After work on Tuesday I made a beeline for the Bertucci's restaurant in Herndon, VA for the September meeting of my Northern Virginia numismatic social group, Nummis Nova. Roger Burdette was already there, along with Bill Eckberg, John Saia and Jon Radel. I was the host for the month and had made the reservation, but they didn't write down my request for a private room. Luckily the room was still available and after a few minutes wait they had it set up for us.
I didn't know it yet, but Dave Schenkman and Gene Brandenburg would be unable to join us as planned. Mike Packard, Joe Levine and Wayne Herndon soon arrived and we all took seats at the table. Last to arrive was Roger's guest, Mitch Sanders. Mitch hails from Rochester, NY and is an E-Sylum reader, Numismatist columnist and former Chairman of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. Mitch sat between me and Roger.
Roger mentioned that he'd located descriptions of WWII pattern cents and he's working on understanding the whole 1941-1944 experimental series including metal, glass and plastic tests. After much work he was finally able to assign one of the plastic pieces to a specific producer and identity its composition and how many were sent to the mint. His research will be published in a book covering American coins and monetary policy from 1929-1946.
The theme I'd picked for exhibits was this:
Old Coin/New Coin: Some Things Never Change. Pick an old coin (or other numismatic item) and pair it up with a modern counterpart. What are the similarities? What are age-old elements of coinage we still see today?
I took the easy way out and brought an example of the 2010 Shield-reverse cent, because of the similarity to the U.S. Two Cent Piece and Shield Nickel. Mike Packard did me one better. He also chose the Shield Cent, but brought along a 1787 New Jersey Cent and 1787 Massachusetts Half Cent with shield designs.
I brought along most of the other exhibit items. I had grabbed a binder of numismatic ephemera from my library. This binder focused on items relating to the American Numismatic Association. Included were Numbers One, Two and Three in the "American Numismatic Series" by Charles Tatman (published 1893, 1894, and 1895, respectively).
ONE: Coin-Collecting: An Introduction to the Study of Numismatics
TWO: The Virginia Coinage: Proof That it was by Legislative and Royal Authority
THREE: The Beginnings of United States Coinage
My other display item related to a theme from a previous month when I'd been unable to attend. The theme was "Art in Numismatics", and I brought along a piece by "money artist" J.S.G. Boggs. It's from his Monoprint series. I explained that to create these Boggs hooked up a high-quality scanner and a high-quality color laser printer.
He took a source item (in this case a Bank of England Five Pound banknote) and moved it along the glass as it was being scanned. The resulting print has an interesting wavy pattern. He kept the prints he liked and destroyed the rest. Boggs titled this one "Ripples in the Pond" because the blue color of the note and the wavy image look like, well, ripples in a pond of water. I liked it too, and bought it from an exhibit at a University of Pittsburgh art gallery.
It was November 9, 1994. I remember the night well. Boggs invited everyone attending the opening out to a bar for drinks afterward. We stayed until 1am and then I invited everyone over to my house for a nightcap. The party didn't break up until 3am. I had to get up for work the next day, but somehow I made it. My single days are over now, and my only reason to stay up late is editing The E-Sylum. But I like that monoprint more each year. Click to see a larger image, but the picture doesn't really do it justice - I took it with my cell phone camera and it's a bit out of focus.
Tuesday's dinner broke up around 9:30. It was another thoroughly enjoyable evening of numismatic fellowship. I'm already looking forward to next month.
To read my 1994 mini-diary about the Boggs exhibit, see:
J.S.G. Boggs Exhibit Opening
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