Tuesday June 15th was the night of my Northern Virginia numismatic social group, Nummis Nova. Jon Radel was our host, and he chose Aracosia, an Afghan restaurant in McLean. Tom Kays was seated at our table when I arrived. We had a large section of the place to ourselves. Soon we were joined by Robert Hoppensteadt, my guest Daryl Haynor, Jon, Dave Schenkman, and Steve Bishop.
Julian Leidman and Roger Burdette completed the group shortly afterward.
Books, Books, Books
Daryl had a copy of his book on United States Classic Gold Coins of 1834-1839. He writes:
When Roger arrived he had a copy of his latest work, Fads, Fakes & Foibles about some of the best known, but little understood U.S. coinage proposals.
"An evening of omnivorous eclecticism. The many ways delectable lamb was prepared was topped by a more varied group of accomplished numismatists. I learned about flippen tokens, J.S.G. Boggs, Disney and Tubman dollars, the foibles of James Barclay, and much more. It was an educational jaunt, not to mention delicious. Thank you for the invitation."
These are two great books that every American numismatist should have in their libraries. Daryl's Classic Gold Coins book won the Numismatic Literary Guild's 2020 Book of the Year honor, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Roger's book in the running in 2022 (it arrived too late for the 2021 award submissions).
For more information, or to order, see the earlier E-Sylum articles:
NEW BOOK: U.S. CLASSIC GOLD COINS OF 1834-1839
NEW BOOK: FADS, FAKES & FOIBLES
I brought along a couple books myself. The first was David Lange's 2006 History of the United States Mint and Its Coinage. On a whim I'd purchased it online even though I already have a copy. This copy was available for under $10 but readers had reported recent online sale records in the $40 range for this popular but out-of-print book. I was bringing coals to Newcastle, though - everyone already had a copy as well. I'll find another home for it.
The second book was non-numismatic and was returned to me by Dave Schenkman - I'd lent it to him at last month's meeting, thinking he'd enjoy it. He did. It's from my shelf of numismatic biographies and it's the autobiography of my friend Larry Brilliant. I'd worked for him in the 1980s as he and dealer Joe Lepczyk were attempting to create an online system for coin collectors and dealers. Craig Whitford and I spoke about the effort at a 2021 NNP Symposium event. Before I'd even met him Larry was a world-renowned epidemiologist who led efforts to eradicate smallpox in India, and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic he's been a regular expert guest on cable news. His life story is fascinating, from meeting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., hanging out with Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead at Woodstock, to becoming a lifelong friend of Apple founder Steve Jobs.
To watch The Early Days of Online Numismatics panel session, see:
I also brought along a few items from my collection of art by Money Artist J.S. G. Boggs.
1987 Bank of England Victory Edition One Pound Note
This is a piece Boggs made to celebrate his victory in his U.K. counterfeiting case.
Boggs portrait by B.E.P. Engraver Thomas Hipschen
Framed Boggs $100 Harriet Tubman Note
And this is his famous depiction of Harriet Tubman as a young girl on a $100 note.
C.B. Miller's Restaurant Counterstamp
Dave Schenkman brought this unusual counterstamped piece.
"I’m writing an article about these tokens, which were all stamped using large cents as planchets, and would be interested in hearing from anyone owning an example."
Steve Bishop exhibited a couple nice Civil War tokens and a 1762 overstruck Russian copper. Thanks for the images! The overstruck pieces are always fascinating, as is the famous "Shoot Him on the Spoot" diesinking error.
1863 Fuld 178-267do Civil War Token Struck Over 1860 1Cent
1863 Fuld 209-414 Patriotic Civil War Token Spoot Error
We'll wrap up this report with thoughts and photos from Tom Kays. Thanks, everyone!
Adding to what Wayne said about that night Nummis Nova dined at an Afghan restaurant, our numismatic conversations sped along like these whirling dervishes that danced above our table.
Afghan Dervishes ‘a’whirl’
Nummis Nova folks from the left include Robert, Daryl (our honored guest from the Fairfax Coin Club), Steve, Roger, Dave, Jon and Julian mid-discussion about weighty matters of coin collecting and pending dessert choices after a sumptuous meal of spicy dumplings and kebobs.
Interesting numismatic items I saw pass by included new books already discussed and a ‘medal’ by Dupre of John Paul Jones from an 1863 die impression, labeled as a
plastic impression (circa 1870 – 1910??) which caused a stir about when was the advent of ‘plastic,’ versus gutta percha and even pressed wood fiber that might be a more accurate description, that was obtained from an auction in the United Kingdom. Also seen: a Camp Mead, Maryland
Sales Store Construction Camp token good for 25 cents in merchandise; a circa 1905
flipper (heads/tails) token with donkey motif that says
Good for lunch or drink if presented by a good looking man, and
Columbia Exchange – M. P. Kressich – Capitol Saloon; a collection of uncirculated Civil War patriotic tokens including 189/399a, 178/267do, 209/414, 79/351a, 231/352a, 630/2, and more by Fuld numbers; an 1873 Swedish medal of Olaus Petri by the eminent 19th century female medalist, Lea Ahlborn, and a wood-handled postage cancellation ink stamp from Ruckersville, Virginia permanently stuck on the date of February 23rd, 1895.
Lastly, a collection of items passed by including an English ‘indenture’ on vellum from 1704, that pays homage to the auspices of Queen Anne, and contemporary medals and coins from her reign. Included were a Scottish crown of Edinburgh after the Act of Union, shillings, and a set of half-crown-size medals by Croker for her accession,
Entirely English, a Vigo Bay Victory medal, and a large victory metal by Lauffer hailing the fall of the French garrison to Queen Anne’s forces in 1709, at the siege of Tournai (a town now in Western Belgium near the French border) during the War of Spanish Succession.
Queen Anne era white medal (Eimer 436) shows a French warship’s mast, crow’s nest, colors and pennants shot off, bobbing in the water, and mortar bombardment of the French defenders at Tournai – July 29, 1709 – issued by Caspar Gottlieb Lauffer of Nurnberg and engraved by Martin Brunner with legends translated: NE PEREAT PERDIT
She loses that she may not be lost and SOLVTA CATENIS INSVRGIT
She rises relieved of her chains – On edge is a quote from the poet Virgil translated as
The huge limbs of the kingdom fall in ruin.
Nummis Nova dinner talk does tend to drop down rabbit holes that only the most enthusiastic collector will appreciate, but it is by sharing these many rabbit holes of arcane knowledge that a landscape of rabbit warrens becomes a network of numismatic power our dinner group possesses. We can say with pride,
I know a guy who used to collect those [insert item] who can tell you more than you ever wanted to know about them. It’s not always what you know, but who you know, (and what you know they know) that brings home the bacon when dealing with ‘rare’ collectibles that don’t trade hands very often. No telling what obscure items may turn up or what rabbit holes we’ll fall down at the next Nummis Nova dinner, now that we have abandoned specific
themes for show-and-tells. Go on – bring it!
Wayne Homren, Editor
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