The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

PREV        NEXT        V 02 1999 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

Welcome to the Numismatic Bibliomania Society 
mailing Volume 2, Number 5:  February 1, 1999.  


    As proof positive that the latest issue of  The Asylum is 
    on the streets, we have two new subscribers this week: 
    Steven Abromowitz and A.N.A. Chief Judge Joe Boling. 
    Welcome aboard!  This brings our number of subscribers 
     to 123. 


   As announced in The Asylum, NBS cofounder George 
   Kolbe has stepped down as Editor of The Asylum, 
   taking a well-deserved break from what is always an 
   over-taxing and under-appreciated job.  Three cheers 
   for George and his great work over the past three years!  

   Stepping into those sasquatch-sized shoes are our ninth 
   Editors: Marilyn Reback and Bob Metzger.  Marilyn 
   will serve as publication editor; she is currently  the 
   Assistant Editor of The Numismatist for the A.N.A, 
   and Editor of the journal Paper Money for the Society 
   of Paper Money Collectors.   Bob Metzger is a longtime 
   member of NBS,  and he assumes the role of 
   Editor-In-Chief, becoming the conduit between NBS 
   and Ms. Reback, helping to solicit articles and provide 


    Subscriber Michael Rae of Bedford, Texas "would 
    be interested to know if anyone has any info on 
    enameled coins or has any for sale or knows where 
    some are for sale.  I am thinking about writing a 
    reference on such.  It seems a great many were made 
    during the Victorian era in Great Britain and France. 
    These were done with quality workmanship.  Any 
    books or papers would be a help.  Thanks." 
    Write to 


    Scott Semans ( writes: 
    I'm trying to find out if a new edition of the 
    work: American Numismatic Auction Catalogs 
    by Martin Gengerke has ever been done, or 
    if anyone has any edition of any work 
    comprehensively listing auctions by US and/or 
    foreign firms - to sell or lend. 


    Questioner Brad Karoleff wrote to "thank all 
    the people that responded to my inquiry about 
    J.L. Riddell.  I had the information Pete Smith 
    wrote in his book on my shelf (and thank Pete 
    for the expanded information).  The attached 
    note was the last piece of information that I was 
    looking for in my research.  It all goes to show 
    that if you ask the right question in the right forum 
    you will get the right answer!"  

    Well Brad, we're not done yet.  A few more 
    folks chimed in, and I finally found a moment to 
    retrieve a key reference from my own library.  

    Subscriber John Tidwell writes: "The final piece 
    of information that I can add to Pete's answer is 
    that Riddell served as the postmaster of the city 
    of New Orleans from 1860 - 1863.  Prior to that 
    he had also served the city as a member of it's 
    Sanitary Commission during the study of the causes 
    of Yellow Fever."  

    William T. Gibbs,  Coin World News Editor, writes: 
    "It was nice to see  the reference to John Leonard 
    Riddell. I hope to write an article about him in an 
    upcoming issue of Coin World. I've not completed 
    my research just yet (a reprint of  his "Monograph of 
    the Silver Dollar" is on my desk even as I type this), 
    but hope that article appears by mid-year. I'd 
    appreciate any help anyone can give me." 
    Write to  

    A final note from your newsletter editor - the single 
    best source of information I've ever found on 
    Riddell is a monograph by Karlem Riess of Tulane 
    University, first published in the Tulane Studies in 
    Geology and Paleontology (Vol 13,  Nos 1-2, 
    September 1, 1977).   The 110-page study was 
    also produced as an offprint by the Louisiana 
    Heritage Press.  The study reveals Riddell as a 
    very colorful character, with achievements in the 
    fields of medicine, botany, chemistry, geology, 
    and physics.  While Director of the New Orleans 
    Mint, charges were brought against him by a 
    former mint workman, and Riddell was convicted 
    of assault and battery.  

    As an avid reader of footnotes, I discovered 
    two tantalizing gems for bibliophiles:   one is 
    a reference to a treatise that may never have 
    been published - "Short Historical Account of 
    the United States Branch Mint in New Orleans, 
    Louisiana, and its Operations, Together with the 
    Coining Process".  

    The other item is a note that Riddell's diaries 
    were used in researching the study, and that 
    they are on deposit at the Howard-Tilton 
    Memorial Library at Tulane University in 
    New Orleans.  Wow!  

    One last note - in the current issue of The Asylum, 
    Mike Hodder discusses the pedigrees of the 
    known original Confederate Half Dollars.  One of 
    these four coins was presented to a "Dr. Biddle". 
    Hodder, myself, and Mark Borchart (in his 1994 
    monograph on "Coinage of the Confederacy") 
    believe this actually refers to none other than 
    our hero Professor John Leonard Riddell. 


    A few issues ago I noted that a great-great grandson 
    of 19th-century coin dealer W. Elliott Woodward had 
    found the NBS web site while researching his ancestor. 
    Well, a draft of his efforts are available at the following 

  Wayne Homren 
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society  

  The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a 
  non-profit organization promoting numismatic 
  literature.   For more information please see 
  our web site at 
  There is a membership application available on 
  the web site.  To join, print the application and 
  return it with your check to the address printed 
  on the application.   For those without web access, 
  contact Dave Hirt, NBS Secretary-Treasurer, 
  5911 Quinn Orchard Road, Frederick, MD 21701  

  (To be removed from this mailing list 
   write to me at   

PREV        NEXT        V 02 1999 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

NBS Home Page    Back to top

NBS ( Web