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About Us

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit association devoted to the study and enjoyment of numismatic literature. For more information please see our web site at


Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers (or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page link


There is a membership application available on the web site Membership Application

To join, print the application and return it with your check to the address printed on the application. Print/Digital membership is $40 to addresses in the U.S., and $60 elsewhere. A digital-only membership is available for $25. For those without web access, write to:

Jeff Dickerson, Treasurer
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
P. O. Box 578,
Weatherford, TX 76086


For Asylum mailing address changes and other membership questions, contact Jeff at this email address:


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


Sale Calendar

Watch here for updates!


Content presented in The E-Sylum is not necessarily researched or independently fact-checked, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Wayne Homren 2017-03-15 full New subscribers this week include: Curt Radabaugh, courtesy Pat McBride. Welcome aboard! We now have 7,260 subscribers.

Thank you for reading The E-Sylum. If you enjoy it, please send me the email addresses of friends you think may enjoy it as well and I'll send them a subscription. Contact me at anytime regarding your subscription, or questions, comments or suggestions about our content.

This week we open with more selections from the upcoming Kolbe & Fanning numismatic literature sale, two new books, notes and updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, and more.

Other topics this week include the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation, the Fogg Museum robbery, the British Museum theft, fixed price and auction previews, coin hoards, the D-Day commemorative 50p, a Nobel Prize medal on exhibit, the Jewish-American Hall of Fame medal series, banknote printer De La Rue, and the billion-dollar bounty of the San Jose shipwreck.

To learn more about the Richard B. Winsor collection, the Dunham–Clarke Encased Postage Stamp collection, Canadian Decimal coinage, Henning nickels, the Maranville Pocket Coin Tester, Michael Douglas as Ben Franklin, the London Elephant Token, renovatio monetae coinage, Damien Hirst's project 'The Currency' and the numismatic boudoir of Miss Daisy Deutz, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

  Davisson E-Auction 49 Lot 7 SCOTLAND. James VI 1602
Image of the week

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Here are additional selections from the next Kolbe & Fanning numismatic literature sale, featuring books on ancient, world and U.S. numismatics. -Editor

Kolbe-Fanning Sale 170 catalog cover On Saturday, June 15, 2024, Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers will be conducting our next auction of rare and out-of-print numismatic literature from around the world. The sale features over 500 lots of material on ancient, world and U.S. numismatics from the libraries of Wayne Homren and other consignors. Some highlights of the sale include:

Some highlights of this first sale include:

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  K-F sale 170 Lot 086  R. James collection K-F sale 170 Lot 119 Montagu collection
Lots 86 and 119

Lot 86: an attractively bound set of the complete R. James collection catalogue

Lot 119: a finely bound copy of the 1896 Rollin & Feuardent catalogue of the Montagu collection of Roman & Byzantine coins, with plates

  K-F sale 170 Lot 143  bound volumes of offprints
Lot 143

Lot 143: twenty-one bound volumes of offprints, consisting of over 300 works, on ancient Roman coins, from the RBW Library

  K-F sale 170 Lot 172 Dupré's 1793 pamphlet K-F sale 170 Lot 263 Montagu sales of English coins
Lots 172 and 263

Lot 172: Augustin Dupré's 1793 pamphlet on the redesign of the French coinage in the aftermath of the Revolution, written with Bertrand Verlac

Lot 263: special editions of the Montagu sales of English coins and medals, including the very rare Spink catalogue of his patterns and proofs

  K-F sale 170 Lot 305 Richard B. Winsor sale catalog plate K-F sale 170 Lot 343  Henry C. Miller sale catalog plate
Lots 305 and 343

Lot 305: an original copy of S.H. & H. Chapman's 1895 catalogue of the Richard B. Winsor collection, illustrated with 10 fine photographic plates

Lot 343: a plated copy of Tom Elder's 1917 catalogue of the Henry C. Miller sale, most notable for Miller's collection of United States large cents

  K-F sale 170 Lot 375 Fuld annotated Hetrich-Guttag
Lot 375

Lot 375: George & Melvin Fuld's heavily annotated deluxe edition of Hetrich & Guttag, the basis of the Fulds' work on Civil War Tokens

  K-F sale 170 Lot 426 New Netherlands Coin Company catalogs
Lot 429

Lot 429: a complete set of the catalogues issued by the New Netherlands Coin Company, one of several lots being sold on behalf of the NBS

  K-F sale 170 Lot 449 Coin Collector's Journal
Lot 449

Lot 449: a complete set of Scott & Company's Coin Collector's Journal (1875–1888), from the libraries of Nelson T. Thorson and Donald M. Miller.

Register early to bid online
Bids may be placed via post, email, phone, as well as online. Kolbe & Fanning use Auction Mobility as our third-party online bidding platform. Auction Mobility is an app-based platform allowing users the ability to participate in the sale through phones, tablets and computers. To register for the sale, bidders must go to and sign up. Once you have set up an account, you may browse lots, place advance bids, or participate in the live sale online. Those wishing to participate on their devices can download the Kolbe & Fanning app through the Apple or Google Play Store. The sale will also be listed on Biddr and NumisBids in the near future.

The printed catalogue has been mailed to all active customers on our mailing list. As international mail speeds have been inconsistent, we encourage our foreign clients to consult the electronic catalogue in case their printed catalogue does not arrive promptly. A PDF of the printed catalogue has been posted to our main website at for those who prefer that format. Bids placed via post, email, fax or phone must be received by June 14, the day before the sale, in order for them to be processed. Advance absentee bids may also be placed at any time online at Live internet bidding will be available during the sale itself through the same platform.

Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers LLC is a licensed and bonded auction firm in the State of Ohio, and our sales are conducted by licensed auctioneers. For more information, please see the Kolbe & Fanning website at or email David Fanning at To register for the sale, go to We look forward to your participation

To read the Catalogue PDF, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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In her Newsletter #215, ancient coin dealer, bibliophile and NBS Board member Shanna Schmidt published these notes on the upcoming Kolbe & Fanning numismatic literature sale. -Editor

Kolbe & Fanning Auction 170 (15 June 2024)

K&F will hold their 170th auction with 508 lots. As many of you know, I pride myself on my ever expanding numismatic literature and catalog libraries. I even have a fancy name now to go along with those libraries, the S&S Library. All joking aside, numismatic books are an integral part of collecting. Those that endeavor to begin this wonderful journey can only go so far without the aid of a good library. I'm thankful for my friends David and Maria Fanning and their ability to bring us some pretty amazing sales. Anyone dealing in books has to be passionate. There is no way around it. The sheer weight of lugging books is enough to make you search for a great massage therapist.

This sale has another round of material from the Wayne Homren library. Wayne, is another bibliophile, who is the editor of The E-Sylum, He's the one that sends you that long list of numismatic news every Sunday night. He features a lot of news on upcoming available books as well which is always helpful.

Some lots of interest: Lot 4 which is a complete set of Ars Classica sales starting in 1922 until their last sale in 1934. Even better, it was in the library of E.S.G Robinson, a well known numismatist. Lot 86 is a lovely bound set of the Jameson collection. Lot 98 is a fully annotated catalog from the Voirol sale of 1968 from the auction house Spink. With lot 143 there are four lots of numerous bound volumes from the RBW collection of offprints. How often have you photocopied just one article from a book and thought, "now where am I going to put this if I want to read it again?" The late Rick Witschonke took that task to heart and bound books with important articles. A great idea!

  K-F sale 170 Lot 143 Offprints on Roman Numismatics
Lot 143

For those interested in the dark side of numismatics, lot 324 contains the original records of a 1930's counterfeiting case of the Hogan family, photos and all. Lot 337 is slightly outside the realm of books. It is the Dunham-Clarke collection of encased postage stamps (minus the postage stamps!). The collection was sold but the important boxes remained and are now being offered for sale. This is from Wayne Homren's collection. Finally, lot 345, is the card catalog once owned by Louis E. Eliasberg. It contains records of his acquisition of world coins, U.S. coins and paper money. For those younger collectors, the whole idea of a card catalog is foreign. It was a laborious task to keep track of everything. Thank goodness for computers!

I'll be participating in this sale so get in touch if you need assistance.

While I love numismatic literature, as a numismatist and student of hobby history, those encased postage stamp boxes were among the favorite items in my collection. The shear magnitude of the Dunham collection boggles the mind. I worked decades to assemble my own collection and never even acquired one of every merchant - Dunham had nearly every U.S. Civil War encased postage stamp every made, including nearly every denomination from every issuer - and then some. While I'd read the B. Max Mehl catalog of the collection, my mind was blown seeing the physical boxes the collection had been stored in. It was an honor to exhibit my own modest collection in them - they were the velvet pillows supporting the crown jewels of my Civil War collection.

Here's David Fanning's description. -Editor

  Dunhand encased postage boxes 2 Dunhand encased postage boxes 1

Dunham, William F. CUSTOM-MADE BOXES PREPARED TO HOUSE THE WILLIAM F. DUNHAM COLLECTION OF ENCASED POSTAGE STAMPS AS PURCHASED AND EXTENDED BY T. JAMES CLARKE. Present are 331 boxes made by the T. James Clarke Box & Label Works, each of which consists of a small gold box lid [56 by 42 mm], into which is fitted a cloth-lined holder die-cut to hold one encased postage stamp. Most of the boxes have printed labels below the hole describing the variety enclosed, and larger blank labels on the backs, onto which is typically recorded by hand or in type the variety, source, amount paid (in code) and value. Boxes were prepared for the relatively few varieties not present in the collection, with each of these holding an insert with the relevant variety information recorded. In a small number of cases, only the insert is present. A few boxes have split seams, but most of them are fine.

A remarkable survival from one of the greatest collections ever formed of encased postage stamps. While the collection itself has long since been dispersed, these boxes, made by Craige to house his incredible accumulation of these pieces, have been preserved by a series of passionate collectors. Clarke purchased Dunham's collection, which accounted for most of his own collection. When Clarke's collection was dispersed in 1956, John J. Ford, Jr. came into possession of the boxes, which he preserved. Wayne Homren acquired them in the 1980s from Ford via Bob Kincaid. Homren used many of them to display his own impressive collection of these pieces, most notably at the 2004 ANA Convention in Pittsburgh (at which convention Homren served as General Chairman).

A fascinating piece of numismatic history, of considerable interest to the specialist. Ex Wayne Homren Library.

To read the complete lot description, see:
The Dunham–Clarke Collection of Encased Postage Stamps (

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AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS: Are your books carried by Wizard Coin Supply? If not, contact us via with details.


The Royal Canadian Numismatic Association and the J. Douglas Ferguson Historical Research Foundation helped publish and distribute Rob Turner's new book on the Canadian Decimal Coinage from 1867 to 1907. Here's the announcement. -Editor

Dominion Decimals - Canadian Decimal Coinage from 1867 to 1907

Rob Turner (Author)
Royal Canadian Numismatic Association

Dominion Decimals Rob Turner Book Cover Do you know the introduction of that catalogue, or the opening paragraphs of that article about those coins or tokens? That text that gives the coins historical context, gives them a reason for their existence. That is what Rob Turner's new book, Dominion Decimals, Canadian Decimal Coinage from 1867 to 1907, is for the decimal series of coins from the first 40 years of confederation.

Rob Turner, the 2020 recipient of the J. Douglas Ferguson Award, the highest award in Canadian numismatics, has spent decades researching Canada's large cent series. He has visited many museums, libraries, and archives to assemble so much information that was unknown before. But this work is more than just a reference book on coins, it's designed to preserve and present information that is not accessible to most numismatists.

The information used in the past in Canadian numismatic literature comes almost exclusively from mint Annual Reports of the British Royal Mint or the Royal Canadian Mint. While these references were useful, Turner found many errors and omissions while studying them. In his quest to correct and reconcile these errors, he consulted the public records prepared by the Canadian Department of Finance, the Canadian Auditor-General, the Canadian High Commissioner in London, the Royal Mint, and even the Heaton Mint's original order books.

The first chapter sets the stage for the new dominion's government and its workings, and its relationship with the United Kingdom. Next, four pairs of chapters are devoted to each decade from 1867 to 1907. The first chapter of each pair discusses various social, and economic events in the country, with emphasis on industry, transportation, banking, and financial policies implemented by the governments of the time. The second chapter of each pair discusses the business of coinage itself. It delves in great detail into each coin order placed by the Dominion of Canada to the British Mint or The Heaton Mint. Invoices are examined. Quantities of each denomination are detailed. And payment methods are explored. As you would expect from Turner, he also discusses the various dies used for minting the coins, as well as information about the designers, die-sinkers, and others.

Although the scope of this book ends at 1907, chapter 11 examines the records regarding the coinage melted and recoined by the Ottawa branch of the Royal Mint, and later, the Royal Canadian Mint, from its opening in 1908. The data presented in this chapter is incredibly detailed and useful.

This book does not have the wealth of images that most collectors would expect from a coin catalog. As Turner explains:

This book describes the history of the coins much more than the coins themselves. Loading it up with color plates of coins seemed gratuitous and even distracting. It seemed more worthwhile to instead keep the book black and white to lower printing costs and encourage a wider dissemination of this important numismatic information.

Clearly Turner's book is well researched. There is a wealth of information to be had as you browse through its pages. The book is written in a scholarly style, with extensive footnotes and a comprehensive bibliography.

Although Turner admits it may not be the most exciting read, this book is definitely destined to become a classic. Anyone with an interest in researching Canada's decimal coins will be thankful for the years of work and research Rob Turner has put into it.

The printing of Dominion Decimals, Canadian Decimal Coinage from 1867 to 1907 was financed by a grant from the J. Douglas Ferguson Historical Research Foundation. The hardcover, 338-page book will be unveiled at the upcoming TOREX show in Toronto June 21st to 23rd and will be available from the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association ( for $60 Canadian or $50 U.S. Turner has generously donated all the proceeds to the association.

For more information, or to order, see:
Dominion Decimals – Canadian Decimal Coinage from 1867 to 1907 (

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Joe Cronin has published the first modern study of the counterfeit Jefferson nickels produced by Francis LeRoy Henning. Here's his eBay description. Thanks to Utah Numismatic Society Mint Master Editor Doug Nyholm for his mention of the book in the latest issue. -Editor

The Henning Nickels Collectors' Guide
by Joe Cronin

Henning Nickels Collectors' Guide book cover Yes, I am the same author who wrote Mint Errors to Die For, and I am also one of the foremost experts on Henning nickels and have made many new discoveries on them in recent years. My book is loaded with up-to-date, detailed information you won't find anywhere else on any web page, YouTube video, or social media page. It's loaded with HD photos, close-ups, recent sale prices, and other good online and literary resources you should use to make you a more informed collector.

In the 1950s, Francis Leroy Henning counterfeited around 500,000 Jefferson nickels and roughly 100,000 made it into circulation. His fakes have become increasingly popular and valuable over time whereby selling prices range between $150 - $900+.

The purpose of this book is to tell you how to properly identify them as much of the information out there is either incomplete or just plain wrong. Learn about obverse and reverse die markers, what the dates are, what diagnostic tests should be performed to verify authenticity, if weighing them is really a good option, and discover some newly-discovered reverse dies and die markers that will make you re-check all your Jefferson nickel stashes. I also cover what Henning nickels *should not* look like, how to know what they're worth, and I even include some other valuable fake coins out there that collectors love to find.

Get an advantage over other Henning nickel collectors to complete your set of all his fakes as there are still plenty out there to find - that is, if you know what you're looking for exactly. And with this book, you will!

The book is 84 pages total, 8.5 X 11 inches (Big!), and is soft cover but the covers are plasticized.

  Henning Nickels sample page 1 Henning Nickels sample page 2

Joe adds (on CoinTalk):

"Many people claim to be Henning nickel experts, but there is a lot of misinformation out there and many so-called "experts" are often either wrong or have incomplete information. Just this year I have acquired FIVE Henning nickels (non-1944 dates) listed on Ebay as "circulated nickels" for under $5 - some of which sell for over $500; and one date that has sold recently for over $800!

"I set the record straight on what you should really be looking for (and NOT looking for) by offering several different and reliable diagnostics to help you authenticate his fakes. For example, did you know that not all Hennings weigh over 5.0 grams, that some weigh under or exactly 5.0 grams, and not all have either a "Looped R" or "Dot" reverse? Did you know I personally discovered a new die marker that holds true to help identify many of his fakes?"

For more information, or to order, see:
The Henning Nickels Collectors' Guide by Joe Cronin (
My Book: The Henning Nickels Collector's Guide (

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

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Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided this summary of the British Museum's Catalogue of Greek Coins. -Editor

  British Museum Catalogue of Greek Coins 600

Numbering the British Museum's Catalogue of Greek Coins (1877-1927) Volumes

The study of numismatics quickly leads toward a pedantic path, and it is unlikely this article will do anything to lift the bar higher (or lower, depending on the reader's viewpoint).

The 29-volume catalog of the British Museum's Greek collection, A Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, is one of the most important references ever developed for the study of ancient numismatics. Weighing in at over 10,000 pages, with 952 plates, this is the definitive record of this important collection at the turn of the century. The initials BMC are widely used to refer to the set.

Remarkably, there seems to be no universal standard regarding the numbering of the series. The individual volumes were published unnumbered, although the opening notes in vols. 22-27 and 29 make reference to the twenty-Nth volume in the series. Even this small contribution is confused, with volumes no. 24 and 25 both identifying themselves as the twenty-fifth in the series.

The library catalogs of the British Museum and American Numismatic Society omit volume numbers and do not clarify the matter. The Forni reprint (1963-1965) similarly did not incorporate volume numbers. Wikipedia only adds confusion, counting but 28 volumes and making a series of one-off errors after skipping the volume dedicated to Parthia. The Numismatic Chronicle published a geographical order of the first 12 volumes in 1889, which does little to clarify the chronological order.

The publication years of the individual volumes provide clear, chronological guidance for vols. 1-5, 8-11, 17, and 20-29. However, some years (1883: vols. 6-7, 1889: vols. 12-13, 1892: vols. 14-16, 1897: vols. 18-19) feature multiple volumes, and the precise sequence of these is unclear. To the rescue comes Elvira Clain-Stefanelli, who published a sequence in the 1985 Numismatic Bibliography (entry 1888). Let's look more closely at the years for which there are multiple volumes.

1883: The Numismatic Chronicle notes volumes received from the British Museum in April, for Thessaly and for Egypt, in that order. This agrees with the Clain-Stefanelli sequence.

1889: The Numismatic Chronicle indicates the Corinth volume was received in April 1889, and the Pontus volume in February of the next year. This agrees with the Clain-Stefanelli order.

1892: The Numismatic Chronicle notes receiving the Mysia volume in April, and the Alexandria and Ionia volumes (in that order) in October. Again, this agrees with Clain-Stefanelli.

1897: The Numismatic Chronicle received the Caria volume in February, and the Lycia volume is noted in the June annual meeting minutes. This emission order agrees with that published by Clain-Stefanelli.

Bill Daehn's Annotated Bibliography of Ancient Greek Numismatics (2012) uses the Clain-Stefanelli order, as does David Fanning, when cataloging sets for sale. The recent sale of the BCD Library by Kolbe & Fanning included such a set (February 17, 2024, lot 325). The agreement of the bibliographers three should clarify the matter once and for all.

Link to the Kolbe & Fanning BCD Library catalog:

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Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger also provided the following report of a recent metal-detecting find researched through NNP. Very nice! -Editor

Metal Detectorist Discovers Rare Coin Tester

  Maranville 1860 Pocket Coin Tester

Terry Amburgey, metal detectorist, recently wrote to Newman Portal I was metal detecting at a city park. I dug up a piece of brass and threw [it] in my pouch. Took it home and cleaned it up. I saw some writing and numbers. My wife did some research and came across this paper. The paper Amburgey refers to is 1860 Maranville Improved Pocket Coin Tester, contributed to Newman Portal by Malcolm Mathias in 2019. We reported Amburgey's find to Mathias, who responded enthusiastically.

I'm excited to see the sixth known example of an 1860 Maranville Improved Pocket Coin Tester, Mathias writes. Maranville appointed an agent [in Philadelphia], Charles G. Imley, to help sell the new Coin Testers to the public. Two of the previously known examples have ‘Charles G. Imley' engraved on the face. Three of the previously known examples do not have the Imley engraving – they are blank in that rectangular area on the face of the coin tester, like yours, now the fourth known example of this type – making a total of six now known.

These devices allowed users to verify the diameter, thickness, and weight of suspect U.S. and foreign coins. They are now collectible in themselves, and the rare 1860 Maranville detector is highly prized. A group lot in the 2018 Newman sale of counterfeit coin detectors, including an example of the 1860 Maranville device, realized $12,000.

Image: Dug Maranville 1860 Pocket Coin Tester

  Newman 1860 Maranville Improved Pocket Coin Tester
Newman example

Link to Malcolm Mathias's publications on Maranville Coin Testers:

Link to Eric P. Newman example of the 1860 Maranville Coin Tester:

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The David Lisot Video Library on the Newman Numismatic Portal can be found at:

We highlight one of his videos each week in The E-Sylum. Here's one from 2005 with Doug Mudd speaking about the political usage of imagery on Early American coinage. -Editor

  Republican Sovereignty on Coinage title card
  Republican Sovereignty on Coinage Early America
  Republican Sovereignty on Coinage Early America2

Image & Republican Sovereignty on Coinage

Use of imagery on coinage has been influenced by the concepts of society since the earliest of times. Learn some of what has driven the decisions that have been made including:

  • That George Washington did not want his image on any coinage
  • Coin designs offered by Ben Franklin Efforts to forge a national identity
  • Why individual States were allowed to strike their own coinage at first
  • The influence of classical Roman ideals Examples of French coinage that show the development of the concept of liberty on coin
  • The need to create an American coinage to replace the discredited Colonial and Revolutionary issues
  • Pattern coinage proposed by Robert Morris and why they were not accepted
  • Thomas Jefferson's proposal for a decimal based coinage system and a national mint
  • The debate over the law passed in 1792 defining US coinage

Speaker: Douglas Mudd. Publication date: August 20, 2005.

To watch the complete video, see:
Image & Republican Sovereignty on Coinage (

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Howard Gibbs' Latin American Crowns
Brian Boosi writes:

1846 Ecuador 8 reales "I was excited to see the Howard Gibbs archives at the upcoming K&F sale. My collection is focused on Latin American crowns, and I think a few of my coins came from Gibbs. The first being an 1846 Ecuador 8 reales which was plated in Gibbs 1951 Schulman sale. The photo isn't perfect but both Carlos Jara and I agree the match is likely.

"The second is the Jamaican 8S6P which was played in the Byrne sale and likely the same unplated coin from Gibbs final sale of cut and countermarked coins.

"I'm looking forward to bidding and hopeful there is some information in the archives. Best of luck on the sale."

Thanks, and good luck yourself. Howard Gibbs and Ray Bryne were before my time in Pittsburgh numismatics, but I would have loved the opportunity to meet them and see their great collections. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

On James Risk's Orders and Decorations

In the May 19th issue, Pete Smith's article included a photo of Orders awarded to James C. Risk. he could only identify a few and asked readers of assistance with the rest. -Editor

  James Risk Ordersand Decorations

George Cuhaj writes:

"I do not have any ID's on the Risk medals and decorations, however, here is a photo of Risk and Dr. Alan Stahl, and an unidentified lady. Risk is wearing an order neck ribbon, and his miniatures. I took the photo at the ANS's 1996 dinner tribute to Eric P. Newman at the Explorer's Club in New York City."

  1996 ANS EPN dinner James Risk, Alan Stahl

Thank you! Nice photo. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
JAMES CHARLES RISK (1913-2005) (

Canadian Antiquarian & Numismatic Journal Issues Sought
Steve Woodland writes:

canadian-antiquarian-and-numismatic-journal cover "I'm hoping readers can help me acquire missing volumes of this important Canadian numismatic publication. I have been slowly gathering volumes/issues over the past several years (& have been outbid many times by collectors with much deeper pockets than mine).

"Here are the volumes/issues I am missing:

  • 1885 issues 1-4 (Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct)
  • 1886 issues 3-4 (Jul, Oct)
  • 1890 issues 3-4 (Jul, Oct)
  • 1892 issues 1-2 (Jan, Apr)
  • 1893 issues 1-2 (Jan, Apr)
  • 1898 issues 2,4 (Apr, Oct)

"I am aware that Series 1, Vol XIII (1885) is part of lot 235 in the upcoming Kolbe & Fanning sale on June 15.

"Best wishes and I look forward to hearing from someone. I can be reached at ."

Can anyone help Steve get his set across the finish line? -Editor

Michael Douglas as Ben Franklin
Ben Franklin reenactor Pat McBride writes:

Michael Douglas as Ben Franklin "I watched the final episode of the AppleTV Franklin series recently. My professional opinion: Michael Douglas completely captures the essence of the man. I was skeptical at first but the tale weaves the viewer into the realm of war and diplomacy with masterful skill that Franklin remarkably achieved through the most dire of circumstances. If I had seen this series before I started portraying Ben then I would have never attempted it. I would have been too intimidated and plagued by the prospect of failure.

"This series is not for everyone because it goes into the reality of how wars are fought, lost, or won with exquisite detail. If you like heroics, cannon, blood and battle then watch Patriot with Mel Gibson. This series delves into the political realities of war with the perfect diplomat to achieve the goal in a most incredible ballet of skill that only Franklin could understand."

Thank you! Seems well worth watching. -Editor

In December 1776, Benjamin Franklin is world-famous for his electrical experiments. But his passion and power are put to the test when he embarks on a secret mission to France - with the fate of American Independence hanging in the balance.

For more information, or to watch, see:
Michael Douglas is Franklin (

Uncashed 1919 U.S. Treasury Check
Jeffrey Williams writes:

"In response to an article in the E-Sylum, Vol 27, Number 21, May 26, 2024, "Collecting Uncashed U.S. Treasury Checks", attached are images of a check that was issued March 1st, 1919 and never cashed.

"Also attached is a follow-up letter from the Treasury, written almost two months later, requesting a partial refund for an overpayment in the check.

"The uncashed check is now over 125 years old."

  Treasury check March 01 1919-front
  Treasury Department envelope April 26 1919--

Amazing item - thanks for sharing! -Editor

To see all the images, see: (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MAY 26, 2024 : Collecting Uncashed U.S. Treasury Checks (

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In this press release, the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation (ACEF) announces a new directory of 'Trusted Experts'. -Editor

ACEF logo The Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation has launched at its website a Trusted Experts Directory to provide the public with an easy and practical way to locate professional dealers and experts who buy and sell genuine coins and numismatic collectibles.

Thousands of people looking for bargains are being scammed every day by vendors on popular e-commerce platforms selling counterfeit coins and numismatic collectibles. Most Americans don't realize they are buying fakes until they go to sell. Then they learn the counterfeits they've bought online are worthless and even worse, illegal to possess, said John Albanese, president of the non-profit U.S.-based foundation devoted to creating awareness and assisting law enforcement in combatting counterfeits in the coin marketplace in the United States.

Experts listed in ACEF's directory have earned trust and respect through years of dealing honestly and fairly with customers. Additionally, those included in the Trusted Experts Directory pledge to not knowingly sell counterfeits of any numismatic item – collectible coins, precious metals coins or rare paper money, etc. They also make two-way markets; that is, they both buy and sell.

That's important because you want to be sure the coin or piece of collectible paper money you purchase is genuine. It's equally important to know that you have options to sell your genuine coins or paper money at a fair and reasonable price when you (or your heirs) decide it is time to sell, Albanese said.

ACEF's Trusted Experts Directory is designed to help buyers locate established dealers and experts within a 50-mile radius of where they live. Most listed in the directory have brick-and-mortar locations as well as websites.

ACEF Vice President Barry Stuppler noted, We encourage buyers or sellers to get to know the business professionals you are dealing with. Why buy coins from strangers you don't know, who contact you by phone or have a listing or ad on the internet? Most of the time they don't tell you who they are or where they are located, and they are highly likely to sell you a fake.

Stuppler added: Before making any purchase or sale, if possible, check out the professional coin dealer, see if he or she is a member of a creditable organization such as the Professional Numismatist Guild. If you don't know coins, know your dealer. Even if you know coins, know your dealer!

ACEF is a 501(3)(C) non-profit corporation with Public Charity status. It is funded entirely by donations. For news and informative articles, as well as donating, visit ACEF's website:

To read an earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. -Editor

Plaster Residue. A hard gray-white substance found in the crevices of a numismatic item, which had once been cleaned or used as a pattern for a plaster cast. Evidence of such residue indicates the piece was mistreated by a previous owner. Two possibilities exist: (1) it was cleaned with a pumice-based cleanser, or (2) it was used as the pattern to make a plaster of Paris casting. It is difficult to identify which residue – the dried pumice or hardened plaster – is present. If the remainder of the piece is harshly cleaned it may be assumed to be the first possibility and then called pumice residue.

The second possibility indicates the plaster casting was not professionally made (a release agent was not used or if used was not done so properly). In most professional casting of numismatic items, the coin or medal never touches plaster – instead it is pressed into a clay or plasticine, which becomes the negative mold, and the plaster cast is made from that mold. The plaster never comes in contact with the coin or medal itself. Plaster residue can also be found in rubber or plastic molds, metal galvanos or patterns if not properly coated with a release agent or expertly handled.

Removal of either residue from the coin or medal is quite difficult, particularly the hardened plaster. The residue has great affinity for tiny crevices and becomes sealed in these. The first step should be ultrasonic cleaning. If this is unsuccessful the dried pumice or hardened plaster will have to be removed by chasing.

To read the complete entry on the Newman Numismatic Portal, see:
Plaster Residue (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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E-Sylum Feature Writer and American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article about an early female U.S. coin collector. Thanks! -Editor

  An Early Woman Numismatist

Past issues of the E-Sylum have discussed women numismatists and perhaps who may have been among the earliest. While I was looking into the topic, I came across a story that was repeated in more than thirty newspapers in 1899.

From the Philadelphia Record:

Singular Conceit of a New Jersey Woman Numismatist

Miss Dentz of Dentzville, N. J.. a suburb of Trenton, has probably the largest collection of coins in New Jersey. Some of them are many hundred years old, and they represent the currencies of nearly every country in the world. Some idea of the size of the collection may be gathered from the fact that the ceiling of miss Dentz' boudoir is completely covered with United States money, while the four walls are hidden behind coins of Asiatic, European, African and South American countries. There is considerable history attached to this collection, especially the English coins, which were found near Princeton is a queer-shaped hat by one of Miss Dentz' relatives while in search of minerals. The hat is similar in shape to those worn by the Hessian soldiers during the revolution, and is still in Miss Dentz' possession. There are many valuable coins in her collection and were she to convert them all into present American currency they would yield quite a snug sum.

Fortunately, some alternate versions of the story gave her name as Miss Daisy Dentz. I ran into immediate problems attempting to verify the story. First, there is no Daisy Dentz listed in the 1900 Census, and second, and perhaps more important, there was no Trenton suburb named Dentzville. So, at the end of round one, it would appear that the story was a complete fabrication.

Let us not be so quick to judge. Turns out there is a Trenton suburb named Deutzville. It was named for Adam Cornelius Deutz (1821-1878) who came from Prussia and had a factory there that made gold jewelry.

Deutz Grave Marker There was an actual Daisy E. Deutz, daughter of Henry (1862-1928) and Lily M. Robinson Deutz (1863-1922) and she lived in Deutzville, New Jersey. Spelling of her name and date of birth records are inconsistent. Her Find a Grave record gives her year of birth as 1883 and date of death as October 2, 1918. She is buried in the same cemetery as her parents and Adam Deutz, although the family connection is uncertain.

The 1900 Census gives her date of birth as October 1882. If that is correct, she was 17 years old when the article about her coin collection was published. She was mentioned occasionally in the social pages but her collection was not mentioned again.

The family lived at 185 Deutz Avenue. This is now part of Hamilton Township. The Street has been renumbered. It survived an attempt in 1963 to change the name.

I believe the basic story about her room decorated with money. I doubt if her collection was the largest in New Jersey. It is an amusing story, but not significant.

Thanks, Pete. It's always interesting to learn about our predecessors in this great hobby of ours. NOTE: Pete notes that the dates on the tombstone do not match other records. -Editor

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Here's an article from The Harvard Crimson about the notorious 1973 coin robbery at Harvard's Fogg Art Museum. Thanks to Len Augsburger for passing this along. -Editor

50 Years of Harvard Stolen Coin Search

On a December night in 1973, five armed men broke into Harvard's Fogg Art Museum and stole more than 6,000 ancient Greek and Roman coins — an incident that The Crimson reported at the time was believed to be the largest art theft in U.S. history.

Minted between the seventh century B.C.E. and the fourth century C.E., the silver, gold, and bronze coins were worth approximately $2 million — more than $8.5 million today. A University press release after the theft said they were a fundamental and irreplaceable part of Harvard's teaching collection.

In the following months and years, the University and federal law enforcement mobilized to find and catalog the missing coins. With the work of more than 40 FBI agents assigned to the case, approximately 85 percent of the original collection has since been retrieved.

The Fogg Museum didn't know what would happen to the stolen coins: whether they would be distributed across the country, sold at auctions, buried in backyards, or even melted down for their gold and silver content.

A few months after the theft, authorities found more than 3,000 of the stolen coins buried in Rhode Island. Less than one month later, more than 800 coins were found in Montreal when police arrested an American art smuggler.

As coins were returned to the Fogg, museum staff and graduate students at Harvard worked to identify and catalog them — a difficult task given the lack of photo documentation or even a complete list of the original coin collection.

Fogg Museum robbery photo Meanwhile, the police investigation continued and, in 1976, the thieves were brought to trial and convicted. In 1979, five-month investigation culminated in the State Police working with an informant to uncover an additional 2,883 coins.

This brought the total number of recovered coins to 6,773, which has remained largely unchanged since.

Fifty years after the theft, the Harvard Art Museums has beefed up security and is now embarking on a new plan to retrieve the roughly 15 percent of stolen coins still missing today.

Phase one entailed working with graduate students to build an online inventory based upon photographs of part of the collection, while phase two involved hiring computer science students to comb through art auction listings from the past 15 years to find matches using artificial intelligence.

Len adds:

"Although not explicitly stated, I suspect they were matching shape outlines of stolen coins to compare against auction sale catalogs."

Today's online coin databases could provide a fruitful hunting ground for tracking some of the remaining missing coins. They could well have already surfaced in public auctions unbeknownst to the authorities or buyers. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
‘Largest Art Theft': 50 Years of Searching for the Stolen Fogg Coins (

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This BBC News article goes into depth on how the recent thefts from the British Museum were exposed. No artificial intelligence required - just the real intelligence of a human with a photographic memory and a library of catalogues. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor

  British Museum stolen Priapus cameo comparison

In 2020, Danish antiquities dealer Dr Ittai Gradel began to suspect an eBay seller he had been buying from was a thief who was stealing from the British Museum.

More than two years later, the museum would announce that thousands of objects were missing, stolen or damaged from its collection. It had finally believed Dr Gradel - but why had it taken so long for it to do so?

A grey and white piece of a cameo gemstone featuring Priapus - the Greek god of fertility - was posted by a user called "sultan1966" for just £40. The listing was taken down after a few hours, unsold.

Priapus is one of the more memorable gods - often depicted with his oversized genitals on show. The seller may have hoped Priapus' brief appearance online had gone unnoticed - but alas not.

It was spotted by Dr Gradel, who says he was born with a photographic memory.

He says the unusual skill has helped him identify rare finds. In this case, it would also help him uncover the identity of a suspected thief. Dr Gradel had been buying gemstones from sultan1966 on eBay for almost two years. The seller had told him his name was Paul Higgins and that he had inherited the gems from a grandfather. They were being sold at bargain prices but Dr Gradel could tell many were very valuable.

This time, he knew he had seen the Priapus cameo before. He was sure it featured in an old gems catalogue he owned from one of the world's most famous institutions, the British Museum.

There was no doubt it was the same object and I was confused, he says.

The museum has since said in documents filed at the High Court that it believes the cameo had been taken from a storeroom in the Greece and Rome department by a senior curator, Dr Peter Higgs, just a week before it appeared for sale.

Within hours of removing the eBay listing in 2016, the museum believes Dr Higgs logged into its database and attempted to tamper with the Priapus cameo's catalogue entry.

An estimated 2.4 million items at the museum are uncatalogued, or partially uncatalogued, out of its total collection of 8 million. The museum, which has now brought a civil court case against Dr Higgs, believes he was mostly targeting these uncatalogued artefacts - and that, this time, he had made a mistake.

  British Museum stolen gem comparison

Dr Higgs would have been able to see the cameo was a catalogued item, searchable by the public and staff alike. It was even on the museum's website - it was not the kind of item that could disappear and not be missed.

If his tampering had been successful, says the museum in its court papers, it would have hidden the database photo of the cameo from view - but it says he failed.

The next day, Dr Higgs is known to have returned alone to the storeroom where the cameo was kept, the museum says. It believes this was so he could return it.

To read the complete article, see:
British Museum gems for sale on eBay - how a theft was exposed (

As noted in the article, the FBI is looking into whether stolen items from the British Museum ended up in the hands of US eBay buyers. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
The FBI is looking at whether stolen items from the British Museum ended up in the hands of US eBay buyers: report (

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Numismagram's Jeremy Bostwick sent along these four medals from his most recent upload of new material to his site. For all of the new items, please visit -Editor

  c. 1708 Hamburg Satirical Medal

102560 | GERMANY. Hamburg. Satirical silver Medal. Issued circa 1708 or slightly thereafter. The supposed corruption of the imperial commission by the Jewish community (29mm, 5.46 g, 3h). By the Loos workshop in Berlin. KOMSTU MIR ALSO (if you'll scratch my back...), hand putting forth numerous coins // SO KOMME ICH DIR SO (...I'll scratch yours), bust facing slightly right, with hand nearly covering face, though with eyes peering through; LOOS on sleeve. Edge: Plain. GPH 1220; Fieweger Coll. 343. PCGS MS-63. Deep gray toning, with some scattered iridescence and flashy brilliance when catching the light. One of the finest examples of the type that one can hope to encounter. We sold a somewhat more colorful though smaller and lesser graded example for $985 last fall. $985.

To read the complete item description, see:
102560 | GERMANY. Hamburg. Satirical silver Medal (

  1804 French Le Grand Sphinx Medal

102581 | FRANCE. "Le Grand Sphinx" silver Medal. Issued "5804" (1804) for the masonic lodge (26mm, 9.08 g, 6h). G?SPHINX., sphinx, holding jar in each hand, reclining left upon base decorated with floral scrolls; ankh to left // SILENCE AMITIE / BIENFAISANCE, radiant Eye of Providence. Edge: Reeded. Labouret 249; Bramsen 404; Julius 1352; d'Essling 2085. PCGS AU-58. Lightly toned and highly brilliant. A rare and highly interesting masonic issue with connections to ancient Egypt. Compare to a similar example that realized a total of €1,020 in Numismatica Ars Classica 122 (14 November 2020), lot 245. $895.

To read the complete item description, see:
102581 | FRANCE. "Le Grand Sphinx" silver Medal. (

  1894:5 Italian and British Pope Leo XIII Medal

102614 | ITALY & BRITISH EAST INDIES. Pope Leo XIII silver Medal. Issued Year XVII (1894/5). On the founding of the Papal Seminary in British India at Kandy (44mm, 36.00 g, 12h). By F. Bianchi in Rome. LEO XIII PONT MAX AN XVII, bust left, wearing zucchetto, mantum, and pallium // FILII TVI INDIA ADMINISTRI TIBI SALVTIS (your own sons, India, will be the heralds of your salvation), female personification of the Catholic Church seated right, holding cross and observing St. Francis Xavier (Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta), who instructs two natives; façade of the seminary in background; in two lines in exergue, XAVERIO • AVSPICE / ET • PATRONO. Edge: An extremely subtle bruise, otherwise plain. Bartolotti E894; Rinaldi 88. PCGS SP-64. Extremely prooflike and alluring, with highly mirrored fields and superbly frosted devices creating a great cameo contrast; some deeper toning in a few spots. Given the resounding prooflike nature and rich brilliance, a somewhat undergraded specimen. An interesting papal issue with a strong East Asian connection. $465.

To read the complete item description, see:
102614 | ITALY & BRITISH EAST INDIES. Pope Leo XIII silver Medal. (

  2001 British Linlithgow Threshold Medal

102751 | GREAT BRITAIN. "Linlithgow Threshold" cast bronze Medal. Issued 2001 (80mm x 79mm, 650.80 g, 12h). By S. Beeson for the British Art Medal Society and cast by Niagara Falls. Each side: square-like structure with various insets, cutouts, and crenelations. Edge: SB 2002/23. Attwood 159 & p. 35; The Medal 40, p. 108 (and also serving as the cover art for the issue); De Beeldenaar –. Essentially as Made. Dark brown surfaces. An intriguing and highly sculptural work of medallic art, which freely stands and is one of just 30 made. $395.

To read the complete item description, see:
102751 | GREAT BRITAIN. "Linlithgow Threshold" cast bronze Medal. (

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Here are several selections from the upcoming Early American History Auctions sale. Some very nice colonial-era material. -Editor

Early American History Auctions, Inc. Announces A New Online Only Auction of 287 Lots Closing: Saturday June 8th, 2024

Featuring A Wide Array of Historic Americana is Offered Online Only Including: Autographs, Documents, Colonial Coinage & Currency, Medals; U.S. Navy, George Washington, Historical Liverpool Creamware; Political & Decorative Americana & Abraham Lincoln and More!

  Lot 13: General "G. A. Custer" Signed Vignette Promissory Note One of Only Two Known Existent Being Signed by Custer

George Custer Signed Promissory Note

GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER (1839-1876). Historic Civil War Union Brigadier General at age 23, he fought in nearly every battle of the Army of the Potomac, including Gettysburg, later to be killed and his troops annihilated by Sioux and Cheyenne warriors led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse during the Battle of Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876.

This exceedingly rare Promissory Note is check size, measuring about 8.1 long x 3.35 tall (20.5 x 8.5 cm), printed on light blue bond period paper, at left displaying a vignette of a Seated Female representing America / Liberty with an American Flag and holding a Liberty Cap on a pole. The Note is fully completed, the handwritten portions are easily readable brown ink. It is made for "$400.00" being issued at "Topeka, Kansas" and dated "Nov 1, 1870" across the top line.

Signed, "G. A. Custer" on the signature line at lower right, in fully readable light blue ink. The signature is machine cut-cancelled as shown, the debt having been fully repaid by Custer. Custer's blue ink signature is clear and penned distinctly in his well known style. The Fourth line explains the terms, reading: "Four Hundred Dollars with interest at 10 per Cent / Value received (and noting), "This note is secured a Mortgage legally stamped." Below, in the bottom margin is written, (Number) "3664". The blank reverse is endorsed (as received) by John C. Howard, with oval blue ink "PAID" stamp. Overall, this Promissory Note is attractive having very light vertical quarter folds, some trivial edge tone and wear on the extremities.

Only Two Examples are Known of this extreme George Armstrong Custer financial rarity.

Ex. Spink/Smythe's Collector's Series Sale 316, May 22-23, 2013, lot 1124 (as displayed on the front cover of the auction catalog); From, "George Armstrong Custer Shoe Box Collection"; by descent via family friends and heirs; the niece of Margaret Flood; Margaret and Patrick Flood, who were caretakers for Libby Custer until her death in 1933 (age 91); to Elizabeth "Libby" Bacon Custer; our Current Consignor.

To read the complete lot description, see:
General "G. A. Custer" Signed Vignette Promissory Note One of Only Two Known Existent Being Signed by Custer (

  Lot 111: (1789) George Washington Inaugural Button Eagle and Star Major Type With Original Shank

George Washington Inaugural Button Obverse George Washington Inaugural Button Reverse

(1789) Federal Period, George Washington Inaugural Button, Eagle and Star Major Design Type, Cobb-17, Albert WI-12F, DeWitt-Unlisted, Baker-Unlisted, Brass, with Original Shank, Choice About Uncirculated.

17.7 mm. An exceedingly rare, exceptional quality Smaller Cuff or Breeches Size button, worn as part of ceremonial dress. Its Original Shank is Perfectly Straight and Fully Intact. Superb golden-brass with semi-reflective glossy surfaces, having traces of luster in the recesses and one of the finest existent, as shown. Sharply impressed designs with crisp distinct details and exceptional in overall eye appeal.

The face surface is superb, and this was clearly never worn stored shortly after it was issued. It was also reported that collector B.G. Johnson had discovered a dozen from being attached to an original pair of breeches, as first published in 1961. This example, being so superb in appearance is certainly likely to have possibly come from that set, which was broken up. Collector Harold Cobb did not own an example of this button!

As of 1968, Cobb had confirmed the location of only one example, presumably the button plated by Albert in his reference work, and this button is not the same as Albert illustrated. In any event, a stunningly beautiful Eagle and Star button that would prove a key highlight to any Presidential, Political or Historical American Button collection.

To read the complete lot description, see:
(1789) George Washington Inaugural Button Eagle and Star Major Type Cobb-17, Albert WI-12F with its Original Shank (

June 22, 1775-Dated, Partially-Printed Document Signed, Joseph Lee authentic First Interest Bearing Financial Bond of the American Revolutionary War, a Uniface Copper-Plate Engraved and Printed Bond by the noted Patriot and Silversmith, Paul Revere, Jr., Anderson MA-1, Extremely Fine.

June 22, 1775-Dated, Partially-Printed Document Signed, Joseph Lee endorsed on the reverse, an authentic First Interest Bearing financial Bond of the American Revolutionary War. Issued by the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, this Copper-Plate Engraved Bond was Printed by the noted Patriot and Silversmith, Paul Revere, Jr. It contains the vignette of Native American Indian Chief King Philip as displayed within the left Indent Border design. This Treasury Loan Certificate being for 5 at 6% Interest, it is Anderson reference The Price of Liberty listed as type MA-1, he First Massachusetts Revolutionary War Bond issue.

CAPTAIN JOSEPH LEE (1744-1831) was a member of the Sons of Liberty and an active Boston Tea Party participant. Lee was a Revolutionary War American Patriot, by trade a Naval Architect and Shipbuilder. He was a Sea Captain, Harvard graduate, a prosperous merchant located on the historic Long Wharf in Boston. In Salem, Massachusetts, during the Revolutionary War, Lee built a fleet of Privateer Ships. Lee was the first to receive an official Massachusetts-Bay Council Privateer Commission from Beverly, Mass., and he achieved the rank of Captain in the Revolutionary War. Member of the Massachusetts Lodge of Freemasons, Director of various banks and insurance companies, he designed (for free) the Essex Bridge, and donated $20,000 to the Massachusetts General Hospital in 1830.

Rated as Rarity-6 (Very Rare 21-30 known) in the Anderson reference. This large format Engraved Printed Document is Signed, Henry Gardner (as Treasurer) with cross cancel of his name, measuring about 7.5 x 7.0 having exceptional centering within four fully wide margins. Silversmith Paul Revere's hand-engraved workmanship is impressively displayed.

A highly important piece of American Revolutionary War finance, as being the very first type of interest bearing Bond issued to finance the War with Britain which began on April 19th, 1775 at Lexington & Concord. This historic American Bond was printed off a Copper Plate which Paul Revere was commissioned to engrave for the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay. Paul Revere's payment for engraving this Copper-Plate is recorded as being 50 Pounds. This current example is among the finest quality known to us, with most examples locked away in museum and institutional collections, unavailable to collectors forever.

To read the complete lot description, see:
1775 Paul Revere Engraved King Philip Bond to Captain Joseph Lee Boston, a Tea Party Participant & Privateer who Signed this First American Revolutionary War Massachusetts Bond Listed in The Price of Liberty by Anderson as MA-1 (

  Lot 271: (c. 1694) London Elephant Token

London Elephant Token Obverse London Elephant Token Reverse

Undated (c. 1694) London Elephant Token. Hodder 2-B, W-12040. GOD PRESERVE LONDON Legend. Thick Planchet. PCGS graded Mint State-62 Brown.

212.5 grains. Rarity-2. A beautiful satiny (too conservatively graded) example of this standard Thick Planchet London Elephant Token major type. It displays highly lustrous flashy even medium brown surfaces with attractive glossiness and has an especially frosty reverse. Nicely centered on both sides, free of problems other than the usual trivial planchet chips so common to this issue. Overall, a well struck immaculately preserved coin with outstanding eye-appeal, worthy of a premium, and meant for a quality conscious collector's cabinet.

From the Sydney F. Martin Collection. Earlier ex the Lawrence R. Stack Collection, November 2006.

To read the complete lot description, see:
(c. 1694) London Elephant Token PCGS Mint State-62 BN (

  Lot 273: UNIQUE Kentucky Token the Lettered Edge Variant PAYABLE AT BEDWORTH NUNEATON OR HINKLEY

Kentucky Token Unique Lettered Edge Variant Obverse Kentucky Token Unique Lettered Edge Variant Reverse

Undated (c. 1793-1795) Kentucky Token. W-8815. Hi Rarity-8+ (Unique). Struck in Copper. PAYABLE AT BEDWORTH NUNEATON OR HINKLEY Lettered Edge. PCGS graded About Uncirculated-58.

146.5 grains. Hi Rarity-8+ (Unique). A remarkable Unique Rarity, Ex: Sydney F. Martin Collection and is an incredible rarity for Kentucky token or rare Colonial Coin variety specialists. This is the Only Example Known with the Edge Lettering: PAYABLE AT BEDWORTH NUNEATON OR HINKLEY. This Variety was known to Crosby, and was Listed in his reference: The Early Coins of America in 1875 as there was one example described having this unique edge lettering he located, listed in Strobridge's December 1871 Sale of the Dr. Charles Clay Collection, Lot 298. To this very day, No Other Example has been Reported, it seems clear and extremely probable that the Dr. Charles Clay specimen is the exact coin offered here. An attractive and very sharply struck, near Mint State coin with slightly lustrous surfaces and even copper-brown natural color. An exciting and important opportunity to obtain a Unique, Red Book-Listed (page 73) extraordinary Colonial Coin.

From the Sydney F. Martin Collection. Earlier ex New Netherlands Coin Co. (privately), April 23, 1955; our (Bowers and Merena's) sale of the Norweb Collection, Part I, October 1987, lot 1390; John Agre (Coin Rarities Online), May 2015.

To read the complete lot description, see:
UNIQUE Kentucky Token the Lettered Edge Variant PAYABLE AT BEDWORTH NUNEATON OR HINKLEY PCGS Certified About Uncirculated-58 (

  Lot 277: John Adams Indian Peace Medal Julian IP-1

John Adams Indian Peace Medal Julian IP-1 Obverse John Adams Indian Peace Medal Julian IP-1 Reverse

(1797-Dated), John Adams Indian Peace Medal, Smallest & Rarest Size, 51.1 mm, Second Reverse Type, Struck at the United States Mint in Red-Bronze, Julian IP-1, NGC certified Mint State-64 Brown.

Julian IP-1. A beautiful example of the Julian reference Indian Peace Medal #1, having very choice eye appeal and housed in its white NGC certification holder, ready to display. This historic John Adams Indian Peace medal has a beautiful natural reddish-brown color with hard satiny surfaces and fully sharp striking details. The original dies for this issue were cut by sculptors Moritz Furst and John Reich, though neither die was signed by them, the obverse is believed to be the only die made by Furst that he did not sign. This current example was struck by the United States Mint after 1878, using the replacement reverse die that is believed to have been made about that same time. It can be distinguished by the closer proximity of the pipe to the P of PEACE.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Choice Certified John Adams Indian Peace Medal Julian IP-1 (

Building on the success of Early American History Auctions recent March 30 sale, this follow-up Online Only sale is currently available. Please know that in addition to our in-house auction platform, this auction is posted for potential bidding from 3rd-Party auction sites: Invaluable and Liveauctioneers. Note that the 3rd Party sites charge an additional 5% Buyer's Fee, above Early American's, to successful bidders through their sites.

To view all the lots in this auction, see:

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Here's the press release for the June 2024 Künker sales. Nice coins, some seldom seen. -Editor

Special Collections at Künker in June: Scandinavia, Mainz and 19th-Century Germany

From 18 to 21 June 2024, Osnabrück will shine in the light of numismatics. Once again, collectors from all over the world have entrusted Künker's specialists with the sale of the coins that they assembled over many years. This is why several special collections will be auctioned off at once. Particularly extensive are:

  • a collection of Scandinavian coins
  • a collection of 19th-century German coins
  • a collection of Mainz gold coins

In addition, there is a comprehensive ensemble of yield and mining issues from the Preussag AG Collection, a small special collection with Wismar issues as well as a wide range of patterns from the Coenen Collection.

Künker's auction sales are always a social event. So take the time to participate in the sale on site and enjoy a nice chat with like-minded people during the breaks! Künker's customer service would be delighted to help you find an accommodation in Osnabrück.

Scandinavian Coins from a Northern European Private Collection

Künker has specialized in coins from Scandinavia for many years. Numerous important collections with a focus on this topic were auctioned off by Künker. In June 2024, the Osnabrück auction house will once again present a major collection of Scandinavian issues. It contains a large series with coins from Denmark and Sweden, but also an extensive ensemble of coins from Schleswig-Holstein.

The time frame of the Danish issues ranges from Hans (1481-1513) to Christian IX (1912-1914); and regarding Sweden from Charles XI (1660-1697) to Charles XV (1859-1872). Connoisseurs will encounter numerous rarities. They include, for example, one of the first gold coins from Denmark and a series of multiple speciedalers, commissioned by Christian IV in 1624. Their Latin inscription bears testimony to the fact that these coins were minted from the silver of the new mines in Kongsberg. It reads Benedictio Domini Divites Facit – and can be roughly translated as: the blessing of the Lord creates wealth without effort.

At least as noteworthy is an extensive series of Danish gold coins. The pieces remind us of a time when Denmark aspired to become a colonial power. Most of the coins are extremely rare. Only 100 specimens of the 1658 Guinea ducat were minted.

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 14 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 14 Reverse

No. 14: Denmark. Christian IV. 4 speciesdalers 1624, Copenhagen. Very rare. Very fine. Estimate: 25,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 20 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 20 Reverse

No. 20: Denmark. Frederik III. 2 speciesdalers 1655, Copenhagen. Extremely rare. Very fine to extremely fine. Estimate: 10,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 981 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 981 Reverse

No. 981: Schleswig-Holstein. Christian IV. 1641 broad double speciesdaler, Mainz. Extremely rare. Very fine. Estimate: 10,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1538 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1538 Reverse

No. 1538: Denmark. Frederik III. 2 ducats 1658, Copenhagen. Only 100 specimens minted. Very fine. Estimate: 2,500 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1545 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1545 Reverse

No. 1545: Denmark. Christian V. 2 ducats n.d. (1699), Copenhagen, commemorating his death. Very rare. Obv. about extremely fine; rev. extremely fine. Estimate: 10,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1827 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1827 Reverse

No. 1827: Sweden. Charles XIV John. 4 ducats 1838, Stockholm. Only 626 specimens minted. Extremely fine. Estimate: 6,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2290 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2290 Reverse

No. 2290: Schleswig-Holstein. Frederick III. 1666 ducat, Glückstadt. Very rare. About extremely fine. Estimate: 5,000 euros

German Coins of the 19th Century from a German Private Collection in the Rhenish Region

The 19th century was a period in which monetary treaties and economic power were systematically used to gain political advantage. Without all the monetary and tax treaties, Prussia would have never managed to push Austria out of race to become the dominant German state this quickly after 1848.

Thus, the almost 300 lots with German coins of the 19th century from a German private collection in the Rhenish region are important testimonies to this period of crucial importance for economic history. They contain coins from many parts of the empire – both minted before and after 1871 – as well as Austrian issues.

When selecting his pieces, the collector paid utmost attention to quality, which is why those interested in perfectly preserved early machine-minted pieces can look forward to a rich selection.

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 470 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 470 Reverse

No. 470: Austria. Franz Josef I. 1857 double vereinstaler, Vienna. Commemorating the completion of Austria's Southern Railway. Only 1,644 specimens minted. About FDC in Proof quality. Estimate: 4,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 562 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 562 Reverse

No. 562: Bavaria. Louis II. 1869 double vereinstaler. Very rare. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 5,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2484 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2484 Reverse

No. 2484: Baden. Frederick I. 5 marks 1888. Very rare. About FDC. Estimate: 4,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2633 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2633 Reverse

No. 2633: Württemberg. William II. 3 marks 1916. Jubilee of the reign. Rare. About FDC in Proof quality. Estimate: 5,000 euros

Gold Coins from the City of Mainz

Are you a collector of gold coins from the city of Mainz? In this case, you should highlight 21 June 2024 in your calendar. On that very day, an extensive special collection with 90 lots presenting Mainz guldens and ducats will enter the market. The time frame ranges from the early issues of the mid-14th century minted after the Florentine model up to the last ducats created under Friedrich Karl Joseph von Erthal right before the Final Recess of the Imperial Deputation (Reichsdeputationshauptschluss) in 1803. The eventful history of the important archbishopric, which was ruled by some of the most influential politicians of the Middle Ages and the early modern period, is reflected by these coins.

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2203 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2203 Reverse

No. 2203: Mainz. Wolfgang von Dalberg. 1593 gold gulden, Mainz. Very rare. About extremely fine. Estimate: 8,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2227 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2227 Reverse

No. 2227: Mainz. Lothar Franz von Schönborn. 2 ducats n.d. (1696), Nuremberg. Very rare. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 10,000 euros

Yield and Mining Issues from the Preussag Collection

Collectors of mining issues – this is for you! Auction 408 includes about 120 lots of excellent provenance. They are all from the Preussag Collection, which was auctioned off between 2015 and 2016 by London Coin Galleries and Künker. Mining fans will encounter interesting motifs on lösers, coins and medals; and numerous pieces bear inscriptions that tell us where the silver they were minted of came from. Those who did not have the opportunity to participate in the sale of the Preussag Collection back then will get a second chance now.

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 622 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 622 Reverse

No. 622: Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Heinrich Julius. Löser of 4 reichstalers 1612, Zellerfeld. From the Preussag Collection Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 15,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 661 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 661 Reverse

No. 661: Brunswick-Lüneburg-Celle. Christian Louis. Löser of 4 reichstalers 1664, Clausthal. From the Preussag Collection Very rare. About extremely fine. Estimate: 10,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 927 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 927 Reverse

No. 927: Saxony. John George III. 1690 gilded bronze medal by M. H. Omeis. From the Preussag Collection Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 5,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1630 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1630 Reverse

No. 1630: France. Gold medal n.d. (around 1900) by G. Dupré. Award of the Mineral Industry Society in Paris, given to Jacques Taffanel. FDC. Estimate: 7,500 euros

Jacques Taffanel (1875-1946) made a name for himself with his research and his development of safety measures against dust explosions, which frequently occurred in mines. He worked at the state research center in Liévin, which had been set up after the Courrières disaster on 10 March 1906 – with 1,099 casualties, Europe's worst mining accident to date – to make mining safer. He was awarded this medal in 1911. In the very same year, he received the cross of the Legion of Honor.

Special Collection Wismar

Coins from the city of Wismar are comparatively rare. And well-struck coins from the city of Wismar are even rarer. Therefore, a series of more than 30 lots with coins from Wismar is quite a large offer given this special field. Especially when you consider that these are extraordinarily well-struck pieces of very fine and above quality. Similar selections cannot be found often on the market. So if you collect Wismar issues, you should definitely seize this opportunity.

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1029 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1029 Reverse

No. 1029: Wismar. 1581 reichstaler (32 schillings). Very rare. Very fine. Estimate: 5,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1052 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1052 Reverse

No. 1052: Wismar. 1668 reichstaler (32 schillings). Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 7,500 euros

Patterns from the Coenen Collection

Moreover, another part of the Coenen Collection will be on sale in auction 409. This extensive special collection of German patterns and error coins focuses on pieces minted after 1871. Those who are interested in this field and are looking for special pieces will be delighted about the wide selection of rarities on offer.

For example, the Coenen Collection contains a variety of the Federal German 2-mark piece of 1951, of which only 33 specimens were minted and whose design was never used for mass production. It is almost unbelievable that this lot only has an estimate of 300 euros. Just imagine what such a piece would fetch if we were not talking about a German but a US circulation coin! Currently, prices for German patterns are very low compared to their rarity. Thus, taking a closer look is definitely worth it.

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2691 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2691 Reverse

No. 2691: FRG. 2 DM 1951G. Only 33 specimens minted. Proof. Estimate: 300 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2743 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2743 Reverse

No. 2743: German Empire. Saxe-Meiningen. George II. 2 marks 1915D. Very rare. About FDC in Proof quality. Estimate: 3,000 euros

World-Class Rarities

Let us round off this preview with the numerous world rarities that are presented in both Künker auctions 408 and 409. No matter what you collect, you will find a highlight from your field of interest.

Let us begin with a small series of Chinese dollars of excellent quality and great rarity. As many as three lots compete for your attention: a 1916 dollar commemorating the beginning of the Hung Hsien Period, a 1921 dollar for President Xu Shichang's taking office and a 1924 dollar celebrating the unification of the Republic.

Are you a collector of Belgian coins? In this case, you can choose between a highly rare quadruple souverain d'or of the Spanish King Charles II and a just as rare 100-franc piece of 1853.

Be it a gold medal with the portrait of Oliver Cromwell or a doppio ducato by Alfonso I d'Este – the wealth of outstanding numismatic rarities is downright breathtaking. Let us take Transylvania as an example: there are simple and multiple ducats from Sigismund Rakoczi up to Michael Apafi on offer.

We will close this chapter with the three top pieces of the auction sale. Two of them are from France: an eightfold Louis d'or by Louis XIII à la tête laurée from 1640 with an estimate of 200,000 euros; and the pattern for an écu de Calonne by Louis XVI from 1786 with a starting price of 100,000 euros. This probably unique piece was once part of the collection of King Farouk of Egypt.

Those who want to own the 20-kronen piece of Austria's last emperor of 1918 will get their chance: what is probably the only specimen on the market will be auctioned off at Künker!

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 372 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 372 Reverse

No. 372: China. Republic. 1 dollar n.d. (1916), commemorating the beginning of the Hung Hsien period. Very rare. NGC MS64. About FDC. Estimate: 20,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1519 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1519 Reverse

No. 1519: Belgium. Charles II of Spain. 4 souverains d'or 1696, Bruges. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 50,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1521 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1521 Reverse

No. 1521: Belgium. Leopold I. 100 francs 1853, Brussels, commemorating the wedding of the heir to the throne. Only 482 specimens minted. About FDC. Estimate: 50,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1573 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1573 Reverse

No. 1573: France. Louis XIII. Huit louis d'or à la tête laurée 1640, Paris. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 200,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1601 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1601 Reverse

No. 1601: France. Louis XVI. Pattern for the écu de Calonne 1786, Paris. From the collection of King Farouk of Egypt. Probably unique. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 100,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1646 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1646 Reverse

No. 1646: Great Britain. Oliver Cromwell. Gold medal n.d. (2nd half of the 17th century), commemorating his death. Extremely rare. Extremely fine +. Estimate: 25,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1674 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1674 Reverse

No. 1674: Italy / Ferrara. Alfonso I d'Este. Doppio ducato n.d. Extremely rare. Obv. about extremely fine; rev. extremely fine. Estimate: 50,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1890 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1890 Reverse

No. 1890: Hungary / Transylvania. Achatius Barcsai. 10 ducats 1659, Klausenburg. Very rare. Very fine to extremely fine. Estimate: 60,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2052 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2052 Reverse

No. 2052: Austria. Charles I. 20 kronen, 1918, Kremnica. Probably the only specimen on the market. Extremely fine. Estimate: 150,000 euros

Rarities from the German States

Of course, Künker's catalogs 408 and 409 also include many rarities from the German states, which we would like to present at this point:

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 781 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 781 Reverse

No. 781: Zollern. Jost Nikolaus II. 1544 taler. Extremely rare. Very fine to extremely fine. Estimate: 7,500 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 920 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 920 Reverse

No. 920: Saxony. Christian II, John George I and Augustus. 1610 broad quadruple reichstaler, Dresden. Very rare. Very fine +. Estimate: 20,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1020 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1020 Reverse

No. 1020: Wallenstein. Albrecht. 1628 reichstaler, Jicín. Very rare. Very fine +. Estimate: 15,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1058 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 1058 Reverse

No. 1058: Württemberg. John Frederick. 1610 reichstaler, Stuttgart. Very rare. Very fine to extremely fine. Estimate: 15,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2089 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2089 Reverse

No. 2089: Prussia. Frederick (III) I. 1706 ducat, Minden. Probably the 2nd known specimen. About extremely fine. Estimate: 30,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2135 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2135 Reverse

No. 2135: Hamburg. Portugalöser of 10 ducats n. d. (1578-1582). Very rare. Traces of mounting, very fine. Estimate: 30,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2274 Obverse Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2274 Reverse

No. 2274: Saxony. Frederick Augustus I. 5 ducats 1733, Dresden. Off-metal strike in gold from the dies of the 1/2 reichstaler. Obv. extremely fine. Rev. extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 50,000 euros

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2281 Obverse

Kuenker Auction 408-409 Lot 2281 Reverse

No. 2281: Saxony. Frederick Augustus II. Gold cast bar n.d. (around 1850) of 277.22 g. Very rare. Very fine. Estimate: 20,000 euros

As usual, we showcase particularly valuable pieces in this preview – but the catalogs obviously contain coins from every price category. Estimates start in the mid-three figure range.

To order a catalog contact Künker, Nobbenburger Straße 4a, 49076 Osnabrück; phone: +49 541 / 962020; fax: +49 541 / 9620222; or via e-mail: You can access the auction catalogs online at If you want to submit your bid from your computer at home, please remember to register for this service in good time.

To view all the lots in this auction, see:

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Davissons is holding their E-Auction 49 on June 26th. Here's Allan Davisson's introductory note to the catalog. -Editor

Davisson E-Sylum ad E-Auction-49 E-Auction 49, closing Wednesday, June 26th 2024, is online now! Print copies were mailed recently, if you are not on our mailing list and would like a copy please let us know.

E-Auction 49 opens with gold coins—some where the values are numismatically based and a larger group whose numismatic cost premium has been practically eclipsed by the recent jumps in the value of gold.

    White spacer bar
  Davisson E-Auction 49 Lot 7 SCOTLAND. James VI 1602

The best numismatic piece in this sale is a choice sword and scepter Scottish piece of James VI (Lot 7 from the Leland Scott collection), a particularly choice example of an issue that often shows up with problems. This example is well struck, well centered on a lustrous flan free of clips, blunders, bends or any of the problems that frequently appear on this issue.

  Davisson E-Auction 49 Lot 1 medieval French Royal d'or
Lot 1

An historic medieval French Royal d'or at an affordable price, an attractive half-guinea of George III that would look better out of the slab, and some attractive US gold type coins (including an attractive $3 gold piece) all merit much more than just the bullion value.

The other gold coins—currency issues of the late 19th and early 20th centuries merit a premium as well. The opening prices for these pieces are a few points above melt at the time the catalog was assembled. Gold went over $2400 an ounce for the first time in its history and it got there in a hurry. As I write this, it has settled back to $2380/Toz. I used $2350 for establishing an opening for the coins in this group and kept the premium small. The AGW (actual gold weight) has already been established by the governments that issued the piece in the first place so selling will not require assay costs.

Ancient coins that are appealing but in lesser grades and values fill much of the ancient coin section of the sale. Historic significance, important design elements, geographic importance—all these are present. Most serious collections include material like this, but headline and featured cover coins are where the prices are highest. This auction provides opportunity—it takes surprisingly little to buy fascinating pieces of ancient history.

Much the same can be said for the later coins in the sale. There is a small consignment of coins with dates issued before 1500. That is a rare enough category that a single reference book, Robert Levinson's 2007 publication, The Early Dated Coins of Europe 1234-1500, is a single volume that covers the series well. Most of the coins are rare but this is an affordable group of good material.

The British section is relatively brief with the English coins from Leland Scott and a substantial number of lots of Scottish coins filling the section. His Scottish and Tudor era interests led him to acquire several pieces from the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I (VI).

The British trade token section is different this time. There are some serious and desirable rarities here but many of the tokens are lightly used. There has been such an emphasis on high condition tokens that pleasing and attractive pieces with wear are not often offered. The prices are accordingly low. The large lots each include at least one one scarcer or rarer piece in the groups offering eight pieces at a low unit cost.

The world coin section is brief but does include a mix of world issues that range from China to Latin America to Europe.

  Davisson E-Auction 49 Lot 246 1937-D. Three-legged buffalo nickel
Lot 246

We finish the sale with some interesting United States material. The section opens with some attractive type coins including an appealing three-legged buffalo and two beautiful Standing Liberty quarters. The silver dollar section is a representation of United States silver dollars beginning with a visually appealing 1799 dollar and then examples of each of the main issues (the trade dollar has a chop-mark which gives it a double meaning) down to the Peace dollar in the 20th century and a group of modern Presidential medals in MS69 and MS70 holders. Commemorative half dollars and Civil War storecards finish the section.

  Davisson E-Auction 49 Lot 304 Diplomata et Numismata Scotiæ
Lot 304: Diplomata et Numismata Scotiæ

The sale ends with books from two collections. The Leland Scott volumes include a green cloth set of Burns, the essential 19th century work on the series. The section continues with antiquarian books on Scottish coins, including a dramatic and rare volume, seldom offered—the massive Anderson volume, Diplomata et Numismata Scotiæ, published in 1738 and featuring multiple pages of charters and documents, many as large fold-out sheets. Concluding the section are a few books on tokens, including one of the cloth-bound examples of D&H we issued.

As usual, it has been an adventure to put together an auction. We hope you enjoy this offering and find some things to add to your collection.

For more information, or to bid, see:


Economist JP Koning recently published an article on the medieval practice of short-lived renovatio monetae coinage. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor

Renovatio Monetae Silver Pfennig Magdesburg

A king or queen generally resorted to two different strategies for profiting from the mints. The first was to mint long-lived coinage. The second involved issuing short-lived coinage subject to a policy of renovatio monetae, which is the topic of this post.

Almost everything I've written about medieval coinage on this blog has been about the long-lived sort, because that was the dominant pattern in Europe. Under a long-lived coinage system, once a coin had been minted it remained in permanent legal circulation. For example, England's long-lived coinage policy meant that an English penny produced in 1600 would have been just as valid a hundred years later, in 1700, as a penny produced in 1699.

Short-lived coinage subject to a policy of renovatio monetae was an entirely different manner. Under this model, coins didn't circulate permanently. When a king or queen announced what was known as a renovatio monetae, or a renewal of the coinage, all existing coins had to be brought back to the mint to be recoined into new coins. The monarch collected a fee upon each renovatio monetae.

To help reinforce the monarch's ability to collect a profit, only the most recent coin was allowed to be used within the monarch's domain. Older local coins and coins from other realms were illegal. To distinguish the new version from the outgoing version, the new type was stamped with a different pattern. The penalties for not obeying the rules of renovatio could be harsh. According to Philip Grierson, a numismatist, anyone caught using expired coinage could face imprisonment, a fine, or have their face branded with the old pattern of coin.

The coinage that prevailed in Poland and Germany from the 12th century almost seems to have been designed with a short lifespan in mind, since it is leaf-thin and fragile. Coins minted in this style are known as bracteates, one of which can be seen below. Svensson speculates that the bracteate format was better suited for the purposes of renovatio monetae than standard coins since the costs of periodically reforming silver into thin and pliable coin would have been lower than heavier coins.

[Government profits resulting from taxes collected from renovatio monetae] may have created a very weird effect whereby coins became "cheaper and cheaper" over the course of the year in anticipation of the inevitable withdrawal day, according to historian Sture Bolin. Since everyone would have known ahead of time that there was to be a 4:3 conversion on a fixed date, and no one wanted to be stuck holding coins and bearing the conversion tax, sellers would only accept coins at a discount to compensate them for conversion. That discount varied with time. As the final day approached, it would have got progressively wider.

In modern times we don't have to deal with the hassles of renovatio monetae. The coins and banknotes we use are long-lasting: a nickel from 1956 is just as valid as one from 2022. Or consider that while the $1 note is no longer printed in Canada, anyone can still bring them to a bank to be deposited for free. If a policy of renovatio monetae were to be announced by the Bank of Canada in 2025, and Canadians were required to bring our coins and banknotes in each year to be exchanged for new ones, there would probably be a revolt against the inconvenience of it, especially if the fee was high.

This combination of exploitation and inconvenience may explain why the English abandoned renovatio monetae in the middle of the 12th century in favor of permanent coinage. "The renovatio monetae witnessed to the extent of royal control and suggests that coining was routinely coercive," writes Desan. "This new system reduced the burdens placed on people required so frequently to remint their money at a cost."

However, if renovatio monetae was inconvenient (and frequently exploitative), it also had a key benefit. As silver coins passed from hand to hand, they suffered from natural wear and tear. On top of that, bad actors regularly clipped off their edges, keeping the silver shavings for themselves. By renewing the coinage every year or two, the monarch ensured that the coinage was kept in relatively good condition.

Mind you, there were ways to defend against the inevitable downward spiral of long-lived coinage. By adopting a policy of defensive debasements, which I've written about before, the fungibility of coins could be restored.

Nor were long-lived coinage systems spared from being exploitative in nature. The method of abuse was different than that used to exploit short-lived coinage, involving a policy of repetitive debasements in the silver content of coinage.

To read the complete article, see:
Renovatio monetae (

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A Czech woman happened across a hoard of medieval silver denarii. Thanks to Howard Berlin and Leon Saryan (Fox News articles) and Paul Horner (AOL and WordPress articles). -Editor

Czech Coin Hoard

While out on a stroll in the Kutnohorsk Region of the Czech Republic, a woman happened upon a roughly 900-year-old stash of more than 2,150 medieval silver coins known as denarii.

The silver coins were likely buried between 1100 and 1125 during a time of regional instability, explained Velímský in the release. The coins were originally stored in a pottery container but were scattered by later agricultural activities.

Dubbed one of the greatest finds of the last decade, institute archaeologist Filip Velímský believes the discovery is like winning a prize in the lottery—even if someone else was the loser. It was probably placed in its place during the first quarter of the 12th century, at a time of internal political instability, he said. At that time, there were disputes in the country between the members of the Premysl dynasty about the princely throne of Prague.

The depot could have been cash "for paying wages or spoils of war."

Stashing coins in a ceramic container was meant to be a way of keeping them safe. And the container certainly did it's job, even if the owner was never able to return for them—the coins weren't recovered for another 900 years.

According to the experts, that owner couldn't have been just anyone. Unfortunately, for the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries, we lack data on the purchasing power of the contemporary coin, Velímský said. But it was a huge amount, unimaginable for an ordinary person and at the same time unaffordable. It can be compared to winning a million in the jackpot.

The Kutnohorsk Region was known for frequent battles for the Prague princely throne, with the armies of individual rival princes repeatedly marching through the area, according to the institute. The experts claim that a large collection of coins found in such a place could mean that they were originally meant to pay wages for soldiers, or were some sort of war booty.

To read the complete articles, see:
A Woman Went for a Casual Walk—and Accidentally Discovered a One-in-a-Million Treasure (
Woman on walk finds 900-year-old coins in Czechia (
Woman out for a walk stumbles upon once-in-a-decade discovery (

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Bob Evans submitted this article about the find of an 18th-century coin hoard in Poland. Thanks. -Editor

Polish Fraudster Hoard 1

A Polish group searching for lost treasure has discovered a collection of coins that may have belonged to a notorious early 18th-century con artist.

Legend has it that the fraudster, Antoni Jaczewicz, built a hermitage in the mountains, where he would trick people into thinking he had religious healing powers for money.

The Swietokrzyska Exploration Group originally found the coins using metal detectors in south-central Poland's Jeleniowskie mountain range in 2022, according to a Facebook post from the Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments in Kielce.

According to a statement, the group waited almost two years to announce the findings, and can now confirm the true story of the legend.

The Swietokrzyska Exploration Group found multiple coins in the mountain range, including a 1648 Hamburg gold ducat featuring the Madonna and child. The ducat is the cherry on top of the discoveries so far, per the group's statement.

The artifact had a small hole through it, which the group believes means someone wore it as a medallion.

The team has handed over the coins to the Historical and Archaeological Museum in Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski. They have not disclosed the number of coins found so far and research is ongoing.

To read the complete article, see:
Do These Coins Belong to a Legendary 18th-Century Polish Fraudster? (

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David Pickup passed along this BBC article on the new D-Day commemorative 50p. Thanks! -Editor

  D-Day 50 pence coin

A new coin is set to be released to mark 80 years since the D-Day landings during World War Two.

The 50p coin was unveiled by the Royal Mint, in Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taf, ahead of the 6 June anniversary.

On that day, in 1944, Allied forces landed across five beaches in northern France, with the attacks given the codenames Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.

The coin depicts Allied soldiers disembarking a landing craft, with the portrait of King Charles III on the other side.

To celebrate the unveiling, the coin's design was recreated in the sand on Gold beach, in France, where troops landed in 1944.

At 35 metres (115ft) across, the sand art took more than five hours to create.

  D-Day 50 pence coin sand sculpture

French sand artist Jehan-Benjamin Tarain, who created the art with fellow artist Sam Dougados, said the project had been "extremely special".

"This collaboration plays an important reminder of the united allied effort between French and British forces 80 years ago," he said.

David adds:

"It has been 30 years since the UK's first D-Day 50p was released

"6.7 million of these were released into general circulation in 1994, but were removed when the new, smaller 50ps were issued in 1997.

"A recent poll in UK has found only about half of people could say what the term D-Day ‘usually refers to in history', with 49% choosing ‘The beginning of the Allied liberation of Europe'"

To read the complete article, see:
New coin marks 80 years since D-Day landings (

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Like many numismatists, I'm of two minds when it comes to museum donations. While it's nice in theory to have collections accessible to the general public, in practice it's difficult to attract and pay for the curatorial and security staff required to do a numismatic collection justice. Only the largest museums have those resources, and unless numismatics is their main focus, numismatic material can get neglected. But in the case of this Nobel Prize Medal donation to Cambridge, it feels like a perfect match. -Editor

Nobel Prize Medal Donated to Cambridge 1

Prof David Thouless, who studied at Trinity Hall, won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2016, but died in 2019.

His family said they wanted it to be on display at the college because of "the influence that Trinity Hall had on his life".

The college's senior tutor, Michael Sutherland, said: "We hope that this generous gift inspires future generations of Trinity Hall physicists."

Prof Thouless won the Nobel Prize "for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter".

Prof Thouless had worked in a number of academic institutions including Cambridge, Yale and, finally, the University of Washington in Seattle, USA.

Nobel Prize Medal Donated to Cambridge 2

Speaking on Thursday night, Dr Helen Thouless said her father had very much enjoyed his time at Trinity Hall where he had made lifelong friendships.

She added the family wanted the Prize to be shared and displayed and the college seemed the perfect place to do this.

"Thinking about the friends he made and the influence that Trinity Hall had on his life, this is why we wanted to donate it to [them]," she said.

To read the complete article, see:
Nobel Prize medal donated to Cambridge University (

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They say "All good things must come to an end," and sometimes they're right. Mel Wacks has announced the end of the long-running series of high-quality medals issued by the Jewish-American Hall of Fame. Sorry to hear this news. -Editor

  Jewish-American Hall of Fame Medal Series Ends after 54 Years

Jewish-American Hall of Fame Medals Book Cover jpg Mel Wacks, Director of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame, which was the longest series of medals being issued in the United States, has announced the end of the series due to the inability to find a mint to produce high quality medals at a reasonable cost. Wacks said Every one of these medals has a story to tell. Every medal that we have issued from 1969 through 2023 is a numismatic ambassador fighting antisemitism - whether it is the story of how Haym Salomon died penniless after giving over $300,000 to support the American Revolution, or how Jonas Salk insisted that the Polio vaccine belongs to the world rather than bringing him personal profit. Or how Gertrude Elion battled misogyny to develop drug treatments that have saved millions of lives around the world, or how Irving Berlin wrote God Bless America and donated the profits to the Boy and Girl Scouts.

The 54 Jewish-American Hall of Fame medals were created by a Who's Who of America's greatest medalists - winners of the American Numismatic Society's J. Sanford Saltus Award for Signal Achievement in the Art of the Medal (Eugene Daub, Alex Shagin, and Karen Worth) and the American Numismatic Association's Numismatic Art Award for Excellence in Medallic Sculpture (Eugene Daub, Virginia Janssen, Jim Licaretz, Hal Reed, Alex Shagin, Marika Somogyi, Paul Vincze, Gerta Ries Wiener, and Karen Worth).

Wacks considers the Jewish-American Hall of Fame medals a great success. He says that A grand total of over 25,000 Jewish-American Hall of Fame medals have been made, and these reside in collections throughout the United States, and as far away as China. They are in museums in Berkeley and Cincinnati, England, Israel and Sweden.

Over a half million dollars (in 2023 dollars) has been raised through the sales of Jewish-American Hall of Fame medals for non-profit organizations such as the Judah L. Magnes Museum (Berkeley, California), the Skirball Museum (Cincinnati, Ohio), the American Numismatic Society (New York City, New York), the American Jewish Historical Society (New York City, New York), and plaques have been contributed to the Virginia Holocaust Museum (Richmond, Virginia). In addition to the regular visitors, thousands of school children view the Jewish-American Hall of Fame plaques every year at the Virginia Holocaust Museum. And soon, there will be an exhibit of the medals at the new Jewish Community Campus in the East Bay (Oakland).

Mel Wacks is particularly proud of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame's award-winning website The website won the Numismatic Literary Guild's award for the Best Non-Commercial Web Site in 2002. Featured on the website are over 50 biographies of all the Honorees in the Jewish-American Hall of Fame, broken up by categories - Business, Entertainment, Literature & Art, Medicine, Military, Music, Public Service, Religion, Science, Social Welfare, Sports, etc. There are also fun quizzes, interesting articles, and a Collector's Guide containing the mintage figures of all the medals made in bronze, silver and gold.

Jewish-American Hall of Fame medals are generally offered on ebay. And the Jewish-American Hall of Fame has a small inventory of past issues. They are offering new collectors a starter set of three bronze medals for the special price of $100 plus $10 shipping; call 818-225-1348 to order. For further information visit the website at, and you can read Medals of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame 1969-2019 by Mel Wacks on the Newman Numismatic Portal.

While the Jewish-American Hall of Fame is no longer issuing medals, it will continue to honor a new inductee each year by creating a plaque that will hang in the Virginia Holocaust Museum. For 2024, the honoree is the actress/singer Molly Picon. The plaque was designed by Eugene Daub.

Picon Plaque Molly Picon (1898-1992) was an American actress and singer of stage, screen, radio and television. She began her career in the Yiddish theatre and film, rising to a star, before transitioning into character roles in English-language productions. During WWII, Picon performed at army bases all over the U.S. and Canada in an effort to boost morale. Later, traveling at considerable peril to their own lives, Picon and her husband Jacob Kalich were the first entertainers to tour Displaced Persons camps after the war. There is a star celebrating Molly Picon and Jacob Kalich on the Yiddish Theater Walk of Fame on 2nd Avenue and 10th Street.

Molly Picon was later cast as an Italian mother opposite Frank Sinatra in Neil Simon's screen adaption of Come Blow Your Horn, for which she received an Academy Award nomination. Molly went on to star on Broadway, Milk and Honey. In 1971, Picon starred in the film version of Fiddler on the Roof. Molly Picon appeared on television in a recurring role as Mrs. Bronson in the NBC police comedy Car 54, Where Are You?, and in a few episodes of The Facts of Life as Natalie's grandmother. Her final role was as Roger Moore's mother in the comedies Cannonball Run and its sequel Cannonball Run II in 1981 and 1984, respectively.

What an incredible run! Congratulations to Mel on his great work and medallic legacy. -Editor

To visit the Jewish-American Hall of Fame website, see:

To read Medals of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame 1969-2019, see:


Banknote printer De La Rue is in the news after announcing a potential sale. -Editor

  DeLaRue office logo

The company behind Britain's banknotes is considering breaking up its business just a day after Royal Mail fell into the hands of a foreign buyer.

De La Rue, which prints notes for the Bank of England and half of the world's central banks, is delaying its full-year results to July as it talks with ‘a number of parties'.

It recently collaborated with the Bank of England on new banknotes featuring the King's portrait, which will enter circulation next Wednesday.

The money-printing business has suffered in recent years as demand for notes wanes.

‘De La Rue's been struggling for years with various headwinds including a significant downturn in currency demand, prompting a good look at the business and its future.

‘It's only natural that De La Rue is now considering a break-up as signs of recovery put it in a better position to get a fair price.'

Last year the Hampshire company said demand for banknotes around the world was at its lowest level in 20 years, resulting in a low order book.

To read the complete article, see:
Fears for De La Rue as Britain's banknote printer enters sale talks (

  Bank of England notes

Shares in banknote printer De La Rue jumped five per cent in early deals this morning after the company responsible for printing the UK's money edged closer to the sale of some or all of its business.

Clive Whiley, De La Rue's chairman, commented: Since my appointment a year ago, the board has considered a broad range of possible strategic alternatives including transactions with multiple parties which may involve a combination with, or the sale of, the group's divisions.

To read the complete article, see:
De La Rue shares jump as orders grow and group edges closer to sale (


English artist Damien Hirst's project 'The Currency' is drawing criticism following a report that a number of the works were backdated. -Editor

  Hirst The Currency 2016 date

At least 1,000 paintings that the artist Damien Hirst said were made in 2016 were created several years later, the Guardian can reveal.

Hirst produced 10,000 of the paintings, each comprising colourful hand-painted dots on A4 paper, as part of a project called The Currency that was born from the idea of creating a form of money from art.

The year 2016 was inscribed on the works beside the artist's signature. Hirst and the authorised seller of the paintings repeatedly said the physical works were created in 2016.

When they went on sale in 2021, in a high-profile event at which buyers were given the option of acquiring a permanent digital record of the paintings in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT), Hirst said it was the most exciting project I have ever worked on by far.

The initial sale brought in about $18m. At the time, Hirst said of the project: It comprises of 10,000 NFTs, each corresponding to a unique physical artwork made in 2016.

The paintings were sold via a single authorised seller, Heni, run by Hirst's business manager. It said at the time that the works were created by hand in 2016.

However, five sources familiar with the creation of the works, including some of the painters who put the dots to paper, told the Guardian many of them were mass-produced in 2018 and 2019.

Their accounts suggest at least 1,000 – and possibly several thousand – paintings in The Currency series were made during the two-year period. They were produced by dozens of painters hired at Hirst's company Science Ltd at two studios, in Gloucestershire and London, in what one source described as a Henry Ford production line.

Hirst conceived of The Currency paintings, which are reminiscent of his much larger spot paintings, in 2016. He has described starting with just a few hundred. And then when I looked at them I thought they are kind of unique but they all look the same; they are handmade so they look like a print but they are not a print, he said. And then I thought, ‘What if I made these and then treated it like money?'

Found via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume IX, Number 50, May 28, 2024). -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
At least 1,000 Damien Hirst artworks were painted years later than claimed (

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:


Colombia has made the latest move in the complicated legal chess game of deep sea salvage. Here's an excerpt from a CBS News article - see the complete article online. -Editor

  Spanish San Jose Galleon

Colombia on Wednesday declared a "protected archeological area" around the spot where the legendary San Jose galleon sank off its Caribbean coast more than three centuries ago laden with gold, silver and emeralds believed to be worth billions of dollars.

The designation, said the culture ministry, "guarantees the protection of heritage" through the ship's "long-term preservation and the development of research, conservation and valuation activities."

Dubbed the "holy grail" of shipwrecks, the San Jose was owned by the Spanish crown when it was sunk by the British navy near Cartagena in 1708. Only a handful of its 600-strong crew survived.

The galleon had been heading back from the New World to the court of King Philip V of Spain, bearing chests of emeralds and some 200 tons of gold coins.

Before Colombia announced the discovery in 2015, the ship had long been sought by adventurers.

The value of its bounty has been estimated to run into the billions of dollars.

Culture Minister Juan David Correa insisted Wednesday: "This is not a treasure, we do not treat it as such."

He announced the area's new designation at an event launching the first "non-intrusive" phase of a scientific exploration of the wreck.

In February, Correa told AFP that an underwater robot would be sent to recover some of its bounty.

To read the complete article, see:
Colombia moves to protect "holy grail" of shipwrecks that sank over 3 centuries ago with billions of dollars in treasure (

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:


Nothing numismatic here, but the Wall Street Journal published an article about people who enjoy collecting coins found on the street. -Editor

  found coins

There are two types of people: those who overlook the glinting coins in their path, and those who never fail to spot them. Sarah Bowen Shea is firmly in the latter category.

The co-founder of the online community Another Mother Runner, she routinely scoops up coins during her runs. She discovered a Chicago Sacagawea coin worth $1.27 one January, and nabbed $1.22 worth of coins (including a quarter plucked from a pond) last July. Another time, she netted a whopping $4.33 in a single run.

There's definitely days where the search for found change is what gets me out the door, says Shea, 58, of Portland, Ore.

Americans toss millions in coins yearly, abandoning them to sidewalks, parking lots, airports and bus seats. Many end up in the trash.

But for a tenacious group, every penny, nickel, dime and quarter is a golden—or copper or silvery—opportunity.

For some, it is easy money. Others do it for luck, as a game, or for the satisfaction of noticing life's tiny triumphs. Many find it downright thrilling.

There's something really primal about seeing that glint on the ground, says Chalkley Calderwood, of Catskill, N.Y. I'm bending over to pick it up before I can even think.

Calderwood, a 54-year-old documentary filmmaker, favors dimes, believing they bring good fortune. One film proposal got green-lit right after she found a dime. Another time, a long-awaited check arrived two days after discovering one. She might skip pennies—but never the silver.

A May YouGov poll reveals over 80% of American adults, particularly the older set, would stop to pick up a coin on the street. Remarkably, half wouldn't hesitate to stoop for a mere penny, showed the poll of nearly 3,000 people.

Samantha Hopkins—who once found a ring while running—and her husband have turned their coin-gathering hobby into a yearly tradition where friends try to guess the value of their coin haul. The couple then donates the change to charity. Over a decade, they have raised about $1,500.

But um, what makes her think the Sacagawea is worth $1.27? -Editor

To read the complete article (subscription required), see:
Lost Change, Found Fortune: The Thrill of Collecting America's Abandoned Coins (

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