and people were impressed with the products, as was I. The Classics Forever series reproduce famous early U.S. postage stamp designs. The second sheet is a set of stamps commemorating the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. Both are impressive physical products that can't be reproduced in an email.

USPS Classics Forever sheet USPS Transcontinental Railroad sheet

Schenkman's Scrip
Dave Schenkman passed around a couple of interesting scrip notes from last month's Heritage sale.

Easton & Wilkesbarre Turnpike Co._edited-1
Easton & Wilkesbarre Turnpike Co. Two Dollar Note

Rutherford Gold Co.

Dave's a big collector of Turnpike notes. I appreciate them for their connection to the development of transportation infrastructure in this country. But the second note was especially interesting. It will take some research, but we both believe it may be connected to the operations of pioneer gold coiner Christian Bechtler of Rutherford, North Carolina. Here's a Rutherford Gold Company Stock Certificate from a 2017 Kagin's sale:

Rutherford Gold Company Stock Certificate

To read the complete lot description, see:
Rutherford Gold Company Stock Certificate (

Eric's Finds
Eric Schena had some interesting recent finds. I'll let him describe them.

$10 First National Bank of Martinsville

"I brought a couple of great items that my wife found at a recent local auction in Collinsville, VA. First is a $10 small size national from the First National Bank of Martinsville, a scarcer bank from the state. It's neat to think that note spent most of the past 90 years in the same county."

1936 Central Bank of China 10 yuan front

1936 Central Bank of China 10 yuan back

"The second item came in a lot of mixed foreign currency and coins that she snagged for $25. The lot had a bunch of silver coins, the bullion value alone was more than $25, plus a number of interesting foreign notes. The most intriguing is this 1936 10 Yuan note from the Central Bank of China. At first glance, it's a very common note worth maybe a few bucks and not really worth much attention. However, the note is missing the red signature seals from the obverse and the English signatures from the reverse.

In doing some digging, this appears to have been a remainder that somehow found its way into circulation - the online reference I found indicated that there are several types of scarce remainders all made by Thomas De La Rue that somehow found their way into circulation. It's unlisted in Smith-Matravers and Pick and I could find only one obscure sale record from more than a decade ago. If any experts on Chinese paper are out there, please chime in if they know more about these TDLR remainders. She certainly has an eye for finding neat items."

New London Borneo Tobacco Company obverse New London Borneo Tobacco Company reverse

"I also brought along an unusual though not especially rare token as a "what is it?" quiz item. It's a tobacco plantation token from the New London Borneo Tobacco Company, Ltd. Estate Shop. Located in British North Borneo (now the state of Sabah in Malaysia), these tokens were used around 1906 to 1910 and were used to pay the principally Chinese laborers at the company's plantations - the Chinese characters on the reverse translates to "one cent in exchange."

West End Dealer Exchange envelope front

West End Dealer Exchange envelope back

"Gene gave me a very interesting relic from Northern Virginia's coin dealer past: an envelope from the West End Dealer Exchange in Falls Church. No one at the table could immediately identify who the dealer was, though. If anyone knows who the dealer/owner was, we'd all love to hear it."

Roosevelt plaque
Steve Bishop brought this small Theodore Roosevelt plaque by Tournier.

Small Theodore Roosevelt Plaque by Tournier

Interesting stuff - some neat finds. It was a fun meeting, as always.

Holabird E-Sylum ad 2019-04-21 May 2019 sale

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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