The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 53, December 24, 2000: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2000, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have four new subscribers this week:  Paul DiMarzio, 
   courtesy of Mike Paradis,  Jim Porter of Pittsburgh, PA, 
   referred by Mark Watson,  John Eshbach of Lancaster, PA, 
   courtesy of Wayne Homren, and NBS member William 
   Spengler.  Welcome aboard!   This brings our subscriber 
   count to 357. 


   Phil Carrigan writes: "The Barber Coin Collectors' Society 
   has been in existence for ten years.  The Society publishes a 
   quarterly journal based on contributed articles, columns from 
   the President and Editor,  and other items from varied sources. 
   Our current editor will step down from this position effective 
   January 2001.  An individual interested in this activity is 
   encouraged to discuss specifics of the position.  Please 
   contact Phil Carrigan, BCCS President by Email 
   [] or phone [847/937-5129 day 
   OR 847/625-0381]" 


   John W. Adams writes: "While on the subject of missing 
   Jeffersonia,  add a set of Comitia Americana medals in white 
   metal.  This was brought across the Atlantic by TJ in 1789, 
   along with the silver set to be presented to George Washington. 
   (This treasure now resides in the cabinet of the Massachusetts 
   Historical Society). A couple of years ago,  I asked Monticello 
   about the white metal set and the curator recalls having it but 
   confessed sadly that it had disappeared." 


   Dave Bowers writes: "I read with great interest (as always) the 
   latest "issue" of The E-Sylum.  Concerning Jacob Perkins, one 
   might stop to consider if Perkins, who had extensive ties to 
   England and at one later time lived there, might have had some 
   sort of high-speed coining press from Boulton & Watt (Soho 
   Manufactory, Birmingham, England).   As has been published, 
   by the 1790s B&W had high-speed steam-driven coining 
   presses that could be operated by a boy. These presses 
   produced high-quality coins, tokens, etc., including lettering or 
   engrailing the edge. 

   Before discounting Perkins' claim as exaggeration, this possibility 
   might be explored. Moreover, as Newburyport was a rather 
   interactive community -- that is, most of the merchants knew 
   each other, news was shared, etc. -- if Perkins, who seems to 
   have been highly esteemed in the town, made such a claim, it 
   could be checked out easily by anyone visiting his premises. 

   I wonder if anyone has visited Newburyport and used a 
   numismatic eye to look through old papers, etc.?  It is a nice 
   town about an hour and a half drive from here -- and every time 
   I drive through I think of Perkins (also of Lord Timothy Dexter, 
   memorialized by John P. Marquand; Dexter's mansion is still 
   prominent on High Street).  I am not a candidate to do this 
   research, but I imagine that with the great interest in history in the 
   town and also the comprehensive archives of the Mass. Historical 
   Society and the American Antiquarian Association in the same 
   state, a few interesting things could be found." 


   Bob Knepper writes: "A little more concerning Maria Theresa 
   talers in answer to Serge Pelletier's question in the "The E-Sylum" 
   v3#48, November 19, 2000. 

   "The 1780 Restrike Talers of Maria Theresia" by M. R. Broome, 
    25  pages reprinted from NC, is listed at three pounds plus 
    shipping in a just-received catalog from Galata, 

   Rest of the mail address is: The Old White Lion, Market Street, 
   Llanfyllin, Powys, SY22 5BX  UK." 


   Mark Borckardt of Bowers & Merena Galleries writes: "As a 
   followup to John Kraljevich's commentary regarding our March 
   2001 sale in Baltimore, the offering of Indian Peace Medals 
   and Betts Medals is indeed phenomenal.  I have seen some of 
   the catalog descriptions, and this will be a keeper.  What John 
   failed to mention is that he has been given the "chore" of 
   producing this section of the catalog.  We are excited to have 
   John on board and, I venture to guess, he may be excited to 
   have this project." 


   Mike Hodder submitted a Press Release for the upcoming 
   January sale at Stack's, excerpted below: 

   "A numismatic highlight of the sale is the Crosby Collection of 
   colonial electrotypes that B. Max Mehl once owned. After 
   careful research it appears that these were made by or for 
   Sylvester S. Crosby, who used several of them as illustrations 
   in his The Early Coins of America. Several of the electrotypes 
   bear annotations on their backs that may be in Crosby's hand." 

   Some other lots of possible interest to E-Sylum subscribers 
   may include: 

   "a very rare Maryland Lord Baltimore Groat (or Fourpence), 
   the Large Head variety" 

   "a teapot fashioned by New Yorker Ephraim Brasher, maker 
   of the famed Brasher Doubloon. The teapot has Brasher's full 
   name hallmark on the bottom." 

   In Washingtoniana, "examples of the rare Victor Sine Clade 
   and a uniface oval funeral badge struck in copper and 
   described as the only one available to collectors." 

   In Western Americana, "the unique 1851 $50 slug with the 
   J.T. Jones counterstamp, an historic record of San Francisco's 
   vigilante days." 

   "Western Assay Bars follow, highlighted by the unique 1856 
   $40.20 Blake & Company bar, the only dated gold Blake bar 
   known. One of only two known James King of William $20 
   gold bars is another star attraction of the firm's sale. Other bars 
   and ingots include unparted bars made by Frank Blake of Idaho 
   Territory " 

   In Fractional Currency, "featured are further selections from the 
   David Proskey Estate and duplicates from the H.K. Crofoot 


   Some E-Sylum readers may recall that "Where's George" was a 
   featured web site back in the March 8, 1999 issue (Volume 2, 
   Number 10): 
      One of the most unusual numismatically-related 
      sites on the internet is "Where's George - The 
      Great American Dollar Bill Locator"  at  Readers can enter 
      the serial numbers of dollar bills passing through 
      their hands and track their later progress around 
      the country with the help of like-minded bill 
      trackers.   Strange, but true... 

   Well, your Editor finally stumbled onto his first George- 
   tracked bill.  The URL for the web site was written by 
   hand onto the left front margin of a very worn $5 bill. 
   Logging on to the site, I dutifully entered the requested 
   information.  Bill B22185623C was last reported in 
   Dillsburg, PA on July 30th, 2000, and 146 Days, 15 Hrs, 
   4 Mins later it showed up near Pittsburgh, a distance 
   of 158 miles.   It was spent this afternoon at a McDonald's 
   buying lunch for my kids.  Wonder where it will end up 


   Sam Deep writes: "Recently, I learned of DEMCO. I am in 
   receipt of both their book jacket covers and their 2000 Catalog. 
   They can be reached at 1-800-356-1200 or" 

   [Editor's note:  Brodart has always been a favorite of mine. 
    Their web site is   How about our 
    subscribers?  Any favorite purveyors of book and library 


   [Editor's note: since tonight is Christmas eve, in honor of the 
   holiday I'm reprinting the following information from the 
   September 12&19, 1999 issues (Volume 2, Number 37&38): 
        Ray Williams writes: "An NJNS member and new E-Sylum 
        subscriber Mike Molnar has a book being published in 
        October.  ... I heard Mike give a mesmerizing  talk 
        about numismatic evidence of the Star of Bethlehem and 
        how scientific evidence backs it up."   From the Press 

          "Could the $50 purchase of an ancient coin by a Rutgers 
          astronomer have unlocked the mystery of the Christmas 
          Star?  For years, scientists have looked, with little 
          success, to astronomical records for an explanation of 
          the magical star that guided the Magi to Christ's manger. 
          Intrigued by the image he found on the latest addition 
          to his coin collection, Michael Molnar thought there might 
          be more to learn by looking, instead, at the teachings of 
          ancient astrologers." 

        Mike Molnar notes: "As an astronomer I also thought that 
        this planetary conjunction was the answer until I saw the 
        coins of Antioch. They showed me that my colleagues were 
        not only looking in the wrong part of the sky, but that 
        they also did not know what signified a king's birth during 
        ancient times. Those splendid planetarium programs show 
        conjunctions, not omens.  And I had to do a lot of research 
        to understand the difference. I thank Ray Williams for his 
        kind words about my book. If anyone is interested 
        in learning how an ancient coin revealed the clue 
        to understanding the Star of Bethlehem, see my web 
        page, which also has information about the book: 


  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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