The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 39, September 28, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


   Among recent new subscribers are Carlos Jara, courtesy of
   Alan Luedeking, Cong Nguyen, courtesy of Howard A. Daniel
   III, and Rick Bagg.   Welcome aboard!  We now have 592


   By now many of our subscribers have had a chance to
   see a copy of the new catalog for the John J. Ford Jr.
   Collection, published by Stack's of New York.  The catalog
   is Part I of the collection, to be sold October 14, 2003 in
   New York.  The sale features Early American coinage
   (Continental Dollars, New Jersey and Vermont Coppers,
   Fugio Cents), and coins, patterns and numismatic ephemera
   of the Confederate States of America.  The coins are to
   die for, of course.  What makes the catalog especially
   interesting are the essays by Tom Moon, David Alexander,
   Ford himself and others on Ford's career and collection.
   Many of Ford's key coins came from the estate of F.C.C.
   Boyd, and the catalog includes a 3-page essay on Boyd.
   Page 12 of the catalog has a trial bibliography of Ford's
   numismatic writing, including eight articles in our print
   journal, The Asylum.


   On the recommendation of Dave Bowers, I contacted Robert
   Chandler, curator of the Wells Fargo  Museum in San Francisco
   to get a copy of the Winter 2002 issue of  The Argonaut, the
   journal of the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society.
   Dave wrote that the issue is a "superb nearly book-length study
   on Gold Rush Banking, closely involved with and important to
   numismatics.  This was done as a special edition of a magazine,
   and I venture to say that the study will be an ESSENTIAL
   addition to any serious numismatic library."

   The illustrated, 100-page issue features three in-depth articles:
   "Gold Dust and Banking: Banking in Gold Rush San Francisco"
   by Charles A. Fraccia;  "Gold as a Cumbersome, Curmudgeonly
   Commodity, 1849-1870" by Robert J. Chandler; and "Good
   Ethics is Good Business: Wells Fargo Aids Commerce Through
   Banking, Express, and Letter Delivery, 1852-1859" also by
   Robert J. Chandler.

   "Chandler writes: "Charles Fracchia, the other author of this
   issue, is President of the San Francisco Museum and Historical
   Society, and is working to turn the 1875 San Francisco Mint
   building into a Museum.  Copies are $10."   The San Francisco
   Museum and Historical Society may be contacted via P.O. Box
   420569, San Francisco, CA 94142.  The telephone number is

   [The issue is indeed wonderful and anyone with an interest in
   American numismatics of the Gold Rush era should order a
   copy.  Historical society publications are great places to find
   information that seldom turns up in the numismatic community.


   While on the topic of the San Francisco Mint Museum,
   action is needed NOW to support the bill authorizing
   commemorative coins to provide the desperately needed
   funding to make the numismatic portion of the new museum
   a reality.  U.S. collectors should consider taking time
   RIGHT NOW to write a letter of support to their

   Michael Fey of has created a website for his fellow New
   Jersey collectors to use.  The sample letter on the site makes
   composing your own letter a snap - all you have to do is
   spend a minute with cut and paste.  Of course, it couldn't
   hurt to put a little effort into personalizing your note.   The
   names and addresses of your own state's Senators can be
   found on   Fey's web site is:


   Harold Welch writes: "In the Sept. 22, 2003 edition of the
   E-Sylum, Alan Davisson sites R. C. Bell's plagiarism of R. T.
   Samuel in his series of six British token books.  While there is
   certainly truth to the charge, let's not too harshly condemn Bell.
   In his first work, Commercial Coins, Bell identifies Samuel and
   describes his series of articles in The Bazaar, Exchange and
   Mart.  In appendix II of the book he provides a four-page
   biography of Samuel.   Until the publication of Commercial
   Coins no one even knew the identity of the author of the Bazaar

   (I have written an in-depth piece describing prior efforts to
   identify the author and how Bell eventually discovered his
   identity - which will appear in the fall, 2003 issue of The
   Conder Token Collector's Club Journal).

   If it were not for Bell bringing Samuel and the Bazaar articles
   to light, they would remain unknown to all but a very few
   extremely advanced token collectors.  In the indexes to his
   six works, Samuel is cited 36 times, and in all six bibliographies.
   In addition, he provides additional biographies of Samuel in
   volumes two and three.  These are not the actions of a
   plagiarist, but merely indicate a lapse in rigid attribution.  We
   should be grateful to Dr. Bell for bringing Samuel to our
   attention.  If it were not for Bell,  I would have never heard
   of Samuel and would never have had the pleasure of
   republishing (with Alan Davisson) the complete set of
   Bazaar articles.


    Regarding the query about the Calico-Trigo catalog,
   Granvyl Hulse, Numismatics International librarian writes:
   "The Numismatic Library may be an exception to the rule,
   but we have found over the past number of years that we
   are getting more queries for information or help than we are
   getting requests for books.   I cannot recall who made the
   statement "Buy the book before you buy the coin," but it
   seems that this is becoming more and more true as good
   reference books are coming on the market.

   We had this query from a library who had the book in
   question and were using it as a reference for non-numismatic
   research. Their knowledge of Spanish was limited, and they
   had heard that it had been translated into English and asked
   our help in finding the latter version. We had not heard of it,
   so we asked the ANA and ANS Librarians if they had.
   Negative there, so went to the font of all numismatic book
   information, the E-Sylum subscribers.

   Assuming that they had heard wrong, is there an equivalent
   publication of the Calico-Trigo catalogue in English that could
   be used in its place?   The NI Library has an excellent
   collection of works on the coinage of Spain, but like most of
   our other references are in the language of the country


   On Tuesday, the Rocky Mountain News published an
   update on the story of the harassment suit at the Denver Mint.

   "All 126 women at the Denver Mint are now part of a
   federal complaint alleging pervasive sexual harassment and
   discrimination at the downtown coin factory.

   Administrative law judge Dickie Montemayor ruled last week
   that a complaint filed by 32 female employees of the Denver
   Mint in June should be a class-action case. He said the 32
   alleged a pattern and practice of discrimination and retaliation
   that, if proven, would affect all women at the mint."

   To read the full story, see,1299,DRMN_21_2290648,00.html


   Speaking of the Mint, USA Today published a nice
   article on Wednesday, September 17th about U.S. Mint
   Director Henrietta Holsman Fore.

   "In the last 1½ years, she has reduced the time it takes for
   a coin to be produced - from the time the raw material
   comes in until the final product is shipped - to 62 days,
   down 80% from April 2002.

   The Mint in her tenure has cut coin production costs by 20%,
   and the agency has continued to make money, returning more
   than $1 billion to the U.S. Treasury last fiscal year."

   "As a child growing up in Santa Barbara, Calif., Fore collected
   coins. Her collection started with coins her mother brought
   back from trips around the world."

   "Fore says she came to the Mint with a "businesslike approach."
   Once on the job, Fore quickly realized the agency's processes
   could be drastically streamlined, she recalled while sitting in her
   large, corner office in downtown Washington, sporting gold
   coin earrings."

   To read the full article, see:


   Carlos Jara submits the following list of auction sales of
   Haitian coinage in addition to Alan Luedeking earlier list:

   Christie's Dallas sale of the Norweb collection, May
   17-18, 1985. Very important.

   Hans Schulman sale of the Gibbs collection (March 18, 19
   1966). Apart from the Gibbs material (very important), this
   sale also included a large part of the K.F collection from
   Haiti (referenced as a consignment by S. V, Puerto Rico).

   The unsold items and the rest of this R.F. collection were
   auctioned by Hans Schulman in his "Jose da Costa Gomez
   collection, et al" sale of March 14, 15 1969. Indispensable.

   Bank Leu AG Zurich sale of "a bostonian collection", 24-26
   October 1990. Very important.

   Hans schulman's sale of part of the Brand holdings, auction
   of November 20-25 1964. Very important.

   The O. Salbach collection by Jacques Schulman (1911).
   Very important.

   Almanzar's auction of December 5, 1977 (Arthur Phillips
   collection). No real rarities, but a nice selection. And of
   course, the Fonrobert auction."


   Tom Sheehan pointed out an article in today's New York
   Times about the publicity machine pumping up awareness
   of the new U.S. $20 bills.

   "The bill has already made appearances on the game shows
   "Wheel of Fortune" and "Pepsi Play for a Billion," where
   its new look and security features were talked up. Jay Leno,
   David Letterman and other late-night talk-show hosts have
   been poking fun at it - which is exactly what the William
   Morris Agency was hoping for when it discussed the new
   bill months ago with the shows' writers.

   During the introduction week, the bill is likely to be featured
   on many news and entertainment programs just because it's
   newsworthy. But it will also have a starring role on "Who
   Wants to Be a Millionaire," with hundreds of new $20 bills
   doled out to audience members, and Meredith Vieira, the
   host, explaining the bills and waving them in front of the
   camera. The bill will get a category of questions on
   "Jeopardy" and will pop up on "America's Funniest Home
   Videos." In one of several joint marketing efforts between
   the Treasury and consumer goods companies, the bill's
   design will grace bags of Pepperidge Farm's Goldfish
   crackers, and the crackers themselves will be colored to
   match the new bills.  Images of the new note will pop up
   on thousands of A.T.M.'s, and the bill will even be
   superimposed electronically on the field during college
   football games on ESPN and Monday Night Football on

   "it is the kind of publicity the Treasury couldn't buy if it
   were simply using the advertising route. That's why it
   broke the government mold and hired William Morris
   and the product placement firm Davie-Brown
   Entertainment to make the bill a celebrity through public
   relations instead of paid advertisements."

   For the complete article, see:


   Gregg Silvis writes: "I'm trying to track down an item for
   research-related purposes:  I'm looking for the August,
   1928 issue of the Guttag Brothers Coin Bulletin.  The
   ANA Library has only the June, 1928 issue, which is
   volume 6, number 4.  The ANS Library has only 1928
   volume 6, number 1.  Any information on the whereabouts
   of a copy of the August issue would be greatly appreciated.
   I can be contacted at  Thanks!"


   Warner Talso writes: "Regarding the item noting that the
   Swedes rejected the Euro, the issue has Swedes in turmoil
   because this appears to be a vote by class in what prides
   itself as a classless society.  Politicians and intellectuals voted
   overwhelming for the Euro.  The middle and lower classes
   (if I may use the terms) voted overwhelmingly against the Euro.
   The conventional wisdom is that those who hold their money
   most dear simply voted against change and the risk implied."


   Bill Rosenblum writes: "This was sent to me and I've asked
   some of the customers on my email list, but Gail Baker
   suggested, and rightly so, that I should send this to the
   E-Sylum members, so here goes."

   The note is from Dick Schaefer.  He writes:  "Ted Buttrey
   at the Fitzwilliam Library in Cambridge, England is looking
   for old Tom Mckenna catalogs to build up the library for
   numismatic research.  I appreciate his past numismatic
   articles very much so am trying to help him.  Dealers don't
   seem to regard Mckenna pricelists as valuable enough to
   offer in sales, but I thought some of your members might
   have a few.

   Could you please ask ... if anyone has any Mckennas
   available? Buttrey has offered to pay, although a donation
   would be  nicer. If shipping to England is any problem,
   they can be sent to me in  Atlanta and I'll forward them.

   [We don't publish email addresses without prior permission,
   but if anyone can help, write to me and I'll forward your
   note.  Thanks.  -Editor]


   According to an item in the October 6, 2003 issue of
   Coin World, the Massachusetts Historical Society is seeking
   collector assistance "to establish a population count of gold,
   silver, bronze and tin pieces for a series of 12 Comitia
   Americana medals Congress awarded to Revolutionary
   War heroes."

   Contact the society through curator Anne E. Bentley at  Email can also be addressed to
   NBS Vice President John W. Adams at
   John is also a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

   Coincidentally, the "Object of the Month" from the Society's
   collections, as featured on their web site, is the John Paul
   Jones Comitas Americana medal by Augustin Dupre, circa
   1787 (the Paris Mint restrike).  See


   Regarding last week's question about the longevity of paper
   money,  Howard A. Daniel III writes: "During a trip to Viet
   Nam in October 2002, I was offered a large leather wallet
   with some Vietnamese communist notes in it.  The owner had
   hidden it in the wall of his house in July 1954 and his family
   had just found it.  The notes were printed on very crude
   unwatermarked paper with large amount of acid in them.
   Except for where they were folded, the notes were in good

   I thought this might help David Fanning in answering Lisa
   Mao's question about the "shelf life" of paper money.  And
   please tell her that as a numismatist, I am not only interested
   in coins, but paper money, chits, checks, coupons, tokens,
   stocks, bonds, etc., etc.  And I know many other numismatists
   interested in more than just coins."


   Howard adds: "I just received my tickets for another trip
   to Southeast Asia and will be leaving for Ho Chi Minh City
   on October 7th and will arrive there on the 9th and will be
   in Viet Nam until November 17.  While I am in Viet Nam,
   I will be trying to arrange for visas to take a short trip to
   Bangkok and Vientiane and back into Viet Nam.  We
   shall see how that works out.

   On November 17, I will arrive in Singapore and will stay
   there until midnight on the 20th.  I will arrive back in the
   USA on November 21. If there is anything someone might
   want me to do for them or for me to visit someone on this
   trip, please contact me at
   at any time as I will be using Internet cafes to stay in touch
   via emails."


   I was hoping to let it drop, but we've had some responses
   about the letter order item published earlier.  For example,
   Ron Haller-Williams writes:

   "This appears to be a spoof.  Please refer to,12977,1048638,00.html

   where a fuller analysis appears.  I quote selectively:

   "The ease might be illusory. Or even ilosruly.  ...  Scrambled
   words can be hard to read.

   Martin Turner of the Dyslexia Institute says. "There is a
   spectrum of truth here, and that is towards the lower end,
   because actually sequence is about the only thing that is

   In experiments young children can still read words disguised
   with so-called format distortion - alternating letters in capitals,
   lower case, superscript and subscript ... to disguise the
   lettering - but what throws them is a change in the sequence
   of letters. In fact, the exact way in which the letters are
   scrambled can be extremely significant. For example, with
   plurals, leaving the "s" at the end, but not the letter that should
   have preceded it, can make  the word hard to decipher.

   "All you need to do is try and read that email," says Turner.
   "Immediately, you discover it is quite difficult to read. And
   secondly, you get very fed up with it after two or three sentences.
   What you have done is put yourself in the position of a dyslexic
   or poor reader, who loses interest jolly quickly.  Motivation
   slumps and it is quite an aversive experience. I got that email ...
   and wrote back commenting that it was hard work, and aversive.
   After a while, I thought: do I really want to do this?  Why don't
   I look out the window ...?"

   Try this one, which should be "familiar" territory to all of us:
   Mnay naiimmssttus saceeiilpse, smoe in paaaciimmnrstua or
   schiiloppry.  Cdenors are failry palopur, aghlotuh nemoruus
   eahinssttus cabeelrte caaciissl seeirs, icdilnnug Saaainssn and
    paeilmotc.  If you fnid tihs ibegillle or eceeilssvxy adourus,
    reeqsut silnootus form

   "Ralond Helalr-Walilims", actual e-mail"


   Arthur Shippee writes: "The Explorator newsletter I've
   mentioned previously noted a new online numismatic
   book, Francesco Gnecchi's "Roman Coins: Elementary
   Manual".  It was published in London in 1903.  The URL
   for the new online version is"


   Larry Gaye writes: "I don't know if anyone has brought this
   book up or not, but here goes.  I highly recommend "Ship of
   Gold in the Deep Blue Sea" by Gary Kinder.  It is the blow by
   blow account of the salvage endeavor of the SS Central
   America from start to finish.

   It goes into great detail how the equipment was developed,
   how the investors were courted and how the operation
   evolved.  Side by side with the salvage endeavor there is an
   excellent account of the the people involved in her last voyage
   and how their lives were forever changed when the ship went
   down.  You have the feeling that you have a wonderful
   portal into the past and a birds/fish eye view of the salvage

   There are absolutely no photos or drawings of the operation.
   In some ways it makes the story more dramatic and lets your
   mind fill in the necessary images. I was thoroughly enthralled
   by the tale.  Now some really good news, the book only cost
   me $8.98 new.  I purchased it from Powells here in Portland,
   Oregon.  It is currently in stock with Powells and here is a link
   to look for it. So check it out, it is a wonderful read."

   [We did discuss the book before, but it's well worth mentioning
   again.  A great book and great story.  See The E-Sylum v2n32
   (August 8, 1999) for more information.  -Editor]


   The Internet makes the world a smaller place every day.
   How  else could we all have a chance to read a numismatic
   article from the Beatrice Daily Sun of Beatrice, Nebraska?
   The paper recently published an interview with longtime
   U.S. coin dealer Virgil Marshall, the "Penny Merchant"
   of Wymore, Nebraska:

   "In 1957 I had just gotten out of college. I was working for
   my father at Marshall Produce and a fella I worked with
   was a coin collector. He suggested that I collect coins,"
   Marshall said.

   He went down to the local dimestore, bought a folder for
  collecting dimes and started building a collection.

   "After four or five days I had collected 40 different dimes,"
   Marshall said.

   One of those happened to be a very rare coin.

   "I didn't know that until my friend told me though," he said.

   When his friend offered him $20 for the dime, Marshall chose
   to keep it instead.

   "I said I'll keep it.  It took me a week to find this one, what
   if I can't find another one," he said.

   In 45 years he has never found another.

   "That's what got me started.  If I hadn't found that one rare
   coin in the first week, coins probably would have been
   another fad. I probably would have moved on," he said.

   To read the full article, see


   Some time ago, we discussed a numismatic connection of
   Nobel Laureate William Butler Yeats (see The E-Sylum v4n11
   through v4n15, March/April 2001)

   From v4n11:  "Peter Gaspar, who signed his note "E-Sylum
   proud subscriber #1"   He wrote: "Just read the latest E-Sylum,
   and enjoyed it, as always.  I haven't had time to look at the web
   site mentioned, but I'll be surprised if the answer isn't William
   Butler Yeats and the book the description of the origin of the
   first coinage of the Irish Free State in 1928.  It is among the
   handsomest of 20th century coin books and has true historical
   importance in recording the process by which designs were
   solicited and the winning designs by Percy Metcalfe (sp?)

   A copy of the book in question came up for sale recently,
   and reminded me of our earlier discussion.  The book's title is:
   "Coinage of Saorstat Eireann, 1928"  It was printed in Dublin.
   The legend Saorstat Eireann appears on the coins and means
   Irish Free State, in Irish. See this week's Featured Web Site
   for a link to a page on modern Irish coinage.


   A September 16 article in The China Post describes a new
   twist on pawning off counterfeit money.

   "A man was caught red-handed trying to launder counterfeit
   money at a wedding banquet at a Taipei hotel, police said

   "According to police, the suspect, Lee Chih-ming, would
   show up at banquets, claiming he was delivering cash gifts on
   behalf of friends to the marrying couples.

   He would give the fake money wrapped in red envelopes to
   the receptionists, ask for receipts and leave.

   He would then return a few minutes later, claim he had wrongly
   delivered the gifts, and ask to have the money back.

   Following a customary practice, the receptionists would have
   already unwrapped the gifts, and recorded the amounts, and
   mixed the fake banknotes with the real ones. The money they
   returned to the suspect was real money."

   To read the full story, see:

   [In the 19th century, counterfeit money was sometimes
   referred to as "queer money" or simply, "queer".  The act of
   spending or otherwise passing the fake money (or shoving it
   on unknowing third parties) was called "shoving".  Thus
   "shoving the queer" means passing counterfeit money.  -Editor]


   Bill Murray writes: "You may not consider the following worth
   putting in The E-Sylum, but it was a new thought for me.

   I recently read, a not too well recommended novel, Mackerel
   By Moonlight, by William F. Weld.  An interesting use (a
   corollary?) of Gresham's Law where the protagonists thoughts
   go like this, "I also remembered that the most vivid illustration
   of Gresham's law in twentieth-century America is not monetary
   currency at all but the mass media, where the bad news always
   drives out the good..."


   "The United States Treasury has announced they are
   recalling the newest state quarters.

   "We are recalling all of the new state quarters that
   were recently issued," Treasury Undersecretary Russell
   Shackelford said in a press conference Friday. "This
   comes in the wake of numerous reports to this agency
   that the quarters will not work in parking meters, toll booths,
   vending machines, pay phones, or other coin-operated
   devices." "We believe the problem lies in a design flaw,"
   said Shackelford.

   The winning design for the quarter was submitted by State
   University student Billy-Bob "Snuffy" Smith. Apparently,
   the duct tape holding the two dimes and nickel together
   keeps jamming the coin-operated devices.

   [The above "future news release" was submitted by
    Bob Fritsch and sanitized for political correctness by
    your Editor.  Feel free to insert the name of your
    favorite rival state.]


   This week's featured web page is on modern (1928 to date)
   Irish coinage, from the site maintained by John Stafford-Langan.

  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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