The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 2, Number 41:  October 10, 1999: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   New subscribers this week are Ed Zimmerman, Susan Nulty, the 
   ANA's web site manager, and Hector Carlos Janson of 
   Argentina.  This brings our subscriber count to 243. 
   Welcome aboard!  

   Also, subscriber Darryl Atchison and his wife Fiona of Ireland 
   "are proud to announce the birth of their new daughter, born at 
   3:23 a.m. October 7th."     Congratulations! 


   The 1997 Coinage of the Americas Conference proceedings 
   have been published by the ANS -  "The Medal in America, 
   Volume 2" .   The book has a marvelous selection of papers 
   on the topic, leading off with John W. Adams'  "The Peace 
   Medals of George III",  

   The November 1999 issue of COINage magazine has an 
   extensive article on "The Great Assay Bar Debate" by Tom 
   DeLorey, along with Part II of Richard G. Doty's article on 
   "The Great Seal and American Numismatics".   Great, great!  

   The October 11, 1999 issue of COIN WORLD contains 
   Part One of William T. Gibbs' article on John Leonard 
   Riddell, "scientist, physician, professor of chemistry, and 
   melter and refiner at the New Orleans Mint."   One little- 
   known source of information for the article is a rare pamphlet 
   on the New Orleans Mint published by Riddell in 1845. 
   Eric P. Newman discovered the pamphlet and reprinted it 
   in the April 1968 issue of The Numismatist. 


   The September 1999 issue of The Numismatist contains 
   this note of interest to bibliophiles on page 1067:  "ANA 
   Member James Bixler, a certified appraiser and rare book 
   dealer, has prepared a preliminary bibliography of the ANA 
   Library's rare books.  To acquaint readers with the richness 
   and variety of the ANA's holdings, this column regularly 
   highlights one of these fine publications."  

   The month's featured book was donated by J. Roy Pennell, 
   Jr. - "Acts and Laws of His Majesty's Province of the 
   Massachusets-Bay in New England", 1743.   Some of the 
   interesting non-numismatic laws include an "Act for the 
   Relief of Idiots and Distracted Persons."    Does that include 

   As Librarian Nawana Britenriker noted in her presentation 
   to NBS at the recent ANA convention, bibliophiles can 
   help support the library's efforts by joining FOLIS (Friends 
   of the Library/Libris in Socii).  For details, contact Nawana 
   via email at 


   The Summer 1999 newsletter of the American Numismatic 
   Society notes "Since our last progress report, another 23 
   boxes of library cards have been returned from Gaylord 
   Information Services of Liverpool, NY, bringing the library's 
   catalogue conversion project to approximately 80% 
   completion.   ... The auction card catalogue will be converted 
   next."     When the ANS catalogues finally go online it will be 
   a banner day for numismatic research. 


   Karl Moulton provided the following report on the Bass sale, 
   which had less than ten floor bidders:  "As expected, the 
   prices realized were usually at or far above George Kolbe's 
   conservative estimates.  Any successful bidder had to "reach" 
   for most everything.  Comments such as "unbelievable" or 
   "that's a new record" were heard after several winning bids. 
   The book was strong, but I would guess that nearly a third of 
   the U.S. material went to floor bidders or to phone bidders.  

   At one point, on lot #411, the set of Woodward's 
   @$16,000, the bidding was done by two different phone 
   bidders.  It was rather interesting to just sit and watch the price 
   increments of $1,000 go back and forth with the two phone 
   agents.  Speaking of phone bidders, there appears to be a new 
   bidder for the top end material, based on results of this and the 
   last Bass sale.  Although a few dealers know this person, he 
   wishes to remain anonymous for the time being.  

   All told, this sale proves once again that Harry Bass was one of 
   the more knowledgeable numismatists of the past 50 years. 
   When all of the Harry Bass library is finally sold, it will stand as 
   a high mark in numismatic literature for many years." 


   The wife of the late numismatic researcher Walter Breen is 
   dead.  In a New York Times article republished in other 
   newspapers September 30th, "Marion Zimmer Bradley, a 
   science fiction writer and creator of the Darkover series of 
   fantasies died Saturday in Alta Bates Medical Center in 
   Berkeley, Calif.  She was 69 and lived in Berkeley."  One 
   of Walter's non-numismatic works is "The Darkover 
   Concordance, A Reader's Guide", a companion volume to 
   Bradley's series, published in 1979. 


   On back-to-back pages of the October 1999 
   issue of Bank Note Reporter, currency dealer and fishing 
   aficionado Tom Denly is running an interesting promotion. 
   The first page is a normal ad, featuring some rare colonial 
   notes, and currency books and supplies.  The second page 
   is "Free Fish Wrap" for Tom's "Best Fish Story" contest. 
   "... the winner will get 4 - 2 lb. fresh lobsters packed in pure 
   Massachusetts seaweed."    That's one way to recycle old 
   hobby periodicals. 


   In another form of recycling, the same issue of Bank Note 
   Reporter also carries a full-page ad from Arri Jacob, a 
   California currency dealer, selling "Rare Proof Vignettes 
   Found on U.S. Currency!   All vignettes are the same as 
   found on U.S. currency.  These vignettes came from a rare 
   presentation book the Bureau of Engraving and Printing 
   made during the late 1860's to mid 1870's.  There are 
   less than 50 of these vignette books known."   Well, it 
   looks like now the population is "less than 49."   Wait ... 
   was that the sound of a bibliophile turning in his grave ... ? 


   While on the subject of the effects of commerce on 
   numismatic literature, consider the ad from BNR Press 
   on the opposite page, promoting the new book by 
   Carlson R. Chambliss, "U. S. Paper Money Guide and 
   Handbook"    Yours truly picked up one of these at the 
   recent ANA show for a mere $20, a welcome low price 
   in light of the three-digit pricetags seen on some books 
   lately.  The hardbound 480-page book's "ultra low 
   introductory price" was "supported by our sponsors." 
   By my count there 42 pages of  ads from currency dealers 
   and coin clubs such as the ANA and FUN.  

   Any comments on the practice?  I guess I'm all for anything 
   that keeps the price down while still delivering a quality 
   product.  But boosting the pagecount of every book by 
   10% chews up shelfspace.  Where would bibliophiles 
   prefer to draw the line?  

   Ads in books are nothing new.  For example, they were a 
   common feature of George Evans' History of the United 
   States Mint.  The 1891 edition features 11 pages of ads 
   for Philadelphia businesses.   Only a couple of these relate 
   to coins, but there were only a handful of dealers at that 
   time.  Other advertisers include a business college, a dealer 
   in "Human Hair Goods", a photographer, a jeweler, a printer, 
   and a gas lamp manufacturer.  

   The final ad notes: "When you have seen the Mint you 
   haven't seen everything worth seeing in this City.  There's 
   another establishment here over whose threshold enough 
   men and women have passed to make a fair-sized 
   commonwealth.  The home of the COMPOUND OXYGEN 
   TREATMENT, 1529 Arch Street.  Everybody welcome. 
   Consultation free."  

   "COMPOUND OXYGEN is shipped to all parts of the 
   world.  It can be used with full effect in the privacy of home." 


   Speaking of ads, Dave Bowers is looking for "contemporary 
   advertisements, newspaper notices, paper material, trial 
   strikings, dies, etc., relating to the origin and history of Civil 
   War Tokens,"  according to a back-page ad in the Fall 1999 
   issue of The Civil War Token Journal.   Contact Dave via 
   email at this address: 


   Jan Monroe writes: "Thanks for the tip on the article on 
   scanning coins by Chuck D'Ambra and a tip of the hat to 
   Chuck for his help.  I plan to make immediate use of this 
   information for my forthcoming book on Official State 
   Anniversary Medals."  

   This week's featured web site is the French Mint. 

  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   

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