The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 19, May 9, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Among recent new subscribers is Jim Lucas, the marketing &
  communications director at the American Numismatic
  Association, courtesy of David Sklow.   Welcome aboard!
  We now have 658 subscribers.


  George Kolbe writes: "As of Monday May 3rd, the last of the
  June 1, 2004 John J. Ford, Jr. Library auction sale catalogues
  went out in the mail. Those not currently on our mailing list may
  order a printed catalogue by sending $35.00 ($37.71 for
  California residents) to George Frederick Kolbe. P. O. Drawer
  3100, Crestline, CA 92325-3100. Supplies are limited.

  We are also pleased to announce that, for the first time, a fully
  illustrated catalogue is accessible at our web site:, along with an unillustrated version as usual.
  Comments are invited.

  Those wishing to attend the sale are advised that, subject to
  availability, special room rates may still be available at the
  Mission Inn. Please visit our web site for further information."


  David F. Fanning, Editor-in-Chief of our print journal writes:
  "I am soliciting ads for both the Spring and Summer 2004
  issues of The Asylum, the quarterly journal of the Numismatic
  Bibliomania Society.  While the Spring issue will be a normal
  issue of the journal, I'd like to remind everyone that the
  Summer issue will be a special issue to commemorate the
  25th anniversary of the organizational meeting of our Society.

  The special Summer issue will be considerably larger in size
  than a normal issue (at least 150 pages and perhaps a good
  deal more) and the plan is to publish a special limited edition
  hardcover version as well as the usual card-covered version.
  It will feature outstanding research from bibliophiles and
  researchers from across the globe, with a special emphasis
  on works of the highest quality.

  Ad rates for the Spring issue are the same as usual: $60 for
  a full page, $30 for a half page.

  Ad rates for the special Summer issue are $100 per page
  (no half page rate available).

  We would like all advertising materials for both of these
  issues as soon as possible. If you have questions about the
  technical requirements, please contact Editor Tom Fort at
  etfort at

  Thank you for your support of the Numismatic Bibliomania


  Peter Koch writes: "The Internet is populated with sites
  offering regularly updated information to its visitors.
  "Updates made weekly, be sure to visit us often."
  Unfortunately, it's a promise that's tough to keep. Revisits
  to many of these sites reveal no new information, or that no
  one has updated the site in any way for months, or longer.
  Disappointing, but one can understand.  Anyone who's
  been involved in producing a periodical under a deadline
  knows, it ain't easy.

  That this newsletter has maintained a flawless published
  schedule at such a high level of quality is vibrant testimony
  to the marvelous collation of unique, enabling subject matter,
  knowledgeable members and contributors, and the
  commitment and tireless efforts of our editor. Amazing. The
  E-Sylum is well written, looks good and always informative.

  If there's another timely, superb resource in numismatics as
  good as this one, I truly would like to know.

  It's been more than a month since I posted a request for a
  copy of John Ford's 1957 Obituary of Wayte Raymond.

  No less than three subscribers came to my aid. I want to
  publicly thank David Gladfelter, Bill Malkmus and a special
  thanks to Bill Swoger for the speed of light in producing
  scanned images of the obit on my monitor.

  Fantabulous! My genuine thanks."


  George Kolbe writes: "On August 19, 2004 we will be
  conducting donated book auction to benefit the Francis
  D. Campbell Library Chair at the American Numismatic

  1. We need your book donations with an average value
       of $300 each

  2. We need you to attend and bid wildly

  Place: Tambellini's Restaurant
  (easy walking distance from the ANA Convention)
  cocktails: 5:15 p.m.
  followed by dinner & Auction

  Tickets: $50.00 each, reservations to:
  John Adams
  60 State Street, 12th floor
  Boston, MA 02109
  jadams at

  Books: Send to George Kolbe by the end of May
  P.O. Drawer 3100, Crestline, CA 92325."

  [I scouted the location and made the reservations.  It's
  a nice old-time Pittsburgh Italian restaurant in the
  Cultural District, just a few blocks from the convention
  center.  As noted in an earlier E-Sylum, I've contributed
  a few lots to the sale.  I'm looking forward to the dinner
  and auction - it should be a fun and relaxing evening for
  a great cause.  Please consider donating some material
  via George, and get your dinner reservatinons into John
  early.  We're looking forward to seeing many of you
  there.  -Editor]


  After a fun evening at the ANS book auction, there is
  even more in store for bibliophiles at the August convention
  of the American Numismatic Association.

  The following morning, August 20, the Numismatic
  Bibliomania Society will hold its annual meeting.  In honor
  of our club's 25th anniversary we are working to plan a
  lunch following the meeting.   After lunch, NBS members
  who have registered will embark on an afternoon bus tour
  to two private local numismatic libraries, those of Asylum
  Editor E. Tomlinson Fort, and myself.   See the next
  Asylum issue for more information.  Regretably, we have
  dropped the Carnegie Library from the tour due to time
  constraints.  Fortunately, there is little in the way of
  numismatic literature in the Carnegie collection that doesn't
  appear in one of our libraries.

  Equally regretably, we must cancel the planned viewing
  of coins from the Carnegie collection.  Although our contacts
  at the museum were initially willing to set something up, they
  have been overruled by their boss.   Like many museums
  across the country, The Carnegie is understaffed.  Recent
  layoffs have greatly depleted their staff.

  I'd like to thank and apologize to those who earlier expressed
  interest in the Carnegie visits, and hope you will be able to
  join us for the remaining library tours.


  Joe Boling writes: "Whatever prices you were reporting for
  the Victoria Cross auction records, they came through severely
  truncated, no doubt because of the attachment of a non-standard
  Sterling symbol."

  [Mea Culpa.  From the beginning, one goal of The E-Sylum
  was to keep the format as simple as possible in order to allow
  the widest possible distribution.  Plain text is the lowest common
  denominator across the wide range of devices attached to the
  Internet.  I've allowed some special symbols to be published
  more recently, partly out of laziness, but also in order to see if
  problems would arise.  This is the first time I've heard of
  symbols being a problem.  I'll try to be more careful in the

  Meanwhile, here are the Victoria Cross hammer prices reported
  in last week's item.  All prices are in Pounds.

  Mr. Jackson's Victoria Cross "... went for 235,250 at the Spink
  auction house in London  on Friday, smashing the old record for
  a VC of  178,250."  -Editor]

  Doug Andrews writes: "Congratulations on yet another terrific
  issue of E-Sylum!

  Your "Featured Web Site" link on the Victoria Cross to is a treasure trove of information,
  and I hope that E-Sylum readers will take full advantage of the
  links there to well over one hundred books about the Victoria
  Cross, its history, and its recipients.

  With the Royal Canadian Mint's recent coin issues honoring
  Canada's veterans, the numismatic connection to our military
  has never been stronger.

  Of the 90 Canadian recipients of the VC, three are particularly
  noteworthy for your readers. CSM Frederick William Hall, Cpl.
  Leo Clarke, and Lt. Robert Shankland were all from Winnipeg,
  Manitoba, where I live. They all were awarded the Victoria
  Cross for their gallantry in World War One.

  If having three Victoria Cross recipients from one city on the
  Canadian Prairies isn't a great coincidence in itself, all three
  lived on the same street, Pine Street, in Winnipeg!  The bravery
  of these men and their heroic deeds were recognized when Pine
  Street's name was changed to Valour Road.

  Many numismatists and bibliophiles also have an interest in
  military decorations. Whenever NBS members are
  contemplating an excursion to Winnipeg to visit the Royal
  Canadian Mint, or to view the Hudson Bay Company token
  collection, a side trip to Valour Road to see the plaque
  erected there would be highly worthwhile."


  Joe Boling writes: "Regarding dye-stained bank robbery notes,
  I see notes in circulation regularly with these stains along their
  edges - usually $20 bills."

  [I've seen some inkstained notes, too, but hadn't given them
  much thought.  Perhaps that's what they were.  Interesting,
  but they would be far more interesting if the notes' stories
  were documented.  -Editor]


  Dick Johnson writes: "Tuesday, May 11, 2004 is the centennial
  of the birth of Salvador Dali.  Did you know he was a medalist?

  He created four medals struck by the Paris Mint.  A series of
  12  medals of his design were struck in the USA by Medallic
  Art Company, and a separate Leda The Swan Medal by AMI,
  Art Medals Incorporated.  Yes, he is listed in my Directory of
  American Artists, Diesinkers, Engravers, Medalists and

  His first two medals, in 1967, were uniface models in which the
  Paris Mint added a reverse for each incorporating his famed
  signature. These were not wild designs as you might expect,
  but rather tame designs of Pallas Athena and Unicorn

  In 1969 came his wild design for the Club Francois de la
  Medaille.  It was modeled entirely of spoons!  Title:  Dali By
  Dali.  Perhaps you can find his portrait outlined in the obverse
  design of spoons.  He created a second Club edition in 1972,
  titled Sceau de Dali.  A supreme being at self promotion, yet
  these medals exhibit he did have talent.

  The American series is the Twelve Tribes of Israel; they were
  modeled by an Italian-born American, Domenico Facci, from
  Dali's graphic designs and struck in 1973-74.  Leda The Swan
  was also struck in 1974.

  Tuesday starts a Year of Dali celebration, mostly in his native
  Spain (centered at the Center of Dali Studies in Figueres, where
  he was born), but also in the US in Philadelphia, and at the
  Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.

  I wish I had thought of it before he died (January 23, 1989).
  I would have suggested he create a Dali Deli Platter Plaquette.
  Oh, what he could have done with food!"


  Steve Pellegrini writes: "The National Gallery of Art, Washington,
  in their series of publications 'Studies in the History of Art' has at
  least two volumes devoted to numismatics. I have Volume 22
  which is called 'Italian Plaquettes.' Volume 21 is about Italian
  Medals of the same Renaissance period. I have been looking for
  a copy of this volume for quite awhile without success. Any of
  my fellow Bibliomaniacs know where a copy might be had?"


  Steve Pellegrini writes: "In the Perhaps Better Late then Never
  Category: Medals on Stamps. Munich medallist Karl Goetz
  produced an essai set of four stamps which featured four of his
  medal designs. These were produced for the 1932 Deutsche
  Bundespost stamp design competition. The 15 pfennig stamp
  carries the exact design of the medal Goetz lists as his Opus 289.
  Gunther Keinast, in his very scarce book 'Goetz II, A
  Supplement' gives the 4 denominations a group opus number of
  K-639. Also by Goetz is the ubiquitous postage stamp of the
  Weimar Republic - the medallion portrait of Presided Paul von
  Hindenburg.  This postal portrait is based directly on a 1927
  pattern 5RM commemorative coin (K-387) Goetz had
  submitted to the Bavarian Mint in competition. Although the
  Hindenburg 5 Mark pattern was not adopted by the Mint
  Goetz removed the denomination from the design and had it
  privately issued as a medallic gedenkentaler for Hindenburgs
  80th birthday (K-386). This 'so-called taler' was to become
  Goetz' best-selling work with a mintage of well over 100,000.
  These are today a perennial  favorite on EBay where a nice
  example can be picked up for about $35."


  David Menchell writes: "A partial answer to Alan Luedeking:
  Perhaps the earliest examples of coins depicted on coins are
  the obol and hemiobol attributed to Samaria, listed in
  Meshorer and Qedar's Samarian Coinage as numbers 141
  and 142.  The reverse of these coins depicts five overlapping
  discs with images of owls on each, thought to represent
  Athenian coinage."

  Martin Purdy writes: "NZ $1 1983, South Africa 1 rand 1974
  (interesting because the coins depicted have had their
  denominations removed!),  Argentina 25 pesos 1964-68 - a
  genuine circulating coin this time, rather than a commemorative."

  Reid Goldsborough  writes: "I, and possibly others, collect
  modern coins and currency honoring ancient coins in those
  areas I specialize in, including:

  Alexander the Great

  * 1992 Greek 100 drachmas coin -- Alexander III portrait
      from Lysimachos' tetradrachms
  * 1956 Greek 1000 drachmas note -- portrait from Tarsos
  * 1942-1943 (undated) Ionian Islands 10 drachmas note --
      portrait from a sculpture in the British Museum
  * 1941 Greek 1000 drachmas note -- portrait from Aesillas
  * 1941 Greek 2 drachmas note -- portrait from Lysimachos
  * 1926 Albanian one lek coin -- portrait from Aesillas
  * 1923 Greek 5 drachmas note -- portrait from Tarsos
  * Wanted: 1921-22 Greek 50 drachmas note -- portrait from
      Aesillas tetradrachms

  Athenian Owls

  * 2002 Greek one euro coin -- owl from Classical Owl
  * 1973 Greek two drachmas coin -- owl from Classical
      Owl tetradrachms
  * 1944 Greek 100,000 drachmas note -- owl from
      Classical Owl tetradrachms
  * 1912 Greek ten lepta coin -- owl from ancient New
      Style tetradrachms"


  Steve Pellegrini writes: "I recently received in the mail a Voters
  Information Booklet for Multnomah County, Oregon.  Featured
  on the cover is a large photo of the handshake side of a Jefferson
  Indian Peace Medal. How cool. I wonder if we have a collector
  in the Voter's Info Office or if this was just a bit of random
  utilization. Another pleasant surprise was that the example  was
  not of a modern re-strike but was of an authentic original which
  had seen its share of honest wear. Indian peace medals are one
  of the few numismatic items I believe are far better holed,
  ticked-up and worn than in pristine, as-struck condition."


  David F. Fanning writes: "I know Walter Breen was involved
  with the 17th and 18th editions (1954 and 1957, respectively)
  of Raymond's Standard Catalogue of United States Coins,
  but was he involved with any earlier editions?  If so, in what
  capacity?  Thanks."


  Syd Martin writes: "With respect to the 1926 "so-called-dollar"
  discussed previously, the picture on the front was of George
  Washington, NOT Franklin."

  David Menchell writes: "In answer to Ron Abler's question
  about the "so-called dollar" for the 1926 Sesquicentennial, he
  appears to have most of the details correct, except that the
  obverse depicts a bust of George Washington facing right, not
  Ben Franklin.  Information can be found in Hibler and
  Kappen's reference, where this series of medals is listed as
  numbers 451 through 454.  It was minted in bronze, brass,
  nickel, and copper, the nickel being somewhat scarce and the
  copper rare.  The bronze pieces were struck from higher relief
  dies.  The medal was designed by Albin Polasek and struck
  in the Mint Exhibit at the Exposition."

  Dick Johnson writes: "To answer Ron Abler in last week's
  E-Sylum:  Medallic Art Company did strike a Sesquicentennial
  Medal in 1926, but not the official medal which is listed in So-
  Called Dollars by Hibler and Kappen. Medallic Art struck the
  Sesqui Sports Medal (26-28) which was modeled by R. Tait
  McKenzie for the celebration's sports contests in which the
  artist was involved.

  Incidentally, Ron, there is no "s" in Medallic Art -- either the
  name of the company or the field of fine medals. This is
  important because there was a firm in Rochester by the name
  Metal Arts -- with an "s" -- and by adding the "s" you could
  confuse your listener or reader.  Medallic Art Company is still
  in business (in Dayton, Nevada);  Metal Arts is no longer in


  Dick Johnson writes: "To answer Charles Danek, the L.A.
  artist named to the Mint's Artistic Infusion Program:  Perhaps
  the Janvier reducing machine is not what you think it is.  Are
  you searching for a machine only to reduce your bas-relief
  models?  The Janvier can do this, yes, but its primarily use
  is to cut a die (from a three-dimensional bas-relief pattern).

  From your clay model, a plaster cast is made, from that
  plaster cast a hard-surface pattern is made -- either by
  electrodeposition to form a galvano, or by casting in epoxy.
  This is what is mounted on a Janvier for a tracing point to
  traverse its surface and transmit this image pantographically to
  a cutting point that exactly duplicates that relief in a steel die.
  You cannot put clay or plaster on a Janvier - it must be a
  hard surface.

  There are other brands of die-engraving pantographs,
  each with its own distinctive characteristics. The Janvier, for
  example, starts with the tracing point at the center of the
  pattern, and the cutting point at the center of the die and
  both transverse outwards. Others start at the edge and
  progress inwards. Most mints and medallic companies
  prefer the Janvier, however, for its ease of use, its versatility,
  but most of all, for its integrity in reproducing all the detail that
  is in the artist's original model.

  Now there are some things the artist MUST know.

  One. No undercuts in your relief; a die cannot strike "overhang" 
   -- a ten degree bevel is absolutely required on the sides of all
   your relief - for the die to strike and withdraw.

  Two.  No areas of deep depression surrounded by tall relief --
  in a die these deep areas are tiny tall projections and are
  vulnerable to breaking off.

  Three.  Be aware of the high points of your design; these will
  be where the coin or medal will wear.  (For large medals it is
  even recommended to put three equally high points on the reverse,
  these will be "support points" to bear the weight of the medal
  when it rests on any surface. Of course these points will wear
  first, but they will protect the rest of the reverse design from wear.
  Often these high points can be incorporated into the design so
  they appear inconspicuously.)

  Four. Be aware of the border on your design. For coins, all
  your relief must be below the height of the border. Borders on
  medals do not require this but are more for the human hand to
  hold it - for a large medal consider making a border of several
  elements, levels and shapes - this aids humans tactile ability to
  hold on to it.

  Five.  Place a flange around your model, say two inches in
  width (this aids fastening the pattern onto the reducing machine).

  Six. Be super-aware of the height of your relief.

  Seven.  Ask for specific instructions from the mint or medallic
  company concerning the limits of this relief height and as many
  other particulars as possible. Ask if it is to be struck in proof
  surface or not. Once you are proficient, you could even ask
  about the kind of press in which the coin or medal will be
  struck, as the design you create in your studio could even
  eliminate problems in striking later on."


  Steve Pellegrini writes: "When thinking about the incidence of
  Riots on Medals I immediately thought of the 1478 medal by
  Bertolo di Giovaanni which commemorates the Florence riot
  instigated  by the Pazzi conspirators  to cover the assassination
  attempt on the Medici brothers, Lorenzo and Giuliano. In fact
  only Giuliano was killed. Lorenzo escaped with only a flesh
  wound. Stephen Scher, in his beautiful book 'The Currency
  of Fame' has assigned this medal #41 - and included photos
  of the historical piece on pp. 129 & 130.

  Another example of medals, or rather a tokens with riotous
  connections are the Middlesex Conder Tokens issued by
  Thomas Spence featuring the portrait of Mendoza, the popular
  prize fighter of 1790-1810 London. During the 'Old Prices'
  riots in Covent Garden in Sept.- December 1809 Mendoza
  and his boxing colleagues were hired by harassed theatre
  owner John Kemble.  Kemble hired Mendoza and his boxing
  cronies to help keep order in the theater on performance nights.
  The boxers were prominently seated (free of charge) where all
  the theater-goers could not fail to see them. Should any 'New
  Prices' dissenters begin to disrupt the performance Mendoza
  and his boxers very publicly made swift work of them.

  During this period prize fighting was dominated by Jewish
  boxers, much as was US boxing during the hard immigration
  years of the early 20th century. The anti-Semitic allusions found
  on these 'Old Price Riot' tokens stem from Kemble's
  employment of these Jewish boxers to suppress further rioting."


  Saul Teichman forwarded the following request from
  Richard Frajola of  Ranchos De Taos, NM:

  "I just purchased a stamped cover from the mid 1860's
  because it is addressed to Elliot Woodward, who I know a
  little bit about.  Apparently from the docket it  enclosed a
  letter about a 1794 dollar from somebody named  S.E. Coe
  in Mohawk, New York. Does that name ring any  bells with
  our readers?  Who was S.E. Coe?"


  Steve Pellegrini writes: "Over the last few years I have slowly
  but surely been assembling a set of R.W. Julian's series of
  Political-Satirical medals from the late 1970s and early 1980s.
  Each year a different medal with a different topic and featuring
  the portrait of a different great American.was struck.  The
  gallery included Washington, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt,
  etc. Each was available in two different metals: Bronze and

  I've just about completed the entire set but have come to a
  screeching halt at the very last medal in the series, the 'Gen.
  Macarthur' medal. I imagine this medal, in either composition,
  is the 'key' to the series. As this issue seems so elusive I
  wonder was this medal produced in far smaller numbers than
  the others in the series? And if that's the case, what were the
  mintages for the Macarthur medal?  Is anyone familiar with
  the minutia of this great American series?  If there is any info
  among the membership please email me at
  ginocatt at"


  A Saturday, May 1st article in the Kansas Star cites
  a bison rancher's complaint about the proposed design
  for the Kansas quarter.

  "The state animal will need a little cosmetic surgery if it's
  chosen as the design for the Kansas quarter."

  "In the design, the animal's horns point forward. A real
  bison's horns point up.

  "This my pet peeve about artists," former buffalo rancher
  Don Carbaugh said. "They assume buffalo have horns like
  cattle. But they're built differently."

  "But if the error isn't corrected, he said, "It'd just be an
  embarrassment. They'll probably turn into a collector's item.
  They sure screwed up there."

  To read the full article, see: Full Article


  This week's featured web site is recommended by Arthur
  Shippee.    It's the online version of  The Handbook of
  Biblical Numismatics."

  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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