The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 25, June 20, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Due to travel, next week's E-Sylum will be published
  a day late: Monday, June 28.  So remain calm - don't
  panic.  Your issue will be on its way.


  Nicholas M. Graver writes: "I read the latest E-Sylum, and
  note that you hope people will join NBS.  Please add
  "Only $15" to your plug at the bottom of each issue.  It is
  my experience that many people do not go check all the web
  sites mentioned in things they read.  I put it off, for well over
  a year, due to inertia, my concern about another unread
  periodical coming here, and the (incorrectly) supposed high
  cost of subscription.    Once I learned that it is so cheap, I
  joined at once.   I'll bet you get more members if you include
  this mention."

  [Thanks for the suggestion - the membership section of
  The E-Sylum has been duly updated.    Now let's see some
  more of our readers become members - we'd love to have
  you on board.  If you need a further incentive to join, see
  the next item.  -Editor]


  E. Tomlinson Fort, Editor of out print journal, The Asylum
  writes: "The preliminary edit and layout of our special issue of
  The Asylum for the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society has been completed.  It is
  264 pages long. This makes it the equivalent of more that two
  years of The Asylum (at our usual size) combined. It is, by far,
  the largest (and best)  collection of essays on numismatic
  literature ever published in one volume in the United States.

  The works run from the popular to the scholarly, from Europe
  to America, from autobiography to bibliography and from
  tongue in cheek to an eye for detail.  There is something for

  An NBS membership costs only $15 ($20 outside the US).
  If you miss this opportunity and find yourself paying lots of
  money for a copy on the secondary market, you only have
  yourself to blame. New memberships and renewal payments
  MUST be received by the Secretary-Treasurer  by July 1,
  2004. No exceptions. A membership application can be
  found on the NBS web site at

  It is time for the readers of this e-newsletter to put their
  money where their mouths are and support the organization
  which brings us this fine work."

  [The table of contents follows, but see last week's issue
  for more details. -Editor

  ?Jean Foy-Vaillant: The King?s Antiquary (1632 ? 1706),? by
  Christian E. Dekesel.

 ?William Frederick Mayers: A Flashing Star,? by Pete Smith.

  ?An Annotated Bibliography of the Published Numismatic
  Writings of Walter H. Breen by David F. Fanning.

  ?Blunders, Hoaxes, and Lost Masterpieces from the
  Numismatic Literature of the Renaissance,? by John Cunnally.

  ?Some Reminiscences,? by Q. David Bowers.

  ?Creating The E-Sylum, The Numismatic Bibliomania
  Society's Weekly Electronic Newsletter,? by Wayne K.

  ?American Numismatic Pioneers: An Index to Sources,? by
  Pete Smith.

  ?Recollections of 34 Years at Spink, 1969?2003,? by Douglas


  [So where do you send your dues? Our Secretary-Treasurer
  W. David Perkins writes: "I am moving back to Colorado.
  I now have the new P.O. Box number and address for NBS.
  My e-mail address remains the same (wdperki at

  W. David Perkins, Sec. / Treas.
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society
  P.O. Box 3888
  Littleton, CO  80161-3888

  [David's contact information has been changed at the bottom
  of The E-Sylum, and will soon be updated on the NBS web
  site and Asylum masthead.  He's looking forward to hearing
  from many new and lapsed NBS members.  -Editor]


  Numismatic literature dealer John Burns writes:
  "I will be doing these two shows:

  Mid America
  Rosemont Convention Center
  (Site of the 1991&1999 ANA's)
  Rosemont IL (Close to O'Hare Airport)
  June 25-27, 2004

  American Numismatic Association
  David L. Lawrence Convention Center
  Pittsburgh PA
  August 18-22"


  John W. Adams writes: "The Ford Library Sale pauperized
  many of us.  The book auction for the benefit of the Francis
  D. Campbell Chair promises to finish off the job.  Among the
  many salivating items are the photo archives of Presidential
  Coin 1984-1995, Beistle's copy of the Haseltine Type Table,
  a receipt signed by Abel Buell, a framed autograph (with
  portrait) of David Rittenhouse, a letter from Elias Boudenot
  discussing the removal of the U.S. Mint to Washington, D.C.,
  a plated presentation Parmelee Sale (1890), 17-18th century
  classics, a set of Dutch van Loon's, two sets of 8" x 11"
  photographs of Washington's set of Comitia Americana
  medals, Wurtzbach on Massachusetts silver, etc., etc.

  Despite the quality of the material we have already, we can
  use more.  Send items you wish to donate to George Kolbe

  [So please, drop what you're doing and rummage thru your
  library for a few better items to add to the sale.  If you just
  can't part with anything, be sure to bid in the sale.  The
  dinner and auction should be both fun and memorable.
  Come in person or get a catalogue from George Kolbe and
  bid by mail.

  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
  P.O. Drawer 3100, Crestline, CA 92325."



  John Kraljevich sends us the following report from the recent
  sale of the first part of the John J. Ford Jr. numismatic library:
  "George Kolbe and his staff are to be commended on what an
  amazing event the Ford Library sale turned out to be.  I visited
  Crestline before the sale to see some lots and was thrilled to see
  that his lower-floor office was filled to the gills with friendly
  bibliophiles, and of course George was all to happy to play
  cheerful host. The drive to Crestline from Riverside in the v
  alley below is worth the trip alone (though I wished my rental
  car had about 4 more cylinders on the way up).

  The auction venue was also a treat -- the Mission Inn is a
  pretty fascinating structure and has its share of history as well
  (visits from T. Roosevelt and Taft, in addition to the honor of
  hosting Nixon's wedding). I visited with Bruce Hagen and
  Dan Friedus that evening, ran into a pack of Early American
  Coppers members in the bar, and retired late.

  The auction itself was a very exciting event, though the
  familiar faces generally did little bidding on the directories that
  led the sale off (with one Bay Area exception). The great
  rarities seemed to see for very strong money (though I thought
  the Doughty diaries were a nice buy at only $11K + juice).
  There were a lot of very buyable items though too -- I
  purchased a number of lots and most were barely out of the
  $100 range.

  Cheers again to George for making the event so memorable!"


  Steve Pellegrini writes: "I hope that the successful bidder for
  the Ford-Breen letters offered in the Kolbe-Ford-Stack's sale
  will consider getting together with Walter Breen specialist
  David F. Fanning to edit and publish the letters in full. The
  excerpts from the letters featured in the Kolbe catalogue were
  fascinating and beg to be printed in full."


  Art Tobias writes: "I am working on the third in a series
  of articles about engraved scenes that W.L. Ormsby made
  for Colt's revolvers in the 1846 - 1850 time period.  The
  engraving, of Texas Rangers and Comanches in an 1844
  skirmish is signed,  "W.L.Ormsby Sc. N Y".  Does anyone
  know what the "Sc" stands for?"


  On June 14th (Flag Day) the U.S. Supreme Court voted to
  reverse a lower court's ruling which would have removed the
  phrase "one nation, under God" from the Pledge of
  Allegiance.   Their ruling was based on a technicality and
  left open the possibility of a future case.  The issue relates
  to numismatics because it could ultimately affect the fate of
  the motto "In God We Trust" on U.S coins and currency.

  A Wall Street Journal article noted: "Congress adopted the
  pledge as a national patriotic tribute in 1942, at the height of
  World War II. Congress added the phrase "under God" more
  than a decade later, in 1954, when the world had moved from
  hot war to cold."

  QUICK QUIZ:  "In God We Trust" has been on coinage far
  longer.  Who was the person who first suggested the slogan,
  and when?  And here's a bonus question for hard-core
  bibliophiles:  in what publication was this fact first documented?


  Last week we asked about a piece of numismatically-related
  Ronald Reagan trivia.  The 40th President was born in 1911
  in an apartment above a bank in Tampico, IL.  We were
  curious about the name of the bank and whether it issued

  An anonymous currency collector writes: "As I recall, Ronald
  Reagan was born above The First National Bank of Tampico,
  Illinois.  This bank did issue national bank notes.  For further
  information, please refer to any of the many national bank note
  catalogs (Van Belkum, Ramsey & Polito, Kelly, Hickman &
  Oakes, Liddel & Litt, etc.).  Among national bank note
  enthusiasts, Reagan's birthplace is very old news, particularly
  since President Reagan was a close personal friend of Bill
  Higgins.  Bill was the founder of the Higgins Museum in Lake
  Okoboji, Iowa, the country's only museum dedicated to
  national bank notes."

  Bill Burd writes: "I would imagine you received many responses
  to your question regarding Reagan's birthplace. I am sending
  you the little I know anyway.  The Tampico Bank was
  established in 1882.  In August of 1908 it was chartered as a
  National Bank and changed it's name to First National Bank
  of Tampico.  It issued large size 1902 Date Backs and also
  Plain Backs.  Also, it issued small size currency dated 1929.
  It was liquidated in December 1931."

  Jess Gaylor provided a link to an article about the bank's
  history, noting that when Ronald W. Reagan's family moved
  in in 1906,  "a bakery or restaurant occupied the building below
  the apartment.  Tampico National Bank came into existence in
  1919 and was privately owned."

  The site notes: "... the First National Bank of Tampico ...
  opened for business on October 1, 1908. Business was first
  conducted in the old Burden building, on the west side of
  Main Street, which has since been torn down, and later moved
  to the building on the east side of Main Street which houses
  the Village Administration offices at present."

  [Reagan was born in 1911.   It's unclear from this article whether
  there was a bank in the same building at the time Reagan was
  born.  And further documentation or discussion of this issue is

  Only history will tell if any leader is worthy of honoring on our
  money, and there are many examples of the folly of honoring
  living or recently-deceased persons on coins and currency.  I
  laughed when I first heard of the movement to honor Reagan,
  who was still alive at the time.  He may be gone now, but it is
  still much too early to consider putting his portrait on money.

  Illustrating the divisions that surround Reagan's legacy is the
  following note from Richard Doty, who writes:

  "IF handing the country more completely to the rich
   IF ignoring AIDS while thousands died
   IF winning the Cold War by proving that we were capable
        of going deeper into debt than were our adversaries
  IF breaking one union and weakening the rest;

  IF all of these were accomplishments
  and IF you deem their author worthy of remembrance on
  our money - then by all means put him on it.
  But I won't use it."


  An article by Richard Giedroyc on the PCGS web site
  discusses some living personalities who have appeared on
  U.S. money:

  "During the 1860s paper money began to be printed in
  earnest by the U.S. government considering the financial
  problems of the Civil War period. Emergency money has
  been covered in a recent article I wrote on the subject for
  this web site.

  Such individuals as President Abraham Lincoln, Treasury
  Secretary Salmon P. Chase and Secretary of War Edwin
  M. Stanton appear on some of this paper money, all during
  their own lifetimes.

  Such little-known historical figures as Superintendent of the
  National Currency Bureau Spencer Clark appears in a
  vignette on the Third Issue fractional 5-cent note issued
  between Dec.1864 and Aug. 1869. Bet your friends a
  drink today to see if they have any idea who this guy was.

  Some of the other lost-to-history "dignitaries" whom appeared
  as big as life, and breathing well, on fractional notes of the
  period include Treasury Secretary William P. Fessenden
  (25-cent note) and U.S. Treasurer Frances E. Spinner
  (50-cent note).

  All of this nonsense finally led to an April 7, 1866 law
  which states: "No portrait or likeness or any living person,
  hereafter engraved, shall be placed upon any of the bonds,
  securities, notes, fractional or postal currency of the United

  To ensure Congress got its point across, the same basic
  information was regurgitated in the Revised Statues of 1874.
  Too bad Congress left that great big loophole regarding
  depicting living people on our coins!"
Complete Article


  In response to last week's question about the Newark
  Museum in New Jersey,  Harry Waterson writes: "There is a
  very good paper on the Newark Museum entitled "John
  Cotton Dana and the Ideal Museum Collection of Medals"
  by Dorothy Budd Bartle in The Medal In America edited by
  Alan M. Stahl copyright 1988 by the American Numismatic
  Society.  Mr. Dana set the bar as ".,.. he worked to build
  his ideal museum collection of medals and use it for the
  common good".

  I have found this Museum to be especially helpful to me as
  a medal collector. They e-mailed to me scans of 10 medals
  I am interested in with speed, accuracy, a true willingness to
  help and at no cost - an experience I find truly rare.

  I enjoy reading The E-Sylum.  Quite often at the bottom of
  the stream of books and pubs, I find the occasional medallic
  nugget or two.  Thank you very much."

  Denis Loring writes: "I can't tell you anything about the rest of
  the collection, but I can say they have a decent group of large
  cents.  In 1985, I was engaged by the then-curator of the coin
  collection, Ms. Dorothy Budd Bartle, to help them expand
  their large cent holding.  The goal was to assemble a "Red Book"
  date and major variety set, with die variety sets of a few years
  such as 1802 and 1817.  Unfortunately, the project was never
  completed, due (as you'd guess) by competing interests and
  lack of funds."

  Our anonymous currency collector writes: "I believe The
  Newark Museum does not always have numismatic displays.
  It does have a very large collection of numismatic items (more
  than could be displayed at once).  Usually, these can be seen
  by appointment only.  At the current time, there is no numismatic
  curator, although there have been several in the past, including
  William Bischoff, formerly of the ANS.  The numismatic
  collections currently fall under the domain of the decorative arts
  curator, Mr. Ulysses S. Dietz.  Mr. Dietz is a direct descendant
  of U.S. Grant, and was one of the Grant descendants who
  negotiated with the National Park Service to improve the
  condition of Grant's Tomb on Riverside Drive in New York.

  William Bischoff writes: "You ask in the 13 June E-Sylum, "Do
  we have any readers from the Garden State who can tell us
  about the coins and currency on display [at The Newark
  Museum]?"  It is ironic that the lengthy and accurate article
  from the Star-Ledger you cite was written by Dan Bischoff
  (no relation to me), but I can add some specific information on
  the coin collection, since I was curator of numismatics at The
  Newark Museum from 1991 to 1997.

  No curator has been named for this collection since I left, and
  there is no regular numismatic exhibit open to the public, nor
  is one planned. Approximately 35,000 specimens (coins, paper
  money, medals and exonumia) are housed in the vault, however,
  and might be available for viewing by someone with specific a
  specific research interest.  The strongest fields are U.S. gold;
  African paper money; perhaps the finest American collections
  of obsidional coinage (especially from the Netherlands); Spanish
  Colonial treasure salvage; art medals (especially by John
  Flannigan); and exonumia by the former Newark firm of
  Whitehead & Hoag.  Because, as the Star-Ledger article makes
  clear, the emphasis at the Museum has always been educational,
  not research-oriented, there are few duplicates suitable for die
  studies and the like.  Those with a legitimate research interest
  are advised to contact the Associate Registrar, Scott Hankins,
  at 973-596-6676.

  On a lighter note, readers may want to visit the Newark Museum
  website at and scroll down on the
  home page to the interactive feature "Once Upon a Dime," put
  on by the Children's Museum and sponsored by J.P.Morgan
  Chase and others.  For those with children (up to about 12 or
  13 years of age) who can make it to Newark, a visit to the
  physical exhibition would definitely be worthwhile.  It is
  scheduled to close in August 2005."


  A June 18th press release by PCGS stated:  "One of the world's
  most valuable and historic sets of United States rare coins, the
  fabled "King of Siam" proof set, presented as a diplomatic gift
  on behalf of President Andrew Jackson in 1836, now is in
  Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) holders. The coins
  will be exhibited at the American Numismatic Association's
  World's Fair of Money in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this

  "The set includes the original, custom-made yellow leather
  and blue velvet case that housed the coins when U.S. State
  Department envoy, Edmund Roberts, presented it on behalf
  of President Jackson to King Ph'ra Nang Klao (Rama III) of
  Siam in April 1836. The coins range in denomination from a
  copper half-cent to a gold $10 "eagle."  There also is an
  1833 gold medal depicting President Jackson."

  "The King of Siam set will be exhibited by the Goldbergs at
  their table during the American Numismatic Association
  convention in Pittsburgh, August 18 - 22, 2004."

  QUICK QUIZ:  The King of Siam set's most famous coin
  is the 1804 Dollar.  Its discovery as part of this set cleared
  up a longstanding mystery about the coin's origins.  But what
  most people aren't aware of is that two coins included with
  the set today were NOT present when the set turned up in
  London many years ago.  Which coins were they?
   Complete Article


  Dick Johnson writes: "Is there an E-Sylum reader who has
  an entrepreneurial spirit burning in his numismatic breast?
  Want to start a coin-related business.  Be a Money Changer!

  Buy a number of coin counting machines and offer to set
  these up in banks and credit unions that do not have these.
  Then offer the banks to "service" these machines.  That
  means you have to empty the coin bins and bag the coins
  (or if you are a masochist, to roll them).  The machines
  give paper receipts, people can then deposit that amount
  or ask for paper cash. You will have to reimburse the bank
  for what they pay out, or supply them with any form of
  coin they desire for their counter business.

  Of course, this means you have tens of thousands of dollars
  of coins you can sort through. Offer beginning collectors
  the opportunity to pull out coins they find in these
  numismatically unsorted coins for a fee.  Charge the bank a
  fee. Get Rich! (Albeit slowly!)

  It has been 60 years since I sorted coins from circulation.
  But as a high school student I had the time and a paper route.
  Best of all, rolls of nickels back then were half Buffalos with
  an occasional Liberty head. (This was in the middle of World
  War II, five years after the introduction of the Felix Schlag
  Jefferson design. The variety of coins in circulation was
  interesting then.) Today, like millions of people, I don't even
  bend over to pick up a coin smaller than a quarter.

  Coinstar, whose coin counting machines you have undoubtedly
  seen in supermarkets, have nearly 11,000 of their machines in
  service. They have processed, they say, 550,000 tons of coins
  since they started in 1992.  They charge 8.9% vigorish. Some
  banks will process loose coins without cost, others charge 5%,
  and some the first $100 is free, 5% over that.

  Coin counting does sound profitable. Just ask Coinstar.
  P.S. Coinstar just received this week its 55th patent for its coin
  counting and money payment technology. It had spent $175
  million to develop this technology."


  Steve Pellegrini writes: "I have finally managed after years of
  effort to complete a set of the political-satirical medals created
  and published by RW. Julian from 1977-1981. As the result
  of a mention of the medals in E-Sylum I was offered a pristine
  little group of the issues I was missing. While I was cataloguing
  these new acquisitions I had the opportunity to review the entire
  series. It struck me that the topical concerns  expressed in these
  medallic editorials of a quarter century ago are the exact same
  topics still in the fore of America's national dialogue today. Mr.
  Julian has written of his series,  "The satirical medals were
  intended as a permanent memorial to those issues that ought
  not to be forgotten..." I'd say that by that and any other
  measure he succeeded admirably. Not to mention his once
  again having enriched the US numismatic series by his work
  and unique intellectual gifts."


  Jeff Starck forwarded a link to the following story about
  a commemorative coin for hockey star Bobby Orr that
  circulates in parts of Ontario, Canada.

  "After the sales success of last year's Bobby Orr
  commemorative coin, the Parry Sound Business Retention and
  Expansion Team is issuing another coin. The coins will have a
  face value of 4 dollars and can be spent at participating

  "Many local merchants participated and were rewarded with
  increased traffic through their locations due to collectors and
  fans seeking out the coin. The success of the program was
  extraordinary. Everything sold out and there is still a waiting
  list of people wanting to acquire the coins."

  "With the approval of a new coin image from Bobby Orr, the
  program is set to commence again this June. The coins can
  be used as legal tender in Parry Sound until October 31. There
  will be 6,000 silver coins in circulation, valued at $4 each ..."
   Full Story


  Roger Siboini writes: "I wonder if the American Journal of
  Numismatics publication of Crosby's manuscript would count
  as a reprint?  I have never spent the time to compare what
  was printed in the AJN and the final first edition of Crosby,
  but I would be interested if any of our readers have looked
  at this. I guess it is always interesting to consider what was
  left on the cutting room floor."


  Our anonymous currency collector writes: "Tales of National
  Bank officers who cut or tore notes from sheets and then
  signed them in full view of incredulous waiters or store clerks
  in the process of paying a bill have taken on an urban legend
  quality.  These accounts have been repeated so often that
  they have completely lost their novelty value, despite the fact
  that some of them undoubtedly actually occurred."

  Mark Van Winkle writes: "A couple of comments about
  cutting up sheets of bills. When I interviewed John Ford he
  said occasionally after a coin show Amon Carter, Jr. would
  get a kick out of taking sheets of bills with him to a restaurant.
  When it was time to pay the check, he would pay part of it
  by pulling out a pair of scissors and cutting up the sheet of
  bills he had folded up in his jacket pocket. Of course, the
  waiter would always be confounded by such action. He and
  Amon got a lot of laughs out of it over the years, but one time
  a waiter called the cops on them thinking they were

  After John told me this story, Bob Merrill ran into a deal of
  32-subject sheets of $2 bills at face value. I bought one of the
  sheets and carried it around in my car with a pair of scissors.
  It was always great fun to cut several deuces from the sheet
  and see people's reaction. I remember I bought something
  once for $10 and trimmed five $2 bills from the sheet--three
  up and two across. The poor guy across the counter was
  absolutely baffled, but he accepted them (and didn't call the
  cops). I've often wondered what he did with them, did he
  cut up the five notes or does he still have the irregular-shaped
  "ten dollar bill?"

  Dave Bowers writes: "In the 1960s Jim Ruddy and I,
  trading as Empire Coin Co., bought Creative Printing, a
  printing plant, modest in size, in Binghamton, NY. However,
  Creative did have some great accounts including IBM,
  General Electric, and Link Aviation.

  Jim and I bought a bunch of small-size uncut sheets of U.S.
  currency, took them to Creative Printing, and fastened them
  with little clips (like clothespins) to a metal wire strung across
  one part of the shop -- where the bills sort of look as if they
  had just been printed and were now drying!

  For a long time people would come in, ease up to be near
  the bills, study them out of the corners of their eyes, and
  then go on to their business. No one ever asked about
  them directly!"


  Dave Bowers writes: "I was the author of that item about
  Melnick and Ford bidding--it was in the Garrett sale and
  is a true incident."


  Responding to last week's items about dealer Herb Melnick,
  Dick Johnson writes: "Don't believe everything you read on the
  web!  I knew Herb Melnick. He WAS likable and a mentor
  to me in many ways.  When my partner, Chris Jensen, and I
  had purchased 64,000 medals from Medallic Art Company,
  we tried several methods of selling them (outright sales,
  advertising, coin shows). It was Herb Melnick who suggested
  we try an auction and he volunteered to call the auction.

  It worked! Our first Johnson & Jensen auction had only
  307 lots, but virtually everything sold.  So we had Herbie call
  a second, then a third, until his death in 1982.   He did this at
  a time when he was calling auctions for his employer, NASCA,
  in addition to being a freelance auctioneer to major coin firms
  at prominent coin shows (even as far afield as Hawaii!).

  I first met Herb in 1972 when he joined with five other
  numismatists to organize the Maccabee Mint. Herb showed up
  in the offices of Medallic Art Co to plan their first medal,
  "Genesis." We were fast friends thereafter.

  I was unaware of the John Ford/Herb Melnick conflict. Chris
  and I were in NASCA's offices in Rockville Center many
  times. [Herb not only called our auctions he also consigned to
  us.]   Ford showed up often too since he lived nearby on
  Long Island - it seems he always wanted to use NASCA's
  photocopy machine! (He didn't have his own?)

  I would say these heated conversations were the Sparing of
  Giants, not the conflict of adversaries!   Both could have gruff
  exteriors, but I personally knew both men deep down as pussy
  cats! You had to earn their respect over time. Yes! But once
  you did that, either one would do anything for you. Treat them
  with respect and they treated you likewise.

  I must relate one Herb Melnick anecdote.  Herb had perfect
  timing at the auction podium.  At a major auction a very
  expensive gold coin was up for sale. Bids came fast and furious.
  Tension was heavy.  Herb wanted some comic relief.  After
  another round of multi-thousand dollar raises he said: ?You
  know, of course, it's filled with chocolate!.?


  Paul Withers writes: "Readers of The E-Sylum may find the
  following, which we have just added to our 'Wazzock's Corner'
  on our website ( amusing.   A lot of my
  wazzock stories come via my good friend Gary, who has a
  retail outlet in Birmingham and sees more than we do of the

  A collector who sells him coins from time to time
  approached him with the amazing story that someone to whom
  he had recommended Gary as a buyer told him that he had
  been to their office once and on no account would he go to
  there again, as far from being experts, they didn't know what
  they were doing.

 "How do you know that they don't know what they are
  doing ?"  he asked.

  "Stands to reason" said the bloke, "if they really knew what
  they were doing, they wouldn't need all those books they've

  There is a certain inescapable logic about that, I suppose !"


  This week's featured web site is something I've discovered
  a bit late.  It's about a 27 December, 2002 - October, 2003
  at the Hermitage Museum titled "Jacob Reichel: Medallist,
  Collector, Scholar"

  "The new exhibition is dedicated to the acquisition by the
   Hermitage of the numismatic collection of J.J. Reichel, a
  major collector, medallist and designer of the St. Petersburg
  Mint (1760-1856). When the hereditary medallist (his father
  Johann Jacob Reichel was medallist at the Warsaw Mint
  under King Stanislaw August Poniatowski) came to St.
  Petersburg, he was in 1799 admitted to the Medal Class of
  the Academy of Arts.  In 1802 he became student at the St.
  Petersburg Mint and in 1808 was appointed medallist of the
  Mint's Medal Chamber."

  "In the 1820s, Jacob Reichel started to collect Russian and
  West European coins and medals which he purchased at
  international auctions and from famous Russian and West
  European numismatists with many of whom he corresponded.
  Reichel's collection became renowned due to its catalogue in
  nine volumes published by its owner."

  Wayne Homren
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society 

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