The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 4, Number 15, April 8, 2001: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2001, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have no new subscribers this week.  Our subscriber 
   count holds at 370. 


   One collector of Greek numismatic literature wrote:  "The 
   address for Acropolis of Athens directed me to an April 
   Fools joke page -- that was funny, but I guess I hope there 
   is a real address, also!"   [Sorry - April Fools!  -Editor] 


   From a New York Times obituary reprinted in a local 
   paper Sunday, April 8th: 

   "Henry Brown, a chemist who helped make the American 
   Dream a gleaming reality by finding new ways of keeping 
   chromium plate bright and shiny, died March 15th at his 
   home in Palo Alto, Calif.  He was 93. 

   In the years just after World War II, Mr. Brown's 
   discoveries made bathroom fixtures and kitchen utensils 
   silvery and put the gloss on the bumpers of the finny 
   automotive monsters Detroit turned out in the 1950's and 
   early '60's. 

   But there had been other earlier and less obvious 
   beneficiaries of his skill at making dull metals shiny. 
   In the austere war years, he showed the U.S. Treasury 
   how to make steel pennies gleam and invented a high- 
   speed process for brass-plating shell cases so they did 
   not stick in artillery guns. .... He was one of the authors 
   of "Modern Electroplating", (Wiley Interscience, 1974) 
   a standard work on the subject." 

   Perhaps Mr. Brown succeeded too well in making the 
   cents shiny.  From David Lange's "The Complete 
   Guide to Lincoln Cents", "By the middle of 1943 it was 
   already evident that this experiment was an unqualified 
   failure.  So many complaints were received from persons 
   who mistook these cents for dimes that the Mint was 
   already preparing to return to the copper and zinc alloy 
   used for most of 1942." 


   Fred Lake writes: "This is a reminder that Lake Books sale 
   #57  closes on Tuesday, April 10, 2001, at 5:00 PM (EDT). 
   Also, we have a new new email address: 
      Old address: 
      New address: 

   We will keep the AOL address for another month until 
   we are sure that our customers have had the opportunity 
   to make the switch." 


   William L. Bischoff  reports: "The authoritative volume 
   published in 1998 by J.E. Restrepo and J.R. Lasser, 
   Macuquinas de Colombia, is now available in a 
   thoroughly reworked, hardcover English version: The 
   Cob Coinage of Colombia, 1622-1756.  The English 
   edition features a more practical numbering scheme, new 
   types and varieties, enhanced graphic aids, and two essays 
   by Joe Lasser on the historical background of production 
   at both the Bogota and Cartagena mints. 

   The catalogue lists the coins (1) in traditional chronological 
   order by monarchs and (2) by denominations, with 
   specimens of types for each assayer and mint.  With more 
   than 465 coin photos and diagrams, the authors "have done 
   a splendid job of bringing together as much as we are ever 
   likely to know about the coinage of two of the most enigmatic 
   mints of colonial Latin America....Fully recommended." 
   (R.G. Doty) 

   At $50 for U.S. customers, including postage and handling 
   ($55 for Priority Mail outside North America) this is a major 
   value compared to the original paperback edition in Spanish, 
   which retailed for $35 before P &H.  To order directly from 
   the publisher, send check or money order ($50) made out to 
   William L. Bischoff at: PERTINAX PRESS; 20 East 35th 
   Street 10H; New York, NY 10016.  Or email me at for an attachment with more details 
   and an ordering coupon. 

   P.S. Orders with payment received by April 14 will be sent 
   out immediately.  Subsequent orders will be processed as 
   soon as I return to the U.S. on May 4." 


   Pete Smith writes: "In recent days I have been fascinated by 
   the Charles Town Social Club medal. 

   My first reaction is that "Charles Town Social Club" is a 
   description rather than a name.  The legend on the medal 
   MDCCLXIII."  In a town with at least a dozen other social 
   clubs, the "Social Club" name is pretty generic and an 
   unusual choice for a name. 

   Last night I went to the University of Minnesota Library to 
   attempt some research.  They have "South Carolina Gazette 
   1732-1775" by Honnig Cohen.  It is a review of materials 
   from the paper and includes several pages of first 
   announcements of club meetings.  There is no listing near 
   October of 1763, no reference to "Social Club" and no club 
   without a longer and more specific name. 

   One would think that a club with enough ambition and 
   resources to order a small run of medals from England 
   would leave a better paper trail.  What other explanation 
   is there? 

   The library is supposed to have the South Carolina Gazette 
   on microfilm.  It was not housed where the computer said it 
   should be. Then I discovered that the roll indexed for 1763 
   did not have the 1763 papers.  It was a frustrating search. 

   I also looked at the South Carolina Gazette from 1783.  I 
   hoped I might find a related article like:  "The Charlestown 
   Social Club met on Thursday last at Mr. Backhouse's Pub. 
   Visiting from London was Mr. Thomas Brand-Hollis who 
   presented each member with a small token in commemoration 
   of the club's founding 20 years previous."  However, no such 
   notice was found. 

   The medal is an unusual shape and has an artistic style 
   uncharacteristic for the period. The lack of documentation 
   adds to the intrigue. I would be happy to see another E-Sylum 
   reader provide the whole story but hope that doesn't spoil 
   the fun." 


   In regard to the question of die manufacture in the middle 
   ages,  Granvyl G. Hulse, Jr. writes: "The gentlemen should 
   contact The Society for Creative Anachronism. Their web 
   site is   I have corresponded with 
   one of their members for years and have in my possession 
   several coins that they struck following the identical methods 
   used during the middle ages.  A very active and interesting 
   group and they take their hobby very seriously. " 

   Chet Dera writes: "In response to Ira Medcalf's request for 
   AGES in the E-Sylum v4#14, April 1, 2001 I sent the 
   following  reply.  Looks like there are some interesting books 

   I read your request for information concerning  DIE 
   issue of The E-Sylum. 

   The following book titles and their authors are from a 
   bibliography on page 21 of Wayne Sayles'  "Classical Deception", 
   a book on counterfeiting of ancient coins. Published 2001 by 
   Krause Publications  (715-445-2214), the book is in the $20 
   range and deals mostly with forgeries of ancient coins.  There is, 
   however, an interesting writeup on page 10 about the tools of 
   the ancient Celators which should also apply to the time period 
   you're interested in. 

   Balog, P. "Notes on Ancient and Medieval Minting Techniques", 
   Numismatic Chronicle, London, 1955, pp 195-202 and Plate 14. 

   Cooper, Dennis R. The Art and Craft of Coin Making:  A history 
   of Minting Technology, London, 1988. 

   Forbes, Robert J. Metallurgy in Antiquity: A notebook for 
   Archaeologists and Technologists.  Leiden, 1950. 

   Grierson, Philip "Note on stamping of coins and other objects." 
   History of Technology. C. Singer ed., London, 1956. 

   Hill, G. F. "Ancient Methods of Coining" , Numismatic Chronicle, 
   1922  (Reprinted by Attic Books, New York, 1977). 

   You can have your local library do an interlibrary loan of all these 
   books and articles including that of Mr. Sayles.  Some may be 
   harder to find, but I'm sure there will be something here to help 
   you.  Good luck, and let me know how you make out. " 

   Ira Medcalf writes: "I would like to say thank-you to you 
   and your group for the overwhelming response to my request. 
   I have received in 2 days more useful references than I had 
   been able to find on my own in 3 years (but only 6 months on 
   the net).  This is not to say I would not accept additional info! 
   It will take me a while but I am keeping all the e-addresses and 
   will submit back whatever results I may have.    Again my 
   deepest thanks,   Ira" 


   Jørgen Sømod of Denmark writes: "A new fully illustrated 
   catalog in the English language has just been published. 
   Ranko Mandic,  "Tokens of the Yugoslav Lands", 154 pages. 
   Only 300 copies are printed. The price is US $ 20,-, € 18,-, 
   DEM 36,-. + postage.  Orders can be sent to me. 
   Depending on postage rates, the book will be sent from 
   Copenhagen or Belgrade."   Mr. Sømod's email address is 


   Mark Borckardt's note in last week's E-Sylum that he had used 
   three-letter codes to identify auction houses and specific auction 
   lots set off a spate of emails among participants this week.  Mark 
   had set three-letter codes for his own use in his research among 
   American auction sales for a wide variety of numismatic items 
   including patterns, medals, Hawaiian, and other items. 

   This issue started when Dick Johnson called for someone to 
   establish uniform symbols -- much like those on the New York 
   Stock Exchange -- and had suggested Karl Moulton do this 
   because he has taken up the mantle of publishing a directory of 
   all American numismatic auction sales. Karl is updating the 
   directory first published by Martin Gengerke in 1984.  Here's 
   part of what they said in their emails: 

   Karl Moulton wrote:  "Mark's list may become a valuable tool 
   for all of us interested in numismatic auctions.  I know Dick will 
   be among the first to utilize it. However my compilation covers 
   only forty different cataloguers, while Mark's list would cover 
   them all [Gengerke's listings] from the 1850s to the present. I 
   would like to see some feedback from others as to its usability 
   and acceptance. If readily used and understood  ... it needs to 
   be presented." 

   Dick Johnson wrote:  "Mark has accomplished what I had 
   hoped someone would do, as I tried to get Karl Moulton to 
   do when I learned Martin Gengerke was no longer interested 
   in continuing his directory of auction catalogs, and Karl had 
   taken up the mantel.   I longed for a list of  three-letter auction 
   house codes. Mark, here you have performed the feat.  It 
   seems you are always a step ahead of me." 

   Further, Dick wrote:  This is an unabashed appeal for a response 
   from E-Sylum readers.  If you have ever done research in more 
   than one auction catalog, or if you have done price history 
   research in American auction catalogs, please send an email to 
   Karl. Tell him listing these codes would be a desirable feature in 
   his directory and a service to all numismatists.  It would help 
   establish an industry-wide standard we could all use. 
   Write to him today at" 


   Alexander Bykov, Ph.D., chief editor of  “The Coin” reports: 
   "The interests of our publishing house lay in the sphere of 
   numismatics. From 1995 we publish International Numismatic 
   Almanac “The Coin”.  By this moment 8 issues of the almanac 
   have already appeared in Russia. On its pages we publish 
   articles of home and foreign numismatists.  The articles are in 
   Russian with a summary in English for each one.  The readers 
   of our almanac are specialists and amateurs from Russia, 
   countries of the former USSA and some foreign countries." 

   Dr. Bykov can be reached at this address: 
   One article of interest to bibliophiles in the latest issue  was 
   written by Dr. Bykov himself.  It is titled: "Russian Numismatic 
   Literature of the Second Half of the 18th Century and Its 
   Russian Prototype" 


   The Books & Periodicals Agency of New Delhi, India 
   offers a selection of titles on Indian numismatics on 
   their web site: 


   Dave Bowers has a question about a well-known counterstamp: 
   "VOTE THE LAND FREE.  This counterstamp is found on 
   large copper cents (in particular) and a few other coins. I have 
   been collecting these since I was a kid, have a few dozen, and 
   collect them by date sequence.  The latest-dated piece in my 
   collection is 1844, then I have a quite a few of 1843, and many 
   down to the mid-1830s, thinning out before then.  The question 
   is this: 

   Conventional wisdom dating back many years, including in the 
   Duffield study of counterstamps in The Numismatist 1919-1921 
   and in J. Doyle DeWitt's book on political tokens, as well as 
   some of my own writing on counterstamps, attributes these to 
   the Free Soil Party presidential election campaign entry of 1848. 
   However, although I have been collecting Free Soil Party books, 
   notices, etc., for a long time (since about 1955) I have never 
   found this same wording used in any of their slogans. 

   There are a very few scattered listings of cents stamped 1845- 
   1848, but I have never seen one. Recently, Russ Rulau, busy 
   at work on a new edition of his book on HARD TIMES 
   TOKENS (we all know that Russ works 48 hours every DAY), 
   when queried on post-1844 coins with this stamp, stated that he 
   had never seen one in the flesh or a picture of one. I suggested 
   that sometimes well-worn coins are given assumptive dates. 

   Statistical analysis would seem to suggest that these 
   counterstamps were made early in 1844 (as I have seen just 
   one with this date and, in fact, own it), using coins currently in 
   circulation, most being dated from the preceding 10 years. 
   There is such a "clump" of 1843 cents with this mark that 
   this would seem to strengthen the idea. 

   Question: Can anyone furnish a VOTE THE LAND FREE 
   counterstamp on a coin dated after 1844 -- and send it to Russ 
   Rulau or me (round trip postage and insurance I will pay)?  If 
   one is furnished, then the Free Soil Party rides again.  If the 
   post-1844 items are will-o-the-wisps, then a new theory is 
   needed. In 1844 there were, indeed, some land disputes in 
   politics--mainly involving Texas, separately the Northwest 
   Territory, and still separately, the expansion of slavery (the 
   slavery question is what the Free Soil Party of 1848 was all 
   about, but with lots of overtones --- beyond the scope or 
   interest of the present remarks)." 

   [Editor's note:  a web search turned up a handful of references 
   to "Vote the Land Free", but nothing to assist Mr. Bowers' 
   quest.  This page, about the The Anti-Slavery Movement 
   1792-1863, pictures, among many other artifacts, a 
   "VOTE THE LAND FREE" counterstamp on an 1825 
   cent:   ] 


   Dave Bowers has a second question for us: "I am gathering 
   a data base on Dr. Lewis Feuchtwanger, and have been for 
   a long time. I have all of the things in regular numismatic 
   publications over the years but would dearly love to buy or 
   borrow any ephemera -- such as broadsides or advertisements 
   for his patent medicines, products made from his "composition," 
   personal correspondence, etc. 

   He also wrote a delightful book, TREATISE ON GEMS, 
   published in 1838, then in at least two later editions (with 
   expansions including color plates), all of which I have -- but 
   thought mention of them might be of interest here." 

   [Editor's note:  Dave's note led me to pull some Feuchtwanger 
   items from my own library; I have two.  First, is an 1838 
   First Edition of "A Treatise on Gems".  The second item is 
   another book of Feuchtwanger's, "Fermented Liquors: A 
   Treatise on Brewing, Distilling, Rectifying, and Manufacturing 
   of Sugars, Wines, Spirits, and All Known Liquors, Including 
   Cider and Vinegar.  Also, Hundreds of Valuable Directions 
   in Medicine, Metallurgy, Pyrotechny, and The Arts in General" 
   (Published by the author, New York, 1858). 

   Feuchtwanger must have been a colorful character.  The 
   mention of Pyrotechny caught my eye.  Part III, Chapter VII 
   is titled "On Colored Fires of Pyrotechnics - The best 
   prescriptions for producing fine colored fireworks, from the 
   author's own experience." 

   Incidentally, one numismatic reference popped up unexpectedly 
   which searching the web for Feuchtwanger information. 
   It concerns Clarence S. Bement, whose collection was sold by 
   Henry Chapman in two sales (1916, 1918).   The following 
   text is taken from the web site of New York Mineralogist 
   Lawrence H. Conklin, reprinting an article on Charles W. 
   Herrmann, Mineralogist and Mineral Dealer, which originally 
   appeared in The Mineralogical Record, Volume 25, 
   May - June, 1994) 

   "In 1891 Herrmann sent to Clarence S. Bement a copy of a 
   book written by Lewis Feuchtwanger (1807-1876) which the 
   author had presented to him. Since he mentions in the 
   accompanying letter that "many minerals are painted [colored]" 
   the book in question must have been A Popular Treatise On 
   Gems, of the third or fourth edition.  He told Bement that 
   "Dr. Feuchtwanger came every Sunday afternoon to me even 
   when ice was on the street,  talking minerals." 

    Herrmann further informed Bement that after Feuchtwanger 
   died, when both of his daughters were in Paris, his mineral 
   collection was stolen. It would seem that Feuchtwanger had a 
   lot of bad luck with his collection. Canfield, in his Final 
   Disposition (see vol. 21, no. 1,p. 41-46, 39) states that 
   Feuchtwanger's . . . 

       . . . daughters presented his collection to the Society of 
       Ethical Culture of New York City, about 1900. It was 
       a general collection. Many years ago, while this collection 
       was exhibited in the Old Arsenal in Central Park, some 
       of the specimens were stolen. 

   Perhaps they were both referring to the same event. The 
   Arsenal was the first (and temporary) home of the American 
   Museum of Natural History and was occupied by the museum 
   from 1870 to 1879 while the great complex of buildings on 
   Central Park West was under construction. It is still standing 


   Doug Andrews writes: "I always enjoy reading E-Sylum, 
   especially this issue where you introduced me to the term 
   "Oniomania."  It perfectly describes my wife - including the 
   shoe thing - although she's not as compulsive as Imelda 
   Marcos. Quite." 

   You see, my wife is also from the Philippines. She has a 
   favourite saying about the former First Lady.  She says 
   Imelda was in the "mining business."  When someone asks 
   my wife what she means by that, she explains: "Whenever 
   Imelda went into stores (which was often), she simply 
   would walk through pointing at merchandise she wanted 
   saying "Mine, mine, mine!"  And that made it hers. 

   As a final note, when my wife goes on a shopping spree 
   (fortunately not TOO often) she earns her nickname. 
   You guessed it: "Imelda." If the shoe fits..." 


   Another technological nail in the coffin of circulating coins? 
   This article from Reuters describes an experimental service 
   by Coca-Cola: 

   "In the first trial of its kind in Australia, Telstra Corp. Ltd., 
   Australia's  largest telecoms carrier and global drinks giant 
   Coca-Cola Co are testing a new service called Dial a Coke. 
   It lets Telstra mobile customers grab a drink from a vending 
   machine and have the 97-cent cost billed to their phones. 

   "How many times have you stood in front of a machine and 
    not had the right change?'' said Coca-Cola spokeswoman 
   Michelle Allen. 

   "This eliminates the need to be carrying cash,'' said Telstra 
    OnAir spokeswoman Lisa Johnston. 

   All you have to do if you want a drink is call a telephone 
   number on the drinks machine, then choose the drink you 

   The cost of the drink will show up on your next mobile 
   phone bill with no extra fees charged for the phone call." 


   Eric P. Newman writes: "In my library there may be the 
   earliest piece of American numismatic literature containing 
   an illustration.   The woodcut illustration is not of a coin or 
   paper money but of the 1756 hanging of the notorious 
   "Owen Sullivan" for counterfeiting in New York.  It is 
   illustrated on a plate in Kenneth Scott's,  "Counterfeiting in 
   Colonial America."  My pamphlet is entitled  "A Short 
   Account of the Life of John ____, Owen Syllavan, etc.", 
   published in Boston in 1756. Only one other copy  is 
   known according to published bibliographical  research. 
   There are many earlier American publications on money 
   which have no illustrations. The Colonial Laws of 
   Massachusetts have illustrations of paper money but they 
   are not numismatic and include a range of subjects. Naturally 
   there are many earlier European numismatic publications with 
   illustrations. Can any of our bibliomaniacs confirm, refute or 
   throw further light on this situation? I would be appreciative." 


   Granvyl G. Hulse, Jr. writes: "I have had for years in my attic 
   the Numismatics International Library, which I have thought 
   was about the third largest lending library on books on foreign 
   coins in the U.S.  About ten years ago my late wife called me 
   into the living room - pointed at the ceiling and asked me if I 
   noticed anything wrong. Many years before a wall had been 
   taken out to increase the size of the living room area, and there 
   was a long beam stretching from the front of the house well 
   toward the back to support the second floor after the 
   supporting wall had been removed. After peering at it intently 
   for several moments I noticed that the beam had developed a 
   very noticeable bow. The weight of the books in the third floor 
   attic was affecting the whole shape of our fifteen room house 
   and the pressure on the top of the second floor had put all 
   doors out of shape, and was in the process of working its way 

   To prevent the house from falling in on itself I had to place a 
   twelve inch square beam starting from the basement and 
   working up to that cross beam - jacking it up to straighten 
   everything out. The moral of the story is that if you buy a 
   130 year old house - put your library somewhere other 
   than the top floor." 


   This week's featured web site is Bob Johnson's 
   COINSHEET Numismatic Directory, now located 
   at this new address: 

   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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