The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 40, October 5, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  George Kolbe writs: "Work on the John J. Ford, Jr. Library
  continues. Among the more interesting items catalogued since
  the last report are:

  H. P. Smith?s Plated ?Large Paper? 1890 Parmelee Sale,
  Priced With Buyers? Names

  The Chapman Brothers? Bid Book of the 1888 Scott Stamp
  & Coin Co. Linderman Pattern Sale

  From the library of Hiram Deats, the finest set of the first six
  volumes of The Numismatist, 1888-1893, that we have ever
  encountered, including the Zabriskie set.

  Dr. Maris?s Sales Room Copy of the 1886 sale of his
  collection, also a priced and named example with the
  extremely rare 4 plates

  More unique Chapman bid books, including A. C. Nygren

  W. W. C. Wilson?s 1911 Adams Sale of Woodin Patterns
  With Plates

  The Bid Book of the 1892 New York Coin & Stamp Co.
  sale of the Woodside Collection of patterns

  A superb set of Van Loon?s 1732-1737 work in French
  on Dutch medals, which includes European medals relating
  to colonial America

  A Superb Set of Milford Haven?s Magnificent ?Medallic
  History of All Navies?

  Two very fine 1915 United States Coin Co. Granberg
  sales with plates, one being S. H. Chapman?s Plated,
  Priced and Named example

  David Proskey?s Priced and Named 1883 Crosby Sale
  of colonials

  A Large Paper copy of Strobridge?s September 1863
  Seavey sale, the first we recall ever having encountered

  The 1866 auction catalogue of the E. I. Barra collection,
  ?Probably the first coin sale on the Pacific Coast?

  Robert Coulton Davis?s Interleaved, Extra-Illustrated, and
  Annotated 1873 Seavey/Parmelee Catalogue

  A very fine plated 1924 Simpson sale

  Lyman Low?s 1904 H. G. Brown Bid Book, On Large
  Paper With Plates

  Eighteen plated Elder sales, generally in superb condition,
  including many great rarities

  A unique illustrated work on Bryan Money by
  Howland Wood

  A number of important plated Woodward catalogues,
  including Vicksburg sales

  A superb set of Scott?s Coin Collector?s Journal in the
  publisher?s cloth

  Very fine 1869 and 1870 editions of Maris on 1794 cents

  Homer Downing?s deluxe leatherbound Oscar Pearl

  An exceptionally fine plated 1919 S. H. Chapman Sleicher

  Likely the finest copy extant of the 1904 Chapman
  brothers? Ralph Barker sale with plates."


  [The following submission missed last week's issue
  due to an email glitch.  -Editor]

  Douglas Saville writes: "Phil Skingley and I have just returned
  from what was a successful, very busy and enjoyable week in
  Madrid. Some 625 delegates (?Congressists?!) from all parts
  of the world attended the Congress, held at Madrid?s Palacio
  de Congresos. Some 378 Papers were given during the week.
  We handed out no less than 300 copies of our 96 page colour
  Catalogue of Numismatic Books. It was a ?busy? Congress!
  We were pleased to meet many old and new friends, and we
  look forward to meeting many of those who attended the
  Congress in our offices in London."


  The next American Numismatic Association (ANA) National
  Money Show will be held in Portland, Oregon from the 26th
  to the 28th of March, 2004, at the Oregon Convention Center.
  The show is hosted by the Williamette Coin Club and the show
  chairman is Larry Gaye. If you want more information about
  the show, please contact the ANA convention staff at
  convention at and/or Larry Gaye at
  Light.Man at

  NBS Member, Howard A. Daniel III will be the Moderator
  for the Numismatics International (NI) General Meeting and
  Educational Forum on Saturday, March 27th.  The room has
  not yet been assigned but the time will be 12 Noon and more
  information can be obtained in the show program when you
  register if the room number is not published by show time.
  Howard also mans a club table for NI, IBNS and NBS.

  The education forum speaker will be Scott Semans.  The title
  of his talk is "Successful Formats for Numismatic Books."
  Scott is a specialist in Asia, Africa and worldwide primitive
  pieces, and also stocks many, many references in his inventory.
  You can see his stock at, and all NBS
  members attending the show are invited to listen to Scott's

  Please bring one piece or set, or even a reference, to talk
  about in the "show and tell" portion of the meeting.  You
  can contact Howard at Howard at
  for more information.


  NBS Board member John Kraljevich will be speaking the
  evening of  Thursday, October 16 at the Old Treasury
  Building in Annapolis, MD.  His talk is sponsored by the
  Historic Annapolis Foundation. From their web site:

  "Local numismatist John Kraljevich discusses the life and
  times of 18th-century silversmiths and coin-makers John
  Chalmers and Thomas Sparrow.  Find out what coins they
  produced in Annapolis, why they were special and how
  they would have been safeguarded and dispensed.  A
  light reception follows. Old Treasury Building, 1 State Circle
  7:00?9:00 p.m. $10 for members and volunteers. $15 for
  non-members. Reservations required."

  The foundation's web site is

  Several years ago at an American Numismatic Association
  convention (I've long since forgotten where and when),
  I had a pleasant dinner with young numismatists Vicken
  Yegparian, John Kraljevich and his mother Gail.  I remember
  showing the group a coin - a VF Nova Constellatio copper
  I'd bought at the show from Tom Rinaldo.  Little did I know
  then that I was dining with a future ANA Education
  Director (Gail Baker), and cataloguers for Stack's (Vicken)
  Bowers & Merena and American Numismatic Rarities


  Dick Johnson writes: "An article on the  Arts & Leisure web
  site asks the question: Has technology changed writing?

  I don?t see any technology changing numismatic writing
  other than the computer. I comb the aisles at Staples and Office
  Max looking for new technology for my writing tasks.  I still
  see 8 ½ by 11-inch paper for putting words on such paper
  (now recycled) and filing folders for organizing this paper.
  Sure there are faxes and printers and fancy cell phones, but
  no new technology that really helps me write.

  Can I ask the question: Has the computer changed
  numismatic writing?

  Oh Yes!   So much of numismatic literature is compiled
  rather than composed.  We authors are more gatherers of
  facts and recording these facts, perhaps in a useful order,
  than we engage in narrative creation.

  Look at any numismatic catalog.  Facts strung together in a
  somewhat logical and standardized order, often in tabular
  format.  American authors are best at this, we invented the
  coin catalog with columns of date, item, quantity struck,
  and prices by condition. This was a 20th century American
  invention, and numismatic catalogs in other countries have
  followed this format.

  We owe the pioneers of this creation, Wayte Raymond and
  Richard Yeo(man), for example, medals of honor for
  creating this numismatic genré. They were not great authors,
  they were great compilers. Plus they had the foresight to
  organize all that data into a useful form.

  Imagine the chore these authors had to endure by putting
  their text on paper with a typewriter! Oh, what numismatic
  books they could have produced if they had had computers!

  That was the situation before computers.  There were some
  numismatic books written in an intermediate transition phase,
  and ?Walter Breen?s Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and
  Colonial Coins? is an excellent example of this stage.  The
  publisher put Walter Breen in an empty office in midtown
  Manhattan with one girl computer operator. Walter brought
  in his research, thousands of slips of paper, notes of every
  conceivable kind. (Sound familiar authors?)

  Whether Walter dictated or wrote drafts, I am unaware.
  But it ended up on the computer, while he was handy to
  review and revise, perhaps checking his notes (and his
  fabulous memory). It all ended up on  that modern age
  instrument of creation, the computer.

  Today numismatic authors must use a computer.  It is
  impossible to enter data in the quantity and vast detail,
  and be able to move it around and organize it in the manner
  a computer can do.  Has the computer changed numismatic
  writing? Yes sir. It sure has."


  Dave Ginsburg writes: "I recently finished reading "A
  Banking History of Louisiana" by Stephen A. Caldwell
  (Louisiana State University Press, 1935), which is a very
  informative, 138-page survey of banking activity in
  Louisiana from the early 18th century to the early 1930s.
  What I learned, besides the fact that banking and politics
  were thoroughly intertwined ('twas ever thus!), were the
  answers to two basic questions:

  1) What made New Orleans rich?
  A: steamboat traffic on the Mississippi!

  2) Why didn't New Orleans stay rich?
  A: The region failed to develop railroads to its major
  trading partners in the "Northwest" (i.e., the Great Lakes
  area); as a result, easterners put railroads through to the
  Mississippi river, which began the process of stealing traffic
  from New Orleans, a process that was completed by the
  shut-down of river traffic by the Civil War.  (Mark Twain
  comments on this in "Life on the Mississippi".)

  Prof. Caldwell also points out that the aftereffects of the
  Panic of 1837, which lingered in Louisiana until the early
  1840s, would have prevented the Louisiana banks from
  financing any railroads, even had New Orleans' commercial
  leaders been far-sighted enough to seek such financing.

  [By the way, I'm sure that anyone interested in the
  development of railroads at this time has already read
  Stephen Ambrose's "Nothing Like it in the World", which
  describes the building of the first transcontinental railroad,
  which was first agitated for in the early 1850s.  Mr. Ambrose
  describes the in-fighting between northern politicians, who
  refused to support construction in slave-state territory, and
  southern politicians, who refused to support construction
  anywhere else!]

  What made Prof. Caldwell's book particularly interesting
  to me, is that the copy I have was reprinted in 1977 by
  Grover Criswell.  I am familiar with Mr. Criswell's own
  books, of course, but I never knew that he reprinted
  out-of-print books of interest to numismatists.  Does
  anyone know if he reprinted other books?"

  [I know Criswell founded the weekly hobby newspaper
  Bank Note Reporter in the 1970s.  Today it is published
  by Krause Publications.   Can anyone fill us in on the
  books (other than his own) that Criswell published over
  the years (he died in March 1999). -Editor]


  Richard Doty writes: "I agree with Harold Welch.
  Robbie Bell never claimed to be conducting original
  research.  Rather, he was a great popularizer of the British
  commercial tokens, and he kept interest in the series alive
  at a time when very few others were writing in the field."


  "Super Slurper, a starch-based polymer with a powerful thirst,
  has been employed in diapers and filters, but researchers want
  to turn the page and develop a different application: drying
  waterlogged books.

  It may look like a nondescript powder, but a mere teaspoon
  of the stuff can absorb a gallon of water, sucking up over
  2,000 times its weight in water instantaneously."

  "... it is being re-designed to aid librarians and archivists in
  their battle against flood damage -- the bane of their
  information-storing endeavors."

  "Super Slurper hopes to remedy this problem by reducing
  the drying process from days to minutes. "With Super
  Slurper it takes roughly 10 minutes to dry each book. It's
  a quantum leap in the amount of time..."

  To read the full story, see


  Jørgen Sømod writes: "The catalog of coins and medals
  from Haïti is the auction catalog no. 80 from Adolph Weyl,
  Berlin 1887."


  Offering photocopies in response to Greg Silvis' request,
  Bill Burd reports: "I have Guttag Brothers Coin Bulletin
  for August 1928 Vol 6 No. 6.  I have the entire year of 10


  Rich Hartzog writes: "I am constantly looking for updates
  to my web site's page of links to numismatic sites.  I'm
  asking for people to help review it and update it.  I'm sure
  a number of groups have web pages, and I'm happy to
  include links.   The pages are

  Also, Carlos Jara is actually Carlos Jara Moreno of Chile,
  the SON of the late Dr. Carlos Jara, of FL.  As I'm sure
  many knew the late Jara, please take note to avoid any

  [Rich's list of links is quite extensive.  It focuses on
  token & medal sites, but includes links to many numismatic
  organizations.   I've sent him an update to the NBS
  contact information.  -Editor]


  Arthur Shippee writes: "E-Sylum readers may be interested
  in this commercial web site, which offers antiquarian maps
  & prints, with some on banks, &c.  I didn't look carefully,
  but perhaps some are of interest.

  [The site has a page of "Antique Prints of Banks and Stock
  Exchanges in America" which includes some views of early
  banks and U.S. Mint branches.  -Editor]


  This week's featured web page is  the ?Cabinet des Médailles?
  of France.

  "The Department of Coins, Medals and Antiquities of the
  Bibliothèque nationale de France is traditionally called the
  ?Cabinet des Médailles? or the ?Cabinet de France?.  In
  effect, it originated in the collection of the kings of France.

  From the Middle Ages on, monarchs such as Philippe-
  Auguste, Jean le Bon and Charles V preserved all kinds of
  precious and rare objects in their coffers: manuscripts, gold
  and silver objects, engraved stones and undoubtedly antique
  coins, which were classified as ?medals? until the 19th century.
  Amassed for pleasure as well as to constitute valuable reserves,
  these collections traversed all the vicissitudes of history,
  even being pawned and pillaged. It was only after certain items
  in the royal collections were irretrievably damaged during the
  Wars of Religion and after Charles IX created a ?special
  guardian of the king?s medals and antiquities? that the idea of
  a royal patrimony emerged."

  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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