The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 24, Number 14, April 4, 2021, Article 7


The Harry Lelande Auction Catalog
Dave Hirt writes:

Harry Lelande Auction Catalog cover "Reading through The E-Sylum last week I came to John Lupia's bio of Harry Lelande. Thank you John!! I never knew anything about him before, although I have owned a copy of his only auction sale catalog for years, but in all that time I had never read about Lelande himself. The auction catalog I own is hand priced. As such, I believe it is very rare. The ANS copy is not listed as being priced."

Thanks. I added an image of the cover of the American Numismatic Society's copy of Lelande's 1928 sale from the Newman Numismatic Portal. It's a nice sale of varied material including colonials, a Chain cent, medals, a Lesher dollar, Confederate and Southern States Currency, Encased Postage, and numismatic literature, including an impressive run of The Numismatist. -Editor

To read the catalog on NNP, see:
Public sale of rare coins, metals, paper money, etc., the Alonzo Paige Lansing collection ... of U.S. and foreign coins ... [09/20/1928] (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Tracing Libertas Americana Medals
Nathan Markowitz writes:

Original Libertas Americana Medal obverse "I wish to embark on an impossible mission: I hope to trace the provenance of extant Libertas Americana medals in both Bronze and Silver to the fullest extent possible. Given their amazing iconography and historic involvement by one named B. Franklin, perhaps I can connect some dots. I am asking anyone who owns or has previously owned an example to forward me any known information on provenance prior to and since their ownership. You are free to include or exclude any price information but exact dates of acquisition and sale and any auction appearances with specific lot numbers would be most helpful.

"Please send to me at : and include as follows:

  • Libertas (bronze/silver);
  • grade apparent and/or TPG grade;
  • date and place acquired/sold and
  • if willing, any price information.

I will keep the current owner's name and any previous owners' names confidential as you indicate. Many thanks."

Great project! Please help if you can. -Editor

What Constitutes a Die Variety?
Bill Eckberg writes:

"What Constitutes a Die Variety?

Spoked chin obverse Half Cent "I have talked to guys who say a die is a piece of metal, and if somebody recuts something or changes something it's the same die. Others think that even the tiniest change, like the strength of a berry stem makes for a new variety.

"Personally, I think any alteration has to be significant and not accidental. In the half cent world, the 1795 no-pole obverse is just a reground with-pole obverse that was used earlier. Similarly, the Spiked Chin obverse was apparently the result of some kind of damage. I consider both of those to be die states after their alteration, whether intentional or accidental."

Bill's short question could prompt some lengthy answers. Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia doesn't have a lot to say about varieties. I would just note that the discovery, naming and categorization of die varieties is driven by collectors of coins struck by the dies. Collectors notice and care about differences among the coins they collect. Many differences stem from the dies, and the reasons for the differences are many - dies wear over time, and they can be lightly or heavily retouched by engravers, they can break and either continue to be used or be replaced with entirely new dies. Dies are closely held by the mints and few end up in museum or collector hands where they can be examined. Typically the only evidence of a die's existence or state comes indirectly from the coins struck from the die, which in turn can experience further wear and deterioration of their own before coming to rest in a collection. Some varieties are boldly visible. Others are much more subtle. So where does one draw the line? Individual collectors can make their own decisions about what to collect. But what is the broad consensus about what constitutes a die variety? Where have the good/better/best definitions been published?

Spiked Chin obverse from PCGS Coin Facts -Editor

The 1797 Rogers-Pogue Half Dollar Provenance
SBG_1797HalfDollar_MS66_Rev SBG_1797HalfDollar_MS66_Obv

Saul Teichman writes:

"It is questionable to me whether or not the recently sold 1797 Lelan Rogers-Pogue half dollar is ex Brand.

"Brand owned the following 9 examples of which only one was described as Unc, the example that appeared in the April 1906 St Louis Stamp & Coin sale of the George W. Rice collection as highlighted below."

Virgil Brand 1797 Half Dollars

Saul has been studying the digitized Virgil Brand ledgers at the American Numismatic Society library via the Newman Numismatic Portal. -Editor

Saul adds:

"The Rice coin is imaged in the plated copy of that sale on the Newman portal with the description at the following link - and the coins image plated at this link - .

"To me the plate matches the Oliver Jung (ANR 7/04 PCGS63 sale) coin more than the Rogers-Pogue coin.

"I am curious to know what other people think."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Impressive Optical Character Recognition

Martin Purdy responded to this segment of the article from Franky Leeuwerck. -Editor

"The name of printer was too small, less than 2cm, about two grains of rice long. The characters, less than 1.5 mm wide, were too small for my camera to be recognized. If I could only provide a larger image. Now, that thought turned out to be a step in the right direction.

Hitachi_printer name closeup

"The Google Translate software tried to recognize the words that were captured by the camera. It was necessary to find the right distance between the camera and the computer screen by holding the phone closer to and further from the screen. Then the answer appeared on the phone : Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. Got it !"

Martin writes:

"That's pretty impressive, given that those aren't standard "print" characters - I was expecting total disaster as I read this item, as it would be like expecting an OCR program to cope with German Fraktur or Old English type. "

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

The Change in Change-Making
Chris Neuzil writes:

penny stack "I continue to be amazed how flummoxed people get when I try to make change from a transaction come out nicely. Case in point: $18.78 purchase. Hand over $20 bill and 3 cents. Long pause staring at money. Starts to hand back cents. Explanation. "Wow. You're really good at math!" With the Fed talking about digital US currency my remarkable skill may be useless soon."

Considering that no one seems to be able to read an analog clock dial anymore, I'm not surprised. The same generational effect was likely present after the widespread adoption of mechanical clocks. "Kids these days, can't even read a simple sundial..."

I've also flummoxed many a young clerk while trying to simplify change-making. Blank stares. Long pauses. "OK, nevermind - take the debit card." -Editor

The Worthy Coin Co. Bid Board
Jeff Rock writes:

johnson-&-godley-3b "On the Romano Hoard - Worthy Coin Co. had a VERY active bid board, and they routinely put up large lots of things. The famous colonial "Midnight Sale" Connecticut coppers came from that source - Mike Ringo literally purchased them at the shop, a few blocks from the convention hotel, and we had an auction of them a few hours later (shades of the Pennypacker sale talked about in the March 14th issue as well!). The "hoard" mentioned on the holder was likely a similar large lot, probably of counterstamps. The holder itself is in the hand of the late Steve Tannenbaum, and the coin was likely part of the Rossa and Tannenbaum inventory given that they were still in business together when the Worthy Coin Co. ceased business."

Tony Terranova and I also noticed the Tannenbaum-style holder. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MARCH 14, 2021 : More on the Romano Worthy Hoard (

On the Columbia Farthings
Jeff Rock writes:

"The Columbia farthing article is interesting. It's a series I collected fairly actively for a while, and then ignored for years when the last few varieties I needed never showed up. There is/was a group dedicated to collecting these. Not sure if it is still in existence, and I just looked and while the web pages are all up, none of the photographs were loading. Still, it has some useful information and your readers may be interested in looking at it:

I should also note that the Withers Token Book 2 covers the Columbia farthing series in depth. George Fuld wrote the first detailed description of the various varieties, and his numbers are still used by most US collectors. Years ago I made up a photographic plate of these showing all the known varieties and their die interlocks."

Thanks! Too bad about the images on the club site. Is anyone aware of a new home for them? -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Query: Fonrobert Sale 1667 New York Coin
Dave Hirt writes:

"The first part of the Jules Fonrobert sale was held in Berlin, Germany Feb 18, 1878. This was the coins, tokens, and medals of North America. The cataloger Adolph Weyl cataloged Federal issues first, then Private issues by State, then City and Town.

"The catalog is written in German, which I do not read, but with the US issues, I can figure them out by the description of the item. There is one however that has me completely stumped. It is a silver coin listed under New York city, lot #2920. It realized 46 German Marks, which I believe was rather high price for that era. Weyl gives it a half page description. He lists the date as 1667. A part of the description reads (auf den Sieg der Niederlander aber die britische Flotte bei Chatham and den Frieden von Breda, in welchen das, von den, Niederlandern seit 1614 besessene , 1664 von den Briten under Oberst Nicolls eroberte New York an England abgetreten wurde.)

"I have a copy of the Krause book on 17th century world coins, and looked under Netherlands, without success.

"I wonder if one of our readers who reads German, and has a Fonrobert catalog could tell us what the connection of this coin to New York City is."

Interesting. Can anyone help? -Editor

The Case of the Missing Queen
Kavan Ratnatunga writes:

£10 error note without Queen's portrait "After a Sri Lanka Polymer Rs200 with no printing on one side was listed on eBay in 2020 June, I investigated and found that there were many reports in the press with How-To videos on YouTube.

"I erased an Rs200 note clean myself and wrote up with comments from experts.

"The Missing Queen on polymer note was a frequent fake error note that was sold on eBay at that time. Don't see any now. As the Fakes are exposed the remainder were probably put back into circulation."

Plastic £5 banknote 'can be rubbed out', says printer (
New 'Durable' £5 Note Can Be Wiped Clean With A Pencil Eraser (
1998 - Sri Lanka - 200 rupee banknote Polymer Substrate (

Thanks! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Decimals Finally Get The Point!
David Pickup writes:

"Britain is set to give up decimalisation and return to pounds shillings and pence. The fifty year long experiment has been a success but it is now time for change in Brits' pockets.

"The old denominations will be reintroduced gradually over 1st April which will now be called A Day. If all goes well we may return to Libra solidus and denarius. Instead of coins being marked "new pence" will now be "new old pence" or "old new pence".

"Authorities are also thinking of reintroducing those handy denominations that were so popular such as the third and quarter farthing, 1 1/2 pence and Cartwheel twopence. If goes well they will re-introduce the noble and angel.

"It is to be hoped that other countries will return to pre decimal currency. The USA may adopt the same system and perhaps our European friends will keep the euro but have twelve schillings and 240 pfennigs/centimes. "

Yeah, that's going to happen... -Editor

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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