The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 19, May 10, 2020, Article 16


An "immensely enjoyable and highly educational periodical"
With the subject line "You win", ANA Edition reader Tom Stewart writes:

The E-Sylum logo "I began receiving The E-Sylum when I became an ANA life member. At first, I would skim the table of contents and move on. I am a bibliophile, but not particularly of numismatic books. However, as time went on, I found myself scrolling further and further down the e-mail, enjoying the extraordinary photography and really esoteric subject matter. “Chinese Whu Zu Coin Varieties System Offered,” from this issue, for example. The exonumia, paper money and ancients are fascinating, as are the coin vignettes and mint records (yes, I find myself even looking at these!). Now, I look forward to each issue and spend perhaps too much time on each. Thank you for a truly different, immensely enjoyable and highly educational periodical."

John Esterly writes:

"I receive The E-Sylum as a Life Member of the ANA and thoroughly enjoy reading it - kudos on curating such a wide variety of numismatic articles! Thank you again for everything you do for the coin community!"

Thank you! Your notes made my day. This is why we enjoy sharing the interesting bits of numismatic information we come across each week. No matter what you collect, there's always something new to learn in numismatics, and that's what keeps it fun. -Editor

To read last week's issue, see:
Volume 23, Number 18, May 3, 2020 (

On Naming The Asylum and The E-Sylum
Joel Orosz of Kalamazoo, MI writes:

The Asylum v25 Supplement "Fun additional fact: when I was editing The Asylum, in 1987, if memory serves, Dave Bowers suggested that the journal might be renamed The Bibliophile. I put the question to the NBS membership, and the overwhelming response was to stick with The Asylum."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MAY 3, 2020 : Naming The Asylum (and The E-Sylum) (

Dave Hirt on Riddell, Philadelphia Society
Dave Hirt writes:

"A few issues back in The E-Sylum there was a post on John L. Riddell, the New Orleans Mint melter. I have a book on him in my library titled A Long Ride in Texas. It was in the late 1830's and he went there to study the natural history of Texas. So, He really was a man of many talents.

Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia logo "Also I have a have question for our readers. Does The Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia still exist? I have a complete set of their proceedings, the last one dated 1946. However some years ago at an ANA convention in Phila., I asked and was told that they were still active and had meetings. I have not heard one word about them in years."

This question came up recently in my work with the Newman Numismatic Portal. The archives of the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia are at the Historical Society of Philadelphia. We had also heard that the society had lived on somehow, but had never been able to connect with anyone who could confirm that. We reached out to the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN), and Chairman of the Board Don Carlucci called dealer Ruth Bauer, Harry Forman's partner in Philadelphia. She's in her 90s and said the group once had their own building - I didn't know that. But their membership and finances dwindled until they finally just shut down.

The last published Proceedings of NASoP on the Newman Portal is from 1945, but the HSoP has archives through 1984. The web site lists the "Numismatic & Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia Clubhouse & Museum" at "S 21ST ST near PINE ST". There's no other information about the building, when it was in use by the society, or whether it is still standing. Can any of our readers provide more information? -Editor

For the building record, see:
Numismatic & Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia Clubhouse & Museum (

To read the Proceedings on NNP, see:
Proceedings of the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Smearing Blue Ink Security Feature
Bob Bednar of Naples, Florida writes:

"I always like reading your informative publication. Nice that you’re in touch with experts like Bob Leuver. In the early 90’s I supplied American Express Traveler Cheque paper to United States Bank Note. I recall a security feature, blue ink that smeared when moistened, on the back side of the note. But Bob’s correct that this new ink is cool."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

More on the Wyoming Post Trader Token Hoard
Dave Schenkman writes:

25 cent Fort Bridger Post Trader Token "Reading The E-Sylum reminded me that in 1971 Joe Levine and I purchased a hoard of more than two hundred post trader tokens from Fort Bridger and Camp Brown, Wyoming from book dealer Frank Katen. He claimed that he sold us the entire group, but every time I would stop by his shop a couple more would be in his token books. Later John Ford told me he had purchased “the other half” of Katen’s tokens. I included ours on one of my fixed price lists, at $30-$35 each (there were six varieties, as I recall) and sold them all."

Thanks for the background. For researchers, Dave's old Fixed Price Lists are available on the Newman Numismatic Portal. -Editor

To read the Fixed Price Lists, see:
David E. Schenkman [Fixed Price List] (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

More on the First Non-Royal on British Coinage
David Powell writes:

1672-Britannia "It could be argued that maybe Frances, Duchess of Richmond, one of Charles II’s mistresses, has the honour of being the first non-royal depicted; some sources state that she was the model for Britannia when the latter was introduced onto the regal coinage in 1672 {with patterns back to 1665}.

"Depictions apart, what about the first non-royal to have his/her surname on a British coin? Any advance on Robert de Hadelie, one of Edward I’s moneyers at Bury St.Edmunds in the 1280s? As surnames were largely a 13th/14th century innovation, that probably isn’t too easy to beat."

Interesting topic! Thanks. -Editor

Image from:
Coin Collectors Blog : The Allegory of Liberty (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MAY 3, 2020 : St. George First Non-Royal on British Coinage (

Asylum Back Issues Sought

Asylum 2004 Winter Asylum 2016 Autumn
WANTED: Winter 2004 and Fall 2016 Asylum issues

Darryl Atchison writes:

"As part of reorganizing my library during the Covid crisis, I noticed that I was missing a number of issues of The Asylum. Fortunately, Maria Fanning was able to help me out with most of them but there were two issues that the NBS didn't have back copies of: Vol. 22, no. 1 and Vol. 34, no. 3.

"Again, I want to implore our wonderful readers if one has a duplicate or unwanted copy of either of those issues to please let me know at as I would hate not to have a complete set."

Franklin & Washington
Franklin and Washington book cover Patrick "Ben Franklin" McBride writes:

"It was a delightful surprise to see your inclusion of the Franklin & Washington book by Larson in The E-Sylum. I am just finishing it now and can’t wait to read it again as I often do with any Franklin material I encounter.

"This is a wonderful book and brings home the very unique relationship that these two pillars of our republic had with each other.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
LOOSE CHANGE: MAY 3, 2020 : Portraits of Franklin & Washington (

On Storing and Finding Books
David Powell adds:

"Books look best on the shelves stored by size. If you put items with similar page size together, not only do they look good that way, it also stops the big ones falling over on to the little ones, which keeps everything upright and avoids putting strain on the binding. I hate seeing a book where the pages, when stood upright, are slanting in one direction because the book has been stored leaning over. Also, storing by size stops little books getting squeezed out of sight to the back.

On the other hand, practicality says that you should store by subject so that you can find everything easily. Great, but it doesn’t sit hand in hand with the above.

I personally get round the issue by keeping a large Excel spreadsheet with all my books on, listing:

  • Subject area and sub-division
  • Author
  • Title
  • Bookcase no.
  • Shelf no.
  • Language {not absolutely necessary, as it should be obvious from the title}

    That usually works provided I have my computer on, but you still have to maintain the list and find the book on 32” of shelf. Plus, if you forget to record a new book or the movements of an old one…..

    Any other suggestions as to how best to overcome the problem of subject v size?"

David Powell numismatic library 1
Some of David's shelves

What do readers think? There are probably as many ways to do this as there are numismatic libraries. What works for you? -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

U.S. Mint Mahogany Finish Process
Craig Sholley writes:

Nathaniel Greene mahogany finish medal obverse "I read Dick Johnson’s article on “Mahogany Finish” in the May 3rd issue of The E-Sylum and though I usually concur with Dick’s definitions, this time I must disagree. while the historical record does show that the British mint used fire-bronzing until the early 1800’s, there is no evidence that the US Mint ever used that process.

"Rather, the records show that US Mint used various formulations of acidic bronzing solutions to chemically bronze medals and coins. With the return of Franklin Peale from his visits to European mints, the US Mint copied the French bronzing formula and used that from June of 1835 until they switched to the use of yellow brass and highlighting solutions for that alloy.

"For those interested in the processes used at the US Mint, a couple years ago I published an article based on the historical records, “19th Century Medal-Making Processes,” in the MCA Advisory."

Thank you. Interesting history. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Query: Plymouth Quadricentennial Medal?
Plymouth plantation Anne E. Bentley of the Massachusetts Historical Society writes:

"Does anyone in the readership know if a medal or commemorative coin is in the works to celebrate Plymouth Mass. 400th anniversary this year?"

Good question - has anyone heard of one? -Editor

Happy V E Day

1945 Jersey Liberation obverse 1945 Jersey Liberation reverse
Images courtesy of Graham Kirby

David Pickup writes:

"These are two links to topical sites for VE Day."

12O_45_G6_Proof 12R_45_G6_Proof

A commemorative issue which owes its existence to Mr. J. Wilfrid du Pre of the Societe Jersiaise. The coins were first minted in 1949 and commemorate the Liberation of the Island from the German Occupation of the 8th of May 1945. They were released into circulation on the 8th of May 1949. This issue was minted in 1949, 1950, and 1952.

When India became independent in 1947, the King gave up his title of Emperor of India (IND. IMP) and this title were removed from coins.

To read the complete article, see:
One Twelfth of a Shilling - King George VI Liberation Commemorative (

Jersey Liberation Medal obverse Jersey Liberation Medal reverse

To read the complete article, see:
Jersey Liberation Medal (

Thanks! -Editor

For more information on V E Day, see:
Victory in Europe Day (

How Do I Spell Thee? Let me Count the Ways...
Dave Bowers writes:

"A burden that all coin collectors have had to bear is the word “numismatic,” which is seemingly incomprehensible to the general public. In the June 1938 issue of The Numismatist ANA librarian W.S. Dewey submitted a list of misspellings of the word which had come to his attention through mail addressed to the association. Included were the following: numatic, numisatic, nunisatic, munismatic, numesmatic, pneumatic, numismaitic, numisitic, numasmatic, numismutic, nunisnatic, numimatic, nomismatic, newmismatic, amunistac, numusmatic, nuismatic, numastic, numerismatic, numistic, numistatical, numismastic, numismatical, and nunismetic."

Dennis Tucker adds:

"Here’s another hobby-related misspelling. This is nowhere near “numismatic” in breadth or depth, but an interesting typo I’ve seen many times over the years is commerative coin instead of commemorative coin. I’ve seen it in hastily dashed-off notes, letters, and emails, but also in print! It’s as if a writer gets tired halfway through the word and unconsciously abbreviates it.

If you Google “commemorative coin” you get 2,640,000 results. But if you Google “commerative coin” you get 70,200 results—not too shabby at about 3% of the correct spelling—mostly on Pinterest, eBay, and Amazon, but also in the Navy SEAL Museum gift shop, the BBC, a U.S. Senate press release, Getty Images, and even various numismatic web sites! A quick search of the Newman Numismatic Portal shows the misspelling in almost 200 places—in auction catalogs, club newsletters, books, and nearly every major hobby publication."

And the list goes on, I'm sure. -Editor

E-Sylum Northeast ad02 buying

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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