The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 18, May 4, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Among recent new subscribers are Steve Huber, courtesy
  of Andy Lustig, and numismatic literature dealer John H.
  Burns   Welcome aboard!  We now have 551 subscribers.

  One of our subscribers has never been able to receive
  fresh copies of The E-Sylum as they are mailed.  His
  email address is indeed on the list, as we have checked
  and re-subscribed him a number of times.  I'm not aware
  of any other subscriber having such a problem.  We're
  stumped.  Has anyone else encountered such a problem


  America has lost an old, old friend.   New Hampshire's
  "Old Man of the Mountain" went to meet his maker this
  week.  The natural rock formation, long a symbol of the
  state, was featured on the New Hampshire state quarter
  in 2000.   From today's Portsmouth Herald:

  "The venerable granite symbol of New Hampshire slid
  unseen down a mountain and into the past sometime
  Friday or early Saturday morning.

  A state park trails crew reported around 7:30 Saturday
  morning the 40-foot tall stony face was gone from the
  side of Profile Mountain in Franconia Notch.  The Old Man
  was covered by clouds Thursday and Friday, so no one
  knows when it actually fell."


  That other "ol' man" of New Hampshire, Dave Bowers,
  sent your editor a copy of the Winter 2003 newsletter of
  the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies.  One
  featured article is "The Large World of Miniature Books"
  The earliest miniature book printed in English was produced
  in 1601.  The article mentions no numismatic titles, but we
  wonder - there are plenty of candidates for the largest
  numismatic book, but which is the smallest?"


  Herb Friedman writes: "David Fanning asks about U.S.
  counterfeiting of Vietnamese currency.  I have written on
  this subject in depth on several occasions and just recently
  put a modified story (for military PSYOP students, not
  numismatists) on the Internet.  Even though I removed
  Pick catalog numbers. etc., I think it will answer the primary

  Actually, the hardest part was removing all the things that
  we numismatists find important:  paper, size, color, catalog
  numbers, watermarks etc., because most people have no
  interest in all that. They just want to see the pictures."


  Asylum Editor Tom Fort writes: "Ralf Boepple's submission
  of the article by Barth on 500 years of numismatic journals in
  Germany (E-Sylum vol. 6 #16) is exactly the type of thing for
  which I am looking for the numismatic literature bibliography
  in the Summer issue of The Asylum. His help is much
  appreciated.  If anyone else out there has any material please
  feel free to send it to either Wayne or myself at etfort at"


  The American Numismatic Society has announced an
  additional speaker for the upcoming Coinage of the Americas
  Conference (COAC).  See the April 20 E-Sylum (E-Sylum vol. 6 #16)
  for registration information.

  Brian J. Danforth will speak on "New Interpretations on
  Irish Coppers in the American Colonies:  The St. Patrick,
  Wood's Hibernia and Voce Populi Series."

  Mr. Danforth's talk was added to the program after the
  announcement of the event went out.

  "Based on original research conducted in Ireland, England
  and America, this paper presents a new perspective on
  selected Irish coppers that contributed to the circulating
  medium of colonial America.  The highlights of the
  presentation shall include: the minter and production
  sequence of St. Patrick coppers, the circulation of Wood's
  Hibernia coinage in Ireland and the American colonies, and
  the events surrounding the issuance of the Voce Populi series.


  David Levy writes: "I´d like to ask the group about the new
  book,  "Philippine Counterstamped Coins 1828-1839",
  published by Quint Jose Oropilla y Fortich in 2001.  All I
  have about it is the article written for the Ponterio sale and
  would be interested in more information about it."


  Gene Collier, a columnist in our local paper, posed the
  following question no April 30th. It should be of interest to
  all bibliophiles:

  "In general terms, here's the hot issue: Should people who
  insist upon writing in the margins or underlining the text in
  books be lauded as deep thinkers who sustain the book's
  dialogue for generations, or merely shot through the head at
  close range?"

  "Any marking of the text is an affront to the next generation
  of readers, some say. You wouldn't visit an art museum and
  make markings on the paintings,  say others. What's more,
  at least one respondent said, "underlining is a fool's way of
  absorbing knowledge."

  Collier credits Steve Leveen,  co-founder of Levenger "tools
  for serious readers"  for naming the two factions
  "Preservationists and Footprint Leavers".

  To read the full article, follow the link below.  Me, I'm a
  Preservationist who as a kid who threw hissy fits when anyone
  would dare make a mark on my books, and would be in the
   "bullet to the head" camp should anyone mar my numismatic
  books.  But that's emotion for you.  Intellectually,  I certainly
  appreciate and value the notations made by numismatists of
  bygone years.  What say you, dear readers?


  Rusty Goe of Southgate Coins writes: "Just to update you on
  a notice you posted for me in The E-sylum a few weeks ago:

  Regarding Gobrecht Collective Vol. 3, I sent an order to John
  McCloskey at LSCS this week, because some subscribers
  seemed to think that he still had copies available.  I'll be grateful
  if he does.  I sent in a couple of orders in the past, and was
  told he was out of them.   So, we'll see.

  As for the Krause Auction Prices Realized 1991 edition,
  the publisher has been out for quite some time.  But I got lucky.
  I found one at a "flea-market-like" online bookstore.  The copy
  is brand new, and cost me 1/5 of what I usually pay."


  Rusty Goe has another question for our readers: "Does
  anyone have a copy of the source document showing where
  the revision in mintage figures for  1872-CC dimes and
  quarters came from?   I realize that since 1977 the revised
  mintages for these two dates has been accepted by
  numismatic researchers.  But I'm looking for a copy of the
  source document proving it.

  Also, does anyone have copies of source documents
  showing the delivery dates for coins minted at Carson City
  between 1870 - 1874?  For example: 1870-CC Quarters:

                   April 20 - 3540 pieces
                   May 24 - 1400      "
                   Aug 15 -  3400      "


  Regarding my query about the book by S. Q. Lapius, Len
  Augsberger writes: "First of all, the name "S. Q. Lapius" has
  that "weird" look to it, like it might be an anagram or pen name.
  I checked and did not
  find any reasonable matches.

  A Google search shows S.Q. Lapius was in New York in 1900,
  in a letter he wrote to a periodical.  Lapius refers to a "patient"
  and may have been a doctor.

  O. Henry makes an allusion to Mr. Lapius in one of his stories at:

  O. Henry was American, which weakly implies that Lapius
  was also American.

  There are few hits at, though they do suggest a
  pocket of Lapius families in New York, one of whom (John H.
  Lapius) was a Civil War veteran.  The surname is very unusual -- lists NO Lapius families anywhere in the US.
  Nothing on

  I do see another S. Q. Lapius in Newry, UK, in 1828:
  This article suggests that the writer may be a doctor.

  My next step would be to check Syracuse, New York
  directories for 1900, then with address in hand check the
  1900 census (which is available imaged but not indexed
  online).  If there is a historical society in Syracuse they might
  have something too.

  I speculate that the name is so unusual that the two individuals
  here are likely father and son, both doctors, with the father
  in the UK and the son in America.  The evidence is not strong
  but that's the first theory I would work with.

  All that said, perhaps the most expeditious way to get the
  Lapius book would be to call up the bookstore in the UK
  where the writer says he found it!"

  [For sheer amusement, I recommend readers check out the
  first of Len's links.  It describes a comical incident with a
  newfangled steam-power automobile, and introduces a new
  vocabulary word: autogorium!

  Len's research is very interesting.   I should have spent more
  time myself looking online.  More information came from
  John Kleeberg, who writes:

  "I did some some searches on OCLC and RLIN.  OCLC
  provides four entries for books by this author, all books of
  poetry published in Columbus, Ohio.  "Coins from a Country
  Railway Station" is, like the others, a  book of poetry.  Only
  three copies listed in OCLC, none on RLIN; the three copies
  on OCLC are all in Ohio libraries around Columbus.  An entry
  for a collected book of Lapius' poetry ("A Ship at Sea and
  other Rhymes") says that the name was a pseudonym for the
  physician Justin Allis Garvin (1886-1946), but something must
  be wrong because those dates are hard to reconcile with the
  date of "Coins from a Country Railway Station" (1893), unless
  Garvin was unusually precocious.

  The New York Public Library only has a handwritten transcript
  of one of Lapius' poems about tobacco farming in, of course,
  the Arents Tobacco Collection.   The British Library has none
  of Lapius' work, so I think his books were only published in the
  United States.  We usually think of "Railroad" as American
  English and "Railway" as British English, so it's natural to think
  that a book with the title "Railway" found in Wales was
  published in Britain, but the truth is that the two terms Railway/
  Railroad are used on both sides of the Atlantic, even if Railroad
  slightly predominates in the United States and Railway slightly
  predominates in Britain."

  [ OCLC = Online Computer Library Center

   RLIN = Research Libraries Information Network

  Another web search turned up a reference to a two-page
  poem by S. Q. Lapius in The New England Magazine on 1895
  titled "Along the Dust White River Road"

  Combining this fact with Len and John's notes lends
  credence to the supposition that "S. Q. Lapius" was the pen
  name of a poet/doctor whose real name may have been Justin
  Allis Garvin.

  So what does all this mean?  For one, you find an amazing
  amount of information on the Internet these days, but it
  is only just a start.  It can also lead you down blind alleys at
  the speed of light.   The real work still has to be done offline.
  And there is no substitute for getting a copy of a book in
  question and reading what's in it.  Despite the fact that the
  book is likely to contain poetry, the numismatic reference
  still has me curious to see a copy.  Here's where the Internet
  comes in handy again.  I located a copy through an online
  bookseller and ordered it - it turned out not to be expensive.
  I'll have more to report when the book arrives.  -Editor]


  Regarding the query for a reference on Medieval Bulgarian
  coinage, Jess Gaylor found a reference to: "A catalogue of
  Bulgarian medieval coins, 9th-15th centuries (Katalog na
  bulgarskite srednovekovni moneti IX-XV vek)  Radoushev,
  A\Zhekov, G( ED) 1999. Sofia, 210x290, b/w photos, b/w
  and colours illus., bibl., In Bulgarian.  Hdb, 251pp.

  Notes:  This book is composed on the basis of numismatic
  material from the largest and fullest private collection of
  medieval Bulgarian coins,  some unique exemplars have been
  added from the historical museums in Sofia, Bucharest,
  Belgrade and Skopje. The degree of rarity of every type of
  coin included in the catalogue is determined by the quantity
  of exemplars known to the numismatic science so far, and
  for those with a larger distribution by their percentage
  content in findings, collections and their presence on the
  market. The degree of rarity is classified in ten levels and can
  be used for determining the price of the concrete exemplar,
  by taking into account its quality. It depends on the degree
  of preservation, the entirety of the inscription, the centering,
  the presence of patina, the silvering and the artistic and
  aesthetic qualities."


  Stephen Pradier writes: "I find it strange that the Travel
  Channel wants to do programming on the Fort Knox

  First off, the History Channel had a program where it
  featured the depository.  It was either the one on the U.S.
  Mint or the one they did on Gold.

  Second, if you wanted to travel to Kentucky to see it, you
  would only be able to see it at a distance as no visitors are
  permitted at the Depository.  This policy was adopted when
  the Depository was established, and is strictly enforced.
  There is a little information at the U.S. Treasury's web site at
  and then again there is information elsewhere on the web.

  Here is a question/answer from the U.S. Treasury.
  Question: I want to see the United States' gold reserves.
  What can you tell me about visiting the United States Bullion
  Depository at Fort Knox?

  Answer: Unfortunately, for security reasons, no tours are
  permitted at the Fort Knox Bullion Depository."

  Maybe they should just stick to Travel."


  Referring to an ANA "Money Talks" script I once wrote on
  Japanese-American Internment Camp Tokens, David Klinger
  writes: "Is there a good reference work on these tokens?  I
  haven't been able to find one."

  Actually, I don't know of a single-volume specialized reference
  on these, but believe there are several entries on these tokens
  in "World War II Remembered. History in your Hands, a
  Numismatic Study" by Fred Schwan & Joe Boling (BNR Press,


  In response to our prior discussion of numismatic ethics, Henry
  Bergos writes: "When I still had my fabric store, a fellow came
  in and asked if I bought coins. I affirmed and he took out about
  30 or so coins and Civil War Tokens.  My jaw dropped when I
  looked at the VF 1794 half cent.  We agreed on all the others
  and I told him NUMEROUS times that I would take the 1/2 c
  and sell it for him on consignment;  I couldn't afford it.  Numerous
  times he said that he looked it up and that it was worth $50!
  Numerous times I told him that it was worth "a hell of a lot more
  than that".  He finally asked me if I want it for $50 or not --
  that's what he wants for it.  You know where it is.

  As for finds in numismatic literature,  I once found a bookworm
  in a book.  I wanted to return it. ALIVE!"


  Here's a book find of another sort...  Ray Williams writes:
  "All my friends are aware of my addiction to collecting colonial
  coins.  There was one day at work when a co-worker came to
  me saying his church was having a book sale and there were a
  few books on coins.  He said he'd be willing to bring them in
  the next day if I might be interested.  I said sure...

  The next day came and John brought in a box with two
  outdated Red Books, a few auction catalogs  and a couple
  Numismatic News issues.  I offered him $10 for the group,
  looking at it as a charitable donation.  He said that the church
  would have only looked to get 25 Cents each for the material...

  Years later I became an EAC member, after reading that
  inspiring introduction that Sheldon wrote in Penny Whimsy.
  Years later I started collecting colonials and discovered that
  two of the auction catalogs I bought from the church sale
  were Early American Coppers sale catalogs, the valuable
  1975 and 1976 issues!   I figured someone upstairs was
  rewarding me for the donation!"


  A recent article in The New Scientist discusses the possibility
  that Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton had autism.

 "They were certainly geniuses, but did Albert Einstein and Isaac
  Newton also have autism? According to autism expert Simon
  Baron-Cohen, they might both have shown many signs of
  Asperger syndrome, a form of the condition that does not
  cause learning difficulties."

  "Newton seems like a classic case. He hardly spoke, was so
  engrossed in his work that he often forgot to eat, and was
  lukewarm or bad-tempered with the few friends he had.
  If no one turned up to his lectures, he gave them anyway,
  talking to an empty room.  He had a nervous breakdown at
  50, brought on by depression and paranoia."

  Sounds like a few numismatists we know....


  This week's featured web site was mentioned in the April
  2003 issue of Numismatic Views, the journal of the Gulf
  Coast Numismatic Association, edited by E-Sylum subscriber
  Nolan Mims of Alabama.  Tom Deck wrote: "I now have my
  large cent collection online... I have found that this is a good
  way to share it with others while my coins are safe in a bank
  safe deposit box."

  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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