The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 21, May 25, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Dave Bowers writes: "Today, May 25th, is Eric P. Newman's
  92nd birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ERIC, from all of your
  friends in the Numismatic Bibliomania Society, and all good
  wishes for many, many more!"


  Internet sleuth Gar Travis helped us answer Darryl Atchison's
  question about collector F.C.C. Boyd's initials.  He located
  Boyd's great grandson Frederick C.C. Boyd, III, Esq. in
  Atlanta, GA.  The answer?  F. C. C. stands for Frederick
  Charles Cogswell.


  Karl Moulton writes: "I too, read with interest the letter to the
  editor in the May 19th edition of Coin World about Joseph J.
  Mickley and "The Turk, Chess Automaton" by Dr. Gerald M.
  Levitt.  While he offered no information about this connection,
  from my research about Joseph Mickley, I can only presume
  that "The Turk" played a catchy musical tune in order to
  generate the crowd's interest before it was ready to "play"
  chess.  Most likely, Mickley did some musical repairs to the
  "Turk" at one time or another.  Perhaps Dr. Levitt will
   elaborate further."

  [I don't recall ever reading anything about The Turk playing
  music.  There are two recent books about The Turk.  In
  addition to Levitt's 2000 publication, "The Turk: The Life and
  Times of the Famous Eighteenth-Century Chess-Playing
  Machine" by Tom Standage was published in 2002.  Perhaps
  the answer to Mickley's connection lies in one or both of them.

  Moulton continues: "Most people involved with American
  numismatics only know the Mickley name in regards to
  numerous, albeit incorrect, stories regarding Mickley's various
  coin collecting endeavors.  However, long before he became
  a serious coin collector, he was a musical repairman and
  maker of piano-forte's in Philadelphia.  That was his life's
  occupation, and he was very good at his chosen field.
  Interestingly, it was through his association with people in the
  music field (Herr Joseph Plich) which ultimately allowed him
  the financial freedom to pursue his interest in coin collecting
  after May 1841, when he first visited the US Mint with his
  older brother."


  Karl Moulton adds: "I'd also like to announce that I was
  fortunate to uncover the whereabouts of Joseph Mickley's
  daily business journal which covers the years from 1840 to
  1848.  Yes, this is one of the "Missing Masterpieces" that
  fellow researcher and good friend, Joel Orosz outlined in his
  Asylum article from Summer 2000, p.73.  And NO, this
  announcement is not an April Fools prank.

  This is Joseph Mickley in a personal manner, the way in
  which none of us have ever seen before.  It is his daily
  musical business journal of his many customers, sales, repairs,
  travels, rents, domestic expenses, etc.  This is mid-19th
  century Americana at its best.  There are 573 pages of entries
  in Mickley's clearly legible handwriting.  Copies of this
  historically important work will be available later this summer
  for $79. plus $6. S/H.  As a special bonus, this reprint will
  offer Jacob Bunting's (close personal friend of Mickley for
  decades) 28 page biographical sketch about Mickley, written
  in 1885.  Orders are being taken now and this 600 page
  reprint is available exclusively through Karl Moulton at
  numiscats at"


  Peter Mosiondz, Jr.writes: "For an article I intend to submit
  to Numismatic News on one of their acquisitions in the early
  1960's, I need help in locating information on a short-lived
  publication named "Numismatic Times and Trends".  I seem
  to recall the heavy use of red ink on the front page and
  columns slanted towards the younger/beginning collector
  which included me during those times.  Help in ascertaining
  the publication dates of the first and last issue would be
  helpful. I seem to recall its debut around 1961 and, if
  memory serves, I believe it lasted but a couple of years.
  Was it a weekly or bi-weekly?  My memory fades on this.
  Also, to the best of my knowledge, once Krause Publications
  bought the paper they ceased publication and merely merged
  some of the features into Numismatic News.  Copies of this
  publication that I could borrow would be appreciated and
  duly returned. I have placed "buy" ads in the commercial press
  over the years and have scoured numismatic literature auction
  catalogs but failed to locate any issues. Perhaps one of our
  readers can help in my research effort.  Thanks so much.

  Peter Mosiondz, Jr., PO Box 221,  Glendora, NJ 08029-
  0221; (856) 627-6865;  petemos at"


  Bob Knepper writes: "I recently purchased "Danmarks Papir
  Penge" by Kim Svend Jensen in four paperback volumes dated
  1992-1996.  Volume 4 implies, in a note at the back, that
  there will be more volumes.  Will appreciate if someone can
  advise me how many, if any, additional volumes exist."


  Recent monthly issues of of COINage, and the journals of
  the American Numismatic Society and American Numismatic
  Association (Numismatist) have a number of interesting items.
  I won't go into detail, but wanted to point some out.  The June
  2003 issue of COINage has some interesting background
  on The Franklin Mint, feature articles on nickels, artist Marcel
  Jovine, and an article by David Alexander on collector Farran
  Zerbe.   The Spring ANS publication features "The Renaissance
  of the French Cast Medal."  The May 2003 Numismatist has
  information on the upcoming Summer Seminar, an article by
  Ed Rochette on Samuel Pepys visit to the Royal Mint in 1663,
  David Sklow's piece on the ANA's electrum membership
  medals.  On the library's "wish list" is "Das Deutsche Notgeld"
  by A. Keller, 1977.  If anyone has a copy to donate of sell,
  please contact librarian Nancy Green.


  Dave Wnuck writes: "Pete Smith asked for information on a
  coin that had been counterstamped by "J E Skalb".  It is
  actually the work of current coin dealer James E. Skalbe,
  who runs Colonial Trading Company, Inc. in Boston, MA.

  Jim makes a habit of counterstamping cull and damaged
  coins (usually U.S. large cents, from what I have seen) for
  free distribution at his table.

  I have a question for Pete: Where can I buy a copy of his
  "Names with Notes"?"

  John Kraljevich writes: "I'm sure others will reply, but Pete
  Smith's counterstamp was made by Jim Skalbe, the still-very-
  much-alive colonial coins specialist who was once partnered
  with Russ Smith as Colonial Trading Company.  The J.E.
  Skalbe Numismatist stamps are also known on low grade
  large cents, colonial Canadian tokens, and other such low-end
  junk box material. I can only imagine Jim's response upon
  discovering that he was the subject of a research inquiry!"

  Rich Hartzog adds: "James E Skalbe is a well-known
  numismatist of Winthrop, MA, who worked for Worthy Coin
  and Colonial Trading Co.  I've known him since 1975, a
  member (or former member) of ANA, CWTS, TAMS, CSNS,
  ANS, CNA, EAC, APIC, APS, FUN, etc."

  Ken Barr writes: "According to a prominent EACer I know,
  J. E. "Jim" Skalbe is a contemporary Boston numismatist,
  presumably still counterstamping worn and damaged 19th
  century coins for use as personal/business cards ...  Many
  exonumists (myself included) have reportedly been quite
  excited to discover this "vintage, unlisted" counterstamp
  only to find out the Real Story later ...   The following links
  illustrate two Skalbe-counterstamped coins a holed 1858
  Seated     Liberty quarter, and a well-worn British large

  Ray Williams writes: "Jim Skalbe is the current Region 1 C4
  Vice President.  He is the Colonial Trading Co , 101 Tremont
  St,  Suite 501, Boston  02108.   Jim has counterstamped many
  coins and given them out at conventions over the years. Hope
  this helps Pete and I'm assuming the counterstamp is not another
  numismatist's due to the slight difference in the spelling of the

  [The counterstamp is SKALBE, but Pete's letter referenced
  SCALB.  We were innundated with responses from all points
  of the compass - the above are just a sampling.  Mr. Skalbe
  is well known around the hobby.  -Editor]


  Alan Luedeking writes: "I read with interest Mr. Atchison's
  request for Spanish, French and Dutch references concerning
  medals given to North American indian chiefs.  I can
  recommend one which fits the bill for all three and then some,
  this being José Toribio Medina's last major numismatic work,
  published at Buenos Aires in 1924, "Medallas Europeas
  Relativas a América." As the title implies, it is a compendium
  of European medals relating to America, and as such includes
  a few examples of medals having to do with indians, if not
  necessarily chiefs, though a cursory glance revealed one listing
  for a medal for the indian chiefs of Cumaná in the reign of
  Phillip V, however, that's a far cry from North America.

  Nevertheless, there are also French medals for indians in
  Canada. With three excellent indexes, the book is very easy
  to use and heavily illustrated. One of the indexes references
  everything alphabetically by personal and tribal names, another
  by topics (i.e. geographical, ships, battles, etc.), and the last
  by country, including, besides the desired three, those of Italy,
  Portugal, Germany, and Sweden, all of which also had dealings
  with America over the centuries.

  Although quite scarce, this book is not among the hardest to
  obtain of the great Medina's works; in fact, I believe there is
  an example upcoming in Kolbe's next sale.  I also glanced
  through my Scholten for Dutch overseas colonies but this
  work concentrates only on coins. Ditto for Zay and Mazard
  regarding French colonies."


  Bob Leonard writes: "In addition to Crystal City tokens,
  there was a series in gray fiber reading DEPT. OF
  CANTEEN, with value on reverse.  See "Internment Camp
  Tokens" by Jack F. Burns, The Numismatist, May, 1962,
  pp. 586-7.  These were issued by the Immigration and
  Naturalization Service, and were for enemy ALIENS, not
  the Japanese-American internees from the West Coast.
  Burns lists denominations of 1c, 5c, and 25c.  I have a
  partial set consisting of 1c, 5c, and $1 in my collection.
  (Presumably a 50c was issued also.)"


  Karl Moulton writes: "The mention of George Bowers could
  use further clarification.  This was George W. Bowers, who
  is not to be confused with the other George Bowers, from
  Camden, Arkansas, who joined the ANA in 1953, #21285.
  I can find no reference confirming that George W. Bowers
  ever belonged to the ANA, yet he was an active collector of
  numismatic books and most likely a nice collection of American

  The mention that "the truly rare stuff went for a song" at the
  local West Virginia auction is quite accurate.  Out of the
  20,000 or so volumes in the collection, I was fortunate enough
  to end up with one of the great rarities from the Bowers holdings.
  Apparently, Bowers was a good customer of Wayte Raymond
  in the 1920's.  A confirmation of this, was that he had a nice
  original, regular edition 1925 Ard W. Browning book on U. S.
  Quarters.  However, the best "find" was the 1928 Wayte
  Raymond publication "United States Gold Coins of the
  Philadelphia and Branch Mints."  It is only the second example
  traced of the Deluxe Leatherbound Interleaved Edition with
  George W. Bowers' name imprinted in gilt on the front cover.
  The book is in Near Mint condition and autographed by
  Raymond on the title page.  It is marked copy "E" of a
  presumed run of 10 (according to an ad in the Feb. 1931
  Numismatist).  It originally sold for $15., which was a rather
  lofty price for a coin book during the depression.  The only
  other copy that has come to the market was William C.
  Atwater's fine copy which was sold in George Kolbe's
  February 1990 sale, lot 451, for $1650. on an estimate of

  [I was referring to some of the coins, which went for a song
  according to one dealer who attended the sale.  I recall him
  saying he purchased a high-grade Continental Dollar for about
  10% of its retail value at the time.   -Editor]


  David Gladfelter writes: "The leading reference today on Civil
  War postage stamp envelopes is Milton Friedberg's series,
  "Catalog of Enveloped Postage," that ran in 11 consecutive
  issues of Paper Money from 1993 to 1995. I don't know
  whether he has published this series as a book. Only
  selected specimens were illustrated in this series, but I still
  have a draft of his manuscript that illustrates them all.
  Through the cooperation of Dave Bowers I was able to get
  a photocopy of every specimen in the Moreau hoard about
  which H. R. Drowne wrote (the Moreau hoard was
  eventually consigned to Bowers & Merena, I believe by John
  Ford, and sold at auction). I have made up a catalog of the
  Moreau hoard with a page for each envelope, for my own
  use, it has not been published. Milton Friedberg's personal
  collection of these envelopes was sold at auction by Currency
  Auctions of America who published a special hardbound
  edition of this catalog. I have corresponded with Milton but
  never met him in person, and I carry his catalog to the bigger
  shows in hopes that our paths will eventually cross. It was a
  real pleasure assisting him with the Paper Money series."

  Fred Reed, Editor PAPER MONEY writes: "Civil War stamp
  envelopes were admirably cataloged by Milt Friedberg in Paper
  Money a while back.  They were illustrated and serialized over
  a two year period (11 issues) in these issues of Paper Money:

  Friedberg, Milton R.  Catalog of enveloped postage, illus

  1993  vol 32, whole no. 168 pp 188ff
  1994  vol 33, whole no. 169 pp 22ff
  1994  vol 33, whole no. 170 pp 54ff
  1994  vol 33, whole no. 171 pp 98ff
  1994  vol 33, whole no. 172 pp 138ff
  1994  vol 33, whole no. 173 pp 170ff
  1994  vol 33, whole no. 174 pp 208ff
  1995  vol 34, whole no. 175 pp 27ff
  1995  vol 34, whole no. 176 pp 65ff
  1995  vol 34, whole no. 177 pp 109ff
  1995  vol 34, whole no. 179 pp 198ff"


  An article in a local paper mentioned an interesting tidbit about
  Robert Morris, the financier of the American revolution.  It
  came from a book by Eleanor Young titled "Forgotten Patriot:
  Robert Morris."    As a founder of first Bank of North America,
  a forerunner of the Federal Reserve System, Morris knew
  "... there was always a danger that investors would make a run
  on the bank and deplete its store of gold and silver coin.  And
  so, according to biographer Eleanor Young, Morris fitted the
  bank vault with mirrors that "multiplied the coins, dazzling the
  eyes of the spectators."  Having seen such wealth, the public
  felt no need to withdraw any of it."

  For the full text of the article, see:


  On Tuesday, May 20, The Wall Street Journal provided an
  update on the Iraqi currency situation.  See The E-Sylum
  v6#07, February 16, 2003 for the original discussion.

  "Eager to stabilize Iraq's shattered economy, the Bush
  administration wants the country to print a fresh supply of its
  pre-1991 Gulf War currency -- the last national bank notes
  free of Saddam Hussein's portrait -- and expand their use

  "...they say the best course is to replace existing "Saddam
  dinars" with a new issue of "Swiss dinars." Since 1990, the
  Swiss dinar, so called because of its stability, has circulated
  only in the Kurdish north, an area not under Mr. Hussein's

  One option the Treasury is considering is printing new notes
  on existing presses in Baghdad, if they are operational. The
  drawback is that the presses apparently produce low-quality
  bills; the Saddam dinars have an almost-homemade appearance
  that facilitates counterfeiting."


  Chick Ambrass writes: "While visiting my daughter in Richmond,
  VA, we visited the Tredegar Iron Works on the banks of the
  James River. This facility was in existence pre-Civil War, and
  at it's biggest during WWII.  They made machinery and various
  parts, ordinance, and their Civil War specialty was cannon. It
  is now a Civil War Museum. At the gift shop, I purchased a
  book entitled: THE CIVIL WAR - STRANGE AND
  FASCINATING FACTS, written by Burke Davis, author of
  GRAY FOX . It makes for light and easy reading.  It has a lot
  of short (1-2 pages) chapters, not going into depth on much
  of anything.

  One fun chapter told the story of how the south got the nickname
  "DIXIE".  I had heard the story before but was pleasantly
  reminded.  A Louisiana bank had printed $10 notes, and because
  of the French influence they had the french word for "10", "dix"
  on the reverse. Hence these became known as "dixie notes". The
  reference to south came in 1859, when song writer Daniel
  Emmett wrote the song: "I wish I was in Dixie's Land". In 1861
  it was played at a procession for the just inducted President
  Jefferson Davis. On April 8, 1865 President Abraham Lincoln
  was on a paddle boat, the River Queen in harbor. An Army
  band boarded and began to serenade.  After a couple of
  numbers, Lincoln turned to another guest, and asked: "have you
  heard the Rebel song, Dixie?"  The guest shook his head.
  Lincoln replied; "The tune is now Federal Property, and it's good
  to show the Rebels that with us in power, they will be free to
  hear it again. It has always been a favorite of mine, and since
  we've captured it, we have a perfect right to enjoy it."


  Fred Reed writes: "Regarding. your discussion of adding
  context or interpretation to the printed word:  I do it
  prodigiously.  I don't read without a pen or pencil at hand.
  Underlining is useless for the most part, but commenting,
  including posing questions or debating points in narrative is
  a must.

  I call the work product "interlinear" (in other words
  "between the lines") and if I recall correctly that stems from
  my graduate school days and reading Lawrence Durrell's
  ALEXANDRIA QUARTET.  Durrell's magical four books
  weave and interweave, layer upon layer, interpretation upon
  interpretation, leaving more reality than mere facts alone.

  A vintage pristine book is like an old maid . . . wasted

  Henry Bergos writes: "Regarding "marginalia":   New books
  that have short print runs I will never write in.  I usually have
  a piece of paper in the book with any marks that I may want
  referencing the place and the notation.  On the other hand I
  have made notations in "common" books with errors.  Mark
  them for the next person!  I also spent a few hours attributing
  a large cent "some years ago" and couldn't find it.  I had 5
  books on the table and couldn't find this coin with the large
  cud that I was sure would be listed.  Finally I took out Andrews,
  and there it was!!  I marked this in the margin of my Sheldon,
  gently in pencil."


  David Lange writes: "Alain Roullet was the binder for the
  first edition of my Buffalo Nickel book. The entire print run
  was perfect bound, so all hardcover copies were produced
  after the fact, being ordered as needed. Alain was recommended
  to me by my publisher, and he created several varieties of
  cloth bindings in red, brown and black, respectively. This was
  not my intent, but he evidently used whatever colors were
  available when an order was placed. The font size for the title
  also varied, particularly with the brown covers, which were
  produced in slightly greater numbers.

  I also commissioned him to create the deluxe edition. This
  consisted of just six copies bound in leather, with actual Buffalo
  Nickels mounted heads and tails on the front cover. While
  these books certainly gained some novelty and rarity value,
  I elected to go with a more conventional presentation for my
  later books. I found Alain's work to be satisfactory, given the
  reasonable cost, but I've used Alan Grace for all subsequent
  bindings. The coins on the cover idea was never repeated."


  Joe Boling writes: "On the subject of bookbinders, is Alan
  Grace no longer working?  I had him rebind some volumes
  for me and was very pleased with the work. (Most are now
  in the ANA library.)"


  Len Augsberger writes: "For those who missed it, David
  Letterman featured one of the new $20 notes on his
  program this past week.  Splitting the bill in half, he removed
  a "moist towelette" from the inside of the bill, "virtually
  impossible" to counterfeit, according to Mr. Letterman.

  [Len adds: "Wayne, you mistakenly gave me credit for
  David Klinger's  note."  Oops - I should stop working on
  the E-Sylum at midnight. Sorry. -Editor]


  This week's featured web site is an old favorite.  Ed
  Krivoniak came across it while researching Bungtown
  tokens on the web.  He writes: "I came across this site
  at Notre Dame.  It seems that they have a fully researched
  coin collection in their possession.  They also have the
  Vlack plates and a few others on the site."

  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.

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