The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 55, December 28, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Dick Johnson writes: "At the beginning of a new year, we
  pause to reflect on the gem we all share in The E-Sylum.

  For the numismatic book collector, for whom it was originally
  intended, The E-Sylum has become a "must read."  But The
  E-Sylum  has grown beyond its service to the NB collector.

  For numismatic writers E-Sylum has become a treasured tool;
  not only does it provide article ideas, but research capabilities
  beyond compare in the collective knowledge of  its 612
  subscribers. (Ask a question one week, you're bound to get
  a knowledgeable answer the next!).

  For serious numismatists it's a unique means of keeping
  up-to-date that printed coin publications cannot match in such
  a timely manner.  For the entire numismatic field The E-Sylum
  is an international treasure.

  Thank you Wayne Homren for doing this every week.   And
  thanks also to NBS for your sponsorship."

  [Happy New Year, all.  Putting The E-Sylum together each
  week is a chore, but an enjoyable one.  Our subscribers are
  an interesting and talented bunch, and I get to look forward
  your emails every day!   Please help out by encouraging
  friends to subscribe, answering a query or submitting a new
  item or topic of interest.   -Editor]


  As discussed in the December 14, 2003 E-Sylum (v6#53),
  plans are underway for a special outing to celebrate the 25th
  anniversary of NBS at next year's ANA convention in
  Pittsburgh. "We'll visit the E-Sylum Ground Zero (my library),
  as well as the numismatic libraries of Asylum Editor
  E. Tomlinson Fort and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
  The latter features the rare first six volumes of the ANA's
  Numismatist magazine, and a shelf of early U.S. copper
  literature from the library of George H. Clapp.

  Separately, if there is enough interest, we may be able to
  arrange a viewing of selected coins from the Carnegie
  collection, which includes Clapp's Large Cent collection,
  some colonials, and some U.S. patterns."

  For those who may have missed the previous request,
  please email me if you have interest in the BOOK trip, the
  COIN trip, or BOTH.   The convention is August 18-22,
  2004.   My address is whomren at


  Steve Huber writes: "I've been told there is a new reference
  for Geddenk Talers.  These are German medals about the size
  of a U.S. Half minted from about 1890 through 1930.  Many
  memorialized war efforts and officers in 1914/1915.  Not only
  can I not locate any source for such a new reference but cannot
  locate any specific reference on the subject.  Can anyone help
  me locate such a reference?  Thanks."


  The catalog of the January 5-6, 2004 Classics sale from
  American Numismatic Rarities makes for interesting reading.
  The sale opens with another nice selection of U.S. pattern
  coins and ends with the Thomas H. Sebring collection of
  shipwreck coins and related items.  The Sebring collection
  has a two-page introduction by Bob Evans of the S.S. Central
  America recovery team.  In addition to recovered coins and
  ingots, the consignment features related medals, including the
  1858 medal struck for the state of Virginia to honor the
  Central America's heroic captain William Lewis Hearndon.

  For bibliophiles, lot 1666 is a deluxe leatherbound version of
  Q. David Bowers' 2002 "A California Gold Rush History."
  ".. front endpapers include a pinch of 'authentic gold dust from
  the Central America' protected behind plastic in the miner's
  pan of the illustrated scene - a nice touch, inspired by the
  1849 second edition of the 1842 'A Manual of Gold and
  Silver Coins of All Nations' and the '1850 New VArieties of
  Gold and Silver Coins' bu Jacob R. Eckfeldt and William E.
  DuBois of the Philadelphia Mint, works which included a
  specimen of California gold dust behind a mica window....
  This edition cost nearly $1,000 per copy to produce.."

  The catalog includes an essay by John Kraljevich,
  "My Friend Tom Sebring."  John describes meeting
  Sebring when attending his first coin show in West Chester,
  PA at age 10 in 1988.  Sebring invited John to join the
  local coin club, which he did, and had the chance to see
  and learn from Tom and other experienced numismatists
  every month for the next seven years.

  Related to a recent E-Sylum topic, the auction also
  includes a 1783 Chalmers Shilling (lot 1039).  From the
  lot description:  "The recent discovery of a Chalmers
  threepence in the basement of a house on the street
  where Chalmers lived in 1783, covered in such papers
  as the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun, has led to
  speculation that the basement was the site of Chalmers'
  mint.  While the discovery is an exciting one, the presence
  of a single coin is not persuasive evidence of minting activity,
  particularly in the absence of silver scrap, minting equipment
  or tools, or other implements manufactured by Chalmers.
  We prefer the historical record, which notes an outbuilding
  present on property that Chalmers actually owned and
  occupied up the street from the location of the recent


  An ad in the January 5, 2004 issue of Coin World (p70)
  offers a new book by Robert J. Loewinger, M.D. titled
  "Proof Gold Coinage of the United States."  It is a
  hardcovered 128 page book measuring 7.75" x 10.5",
  with 136 full color illustrations.  A article by Paul Gilkes
  (p3) notes that Dr. Loewinger will have "an extensive
  exhibit of high-grade type Proof gold to be displayed
  Jan. 8 to 11 during the Florida United Numismatists
  convention in Orlando."


  The January 5, 2004 Coin World also includes a Guest
  Commentary by Roger W. Burdette, where he notes:
  "During the past four years, I have examined thousands
  of documents on the subject of the Mint Bureau's
  subsidiary silver coin redesign of 1916 and 1917.  This
  research is in preparation of the book, "Renaissance of
  American Coinage, 1916-1921."  Research has involved
  primary sources in manuscript collections of academic,
  art, government and private archives."   We will look
  forward to the publication of Burdette's research, which
  should be an interesting look at a period of important
  change in the nation's coinage.


  Arthur Shippee thought the following URL would be of
  interest.  It's a web log (or "blog") being used by the author
  to publish a coin a day from his collection of ancient coins.
  The text is brief, but the images are great.
 He also writes: "The following links are from Explorator, a
  weekly collection of web-posted news about the pre-Modern
  world.  (See

  Here's one to build a crackpot theory on ... a Roman coin was
  found during construction in New Zealand:


  Regarding the 1862 U.S. Mint pricelist discussed last week,
  Rich Hartzog writes: "Interesting!  May I inquire if any of the
  Indian Peace medals were available in silver?

  Thanks!  The E-Sylum is 'must' reading.  I may just have to
  break down and join NBS..."

  [Please do!    NBS is far more than just The E-Sylum.  Only
  members receive our quarterly print journal, the Asylum.  NBS
  also sponsors meetings and literature symposia at major coin
  shows around the U.S.   If you like The E-Sylum, you'll love
  the in-depth articles and talks your NBS membership supports.
  I welcome all non-member E-Sylum readers to consider making
  NBS your New Year's resolution for 2004.  Membership is only
  $15 per year to North American addresses, and $20 elsewhere.
  As always, information on joining NBS may be found at the end
  of this email message.  -Editor]

  Jan Monroe writes: "I am also very interested in getting a copy
  of the 1862 Mint price list.  This list may shed some light on the
  silver medals available to the public.  I would think it worth
  publishing in the Asylum."

  [Here are the silver medals offered in the pricelist:

  Cabinet Medal
  Presidency Relinquished
  Allegiance Medal
  Time Increases His Fame
  Commencement of Cabinet
  Double Head - Washington and Jackson
  Single Head - "   "

  Sizes (in sixteenths of an inch) are: 37, 25, 18, 16, 12, 10, 10.
  Prices are: $5.00, $3.00, $1.12, $0.75, $0.35, $0.25, $0.20.

  Jan notes: "Thanks for the info.  It is very helpful.  I think is
  interesting that no silver Indian Peace Medals are offered
  to the public on this list."

  The gold medals are:

  Time Increases His Fame
  Commencement of Cabinet
  Double Head - Washington and Jackson
  Single Head - "   "

  Sizes (same as silver): 16, 12, 10, 10
  Prices: $12.00, $6.25, $10, $10



  Regarding Dave Bower's desire for a "Dictionary of  Early
  American Bank Note Engravers and Printers", Wendell Wolka
  writes: "Enjoyed reading the E-Sylum #54 (as I always do) and
  noticed Dave Bowers' comments about a dictionary of early
  bank note companies and printers ... I seem to recall that
  Foster Wild Rice made such an effort when he published the
  "Antecedents of the American Bank Note Company" back
  in the 1950s (?).  Someplace in my library (we all have that
  problem, don't we!) I have a copy and it seems that he lists
  the years of operation of all of the different partnerships and
  name changes."

  [Great name: Foster Wild Rice.  Did he have an uncle
  named Ben?  -Editor]

  Joe Boling writes: "Is it possible that QDB does not know
  about Gene Hessler's "The Engraver's Line", a volume much
  like what he says he'd like to have?"


  Charles Davis writes: "I devoted an entire page to the Pierce's
  Ormsby in Champa 1 where it sold to a mail bidder at $3,630."
  [NOTE: $3,300 plus a 10% buyer's fee is $3,630. -Editor]

  Michael J. Sullivan adds: You asked about the ownership history
  for the Ormsby appearing in the Heritage - CAA January auction.
  As Charlie Davis describes in Champa One (Nov. 1994),
  "obtained privately from Robert Wester."   While estimated at
  $5,000, it opened at $3,100 closing at $3,300 with Hugh Shull as
  the floor buyer.    So ...there is a piece of the story.  By the way,
  when Armand Champa acquired this second copy of Ormsby in
  his library, he sold his first Ormsby via a West Coast dealer to a
  St. Louis collector.   This occurred sometime around 1992."


  Regarding the "mile-and-a-half-long" URL for the Newman
  Museum article, Stephen Searle writes: "You may be interested
  in looking into  for your URLs in the E-Sylum.
  It is free and  it works.

  I made one for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article on the
  Newman Numismatic Museum you provided.

  Keep up your excellent work!"

   [After plowing through dozens of junk emails telling me how
   to make certain things longer, it's a pleasant switch to read
   about making anything shorter.  I may use this in the future
   when the situation calls.   But readers are always advised to
   never count on any URL existing far into the future.  On the
   web, everything changes constantly.  So follow Mike Hodder's
   example - if you want to archive a referenced article for your
   files, print it out right away. Don't wait, or you may be
   disappointed later.  -Editor]


  David Sklow writes: "I have been hired by the American
  Numismatic Association. Sherry and I are very excited to be
  moving to Colorado Springs. I will be the new Numismatic

  [Congratulations to Dave, who is the former NBS
  Secretary-Treasurer and a longtime ANA history buff and
  volunteer ANA Historian.   His monthly columns in the
  Numismatist magazine are always interesting, and he'll make
  a fine researcher.  -Editor]


  Gar Travis writes: "I have picked up a very interesting hard
  cover book, copyright 1895, a privately printed 1st edition of
  "Silver and Gold or Both Sides of the Shield, with portraits
  (photographs) of leading Statesmen and Economists".  It was
  edited by Trumbull White (1868-1941), author of "The World's
  Columbian Exposition, " War in the East," "Pictorial History of
  Our War with Spain for Cuba's Freedom", "In the Shadow of
  Death: Martinique and the World's Great Disasters", "Our New
  Possessions", "Through Darkest America",  "Complete Story
  of the San Francisco Horror: Scenes of Death and Terror;
  also Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius and More Disasters;  San
  Francisco Earthquake of 1906", etc.

  The book is explained on the leading page as: A symposium of
  the views of all parties on the Currency Question as expressed
  by their leading advocates. Thoroughly expounding the doctrines
  of Free Silver, mono-metalism and bi-metalism, with all the
  arguments, pro. and con.  From the Pens of John Sherman, Wm.
  B. Allison, John G. Carlisle, Edward Atkinson, Wm. M. Stewart,
  W.J. Bryan, Wm. A. Peffer, Wm. H. Harvey, Benj. R. Tillman,
  and others.

  Trumbull White was the first editor of Redbook Magazine,
  founded in 1903, given that name because White said "red
  is the color of happiness".  He was editor of Ridgeway's
  "Everybody's Magazine" beginning with the October 1911
  issue in 1914 he was managing editor after which he
  departed the magazine. While a journalist, he was the first
  to advise the young Ernest Hemingway that the best writing
  comes from personal experience and during the Spanish
  American War he was a well known correspondent,
  popular author and historian.

  The book apparently was reprinted in 2001 "by" John
  Sherman and "edited" by Trumbull White
  ISBN: 0898756588 - Paperback."


  Jess W. Gaylor writes: "Here are a few references to the
  Josh Tatum Mystery, even one from an old E-Sylum.  Thanks
  for the great work.

  [These references are fine, but they don't answer the original
  question, which Pete Smith brought up in v3n19 and
  Bob Leonard revived in last week's issue:  Where was the
  story of Josh Tatum first published?   The earliest reference
  Bob found was in Lynn Glaser's 1968 "Counterfeiting in
  America"  book (pp. 224-6).  -Editor]


  This week's featured web site is the numismatic section of, a site devoted to preserving useful historical
  and other documents in electronic form.  The home page
  quotes Brother Bartholomew of Northumbria, A.D. 1159:
  "If any words are worth saving, it is these words."

  The site has three numismatic subsections, but the source
  of the texts are not well-documented.

      History of the US Mint
      Coins of the US Mint
      War Medals of the Confederacy

  The History of the Mint section includes

         Notes on the Early History of the Mint (From the Diary of Robert Morris)
         Establishment of the Philadelphia Mint
         Facsimile of Original Document of Congress that Establishes the Mint
         Payroll for Mint from 1795
         Extract From Rules and Regulations Adopted For the Mint, January 1, 1825
         Enlargement of the Mint

  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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