The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 4, Number 42, October 14, 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 421.   


  America Online continues to be a problem child.   For what   
  seems like the umpteenth time, quite a number of subscribers   
  reported not receiving their last E-Sylum issue, and as before,   
  all of them were AOL users.   Copies of the issue have   
  been forwarded to everyone who asked.   


  Dick Johnson wrote the following obituary of the late Chief   
  Engraver Frank Gasparro for the American Medallic Sculpture   
  Association.  It is published here with permission:     

  Frank Gasparro, who held America's highest office for   
  creating coins and medals died September 29, 2001.  He was   
  92 years old and remained active, teaching a recent class at   
  Philadelphia's Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, as he had   
  done for 47 years.    

  Famous for creating America's coin that Americans came to   
  hate, the Susan B. Anthony dollar in 1979, he was also the   
  artist who redesigned the reverse of the Lincoln cent on its 50th   
  anniversary, in 1959.  This occurred during his own 50th year   
  and the 150th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.   
  His FG initials appear on his Lincoln Monument reverse struck   
  on billions of cents.    

  At the other extreme he was the medallic artist for the coin of   
  greatest  denomination struck in America, a 1987 Bahamas   
  $2,500 gold coin bearing Columbus and Isabella for Franklin   

  As Chief Engraver at the U.S. Mint he created eight circulating   
  coins (all or part) and four commemorative coins (both sides,   
  or he did the obverse with the reverse by another artist). He   
  also produced the models for coins of Guatemala, Cuba,   
  Philippines struck at the Philadelphia Mint, and Panama proof   
  coins struck by Franklin Mint.    

  His medallic work included five presidential medals for President   
  Eisenhower through Carter, 19 Assay medals, nine Secretaries   
  of the Treasury, three portraits of his immediate superiors -- all   
  women --  Directors of the Mint, two military decorations and,   
  privately, two American Numismatic Association badges.    

  And it will be near impossible for any American sculptor to top   
  the value of one of his medals -- the official 1976 Nation's   
  Bicentennial Medal, one variety of which was struck in 13.18   
  troy ounces of solid gold selling today for the equivalent of a 
  small car!    

  Frank Gasparro will be listed in the new directory of American   
  coin and medal artists being compiled by AMSA member   
  Dick Johnson. "Frank's entry contains 488 lines," states the   
  compiler, "he had approved the entry and wrote me two weeks   
  ago. It is sad he died when he was such a productive medallist,"   
  he said, "but his memory lives on as his medallic works will   
  exist for thousands of years!"   


  On October 11th Susan Nulty, Information Technology   
  Director for the American Numismatic Association wrote:   
  "ANA Librarian Nancy Green, has updated the Library   
  Catalog that was first  published on the ANA web site in   
  1999.  Hundreds of new acquisitions have been included   
  and the updated web version was launched today."   
  The address is:   


  Ralf W. Boepple of Stuttgart, Germany writes: "I would like   
  to ask if I could use the E-Sylum forum for a search for   
  the Prices Realized of the Spink America Gerber Sale Part II,   
  which took place on June 3, 1996, in Los Angeles.  If anybody   
  could provide me with a copy, I would be very grateful   
  and send an SASE to cover postage expenses. Thanks very   


  Bob Knepper writes: "Is there a book which includes pictures   
  of the Danish pattern taler of 1781?   The coin is listed, but   
  not illustrated, as #22A in "Danmarks og Norges Monter" by   
  Holger Hede.  It is also listed as PnA36 in "World Coins,   
  Eighteenth Century", 1st Edition, by Krause & Mischler.  It   
  is not in Davenport or, so far, in the Numismatics International   
  supplements to Davenport."   


  George Kolbe forwarded the following summary of results   
  from his recent sales of numismatic literature:  "The 550 lots   
  of numismatic literature offered at public auction at the Long   
  Beach, California Coin Convention on October 6th, 2001   
  by George Frederick Kolbe/Fine Numismatic Books brought   
  a total of over $236,000. Lots 1-450 comprised the first part   
  of the John Bergman Library, and lots 451-550, issued in a   
  separate catalogue, consisted of "100 Rarities of American   
  Numismatic Literature."    

  Thirty-five floor bidders, five telephone bidders, and over two   
  hundred fifty absentee bidders combined to make both sales   
  a great success.  A few highlights follow:    

  A superb set of Furtwängler's monumental three volume "Die   
  Antike Gemmen" sold for $4,400; an 1840 volume on French   
  medals of the "Trésor de Numismatique" in a fine binding brought   
  $1,650 on a $850 estimate;  Hiram Deats' run of the first forty-   
  six volumes of the "American Journal of Numismatics" garnered   
  $9,900; The Charles Ruby Archive, a bound collection of some   
  5,000 letters and other items of numismatic interest dating from   
  the mid-twentieth century, drew the interest of two mail bidders,   
  two telephone bidders and at least one floor bidder and, after   
  spirited bidding from all quarters, sold for $24,200, well over   
  the pre-sale estimate of $15,000; a deluxe edition of Browning's   
  classic work on U. S. Quarter Dollars sold for $7,150, and an   
  example of the regular edition brought $3,960 on a $2,000   
  estimate; a great example of "Numismatica Americana," the   
  Chapman Brothers' Original Client Ledger, realized $4,180; a   
  superb leatherbound copy of George Clapp's classic work on   
  1798 & 1799 large cents opened at its estimate of $5,000 and   
  ended up bringing a world record price of $8,250; perhaps the   
  most sought-after lot in the sale, a superb first edition Yeoman   
  "Red Book," attracted over a dozen mail bids, and after   
  protracted floor bidding, brought an amazing $1,980, surely   
  another world record price.    

  A limited number of copies of the two catalogues with a prices   
  realized list may be obtained by sending $25.00 to Kolbe.  In late   
  November, the firm will participate in an important specialized   
  sale of rare and out of print numismatic books at   
  htp://,  and their next regular numismatic   
  literature auction is scheduled for March 2002. Further details   
  are available at the Kolbe web site:"    

  [A few other notable U.S. items: lot 482, Thomas Elder   
  correspondence relating to "Plans for an Improvement of   
  United States Coinage", $300; lot 496, another group of   
  Elder correspondence with M. H. Bolender, $950; lot   
  509, J. Colvin Randall's complete set of Mason's Monthly,   
  $1300; lot 538, Plated H.P. Smith sale of the Maris   
  collection, $3800. -Editor]   


  Ron Guth, President of, Inc. writes: "I'm   
  pleased to announce the release of my new book, "Coin   
  Collecting For Dummies."  It's available in most major   
  bookstores, major retailers like Wal-Mart, and on the  
  Internet at  While the book is aimed at  
  beginning collectors, it also contains lots of tips for "seasoned"   


  H. Douglas Owens writes: "I wonder if any E-Sylum readers   
  could help with the old problem of how to remove dust from   
  a book?  Some day I hope to have glass-enclosed bookcases,   
  but for now dust is an issue."   


  ANA Education Director Gail Baker notes that the curriculum   
  for next year's ANA Summer Seminar has been finalized.  For   
  details, see    

  One course of interest is "Numismatic Research".  From the   
  web page:  "This class will concentrate on how to formulate   
  a valid numismatic research question, how to select the   
  correct research paradigm and methodology, and then how to   
  design a research project that will answer the question in   
  scientifically accepted manner.  Students will learn ...   
  qualitative numismatic research, the five sections of every   
  research proposal, how to use primary and secondary   
  sources as well as traditional resources like libraries, archives   
  and museums, and how to go about getting their research   
  published. Participants will have nightly homework on a research   
  project of their choosing and will be responsible for turning in   
  an outline of their proposed study.    

  Instructors: Lawrence Lee, ANA Museum Curator, and Charles   
  Davis, author, cataloger and full-time dealer in numismatic   


  This week's featured web pages relate to Frank Gasparro.   
  The first is "The SBA Dollar:  A Retrospective" by Jillian   
  Leifer, author of the October 1998 Numismatist cover   
  article on Gasparro's Susan B. Anthony Dollar.     

  The second page is about Gasparro's  Flowing Hair Liberty   
  design, a gorgeous work which was rejected in favor of the   
  Anthony design.   

  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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