The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 47, November 2, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Among recent new subscribers are Karl Kabelac, courtesy
  of Nick Graver, and Gawain O'Connor.  Welcome aboard!

  We now have 600  subscribers!  Karl was #600 at the time
  he subscribed, but we lost another subscriber in the meantime.
  Gawain's subscription brought us back to 600.  It would be
  nice to end the year with a healthy margin above 600.  If you
  know someone who might be interested in our publication,
  please invite them to subscribe.


  Bill Rosenblum writes: "We're optimistic that things seem to
  be looking better for George and his family and his books.
  Wednesday we had wildfires raging in Colorado but the
  temperatures dropped 50 plus degrees in 12 hours, plus
  light winds and freezing rain made us all very happy.  Had
  dinner last night with Jesse Patrick and both he and I send
  our best to George."

  Bill McDonald writes: "Please convey to George the concerns
  of those of us at the Classical & Medieval Numismatic Society
  for him and his family - in fact on behalf of all numismatists in
  Canada as we, in a number of areas in Canada have gone
  through what George and his family are experiencing, although
  not on such a large scale as the tragic events now unfolding in
  California. Also we welcome the recent news that the situation
  may be getting under control and hope and pray that all danger
  may soon be over."

  Barry Tayman writes: "Thanks for the update and the continued
  good news.  We are all grateful for your assistance in keeping
  us informed. Hopefully, George's house and contents will
  continue to be spared."

  Ray Williams writes: "Thanks Wayne for keeping us informed as
  to the Kolbe's being okay and that their home is ok so far.
  I'll share this info with the colonial egroups."

  This afternoon the following note appeared on George's
  web site (

      Due to fire threat in Crestline:
      11/2/03 1:00 PM PST
      Evacuation for most of Crestline has been lifted.
      George has returned home. Office, house and
      property fine. No power. Phone problematical.
      No FAX or Internet.

  We can all breathe a sigh of relief now.  With luck George
  will be back online by next week and will provide us with
  a first-person update.


  David Gladfelter writes: "Thanks for this info. I am reminded of
  the question asked by the character in H. G. Welles's Time
  Machine, if you could choose only one book from your library
  to take with you, which one would it be?  I have no idea how to
  answer that question and I would hate to be in a situation where
  I would have to, but that's what has happened to 2,600 families
  in the paths of the California wildfires, thankfully not including
  George and Linda."

  [So, dear readers, how would you answer the question?
  If you could save just one item from your numismatic library,
  what would it be, and why?  -Editor]


  E. Tomlinson Fort, the editor of our print journal, The Asylum,
  writes: "It has been wonderful to see all the outpouring of good
  wishes for George Kolbe and his family during these fire
  disasters in California.

  While the Kolbe's remain in our prayers let us not forget the
  thousands who have lost homes and possessions during this
  tragedy.   Also, stop and remember the firemen who are daily
  risking their lives battling these fires.  On National Public Radio
  yesterday they interviewed a fireman who had been on the
  front line 36 hours without break for either food or sleep.
  During the interview he was finally getting a chance to have
  some breakfast which would be followed by a few hours sleep.
  These men and women are the true heroes of this crisis and
  they deserve thanks and generosity of the entire country.

  On a happier note, The Asylum is on its way to the printer
  and should be arriving in people's mailboxes within the next
  fortnight. The contents are:

  "Recollections of D. Wayne Johnson" as told to Pete Smith.
  "Ghostwriting in Numismatics," by David W. Lange.
  "The Printer's Devil: Bowers, Books and Bloviation,"
   by Joel J. Orosz.
  "About the Cover: A Rare Vellum Edition of Andrea Fulvio's
  Illustrium Imagines," by George Frederick Kolbe
  "President's Message," by Pete Smith.
  "Numismatic Literature Bibliography 2000-2003,"
  by E. Tomlinson Fort..

  The Fall 2003 issue is almost finished and we hope to have
  it on its way to the printer in a couple of weeks."


  Alan V. Weinberg  writes: "For those who hadn't heard, the
  New England sixpence in the Oct 22 Bonham sale in London
  was withdrawn "for further study" due to serious questions
  posted via email from a number of numismatists.

  This info came from Andrew Litherland, Bonham's numismatic


  Granvyl Hulse, Numismatics International Librarian writes:
  "The NI Library must store a number of its books because of
  lack of shelf space. The box is not a problem, but I would like
  to know what to use to wipe off the covers before inserting
  them in the box. Should something be placed between the
  books to keep them from touching each other, and if so what,
  and is it okay to use silica jell in each box to absorb any


  Speaking of book storage, while waiting in line at Home
  Depot last week I noticed that the latest issue of the
  This Old House magazine has a feature article about
  built-in bookcases.  (Issue No. 73, November 2003)
  The article isn't online, however.

  I was running an errand for the Pennsylvania Association
  of Numismatists coin show and convention last weekend.
  It was setup day, and the crew was running out of extension
  cords.  So I stopped to buy some.  Forty of them, actually.
  That raised a few eyebrows in the checkout aisle.  So I
  told them my cell phone battery died....


  David F. Fanning,  Editor-in-Chief of our print journal,
  The Asylum writes: "I need to know what lot 630 brought
  in the Bangs sale of the Idell collection (Catalogued by E.J.
  Attinelli), January 8-9, 1878.  A buyer's name would be
  great, too, if someone has it.  Thanks."

  [By the way, congratulations are in order for David.  He
  received his Ph.D. in English from the Ohio State University
  on Tuesday!  -Editor]


  On Wednesday, October 29, the Reuters news service
  reported that: "Almost two years after the introduction of the
  euro, nostalgic Germans are hoarding some 25 billion
  Deutschmark coins -- worth about $4.2 billion -- as souvenirs.

  The number of coins being held is about half the 49 billion
  Deutschmark coins in circulation just before the single
  European currency was launched in January 2001, said
  Bundesbank spokeswoman Gabriele Reitz-Werner on Tuesday."


  Bruce Perdue, our volunteer webmaster writes: "This address
  allows you access to all of the E-Sylum newsletters that have
  been sent  since September 2002.

  [Binhost is the company that manages our mailing list and
  forwards The E-Sylum to everyone on the list.  They post
  a copy on their server automatically, any this has been taking
  place since we started using them in September 2002.  So it
  makes a nice backup copy of The E-Sylum and is one place
  to turn if the latest issue isn't yet on our society website


  Kavan Ratnatunga writes: "My interest is in coins that
  circulated in Lanka, for which the primary reference is
  Codrington's Coins and Currency of Ceylon published
  in 1924. It lists (pp 36-45) many ancient Greek and
  Roman coins which have been found in Ceylon.
  However, the identifications given are to

  1) G.C.H.C. Greek coins in the Huntarian Collection.
           Vol III George MacDonald, Glasgow, 1905

  2) C. Medailles Imperiales, H. Cohen, Paris 1880-1892

  3) T. Monnaises Byzantines, J. Tolstoi, Petersburgh 1912

  Please let me know if anyone has worked out a cross
  index from these catalog references to those of modern
  catalogs, as online in websites such as wildwinds.  Any
  advice on how to create such an index will also be

  With best regard
  Kavan at"


  Gar Travis found a few tidbits about the Society of
  International Numismatics on the web, but so far no
  one has been able to confirm that the society is still
  active.   Some of the references use "OF" in the society's
  name, and some use "FOR".  So we're unclear on the
  exact name of the group as well.  If anyone can straighten
  us out, please let us know.


  In his search Gar located an interesting page on Howard
  Daniel's web site.  It consists of definitions of certain areas
  of numismatics as defined by The Society for International
  Numismatics.  I've duplicated the text here for E-Sylum
  readers.  (Hopefully, I won't get a scolding email from
  Howard in Vietnam).  The web page reference is:

  Exonumia:  is that area of numismatics which deals with
  primitive media of exchange; substitutes for money like hard
  times tokens and scrip but no gold; special purpose tokens
  and scrip like transportation, vending amusement, parking
  tokens and canteen chits; patterns, essays, trial pieces,
  experimental pieces and pieforts; pieces de plaisir, mint sports
  and off metal pieces; jetons and counters; medals, medallions
  and medalets; orders and decorations; coin weights; coin
  scales; and charms, amulets and temple pieces.  Source: The
  Society for International Numismatics, 1974.

  Mesonumia:  is that area of numismatics which deals with all
  coins and paper money which could have circulated as money,
  but did not, due to their being used as backing for currency,
  or for any other reason which kept it from general circulation.
  This includes proofs, specimen and presentation pieces and
  sets of general circulating coinage or paper money,
  commemorative issues of coinage or paper money to raise
  money and not otherwise meant for circulation, bullion coinage,
  and mules and hybrid coins.  Source: The Society for
  International Numismatics, 1974.

  Numia:  is that area of numismatics which deals exclusively
  with circulating medium of exchange; specifically, all coins
  and paper money which is or was used in general circulation
  for everyday commerce.  This includes regular general coinage,
  regular issues of paper money, commemoratives put into
  general circulation, tokens and scrip in general circulation before
  government issues, obsidional and siege pieces, only those
  restrickes which are put into general circulation, and limited
  general issue for special purposes like military payment
  certificates.  Source: The Society for International Numismatics,

  Pseudonumia:  is that are a of numismatics which deals with
  those items which were produced to exploit numismatists and
  collectors.  This includes counterfeits, spurious pieces and
  forgeries; Beckers, paduans and jewelry; fantasy pieces and
  pieces de fantaises; restrickes, abschlag and refreppe; and
  electrotypes and replicas.  Source: The Society for International
  Numismatics, 1974.


  Referring to his CD of  "18th Century Contemporary
  Counterfeits, British & Irish,"  Clem Schettino writes:
  "I would like to announce that my CD is about to be
  released in its Third Edition. I have added approximately
  100 more images.  You can find more information about
   it here:
  The pricing structure is as follows...
  I sell them for $45 to "people", $25 to researcher-cataloger
  types. I charge  $12 for Third Editions if you already have
  purchased Edition One or Two. I plan to charge $5 for the
  Third Editions if you hold both One AND Two. $5 each is
  what I pay to have them burned, labeled and for supplies
  and the time of my editor.

  At $5 I would like to hand deliver them at the C4 convention
  or would appreciate a couple of dollars for postage and a
  padded mailer.

  I will have a limited number of CD's with me at the C4
  convention so if you would like to purchase yours there
  please email me with you order. Thanks for your support."


  Howard A. Daniel III writes: "By the time you have read this
  here, I will be back from a four day visit to Hanoi looking for
  my numismatic and related stuff.  All available time not seeing
  people will be in book stores!  One book that was unknown
  to me, I have been told, is available in Hanoi but not here in
  Ho Chi Minh City is "Dong Tien Nam Bo Khang Chien, Dong
  Tien Viet Nam Chien Thang" (Banknotes of Nam Bo in
  Resistance Time, Banknote of Vietnam's Victory"  and it was
  published by the Ngan Hang Nha Nuoc (State Bank) in July
  1993.  I have been told it has 155 pages and is 12x33 cm in

  "Nam Bo" is the southern third of Viet Nam or what used to
  be French Cochinchina.  The "victory" in the title is when
  they defeated the French in 1954.  Books here are usually
  printed in low numbers (1000-5000) for a population of
  about 80 million, so I am not too optimistic of finding one
  or more copies, but I will be looking for it.   If I find it, and
  there is more than one in their supply, I will try to buy at
  least five of them so I can distribute them to others
  interested in this area."


  Responding to last week's item about the new full-text
  book search at, Ed Sible reports:
  "Three fully searchable numismatic books in Amazon's new
  program are:

  Handbook of Ancient Greek and Roman Coins (Klawans),

  Ancient History from Coins (Howgego),

  Coin Collecting For Dummies (Guth),"

  The December 2003 issue of Wired magazine will feature an
  article titled "The Great Library of Amazonia" by Gary Wolf.
  The article has been posted online, and I've extracted a few
  sections of note to researchers.

  "The fondest dream of the information age is to create an
  archive of all knowledge. You might call it the Alexandrian
  fantasy, after the great library founded by Ptolemy I in 286 BC.
  Through centuries of aggressive acquisition, the librarians of
  Alexandria, Egypt, collected hundreds of thousands of texts.
  None survives. During a final wave of destruction, in AD 641,
  invaders fed the bound volumes and papyrus scrolls into the
  furnaces of the public baths, where they are said to have
  burned for six months. "The lesson," says Brewster Kahle,
  founder of the Internet Archive, "is to keep more than one

  "Books are an ancient and proven medium. Their physical
  form inspires passion. But their very physicality makes books
  inaccessible to the multi-terabyte databases of modern
  Alexandrian projects.  Books take time to transport. Their
  text vanishes and their pages yellow in a rash of foxing. Most
  important, it's still shockingly difficult to find information
  buried in books. Even as the Internet has revived hope of a
  universal library and Google seems to promise an answer to
  every query, books have remained a dark region in the
  universe of information. We want books to be as accessible
  and searchable as the Web.  On the other hand, we still
  want them to be books."

  "An ingenious attempt to illuminate the dark region of books
  is under way at Over the past spring and
  summer, the company created an unrivaled digital archive
  of more than 120,000 books.  The goal is to quickly add
  most of Amazon's multimillion-title catalog."

  "And yet most books are not on the Net. This means that
  students, among others, are blind to the most important
  artifacts of human knowledge.  For many students, the
  Internet actually contracts the universe of knowledge,
  because it makes the most casual and ephemeral sources
  the most accessible, while ignoring the published books.
  "It's shameful,"

  [One key point the article makes is that the value of the
   feature is in the connections researchers can now among
   a vast array of books on all subjects.  Heretofore unknown
   mentions of numismatic topics could be brought to light.
   For example, a newly-published diary of a Civil War era
   soldier might mention the use of coins and scrip or sutler
   notes.  Such primary accounts are needles in a haystack
   today, but a powerful search tool could enable researchers
   to find them much more easily.

  To read the full article, see:,1367,60948,00.html


  Gawain O'Connor writes: I saw the reference to W.B. Yeats
  and the design of Irish coinage. (Sept. 28, 2003).   If it wasn't
  mentioned, perhaps your readers would like to know that the
  article Designing Of Ireland's Coinage (W. B. Yeats) was
  reprinted in "The Numismatist", Vol.80 1967 April Pg. 411
  and also in The Coinage and Banknotes of Ireland  1928-68
  by Jerome H. Remick, Almanzar's 1967. "


  Gawain O'Connor adds: "On a completely different topic,
  something I recently noticed:   Did you know that Mr. Canada
  is president of the Bank of England?

  The Bank of England, Arkansas, that is!

  Thanks for your great work!"


  This week's featured web page pictures the old and
  new coins of Germany.

  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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