The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 45, November 7, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  The current issue was delayed several hours by technical
  difficulties.  Sorry for the inconvenience - we're still here,
  although the computer is known to go into a coma now and
  then.  We'll do our best to keep The E-Sylum coming
  regardless.  -Editor.


  Among recent new subscribers is George Selgin.
  Welcome aboard!  We now have 697 subscribers.


  Past NBS President Michael J. Sullivan writes: "Hats off!
  The 25th anniversary issue is a fine compilation of content
  both in terms of depth, range and presentation.  This is
  clearly the best issue in years.  I also applaud the NBS for
  using a portion of the organization's financial resources to
  properly pack and mail the issue.  Not to mention - 25
  years is a great achievement."


  Fred Lake writes: "It is with pleasure that Lake Books
  announces that their 77th mail-bid sale of numismatic
  literature is now available for viewing on its web site at
  Current Sale

  The 544-lot sale contains selections from the library of
  John M. Ward, Jr. (EAC member #74) and a continuation
  of items from the library of Robert Doyle. Early American
  Copper enthusiasts will find many reference books that
  were kept in beautiful condition by John Ward.  The
  Tokens & Medals area is abundantly covered in Bob
  Doyle's consignment. In addition, you will find books and
  catalogs relating to Ancients, World, United States,
  Paper Money, Numismatic Literature, Banking Histories,

  The sale has a closing date of December 7, 2004 at 5:00
  PM (EST) and remember to bid early as ties are won by
  the earliest bid received. You may bid via email, fax,
  telephone or US Mail. Good Luck in your bidding!"


  On November 2, 2004, the Charleston, NC Post and
  Courier published an article about some newly-discovered
  printing plates for early Charleston-area paper currency:

  "Charleston was running low on silver money toward the
  end of the War of 1812, so the city ordered $20,000 of
  currency printed in bills worth from 6-1/4 to 50 cents,
  bearing images of farm animals.

  This fall, 190 years after the steel plates used to print the
  bills were created, they turned up in an old safe in City Hall.
  The discovery by Charleston city employees who were
  preparing the building for a major renovation has caused a
  buzz at museums from Columbia to Washington.

  "I can't wait to see them," said Richard Doty, numismatics
  curator at the Smithsonian. "It's quite a find."

  With the printing plates was a treasure trove of financial
  artifacts from some of Charleston's darkest days.

  Another set of richly engraved plates used to make Charleston's
  city-issued currency during the Civil War was found. It bore
  images of City Hall, the Old Citadel and a slave picking cotton."

  "Nancy Phelps, director of Charleston's Record Management
  Division, has been researching the plates. She found a copy of
  the ordinance dated Oct. 3, 1814, ordering the printing of the
  oldest of the notes "to remedy the evil arising from the present
  want of change."

  To read the full article, see: Full Story


  Tom DeLorey of Harlan J. Berk, Ltd. writes: "There are still
  two leased coin shops operating in downtown Chicago, one
  in the basement of Marshall Fields on State St., and the other
  on the fifth floor of the Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. store two
  blocks South. Without them we would be lonely, as there
  are no other coin shops in the Loop.  The high rents have
  driven everybody else out."

  Mark Borckardt writes: "As always, another enjoyable issue
  of The E-Sylum!

  I read with interest all the comments about Department Store
  Numismatics, and it seems this might make a wonderful print
  article (with a little editing), for The Numismatist.  Perhaps
  with a reference to E-Sylum in the article to boost membership.
  I am a little surprised that nobody mentioned Howard
  Newcomb and the Newcomb-Endicott Stores in Detroit.
  While not a place that current collectors would remember,
  there is no need to mention how important Newcomb was to
  collecting. I certainly don't know if those stores had a coin
  department, but the connection between this department
  store and numismatics is obvious."


  Dave Hirt writes: "I really enjoyed this week's  E-Sylum - I
  thought it was one of the best.    I was sorry to read of the
  death of Frank Van Zandt. I replaced him as Secretary-
  Treasurer of NBS,  and early on called him for some help
  on the new job. As we talked he seemed surprised at my
  numismatic knowledge, and for a while he called quite often.
  We often talked for an hour or more on numismatics, famous
  collectors, history, etc.  It was quite enjoyable to me.

  Some time later I was visited by agents of the Department
  of the Interior.  They were investigating trafficking in illicit
  Indian artifacts.  They had receipts of packages mailed to
  me by Frank. It turned out the receipts were for four large
  boxes of back issues of The Asylum. The last time I spoke
  with Frank was at the 2003 ANA in Baltimore.

  Also I noticed in the Numismatist the death of Charles M.
  Williams. It would seem the ANA could have written an
  obituary for someone who was a 70-year member. At one
  time Williams had a very extensive collection!  Many very
  rare coins can be traced back to his collection.  His Half
  Cents and Large Cents were sold at auction by Numismatic
  Gallery on Nov 14, 1950."


  Fred Reed writes: "Recently there was a thread in The
  E-Sylum about the history of the Chase Manhattan Bank
  Money Collection.   I recently dug out of my storage facility
  a 36-page booklet put out by the Smithsonian Institution at
  the time it unveiled some of the treasures from that collection.
  The title of the work is "Highlights from the Money
  Collection of the Chase Manhattan Bank" by Elvira E.
  Clain-Stefanelli,  published by the National Museum of
  History and Technology, SI in 1979.

  The work was financed by Stack's and evidently designed
  by Frank Hannah.  It's loaded with photos and has a very
  lucid history of the collection and its artifacts."


  George Selgin writes: "I recently came across the very
  interesting NBS website.  In light of the Society's aims,
  I thought it appropriate to bring to its attention a book
  I'm in the process of completing on the subject of British
  tokens.  The (long) working title is: "GOOD MONEY:
  How Some British Button Makers Beat Gresham's Law,
  Solved the Most Urgent Economic Problem of Their Day,
  and Saved the Industrial Revolution."  It is intended to be
  the first comprehensive history of the last two British token
  episodes and their role in the birth of modern coinage.

  I've placed drafts of several chapters on my website, at Draft
  under the heading "Private Coinage"), and would be very
  grateful to have your members and e-mail list subscribers
  alerted to them, so that they might provided me with


  Recent television ads have been promoting an upcoming
  film which uses a U.S. currency design as a plot device.
  Starring Nicholas Cage, the film "National Treasure" is set
  to open on November 19, 2004.  The action-adventure
  film's plot was summarized as follows on the ComingSoon
  web site:

  "Academy Award winner Nicholas Cage stars as the brilliant
  Benjamin Franklin Gates, third generation treasure hunter.
  All his life, Gates has been searching for a treasure no one
  believed existed: amassed through the ages, moved across
  continents, to become the greatest treasure the world has
  ever known. Hidden by our Founding Fathers, they left
  clues to the Treasure's location right before our eyes...
  from our nation's birthplace, to the nation's capital, to clues
  buried within the symbols on the dollar bill."

  The film's official web site is: National Treasure

  Anything that gets the general public to take a closer
  look at currency is a good thing for numismatics.  Of
  course, the film will likely spawn further cockamamie
  theories about the symbolism on the bill."


  Len Harsel writes: "Although I can't remember his name,
  the Alexandria, Virginia Coin Club had a blind member for
  several years before he died.  I heard that he was blinded in
  a ski accident; that would account for his knowledge.  In
  the club's auctions, he would only bid on silver dollars (I
  have always wondered if he was concerned about the
  grading since I sometimes disagreed with the grader/
  auctioneer).  So, you can never say never. "

  Tom DeLorey writes: "We do have one blind collector at
  Berk's. He picks through our foreign junk boxes by feel,
  and when he finds one he likes we put it in an envelope
  with a description on it his kids can read back to him later."

  Allan Davisson writes: "When John Barton (Owl) was alive,
  he had as a client a very active collector in the midwest who
  was blind. The man bought important coins. John explained
  that he had an assistant who worked for him but he himself
  enjoyed handling the coins. Apparently his assistant was
  knowledgeable as well--the quality and price level of
  material he purchased was not insubstantial. I recall selling
  him a set of Dalton & Hamer  tokens at one time but he
  was still primarily John's customer.  After John's untimely
  death, I did no more business with the collector."

  Gar Travis writes: "It was my understanding and perhaps
  not unknown to others that the large plaster galvanos that
  were once featured in the opening foyer of the ANA
  museum were offered as a way for those who were sight
  impaired to feel the images of coins.

  I have met several sight impaired / blind collectors - both
  as I recall who had mentioned that the "hooey" about the
  Susan B. Anthony dollar and the Washington quarter
  dollar being confusing to those with sight was surely not
  possible, all they had to do was look; as they could simply
  by feel - tell the difference.

  It's the paper money with which they had the most
  difficulty and suggested that currency perhaps be made in
  varying sizes as in Europe (at the time) and as some with
  braille, though the braille was often inadequate."


  Chris Faulkner Like many other subscribers, I've learned a
  great deal from the continuing discussion of coining technology.
  A couple of weeks ago, in the course of distinguishing between
  roller and rocker presses, Dick Johnson mentioned the
  importance of the upsetting machine in preparing suitable
  blanks for striking. This prompts two questions. I am curious
  to know when the upsetting machine was first introduced.
  Secondly, I would also like to know what other, related kinds
  of manufacturing industries might have made use of such


  Steve D'Ippolito writes: "I am gratified that the thick book
  /thin book contest still seems to be active.  I have what may
  be the thinnest hard bound book.   It is "Russian Gold Coins"
  by Elivra Eliza Clain-Stefanelli issued by Spink and Sons
  Ltd. in 1962.  The cover is thin cardboard but cardboard
  nonetheless, with glossy red paper as the outer layer, and
  endsheets glued to the inside surface of the cardboard --
  makes it a hardback in my book (pun intended).  The text
  is 40 pages not including the two endsheets (which are really
  part of the binding).  The whole thing seems to be about 4
  millimeters thick (just a shade over 5/32nds of an inch)."


  Dick Johnson writes: "The Brenner Haney Medal has gone
  through many varieties over the years. Originally established
  in 1909 the Haney Medal was first struck by Robert Stoll
  of New York City. This was the firm Victor Brenner first
  worked for as a hand engraver when he came to this country
  in 1889 and employed by Stoll by 1892. Whether Brenner
  brought this job to Stoll in 1909 or it came to Stoll who
  commissioned Brenner we do not know. However Brenner
  traveled in the art circles of New York City, so it may have
  come to him direct. Brenner was a modeller by then (having
  learned to make a model oversize prior to 1900 in Paris
  and having the model reduced by pantographic reduction;
  he brought this technology to America that year).

  I remember seeing a six-inch galvano of the obverse of the
  Haney Medal among the works of Medallic Art Co (where
  I was director of research, 1967-1977). So at some point
  in time (prior to 1917 the job came to Medallic Art Co to
  strike the medal. The year was in raised letters (as was the
  rest of the lettering on the reverse) leaving a large reserve
  for the recipient to have his own name engraved (by his
  local jeweler, so if you see several of these named they
  will all be different engraving styles). They were bestowed
  to art students.

  Brenner was proud of this medal and exhibited it at the
  International Exhibition of Contemporary Medals at the
  American Numismatic Society in 1910 (IECM Catalog,
  Brenner number 12, page 26 ).

  In 1923 Haney?s name was added to the reverse,
  previously it was called the "School Art League of New
  York City Craftsmanship Medal" ? a mouthful! After
  1923 everyone called it simply the "Haney Medal."
  Thank goodness! Wayne Homren had the correct Haney
  it was named after in last week?s E-Sylum.  It was still
  being issued when I was at Medallic Art Co in the 1970s.

  I cataloged this medal for MAco archives and gave it
  number "09-11" (for the year it was founded) although it
  was first struck by MAco between 1909 and 1917. Later
  to cut the cost of retooling the reverse die every year the
  year was simply left off the die creating the final variety.

  The description at the website quoted last week,
  contained several errors. (why amateurs should not describe
  medals ? take note eBay sellers). They called it a plaque.
  No, it is smaller than eight inches -- it is a plaquette.  It
  also said the "Fabricator" was Medallic Art Co. No, no,
  no!  A fabricated medal has two parts that are soldered
  together. Call MAco the maker, manufacturer, medallist
  or "struck by," but not the fabricator for this medal.

  It is strange ANS asked to have the medal donated. They
  have one in their collections, their accession number
  1987.147.5. I sold two Haney medals in my Johnson &
  Jensen auctions, and Joe Levine has sold two as well in
  his Presidential Coin & Antique auctions, the last June 16,
  2001 (sale #69, lot 1713, where it brought $110).  Joe
  implied its rarity, stating "It could not have been awarded
  for any length of time!" It has been awarded for a long
  period of time, what is strange is that more of them have
  not come on the numismatic market.

  Perhaps it is an ideal flea market find. In worn condition
  it is a $25 medal. In better condition it can range from
  $40 to $100."


  Steve D'Ippolito writes: "I second Dick Johnson--the main
  reason to collect numismatic literature is in essence the
  content of the literature.  I have in my possession a CD-ROM
  of the Corpus of the Grand Duke Georgii Mikhailovich.  An
  original copy of this multi-volume work, which came out
  over a period of decades just before the 1917 revolution,
  will set you back at least $10K.  The subsequent French
  reprint is still well into four figures; the abbreviated French
  reprint (without the invaluable reference material--hundreds
  of pages for each reign of Emperor or Empress) set me back
  $200 when I bought it--years before the CD-ROM came out.
   I now have access to all that reference material in JPEG format
  and I now doubt I would buy the original even if I had the
  money.  Without the CD ROM, I don't think I could make that
  statement.  (I have been known to drop $500 on a single book
  when I had to, more in line with my budget, and establishing the
  principle that I will pay big bucks (by my standards) for the
  information if I have to.)  Now if only I were fluent enough in
  Russian to read the reference material...."


  American Numismatic Association Education Director Gail
  Baker has published a tentative list of 2005 ANA Summer
  Seminar classes.  The December issue of Numismatist will
  have the registration form.

  Session I
  1) Grading United States Coins
  2) Advanced Coin Grading
  3) Intaglio Engraving
  4) Adventures in Numismatics and the Sights of
       Colorado Springs
  5) Spanish Colonial Mexican Coinage
  6) Ancient Roman Coinage
  7) The Compleat Numismatist
  8) Numismatics for the Museum Professional
  9) Numismatics of the American Revolutionary Period
  10) Women in Power
  11) Collecting U.S. Type Coins
  12) Preparing a Winning Exhibit
  13) United States National Bank Notes
  14) The Ultimate Mint Error Course
  15) Digital Photography
  16) World Paper Money

  Session I Mini-Seminars
  A) Wonderful World of MPC's 6/25-26
  B) Introduction to Crowns & Thalers 6/25-26
  C) Creating a PowerPoint Program 6/25-26
  D) Counterfeit Detection of World Paper Money 6/25-26
  E) Biblical and Judean Coins 6/25-28
  F) Judges' Certification 6/26 (AM) & 6/28 (PM)
  G) Detection of Counterfeit Gold Coins 6/27-28
  H) Collecting Broken Bank Notes and Other Obsolete
       Paper Money 6/27-28
  I) Don?t Fear the Fourth Graders 6/27-28


  On Friday, October 29 Reuters published an article about
  new currency being released in Japan.

  "Holograms and kaleidoscopes of shimmering colors will
  be part of Japan's latest hi-tech response to the growing
  number of banknote counterfeiting cases troubling authorities.

  New banknotes will go into circulation on Monday with
  sophisticated security features and new designs as the
  central bank hopes to reverse a 25-fold rise in the number
  of forged notes discovered in the country in the past five

  "We have made these banknotes hoping they will be
  foolproof," Bank of Japan Governor Toshihiko Fukui said
  in August. Some 30,000 forged banknotes are expected
  to be found by the end of this year alone, almost double
  the 16,910 in 2003.

  The new notes -- the first major overhaul in 20 years --
  will feature holograms, watermarks and latent images,
  where the word "Nippon" (Japan) can be seen on the
  reverse when the notes are slanted at a specific angle.

  Iridescent pink ink will be used on the borders of the
  bills, and the Chinese characters for "1,000 yen" will
  appear in pink when the bill of that value is tilted a
  certain way."

  "While the Bank of Japan may have hoped the notes were
  foolproof as well as in tune with the times, however, officials
  were left red-faced earlier this month when a stolen test print
  of the new 1,000 yen bill came up for auction on an Internet

  The bill attracted a nominal bid of around $89 million before
  the auction was canceled."

  To read the full story, see: Full Story

  On November 2, The New York Times published an article
  on the topic.

  "For the first time in 20 years, Japan has redesigned its bank
  notes, issuing a pretty new series of bills on Monday that feature
  rabbit-ear irises, the first formal portrait of a woman on a
  Japanese bank note, and, of course, the requisite image of a
  snow-capped Mount Fuji, framed in cherry blossoms.

  Unlike the currency changes once common in South America's
  inflationary economies, no zeros were lopped off the notes of
  deflationary Japan.  With one United States dollar now worth
  106 yen, the new 1,000-yen note is worth $9.45, the new
  5,000-yen bill is worth $47.27, and the new 10,000-yen note
  is worth $94.50."

  The high cost suggests another agenda, which appears to be
  flushing out hidden money. The currency shift is an attempt to
  bring into the economy trillions of yen that Japan's elderly
  keep stashed at home.

  "The trick in Japan is to unlock the mattress money, the futon
  money," Jesper Koll, chief economist for Merrill Lynch Japan,
  said. "In Japan, coins and notes account for about 15 percent
  of national income, which compares to 6 percent in Germany
  and 3 to 3.5 percent in America."

  Until Japan's banking crisis hit a decade ago, 7 percent of the
  national income was held in cash. Now, with the banks
  increasingly stable, the government hopes to lure some of the
  $700 billion in mattress money into banks, or better yet into
  consumer spending and investments."

  "Although the old notes are to be withdrawn from circulation
  two years from now, there is no fixed date for their sunset as
  legal tender.

  Even so, Japanese authorities evidently hope that the prime
  minister's visit to the Bank of Japan will send a signal to
  people hoarding cash that they should turn in their money.
  About two-thirds of cash in Japan is held by people over 65
  years old. The act of bringing cash to a bank may prompt
  some to spend it."

  To read the full story, see: Full Story


  This week's featured web site is suggested by Sebastian
  Heath of the American Numismatic Society, who noted
  on the AMNUMSOC-L mailing list: "I thought readers might
  find the following site useful: .
  It has a growing list of auction catalogs available."

  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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