The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 24, Number 25, June 20, 2021, Article 23


Allan Davisson wrote this overview of his firm's upcoming E-Auction. I selected some lot images for illustration. -Editor

E-Auction 40, closing Wednesday, July 21st 2021, is online now! Print copies will be sent next week, if you are not on our mailing list and would like a copy please let us know.

Coins can take us to many different places—some unusual, some historic, some long-gone. This summer catalog has several numismatic vistas we have not offered any, or at least much of, before.

1852 Joseph Bros. Half dollar
Lot 8: 1852 Joseph Bros. Half dollar

The California Pioneer Fractional Gold coinage came about for the same reason the ancient Greeks began to coin electrum—money was needed for exchange and it was easier to reckon with if someone had assayed and weighed it into a consistent reliable denomination. These early issues were privately made and were apparently honestly-enough made that they became part of the frontier currency.

Continental Currency. $7. Issue of May 10, 1775
Lot 204: Continental Currency. $7. Issue of May 10, 1775

American currency in a paper form began with notes issued by the various colonies. During the May 10, 1775 session of the Continental Congress the first federally issued paper money was authorized. This authorization was given in eleven different Continental Congress sessions ending with the issue of January 14, 1779. There were many counterfeits but every piece offered here has been certified.

1912 Philippines 20 Centavos
Lot 189: 1912 Philippines 20 Centavos

Another part of American history is our country’s role in the Philippines. The only United States branch mint established outside of the continental United States was a mint in Manila that produced coins from 1920 to 1922 and 1925 to 1941. A choice group of Philippine coins anchors the world section of this sale.

Iberia Asido 2nd Century B.C. Semis
Lot 10: Iberia Asido 2nd Century B.C. Semis

Ancient material: Coinage of ancient Spain, the Iberian Peninsula, differs from the more refined issues of the Greeks and Romans. It is a crude coinage in many respects but it has charm. There is a blockiness about it that distinguishes it just as the arcs and curves in Celtic coinage typify their interpretation. Our offering is particularly nice for the series.

Tiny coins represent a collecting challenge. They were small change that could be readily lost. Historically, collectors serious enough that their collections have become cornerstones of numismatic achievement do not seem to have spent much of their effort on tiny pieces. Yet, the die makers took them seriously. The complexity and style on many of these tiny pieces is phenomenal even if it may take a very close look to appreciate it. And they tend to be affordable. We have a nice run of high-quality pieces in this catalog.

1795 Denton Dealer in Coins Token
Lot 123: 1795 Denton Dealer in Coins Token

There’s more—a bit of gold, a few exceptional Greek and Roman pieces–some with lovely patinas (we don’t save everything superb for our big annual sale), a bit of choice hammered and milled English, more high quality tokens from the Sussman collection, fascinating world coins including three remarkable pieces from the Central American Republic/Union (two related 19th century alignments), and a few interesting U.S. half dollars.

This summer arrived tumultuously in many places but as I write this it seems June may be settling down, edging toward Robert Lowell’s vision– What is so rare as a day in June. Then, if ever, come perfect days. Whatever the weather has brought you thus far, I hope you enjoy perfect days ahead.

For more information, see:

WBNA E-Sylum ad Sale 11

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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