The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 2, Number 43:  October 25, 1999: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   Just one new subscriber this week - Don Groves.  Welcome 
   aboard!  This brings our  subscriber count to 246. 


   This issue of The E-Sylum is a day late due to this weekend's 
   coin show sponsored by the Pennsylvania Association of 
   Numismatists, where yours truly got away from the keyboard 
   Sunday to spend most of the day packing and hauling exhibit 
   cases, with the much-appreciated help of subscribers Larry 
   Dziubek and Richard Crosby.  

   The day started out with a couple of book deals.  Thomas 
   Raymond Hipschen, the B.E.P. portrait engraver, purchased 
   from me a duplicate copy of Griffith's "The Story of American 
   Bank Note Company", paying in part with a new $50 bill, which 
   I promptly asked him to autograph.  Meanwhile, jsg boggs 
   purchased a copy of Zvi Stahl's "Jewish Ghettos' and 
   Concentration Camps' Money" from John Burns in exchange 
   for a Boggs bill. 


   Our editor Marilyn Reback reports that the latest issue of 
   our print journal, The Asylum, should soon be appearing in 
   the mailboxes of NBS members.  Contents include:  

   * "The Numismatist: The First Six Volumes - 
      Where are They Now" by David J. Sklow 
   * "Daniel Groux's "Descriptive Catalogue" for the 
      Maryland Historical Society and the Coins of 
      Joel Barlow", by Joel J. Orosz. 
   * "Ad Hominem Ad Nauseam: The "Great Debate" 
      between Michael Hodder & Theodore Buttrey", 
      by Joel J. Orosz.  

   In addition to these feature articles, there are Letters 
   to the Editor relating to early dealer price lists and 
   stationary, and a copy of the rare 1863 pamphlet 
   "Something About Coins", discovered by David Hirt. 


   The Money Tree will hold their 32nd numismatic literature 
   sale on Saturday, November 27, 1999, at the Michigan 
   State Numismatic Society convention in Dearborn, MI. 
   The sale features the numismatic library of the late Ken 
   Lowe, partner and cataloguer of The Money Tree, who 
   passed away suddenly on February 23, 1998.  

   The public sale portion consists of 300 lots of mostly U.S. 
   material, including several rare plated Elder and Chapman 
   catalogs, standard works on early copper (Clapp-Newcomb, 
   Gilbert, etc.), Newlin on Half Dimes, and Crosby's Early Coins 
   of America.   An additional 441 Mail Bid lots close December 
   4th.  For more information, contact David Sklow at 


   Allan Davisson writes: "Ads can be useful adjuncts to 
   references both currently and historically. I think that some 
   editorial control is appropriate over the ads in a book that 
   will be around for decades as well as carrying some of the 
   gravitas of the reference itself.  If the publisher makes some 
   decisions about whom to include and how the ads should 
   look generally, it can both help defray expenses and provide 
   useful information."  

   George Fuld adds: "I have no problem with book advertising, 
   as long as all are at the back.  Not like The Numismatist, 
   where ads now wreck the continuity of the issue." 


   In response to Pete Smith's quest for a picture of collector 
   Matthew Stickney, George Kolbe writes: 
   "A good engraving of Stickney appeared in:  

  1)  Many hardbound copies of his 1907 Chapman sale 
       catalogue (both plated and non);  

  2)  It appears to have been sent out with at least some 
       1907 issues of  "The Numismatist" - I have seen several 
        engravings bound in volumes of that year with the margins 
        heavily trimmed (small than issue size) and also a number 
        like that loose;  

   3) A drawing by Alan Dietz in Vol. 1 of Adams "United States 
       Numismatic Literature," derived from the above engraving.  

   The Essex Institute in Salem, Mass., which held Stickney's 
   numismatic library (much of which was sold in our June 1981 
   sale), may well have other portraits."  

   Joel Orosz concurred and added: "I have not seen any other 
   images of Stickney, but it is possible that others exist." 


   After listening to a fascinating interview on National Public 
   Radio, I just had to seek out a copy of a newly published 
   book titled "The Book on the Bookshelf".   Specifically, this 
   is a book ABOUT bookshelves - something we bibliophiles 
   take for granted today.  But it wasn't always so, and this 
   book details the long and interesting evolution of how this 
   everyday item came to have the form it holds today.  The 
   author is Henry Petroski, and here's what the book's jacket 
   notes have to say:  

   "He has been called "the poet laureate of technology".  Now 
   Henry Petroski turns to the subject of books and bookshelves, 
   and wonders whether it was inevitable that books would come 
   to be arranged vertically as they are today on horizontal shelves. 
   As we learn how the ancient scroll became the codex became the 
   volume we are used to, we explore the ways in which the housing 
   of  books evolved.  Petroski takes us into the pre-Gutenberg 
   world, where books were so scarce they were chained to lecterns 
   for security.  He explains how the printing press not only changed 
   the way books were made and shelved, but also increased their 
   availability and transformed book readers into book owners and 
   collectors. He shows us that for a time books were shelved with 
   their spines in, and it was not until after the arrival of the modern 
   bookcase that the spines faced out."  

   "In delightful digressions, Petroski lets Seneca have his say on 
   "the evils of book collecting"; examines the famed collection of 
   Samuel Pepys (only three thousand titles: old discarded to make 
   room for new); and discusses bookselling, book buying, and book 
   collecting through the centuries." 


   This week's featured web site is Monticello, Thomas 
   Jefferson's home in Virginia.  Specifically, two short pages 
   describing his interest in coinage and the history of the 
   Jefferson Indian Peace Medal. 

  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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