The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 2, Number 52  December 26, 1999: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have three new subscribers this week:  Dave Allen, 
   Chet Dera, and Henry Bergos.   Welcome aboard!  This 
   brings our year-end subscriber count to 265.  

   Some of you may have received a copy of the November 
   28th issue in your email this week.  I wish I could say I knew 
   how this happened, but it's a mystery - perhaps another email 
   glitch.  In any case, sorry about the confusion. 


   The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS) will hold a 
   regional meeting at the Florida United Numismatists show 
   in room 311E at the Orange County Convention Center, 
   Florida.  The time of the NBS meeting is 11:00 AM, 
   Saturday, January 8, 2000.  

   Fred Lake, numismatic book dealer, will offer a presentation, 
   "Which Books to Buy,  So You'll Know Which Books to 
   Buy."   The meeting is open to all interested in attending, not 
   just to NBS members. 


   Carl Honore writes: "One good way to update your library is 
   to check local library book sales.  I just scored Breen's Half 
   Cent book for $10.00 at one of these.  At another I got the 
   5th-10th editions of the Redbook - $10.00 for the lot of em. 
   Old coin books ARE out there!!!" 


   Saul Teichman and Joel Orosz took the hint and correctly 
   named the 1865  J.N.T. Levick sale by Edward Cogan. 
   Originally scheduled for April 27-29, 1865, the sale was 
   postponed due to the assassination of President Lincoln on 
   April 14th, 1865.   Lincoln was shot while attending a 
   performance at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.  

   E. J Attinelli, in his 1876 work "Numisgraphics", had this to 
   say about the sale:  "... it was thought advisable to postpone, 
   in consequence of the excited state of the entire people, 
   consequent upon the assassination of President Lincoln by 
   Junius B. Booth, who had escaped, but was subsequently 
   captured mortally wounded."   [NOTE:  Attinelli confused 
   the facts here - Junius B. Booth, also an actor, was the 
   FATHER of John Wilkes Booth, the Lincoln assassin.]  

   "The catalogue was printed and issued in several ways, with 
   and without the part in which was the catalogue-portion of 
   Mr. Levick's collection, also each separately; also, 12 copies 
   of each printed on large paper.  Mr. Levick, in consequence 
   of the state of affairs, issued but few copies with the cover 
   bearing the preceding date, the greater portion of the 
   edition was stripped of its covers and replaced with a new 
   one, bearing the following date, when the sale took place."  

   Attinelli lists the sale as having taken place May 29th.  In the 
   "show-n-tell" department, I have a copy of this sale in my 
   library.  It is a priced copy, one of twelve interleaved with 
   ruled paper, as noted in the sale's last lot (lot 135).   It bears 
   the original sale date of April 27-29, 1865.   Anyone else 
   care to report a copy of the sale? 


   Ed Krivoniak brought up another recent "sale that never was." 
   He writes: "You failed to mention an American sale that was 
   canceled just a few years ago, involving a consignment of early 
   U.S. proof sets.    The owner of the coins was a lady from 
   Butler, PA, who had been judged incompetent for a number 
   of years and had a caretaker.   This caretaker talked the old 
   lady into going with her to the safe deposit of a local bank 
   where the coins were withdrawn. The caretaker then sold them 
   to a local Butler coin dealer for $60,000.   The dealer in turn 
   consigned the coins for sale at auction.  

   The lady's son-in-law saw some of the remaining coins in the 
   house and started checking on the values. When he found out 
   that they were worth significantly more than what the lady was 
   paid, he raised a stink and got an injunction to stop the sale. 
   The coins were eventually sold by Superior for $1.5 million."  

   Ed interviewed Pittsburgh dealer Saul Weitz for some of the 
   foregoing information, becoming in the process the first free- 
   lance reporter for E-Sylum.  Thanks, Ed!   A postscript:  

   "Saul also told me that a large number of early proof sets 
   started turning up on the East coast at that time and he 
   suspects that more of the sets were sold under the table, so 
   to speak.  There was never any inventory so nothing could 
   be proved but the son-in-law remembers seeing 1936 proof 
   sets years earlier that never turned up anywhere." 


   Jørgen Sømod of Denmark asks: "Can you tell me what the 
   opinion was, when Dye's Coin Encyclopaedia,  Philadelphia 
   1883, turned up?"  

   Can anyone point us to contemporary references to Dye's 
   book?  What did people think of it at the time? 


   Richard Doty writes:  "Have any of our members heard anything 
   more about what's going on at the ANS?  The Coin World article 
   raised more questions than it answered."    Perhaps some questions 
   will be answered a Special Meeting of  "all Fellows and Associate 
   Members" called for Saturday, January 15th, 2000 at 11:00 AM 
   at the Society's headquarters.  

   An opinion article by George S. Cuhaj in the December 21, 1999 
   issue of Numismatic News calls "Save our Society!".  The 
   headline reads "ANS supporters must come through now."  

   The article says that a long-running deficit has forced severe 
   budget cuts.  "...the only editor has already been dismissed, and 
   the curators have been told that their numbers would be reduced 
   from five to two or three within 45 days."    Cuhaj calls for firm 
   action, in the form of financial support, from dealers and 
   collectors in the numismatic community. 


   With the close of the year upon us, I thought it would 
   be fitting to recognize our first subscriber.   Although all of 
   those signing up at the NBS meeting at the 1998 Portland 
   ANA convention probably qualify as "Charter Members", 
   the first person to sign up after The E-Sylum was 
   announced on the Internet was  Peter Gaspar of the 
   Chemistry Department of Washington University in St. Louis. 
   Peter signed up on Saturday, September 5, 1998.  Now here 
   we are at the end of 1999 with over 250 worldwide 
   subscribers, and still going strong.  

   But let's not rest on our laurels.  Please help promote The 
   E-Sylum to your friends, customers, and fellow bibliophiles 
   in the coming year.  

   This issue brings to a close our first complete calendar year 
   volume of  The E-Sylum.   Happy holidays to all, and a 
   Happy New Year. 


   This week's featured web site is the Presveis Project, 
   "a EU co-funded project, aiming to raise the awareness 
   of an international public to the fact that monetary unions 
   have happened in the past, under a variety of circumstances." 
   Co-sponsored by the Athens Numismatic Museum and 
   The British Museum, the site features a number of numismatic 

  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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