The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 27, Number 12, March 24, 2024, Article 22


  reston fogo de chao entrance

reston fogo de chao bar Tuesday, March 19, 2024 brought the monthly dinner of my Northern Virginia Numismatic Social group Nummis Nova. Eric Schena was our host. Inspired by a great experience at the Token and Medal Society banquet at the Pittsburgh ANA last year, he'd made a reservation at the Reston Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse.

We had a nice big table near the sumptuous salad bar. I sat next to Jon Radel and across from Dave Schenkman and Eric Schena. Other attendees included Mike Markowitz, Steve Bishop, Julian Leidman, Chris Neuzil, Tom Kays and guests Jonas Denenberg and Dana Linnett, who recently relocated his Early American History Auctions business to nearby Winchester, VA. Dana brought a group of catalogs for his latest sale.

As usual, as number of great numismatic items were passed around the table before dinner. My only contribution was this new $20 Star note that I'd gotten from an ATM recently.

  $20 star note

Tom's Take
Tom Kays submitted these notes from his end of the table:

  NUMMIS NOVA March 2024 Notes

Fresh Meat you say? Where can one sample shish-kebobbed hunks of steak, prime ribs, chicken, pork, and sausage, served with dramatic flair, fresh from open pit flames, skewered on Spanish rapiers, and delivered to your plate without cease, until you declare yourself utterly and completely full, unable to even taste the next delicacy? Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse in Tysons/Reston, Virginia is just such a venue where a happy dozen Nummis Nova folks went to dine in March and received the full experience meaning all-you-can-eat, and then some.

  2024-03 Nummis Nova group photo

Nummis Nova Guest Dana Linett carves a wee bit more from a garlic roast as Jon looks on undecided about whether he too wants to partake of a hunk of the same goodness Nummis Nova regulars at table include Steve, Jon, Wayne, Mike, Jonas, Lorne, Dave, Eric, Chris, and Julian with Tom off screen, operating the camera.

Discussion at my end of the table centered around the recent coast-to-coast relocation of Early American History Auctions, Inc., from San Diego to Winchester, Virginia. Dana Linett brought new auction catalogs for all, as he re-establishes his colonial American auctions on the east coast. Dana exclaimed the very first street in America named for George Washington in the 1750s is in Winchester, and honors Washington as a colonel in the British Provincial Militia, Virginia Regiment, under Virginia's Royal Governor Robert Dinwiddie. Young Washington was a brigade commander assigned to protect the Ohio Company settlement at Fort Duquesne from the French and he won honors at the Battle of the Monongahela to become defender of the Virginia frontier by 1758.

A few of the show-and-share items seen at table were obtained from another colonial coin dealer still in San Diego, Jeff Rock of Rosa Americana, Ltd., who wrote that perhaps these items will be shared at one of your dinners that Wayne writes about (and which I am highly jealous of, as we have nothing like that out here on the west coast!) Shared they are, within these recollections of what passed by, in between the many skewers of meat, and impending food coma down at my end of the table. I saw in this order:

  • Early American E-Sylum ad 2024-03-10 The newest Early American History Auctions, Inc., Catalog, closing March 30, 2024 with Autographs – Colonial- Americana – Political Items
  • A written invitation to attend a talk about Papal and Vatican Coins by Mike Markowitz, to be held on April 20, 2024 at 5:00 PM at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 3700 Blenheim Blvd in Fairfax, Virginia;
  • A hand-minted, replica of a golden aureus of Licinius I, Gaius Flavius Valerius Licianus (308 – 324 AD) with original wrapping from Varna, Bulgaria that states this is not a monument of culture and can be exported out of the territory of Bulgaria. Lacking its wrapping one would need to determine that this replica coin does not correspond to the original's metal composition, weight, and size;
  • A brilliant uncirculated pair of 1872 San Francisco Mint Half Dimes with mint marks above and below the wreath;
  • An 1886 Harvard Banjo Club metal inscribed on the reverse;
  • A large silver George III, 50th Year of Reign Medal (Oct 25, 1810) by Frogmore;
  • A Ricketts's Circus token struck by the U.S. Mint;
  • A large silver medal for the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots to Francis of France - ‘Fecit Utraque Unum' in 1558;
  • A Port Byron, one ‘New York' shilling (twelve and a half cents) note of 1838, signed by Smith and Case;
  • An amazing and hefty, three-dimensional, gold tone Futur-o-scope medal of European lineage;
  • A 2023 Cook Islands Twenty-Five Dollars medallion of King Charles III with three-dimensional topography of the Grand Canyon National Park;
  • A nicely blue toned, uncirculated 1831 Bust Half Dollar;
  • A proof, 1878 U.S. Trade Dollar from Philadelphia;
  • An enigmatic and low-mintage Finnish Medal PP-71 that defies conventional description unless its bringer deigns to share more about it;
  • A challenge coin for Equilpse – Dennis Kelly, CEO;
  • A book: Strawberries, Peas & Beans – Truck Farming in Anne Arundel County by Willard R. Mumford with catalog of the local picker's checks.

As usual, the night passed by much too fast, and once the food coma hit us, stuffed with exotic meats, and rendered sleepy with digestion, many of the questions we might have posed down the far end of the table about the significance of the things others brought were quelled into a contented repose. This after-action report provides an opportunity for attendees to better explain their choices, and perhaps send explanatory material and better photos of all the exotic menagerie of items deemed worthy of showing and telling about, at this Nummis Nova dinner.

For example, here is a small, wooden artifact case with a wide variety of early coins, tokens and medals that also passed by at dinner. Here are numismatic items associated with the following names given in no particular order: Maximillian Gandolf, Guttag, Van de Passe, Pidcock, Bolen, Sansom, Augustine Iturbide, J. Randel, Q. David Bowers, Sarah Caroline Seymour, and the mints at Philadelphia, Potosi, Lima, and Guanajuato. If this passed under your nose during dinner, while you were otherwise occupied masticating and couldn't speak with adequate decorum, what questions would you have regarding the identity, significance, and special importance of any of these items drifting down from the far end of the table? They all have a story to tell, but it is often hard to communicate at length and enjoy your dinner simultaneously.

  2024-03 Nummis Nova coin box

As one who sits at the very far end of a virtual Nummis Nova table, what did you just see pass by under typical mood lighting in the restaurant? I would say feel free to open the case, but you decide to avoid any butter fingers incidents and graciously decline to do so? Thanks!

Here are some of the photos I took of the evening.

  2024-03 Nummis Nova Mike Markowitz, Jonas Denenberg, Lorne Lavertu
Mike Markowitz, Jonas Denenberg, and Lorne Lavertu

  2024-03 Nummis Nova conversation
Jon Radel responding to a question

  2024-03 Nummis Nova ERic Schena, Chris Neizil, Julian Leidman, Tom Kays
Eric Schena, Chris Neuzil, Julian Leidman, and Tom Kays

  2024-03 Nummis Nova Chris Neizil, Julian Leidman, Tom Kays
Chris Neuzil, Julian Leidman, and Tom Kays

Now for more about this month's numismatic show-and-tell items.

Ricketts's Circus Token
Dave Schenkman brought the Ricketts's Circus piece, and provided these photos.

  Ricketts Circus-obv Ricketts Circus-rev

Very cool item. "It is said that Washington frequented this circus as a place of amusement.".

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

More From Dave Schenkman

  Harvard Banjo Club medal obverse Harvard Banjo Club medal reverse

Dave writes:

"Some time back I brought a Harvard Banjo Club medal to the dinner. This one is quite a bit different. The name G. Sturgis is engraved on the reverse, and the year '13. Although the pics make it appear to be brass, it is silver. 44mm."

  1810 medal 50th anniversary of George III reign obverse 1810 medal 50th anniversary of George III reign reverse

"A 48mm silver medal commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reign of George III. Eimer 1007."

  1558 dated marriage medal Mary, Queen of Scots obverse 1558 dated marriage medal Mary, Queen of Scots reverse

"A 52mm silver medal dated 1558, for the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots to Francis. Per Eimer, who lists it as # 40, "first struck in 1832 at the Paris Mint and subsequently restruck."

The Grand Canyon and More
Steve Bishop sent these photos of some of his items. The Grand Canyon piece is an interesting example of medal-making technology.

  Cook Islands Grand Canyon Topography Coin
  Cook Islands Grand Canyon Topography Coin 3D1
  Cook Islands Grand Canyon Topography Coin 3D2
  1831 Draped Bust Half Dollar
  1878 Trade Dollar

Great proof Trade Dollar.

Whitman Baltimore Coin Expo
Tuesday's dinner was great, but the week held more numismatics in store. Friday the 22nd brought an afternoon at the Whitman Baltimore Coin Expo. As usual, I wandered around hoping to speak with and thank our E-Sylum advertisers. But as often happens I was foiled by commercial activity - Tom Caldwell of Northeast Numismatics, David Kahn of David Kahn Rare Coins, Jeff Garrett, Jon Sullivan, Wayne Herndon of Wizard Coin Supply and others were all either busy with a customer or away from their tables when I passed by. I did get to briefly say hello to Julian Leidman and Charlie Davis.

At Charlie's booth I ran into Kellen Hoard, and we had a nice conversation with Neil Musante. Not long after I parked myself at John Kraljevich's table where Greg Bennick and I discussed his interviews for the Newman Numismatic Portal. A few more past interviews are "in the can" awaiting transcription and publication here in The E-Sylum. Having been sidelined from numismatics for some months while he finished up a book for his publisher, Greg's ready to get back to work on these. We discussed a number of potential interview candidates and topics.

We also chatted about a number of numismatic topics and after hearing some of my stories, Greg now wants to interview me, too. That will be fun. I used to be the young kid in the room like Kellen and JK before him, but now I'm Medicare-card-carrying official old-timer. I was fortunate to meet a number of now-deceased hobby luminaries over the years, including Eric Newman, John J. Ford Jr., Jules Reiver, John Pittman, and bibliophile Armand Champa.

  2024-03-22 Baltimore Wayne Homren, John Ktaljevich, Greg Bennick
Me, John "JK" Kraljevich, Greg Bennick

Sitting at John's table is like hanging around Times Square in NYC - the whole world passes by sooner or later. Spotted nearby at various times were Vicken Yegparian, Maureen and Stu Levine, Bruce Hagan, Dana Linnett, and Harry Laibstain. On my way out I was able to talk for a while with Pierre Fricke.

Without dinner plans I headed home and despite the I-95 rush hour traffic managed to have dinner at home in Virginia with my family. It was another fun and productive week for numismatics.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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