The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 10, Number 51, December 16, 2007:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2007, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


We have no new subscribers this week - what gives?   Give your
editor and a friend both a present for the holiday - invite a
numismatic friend to subscribe.

This week we open with news of the sale of an important
numismatic library on ancient coinage.   Next we have an
excerpt from Michael Moran's 'Striking Change' and a review
of Stephen Mihm's 'A Nation of Counterfeiters".  In numismatic
literature news from the American Numismatic Association, a
copy of first illustrated printed numismatic book has been
donated to the Dwight N. Manley Library.

Next, Ray Williams reviews the Sotheby catalog for the Washington
Order of the Society of the Cincinnati Medal, and 'Double Daggers'
author James Clifford is profiled.  Reviving an old tradition,
if briefly, Martin Purdy provides an update for the NBS online
numismatic bibliography, and an E-Sylum reader translates the
Brongniart Libertas Americana medal letters from French to

New queries this week involve an 1893 AJN article on Postage
and Fractional Currency.  In the news, a coin counterfeiter
is arrested in the U.K., a reward is offered for the return
of the stolen New Zealand medals, and the the PDSA animal
cemetery (resting place of Dickin Medal winners), has been

To learn which famous American numismatist could be 'Little
Wooden Willie', read on.  Have a great week, everyone.

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


[Marc Breitsprecher of Ancient Imports Inc. forwarded the
following announcement on behalf of Mike Malter and Alex
Malloy.  -Editor]

Malter Galleries Inc. of Encino, California announces our
Auction 89 featuring the "Unreserved" Alex Malloy Library
of Numismatic and Ancient Art books. The auction will take
place on Saturday and Sunday, January 12th and 13th in New
York City at the Radisson Lexington Hotel, 511 Lexington
Avenue at 48th Street (across the street from the Waldorf
Astoria Hotel). The auction features the entire working
library of long time classical numismatist, Alex Malloy.
Books will be sold individually and in bulk lots.

A two-week preview by appointment only of the books will
take place at a private residence located outside of NYC.
The ancient art books will be sold on Saturday, January 12th
and the coin books the following day. The entire catalogue
is available for free on our website at
or in hard copy for $15 postpaid.

To view the auction catalog, see:


[The December 2007 issue of The Whitman Review (Whitman
Publishing's online journal) has an article adapted from
the foreword to the new book by Michael Moran titled 'Striking
Change: The Great Artistic Collaboration of Theodore Roosevelt
and Augustus Saint-Gaudens'.  The foreword was written by
Henry J. Duffy, Curator of the Saint-Gaudens National Historic
Site in Cornish, New Hampshire.  Below are some excerpts.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens is a towering figure in 19th-century
American art and culture. As an artist he changed the course
of American art, introducing a classical simplicity that
heralded the later developments of modern art. As a teacher
he influenced the next generation of sculptors. As an organizer
of associations and exhibitions he brought a new understanding
of art to a wide audience. And as a city planner he played a
significant role in creating the city of Washington, DC, as
we know it today.

All of this is well known to art historians, but may not be
as familiar in the specialized world of numismatics. It is
for that reason that a new book about Saint-Gaudens and the
creation of the 1907 gold coinage is not only valid, but welcome.

The year 2007 is the centennial year of Saint-Gaudens’s death.
The anniversary has been commemorated in many ways, including
a feature-length film, exhibitions, and public programs. It is
appropriate to bring this book to the public in this special

Mr. Moran has approached the subject with a fresh look, recounting
the events surrounding Saint-Gaudens’s design of the $20 and $10
gold coins, but also placing this accomplishment in the light
of some other related work. The author’s description of the
World’s Columbian Exposition medal, the Roosevelt special
inaugural medal, and the Franklin medal is an added bonus
for readers.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

The December 2007 issue of The Whitman Review is online at:
Full Story


John and Nancy Wilson write: "At the Fall, 2007 Whitman Coin
Expo in Atlanta, Assistant Professor of History at the University
of Georgia Stephen Mihm, gave a  program based on his new book,
'A Nation of Counterfeiters - Capitalists, Con Men, and the
Making of the United States'.  It was a fascinating presentation.
We have many counterfeit obsolete bank notes in our collection
and learning about whom made them and why is very difficult.
Very little has been written about early counterfeiting of
bank notes.

"This great reference answers from A to Z everything you want
to know about counterfeiters from the revolutionary war followed
by the obsolete bank note era; and right up until, and including
the old large sized notes that circulated in our country from
1861 to 1928.  This well illustrated, hard bound 455 page
reference is jam packed with interesting stories, historical
facts and figures and numerous other things  about counterfeit
bank notes and there production.  The stories of many of the
counterfeiters will have you laughing and shaking your head.
The 48 pages of Notes to the Pages & Sources, along with the
Index are very useful to the researcher, collector, dealer as
well as the economic historian.

"It was a very enjoyable read by a gifted author.  We recommend
it to not only numismatists but non collectors as well.  It
lists for $29.95 retail; the publisher is Harvard University
Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

More information on the book can be found at:
Full Story


[The press release was issued by the American Numismatic
Association on Wednesday. -Editor]

A rare, 490-year old original copy of the first illustrated,
printed numismatic book, Illustrium Imagines (“Images of the
Illustrious”), has been donated to the American Numismatic
Association by well-known collector, sports agent and real
estate developer, Dwight N. Manley, of Newport Beach, California.
The book was printed in 1517 in Rome, Italy, and contains 204
ornate woodcut illustrations from ancient Roman coins and

Manley purchased it for $8,050 in the November 1, 2007, rare
Book auction conducted by George Frederick Kolbe of Crestline,
California. In the catalog, Kolbe described the book as “...
Of unparalleled importance, being only the second numismatic
Book ever published, and the first printed book substantially
Illustrating coins and medals ... A handsome publication, truly
one of the greatest landmarks in the history of numismatic

“This generous gift is unquestionably one of the most treasured
volumes in any numismatic library collection,” said ANA Acting
Executive Director Ken Hallenbeck. “This becomes the oldest
numismatic book in the world’s largest numismatic lending library.
It is a terrific addition to the ANA’s Dwight N. Manley Library.”
In 2003, the ANA Library was named in honor of Manley when he
gratefully donated $250,000 to the Association as way of saying
“thank you” for the $400 scholarship he received as a teenager
in 1980 to attend an ANA Summer Seminar session.

“This book needs to be available to scholars. There are fine
reproductions that have been produced in recent years, and one
already is in the ANA Library, but there is no substitute for
viewing and studying the real thing. When I saw an original
edition was available, I immediately thought about buying it
and donating it to the ANA,” Manley said.

“The book represents the beginnings of the science of numismatics,”
said Douglas Mudd, curator of the Edward C. Rochette Money Museum.
“Andrea Fulvio took the first steps towards making numismatic
information available to scholars and collectors by linking
information about ancient coins and medals to illustrations of
the pieces. This connection to the ancient world of Greece and
Rome was a key component of the Renaissance. In the process
Fulvio also managed to create a new collecting area — that of

Illustrium Imagines was written by Fulvio and the illustrations
are attributed to Ugo da Carpi of Venice, Italy, an acquaintance
of preeminent Renaissance artist Michelangelo. The 204 white-on-
black woodcuts show medallion-like portraits of Roman rulers
within elaborately drawn borders. The 120 leaves of the book
were rebound apparently in the 1700s with a spine lettered
in gilt.

“The suburb, expressive woodcut portraits were based on the
ancient Roman coins and medals in the collection of Jacopo
Mazzocchi, the book’s printer,” Kolbe explained.  The book
will be displayed in a special ANA Library exhibit during
Summer Seminar 2008, June 21 – July 4. The first-known printed
numismatic book, De Asse et Partibus Eius, a scientific study
of Roman metrology and coinage written by Guillaume Budé in
1514, did not contain illustrations.


It's Good News / Bad News from the American Numismatic
Association on the numismatic literature front.  Tim L.
Shuck of Ames, IA writes: "I received a letter Monday
indicating cancellation of the 'ANA Journal: Advanced
Studies in  Numismatics'. From the letter:

"Unfortunately, member interest and author participation
in 'ANA  Journal' were not as strong as we had hoped. In
addition, continued  production was not feasible given
current budgetary and staff resources. However, plans are
under way to compile and make available the papers presented
each year as part of the Maynard Sundman Lecture Series
at the ANA World's Fair of Money.

"The letter, from Managing Editor Andy Dickes, continues
with options for how to handle the unused portion of the
subscription. I'm not entirely surprised at this, as I
recently read an article (in Coin World, I think) indicating
the dearth of subscribers, high expenses relative to income,
and possibility of cancellation. If I recall correctly I was
one of fewer than 200 with a paid subscription.

I don't have enough history in numismatics to put this loss
more broadly in perspective, but I enjoyed and learned from
the issues I received."

[Numismatic history is littered with publications that start
off with good intent only to fizzle for one reason or another.
I was also a subscriber to the defunct publication, hoping to
show some support and add another good periodical to my library
holdings.  I'm keeping mine, but it will be interesting to see
how complete sets are valued in the numismatic literature
aftermarket. -Editor]


Ray Williams writes: "I do so look forward to The E-Sylum
every Sunday!  Thank you!  I read and reread Alan Weinberg's
review of the Sotheby hardbound catalog for the Washington
Order of the Society of the Cincinnati Medal, and his post
seemed to have a mildly negative twist.  I was fortunate to
obtain a copy for my library and I'm thrilled with it!

"I don't specifically collect Medals, but I do own a few.
My interests are in colonial coinage, and all my colonial
collecting friends have a passion for the history of this
time period.  All medals have a place in numismatics and
this one is no exception.  Although I won't be attending
the auction  because of work obligations and the lack of
resources to bid on this item, I will be anxiously awaiting
a call from a friend to tell me how the auction proceeded.

"Alan describes the humble appearance of the box containing
the medal, as not being worthy of its contents.  The box is
just a side piece of history connected to the medal and I'm
just thrilled that something as perishable as this container
was preserved for more than 200 years.  He also makes comment
that, 'Numerous pertinent documents are also pictured giving
the casual reader the impression that the documents accompany
the medal. That is not true and one must carefully read the
footnotes to these documents' pictures to see the documents
are housed in historical societies and don't accompany the
Cincinnati badge.'

"I think most reading the catalog would realize immediately
that these were only historically related to the medal and
not part of the sale.  But then again, Charles Davis finds
it necessary in his eBay lot descriptions of books, to warn
potential bidders that only the book is for sale, not the
coins pictured on the pages!

"Alan, in his closing paragraph, thinks the medal won't sell.
I think it will sell and will bring a strong price!  It is a
great piece of American History with a direct connection with
one of my personal heroes - George Washington."

[Ray offered to wager Alan that the medal would sell, betting
a sandwich at the Carnegie Deli before the next Stack's auction
that they both attend.  I forwarded Ray's note to Alan, who
responded: "Change it to the Stage Deli near Carnegie's. Much
better food and the crowds there prove that."

Well, the lot sold Tuesday evening for $5,305,000.  So it
looks like Ray will be eating a fine sandwich and Rev. Spooner
is eating crow.

Alan had also predicted that if the item sold, it would NOT
go to a buyer in the numismatic fraternity.  Ray bet dessert
that it would.  So who was the buyer?  The New York Times
published a report Wednesday on the outcome of the auction.
Here are some excerpts.  -Editor]

A gold medal that was created for George Washington and
presented to the Marquis de Lafayette was auctioned at
Sotheby’s in Manhattan on Tuesday for a record $5.3 million,
and will remain in France after residing there for 183 years.

The enameled patriotic badge was bought by the Fondation
Josée et René de Chambrun at the Château La Grange, Lafayette’s
historic home 60 miles east of Paris.

The medal will be available to the public by appointment at
Chateau La Grange “as soon as Sotheby’s gets it there,” he
said, adding that “the Fondation would be happy to make the
medal available on temporary loan to Mount Vernon, so the
American public can see it as well.”

The hammer price of $4.7 million after the spirited 11-minute
auction — to which Sotheby’s added its premium or commission —
“was astonishing, 10 times the record public price for a medal,”
said Ute Wartenberg Kagan, executive director of the American
Numismatic Society in Manhattan.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

[So there you have it - the medal sold for a princely sum to
a buyer outside the numismatic field. Ray Williams adds: "A
non-numismatic buyer, so we're even. I'll buy the cheesecake
and Alan will buy the sandwiches."  -Editor]



[An interview with James Clifford, author of the numismatic
novel 'Double Daggers' was published this week.  In it he
discusses his work and his next book.  Here are some excerpts.

How would you describe your creative process while writing
this novel? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did
you first write an outline? How long did it take you to
write it?

 I would describe it as haphazard. Double Daggers was a
 challenge to write because it is set in four different
 time periods: the Roman Empire, The Crusades, World War II
 and New York City in the present. But the characters in each
 time period are similar, at least in their motivations,
 flaws, and obsessions.

 The book took about three years to finish but that includes
 many stops and starts and even months of not working on it
 at all. Double Daggers took me a little longer to write than
 others because of the research that was necessary do to the
 different time periods in history.

What type of book promotion seems to work the best for you?

 My books are fiction but I have numismatic elements to them
 so I have a bit of a niche market. We do a lot of targeted
 marketing through mailers and placing ads in trade magazines.
 I also have booths at coin shows and I spend a lot of time
 trying to come up with non-traditional ways to sell my books.
 An example of the non-traditional market that has worked for
 me is that a relative of mine owns an auto-repair center
 and they sell a couple hundred copies of my books ever year.

Do you have another novel on the works? Would you like to
tell readers about your current or future projects?

 Double Daggers is my second novel and I just finished a new
 one that I am excited about.

 The story is about what happens when a successful family
 man who has more cracks underneath his surface than a
 shattered mirror collides with a Cherokee curse, a fortune
 in gold coins stolen before the Civil War and the discovery
 of his family’s darkest secrets — Ten Days to Madness.

 The book is set over ten days and like Double Daggers it
 is a work of fiction with a numismatic element to it. In
 Ten Days to Madness the chief character discovers a diary
 written by one of his ancestor and the diary makes him
 obsessed with finding an ancient burial cave in the
 Appalachian Mountains that, according to his ancestor,
 contains a fortune in Bechtler gold coins.

To read the complete interview, see:
Full Story


For a number of years Larry Mitchell compiled a General
Numismatic Bibliography for NBS.  Sections were published
one at a time here in The E-Sylum, then posted to the NBS
web site.

Martin Purdy writes: "An update to the NZ/Pacific bibliography
listing attached.  It doesn't claim to be exhaustive - it's
simply a list of those titles on my shelf other than those
already included in the NBS website listing, so there will
obviously be many more besides these that can be added in
due course. I hope readers find it of some use."

Andrews, Arthur (as per listing, but original printing 1921)

Bertrand, John (ps.): New Zealand Coin Catalogue, 1st ed.
1965, AH & AW Reed, 1965

Canterbury Branch of the Royal Numismatic Society of New
Zealand: They Made Their Own Money, the Story of Early
Canterbury Traders & their Tokens, RNSNZ (Cant’y) 1950

Carter, M & J: New Zealand Milk Tokens, Catalogue and
Appendices, The Authors, 2006

Chappell, NM: New Zealand Banker’s Hundred, Bank of
New Zealand 1861-1961, BNZ, Wellington 1961

Coates, Alan: The Old New Zealand Money 1933-1967, 3rd
revised ed. 2005, The Author.

Cresswell, John C.M.: Collecting Coins and Medals,
Whitcombe and Tombs 1973

Cresswell, John C.M.: Numismatists of 20th Century
Auckland, The Author, 2005

Cresswell, John C.M., and James B. Duncan: Teutenberg,
A Master Engraver & His Work, Mintmark Publication,
Numismatic Society of Auckland 2007

Cummings, E.J. (ed.): Renniks Australian Coin & Banknote
Values, 21st ed., Renniks, NSW 2004

Doak, W.: The Elingamite and its Treasure, Hodder &
Stoughton 1969

Foster, D.J.: Foster’s Catalogue of New Zealand Coins
and Tokens, Epping Duplicating & Printing Service, ND
(c. 1966)

Gartner, John: The Australian Coin Catalogue, 7th ed,
1975 (“Complete Coinage of Australia, New Zealand, New
Guinea, Fiji”), Hawthorn Press, Melbourne

Greig, R.M., H. Robinson & W.W. Woodside: Australian,
New Zealand Communion Tokens and Miscellaneous Series,
Hawthorn Press, Melbourne 1964

Griffin, R.H.: Bank of New Zealand Banknotes 1861-1934,
BNZ, Wellington 1987

Hanley, T., and W. James: Collecting Australian Coins,
KG Murray, Sydney, ND (c. 1966)

Heyde, G.C.: Renniks Unofficial Coins of Colonial
Australia and New Zealand, Renniks, S. Australia, 1967

Holder, R.F.: Bank of New South Wales, a History
(2 vols), Angus & Robertson, Sydney 1970

Lampard, William H.: Catalogue of NZ Coins, Tokens,
Bank Notes, Royal

Numismatic Society of NZ 1981 (published as a special
oversized edition of the NZ Numismatic Journal, vol.
16 no. 1 (60))

Lester, Roy S.: Fully Illustrated Guide to New Zealand
Coins and Varieties, 1st ed. 1967, Consolidated Press
Holdings, Wellington 1966

McNeice, R.: Coins & Tokens of Tasmania 1803-1910,
Platypus Publications, Hobart 1969

Mitchell, Howard: ‘Premier’ New Zealand Coin & Banknote
Catalogue, 2007 edition, Philatelic Distributors Ltd,
New Plymouth

Morel, L.G.: Medallic Commemoratives of New Zealand
1865-1940, 2nd ed., New Century Press 1996

Morel, L.G.: Supplement to Medallic Commemoratives of
New Zealand 1865-1940, 2000

New Zealand Numismatic Society (now the RNSNZ):
Transactions, 3 vols., Wellington 1931-36, 1936-41,

Numismatic Society of Auckland Inc.: The Duodecimal
Coinage of New Zealand 1933-1965, A Series of Talks
Given to Enlighten those Too Young to Remember,

NSA, Supplement to “Mintmark”, ND (c. 2001)

O’Connor, V.: Whitcombe’s Guide to Decimal Currency
in New Zealand, Whitcombe & Tombs 1965

Reserve Bank of New Zealand: Money and Banking in New
Zealand, Harry H. Tombs Ltd. 1963

Robb, Alistair: Banknotes of New Zealand, a catalogue
of every paper banknote used, The Author, Wellington 1999

Robb, Alistair: Coins, Tokens & Banknotes of New Zealand,
The Author, Wellington 1976

Robb, Alistair: Catalogue of the Trading Bank Notes of
New Zealand, draft copy, Wellington 2006

Robinson, H.A.: Auckland Tradesmen’s Tokens, Numismatic
Society of Auckland, 1960

Royal Numismatic Society of New Zealand Inc.: New Zealand
Numismatic Journal (periodical publication, 1947 to date,
ISSN 0028-8527)

Skinner, Dion H: Renniks Australian Commonwealth Coinage
Guide, 2nd ed. 1964, Renniks, S. Australia 1964

Skinner, Dion H: Renniks New Zealand Coinage Guide, 1966
ed., Renniks, S. Australia 1965

Skinner, Dion H: Renniks New Zealand Coin and Banknote
Values, Renniks, S. Australia, ND (c. 1982)

Squire, R.B.: Coin Catalogue New Zealand Australia New
Guinea Fiji (“Standard Catalogue of British South Pacific
Coins”), 2nd ed., Aug. 1966, World Wide Stamp & Coin
Supplies Ltd., Wellington

Stocker, Dr Mark: ‘Coins of the People’: the 1967 New
Zealand Decimal Coin Reverses, in: BNJ 2000 (v. 70),
pp. 124ff.

Stocker, Dr Mark: ‘The Numismatic Birth of the Dominion’:
The 1933 New Zealand Coinage Designs, Royal Numismatic
Society of NZ 2005 (published as a supplement to NZNJ no.
82, ISBN 0-476-01614-2)

Tye, J.R.: The Image Maker – The Art of James Berry,
Hodder & Stoughton 1984

Williams, M. & G. Shea, Bread Tokens of New Zealand,
Queensland Numismatic Society, ND (c. 2006)

de Young, Scott: The Decimal Banknotes of New Zealand
1967-2000, The Paper Issues, PJ Symes, Canberra 2000

To access the NBS bibliography, see:

To view the current New Zealand numismatic bibliography page, see:
Full Story


Jerry Fochtman writes: "I've got a small, bound copy of a
reprint of Thomas Cunningham's article on Postage and Fractional
Currency that was in the Vol. XXVII, No. 4 April, 1893 issue
of the "American Journal of Numismatics".  It's bound in black
hardboard covers with the paper title and the name of Thomas
Cunningham in gold lettering on the cover.  Inside is a
bookplate for Henry Brand's library and on the cover page
it is autographed "Compliments of Thomas Cunningham".  I
received it in an auction where it was sold by an elderly
gentlemen who received it from the William Philpott library
after he passed away.

"In the process of trimming the pages of the article for
mounting, it was trimmed too tight on the edge, cutting off
some of the letters, enough to make it difficult to determine
the word at the end of the sentence.  So while I have this
wonderful autographed item in my library, I would like to
obtain a digital, or good photo copy of the complete original
article to place with this original bound version.

"Thus far I've not been able to locate any example of the
specific issue that contained the original published article.
I've been offered a complete set of American Journal of Numismatics,
but the price exceeds my resources.  So if anyone happens to
know where I can borrow a copy to scan, or perhaps can assist
me in getting a copy I would appreciate it.  Thanks!"

[I would suggest the American Numismatic Association library –
they can provide photocopies of any Numismatist article,
and they may have that issue of AJN even if they don’t have
a full set.  Check the subject files as well as the shelves –
when I was there many years ago they had a file cabinet
with copies of various articles, and I think I first read
this one there. -Editor]


Regarding Robert E. Hecht and price lists from Hesperia Art,
R. Craig Kammerer of Basking Ridge, NJ writes: "Kerry Wetterstrom
is correct about Bob Hecht. Bob supplied Hesperia Art with coins
& antiquities in the 1960’s which were marketed thru a William
H. Allen Bookseller, Walnut Street in Philadelphia, as I have
some of his lists and actually have visited there many years
ago, with the proprietor’s name of a George Allen. They also
had fabulous classical books and often, some collection for
sale. George kept want lists on 3 x 5 “ index cards and would
send you a post card when a wanted item came into stock.

"I have not tried to find the store in many years, though it
looks like George Allen died in 1997, as there is a book
entitled the History of William H. Allen Booksellers by George
Allen, 1917-1997.

"Sometime about 1985, I did ask George about whether he would
publish any more Hecht lists, but his answer was definitely no."



Last week I asked if one of our readers could offer assistance
in translating from the original French letters referenced by
Karl Moulton in recent book.  Karl noted that "The Brongniart
letters definitely need to be properly translated to English."

Reader François Velde of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Research Department came through with the following translations:

Sunday Sep 22, 1782

I have finally received two sketches of rather large medals
from the sculptor I had the honor of mentioning to you.  I
have also asked a friend of mine who is a painter to draw
the same subject and I think he has done rather well.  On
which day do you wish us to go to Passy to have the honor
of presenting the works to you?  Or if your business calls
you to Paris and you took pains to come to my home, you would
find everything assembled for you by giving me a day's notice.
The only favor I ask is that you embarrass yourself in no way,
too happy that I am if I have helped your ideas in any way.

Full Story

Thursday Jan 23, 1783

I have the honor of sending to Mr Franklin two new proofs
of the medal, noting that the head is not quite as perfect
as it should be, that the serpents held by the child will
be larger and better drawn; moreover the engraver put "intans"
instead of "infans" and this spelling mistake shall be
corrected.  I have the honor of reminding Mr Franklin that
he had promised what he shall have inscribed on both sides
at the bottom of the medal, and this matter alone prevents
its completion.

Full Story

Friday Jan 31, 1783

M Brongniart has the honor of sending his respects to Mr
Franklin and begs him to let him know if he was given Friday
of last week [=Jan 24] two new proofs of the medal, and among
others that of the head of Liberty.

Mr Franklin has seemingly forgotten to send to Mr Brongniart
what he wishes to have put at the bottom of the medal on each
side, and this holds back the engraver who wishes to complete
this work."

Full Story

Karl Moulton asked me to relate his thanks to François.
He adds: "I think these will be useful and repeated rather
often by future researchers."



NBS President John W. Adams doubles as editor of the MCA
Advisory, the official journal of the Medal Collectors of
America.  John writes: "The Libertas Americana debate between
Eckert and Moulton is an important one, but it is difficult
to follow when the comments are separated.   I would suggest
that they and anyone else who is interested (myself included)
state their arguments in the same space at the same time along
with rebuttals.  Readers can then conveniently decide for
themselves. I would like to offer the February issue of the
MCA Advisory as a venue for the discussion."

[Other club journals as always welcome to reprint E-Sylum
articles with proper acknowledgement, and I agree that the
MCA Advisory would be a good forum for continuing the
discussion.  Contributors can contact John at this address:  -Editor]


Regarding the 1869 Henry Cook Coin and medal Circular I
wrote about last week, Numismatic Bibliomania Society
Secretary-Treasurer Dave Sundman writes: "Coincidentally,
on my desk I have a Henry Cook one page listing COIN CIRCULAR
that I purchased from Charles Davis at the summer American
Numismatic Association convention in Milwaukee.  This was
produced by Henry Cook when he was at 47 Waltham Street in
Boston, circa 1890 at the end of his career.  The piece
expresses very similar sentiments, perhaps a bit more

 In conclusion I would here give a little advice to the
 inexperienced.  Pay no regard to the many priced list
 of coin, etc. that are put in circulation by the coin
 dealers.  They are but advertising claptraps, and cannot,
 from the very nature of the business be of any weight
 either with buyer or seller.  Every collector or dealer,
 if honest, will tell you that no estimate can be formed
 of the value of coins, Medals, Antiques, etc. without a
 personal inspection of the piece or article of which
 his opinion may be asked.


[This is an age-old problem which continues today.  How
many dealers out there ask callers if they could hold the
coin closer to the phone so you can get a better look at it?
Even with electronic images, amateur photos are rarely good
enough to make even a cursory estimate of an item's
attribution and value.  -Editor]


[An article published last Sunday in an Annapolis, MD newspaper
has me puzzled.  What is meant when it says that "General
Washington had a silver coin cut by order of the Continental
Congress"?   See the excerpt below.  -Editor]

"Stephen Steward's son John joined the Maryland Line in
February of 1776. He was one of 32 survivors of the famous
unit that held at the Battle of Long Island, saving George
Washington's army. He served in virtually every battle from
then until Yorktown.

"General Washington had a silver coin cut by order of the
Continental Congress, equal today's Congressional Medal of
Honor, honoring John Steward's valor at the Battle of
Stony Point.

"Mr. Hall has a copy of the letter Washington wrote to
Stephen Steward noting his son's bravery."

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story


Leon Worden writes: "My thanks to Pete Smith, Thomas P.
Van Zeyl and Marc Charles Ricard for the replies to my
query about William H. Woodin, FDR's first Secretary of
the Treasury.

"It's interesting to think of Woodin running for Congress
in 1898 as a Republican, considering the economic policies
he would develop 35 years later. I mean, I know there were
a (very) few Silver Republicans -- though probably not in
Pennsylvania -- just as there was a smattering of Gold
Democrats, but assuming Woodin was with the majority of
Republicans on the issue, it would be fun to know what
he had to say about the gold standard as an 1898 politician!

"Woodin was quite the renaissance man; as for his musical
talents, my little collection of 'Woodin ephemera' includes
several pieces of sheet music including the full orchestration
of his 'Franklin D. Roosevelt March.'

"Republican my foot. :-) "

Pete Smith writes: "I mentioned that William Woodin is one
of my pet projects. I enjoy learning about numismatists
who have great accomplishments in other areas. I doubt if
most E-Sylum readers know of Woodin's accomplishments as
a composer.

"Under the name Will Woodin, he composed music for 'Raggedy
Ann's Sunny Songs' with illustrations and text by Johnny Gruelle.
Although I have been aware of this for years, I have not found
out how the two creators got together. I suspect they were

"In addition to Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy, one of Gruelle's
characters was 'Little Wooden Willie.' I doubt if the similarity
to Will Woodin was coincidental. Somehow I find the concept
of Little Wooden Willie amusing."



[The BBC reported that a man suspected of counterfeiting
fourteen million one pound coins has been arrested.  Here
are some excerpts.  -Editor]

A counterfeiter who produced fake £1 coins with an estimated
total value of £14m, has been jailed for five years. Marcus
Glindon, 37, from Enfield, north London, made the coins over
seven years from a workshop near his home.

When officers raided his home and nearby business, MG Engineering,
in March they found machines used to manufacture coins and
counterfeit dies.

Of the estimated 14 million coins, 2.5 million were completed
while the remainder were left blank, due to be finished off.

It is thought that at one stage he was making 10,000 to 12,000
coins per day and was paid about £2,000 in cash a week by
the two men.

The Royal Mint said it would be extremely difficult for members
of the public to differentiate between legitimate coins and
the fake ones Glindon had produced.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story


Dick Johnson writes: "Israel has done something with its
coins that the United States should do: Issued a higher
denomination coin and drop the lowest. Wise move. The Bank
of Israel introduced a 2-shekel coin last Sunday, December
9, 2007.

"It is all part of a well-devised plan, first started with
the abolishment of the 1-agorot coin in 2005, the lowest
denomination then in circulation (I wrote of this in The
E-Sylum at the time: vol 8, no 8, article 13). The plan
continues with a survey of Israeli citizens last summer.

"That survey, conducted by Dr. Mina Tzemach, states most
Israelis welcome the new 2 shekel coin. According to public
opinion, its introduction will diminish the existing gap
between NIS 1 (one New Israeli Shekel) and NIS 5 coins.
This will facilitate the daily transactions and bring more
efficiency in coin handling.

"Note well the word 'efficiency.' Rounding off retail prices
and abolishing coin denominations of low denominations creates
greater efficiency in commerce. It also creates a demand for
larger value coins to maintain a balance of the correct number
of circulating denominations. (What's the ideal number of
denominations? Count the number of coin compartments in cash
registers in that country! Don't go over that number!)

"The next step in Israel's coin system plan is to abolish the
5-agorot coin (comparable to U.S. 5-cent piece).  A statement
accompanied the announcement of the new 2-shekel coin:  'The
next change in Israeli currency might be to abolish the
unpopular 5-agorot coin, as a majority of Israelis do not
appreciate receiving it in change.'

"In addition to Israel, Australia, New Zealand and a number
of Scandinavian countries have eliminated their lowest
circulating coin denomination.  Canada is just about to
abolish their cent coin. When will the U.S. Treasury officials
realize the inevitable -- it will be necessary to abolish
the U.S. cent!

"Eliminating the cent will lead to greater efficiency in
American  commerce.  (And create a demand for higher
denomination circulating coins to maintain that efficiency.)

"The Israeli news story gives details on the design and
designer of its new 2-shekel coin:


[Dick Johnson forwarded an article from the Kansas City
Star about Wayne Sayles and the lawsuit filed by ancient
coin collectors against the U.S. State Department.  Here
are some excerpts.  -Editor]

Heads, Wayne Sayles is overreacting. Tails, the State
Department is.

Sayles, a south Missouri coin collector and dealer, is
suing the Washington bureaucracy. He insists its unprecedented
decision to restrict imports of ancient coins of Cyprus is
“a major offensive” against collectors like him.

In July, the State Department banned Cypriot coinage dating
from the end of the sixth century B.C. (when Rome was a small
town and the Jews were abducted by the Babylonians) to 235 A.D.

At a ceremony in Washington, Undersecretary of State Nicholas
Burns said the move would help Cyprus battle “those who would
plunder its heritage and seek to sell that heritage illegally.”

Dealers and curators must now worry that the government can
detain any coin that looks Cypriot, which puts the burden on
the importer to prove that an obol or tetradrachm was outside
of Cyprus before the July ban went into effect. Without
documentation or provenance, which most coins lack, coins
could be seized even if they’ve been away for centuries.

Sayles, a Gainesville man who has been collecting for 40 years,
is particularly interested in Roman provincial coins of the
city of Anazarbus in Cilicia, part of what is now southern
Turkey. His wife, Doris, likes to collect coins from the
Phoenician city of Dora on what is now Israel’s coast.

Not a Cypriot coin between them. So why …?

“In a world where globalism is not just a trend but an
irreversible fact of life, how can anyone justify turning
America into an island of prohibition for something as
innocuous as a common coin?” asked Sayles, head of the
Ancient Coin Collectors Guild, an advocacy group for private
collectors and independent scholars that he founded in 2004.

To press his case, Sayles has lined up backing from Sen. Kit
Bond of Missouri. “It’s easy for governments to just say
‘stop everything,’ but that just doesn’t make any sense,”
Vartian said. “Foreign governments, quite correctly, are
worried about people plundering stuff. But they tend to
respond to those things by hitting the fly with the

To read the complete article, see:


Jim Duncan of New Zealand writes: "Lord Ashcroft has very
kindly put up NZ$200,000 as a reward for the return of the
New Zealand medals.   Our Prime Minister is a little concerned
that offers of big money may suggest 'copy cat' robberies with
a view to a fat reward in the future.

"But I think in this case we need some inducement for return.
I think we are all smarting from the humiliation at this time."




"The rare war medal heist at Waiouru Army Museum has had
an encouraging sequel.

"The family of one of the Victoria Cross heroes who lost
their medals in the burglary a week and a half ago have
presented the museum with a historic replacement set.

"They're called the Victoria Cross 'family set of medals'
and belong to second world war hero Keith Elliot,' says
Elliot's son, Doug Elliot.

"They were specially made for him by former Prime Minister
Sir Keith Holyoake.

"Elliot wore them to official functions, over the last 25
years of his life, while the originals lay on display at
the army museum.

"'These were the same set that we used at his military
funeral in 1989 and I have great pleasure to bring these
back to the museum', says Elliot.

"Colonel Raymond Seymour says this is a tremendous offer
by the family, at this difficult time, to bring the medals
to the museum and offer them up as a replacement set.

"The replicas will stand in for the originals, stolen
from the museum 11 days ago and so far are unrecovered."

To read the complete article, see:


[In light of the recent high-profile theft, other museums
are stepping up their protection for similar medals.

"Up to 60 medals have been taken out of their cases at
Tairawhiti Museum and locked in a vault, in the wake of
the medal theft from Waiouru Army Museum earlier this month.

"The Gisborne museum boasts New Zealand's largest collection
of medals obtained by the Maori Battalion.

"Tairawhiti Museum director Monty Soutar said the displayed
medals were priceless and it would have been irresponsible
to not take action after medals were stolen from Waiouru.

"'We have taken them out and are putting in replicas,'
he said.

"Gisborne medal specialist Tom Walsh will make replicas
of the key medals.

"'He is one of the top 10 medal specialists in the country.
We are really lucky he lives down the road,' said Dr Soutar.

"All original medals have been taken away to a vault."

To read the complete article, see:


[We're written before about recipients of the Dickin Medal,
designed to honor animals who bravely serve in battle.
Medal winners are back in the news this week. -Editor]

"A County Antrim pigeon who received a medal for his war-time
bravery is being remembered at a special ceremony in England.
Paddy the pigeon was bred in Moyleen, Carnlough.

"He was decorated for being the first bird to fly back with
news of the D-Day landings in Normandy in World War II.

"Paddy is one of 62 animals who received the PSDA Dickin
Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, for
bravery in the war.

"He received the PDSA Dickin Medal on 1 September 1944
for recording the quickest time to return with information
from the D-Day landings at Normandy on 6 June that year
while he was serving with the RAF.

"Dogs, horses, pigeons and a cat received medals because
they helped save thousands of lives in the war.

"They are buried at the PDSA animal cemetery in Redbridge,
Ilford and all are being remembered at a special ceremony.

"Veteran military personnel who served with the animals
will stage a march past and a bugler will sound the Last Post.

"A fly-past by pigeons will commemorate the 32 birds who
were honoured for their bravery.

"Paddy's medal was sold to a pigeon fancier for almost £7,000
at an auction in Dublin in September 1999."

To read the complete article, see:


"Recipients of the PDSA Dickin Medal, recognised as the animals'
equivalent of the Victoria Cross, were afforded full military
honours during an event to mark the restoration at the charity's
animal cemetery at Ilford, Essex. The cemetery contains the
graves of a dozen recipients of the award, which has been
bestowed 62 times since its inception in 1943.

"The Ilford cemetery also contains the remains of 3,000 other
military animals and family pets. It was restored with the
help of a National Lottery grant.

"PDSA director general, Marilyn Rydström said: 'Many lives
were saved as a result of the courage and dedication to
duty of the animals buried at Ilford.

"'Sadly, over the years, the animal graves had weathered
and broken.

"'So we decided to embark on the restoration project as a
mark of respect for the PDSA Dickin Medal recipients and
the 3,000 other military animals and family pets buried there.' "

To read the complete article, see:


[Citizens Coin Advisory Committee member Gary B. Marks
authored a great Viewpoint article on circulating coin
designs which was published this week on Numismaster.
Here are some excerpts.  -Editor]

At the FIDEM Art Medal World Congress held in Colorado
Springs this past September, Mint Director Edmund Moy
gave what is clearly one of the most important and visionary
speeches ever delivered by a mint director. Moy boldly
announced his intent "to spark a neo-renaissance for coin
design and achieve a new level of design excellence."

Recognizing that the nation's currency "is part of what
defines America," Moy spoke of how Saint-Gaudens' 1907
Double Eagle had so successfully used allegorical
illustration to beautifully capture America's feelings
about itself and its aspirations for the future at the
turn of the 20th century.

Moy expressed his hope that "the world would reflect back
100 years from now and say that the beginning of the 20th
century was great, but the 21st century was even better."
Bravo! As an American patriot, a life-long coin collector
and a lover of art, I applaud Moy's visionary call for
renewed greatness in American coinage design.

Moy sees opportunities to "raise the bar of design excellence
in American coinage and medallic art" within a modern rendition
of Lady Liberty on his own Mint director's medal, upcoming
designs for the American Eagle platinum proof coin series,
the 2008 American Bald Eagle commemorative program and
various medals.

Moy can count on me to stand with him in striving for his
visionary and worthwhile goals. And, I suspect that coin
collectors and medallic art fans throughout the United
States share my support of Moy's efforts. But as we work
to "raise the bar," let's also take the renaissance beyond
the confines of the commemorative collector and precious
medals investor and out to the American people at large.
Let's introduce inspiring allegorical imagery to the masses
through our circulating coinage. Let's revolutionize our
circulating coins with modern depictions of "Lady Liberty,"
"America" and other creative allegorical images. Truly, if
the world will look back 100 years from now and recognize
the beginning of the 21st century as a "renaissance" in
coinage design, it will be largely because the design
revolution was taken to the American people. Only when a
new image of Lady Liberty shows up in change at the grocery
store check-out, rattles into the coin return of the vending
machine, or is slid under the teller's window to a surprised
and delighted bank customer will the "world" take notice and
recognize the neo-renaissance of American coinage.

To read the complete article, see:


[Don't like the latest U.S. coin designs?  Want to make a
difference?  Here's your chance.  According to a Tuesday press
release, "The United States Mint is seeking applicants for
appointment to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC).
The terms of two CCAC members will expire in February 2008 --
one for a member representing the interests of the general
public, and one for a qualified numismatic specialist.  The
application deadline is January 31, 2008.  The United States
Mint will review all applications and will forward recommendations
to the Secretary of the Treasury for appointment consideration.

"The CCAC was created to advise the Secretary of the Treasury
on the selection of themes and design proposals for circulating
 coinage, commemorative coins, bullion coinage, Congressional
Gold Medals and other medals.  The CCAC also advises the
Secretary with regard to the events, persons, or places to
be commemorated by the issuance of commemorative coins, as
well as the mintage levels and proposed designs of commemorative

"The CCAC is composed of 11 members:  one specially qualified
in numismatic collection curation; one specially qualified in
the medallic arts or sculpture; one specially qualified in
American history; one specially qualified in numismatics;
three individuals representing the interests of the general
public; and four individuals recommended by the Leadership
of both the House of Representatives and Senate.  CCAC members
serve terms of four years and are Special Government Employees;
therefore, they are subject to various applicable conflict of
interest laws and ethics regulations."

To read the complete press release, see:


[An article from Portsmouth, NH tells how a twenty-year
hoard of coins was recently cashed in.  Too bad melting's
illegal - the pre-1982 cents might have generated more than
face value for the town.  -Editor]

On Saturday, the Prescott Park Board of Trustees, with the
help of Boy Scout Troop 181 of Rye, packed up and transferred
a stockpile of pennies, nickels, quarters and dimes that had
been thrown into the four fountains in the riverside park with
the hope a wish might come true.

Michael Warhurst, the superintendent of Prescott Park, said
he and the staff clean out the change from the fountains on
a regular basis and had been storing them in five-gallon buckets
for years. Almost entirely made up of pennies, it's estimated
this chunk of change had been collecting for more than two

Brad Lown, one of the trustees that oversees a number of city
trust funds, said he and a fellow board member discovered the
coins in a park storage facility.

'We were just looking down here and saw the coins and thought
they ought to be brought to a bank,' he said.

The Prescott Park staff did a rough count and estimate the
change is worth about $2,400.

The money will be deposited into a fund dedicated to the care
of the Hovey Fountain, known for its statue. Warhurst said
besides regular maintenance, the fountain needs some repairs.

While the park staff had the dirty job of collecting the
coins, scouts Joe and Sam Allen, Chris and Camden Latimer,
and volunteers Peter and Abigail Lown and Grace Gittell
scooped four wheelbarrows' worth of dusty pennies into
plastic bank bags for easier transport.

After the bags were loaded into Brad Lown and troop leader
Jeff Latimer's cars, the kids carried the bags into Citizens
Bank, which had agreed to change in the money for the

To read the complete article, see:


[The New York Times published a report on an unusual massive
display of Lincoln Cents accumulated in a fund-raising effort.

One million dollars — give or take a few cents — landed at
Rockefeller Center today.

Silda Wall Spitzer, the wife of Gov. Eliot Spitzer, joined
more than 300 elementary and middle school students from
New York to unveil the “Penny Harvest Field,” an exhibition
featuring an estimated 100 million pennies, most of them
collected by children, between Oct. 22 and Thanksgiving.

The pennies have been placed on a pedestrian walkway between
50th and 51st Streets, and Fifth Avenue and the Avenue of the
Americas. The Harvest Field, as was explained in a Times
article by Vincent M. Mallozzi last week, was designed by
the architect James S. Polshek and sponsored by Tishman
Speyer, the company that controls Rockefeller Center. It
will be open free to the public every day from 9 a.m. to
9 p.m. through Dec. 31.

The exhibit is the culmination of the 17th annual Penny
Harvest, a national, yearlong education program by Common
Cents, a nonprofit group that encourages civic engagement
among young people.

Early next year, most of the pennies will be returned to
the students — who, with the help of their teachers, will
decide which charities to give the money, too. Last year,
448,768 Penny Harvest students in New York City collected
$643,840.83 in pennies from their neighbors and relatives,
and that money went to make 1,361 grants and support 315
neighborhood service projects. Common Cents anticipates
similar levels of giving this year.

To read the complete article, see:


Dave Lange writes: "The November issue of the American
Numismatic Association's Numismatist magazine included a
premature death notice for Howard Daniel III.

"This kind of error works both ways in that a death notice
may also appear years after a person has passed. Around 1990
The Numismatist published a death notice for member Clifford
Bloom of San Francisco. I had known Cliff reasonably well,
and I knew that he had died five years earlier. Since his
involvement in numismatics was more than casual, having been
a member of the Junior Coin Collectors of San Francisco as
a child in the 1930s and a long standing member of the Pacific
Coast Numismatic Society until his death, I believed that
his passing deserved more than just an abrupt notice.

"I wrote a long and detailed obituary for him that I submitted
to Editor Barbara Gregory in the expectation that this would
be published in an upcoming issue. Instead, she wrote back to
me stating that the ANA had only recently learned of Cliff's
death. As a life member who had no direct heirs, he continued
to receive his copies of The Numismatist monthly for years
afterward. It was only then that some family member notified
the ANA that he was no longer alive, so his death notice was
published when received."



Dick Johnson writes: "Admit it. You have used a coin -- dime,
cent or other -- on a screwhead when a screwdriver wasn't handy.
Well, they do the same in Australia. A company there, Lee Valley
Tools, has capitalized on this practice and created a coin-size
screwdriver. It has produced something that looks like a coin
but with a big hole in the center, perhaps so you won't mistakenly
try to spend it.

"Actually it is diestruck. It is going to drive token collectors
crazy -- it has created a whole new category of tokens!  What
will exonumismatists call them?  Coin screwers? Coin drivers?
Token screwers? Screw token drivers?

"The company sells a packet of 12 for $8.50 Australian.  Got
any friends you want to give a 71c gift to?

Here's a fancy picture and product description:
tml "


[As the holidays approach, here is a touching story about a
son's numismatic gift to his father.  It was published today
in the Charlotte Observer.  Here are some excerpts.  -Editor]

Frank DeGeorge had no idea what his son down in Charlotte had
sent him for Christmas. A book of some kind, maybe.

Then he opened it, and it nearly took his breath... And he
thought: Steve remembered.

The memory came from more than 30 years ago, when Frank
DeGeorge had a wife and five kids and no money coming in.

He and his brother started a food brokerage, helping small
companies get their products on the shelves. But the business
couldn't get off the ground. Frank was staring at a dwindling
savings account and no money coming in.

He had to sell the Mercury dimes.

He hated to do it. He had collected coins his whole life.
Steve -- the middle child -- had caught the bug, too. They'd
go to the bank and swap a $5 bill for 10 rolls of pennies
and sift through them back home, looking for rare ones like
miners panning for gold.

The Mercury dimes were the jewels of Frank's collection...
The money fed his family and paid the bills for a few months.
Not long after that, the brokerage business picked up and the
DeGeorges had made it through their toughest times.

Steve, the son who loved coins, went to school and became a
lawyer. Eventually he moved to Charlotte, where he works for
the firm of Robinson, Bradshaw and Hinson.

A couple of years ago he was trying to figure out what to
get his dad for Christmas. Then it came to him.

To read the complete article, see:


This week's featured web site is on coins of British India by
Dr P V Bharat & Sravanthi.  It was suggested by Roger DeWardt
Lane, who was impressed by the nice images.  Me, too!

"British India Coins (1862-1947) were stuck under the authority
of the crown. The new coins minted under the Coinage Act, 1835
had the effigy of William IV on the obverse and the value on
the reverse in English and Persian. The coins issued after 1840
bore the portrait of Queen Victoria. The first coinage under the
crown was issued in 1862 and in 1877 Queen Victoria assumed the
title of the Empress of India. We have tried to cover the Uniform
coinage of this period."

  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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