Tuesday, February 21, 2023 was the date of the monthly dinner of my northern Virginia numismatic social group Nummis Nova. I had a brand new Bessie Coleman quarter in my pocket and passed it around the table. Steve Bishop was our host and we met at one of our regular haunts, Esposito's Italian Restaurant in Fairfax. A number of folks were already seated when I arrived. Tom's guest was Lorne LaVertu of the Fairfax Coin Club. I invited local high school student (and FCC member) Jonas Denenberg and Kellen Hoard, currently studying at George Washington University, both who'd joined us before. Here's a group shot.
Clockwise from left: Roger Burdette, Kellen Hoard, Lorne LaVertu, Tom Kays, Mike Packard, Steve Bishop, Jon Radel, Dave Schenkman, Eric Schena, and Jonas Denenberg.
I'd brought along a box of recent numismatic magazines and journals to give away. For display I had Carol Tedesco's books on treasure coins of the Atocha and Santa Margarita shipwrecks, and a group of numismatic ephemera.
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NEW BOOK: TREASURE COINS 2022 ANNIVERSARY EDITION
NEW BOOK: UNTANGLING THE RECORD
The group of ephemera included U.S. Mint publications and dealer price lists.
Here's Lorne having a look at my ephemera binder, and Jon displaying his copy of the book on medals of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame.
Roger and Kellen in discussion
Continuing Wayne's recollections of the night, but from a different perspective at the far end of the table, regulars at dinner on Fat Tuesday included Mike, Steve, Jon, Dave, and Eric. Continuing below are Wayne H., (Our benevolent dictator), Jonas, Roger, Kellen, and Lorne (aren't we on a first name basis with Nummis Nova regulars). This February night we hosted a full slate of guests including Jonas Denenberg, Kellen Hoard, and Lorne LaVertu.
Here's Tom's Kays' writeup about the evening, with more great photos.
It was a busy night for Show-and-Shares for sure. Our newest guest, Lorne Lavertu of the Fairfax Coin Club began by studying ‘The Espositos' family-run, Italian restaurant dinner menu that was soon buried, inundated by numismatic tchotchkes, ephemera, rarities, and oddities.
I saw a menacing, uniface, cast bronze, 1939 Defense of ‘Finlande' medal by M. Delannoy of France, who was caught up in the war and died in 1942; a nice One Third of a Dollar Continental Currency, printed by Hall and Sellers in Philadelphia, of February 17, 1776 with ‘Fugio,' or ‘Continental Dollar' designs suggested by Benjamin Franklin; and a petition to nominate Pat McBride (who channels
Ben Franklin at the PAN Coin Show), to the American Numismatic Association Board of Governors. Next was a Five Pound Note from Pennsylvania of April 10, 1775, by Hall and Sellers, featuring a fine vignette of the new jailhouse on the reverse for which the note was a fund raiser.
Then came a flood of items including a one-piece, Montreal British Militia button from Lower Canada (pictured), circa 1830s, made into a one halfpenny token by removing the shank and flattening it; a nice 1769 Charles III Mexican piece-of-eight; a Roman Empire bronze from Constantinople, (330 – 337 AD) showing Romulus, Remus (reverse pictured), and the Capitoline She-wolf (you'd think all of the triumvirate of the legendary founders of Rome would be known by name, but no, not the wolf); a postcard made from $200 in macerated saddle-blanket currency in 1907 that mentions passing through Harpers Ferry; a scarce 1870s, Clove Springs Iron Works of Dutchess County, New York, ten cent fractional note with anchor vignette; an 1838 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Two Dollar Wisconisco Canal & Coal Company note; a toned 1799 Bust Dollar; an unpublished, draft paper detailing the discovery of unknown High Relief Obverses on 1877 and 1877-S double eagles due to engraver's mistakes; a defunct, Dominion Grading Service-slabbed, Virginia State Quarter; a mahogany-boxed display of early leeuwendaalders used for the
Guess which ones are Counterfeit game (look for abnormally high grades), a ‘Short Snorter' for a group of eleven gents who took basic at Eardner, primary at Hemet, and advanced at Marea, Texas;
The flood continues with bulk displays of MS-66+ Full Bell Line Franklin halves, uncirculated Morgan dollar toners, an MS-67 quarter, classic California commemorative half dollar; a seated half dollar stamped with ‘Admit One - Sprague & Blodgett's Georgia Minstrels;' a Coronet large cent (reverse pictured) tastefully cut down to small cent size; an intriguing, octagonal-hammered, 1846 large cent (obverse pictured) with counterstamp of uncertain provenance; a seated half dollar stamped as a ‘Free Ticket to Yankee Robinson's Quadruple Show;' mint state Mexican Republic Cap and Ray and Ferdinand VII Portrait silver reales and half reales; a ‘Series Numismatica Universalis Virorum Illustrium,' bronze medal of Christopher Columbus by Petite; all capped with historic and numismatic themed books and ephemera galore. Whew!
Books included, Groundbreakers, the History of the Northern Virginia Relic Hunters Association, published in 2023, Who's Who in the Jewish-American Hall of Fame, by Mel Wacks, Dollar of the Future – The Susan B. Anthony Coin, by unknown author, circa 1978, Gold and Silver Coins of the World including Crowns, Cut – Counterstamped and Siege Pieces – Rarities from the Collection of King Farouk, by Hans M.F. Schulman, 1955, Untangling the Record – A Contemporary review of Potosi and Lima Mint Coins and Assayer History from the Mint Openings up to 1622 and Treasure Coins of the Nuestra Senora do Atocha & the Santa Margarita, both by Carol Tedesco, Beautiful Banknotes of France by Peter Jones (inadvertently given away but soon recovered by the true owner), original manuscript papers including Historical Synopsis of Provisional Currencies by Walter Breen, and several free giveaway history books from Steve Bishop. Thanks Steve! And then a half dozen pizzas arrived with heaping grease and cheese, in proximity to all the numismatic treasures which quickly vanished back into owner's satchels not a moment too soon.
The last we saw of our guest, Lorne LaVertu, he was loading the trunk of his sedan with a heavy cardboard box of donated numismatic literature for the Fairfax Coin Club, and packing assorted numismatists into the front and back seats, all of whom were hoping for a free lift to the Metro. We hope Lorne wants to come back to future dinners despite all the happy chaos that these normal Nummis Nova nights can bring.
Thanks, Tom! Here are some more details from the owners of the displayed items.
1769 8 Real
Lorne provided these images of his AU 1769 8 Real coin from a Daniel Sedwick auction. Nice coin!
Great examples of the minstrel show genre of counterstamps. Admission price? Fifty cents. Sure, it's a "free" ticket.
Dave Schenkman brought these counterstamps on 1843 and 1876 half dollars.
Cut Down Large Cents
Dave also had two interesting cut-down U.S. Large Cents. The octagonal one has a counterstamp. What were these used for?
Finally, Dave also brought a couple great obsolete banknotes.
"This note is rare, and one of a tiny number of notes issued by mines in New York. The company operated in the 1870s."
"I was glad to be able to purchase this one; the timing was great, because I'm putting the final touches on a catalog of coal company mining notes; I had this listed, but didn't have a picture. I included the following notes: The Wisconisco Coal Company was established in 1831, and the first coal was mined the following year. The company's connection with the Wiconisco (note spelling) Canal Company is not known, but there obviously was one. Although Wiconisco is the correct spelling of the name (it was taken from a creek by the same name), newspaper articles of the 1830s and 1840s vary in the spelling of both the canal and the coal company."
Lion Dollars - Real or Counterfeit?
Tom Kays had a case of Lion Dollars (leeuwendaalders) to quiz attendees with.
Lion Dollar Obverse - 1617 Utrecht (Left) / 1688 Utrecht (Right)
Lion Dollar Reverse - 1607 Overijssel (Left) / 1607 Gelderland (Right)
"Answer: Lion dollars were trade coins issued from provinces and imperial cities of the Republic
of the United Netherlands during the
Golden Age of Dutch world-wide sea power. Seven
Protestant northern provinces of the Netherlands would fight Catholic Spanish/Portuguese
rulers for freedom and trade supremacy for eighty years before officially securing the peace in
1648. Lion dollars were struck from 1575 to 1713, intended for circulation in distant trading
posts throughout the Dutch overseas territories, from the Turkish Ottoman Empire to New
Amsterdam (later New York) in North America. In each case, the first coin (pictured left) is
genuine and the second coin (pictured right) is counterfeit. Counterfeits and imitations may
have better or worse detail than the crude originals."
Steve brought a number of toned type coins and a great macerated currency postcard.
1799 Bust Dollar ANACS EF40 Details Polished Retoned
1880-S Morgan Toned
1925-S California Commorative
1948 Franklin MS66FBL Toned
1964 Roosevel Dime PCGS MS64 Sample Holder
Macerated Currency Postcard
"Although I don't have a picture of the message side, the postcard has interesting content. The writer mentions passing Harper's Ferry where John Brown led his uprising, and leaving the Potomac on the way to see the Blue Ridge."
Thanks, everyone. It was another great evening of numismatic fellowship. Guest Lorne stepped up in two ways, accepting my box of giveaways on behalf of the Fairfax Coin Club, and giving Jonas and Kellen a ride to the Metro station for their journeys home. Thank you! See the following article in this issue for my further numismatic adventures this week.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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