Volume 11, Number 50, December 14, 2008
George Fuld and Ed Krivoniak report being unable to receive The E-Sylum mailings through Verizon. Ed learned that Verizon is blocking email from binhost.com, our mail list provider. I've asked Binhost to sort this out with Verizon - sorry for the inconvenience.
This week we open with news about our print journal, The E-Sylum and announcements regarding several new works of numismatic literature covering topics from pattern coins to saloon tokens and concentration camp money. Topics continued from earlier issues include World Mint Reports and William Sheldon. New queries this week cover subjects such as "CSA" silver ingots, and a work on Cambodian coins.
To learn which numismatic author's favorite tie depicted Mickey Mouse as a pharaoh, read on. Have a great week, everyone!
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
I understand a number of great new items are in the works or already on Yoon's desk, including articles and notes by Dave Perkins, Joel Orosz, P. Scott Rubin, Bob Leonard, John W. Adams, the new American Numismatic Society Librarian Elizabeth Hahn, and others.
How about making it one of your New Year's resolutions to pitch in and share some of your knowledge and thoughts on numismatic literature and research with an Asylum article?
David Yoon writes:
It would be great to get some contributions from a wider range of people. Here are some areas that are worth considering as possibilities to explore:
Biographical notes on significant numismatists of the past. The Asylum has printed quite a few already, but there are certainly many more individuals that haven't received attention. Just at a glance through Bill Malkmus's admirable index, I see that William Sumner Appleton, Isaac F. Wood, Montroville W. Dickeson, George W. Rode, C. W. Betts, and John Hickcox are among the important and/or colorful characters neglected.
Comprehensive reviews of the literature on a particular series or topic. (Thanks to David Fanning for this idea.) We've had recent articles on the Smithsonian's collection and Admiral Vernon medals, but I'm sure everyone who has a favorite series that they collect could say a lot about the past and present references on that series, or about the history of a major collection pertaining to it. This is especially true for things other than coins - medals, tokens, emergency or special purpose scrip, etc. - which often don't have the equivalent of Breen or Krause-Mishler.
In-depth book reviews. The E-Sylum is great for several paragraphs, but sometimes a book calls for a somewhat longer discussion, either because there's so much going on in it or because it's debatable on some important points. Again, I'm sure people have opinions that would be worth sharing in print.
Obituaries. Not something anyone really wants to think ahead on, but when the numismatic community loses someone important, there are times when there's more to be said than a few paragraphs in the E-Sylum. This is especially true if it's someone who has published notable numismatic works that are worth a bit of extra discussion as part of an appreciation of their numismatic achievements.
Google Books. There is a wealth of numismatic literature now available for free on the web via Google, but a guide to what is and isn't (yet) available would be very helpful.
Unrelated to Google Books is a project Pete Smith reminded me of - Paul Hybert's compilation of U.S. Mint Reports on a website maintained by the Chicago Coin Club.
So, how about it? I'll commit to drafting an article about George W. Rode, an important figure in the early days of the American Numismatic Association and the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society. Who will step up next?
Remember, The Asylum is a quarterly, edited print journal distributed to paid members of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. If you're not yet a member, consider joining. Membership information appears in each E-Sylum issue and on our web site at www.coinbookg.org -Editor
Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing forwarded a copy of the December 2008 Whitman Review, which contains information on three upcoming books. First up, the long-awaited new edition of the Cherrypickers’ Guide. -EditorWhitman Publishing, LLC is proud to announce the release of the latest edition of one of America’s most popular coin books: the Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare Die Varieties, 5th Edition, Volume I, which debuted at the Whitman Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention in November 2008. This volume covers all United States series from half cents through nickel five-cent pieces.
The book is the result of many years of cumulative research and finessing by the lead authors, Bill Fivaz and J.T. Stanton, in cooperation with many collectors, scholars, dealers, and others in the numismatic community. It presents information unavailable in any other single source.
The Cherrypickers’ Guide shows you how to “cherrypick” coins—that is, how to examine a seemingly ordinary collection and identify coins with die characteristics that make them rare and valuable. There are hundreds of instances in which an everyday Indian Head cent, Jefferson nickel, or other coin can multiply many times in value if it is of an interesting variety. Examples include repunched dates, doubled mintmarks, and other oddities, often visible without a magnifying glass.
Fivaz and Stanton point out the first places to quickly look on a coin for identification, and offer a guide to rarity and market values in several grades. Accompanying each variety is a narrative relating to its significance.
“Your copy of the Cherrypickers’ Guide can easily pay for itself with a single educated cherrypick,” says Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker. “This edition covers many popular coin series with dramatic die varieties, including Lincoln cents and Buffalo nickels. Dealers and collectors should keep a copy handy at all times.”
An example is pictured on book’s title page: a regular 1936-D Buffalo nickel in MS-60 is worth about $40 to $50. The rare 1936-D known as the “3-1/2 Leg,” in the same grade, is worth almost $20,000.
The fifth edition of the Cherrypickers’ Guide continues the newly simplified Fivaz/Stanton numbering system introduced in the fourth edition, volume II. An appendix cross-references the old system, so collectors and dealers can bring their listings up to date. Included are die varieties for half cents, large cents, Flying Eagle cents, Indian Head cents, Lincoln cents, two-cent pieces, silver three-cent pieces, nickel three-cent pieces, Shield nickels, Liberty Head nickels, Buffalo nickels, and Jefferson nickels.
Here's the press release for the new edition of the Judd book on U.S. patterns from the December 2008 Whitman Review. -EditorWhitman Publishing, LLC, has released the 10th edition of Dr. J. Hewitt Judd’s classic United States Pattern Coins, updated with new research, market prices, and text by Q. David Bowers and Saul Teichman.
For the first time ever, the 10th edition is illustrated in full color.
The hardcover book is a complete resource for the history, rarity, and values of these popular experimental pieces, from 1792 to 2000. “United States Pattern Coins illustrates the trials, struggles, and backstage intrigue that preceded so many of the United States Mint’s regular issues,” says Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker. “This is a fascinating inside look at America’s rarest coins.”
Q. David Bowers, the “dean of American numismatics,” with the aid of preeminent experts in the field, builds upon the strong foundation originally laid by Dr. Judd in 1959.
Saul Teichman, John Gervasoni, Julian Leidman, Andy Lustig, and Laura Sperber are among the researchers and coin dealers who have contributed to the new edition. Hundreds of crisp new high-resolution photographs complement the text, with many images provided by premier institutions and special collections that hold these rare coins.
The book includes appendices that examine pieces struck outside the Mint; pattern coinage metals; and a gallery of unusual sets and curiosities. It includes new research on authenticity, provenance, populations, rarity levels, recent auctions, and retail values. Gold and aluminum pieces in particular have seen increased market activity recently, while famous “story coins” such as the Amazonian gold and silver pieces, Washlady coins, and Shield Earring silver pieces remain highly popular.
I can't help but agree wholeheartedly with the following quotes from Q. David Bowers...
A knowledge of patterns is essential to the understanding of the entire panorama of American coinage.
... and Mary Counts, president of Whitman Publishing:
If you collect U.S. coins and think you’ve seen it all, you’re really only getting half the story.
We've discussed this upcoming book before, but since it's of special interest to bibliophiles, here's some more information from the publisher, also from the December 2008 Whitman Review. -EditorWhitman Publishing entered the field of numismatic publishing in 1934. In 2009 we celebrate our 75th year by rolling out a book about the hobby’s leading annual reference—the Guide Book of United States Coins, popularly known as the “Red Book.”
The Red Book is popular as a collectible in its own right. Why create a guide book about the Guide Book?
The Red Book, which has been a cornerstone of the hobby since it debuted in late 1946, has become a collectible itself. Many coin collectors save a copy each year, while striving to hunt down the elusive early editions and rare errors and varieties.
To aid other collectors, researcher and longtime hobbyist Frank J. Colletti has written the definitive guide to the scarlet tome: the Guide Book of the Official RED BOOK of United States Coins.
You don’t need to be a confirmed “Numismatic Bibliophile” to love this book—just a fan of the world’s greatest pastime! It’s unlikely that any coin collector active today has not heard of the hobby’s beloved “Red Book.” Readers have bought more than 21 million copies since 1946, making it one of the best-selling nonfiction books in the history of American publishing.
The Guide Book of the Official RED BOOK of United States Coins offers a history of coin price guides, leading up to the best-selling numismatic reference of all time. Colletti explores the foundation laid by hobby legend R.S. Yeoman, and then studies each Red Book issued since 1946. Regular editions, special editions, authorized overprint editions, and amazing errors are all examined in detail, with market values given for various grades. Colletti looks in-depth at the “Blue Book,” too (the Handbook of United States Coins). He tells what to look for and how to build and care for your collection of Red Books. He also discusses Red Book–related medals and other collectibles.
The Guide Book of the Official Red Book of United States Coins is chock-full of behind-the-scenes photographs from Whitman Publishing archives. Along the way, you’ll enjoy a wealth of old advertisements, vintage photographs of the personalities involved in the book, and historical hobby memorabilia. Kenneth Bressett, Q. David Bowers, and other famous hobbyists offer their personal recollections. In pictures and words, it’s like sitting down with friends and learning all the behind-the-scenes stories, the legends, and the lore of more than 60 years of American numismatics.
Author Frank Colletti explores these collectibles in addition to the Red Book itself. If you collect or deal in rare coins, numismatic literature, or collectible books—if you love learning about the hobby’s famous dealers, collectors, and researchers—if you want to add to your own collection of Red Books, or find out how much they’re worth—you’ll be delighted with the Guide Book of the Official RED BOOK of United States Coins.
By Frank J. Colletti.
Foreword by Q. David Bowers.
Introduction by Kenneth Bressett.
304 pages; full color; 6 x 9; softcover. Retail $18.95.
Author David Lange forwarded the following release about his new value guide. -EditorAn entirely updated, seven-page Value Guide for 2009 has been prepared by David W. Lange, author of Coin Collecting Boards of the 1930s & 1940s. This guide lists values for all known coin boards across four grades, and it is accompanied by Lange's commentary on the overall market and analyses of each publisher's boards.
In addition, David W. Lange has prepared a list of Errata & Addenda for his 2007 book. Also now available are his latest price list of antique Coin Boards for Sale #107 and his newsletter Coin Board News #7.
All of these publications will be sent to anyone requesting them by email or by sending a self-addressed envelope to his post office box address with 59 cents postage affixed. Collectors and dealers are invited to view his website featuring a gallery of antique coin boards, as well as information about Lange's sales of coin boards and his various numismatic books.
David W. Lange
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211-0022
For more information, see: www.coincollectingboards.net
Dave also added the following notes on an earlier E-Sylum items. -EditorI thought quite interesting that "The Bank of England said it would exchange the notes for new ones if Hill could piece the money back together again.", since our Treasury Department still maintains a staff of experts who do this for anyone returning mutilated currency.
Also, not mentioned in the story about Peter Funt's column regarding retention of the "penny" was that Peter is the son of Allen Funt of Candid Camera fame. When that show was revived a few years ago with Peter and Dena Eastwood (Clint's wife) as co-hosts, the new episodes were shot in and around Monterey.
With prior permission, below is reprinted a book review by Dave Frank originally published in the December 8th, 2008 issue of the MPC Gram (Series 10, No 1751). -EditorA new book titled Das Geld des Terrors: Geld und Geldersatz in deutschen Konzentrationslagern und Gettos 1933 bis 1945 went on sale October 2008 in Germany. In English: The Money of the Terror: Money and Money Replacement in German Concentration Camps and Ghettos 1933-1945. The book is written by Hans-Ludwig Grabowski and is published by Battenberg Verlag, Regenstauf. I obtained a copy last week from a dealer in Hamburg that listed it on eBay.
The 456 page hardbound book is written in German with numerous color photos of Concentration Camp and Ghetto scrip along with many documents artifacts and pictures of the camps. The fantastic collection of scrip illustrated is primarily from the collection of Wolfgang Haney of Berlin.
There are 27 chapters, each one representing a camp or ghetto. The last chapter is of particular interest with information and illustrations of fantasy and counterfeit issues. The chapters begin with a rather detailed discussion of the history and details of the operation of the camps and ghettos. The next section of the chapter contains illustrations and description of scrip from that camp including varieties. There are many pictures of scrip that have probably never been seen before including a 1 RM note from Natweiler. This note is attributed to the Charlton Meyer Jr. collection.
There is also a section on anti-Semitic notgeld and message over printed notes. Prices are listed for lower priced issues and the R rarity scale similar to the Albert Pick Das Lagergeld book with R being rare and RRRR probably unique.
I found this book to be an excellent resource (especially if you can read German) and a must along with Silent Witness by Ray and Steve Feller for everyone interested in this area of military numismatics. Even if German is not your second language the scrip listings are pretty easy to understand. The fixed price of the book in Germany is 39,90 EUR. Shipping to the USA ranges from 9-13 EUR. German Amazon and many German book dealers on EBay have it for sale.
To order from Amazon.de, see: Das Geld des Terrors: Geld und Geldersatz in deutschen Konzentrationslagern und Ghettos 1933 bis 1945 (Gebundene Ausgabe) (www.amazon.de/Das-Geld-Terrors-Geldersatz-Konzentrationslagern
SALOON TOKENS OF THE UNITED STATEScan be purchased from Mike Patton, P.O. Box 1365, Ocean Shores, WA. 98569. Al Erickson at present is unable to fulfill any requests for book orders.
Many thanks for the update. -Editor
THE BOOK BAZARRE
Dave Fanning forwarded this December 9th New York Times article on the death of Cornelius Vermeule, author of Numismatic Art in America. -EditorCornelius C. Vermeule III, who over four decades as curator of classical antiquities at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston built a reputation for astute acquisitions, prodigious scholarship and exuberant eccentricity (his office had a working model of Cyprus’s national railroad), died on Nov. 27 in Cambridge, Mass. He was 83.
Dr. Vermeule (the last syllable is pronounced “mule”) took charge of Greek and Roman art in 1956 and breathed life into a classical department then rivaled in the United States only by that of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He added new lighting, new cases and a new, eager staff; dreamed up popular exhibitions like “Romans and Barbarians”; acquired hundreds of treasures; and even donated important artifacts himself.
“He blew through those musty old galleries like a fresh wind,” Michael Padgett, curator of ancient art at the Princeton University Art Museum, said in an interview Thursday.
In an interview Friday, Carlos A. Picon, head curator of Greek and Roman art at the Met, lauded Dr. Vermeule’s success in working with his staff to produce what he called an unmatched body of literature on Boston’s classical collection. Dr. Vermeule’s own bibliography listed 800 works and filled 60 printed pages.
As a collector, Dr. Vermeule landed prizes like an exquisite Minoan gold double-ax, and two large fifth-century B.C. kraters, a type of ancient Greek jar. Jerome J. Pollitt, a professor of classical art and archaeology at Yale, said Dr. Vermeule had understood the provenance of art in uncanny detail, especially that from England’s country homes.
“It was almost as if he had been alive since the 17th century,” he said in an interview Friday.
Dr. Vermeule’s personal style bristled with an idiosyncrasy reminiscent of those old-style gentlemen curators who intimately knew their entire collection, hobnobbed with museum trustees, courted rich donors and disdained talk of trivialities like salary. (He drew the line at disdaining pay, explaining that he had too many mouths to feed, particularly those of his Dalmatian dogs, each named for a Roman emperor or empress.)
He favored a single frayed suit, a tie depicting Mickey Mouse as a pharaoh and beat-up white sneakers with black spots in honor of his Dalmatian pack, numbering a half dozen at its peak.
Dr. Vermeule’s own gifts to the museum, including a significant Etruscan statue, were often given under pseudonyms, one being Sir Northwold Nuffler.
Cornelius Clarkson Vermeule III was born on Aug. 10, 1925, in Orange, N.J. He started collecting ancient Roman coins at 9. He interrupted his studies at Harvard to serve in the Army as a Japanese interpreter, then returned to earn his bachelor’s degree in 1949 and master’s in 1951. The University of London awarded him a doctorate in 1953.
To read the complete article, see: Cornelius C. Vermeule III, a Curator of Classical Antiquities, Is Dead at 83 (www.nytimes.com/2008/12/09/arts/design/09vermeule.html?
Julian Leidman supplied these thoughts on Ellis Edlow. -EditorI knew Ellis Edlow pretty well from the late 1960's until his death. He helped me as I was getting started in numismatic dealing. One time, I was displaying coins at a monthly meeting of the Washington Numismatic Society and had some pretty fancy coins for a young guy. All of the sudden, I was missing two of the coins and was quite concerned.
I spoke with a couple of dealers around town and one suggested that I speak with Ellis, who asked me if Mr. X was at the meeting. I told him that he was and he suggested that I call Mr. X, a wealthy collector in the area and demand that he return my two coins. I was nervous but did as suggested. Mr. X denied having the coins, but since I told him that I would call his elderly mother if he did not return them, I had him over a barrel. He came to see me and gave me equal value in other coins. It seems Mr. X was a kleptomaniac.
I began a collection of Washington D.C. currency later and eventually purchased Ellis' fantastic collection of obsolete currency. It also happened that Mr. X had a collection of D.C. obsolete currency also and I purchased that later from an intermediary. Subsequently, I purchased Ellis' collection of D.C. National Bank Notes. He was a true gentleman and I always enjoyed visiting him.
He suffered a stroke during a coronary operation and retired to Florida, which is where I purchased the nationals. I actually traded him a Florida obsolete collection that was assembled by Jerry Tralins, a Florida dealer.
Ellis assembled over the years a beautiful collection of coins, mostly proofs from 1858 on and they are still owned by a family member, whom I speak with from time to time.
Dick Johnson remembers Ellis Edlow as well. He furnished these thoughts. -EditorI knew Ellis Edlow in the early 1950s when I was in the Air Force stationed near Washington, DC. We were both members of the Washington Numismatic Society. I remember one incident we were meeting for some committee or other at Ellis' home in the winter. It snowed that day and the evening meeting was cancelled. Since it was impossible to reach me by phone I was unaware of the cancellation and showed up alone at his door. He invited me in however and I had him all to myself for an evening of conversation.
As I do in every numismatist's home, I look at their library. Ellis had only three numismatic books as I recall in a living room bookcase. His numismatic library certainly must have grown over the years to require a bookplate as illustrated in last week's E-Sylum. Ellis was a great numismatist.
Interestingly, I knew him as Ellis Edlowitz. The family had changed their name -- I do not know what year. I guess they thought "Edlowitz" was too ethnic. I found it rather charming. He wrote me a letter once after I addressed a letter to him under his prior name, he informed me the family had shortened their name. I resisted the temptation to answer him as "Dick John."
Krause Publications' NumisMaster web site published an article December 9th on the retirement of longtime editor Colin R. Bruce. -EditorStandard Catalog of World Coins senior editor Colin R. Bruce II retired Oct. 31 at the age of 69 after more than 34 years in the Krause Publications' catalog department.
He was hired in April 1974 by Clifford Mishler to take over and improve upon the pioneering work created by Mishler, Chet Krause and other staff members. The Standard Catalog is now in its 36th edition and other volumes break the information down by centuries.
Of his time as head of the catalog department, Bruce said, "My job here was so hobby-related and enjoyable that I could easily handle the long hours before deadlines and the weekends at shows here and abroad."
"We are forever indebted to Colin for the pioneering work he did building the KP world coins database into the best in existence," said KP numismatics publisher Scott Tappa. "We intend to honor Colin's legacy by continuing to offer coin collectors the most comprehensive catalog and price guide available to enthusiasts worldwide."
Senior market analysts Tom Michael and George Cuhaj will take over Bruce's catalog duties.
To read the complete article, see: Standard Catalog Editor Retires (http://www.numismaster.com/ta/numis/Article.jsp?ad=article&ArticleId=5862)
In response to your question in the latest E-Sylum concerning Mint reports, I think the following information might be of interest: apart from the reports already mentioned from the U.S., Canada and Great Britain, Mint reports have also been published by France (Paris; 1896 till now, first on an annual basis, later on covering 10 years of activity), Belgium (Brussels; 1900 till the 1920s, in principle on an annual basis, but due to WWI on a more irregular basis later on), the Netherlands (Utrecht; most of the 19th and 20th century on an annual basis), Japan (Osaka; I do not know the frequency) and Italy (Rome; only a few single years before WWI and a report covering 25 years between 1918 and 1943).
The Swiss Government published detailed data on the activities on its Mint (in Bern) on a yearly basis, although not in a separate report, but in a general statistical report on the activities of the Federal Government. I am not aware of Mint reports for Germany, although I suppose, like for Switzerland, that data should be available in more general official statistical publications.
Obviously also the annual reports of most central banks contain information on monetary affairs, including in some cases mintage figures.
And the procès-verbaux of the conferences organised by the Latin Monetary Union between 1865 and 1921 also often contain detailed statistical data. Actually, the reports by the Mint in Paris since 1896 were published in order to comply with the stipulations of the agreement of this monetary union, by which member states were obliged to exchange statistical information on coinage matters; first, this information was exchanged between the ministeries of foreign affairs only, and was not made public, but later on, it was decided to have them published with the help of the French Government, leading, as said, to the publication of the annual reports in 1896.
We found David Ginsberg's comments concerning the New Orleans Mint in the last E-Sylum quite interesting, for we have the answers to most of his questions. He discovered some information concerning the 1883 O Eagle, and we just recently submitted an article for publication in Coin World on that same coin.
The 1883 is quite an interesting coin, with its miniscule mintage of just 800 pieces, and from all the resources we have researched there has been little, if any, information to support its low production. We decided to delve into it, and came up with some interesting facts, as well as some theory because the records are scant in the National Archives.
Anyway, we are hoping that the article will be published and this new information can be shared by all.
Alan Luedeking submitted these thoughts on criteria for the inclusion of terms in numismatic dictionaries and encyclopedias. -EditorDick Johnson's ambivalence over including 'slab' and 'slabbed' in his new dictionary prompted me to write. The compilers of the Oxford English Dictionary faced much the same dilemma when trying to decide whether or not to include new idioms, 'slang', etc. The fascinating story of the creation of this amazing work, originally projected to take 10 years (I think) and which ended up outlasting the lifetimes of all those originally involved, is detailed in Simon Winchester's superb The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary. What stuck with me was their decision to include, rather than to exclude, and I could not agree more wholeheartedly.
This is definitely a case of "mo betta". "Slab" is in common use and has very definite numismatic meanings. I already see a newcomer to our hobby looking it up and being disappointed not to find it there. If Dick Johnson's work truly aims to be the definitive reference in its class- the last word on numismatic terminology, it MUST contain any word with even the most oblique or passing significance to numismatics.
I for one would happily pay for such a book, even if it ran to a couple of hundred bucks. I already have a few numismatic dictionaries and encyclopedias in my library (mostly for Latin American and World material) and am constantly disappointed by the dearth of content or minimality of definition when there is a word I need to look up. One notable exception is Humberto Burzio's Diccionario de la Moneda Hispanoamericana, Santiago, 1958, an erudite "must have" in any numismatic library.
If I can help with Dick's valuable effort, I'll be glad to do so, within my limited abilities. If a legitimate argument can be made for including a term, such ought always to outweigh any argument for leaving it out.
I'm in general agreement with Alan that more is better in this case. Although it is a slippery slope adding to any specialized work, I think there's a good case for the inclusion of these terms, which are so much a part of the vernacular today. -Editor
My thanks to all the E-Sylum readers who supplied information on my query on William Livingston. His career was really "a blip on the Screen".
The question remains, however, as a second or third tier dealer, where was he getting all these uncirculated & proof coins? While thinking about this, I remembered something that I read a long time ago (I don't remember where) that Wayte Raymond had an arrangement with a dealer in the 1930's, supplying him with coins to sell, but it did not work out. If Livingston was that dealer, it would explain the quality material he was offering.
Dick Johnson's submission on author William Sheldon's non-numismatic work generated a number of comments and corrections. -Editor
Dave Bowers notes:
The word is "somatotype", not "somotype". The book photos were NOT nude. Each had private parts covered.
Denis Loring writes:
I'll go Dick one better-- I was somatotyped by Dr. Sheldon himself. I used to visit him and Dorothy Paschal ("Dr. Dorothy" as he called her) at their home in Cambridge, Mass. On one occasion the conversation turned to somatotyping, and the fact that I went to Harvard but had not participated in Sheldon's photographic somatotyping project. He promptly got up, told me to stand straight and face 90 degrees away from him. He inspected me carefully and pronounced me a 4-6-1, (4 endomorphic, 6 mesomorphic, 1 ectomorphic), a solid rarity 6 in the somatotype world.
Your Editor missed another typo in Dick Johnson's submission, and a couple readers picked up on it.
Sheldon carried his analysis to an extreme. He claimed he could tell of other human traits from a person's somotype. Obviously a 9 in endormorphy is going to be sedimentary...
Arthur Shippee writes:
So, he'll have a rocky road to health? Sandstone, perhaps?
Roger Burdette writes:
Got to look out for those “sedimentary endormorphs” – they are closely related to sand sharks and can emerge at any time to attack!
The word "sedimentary" should be "sedentary". Oops! Perhaps Your Editor should get off his butt and open a dictionary more often. Anyway, many thanks to Dick, Denis and others for this fascinating glimpse at another side of a numismatic author. -Editor
Ron Guth adds:
I really enjoyed the links to Dr. William Sheldon. Looking a little further, I found on one of the sites an interesting view of Sheldon and his relationship with Large Cents...it's near the end of the article and attempts to make some sort of psychological connection between Sheldon, his work, and his cents ( www.innerexplorations.com/catpsy/t2c7.htm ).
Of particular interest is a citation from Early American Cents: 'For generations American schoolboys bought, sold, swapped, or swiped old coppers. Some of these boys, especially in old age, have returned to the early enchantment, there to forget or condone the singular incompatibility between human dreams and fulfillments.' (p. 5)
What is this but a description of Sheldon, himself, who fulfilled his professional dreams but not himself?"
THE BOOK BAZARRE
We recently published an image of a maverick piece of scrip provided by Dennis Schafluetzel. Several E-Sylum readers have pitched in to help determine where the note originated. It looks like the mystery has now been solved. Thanks, everyone! -Editor
Wendell Wolka writes:
I think we can definitively say that the Frank's Restaurant maverick is, in fact, from Lafayette, Indiana. Reuben H. Frank is listed in the 1862-63 Lafayette, Indiana City directory as a saloon and restaurant proprietor. The restaurant was located at the corner of Columbia and North 5th Streets in downtown Lafayette. Prior to this business exposure, Reuben had been a dealer in animal hides. The next time you take Indiana 26 through Lafayette to a Purdue football or basketball game, you'll pass right by the site, about four blocks before you cross the Wabash River into West Lafayette.
Tom Carson of Chattanooga, Tennessee adds:
Maverick Notes are fun. I have an article in the November/December issue of Paper Money titled Give Tennessee Back Her Notes. In the article I take back several notes to Tennessee from Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina. I give back notes to Kentucky, Pennsylvania and New York. It looks like we need an addenda to give one to Indiana.
David Klinger forwarded this item from ABE Books about Cosway Bindings. It's non-numismatic, but for bibliophiles these bindings are something to drool over (figuratively, of course). -EditorThe Story of Emma, Lady Hamilton
by Julia Frankau
This month, one of our features is about Cosway bindings. Our pick of the month is this fantastic and gorgeous example with 13 inlaid portraits. Horatio Nelson is in the center.
Publisher: Macmillan and Co., Limited, London, 1911
Publication Date: 1911
To read the complete article, see: The Avid Collector
From the bookseller's description:
Finely bound by The Chelsea Bindery in full navy blue morocco, with a portrait of Horatio Nelson in the centre of the front board surrounded by a further 12 vignette portraits each depicting Lady Emma Hamilton in a different beguiling pose, the whole surrounded by an intricate design of interwoven gold-stemmed roses onlaid in red morocco with green morocco leaves, this motif continues to four of the six spine panels, the other two lettered in gold, and is repeated in four magnificent sprays emanating from the centre of the rear board to cover its entirety, the design is echoed on each corner of the triple ruled turn-ins, red moire silk doublures and ends, all edges gilt. Housed in a matching blue cloth solander box. 30 full page colour mezzotints each protected by a captioned tissue, 9 full page monochrome plates and 37 monochrome illustrations in the text.
The price? 22,500.00 GBP (about $34,000)! -Editor
Howard A. Daniel III writes from Viet Nam that he has found an item about very early Cambodian coins that he would like to pursue. Can any of our readers help? -EditorGeorge Groslier, a Frenchman who worked in the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh did some work matching the coin descriptions in some old European journals of their travels in Cambodia to the museum's coin collection. I don't know the date of Groslier's work, but he lived from 1887 to 1945 and passed away in Phnom Penh. One of his many books is the Catalogue du Musee de Phnom Penh, IDEO, 1924, which could illustrate some of the coins, but I think this specific work about the coins might be in an article in a French archeological or numismatic periodical. In my translation, Groslier describes the coin designs as "a cock facing left with a flower in its beak; a lotus flower with a coiled stem; and a coconut.
I've matched the descriptions to coins in my own collection (with some past email assistance from Scott Semans) but I want to see which varieties Groslier actually picked. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated and will land the contributor(s) into my own Cambodian catalog's List of Contributors.
Dick Johnson submitted the following topical thoughts on book-buying for the holidays. -EditorOf all the Christmas presents purchased in the last couple weeks, the one that gave me the greatest pleasure was buying a book for grandson number four. He was studying Herman Melville in school and wanted to read something by the same author other than Moby Dick.
I went searching on ABE books and found Omoo, A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas in stock at a bookseller half a state away. Gosh, that sounds like a great read, even though it was published in 1892. A quick email and a credit card number consummated the sale.
That was more fun for me than the big box Hero Guitar for four grandsons that shopper-savvy wife found that had been sold out in every toy store in a 50-mile radius. She found it in a game store miles from a mall that had just received a tiny shipment of ten that hadn't sold out yet. It must have been on every teenager's Want List this season like a Cabbage Patch doll was some years ago. But every family has to have at least one Hot Toy of the Year.
My book purchase was less than the state sales tax for the big-box purchase. But I'll wager it gives more pleasure to my grandson.
Happy Reading, Matthew! Can I make a book collector of you?
Great idea! Book searching is so much easier than it was in the pre-Internet days, yet many shoppers don't even think of that avenue. It can locate a very special gift for someone that can't be found in typical stores. -Editor
Paul Horner submitted the following query and images. -EditorI got these two images from a source, asking:
On one side of this small ingot is stamped "CSA" with the number 1396, below which is stamped 937 FINE and the year 1863. On the reverse side of the small ingot is stamped 1863 right in the middle. The weight of the ingot is 8.5 grams, which equates to about a 1/4 troy ounce. Any idea how such small castings of silver were used during the war, especially here in the South where precious metals were in such short supply?I am at a loss, but maybe a reader has seen something like it before. I do not have the dimensions, but at 8.5 grams, it would be rather small. Could this be either: A genuine Confederate item, a "contrived rarity", a fantasy piece sold in museum gift shops, or perhaps something entirely unrelated to the Confederacy and the Civil War. Any ideas would be welcomed, perhaps replies can be passed along in the following issues of E-Sylum.
I got the following email on Facebook. Could any of our E-Sylum readers help? Thanks.Currently I am graduate student at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, I am actively doing research on coin history from Puerto Rico using the online archives from Spain (pares.mcu.es), Library of Congress, and different Archives from Puerto Rico. I am doing research mainly on coin history of Puerto Rico XIX century. I was wondering if you knew of any fellowships or grants for graduate students who are active on coin history from different countries. I would truly be indebted if you could help me find some research fundings for graduate students.
Thanks in advance,
Prof. Angel Navarro-Zayas
Alan V. Weinberg forwarded this article from an investing website about Walter Husak and the recent sale of his U.S. Large Cent collection. -EditorAt one time or another, we have all dreamed of turning pocket change into millions. A California man actually made it happen last February, though, when he sold a collection of 301 pennies for $10.7 million. Of course, they were not just any pennies. The set contained virtually every variety and subvariety of U.S. cent minted in the classic period between 1793 and 1814. Van Nuys resident Walter J. Husak had been assembling his early coppers for 28 years and estimated that they cost him a little over $5 million. That is a lot for a coin collection, but it ultimately netted him a profit of close to $200,000 per year and that is a return anyone can appreciate.
As with any investment-minded collector, Husak was doubtless torn between the desire to put together a complete collection of early cents and the hope that they would increase in value. He chose the path that usually finds the best equilibrium between aesthetic satisfaction and monetary gain by going high end. He acquired attractive specimens in the most advanced grades possible, very often locating the finest known examples of given varieties.
Husak began collecting coins at the age of twelve, showing early acumen when he bought six Indian head pennies for $12 and then immediately sold the single valuable piece for $15. He disposed of his early collection to buy a car and make a down payment on a house, but re-entered the hobby in 1980 with the purchase of an 1804 large cent.
The need to pay off some real estate debt finally led to Husak's decision to sell and he admitted that he was "scared to death" of losing money on the collection. He need not have been. The Heritage sale represented a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bid on many of the coins, and quite a few realized multiples of previous records.
Way to go, Walter! Investment-oriented collectors salute you.
To read the complete article, see: Money winners of 2008: Walter Husak cashes in on rare pennies (http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2008/12/14/money-
Of course I know, but will leave it for others...
Pete Smith writes:
Tenino, Washington was named for its elevation above sea level, ten-nine-oh. Their Chamber of Commerce issued paper scrip in December 1931 and wood flats in 1932. These are considered the first examples of wooden money. More can be found in Depression Scrip of the United States by Mitchell and Shafer.
Del Cushing writes:
Tenino was the first town to produce Legal Tender Wooden Money which was issued as he result of the closing of the bank. Those with money in the bank were allowed to consign up to 15% of their bank account to the Chamber of Commerce in exchange for the wooden money. The first issue was in December, 1931.
The favorite story of the town's name is that comes from the train engine which ran through the town. Its number was 10-9-0. There are other versions of where the name comes from but the train story is what is featured on one of the commemorative wooden money notes.
Here's what the City of Tenino has to say on its web site:
In 1872 the railroad from the Columbia reached Hodgden’s farm and a station was built and named “Tenino”. It was the beginning of a settlement that later grew into the Town of Tenino. There is much speculation about the origin of the name, with stories that it was named after a railroad locomotive with number 1090 or a survey stake with that designation marked on it. According to the railroad archives, neither of these tales is true. There is considerable evidence that the name preceded the railroad and is of Indian origin, meaning “a branch in the trail” or “meeting place”.
To read the complete history of Tenino, WA, see: A Brief History of Tenino," By Art Dwelley (www.ci.tenino.wa.us/history_by_dwelley.htm)
The town's web site also has a nice history of the Tenino Wooden Money of 1931. Does anyone own one of the original 25 pieces produced? -EditorThe Nation, and Tenino, was gripped by the Great Depression in 1931, and money was scarce. The Independent in November of that year advocated editorially that scrip be used to meet the currency shortage. Then on December 5, 1931, the matter of emergency struck home with the failure of the Citizens Bank of Tenino. Joel Gould, now of Olympia, came over from Buckley to act as liquidator. This tied-up the accounts of the depositors while the affairs of the defunct bank were being adjusted. Thus the shortage of money became acute.
The Tenino Chamber of Commerce met to meet the emergency and agreed to issue scrip to permit the depositors to assign 25% of their bank accounts to the Chamber. The printing press at the Independent office was soon running out of assignment forms and depositors signed for definite amounts of money within the 25% limitations. The printing of $1.00, $5.00 and $10 denomination scrip was done on engraved pieces the size of paper money then in use. The 25 cent denomination was the yellow bond paper without any fancy border. Trustees of the Chamber of Commerce Committee, F.W. Wichman, D.M. Major and A.H. Meyers, signed each piece. They agreed to redeem the certificates “During the Process of Liquidation of the Citizens Bank of Tenino.” This scrip printed in December, 1931 totaled $3,255, of which $1,279 was circulated. Eventually the Chamber redeemed $1,079.75 of this scrip.
Some samples of “slice wood”, a new printing material, had been received from Albert Balch of Seattle, who was promoting it for Christmas cards and other items. This was made in a special machine at Aberdeen by a man named Eckersley. Sitka Spruce and Port Orford and red cedar were used. The first pieces were flimsy sheets of 1/80th of an inch thick. The 25 on hand were sufficient to put Tenino in the wooden money business. Later the slices were sandwiched with a paper in between. One issue of a thousand even carried a “watermark” reading “Confidence makes good; Money made of wood”, which could be seen by holding it up to the light. This was supposed to guard against counterfeiting.
The publicity of Tenino Wooden Money began to snowball in February, 1932, the old Seattle Star carrying the story early that month, followed by the Tacoma News-Tribune, Oregonian, Seattle P-I and others. The Halls of Congress heard of the unique method of meeting the money shortage and in March it was featured in the Congressional Record. Thousands of stories and comments appeared over the world in newspapers and magazines. Orders from collectors and souvenir hunters came in increasing demand and eight issues were printed through 1933, mostly in 25 cent denominations, but also in 50 cent and $1.00. In all $10,308 worth of wooden money was issued of which about $40 was redeemed by the Chamber of Commerce. In April, 1935, business people used small wooden fifth cent tax tokens due to a state shortage of tokens. Like the original wooden money, they are now quite valuable.
To read the complete article, see: The Complete Story of Tenino Wooden Money By Don Major, from the Thurston County Independent, Feb. 19, 1965 (www.ci.tenino.wa.us/wooden_money.htm)
The Kappen-Mitchell book was superseded as a catalog by the 1984 Mitchell-Shafer work. But Kappen-Mitchell remains quite useful for the background information it contains on many of the scrip issues listed.
I had forgotten all about contributing to the book. I didn't do much, but had sent Neil a list of the notes in my own meager collection. Mine is a presentation copy, complete with an example of actual Depression Scrip. Neat!
QUICK QUIZ: Who can name another book on paper money which includes an actual example of the item catalogued?
Dick Johnson submitted these thoughts on the movement to eliminate the smallest denomination U.S. coin. -EditorWhile it has not yet reached crescendo proportions, more writers are supporting the movement to eliminate the cent from American cash registers. Editorial writers are the most vocal. They seem to be convinced spending more than face value to manufacture the low-value coin is a more compelling reason to abolish the coin than the economic fact it no longer serves an economic need for a circulating coin.
Those writers in support of keeping the cent in circulation give reasons that have all been disproven. Namely, rounding off to the nearest coin in circulation makes sense, but they cling to the notion every seller will round up for an unearned windfall profit -- small amounts with each transaction that mount to big money in total. A university study proved it would balance out, costing an average family less than $2 a year.
There are only two logical reasons for keeping the cent in circulation -- sentimentality and inertia. We have always had a cent in circulation since 1792, we want to keep it because we like it. Well, those reasons are costing America $98 million in direct costs and close to $500 million in indirect costs. I could get very sentimental about saving those amounts.
One of the best articles I encountered this week was a blog by "Hank" who made many salient points. One, he stated, the Army and Air Force Exchange Services around the world (which operates a military Walmart) no longer stock or accept cents. To heavy to ship overseas. Purchases are rounded off to nearest nickel.
Hank also noted the Illinois delegation in Congress is hesitant to drop Abraham Lincoln, since they represent Abe's home state. Hank cited there are 31 cities and towns across America, six mountains, an aircraft carrier and a submarine all named after the 16th president. Besides, he is still on the five-dollar bill. We are not likely to forget Lincoln .
Of more influential documentation was a statement this week by Richard M. Geerdes, the president of the National Automatic Merchandising Association -- the vending machine trade association. In answer to an illogical editorial in the Atlanta Constitution by a Richard Miniter, who wanted to keep the cent and eliminate the dollar coin, Geerdes ticked off a number of facts.
He repeats the GAO estimated savings using dollar coins instead of dollar bills would be $522 million. Coins last 30 years, paper dollars last 2 years. The vending machine guru -- who should know -- further stated:
"Coins work virtually 100 percent of the time, while many thousands of vending machine sales are thwarted every day by low quality $1 bills.
"Up to half of vending machine operators' service calls are due to jammed bill acceptors. Dollar coins would reduce service calls. And dollar coins are much cheaper to dispense in change than dollar bills."
To read Geerdes full statement click on: National Automatic Merchandising Association Responds To Newspaper Attack On Dollar Coin Or, if you would like to read more what Hank had to say, see: How Much Is A Penny Really Worth?
Bill Eckberg, Julian Leidman, Joe Levine, David Schenkman and Wayne Herndon were there with their wives, and Traci Poole bought as her guest Mike Ellis of Dominion Grading Service. It was a pleasant surprise to see Mike, who'd driven from Virginia Beach for the event. He, Traci, me, and Wayne and Karin Herndon hung around and chatted for some time after dinner.
One thing Wayne and I had to discuss was my other numismatic event this week. On Saturday, I hosted a program for kids at the Annandale, VA coin show the Wayne runs. It was the first time we'd done anything like that here. I was hoping to model it after the success we had with the Coins4Kids programs at the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists shows in Pittsburgh.
When I arrived at the show around 1pm Saturday, Wayne was skeptical about whether we'd have any attendees. He'd talked it up all morning to kids at the show, but everyone had other plans for the afternoon, everything from basketball games to birthday parties. While I was prepared for a low turnout I hoped for the best. Later, Karin told me how she'd rolled her eyes as I arranged a dozen+ chairs for the audience.
Well, we needn't have worried. Wayne rounded up a new batch of kids and by the 1:30 starting time the chairs were filling up. By the time we got rolling it was standing room only, with about 30 kids and parents in the room. It was a great bunch of kids - thirteen boys and one girl. They were eager to raise their hands to answer my numismatic quiz questions, and had a number of great coin questions of their own. One asked who's idea it had been to start the 50 States Quarter series, and I talked about David Ganz and his efforts to inspire Congress to action.
Their questions and my prepared talk (a set of slides I prepared back in 2002 for a Coins4Kids meeting) prompted me to discuss topics as diverse as type coin collecting, coin designers, coin investing, and the new 2009 Lincoln Cent designs. One of the kids knew about the 1913 Liberty Nickel, and I digressed into the story of the missing McDermott specimen, and how my friend Eric Newman had once owned all five.
Along the way I distributed donated books and coins to the kids - thanks to Dave Schenkman and others who volunteered material. I was very pleased with the turnout and response. As with PAN we collected names and addresses for a mailing list, and we'll send postcards to all the kids, inviting them and their friends to the next event. Afterwards me, Traci and Karin made plans for the next one, where we hope to add an auction.
If any of our readers have numismatic items they'd care to donate for the kids, please email me (email@example.com) or see Wayne Herndon at an upcoming coin show. Worn U.S. type coins are ideal, as are raggedy U.S. Fractional Currency or Colonial notes. Off-center cents and nickels are very desirable, as are bulk lots of low-value foreign coins and paper money. Watch your wallet for Star notes - these are a great way to introduce kids to U.S. paper money. Thanks!
While many museums around the world have numismatic collections, museums devoted exclusively to numismatic are rare. This item from India discussed a new numismatic museum under construction there. -EditorsThe Governor of West Bengal, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, laid the foundation stone for the Currency and Coins Museum here, in the presence of the Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram, on Monday.
The museum will be a revamped structure in the Old Mint Complex, declared a prime heritage structure by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. A sum of Rs. 147 crore has been earmarked for the project, slated for completion by September 2011.
A consortium of firms consisting of Eden Infra Projects Private Limited and the U.S.-based D&F Construction Group and Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects will implement the project on a public-private partnership with the Government of India.
A testimony to the dominance of colonial architecture sheathed over a replica of Greek Art, the Old Mint was on the verge of collapse.
The Old Mint Complex dates back to 1824, after which the Silver Mint was opened for production on August 1, 1829. Silver coin minting ceased in 1952 and thereafter it functioned as a silver refinery also stopped operations in 1972. The silver reserves were transferred to the new mint at Taratala in 1985.
To read the complete article, see Foundation stone laid for currency museum (http://www.hindu.com/2008/12/09/stories/2008120961712000.htm)
Zimbabwe continues its hyperinflationary downward spiral. As this article published today notes, the central bank has issued 29 new notes this year, the latest with a face value of half a billion Zimbabwean dollars. -EditorZimbabwe’s central bank yesterday introduced a Z$500million note, as the African country struggles to cope with the world’s highest inflation and crippling currency shortages.
The half-billion note, worth about 10 US dollars, was released together with a Z$200m bill, which the central bank said was introduced for the “convenience” of the public. They brought the number of new bills put into circulation this year to 29. Last week a Z$100m bill was introduced; at the time it was US$14 or about R140. One week later, it’s worth less than R5.
Zimbabwe’s highest inflation was last estimated in July at 231 million percent but is now believed to be much higher. Due to currency shortages, cash can now only be withdrawn once a week from banks.
To read the original article, see: Hyper-inflation forces Zim to introduce Z500m banknote (http://www.dispatch.co.za/article.aspx?id=279566)
Talk about billions; the automakers GM, Chrysler and Ford were in Washington this week after driving their hybrids from Detroit to D.C. Anyway, did you hear the news? The Treasury department has run out of serial numbers to print more $100 bills.
So they announced that instead of doing like Argentina and adding more zeros, they are going to change the Treasury Seal to the logos of GM, Chrysler and Ford and print this new money as "CASHBACK NOTES". Then when you buy that new Ford and get $2,500 cash back, they will give you 25 of the new notes. They hope you will just save a few of the CASHBACK NOTES and the government will never have to make them good!
From the web site:
In 1987 Doug established the Numismatic Crime Information Center within the Pantego Police Department to assist law enforcement officers in the investigation of crimes against collectors and dealers. Later that same year he was instrumental in assisting the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the development of the National Stolen Coin File.
Recognized as an expert in numismatic investigations Doug developed the first and only accredited law enforcement school dealing with the investigation of numismatic crimes and continues to assist state, federal and local law enforcement agencies across the country. The American Numismatic Association has recognized Doug for his numismatic investigations and in 1988 was presented the PNG Sol Kaplan award for setting up a clearinghouse to coordinate investigations of crimes against the numismatic industry.