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V24 2021 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 24, Number 1, January 4, 2021, Article 12

NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JANUARY 3, 2021

On the Return to Flanagan's Washington Obverse
Dave Lange writes:

"The entry about the new quarter dollar reverse included a comment from Pabitra Saha to the effect that the current quarter dollars have the infamous "spaghetti hair," but this isn't true. In the late 1980s the U. S. Mint did lose sight of the fact that Washington was wearing a periwig, and its sculptors gradually reshaped his hair into what appeared to be strands of noodles. This transformation occurred gradually between 1988 and 1993. This same very unnatural portrait was continued into the state and territory quarters of 1999-2009, albeit with an overall reduction of the bust size. By the time that the America the Beautiful series debuted in 2010 the Mint had become aware of the criticism surrounding the spaghetti hair, and it adopted a fairly accurate restoration of Flanagan's 1932 bust which has continued to the present day.

It's interesting that the Mint's press release of the 2021 quarter dollar shows a return to the offending noodles. I certainly hope that this was just an oversight by the marketing department and not an actual projection of the coin as it will be struck."

washington crossing delaware design 25c_1985D_o

Yes, that image was a little scary, albeit not the full-blown spaghetti hair rendition. Since the obverse was not a focus of the press release, let's hope you're right and it was only a marketing department snafu. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
TREASURY CHOOSES NEW QUARTER REVERSE DESIGN (https://www.coinbooks.org/v23/esylum_v23n52a18.html)

No Retroactive Laws for Medals
Alan V Weinberg writes:

"A law now current or proposed cannot be retroactive in terms of preventing mere ownership or past possession of a Medal of Honor. The Constitution forbids retroactive laws depriving due process in the then-legal possession of property.

What's next - making possession of gold Congressional Medals of Honor illegal? Like the gold Zachary Taylor, or the Cyrus Field currently up for auction?"

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
SENATE BILL WOULD RESTRICT TRADING OF MEDALS (https://www.coinbooks.org/v23/esylum_v23n52a19.html)

Translating the Dardanelles Overprints Text
An excerpted article last week about the Dardanelles overprints stated

"The ten shilling notes were overprinted with two lines of Arabic text, the first line reads: "Piastres silver 60", while the second line reads "Piastres silver sixty".

Ten Shillings Dardanelles Overprint

Chip Howell writes:

"This is misleading, in that Ottoman Turkish used a version of Arabic script & the overprint is definitely in Turkish--the spelled-out numbers confirm this. It is read right-to-left, so the translations should read "[60/sixty] silver piastres"."

Martin Purdy writes:

"When I saw the heading to this item I just knew what was coming. For years I've been trying to get cataloguers to reflect the Turkish text on these notes correctly - because Turkish used an Arabic-based alphabet prior to the 1920s, the text reads right-to-left, so what it actually says on the 10/- and £1 notes is "60 (or 120) silver piastres", not "piastres silver 60" (etc).

"The common error in translating this text as if it read from left to right, which seems almost impossible to eradicate now it's so well established, makes about as much sense as translating the country name on Egyptian or Saudi coins as "Arab Egypt of Republic" or "Saudi Arabia of Kingdom", since that's how they look if you view the words in left-to-right order.

"And of course, "overprinted in Arabic" isn't correct either, since the language is Turkish. All this was rectified in SCWPM and the Banknote Yearbook at one point, so I hope it hasn't been "uncorrected" again since :-)"

Thanks, everyone. Makes sense. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
THE DARDANELLES OVERPRINTS (https://www.coinbooks.org/v23/esylum_v23n52a26.html)

Stack's Bowers September 2013 Philadelphia Catalog cover Stack's Bowers September 2013 Philadelphia Catalog Sought
Darryl Atchison writes:

"I am looking for a Stack's Bowers auction catalogue from September 18-20, 2013 and I would be grateful if any of our readers who might have one could contact me by email. I would like to find a hardcopy somewhere. I find it too difficult to do research on screen."

Darryl's address is atchisondf@gmail.com . -Editor

Marika Somogyi

SOM-113.1_Obverse_400 SOM-113.1_Reverse_400

Regarding the earlier-illustrated Society of Medalists medal "showing both beauty and the devil looking into a mirror", Mel Wacks writes:

I suggest that you give credit to the medalist -- Marika Somogyi. Marika also designed several medals for the Jewish-American Hall of Fame -- commemorating Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Miller, and Benny Goodman."

Done - thank you. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
VOCABULARY TERM: OPENWORK (https://www.coinbooks.org/v23/esylum_v23n50a15.html)

Duckpin-Shaped Encased Dimes
Michael Merrill writes:

"My hopeful purchase of a box of old coins resulted in the purchase of no coins, but to the plus was my unexpected buy of this pair of 1968 Jefferson embedded BU dimes, one having concave thumb recess. As is so often said, "you just never know what may come along the pike".

1968 Dimes in duckpin-shaped Lucite 1968-era telephone

Michael included this image of the duckpin-shaped encased dimes, along with a 1968-era telephone. Remember those? -Editor

Gloucester Shilling Rare Encased Gloucester Shilling
Bob Rhue writes:

"I see that in the upcoming Heritage sale of the Partrick collection one of two known Gloucester Shillings is being offered.

If I remember the story correctly it wasn't until the second piece was discovered in 1982 that the complete legends were decipherable between the two incompletely struck pieces.

I recently came across what I assume is an early rendition original pattern from 1714, probably enclosed in Lucite at the time to protect this unique specimen; and I wanted to share it with others who have been sharing photos of their Lucite encased coins."

White spacer bar
encased Gloucester Shilling obverse encased Gloucester Shilling reverse

Clever colonists! -Editor

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
MORE LUCITE-ENCASED COINS: SPELLMAN, BEISTLE (https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v17n49a15.html)
COINS IN LUCITE (https://www.coinbooks.org/v23/esylum_v23n48a11.html)
MORE COINS IN LUCITE (https://www.coinbooks.org/v23/esylum_v23n49a14.html)

DWN E-Sylum ad01


Wayne Homren, Editor

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The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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