The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

PREV        NEXT        V7 2004 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 41, October 10, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Among recent new subscribers is Ivory Reinert, courtesy
  of Nolan Mims.  Welcome aboard!  We now have 694


  Fred Lake of Lake Books writes: "After a one week
  delay caused by Hurricane Jeanne, our sale #76 has
  been completed. You may view the complete prices
  realized list on our web site at:
  Prices Realized

  Once on that page, just scroll down to sale #76 and
  you will see the two links (PDF or Word) that will
  allow you to view the list.

  Our next sale (#77) will be held on December 7, 2004
  and will feature selections from the library of John M.
  Ward, Jr. (EAC #74) and a continuation of offerings
  from the fine library of Robert Doyle."


  [An obituary of prolific numismatic author Michael Grant
  was just published October 8, 2004.   Here are some
  excerpts. -Editor]

  "Professor Michael Grant, who died on Monday aged 89,
  was a don at Cambridge, Professor of Humanity (Latin) at
  Edinburgh, and vice-chancellor at the Universities of
  Khartoum and Queen's, Belfast, but was best known as a
  prolific populariser of ancient history who published nearly
  50 books on the Greeks, Romans and early Christianity."

  "As well as scholarly publications on the coinage of Rome
  (he was a distinguished numismatist), he produced biographies
  of Julius Caesar, Nero, Herod, Cleopatra, Jesus, St Peter
  and St Paul; accounts of the literature, history, art, mythology
  and social life of Greece and Rome; and found time to
  examine the Middle Ages and ancient Israel."

  "Michael Grant was born in London on November 21 1914,
  the only son of Colonel Maurice Grant, who had served in
  the Boer War and later wrote part of its official history, before
  covering the Balkan Wars for the Daily Mail and rising to
  become an obituarist - though he was sacked for failing to get
  up in the night to update Kitchener's obituary in 1916. His
  mother Muriel was of Danish stock, and descended from
  Jorgen Jorgensen, who staged an unsuccessful coup in
  Iceland in 1809."

  "He received many academic awards and prizes from
  numismatic societies. His Who's Who in Classical Mythology
  (with John Hazel, 1973) won the Prima Latina. His most
  recent book was Sick Caesars (2000). He was president of
  the Virgil Society (1963-66) and of the Classical Association
  (1978-9). His club was the Athenaeum. He received the OBE
  in 1946 and was advanced to CBE in 1958."

  To read the full obituary, see: Full Stroy


  From the press release: "The American Numismatic
  Society presents The Groves Forum Lecture by Mr.
  David E. Tripp   "1933 - The Paper Trail"

  Wednesday, November 10, 2004
  6:00 pm Reception
  6:30 pm Lecture
  At the ANS, 96 Fulton St. (enter at 140 William St.)

  Followed by dinner at 8:00 pm at the 14 Wall Street
  Restaurant, 31st floor Penthouse ($50 per person)

  To RSVP, please contact Juliette Pelletier at
  (212) 571-4470 ext.1311
  or pelletier at"


  At last, an answer to our quiz.  Dave Hirt writes: "I have an
  answer to the E-Sylum question of the first Confederate
  paper money collector. It is Alonzo Brock of Richmond, Va."
  [Correct! -Editor]


  [Another E-Sylum reader bags a big one!  -Editor]

  "An Anglo-Saxon penny fetched £230,000 at auction
  today - breaking the world record for a British coin."

  "American collector Allan Davisson bought the gold coin,
  found with a metal detector near the River Ivel in
  Bedfordshire in 2001.

  It is the only known coin to bear the name of King
  Coenwulf of Mercia and to show a clear regal design.

  It weighs 4.33g and is similar in size to the modern one
  pence coin."

  Full Story

  Another article on the topic:

Another Article


  Arthur Shippee pointed out this note on a coin hoard
  being offered by Spink:   The Pimprez Hoard

  "This remarkable hoard, deposited c.1140, was discovered
  by chance in the grounds of a house in the small town of
  Pimprez (Oise), near Beauvais, 50 kilometers north of Paris,
  in 2002."

  "The Pimprez hoard consists of 569 silver coins and 12
  silver ingots, comprising 446 English pennies, 374 of Henry I
  (1100-1135) and 72 of Stephen (1135-1154) and 123
  continental pennies and bracteates, mainly from the mints of
  Metz, Liege, Maastricht, Treves and Zurich. There were no
  royal French coins.

  The ingots are unusual in a hoard of this period. They vary in
  weight from 9.95 to 223.26 grams and amount, in total, to
  rather over half the bullion value of the hoard.

  The English pennies are struck in excellent silver and show
  little sign of wear from circulation, though many, particularly
  the crude coins of Henry I's last issue, type XV (1125-35),
  are of the typically poor  workmanship of the 12th Century.
  The earliest coin is a London mint cut halfpenny of Henry I's
  excessively rare type VIII, struck around 1113, but the
  glory of the hoard is the remarkable group of 24 pennies of
  Henry I's very rare type XI, the famous and distinctive
  "double inscription" issue, dating from around 1115."

  Full Stroy


  According to an article in the Daily Collegian of New
  England, a history professor is in Europe doing research,
  and he is looking for information on a man named
  Ezechiel Spanheim, whom he believes was a numismatist.

  "Brian W. Ogilvie, Associate Professor of History, has been
   conducting research in Europe on a $40,000 Fellowship for
   University Teachers from the National Endowment for the
   Humanities and a fellowship at the Columbia University
   Institute for Scholars at Reid Hall in Paris.

  His work centers on his hypothesis that the culture of
  17th-century diplomacy encouraged reconciliation between
  erudition and polite society.

  "In a nutshell, diplomats were not professionals in the 17th
  century. That is, there were no schools that trained diplomats,
  no civil service in the modern sense, and the like. They were
  often recruited from the ranks of scholars, because Latin was
  still the language of international law and it was also still used
  for negotiation. So there were a lot of diplomats who were

  More specifically, Ogilvie is gathering information on Ezechiel
  Spanheim, a numismatist (coin studier), scholar and diplomat.
  Ogilvie believes that Spanheim's unique role in European culture
  will offer a glimpse into the changing nature of the era (and
  validate his hypothesis). An obstacle in this is the fact that
  although he was famous in his day, he is now almost forgotten.

  "I have asked a few dozen historians who are specialists on
  early modern European history whether they have heard of
  Ezechiel Spanheim and almost always, the answer is no."

  To read the full article, see: " target="_blank">Full Story

  [So ... can any of our readers help?  -Editor]


  Terry Stahurski writes: "As usual, another excellent edition
  of The E-Sylum.    I was wondering if any of the readers
  know if Joseph Mickley, of Large and Half Cent restrike
  fame, ever worked as a stationer in Philadelphia.  Thanks
  and keep up the fine work."


  E-Sylum subscriber and numismatic author Michael Marotta
  is the new editor of The Mich-Matist, the official quarterly
  publication of the Michigan State Numismatic Society.  The
  format has changed "from 5.5 x 8 inches to 8.5 x 11 inches,
  and from full-page to two column..."   Michael is also
  responsible for the clubs web site.  "The Club's online
  presentation will become the primary medium in a few
  years.  The print version of the Mich-Matist will become
  the secondary medium.  This change will be gradual, but it
  is inevitable."   For more information on the organization,
  see More Info


  The October 7th Charlotte Observer published an interview
  with Jamie Franki, designer of one of the new U.S. nickel
  reverses.  Here are are few excerpts:

  "A piece of Jamie Franki's art might be in your pocket next
  spring.   Franki, a Concord illustrator, is helping to rejuvenate
  the image of the lowly nickel with his tribute to the American

  "Franki's American bison design will appear on all nickels
  minted between spring and fall of next year.   About 800
  million of the coins will be struck, many grabbed by collectors.
  The rest will become part of the roughly 18.9 billion nickels in

  Franki, who teaches illustration at UNC Charlotte, thought he
  might be designing a quarter when he was among more than
  33,000 people who downloaded applications to join a new
  U.S. Mint coin program for artists. But after he was chosen,
  he was invited to draw for the nickel. His American bison
  image was one of three selected from among 144 designs for
  next year's two-nickel series.

  "I let loose with this sort of Ric Flair nature boy whoop," he
  said. "This has been such a fabulous way for me to finally be
  patriotic and do what I do best."

  "It's already drawing positive reviews. David Sklow, a
  researcher for the American Numismatic Association, has
  seen only the sketch but likes what he sees. "If it comes out
  like it's depicted, I think it'll be the nicest of the group," he

  Franki, who grew up in Syracuse, spends his spare time
  refurbishing his historic home and collecting antiques. He has
  worked as a professional illustrator for publications including
  Stock Car Racing Magazine and InBusiness Magazine for
  more than 15 years."

  "He can't imagine better exposure for his work.  "It's a tiny,
  widely circulated piece of public art and everybody knows
  what it is," he said. "How cool is that?"

  To read the full article, see: Full Article


  In previous issues we noted how rare it is for counterfeiters
  to target circulating coinage.  One example of this was the
  case of Francis Leroy Henning of New Jersey who made
  counterfeit Jefferson nickels.

  On October 6th the Cherokee County Herald (Alabama)
  reported that counterfeit dimes had shown up in circulation.
  The article pictures several of the spurious coins alongside
  genuine pieces.

  "The Centre Police Department warns residents about
  counterfeit dimes that have been circulating in the area.
  Investigator Arlon Reed with the Centre Police Department
  said the fake dimes have been discovered in at least two
  local establishments with almost 30 dimes being discovered
  at one location. ?They were taken in while a customer
  purchased food or other convenience items,? said Reed.
  ?They are made of copper and aluminum. Every one of them
  have a mold. They appear to have some type of silver or
  aluminum paint.? According to Reed, these coins are not the
  same silver color as a true dime and some have mold marks
  like bubbles on them. Some have smooth sides, others have
  ribbed sides."

  "Law enforcement agents remind counterfeiters that
  manufacturing forged dimes carries the same penalty as
  counterfeit money in any other denominations."

  To read the full story, see: Full Story


  Martin Purdy writes: "I'm curious to know how author
  Jerry Remick is, or even if he is still alive.  He is a member
  of the Royal Numismatic Society of New Zealand, but we
  have not heard from him for a number of years now.  The
  last letter that we had from him  (1999?) said he was unwell,
  but we know nothing more."


  Regarding Dick Johnson's submission on the history of coin
  presses, Michael Schmidt writes: "Somewhere in here they
  missed the development of the roller press, and I can't say
  for sure at the moment without tracking down references,
  but the early tree coinages were struck on a roller press, not
  a screw press.  He may be right about the Pine Tree coinage,
  but it wouldn't surprise me if it was struck with the roller
  press as well."

  Howard A. Daniel III writes: "I had a major hole in my
  library with no copy of "The Art and Craft of Coinmaking;
  A History of Minting Technology."   I own a sample
  cash-style coin for Emperor Tu Duc of Viet Nam made
  from an Uhlhorn press and wanted to have the background
  information on how it was minted in my library.  The E-Sylum
  comes through again with information about a book where I
  can write a much more complete article about another
  Vietnamese coin!"


  From the October 3, 2004 issue of The E-Sylum:

  ". . . the year 2000 Canadian coins had a portrait of the
  Queen that was used in Great Britain between 1985 and
  1997. Why are they still using that? Would the Royal
  Canadian Mint not have already adopted the current portrait,
  seeing that Canada is in the Commonwealth?"

  In response, Gary Dunaier writes: "I, too, have wondered
  why Canada (and some other countries) had not changed
  the portrait of the Queen to the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait
  introduced in 1998.  Canada finally adopted a new portrait
  of Her Majesty beginning in 2003, designed by Canadian
  artist Susanna Blunt.  Being an American, I had no idea why
  Canada was allowed to not only *not* use the
  Rank-Broadley portrait, but create their own.

  The irony is that I prefer the Canadian design over the British
  version.  In my opinion, Rank-Broadley's portrait makes the
  Queen look like a scowling old lady, whereas Blunt's version
  presents Her Majesty in a classy, dignified manner befitting
  someone of her age.

  Here's a link to the Royal Canadian Mint's website page
  about the new design:  More info


  Dick Johnson writes: "I haven't done it yet, but if you try to
  photocopy a new U.S. twenty or fifty dollar bill on a new
  photocopy machine, up pops a message that you should visit
  an anticounterfeiting website: anticounterfeiting websitex

  Scary that the photocopy machine knows what you are
  copying?  Well, they tell me it is a new technology that is
  built into the machine triggered by images built into the new
  paper money.

  The machine technology was developed by Digimarc, which
  calls itself a "global leader in digital watermarking."
  Headquartered in Tualatin, Oregon, the bulk of Digimarc's
  business is making drivers' licenses more secure.

  Our Bureau of Engraving and Printing worked with a group
  formed by the national banks of U.S. and ten other countries.
  Formed in 1993 and originally called SSG-2 the group is now
  called the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group. It was
  CBCDG which commissioned Digimarc to create the technology.
  In 2003 the United States Treasury gave $2.9 million for this
  project. Everyone, however, is pretty closemouthed about all
  the technology involved, as perhaps they should be.

  Copy machines made by Kodak, Ulead and Hewlett-Packard
  now have the new copy machine technology. It is not mandatory
  yet for all makers of printers, scanners and copiers to include
  this capability, but it is being pushed by the big eleven national
  banks (from Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan,
  the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and of course
  the U.S.).

  Makers of graphic manipulation software, notably Adobe
  PhotoShop and Jase Printshop Pro, have also embedding the
  technology. I'm told the image just doesn't come up if you try
  to copy new currency of these nations with this software.

  My question is how this will affect the publication of numismatic
  paper money literature?  The U.S. law requires all reproductions
  of legal currency be either smaller (less than 3/4 the size of the
  original) or larger (more than 1 ½ times the original size) but it
  cannot be double sided. Formerly it was restricted to black-and-
  white only, but reproduction in color is now allowed.

  The law originally had the caveat these restrictions could be
  waived for "numismatic or educational purposes."  Forty-five
  years ago when I was editor of Coin World I subscribed to
  INTERPOL for their publication of all new currency as it was
  placed in current use. Illustrations of this currency was
  airmailed to subscribers (fastest dissemination at the time).
  This was to inform banks, and currency exchanges to keep
  up-to-date with new legal paper tender around the world.
  This was the only example I knew of educating the public
  about paper money (other than obvious notices in news

  If numismatists cannot scan images of paper money in the
  future with this anticounterfeiting technology prohibiting
  coping, how will the numismatic field be able to publish
  paper money books and articles? Must we save one of
  our old copiers for this purpose?

  Here is an early British story on the subject:  British Story


  In last week's issue, Ron Guth wrote: "Here's a question
  for your readers:    The name Clint Hester shows up in
  pedigree chains for the 1884 and 1885 Trade Dollars and
  I've seen the claim that  he was the consignor of those
  coins to the Menjou sale,  possibly with other rarities.
  Does anyone know from  whence that claim arose and
  whether or not it is true?"

  In response, David Gladfelter writes: "Clinton William
  Hester's obituary appears at 72 Numismatist 535 (1959).
  He lived in Los Angeles and was a "physiotherapist to the
  motion picture industry."  He was a native of Lincoln, NE,
  a World War I veteran who received a bronze Victory
  medal and the great seal of Nebraska for his service. He
  was a consignor to at least two Kosoff sales (according to
  Gengerke) but is not mentioned in the Menjou catalog.
  The 1884 and 1885 trade dollars have typically terse
  (for the time) Kosoff descriptions with no pedigree info
  whatsoever. Hester was apparently a regular customer of
  Kosoff's as I have at least one library edition sale catalog
  with his name on it. He was a frequent exhibitor at coin
  shows, and if he owned the trade dollars they would
  doubtless have been exhibited by him. Someone may
  remember having seen them in one of his exhibits. In a
  quick look through John Willem's book on the trade
  dollar one does not find mention of Hester.  This is a


  Pete Smith writes: "I recently acquired a thick new book.
  As I looked around my library this appeared to be the
  thickest book in my collection. This got me wondering if
  it is the thickest numismatic book ever published.

  May I suggest that E-Sylum readers report their suggestions
  for thickest book based on number of pages. Perhaps later
  we will establish categories such as American or foreign,
  antiquarian or modern, etc.

  I will withhold my title until we get a few more submissions.
  Let's start the bidding at a thousand pages. Can anyone
  beat that?"

  [I have my own guess as to which book Pete is referring
  to.  I told the author at the recent ANA convention, "it
  takes a big man to write a big book!"  It weighs in at
  1,041 numbered pages.

  My shelves hold two volumes though, each of which is
  nearly twice as thick as that one, .  But they may not meet
  Pete's criteria.  They are the 1980 and 1981 volumes of
  The Numismatist, each bound in a ridiculously large single
  volume.  I purchased them as part of a  uniformly-bound
  partial set.

  So, E-Sylum readers, what are your nominations for
  thickest numismatic book?    -Editor]


  Regarding our previous discussions about the earliest use
  of money,  Reid Goldsborough writes: "It's crucial when talking
  about early money and early coinage to keep in mind the
  difference between the two. In last week's E-Sylum the
  statement was quoted from a 30-year-old book that "It is
  generally conceded that China preceded the West in the
  invention and use of money."  The evidence doesn't support

  Not all money is in the form of coinage. Money has been used
  from the beginnings of civilization, in one form or another
  (seashells, beads, obsidian, and so on), to serve one or more
  of the functions of money (store of wealth, medium of exchange,
  and standard of value), and from before civilization as well.
  C. Opitz provides a comprehensive discussion of primitive
  money in his book An Ethnographic Study of Traditional
  Money: A Definition of Money and Descriptions of Traditional
  Money, First Impressions Printing, Ocala, 2000. D. Schaps
  offers an excellent analysis of the transition from primitive
  money to coinage in his book The Invention of Coinage and
  the Monetization of Ancient Greece, University of Michigan
  Press, Ann Arbor, 2004.

  On the other hand, the question of the first coinage is still, to
  some extent, undecided. There's simply not enough firm
  archeological evidence to make unassailable conclusions,
  though according to my reading what evidence there is
  continues to point to Lydia as the most likely source of
  coinage as we commonly understand it."


  If you're like many of us who store numismatic collections in
  bank safe deposit boxes, the following news item from the
  Associated Press will give you nightmares.

  "Safe deposit boxes from a bank branch in Hong Kong were
  taken away and crushed as scrap metal, leaving customers
  angry at the loss of their valued possessions, executives
  acknowledged Wednesday.

  Embarrassed bosses at Singapore-based DBS Bank Ltd.
  say they will repay customers for their losses after 83 boxes
  filled with valuables were removed Saturday by a contractor
  during renovations, then dumped and compressed in a
Full Story


  "Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history
  is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and
  speculation at a standstill." (Barbara Tuchman)

  [Thanks to the October 8th issue of NewsScan Daily.


  This week's featured web site is about the Electrum Lion
  Coins of Ancient Lydia (before Croesus):

     Featured Web Site
  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.

PREV        NEXT        V7 2004 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

NBS Home Page    Back to top

NBS ( Web