The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 4, Number 05, January 28, 2001: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2001, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have two  new subscribers this week: Mike Ellis and 
   NBS charter member Dick Becker.  Welcome aboard! 
   Our subscriber count is now 366. 

FRANK KATEN, 1903-2001 

   John Huffman writes: "Frank Katen passed away last 
   Sunday afternoon, just hours before family and a few 
   close friends were to gather for his birthday party.  He 
   was 98.    In lieu of flowers, the family asks that 
   contributions be made in Frank's name to the American 
   Lung Association of Maryland, 14435 Cherry Lane Ct., 
   Laurel, MD  20707. 

   NBS Board Member Joel J. Orosz writes: "Frank Katen was 
   a man of few words and deep convictions.  He will forever have 
   a place in the history of Numismatic Bibliomania, for he was 
   the first major dealer in the U.S. (at least since W. Elliot 
   Woodward) to make a specialty of selling books about coins. 
   He remains the only literature dealer to have conducted an 
   ANA sale, and the only one to have attempted a "guide book" 
   of literature prices (published in early editions of the Coin 
   World Almanacs).  Frank was the cataloguer of the Fuld 
   collection, the first American blockbuster sale of literature, 
   and also dispersed the greatest cache of 19th century catalogues, 
   the Wylie Hoard.  And he did all of this after having waited 
   until middle age to become a professional numismatist. 
   Frank Katen was the pathfinder of American Numismatic 

   Board member and past President P. Scott Rubin adds: 
   "I believe the "guide book" of literature prices first appeared in 
   copies of Coin World before the Coin World Almanac was first 
   printed.   George Kolbe also handled an ANA sale but it was 
   only literature, not coins.   Frank did most first and handled 
   more great material than most of us will ever see in our entire 
   lives.  I wish his wife well.  Frank was always a gentleman to 
   me and a dealer who tried to be fair to all of his clients.  NBS 
   will miss him.  I know I will." 

   Board member Pete Smith continues: "Katen was a prominent 
   general coin dealer before he specialized in literature.  I believe 
   that in 1948, when he conducted the ANA sale, he would still 
   have been considered a general coin dealer.  Back then some 
   coin dealers sold books just as Bowers and Stacks sell 
   books today. 

   As I was going through a collection of back issues of Coin World, 
   I saved the annual book editions. In the center was a listing of 
   books, with prices, provided by Katen.  I think this was in the 

   Former NBS Vice President David Sklow writes: "The 
   Numismatic world has suffered yet another great loss! 
   With the passing of Frank J. Katen the Numismatic Literature 
   field has lost its Moses.  I have known Frank for over twenty- 
   five years and it has been an honor and a privilege to be his 
   friend. There are so many great stories to think back on,  I 
   would not know where to begin! 

   The story that comes to mind first, is when Frank drove his 
   Red Cadillac to the 1992 ANA Convention in Orlando Florida 
   to receive his 50 year gold membership medal.  After the 
   convention Frank and Laurese drove to Port St. Lucie to visit 
   Sherry and I at our bookstore. Frank loved that Cadillac, but 
   it broke down two miles from my store! I  picked them both 
   up and took them to a repair shop, the caddy was towed in 
   and Frank and Laurese spent the day at the bookstore with us! 
   I do not think there was a single book in the entire shop he 
   did not pick up and look at!! 

   He was a great supporter of people's ventures.  During that 
   visit I made a deal with Frank and purchased all remaining 
   stock from big February 1992 fixed price list, over 3500 
   books!!!  I always enjoyed getting one of Franks auction 
   catalogues, you never knew what little treasure was waiting 
   for you within those pages.  To Frank I would say but one 
   thing, THANK YOU!   The entire Numismatic Literature 
   world says, THANK YOU! " 


   From a January 25th Press Release: "The American Numismatic 
   Association (ANA) is seeking a librarian to oversee its 
   tremendous circulation, research and preservation services. 

   Nawana Britenriker, who had served as librarian for the last 
   three years, left the ANA's employ on Wednesday, January 24, 

   Nancy W. Green, who joined the ANA Library staff in 1976 
   and served as librarian from 1979 to 1991, has agreed to serve 
   on an interim basis. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, 
   Green holds a master's degree in library science from the 
   University of Denver and also has worked at libraries at the 
   University of Minnesota, University of Maryland and Colorado 
   College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where the ANA is 

   ANA Executive Director Edward C. Rochette says, "We are 
   extremely fortunate that Nancy is available to help us maintain 
   our important library services during the search for a person 
   to oversee this great asset of the Association." 


   E-Sylum Subscriber Howard A. Daniel III writes: "Bill Murray 
   was a great host and I was very impressed with Mike Ellis.  My 
   specialty is Southeast Asia, but Mike and other people gave me 
   some information which I can use in my research.  Several 
   people attending the meeting were also helpful with sources of 
   information for me about the use of rusty dies. 

   At the ANA meeting, I heard Tom Sheenan's talk on stock 
   market and exchange numismatic material.  Since my wife is a 
   VP in the NASDAQ Stock Market,  I had her pick up some 
   material for him.  I also found a copper piece for him somewhere 
   at a show in the United States and gave it to him at this meeting. 
   This was only my second NBS meeting and both were great. 
   One of these days I will have to officially join you guys.  We 
   shall see....." 


   "To All NBS Members and interested parties,  I want to thank 
   NBS for bestowing upon me the honor of speaking at your 
   recent meeting held at the annual FUN Show in Orlando, FL. 
   I did so at the invitation of my good friend Col. Bill Murray, 
   who needs no introduction from me!  The talk,  "The 
   Proliferation of Error and Variety Books in the Hobby Over 
   the Past Ten Years", was, in my humble opinion, a very 
   significant one and one which I have wanted to present for 
   some time.  I thank you for the opportunity! 

   Though the meeting would probably have been better attended 
   at an ANA Annual Convention, those persons who did attend 
   were all impressive contributors to the numismatic community! 
   I consider my talk a great success more so because of the 
   preliminary research of Bill Murray who presented his findings 
   prior to my speaking and for the superb contributions from 
   Mark Borckardt, Senior Numismatist of Bowers and Merena 
   Galleries.  Mark, as you no doubt know, has made and is 
   making his own very significant contributions to the hobby. 
   Additionally, others in the room asked solid questions. 
   contributing to the overall effectiveness of my talk.  I thank 
   all of them as well.  I was so humbled by the experience that I 
   would like to do it again sometime when I can be even better 

   Again, thank you for the opportunity and for the fond memory 
   of it being a very pleasant experience. 

   Sincerely, Mike Ellis, Past President of CONECA, Editor of 
   Errorscope and Editor of The Cherrypickers' Guide to Rare 
   Die Varieties, Fourth Edition, Volume I." 


   Peter Gaspar writes:  "I would like to learn more about 
   the background for the Austrian coinage of the 
   1920's, particularly the brief (1923, 1924) coinage 
   of 20 and 100 Kronen gold pieces on the old 
   standard, and the introduction of the new Schilling 
   and the monetary role, if any, played by the 25 and 
   100 Schiilling gold pieces of the period up to the 

   I only have at my disposal the brief (but excellent) 
   monograph on general Austrian monetary history 
   of August Loehr published in 1946.  The standard 
   catalogs for modern Austria by Miller zu Eichholz, 
   Loehr and Holzmaier  and by Jaeckel (I'm sorry 
   about the spelling errors, but I am away from my 
   library) don't help much. I would really 
   appreciate leads to journal references or more 
   extensive monographs on the monetary 
   history of Austria of the 1918 to 1938 period. 
   I read German, French, and Hungarian fairly well, 
   so these need not be in English." 


   From an SPMC Press Release, provided by Fred Reed: 
   "Society of Paper Money Collectors President Frank Clark 
   reminds researchers and authors that the deadline for the 1st 
   Annual George W. Wait Memorial Prize entries is nearing. 
   Deadline is March 15th.  SPMC instituted the $500 annual 
   award last year to promote the publication of quality new 
   paper money books. 

   The prize is open to researchers and  authors of unpublished, 
   book-length paper money works in any field of paper money 
   or financial documents, or historical or economics works in 
   which the examination of paper money is integral.  Entrants 
   need not be members of the Society to apply.  In addition to 
   the unrestricted $500 grant,  a complimentary membership in 
   SPMC is awarded if the recipient is not already a Society 

   The award memorializes and honors the late George W. Wait, 
   an early SPMC President, and a leading proponent of paper 
   money research and publication.  Wait also was the first 
   SPMC Secretary, and the author of two books in SPMC’s 
   landmark Wismer Series which catalogs the obsolete currency 
   of the United States on a state-by-state basis.  Mr. Wait died 
   last April. 

   A “Call for Entries” was published in the November/December 
   issue of the Society’s award-winning bimonthly magazine, Paper 
   Money.  Additional copies of the rules are available for an 
   SASE by writing, Wait Memorial Prize, Dept. N, P.O. Box 
   793941, Dallas, Texas 75379-3941." 


   In response to Ralf Boepple's query, Bob Johnson writes: 
   "Volume, VI of the Flatt series can be purchased from: 

   Jeffrey Zarit 
   4455 LBJ Freeway Suite 807 
   Dallas, TX 75244 
   972-980-4621   phone 
   972-980-0041   fax   E-mail   Internet 

   The price is $15.00 plus shipping.  The book is a larger size 
   than the previous five books.  It covers the period from 


   Allan Davisson writes: "The Daehn reference on Greek 
   numismatic references in English was delivered from the 
   printer on January 25th. The book will be a standard reference 
   for Greek numismatic bibliography.  I am including the information 
   below along with excerpts from the glowing praise the book has 
   received from major figures in Greek numismatics.  The book 
   has been printed by offset (rather than docutext) and is softbound. 
   The custom hard cover binding will be done by Campbell Logan, 
   one of North America's finest binderies. 

      Ancient Greek Numismatics 
      A Guide to Reading and Research 
      A Bibliography of Works Written in English 
         with Summaries of Their Contents. 
      William E. Daehn 

   "Well overdue and cannot be overlooked. A first class study 
    of value to numismatists."    Italo Vecchi 

   "There are no shortcuts to knowledge. But this book happens 
    to be the next best thing as far as Greek coins are concerned: 
    a shortcut to information."    Basil Demetriadi 

   "This is a remarkable work. Focusing solely on books and 
    articles written in English, it manages to include virtually 
    everything." Alan Walker 

   Over four thousand entries, organized by region 
   Full bibliography & summary for each entry; indexes 
   Soft cover, over 400 pages; $75. (Custom hardcover binding, 
   add $50.)  We accept Mastercard, VISA.  Add $5 for 
   shipping.  Allan Davisson, Davissons Ltd. Cold Spring, MN 
   56320 (our entire US Mail address) 

   (320) 685-3835. 
   Fax (320) 685-8636. 


   New research by NBS Board Member Joel J. Orosz graces 
   the cover of the January, 2001 issue of The Numismatist, the 
   journal of the American Numismatic Association.  "Dr. Lewis 
   Roper: Dentist, Photographer, Numismatist"  reviews the 
   interesting life of Roper, whose coin collection "changed the 
   face of numismatics" in America when sold on February 20, 

   Orosz credits Dan Owens for locating a death notice for 
   Dr. Roper: August 21, 1850: "Roper, Dr. L., in San 
   Francisco, of Philadelphia, Pa, aged about 44 years, 
   married"   Mr. Owens published his research on California 
   Coins and Assayers last year (see The E-Sylum,  November 
   5, 2000, Volume 3, Number 46). 


   Andy Lustig writes: "This book just came to my attention; 
   it is of special interest to collectors of patterns, as a number 
   of international issues were considered during this time period." 

   Steven P. Reti,  "Silver and Gold: The Political Economy of 
   International Monetary Conferences, 1867-1892". Westport, 
   CT:  Greenwood Press, 1998. x + 214 pp. $59.95 (cloth), 
   ISBN: 0-313-30409-2. 

   "For a more thorough review, go to 
   For more info on the international patterns, go to" 

   From the review listed above: "The book is an interesting account 
   of the international monetary conferences of 1867, 1878, 1881, 
   and 1892, and is recommended to anyone who wishes to become 
   informed of diplomatic efforts to resist the dominant market and 
   political forces reflected in the above data. The first conference, 
   of representatives of twenty leading commercial nations, convened 
   in Paris at the invitation of Emperor Louis Napoleon and agreed 
   to recommend to their governments formal negotiations toward a 
   common gold coinage. 

   The Conference of 1867 "marked the pinnacle of success for 
   international coinage advocates" (p. 45), but its recommendations 
   received little support at home. Governments were reluctant to 
   be seen to tinker with the contents of their coins, and significant 
   bimetallic sentiment of the silver interests undermined support for 
   a universal gold coinage. 

   The other three conferences were convened at the invitation of 
   United States government under pressure from domestic silver 
   interests to arrest the decline of silver, primarily by adopting a 
   bimetallic standard with a fixed silver/gold ratio that greatly 
   overvalued the former." 

   Andy notes that "the best price on the web" seems to be 
   $43.76 (plus postage) from:   Gull's Nest Books, 23535 
   NW Cornell Road, Hillsboro, Oregon 97124 USA. 
   Ph: 503-288-5942. E-mail: 
   Be sure to confirm availabilty and postage costs with the 
   seller before ordering. 


  "A truly great book should be read in youth, again in 
   maturity, and once more in old age, as a fine building 
   should be seen by morning light, at noon, and by moonlight." 
   [Robertson Davies] 


   This week's featured web site is maintained by Gerald Tebben, 
   on the subject of Civil War Tokens of Columbus, OH. 

   Wayne Homren 
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society

Content presented in The E-Sylum is not necessarily researched or independently fact-checked, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the 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.  Visit the Membership page. Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers (or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page link.

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