The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

PREV        NEXT        V 02 1999 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 2, Number 32:  August 8, 1999: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   Our newest subscriber is Fred Reed.  Welcome aboard! 
   This brings our current subscriber  count to 186.  Just 14 
   more needed to reach our goal of 200 by the end of the 
   ANA convention. 


   Larry Mitchell is responsible four recruiting two of last week's 
   next subscribers via his ebay sales.   Larry deserves an A+ 
   rating for his efforts!  

   Bob Cochran sent a nice note about The E-Sylum to several 
   of his electronic pen-pals, with a copy of last week's issue 
   attached..  Some were already subscribers,  but thanks to 
   Bob's effort, Fred Reed is now on board.  Bob wrote, in part:  

   "Every week Wayne compiles information of interest to 
   those who appreciate and/or collect numismatic literature. 
   The "publication"  also serves as a forum for discussion of 
   various topics, as you will  see when you read the issue below.  

   How much is it?    Ah, all of you will love this - 

   I sincerely urge you to subscribe and try a few issues.  It will 
   show up in your "in-basket" every week, and always has an 
   article or two of  interest.  PLUS, it is a vehicle YOU can 
   USE to communicate with others who share your enjoyment 
   of both publications AND information." 


   In response to last week's excerpt from the New Netherlands 
   Coin Co. 36th Catalogue,  January 26th, 1952, John W. 
   Adams writes:  

   "Normally the soul of accuracy in cataloguing, New 
   Netherlands missed the mark in the piece you quoted. Many 
   original impressions of our National medals are indeed rare as 
   stated. However, a third or more are common and modestly 
   priced -e.g. John Eger Howard, William Washington, John 
   Paul Jones - and another third are eminently collectable 
   but more highly priced - e.g. Washington Before Boston and 
   Libertas Americana.  

   In a similar vein, the statements about when the pieces were 
   restruck and what the restrikes look like are very wide of the 
   mark.  We now know that some of the War of 1812 pieces 
   were restruck beginning in the 1820's (not 1861) and we also 
   know that we don't have a clue as to how to correlate color, 
   finish and weight to date struck. This latter provides a 
   magnificent opportunity for further study." 


   An article by Paul Gilkes in the latest Coin World notes that 
   gold coins, bars and other items recovered from the S.S. 
   Central America will be on exhibit at the ANA convention in 
   Chicago next week.   The items will be auctioned by Sotheby's 
   December 8-9.   This will be the first chance for most 
   numismatists for get a glimpse of the treasure salvaged from 
   the famous 1857 steamship wreck.  

   For background on the ship and its treasure, I recommend 
   "Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea" by Gary Kinder, 1998. 
   While not numismatic in nature, the book is a highly readable 
   account of both the ship and its sinking, and the high adventure 
   of salvaging its treasure, which lay undisturbed for 132 years, 
   8,000 feet deep off the coast of South Carolina.  

   "... the picture on the monitor began to clear and slowly 
   revealed a scene few people could imagine.  "The bottom was 
   carpeted with gold." said Tommy. "Gold everywhere, like a 
   garden.  The more you looked, the more you saw gold growing 
   out of everything, embedded in all the wood and beams.  It 
   was amazing, clear back in the far distance bars stacked on the 
   bottom like brownies, bars stacked like loaves of bread, bars 
   that appear to have slid into the corner of a room.  Some of the 
   bars formed a bridge, all gold bars spanning an area of treasure 
   over here and another area over here, water underneath, and 
   the decks collapsing through on both sides.  Then there was a 
   beam with coins stacked on top of it, just covered, couldn't 
   see the top of the beam it had so many coins on it." 


   In the "ephemera" portion of my library is an audio tape I 
   made at last year's ANA Convention in Portland, of John 
   J. Ford's talk on Western Assay Bars.   He mentioned the 
   Central America recovery and described a gentlemen who 
   became intrigued with the history of the makers of the 
   pioneer gold coins and bars discovered on the shipwreck.  

   Using a magnifying glass, he studied the assayer's names 
   on bars pictured in a magazine profile of the wreck.  Then 
   he went to the library.   While poring through microfilms of 
   contemporary newspapers, he began to assemble information 
   on each of the assayers, then looked for any other 
   documentary evidence he could find.   Gradually, he gathered 
   much heretofore unpublished information on these pioneer 

   The man's name is Dan Owen, and as Ford announced last 
   year, his work is being published cooperatively by Stack's 
   and Bowers and Merena.   As noted by Dan in the Summer 
   1999 issue of The Brasher Bulletin, published by the Society 
   of Private and Pioneer Numismatics (SPPN):  

    "An Encyclopedia of California Coiners and Assayers 
   Related to Numismatics"  represents my in-depth research 
   project on the numismatic history of the California Gold Rush. 
   The text is several hundred pages in length, and contains a 
   wealth of information which cannot be found in any other 
   single source.  Several chapters in my book will be devoted 
   to the assaying firms who made the gold ingots recovered 
   from the wreck of the S.S. Central America."  

   The book will be available this year.   So, you think all the 
   good numismatic research projects have already been done 
   to death?  Here's one that a non-numismatist picked up and 
   made his own, discovering several stones left unturned by 
   previous researchers.   What other topics are ripe for a 


   Four numismatic booksellers will be set up at next week's 
   ANA convention:  Remy Bourne, Charles Davis, Orville J. 
   Grady, and Art Rubino (Numismatic Arts of Santa Fe). 
   Happy hunting! 


   The general meeting of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society 
   will be held at 6:30 PM Friday, August 13th.   Speakers 

  Nawana Britenriker,  ANA Librarian 
        The ANA Oral History Project & 
        Book Preservation Work at the ANA Library  

   Dr. Ute Wartenberg, ANS Executive Director 
        The New ANS Headquarters and Library Facilities  

   John H. Burns,  Numismatic Bibliophile 
         "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the 
         Numismatic Library" 


   We're still compiling the results of the email survey, but 
   please bear with us.   Several of you indicated you would 
   be attending the ANA convention, and we look forward 
   to seeing  you there.  Also, due to convention travel, the 
   next E-Sylum may be a day or two late. 


   This week's featured web sites contain a longer excerpt 
   from the Ship of Gold book,  and information on a related 
   book,  "The Final Voyage of the Central America -1857" 
   by Normand E. Klare: 

  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