The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 24, June 12, 2022, Article 9


Book Review: Robert Scot
Bill Eckberg writes:

Robert Scot cover "It was nice to see a new printing of Nyberg's book on Robert Scot is in print. The book contains a wealth of information about the man who was the first Chief Engraver of the US Mint, responsible for the Capped Bust coppers, all the Draped Busts (copper, silver and gold), and most likely later designs until his death in 1823.

"Reading the review was an interesting experience. I, of course, approach Scot as a numismatist. The review approached him as a native Scot. The reviewer seems to have found Scot's coinage work confusing, and was heavy on the Scottish Enlightenment. For most of us at The E-Sylum, I'm sure the opposite would be true."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

More on The Coin Collector
Clifford Mishler writes:

Remy-Bourne-Lists-1860-1960-The-Coin-Collector-Jan-20-1954 "The Lawrence Bros. publication -- The Coin Collector – was more a house organ than a true newspaper or trader. It originated back in the mid-1940s as The Philatelic Press – the World's Greatest Paper for Precancel Collectors – morphing into being represented as The World's Greatest Paper for Stamp and Coin Collectors. It was renamed as The Coin Collector, effective with the December 1954 edition. Sometime in the mid-1960s it passed to the Antique Trader, after having had at least one other interim owner as I recall. Most issues typically featured a headlined article on page one describing and pricing a collector issue . . . which could be purchased more competitively from a house ad inside . . . be it a modern proof set, classical commemorative, or other item.

"Krause Publications had introduced a new tabloid trader publication – Coin Shopper – bearing a cover date of September 1967. In early 1968 we assumed the title and mailing list from Ed Babka of the Antique Trader, combining it with our existing title – as the Coin Collector and Shopper – for which publication was continued through the issue of December 1969, at which time the mailing list and certain feature columns were merged into Numismatic News. Among the features transferred were Under the Glass by a young David Ganz, World Coin Commentary by Robert L. Clarke, Lore of Numismatics by Maurice M. Gould, and Token and Medal Carnival by Arlie R. Slabaugh, numismatists of significant renown.

"While I have a couple bound volumes in my library embracing those 1967 to 1969 issues, I don't possess any of the old Coin Collector/Philatelic Press issues from the earlier years."

Thanks! Very useful background. I didn't have time to search for it last week, but we did discuss the topic before - see the link below for more. -Editor

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

The Theodore Spicer-Simson Lady Gregory Medal
Scott Miller writes:

"I was pleased to see your mention of the Lady Gregory medal, as I was not aware of it previously. There is another Lady Gregory medal which might be of interest. It is a uniface, cast bronze medal, 75mm in diameter, and the work of Theodore Spicer-Simson, who made it at the suggestion of William Butler Yeats. Dated 1922, it was created at the same time that Spicer-Simson was producing his series of "Men of Letters of the British Isles". According to his autobiography "A Collector of Characters", Spicer-Simson was staying with Lady Gregory at her estate, Coole Park, while he was working on his medal of Yeats. Lady Gregory had a large copper beech, known as "the autograph tree" where eminent guests cut their initials, Spicer-Simson's TSS monogram can still be seen on it today."

  Theodore Spicer-Simson Lady Gregory Medal Lady Gregory autograph tree

Interesting - thanks. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

PCGS Prototype With Handwritten Label
Tom Caldwell of Northeast Numismatics writes:

"I noticed a rather strange piece being offered by Great Collections this week."

  PCGS Prototype Handwritten Label front PCGS Prototype Handwritten Label back

Peace Silver Dollar PCGS Prototype Handwritten Label OGH (1st Gen)

A fascinating early PCGS prototype label, showing how a coin with an unknown date could be certified by PCGS as a type coin. This particular Peace dollar no longer has any of the date showing, and it was assigned PCGS # 7355.00 (7355 is the PCGS # for the Peace Dollar type) and certification number 1146113 (which is not valid in the PCGS database, likely because it was never part of an official submission #/pick-up; certification numbers generally go live when they are picked up by the submitter).

This was produced in 1989/1990, with handwriting confirmed to be by PCGS employee Steve Rocky. In addition, PCGS has recently confirmed the holder, label and coin are all genuine and has not been tampered with in any way.

Strange to say the least - but fascinating nonetheless. Nice piece of numismatic history. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Peace Silver Dollar PCGS Prototype Handwritten Label OGH (1st Gen) (

Old Numismatic Photos
Dave Lange writes:

"I'm still finding interesting old numismatic photos for purchase online, and I'm attaching scans of a couple recent acquisitions.

"The first is dated February 16, 1937 and shows an employee of the Scott Stamp and Coin Company in NYC going through a filing cabinet within one of several mobile safes. Presumably, this is how the coin inventory was stored at the time. I don't recognize the man in the photo, but some readers may. Of course, Scott was the primary distributor of Wayte Raymond's National Coin Album until right about this time, when Raymond discontinued that relationship, so the photo is of dual interest to me.

"The second image is accompanied by a clipping from an unidentified newspaper, though it's likely from Chicago. The man at right is numismatist Michael A. Powills, who has a brief entry in Pete Smith's American Numismatic Biographies. The other man is Officer Donald Sutherland, who recovered a portion of the items stolen from Powills while the latter was away at a Portland, Oregon coin convention. Since the photo is dated September 2, 1959 that event must have been the recent ANA Convention in Portland. This photo was taken at the Maxwell (street?) Station, and the clipping reveals that the coins and medals stolen were valued at $50,000, a very large sum for a numismatic collection at that time. Unfortunately, the pieces recovered and shown in the photo amounted to just $5-10,000. They were found by the officer within a suitcase under a tree in the South Side of Chicago at Union Avenue and South 14th Street. Typical of that time, the newspaper included Powills' home address, just in case someone wanted to steal the material recovered!"

  Scott S & C Co 1937 Michael A. Powills Collection Recovery 1959

Thanks - very nice! Great numismatic ephemera. -Editor

On Banning Liberty Dollar Exhibits
An E-Sylum reader writes:

liberty_dollar_group "This note doesn't have to do with the latest E-Sylum (another superb job by the way) but regards an article you wrote for TAMS way back in March 2013. It was titled "CSNS Bans Liberty Dollars" and was about Bernard on NotHaus and his Liberty dollar (yes, I'm a little behind on my reading).

"In the article you correctly predicted that no one in the hobby would stand up for Bernard ("are we all going to be weenies?") because there were "no powerful hobby voices with a vested interest". I totally agree and think Bernard got shafted, both by the government and by the hobby.

"Bernard is a very interesting character and he traveled the country in his Cadillac peddling his dollars from the trunk of his car while peddling his ideas with his tongue. He passed through my town quite a few times and he and I would meet at his motel room for long discussions about monetary policy, minting (he owned the Royal Hawaiian Mint and produced many delightful pieces), free speech, the government and coin collecting in general. He actually is an extremely sharp guy and I don't think he was trying to do anything except draw attention to the faults of the Federal Reserve system and fiat-back currency. In that he may have been a bit too successful, but he should NEVER have gone to jail and certainly not for counterfeiting. It was one of several times the hobby en toto has disappointed me on a collective level.

"Anyway, great piece and belated thanks for sticking up for good old Bernard. You get and deserve props for what you are doing now; here's some kudos for what you did ten years ago. Thanks."

The TAMS Journal republished a piece I originally wrote in The E-Sylum. Here's an excerpt - see the full articles linked below. I was sticking up for the coins as numismatic items. So... are Liberty Dollars still verboten as exhibit items anywhere? How about eBay sales? -Editor

As noted in the previous article, eBay and the Central States Numismatic Society have banned Liberty Dollars from their venues. Humbug! I'm too young to be an old hippie, but I think the government is way overreaching on this. I understand CSNS' position, but wish the numismatic community would take a stand on the issue. Fighting these fights isn't always futile. The hobby worked with the government to roll back oppressive rules on the trading of Confederate currency, and the lawsuit over the seized Farouk 1933 $20 gold piece resulted in its legalization. Are we all gonna be weenies and roll over on this one?

Probably. There may be a small collector community for Liberty dollars, but no powerful hobby voices with a vested interest. But if Liberty Dollars are banned, what about other alternate currencies, past and present? Are Ithica Hours counterfeits? What about Nickolas Veeder's Eutopia dollars or Lewis Feuchtwanger's issues? They were proposed alternative coins, too.

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

More on Pratt's Nathan Hale Statue
Nathan-Hale-statue-by-MacMonnies Robert Goler writes:

"I believe that there is a small addendum for the recent Bela Pratt bio. While it is true that Pratt sculpted the Nathan Hale statue for at Yale, one that was put on display in NYC's City Hall and copied widely in the early 20th century was a similar commission created by Frederick Macmonnies."

For more information, see:
Statues of Nathan Hale (

Thank you. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
BELA LYON PRATT II (1867-1917) (

Washington Crossing the Delaware Quarter Initials

2021 Washington crossing the Delaware quarter, Last week I asked about the initials BS and MG on the 2021 Washington Crossing the Delaware quarter. Pete Smith came through with the answer. Thanks. -Editor

  • Sculptor MG: Michael Gaudioso, Medallic Artist
  • Designer BS: Benjamin Sowards, Artistic Infusion Program

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JUNE 5, 2022 : George and God (

Carnegie Heroes on 60 Minutes

Last Sunday 60 Minutes aired a segment on the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission and the heroes awarded medals. Below is a link to the full episode; the segment starts around the 29:12 mark. Thanks to Steve Bishop for pointing this out. Were Carnegie Heroes born heroic? -Editor

  Carnegie Heroes 60 Minutes
  Carnegie Heroes Commission Office 60 Minutes
  Carnegie Heroes medals 60 Minutes

To watch the complete episode/segment, see:
6/5/2022: The Longest Running Oil Spill, Canada's Unmarked Graves, Carnegie Heroes (

Heritage E-Sylum ad 2022-06-12

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:

To subscribe go to:



Copyright © 1998 - 2021 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster