The evening of Tuesday April 20, 2021 I was at the scene of a long-awaited event - the return of in-person dinners for my Northern Virginia numismatic social group, Nummis Nova. While a few of our regulars are still awaiting to be fully vaccinated, eight vaxxed members and a guest came out for our first meeting since the pandemic began just over a year ago.
Robert Hoppensteadt was our host and he'd made a reservation at Delia's Mediterranean Grill & Brick Oven Pizza in Alexandria. As it happened, this was the site of our last in-person event in February 2020.
So we were picking up right where we'd been before we were so rudely interrupted.
I arrived early and waited outside where I could breathe easier without my mask. A masked young man approached me and asked if I was there for the coin meeting. I introduced myself and put on my mask. It was Garrett Prenda, Wayne Herndon's guest for the evening. We'd never met before, but he works weekends at Wayne's warehouse with my sons Chris and Tyler, picking and shipping orders from his Wizard Coin Supply website. We had a good conversation about coin collecting and how he ended up with the job. He'd gone to the Indeed website to check local job listings, and the first to pop up was an opening at Wayne's business. As a coin collector, Garrett jumped on it immediately. What are the odds of that?
Next to arrive was Wayne himself, loaded down with three boxes of supplies ordered by fellow members. We helped him carry them in.
Dave Schenkman and Eric Schena were already seated at our table.
Soon to arrive were Chris Neuzil, Julian Leidman, and Steve Bishop.
Masks were required when entering and walking about the restaurant.
I didn't get any masked photos but took some unmasked shots later.
My back was to the rest of the restaurant, but it was nearly deserted except for our group.
Dave Schenkman, Julian Leidman, Chris Neuzil, Eric Schena
LEFT: Wayne Herndon
RIGHT: Dave, Steve, Robert, Julian, Chris, Eric
Whitman Colonial Books
Dave Schenkman had a book with him as well, a copy of the first edition of James Conder's token book rebound in modern leather. Wayne asked when it had been printed. "1798" Dave said, and like a battle-hardened numismatic book publisher he immediately joked, "Do you want to buy the remainders?"
I had no numismatic exhibits, but did pass around a couple new Whitman books on U.S. colonial coins & currency.
Andrew Carnegie Pan-American Building Medal
Dave had an interesting Andrew Carnegie medal. He writes:
"It is silver and marked Tiffany & Co. Makers Fine Silver on the edge. I found the following in the May 1911 issue of The Numismatist:
"On May 5th a gold medal was presented to Andrew Carnegie in the Pan-American Building in Washington, D. C., in recognition of his services as a philanthropist and of his gift of the funds which provide for the erection of the new home of the Pan-American Union in that city. The medal was voted to Mr. Carnegie by a unanimous resolution of the Fourth International Conference of American States which was held in Buenos Aires last summer. The design is by Sally James Farnham of New York. The medal is three and a half inches in diameter and one-quarter of an inch in thickness. One side is a portrait of Mr. Carnegie and the words "Benefactor of Humanity." The other side has this inscription: "The American Republics to Andrew Carnegie, I911," with the names of the twenty-one American Republics around the border. In the centre is a figure of a woman representing America pointing to the Pan-American building as evidence of Mr. Carnegie's interest in the promotion of peace, commerce and friendship among the American Republics."
"No mention is made of medals in silver. I'd love to know why this one has a blob of metal (solder?) on the reverse."
So-Called Half Dollar Salesman's Sample Medals
Dave had this interesting set of so-called dollars.
"In 1947 Boston coin dealer Charles F. Smith had a set of eight "So-Called Half Dollar" medals struck in nickel-silver by the Whitehead & Hoag company. One of them commemorated the 1935 diamond jubilee of the Pony Express, and it was actually a reissue of a medal struck in 1935 for the Oregon Trail Memorial Association. They were advertised for sale at 25¢ each by the Scott Stamp & Coin Company of New York in the July 1935 issue of The Numismatist.
"The illustrated set of ten medals each has the reverse of the Pony Express medal on one side; the other side is blank except for the name of the metal in which it was struck, in incuse lettering. It was probably a salesman's sample set, made to show the various metals that Whitehead & Hoag could use to strike other medals."
In a total coincidence, Dave had recently purchased and was already planning to show this Fortuna medal - a topic discussed in last week's E-Sylum
"It is silver, 39mm. According to Google's translator, the side with the cards reads "just more to this beautiful three" while the other side translates as "oh luck stay true to me today.""
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
THE MYSTERIOUS WHITEHEAD & HOAG TOKEN
Finally, Dave also passed around these neat cardboard scrip chits.
"I illustrated one of them in a recent article I wrote for CWTS on Civil War round cardboard scrip. As I mentioned, "John Kammiter is listed in the 1863-4 New York City directory as owner of a grocery store at 22 Minetta Street. The following year he moved his business to a different address."
Housatonic Bank Cash Book
Wow - it's a whopper. Amazing record of daily Civil War era financial transactions. I borrowed it from Eric and took photos back at home in my library.
Eric Schena displayed a marvelous bank ledger he'd found in a bookstore in Winchester, VA. It records transactions for the Housatonic Bank of Stockbridge, MA from September 18, 1862 to September 23, 1864.
Chris, Eric, Wayne, Garrett, Dave, Steve
What a wonderful night of numismatic fellowship. It was so great to see everyone after more than a year, but it felt like we'd never been away. And the food was top-notch. While I've crawled back into my socially distanced COVID hole, I'll look forward to next month, where I hope to see additional members of our great little group.
THE BOOK BAZARRE
OVER 500 NUMISMATIC TITLES
: Wizard Coin Supply has over 500 numismatic titles in stock, competitively discounted, and
available for immediate shipment. See our selection at www.WizardCoinSupply.com
Wayne Homren, Editor
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