The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 22, Number 26, June 30, 2019, Article 16


Mr. 880's House Today
Max Hensley writes:

I was thinking that if that counterfeiter who lived at "his brownstone flat at 102 W 96th Street" NYC had owned the place and just held on he could have ridden the NYC real estate boom to some real money. Sadly, it seems he departed for Long Island and, from Google Street View, this is now a one-story dry cleaning shop of 1970s vintage.

He probably rented and died too soon anyway, but it's an interesting thought experiment. Here's another thought: the building would be ripe for inclusion in a future numismatic tour of New York City. Besides the obvious places like the American Numismatic Society and major coin shops, what other interesting places might be worth seeing on such a tour? -Editor

"Mr. 880" and the U.S. Secret Service
Ken Hallenbeck writes:

A number of years ago I sat next to a man in the ANA summer seminar class about counterfeit U.S. Paper Money. His name was Mark Surrency, an expert on currency from the Secret Service. We at the ANA were helping to train him. As we talked off and on, he wondered what we might like to see when he came back the next year. I said I would like to see one of the 880 counterfeits. He was kind enough to bring one the next year for us to see and feel. I understand he has gone on to another agency. He was a real nice person.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Inflatable Grandmas
David Powell writes:

Your snippet in The E-Sylum about dummy security guards reminded me of a newspaper article which I read many years ago, in my childhood, about a product called an inflatable grandmother which was designed in the early days of motoring to deter thieves from stealing the {then} invariably open vehicles. The inflatable grandmothers were sufficiently realistic to look the part, but in due course certain mischievous small boys got wise to their existence and went round trying to burst the things by stabbing them with knives and pins. Apparently every now and again life got interesting when they made a mistake and tried sticking a pin into a real grandmother.

The Coin Collectors Crying Towel
Dave Lange writes:

Crying Towell I found the photo of the coin shop with its fake guard very entertaining. I'm wondering whether this could be the same shop the contents of which were auctioned by Gold Coins & Collectibles in early June. The auction included a lot of fun ephemera, among which were 24 lots of vintage coin boards.

One thing that really caught my attention was the Coin Collectors Crying Towel barely visible in the background. This was copyrighted by Bay Coins in 1965, as seen at its bottom. I first saw this item at the ANA's Dwight Manley Library, where it was under the custodianship of David Sklow. Since Dwight Manley was the Goldberg's consignor of the coin shop contents this item could have been a donation to the ANA a few years back.

About a year ago I found an eBay seller who had multiple, unused examples of the Crying Towel at the very reasonable price of $14.99 with free shipping. When I mentioned this to David he was quite surprised, as we had both imagined that it was a rare item. I doubt that there is any money to be made in reprinting the original, especially at that price, so the seller likely has a remaindered hoard.

I'm attaching photos of the complete towel and a close-up of the fine text.

Crying Towell - detail

Thanks. David also discovered that the towels are still available on eBay from the same seller at the discounted starting price of $9.99. -Editor

For more information, or to purchase, see:
New Vintage 1965 Coin Collectors Crying Towel Numismatic Mistakes (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JUNE 23, 2019 ; Coin Shop Competition: Best Security Guard (

Mystery Numismatic Building
Pete Smith writes: MysteryBuilding.01

I came across a photo that I found interesting because I thought it looked like the First United States Mint. I altered it slightly to remove an identifying sign. Can any E-Sylum reader identify the building and its numismatic significance?

OK, so we know it's NOT the first U.S. Mint, but what is it? Any guesses? -Editor

Dr. Craig Burns Contact Sought
Howard A. Daniel III writes:

I would like to correspond with Dr. Craig Burns in England who wrote the article: Champa – A Buddhist Kingdom in South-East Asia, for the November 1979 issue of Seaby's Coin & Medal Bulletin. He might have passed by now but in any case I would like to know more about him. Please contact me at HADANIEL3@MSN.COM.

Can anyone help? -Editor

E-Sylum Tom Uram ad 2019-05-26b

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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