The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 44, October 22, 2000: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2000, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have one new subscriber this week: Robert Heisley. 
   Welcome aboard!  Art Noot asked to unsubscribe, and with 
   the loss of John Bergman our subscriber count is now 347. 


   Ken Barr writes: "According to Jim Bergman, John's service / 
   funeral will be held at 3:00 PM on Monday, October 23 at 
   Forest Lawn Memorial Park, 4471 Lincoln Avenue, Cypress, 
   CA 90630, 714-828-3131." 

   Charlie Davis writes: "I was so sorry to hear of John Bergman's 
   death. I had known him for almost 20 years as a friend and 
   colleague, confidant and sounding board.  When I first went into 
   business putting out fixed price lists, John would always call and 
   tell me what I had grossly unvalued.  He never picked the items 
   off but always found a polite way to tell me I screwed up. 

   Whenever  I went to Long Beach, John insisted that I stay at his 
   house and I was never allowed to stay in a hotel.  Each night we 
   would come back from the show and be up most of the night 
   talking books. Whenever NBS had a contested election, John 
   was the one asked to receive and count the ballots. Whenever 
   you bid in his auction, you knew the lot was properly described 
   and that your bid would be reduced. 

   Honest almost to a fault, and knowledgeable to the nth degree 
   - this is how I  will remember John.  He will be sorely missed" 

   Allan Davisson writes: "I am saddened to hear of John Bergman's 
   untimely death. We did not have a great deal of contact over the 
   years but every time I did deal with him I was impressed by his 
   knowledge and decency. 

   This is a year of loss for numismatics as relatively young--men in 
   their 50's--are passing away. Patrick Finn is gravely ill and in 
   hospice care. Bill Warden passed away earlier this year. 
   The passing of all three of these expert and generous people 
   leaves a void in our numismatic community." 

   David Sklow writes: "Sherry and I were deeply saddened by 
   the news of John Bergman's passing.  I have known John for 
   more than twenty years, and considered him a good friend. 
   He was always the calm cool and collected one!  The last time 
   I saw John was when he attended the auction of another follow 
   bibliophile who left us before his time, the Ken Lowe sale last 
   November in Dearborn. There is definitely truth in the saying, 
   "the good die young."   I know I speak for all of the numismatic 
   brotherhood, when I say John will be missed!!  If there was one 
   thing I learned from John Bergman, it was if you are going to sell 
   Numismatic Literature, do it right and pack it right!!  You never 
   wanted him to find a book touching the inside edges of a carton! 
   We have lost four giants of Numismatic Literature in the last few 
   years, I only wonder what great stories, Bergman, Champa, 
   Collins and Lowe are swapping upstairs!" 

   [Editor's note:  John's love for fine numismatic literature is 
   evident on his web site:, 
   particularly in his article, "The Art of Mailing Books."] 


   Numismatic book dealer John Burns of N. Huntingdon, PA 
   reports that he will be setting up at the Suburban Baltimore 
   Show October 27-29. 


   Catalogues for George Frederick Kolbe's December 2, 2000 
   auction sale of rare and out of print numismatic literature will be 
   available on November 1, 2000 and may be obtained by 
   sending  $10.00 to the firm.   The catalogue is also available at 
   the firm's web site: 

   Included in the sale are selections from the libraries of Dr. 
   Moses Johnson, Frank Van Zandt, and an extensive offering 
   of key works from a major European library. 

   Sale highlights include a very fine set of The Numismatist, 
   complete from 1891 to 1990, uniformly bound; a selection of 
   major 16th and 17th century works on numismatics; an original 
   set of Eckhel's Doctrina Nummorum Veterum; key works on 
   18th century English tokens, including an original set of Dalton 
   & Hamer and Pye's rare 1819 token work; plated Chapman 
   sales, including hardbound editions of the Zabriskie and Bascom/ 
   Brown catalogues; etc." 


   John Kraljevich writes: "Thanks for the mention in The E-sylum. 
   However, I'm afraid I can't claim credit on the Kunz 
   commentary.  The responsible party there is QDB, who adds 
   much of the commentary that takes the cataloguing from 
   pedestrian to worth collecting. 

   The Bryan money was in fact all I did in that catalogue; that 
   collection was my interview try-out for B&M.  I guess I 
   passed ..." 


   Yosef Sa'ar writes: "Do you have an email address for 
   Roland ELIE in France, author of "Monnaies de Necessite 
   Francaises?"   Shalom from ELAT on the Red Sea" 

   Elie is not an E-Sylum subscriber - perhaps one of our 
   readers can locate him.  Yosef Sa'ar may be contacted 
   at this address: 


   Massimo Rossi reports: "I am glad to point you out the new 
   volume in Italian,  LE MEDAGLIE DEI GONZAGA. 
   Format 30 x 23,7 cm. 194 pages, 275 medals colour 
   illustrated and described. Green cloth with dust jacket. 

   This work is a careful research whose starting point is the 
   A.Magnaguti collection of medals, now belonging to the 
   Banca Agricola Mantovana.  The author of the volume has 
   found, in public and private collections, pieces lacking to the 
   Magnaguti Collection and some of them are unpublished. 

   Cover price. FSv  115,00 + shipping rates. Trade discount 
   10%    AVAILABLE AT:" 


   Regarding Doug Ball's criticisms of  the Morgan book, 
   Texan Fred Reed writes: "With all due respect to Douglas, 
   his own work is flawed, too.   He seemed much more 
   interested in having a twit and promoting himself than in 
   dealing with Jim's serious research. 

   Jim Morgan went to Oklahoma State University,  not the 
   University of Oklahoma, as could easily be ascertained by 
   actually READING Jim's book.  This may make little 
   difference to the erudite New Yorker, but as an Okie 
    "them's fighting words" in these parts. 

   I knew Jim quite well.  We went to graduate school 
   together, and when I was News Editor at Coin World we 
   published his work there, too.  By the way, for the 
   bibliophiles in the audience,  I own Jim's actual thesis, 
   autographed to me. 

   I believe the "graybacks" in the title was the "effort" of the 
   publisher, not Jim." 

   [Editor's note:  Dr. Ball's review was not reprinted in its 
   entirety.  He also noted: "there are some very interesting 
   chapters on the Oklahoma Indians and their monetary 
   relations with the Confederacy and themselves and there 
   are some useful chapters on state note issues."] 


   Joe Boling writes: "For the devastating reviews input, here is 
   a review I wrote in 1984. It was published in IBNS Journal 
   23:3 ([Oct] 1984) p.78; and Paper Money 23:5 (Sep.-Oct. 
   1984)  p248.' 

   [Editor's note: the review is too lengthy to quote here in 
   its entirety; however, here are a few key segments] 

   United States Paper Money Grading Standard by Herbert J. 
   Kwart; Five Seasons Publishers, PO Box 397, Hiawatha, IA 
   52233; 1984; 44pp, softbound. 

   "Alas, I am sorely disappointed. This booklet is poorly written, 
   unedited, contains errors of fact, and provides no new insights 
   for collectors of notes in grades below XF.  It seems to be 
   aimed at investors, with the intent of justifying a price structure 
   for uncirculated paper money similar to that used for US coins." 

   "Moving down scale toward fine and lower grades, the new 
   standard follows the Pick standard fairly closely, and is a full 
   grade different from the Sandrock/Long standard in grades 
   below XF.  Having two different standards presented in the 
   same booklet is needlessly confusing.  It is at these lower 
   grades that I was hoping for better definition of "how grubby 
   is dirty" and "how flabby is limp."  The new standard does not 

   "In short, this booklet is not very useful for the hobbyist. It may 
   have some utility for dealers who like to sell adjectival puff or 
   whose buyers know nothing about paper money and will feel 
   more comfortable with something that sounds like ANACS." 

   "The book is NOT RECOMMENDED. I'm sorry to say so, 
   because I was hoping for so much more. 

   Reviewed by Joseph E. Boling, N.L.G." 


   The October, 2000 issue of the American Numismatic 
   Association's journal The Numismatist brings several 
   items of interest to bibliophiles, including: 

   "The Curious Case of the Collectors Kline" by NBS 
   Board member Joel J. Orosz,  solves a mystery about 
   coin dealers A. C. Kline and John W. Kline (p1147). 

   "The Inventive, Controversial Ormsby" by Gene 
   Hessler in his "Notes on Paper" column, writes about 
   Waterman Lilly Ormsby, Sr., author of the rare 1852 
   work, "A Description of the Present System of Bank 
   Note Engraving." (p1166). 


   As a public service, The E-Sylum occasionally highlights 
   collecting hobbies even stranger than our own,  so we can 
   say to our spouses, "Gee honey, it's not as bad as collecting 
   <fill in the blank here>" 

   The October 4, 2000 issue of The Wall Street Journal 
   featured an article about the history and collecting of 
   airline airsickness bags. 

   "The year 2000 edition of Guinness World Records 
   lists Dutchman Niek Vermeulen as having the largest 
   collection - 2,112 different bags from 470 airlines, 
   past and present.  He says his trove actually consists 
   of 13,000 bags, including duplicates.... 

   He says he knows of 80 other collectors.  And there 
   are at least two dozen Web sites devoted to this 
   strange passion. (An interesting one is" 

   [Editor's note: the site's marbled background has an 
   uncanny resemblance to the background we use on 
   part of the NBS web site.  Scary, huh?] 


   This week's featured web site is James N. Roberts' 
   EARLY ISLAMIC COINS site.  "This is a noncommerical 
   site dealing with the coins of early Islam, dating from about 
   690 to 1500 AD. The concentration here is exclusively on the 
   silver and copper coins struck in Europe and northern Africa 
   and in western and central Asia, excluding the Indian 

  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 21704 

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

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