The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 24, Number 7, February 14, 2021, Article 15


More on Joe Levine
Paul Montz writes:

"I never knew Joe Levine personally, although I do recognize seeing him at coin shows over the years. However, I had admired his catalogs of medals in recent years, as I became interested in that field, and hoped that he would again produce more auction catalogs. I am sorry to hear of his passing, as he clearly was a talent in the field."

Joel Orosz writes:

Joe Levine interview "Joe Levine will be justly remembered as one of the great dealers in, and scholars of, tokens and medals. It is also fitting that he be recalled for his wickedly quick wit, as exemplified in this inscription he wrote in John J. Ford's copy of Russell Rulau's revision of Lyman Low's Hard Times Tokens. Joe was one of four "Special Consultants" to Rulau in the 1980 revision of Low's classic book. There is no record of Ford's reaction, but he did carefully preserve the book in his library, suggesting that he appreciated Joe's humorous take-down."

LevineInscriptiontoFord To John Jay Ford, Jr.

I have been told that you prize insulting inscriptions on the theory that the more insulting the inscription, the more highly thought of you are by the writer. (Apparently, you've never heard of candor!)

Each to his own - but I do want you to know how greatly I esteem our friendship and the high regard in which I hold your reputation for numismatic knowledge, high ethical standards and personal cleanliness.

I especially admire your decision to privately educate your 9 bastard sons.


Joe Levine

Alan V Weinberg writes:

"Reading obituaries usually brings on thoughts of "so sad", "what a loss", and facial frowns or modest tears. Not so reading of Joe Levine's death and the numerous remembrances recorded by friends and associates. I smiled broadly and laughed as most focused in on Joe's personality attributes and his contributions to numismatics. This man will be missed."

Jeff Kelley writes:

"I only did business with Joe Levine a couple times but I was aware of his stature and respect in his field.

"In my most recent dealing with him a few years ago I purchased one of the Ohio Republican Party medals issued to mark the inauguration of Donald Trump. Since there was no official medal that year the state medal served as the quasi-official inaugural medal. "The medal's manufacturer used packaging that created a slight rub on a couple high points on the obverse, and when I pointed this out to Joe he shipped me a new medal and a check to cover the cost of returning the original medal. I ended up keeping both medals, returning his check, and sending him a few dollars to cover the cost of sending me the original box for the second medal. "His commitment to customer service was outstanding and quite contagious. "He was a true numismatist who contributed to the body of knowledge in his area of expertise. "

Thanks, everyone. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Joseph Horne 1849 Cent in Lucite
Nick Graver writes:

Joseph Horne 1849 cent in Lucite "Joseph Horne Co. was one of the oldest department stores in America, 1849 - 1994 when it merged with Lazarus. Since they kept to the western Pennsylvania region and did not expand all over the land, Hornes is not nationally remembered. But, in its day, it was one of the classiest department stores in the Pittsburgh area.

"For their centennial, they bought many 1849 one cent coins, had them cleaned till they almost looked like gold pieces, and then embedded with a plaque having the store name and founding date, 1849.

"The beveled edge gives it an interesting shape rather than just a rectangular block."

Joseph Horne 1849 cent in Lucite obverse Joseph Horne 1849 cent in Lucite reverse

Cool item! I grew up in Pittsburgh and was in Horne's many a time. It was a great store. I wasn't aware of this neat numismatic souvenir. Shame about the cleaning, though. Photos by Bruce Tyo. Thanks! -Editor

To read an earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Annotated Théodore-Edme Mionnet Library Sale Sought
Hadrien Rambach writes:

T. E. Mionnet Library Sale catalog "Dear colleagues, I am researching various lots that were part of the numismatic library of the French museum curator Théodore-Edme Mionnet (1770-1842).

"The catalogue of 23 November 1842 (and following days) can be found online. Would anyone here have access to an annotated copy, as I would need to know the prices fetched by a dozen lots, and the buyers' names of a few ?

"I am also searching for a copy of the second catalogue, sale on 14 December 1842. Many thanks in advance for any suggestion! "

Can anyone help? -Editor

To read the catalogue online, see:
Catalogue des livres, manuscrits et autographes de numismatique et d'arche´ologie : provenant de la bibliothe`que de feu M. T.-E. Mionnet ... , et de deux collections d'empreintes en soufre de me´dailles grecques et romaines : dont la vente se fera le mercredi 23 novembre 1842 et jours suivants, a` six heures du soir, ho^tel des commissaires-priseurs ... (

New Book: Old Bones
Harry Waterson writes:

Old Bones book cover "For the numismatic MacGuffin list: Old Bones by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, Grand Central Publishing, NY 2019. It's a mystery set in the archeological excavation site of a ‘Lost Camp' of the Donner Party.

A MacGuffin is hidden at the site.

The MacGuffin is 1,000 1846 $10 Liberty Head gold coins in uncirculated condition or better. No mintmark is mentioned. In the mystery they are valued at $20,000,000 in the collector market. Surely a bit over the top. In true Hitchcockian fashion the MacGuffin has nothing to do with what is really going on at the Donner dig."

Thanks. It's always interesting to see how coins are depicted in fiction. -Editor

For background on MacGuffins and the Donner Party, see:
MacGuffin (
Donner Party (

Give Nothing, Get Nothing Token Die
Jeff Kelley writes:

Give Nothing, Get Nothing Token Die "I was interested to see the recent article on the "Give Nothing, Get Nothing" token from the early 1960s.

By coincidence, I recently obtained one of the dies used to strike the tokens.

I have also seen a vintage wooden nickel with a similar graphic and text on one side. (I have some on order but have not received them yet)."

Thanks! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Davisson E-Sylum ad Sale40 2021-02-07

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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