The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 32, August 8, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  An August 2 article in an Indian newspaper reports that "A
  new team will take over the investigation of the unsolved theft
  of litterateur Rabindranath Tagore's Nobel prize from his home
  inside Visva Bharati University."

  "On March 25, security staff of Uttarayan, Tagore's home
  inside Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan town, discovered
  that at least 50 of his memorabilia, including the Nobel gold
  medal he won in 1913, were missing."

  "Several people were detained, many suspects questioned,
  criminal hideouts raided, antique dealers tapped and a Rs.1
  million reward announced for information on the theft - but so
  far no breakthrough has been made."

  "University authorities have asked the Sweden-based Nobel
  awards committee for a replica of the medal."
Full Article


  A U.K. newspaper reported on 29 July that "An amateur
  archaeologist is set to learn this week that his hobby has
  earned him a five-figure fortune.

  Brian Malin, of Cotswold Crescent, Chipping Norton,
  discovered a hoard of Roman coins on a farm south of
  Oxford with a metal detector in April 2003.

  An inquest in Oxford at the end of May this year ruled the find
  "treasure trove", meaning the coins must be sold to a museum
  or collector and the money given to the discoverer."

  "The official valuation of the 5,000 coins by experts hired by the
  Department of Culture, Media and Sport, will be posted to Mr
  Malin, who will split the value with the owner of the field where
  they were discovered, rusted together in a Roman pot.

  One coin is only one of two in existence and proves the identity
  of an obscure Roman emperor, Domitianus, who ruled the
  empire for just four days in the late 3rd century AD.

  The coins are still on display at the British Museum in London,
 where they have been since the end of February.

  After their evaluation it will join the Ashmolean Museum in
  Oxford in bidding for the collection.  Full Article


  Last week, Ralf Böpple wrote asking for the period during
  which the Money Museum of the Central Bank of the
  Philippines published their journal BARRILLA.

  Ken Berger writes; "Ralf Bopple's question regarding the
  Barrilla is one I have wondered about for many years. All
  I can tell him is that the last Barrilla I have in my collection
  is dated December 1989."

  Howard A. Daniel III writes: "Ray Czahor is my first contact
  for anything and everything Philippines, so I recommend that
  Ralf Böpple can have his question answered about the Barrilla
  by contacting Ray at cjcpi at  If Ralf, or anyone
  else, is attending the Pittsburgh ANA convention and needs
  information about Philippine numismatics, they can see Ray
  there   at club table 15 there for the Philippine Collectors
  Forum (PCF).  And he will be the moderator for the PCF at
  1-4PM on Friday, August 20 in Room 316, where there will
  be three presentations on Philippine numismatics, and a show
  and tell of each attendee's favorite or unique item.  More
  information can be obtained at Ray's website at More Info."

  Jess Gaylor writes: "Scroll down for an answer straight
  from the horse's mouth.  Thanks for a great newsletter.
  These queries make my day. "

  Lucrezia J. G. Villanueva, Chief Librarian, BSP Library
  writes: "In connection with your email dated 3 August 2004
  regarding the publication of Barilla Journal, kindly be informed
  that said journal had been discontinued. Last issue was
  December 1989. For more information kindly contact the
  Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Money Museum at telephone no.
  5247011 local 2981."


  I don't have much on Philippine numismatics in my library,
  but thought I'd mention an interesting booklet titled "Know
  The Counterfeit" published by the Central Bank of the
  Philippines in 1956.  The 67-page pamphlet is well illustrated
  and makes interesting reading.


  As the "Great Numismatic Libraries of Pittsburgh" tour
  approaches, a timely study reports that "Pittsburgh is the
  third most literate city in the United States behind Minneapolis
  and Seattle, according to a study of reading behavior released
  yesterday.  The city finished sixth last year in the first such
  survey of reading done by the University of Wisconsin-

  The other top 10 cities were Madison, Wis., Cincinnati,
  Washington, D.C., Denver, Boston, Portland, Ore., and San

  Finishing last among the 79 metro areas with populations of
  200,000 or more was El Paso, Texas. That city also was at
  the bottom last year when 64 metro areas were surveyed.

  Helping to boost Pittsburgh's ranking was its fourth-place
  finish in library use, one of five categories devised to chart
  reading activity."

  [The top cities are all well-populated with E-Sylum readers.
  If there were a survey targeting numismatic literary, I wonder
  what city would come out of top?   And what if we extended
  the survey internationally?  Where are the greatest
  concentrations of numismatic bibliophiles? -Editor]

  Full Article


  John Kraljevich writes: "The annual Rittenhouse Society
  meeting will be on Friday, August 20 in Pittsburgh. Since
  there is no official list of members of this most informal
  group outside of the membership's collective memory,
  could you ask those members who read The E-Sylum to
  contact me (johnk at this week for time
  and location specifics, and to informally RSVP?"


  Last week, W. David Perkins gave us this question at the end
  of his submission on "a prominent early silver dollar collector
  (active in the 1950s and 1960s)"  He asked, "What was the
  name of the "prominent collector?"  Hint, this collector was
  the subject of a talk I gave at the NBS Annual Meeting a few
  years ago at the Philadelphia ANA Convention."

  We've had no responses, but I'll take a guess.  From my
  recollection of the talk, it was about Alfred J. Ostheimer.


  Dick Johnson brings us a new quiz question.  He writes:
  "Now that the American Numismatic Society is leaving the
  building that has been its home for 96 years, can you name
  the numismatists whose names are inscribed on the tablature
  of the facade above the building's entrance?  (The Society
  moved into the building December 1907 from a  room next
  door at the Hispanic Society where it had been meeting
  for a year. The first meeting in the new building was the
  Fiftieth Annual Meeting January 20, 1908.)

  Hint 1: Archer Milton Huntington's name is not there (despite
  the fact he donated the land and made up the difference
  between the money raised for the building and its actual costs).

  Hint 2: The names are all numismatic book authors. It's fair
  game to peek at the building (if you are standing on Audubon
  Terrace while you read this)."

  [See this week's Featured Web Page for more on Audobon
  Terrace.  It includes a picture of the buildings, but no close-up
  of the tablature. -Editor]


  Gregg Silvis writes: "A question for the E-Sylum collective:
  I need assistance in confirming two citations from The
  Numismatist.  In a letter to the editor of The Numismatist,
  Commodore W.C. Eaton responded to the question, "When,
  where and why did you start to collect coins?"  Eaton's
  letter is dated November 5, 1921.  Unfortunately, it would
  seem that these early letters to the editor are not indexed in
  the Numismatic Index of Periodicals.  I need:

  1) The citation for Eaton's letter to the editor, which would
       have appeared after November 5, 1921.

  2) The citation in which the editor posed the question, "When,
      where and why did you start to collect coins?," which
      would have appeared prior to November 5, 1921.

  Any assistance would be greatly appreciated and acknowledged
  in my forthcoming Penny-Wise article on William Colgate Eaton,
  Frederick Reed Alvord, and Dr. Wallace S. Bardeen.  I can be
  contacted at gregg at  Thanks!"


  Howard A. Daniel III writes: "I am a specialist in Southeast Asia,
  but my 1st edition copy of Hessler's "U.S Essay, Proof and
  Specimen notes is the only reference I own and knows that
  explains essay, proof and specimen notes in plain English.  And
  I can hardly wait to get my hands on the 2nd edition because
  there will be even more information in it than the 1st edition!  I
  have already paid for an autographed copy of the Limited
  Collectors' Edition at the International Paper Money Show at
  Memphis this past June, so I'm assured of obtaining my copy.
  I highly recommend that every collector of paper money from
  anywhere in the world should own a copy and that they should
  order it now at the BNR Press website at BNR Press
  before they are sold out."

  [The book is one of my favorite numismatic books, and I've
  already ordered the new edition.  I'm looking forward to
  reading it all over again. -Editor]


  Chris Faulkner writes: "Well, just ask and you shall be answered.
  Thanks to all for the helpful responses to my inquiry about the
  disposition of the holdings of the Chase Manhattan Bank Money
  Museum. Just proved again that the E-Sylum is a wonderful
  resource; kudos to Wayne for assuming the week in week out
  editorial responsibilities that allow this resource to flourish.

  The knowledgeable answers to my query prompt me to ask
  whether thought has ever been given to an annotated guide/
  history to past and present institutional numismatic holdings in
  North America. The sorts of institutions that come to mind
  include banks, universities, libraries, museums, archives,
  foundations, historical societies, manufacturers (e.g. mints)
  and numismatic associations. The knowledge and resources
  with which to undertake such a worthwhile project are probably
  to be found with the subscription list to the E-Sylum."


  Howard A. Daniel III writes: "The Mavin Coins, Banknotes &
  Postcards Auction 6 on catalog is on a nicely done CD-ROM
  and has its own plastic holder.  For those of you collecting
  CD-ROM-based auction catalogs, it can be requested at  The auction will be conducted on
  August 14 and 15, but for those just wanting the CD-ROM, it
  does not matter when you receive it.  But if you are also
  interested in Southeast Asian numismatics and/or postcards, you
  can review the lots and bid online.  I cannot remember at this
  time how many of this firm's auction have been placed on
  CD-ROMs, but I believe this is the third or fourth."


  Regarding the E and L counterstamps, Mark Borckardt writes:
  "I must disagree with Tom DeLorey's disagreement regarding
  the new theory. I have actually not read this article yet, so I
  cannot say whether I agree or disagree with the article.

  Tom made two observations. First, that the reverse does not
  show any disturbance, indicating the counterstamps were
  applied with the coin still in the mint die. Nearly every
  counterstamped quarter I have examined does have a minute
  disturbance on the reverse. With my old eyes, this is only
  visible with 5 to 10x magnification, but it is there. Tom
  compared these to the 1848 CAL quarter eagle that was
  counterstamped in the die and does not show any disturbance
  on the obverse.

  The other of Tom's observations is that the people doing the
  counterstamping would not have had access to a reverse die
  as a base or support for the stamping process. Even though I
  do not agree that these were counterstamped while resting on
  the die, all of the early 19th century coinage dies that left the
  mint (whether as scrap iron or any other reason) suggests to
  me that it is quite possible a reverse quarter dollar die was
  available outside the mint."

  Ronald S. Thompson writes: "Unless I am missing something,
  I don't think you need to put the quarters on the reverse die
  to counterstamp the obverse without damage.  I think the
  same result would occur with a reasonable hard wood other
  than really hard woods like oak, iron wood or ebony."


  Ken Berger writes: "In response to Dave Kellogg's comment,
  the C was only hard in classical Latin not in vulgate Latin."

  Dan Demeo writes: "No, no, no, no.  I believe Celtic has its
  origin in Greek, through Latin, and maybe German--Celtic,
  Keltic, hard C.  Civilization, sure, from Latin, and civis,
  citizen, was pronounced something like ke-vis, not si-vis,
  but we've had 2000 years of improvement since then, and it
  came to us through French--do you really want to try to
  correct the French?  Worse yet, Latin had  no J, so Julius
  Caesar was actually  yu-li-us  ky-sar--enough, already."


  This week's featured web page is about the history of
  Audobon Terrace, the former home of The American
  Numismatic Society in New York.

  "The Audubon Terrace Museum Group was the concept of
  scholar, art patron and philanthropist Archer M.Huntington.
  He was the son of Collis P. Huntington, owner of the Central
  Pacific Railroad and Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock
  Companies. The younger Huntington wanted to leave a cultural
  legacy for Hamilton Heights and Washington Heights with a
  variety of museums in one place.

  Huntington began purchasing Audubon Park, which was
  named for the estate of John James Audubon. The construction
  of the complex was planned to coincide with the building of the
  new subway line that was projected to go up Broadway.

  The complex is bordered by 155th Street, 156th Street,
  Broadway and Riverside Drive. The site was laid out in 1908
  by Charles Pratt Huntington, who had created the master plan
  for Audubon Terrace. Most of the major statues on the grounds
  were executed by Anna Vaughn Huntington.

  Audubon Terrace originally included The American Academy
  and Institute of Arts and Letters, The American Numismatic
  Society, The American Geographical Society, The Church of
  Our Lady of Esperanza and the Museum of the American
  Indian-Heye Foundation."  Full article

  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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