The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 47, November 13, 2011, Article 8


Dan Hamelberg writes:

In response to Dave Hirt's request on Elder publications: The Numismatic Philistine does have a December, 1909 issue (Vol. I, #3) of 23 pages. Regarding the Elder Magazine, I have no issues beyond the Vol.2, #1, 1911 issue.

Tom DeLorey writes:

By great coincidence, I happened to have been sitting in David T. Alexander's library this past Saturday, and while there picked up a bound set of Thomas Elder's "The Numismatic Philistine" and "The Elder Monthly" magazines. After I got home Monday and read the last E-Sylum issue, I asked him to double check the issue dates, and his response was as follows:

Our bound volume shows The Numismatic Philistine Vol. I, No. 1 dated October 1909; No. 2, November 1909; No. 3, December 1909. The Elder Magazine Vol. I, No. 1 is dated January 1910; No. 2, February 1910; No. 3, March 1910; No. 4, April 1910; No. 5, May 1910; No. 6, June 1910; No. 7, July 1910; No. 8, August 1910; No. 9 [Convention Number] September 1910; No. 10, October 1910; No. 11-12, Nov.-Dec. 1910. Vol. II, No. 1, January 1911. End of the run.

"Philistine" was adapted from Elbert Hubbard's widely circulated magazine from East Aurora, N.Y., "The Philistine." Don't know if this was the end, W.W.C. Wilson bought The Numismatist right about this time and Elder folded his tent after pointing out that "an unfair discrimination" against him, by ANA officials (i.e. Farran Zerbe, who just sold the `official organ' to Wilson) had come to an end."

Mike Paradis forwarded this information about Tom Elder periodicals from two 1999 Kolbe sale catalogs:

George Kolbe sale 78, 09/25/1999. 197 Elder, Thomas L., Editor. THE NUMISMATIC PHILISTINE. VOL. I, NOS. 1-3. New York, October, November & December, 1909. Three issues com­ plete, all issued under this title. 20; 28; 23, (1) pages, text illustrations.

George Kolbe sale 77, 06/05/1999. 271 Elder, Thomas L., Editor. THE ELDER MAGAZINE. DEVOTED CHIEFLY TO COINS AND COIN COLLECTING VOL­UME I, NOS. 1-12 & VOLUME II, No. l. New York, January, 1910-January, 1911. Thirteen issues in twelve, as issued, bound in one volume.

A complete run of this very rare publication, complete with the pictorial section of issue 9, depicting get-togethers at the 1910 American Numismatic Convention;

In his proem, Elder writes: "The ‘Numismatic Philistine' is no more. Doubtless the mourners will be few. While it may have performed a few real services for the cause of Numismatics, its political ‘murmurings,' had they continued might have eventually 'raised the roof' instead of accomplishing reforms.

One can tell that Elder made a real effort to reduce the tension between himself and ANA officials ("This magazine will refrain from taking sides this year in any political nomination), though at times he cannot restrain himself, complaining, for example, in one issue about the editorial content of The Numismatist ("It is high time to run a blue pencil through some of the impertinent, not to say unauthorized, criticism such as was indulged in the recent issue. Is the official organ getting to be a numismatic 'yellow journal?'") and, in another, he reports "Suppression of Important Numismatic News" (the Elder firm's advertisement for the Mougey sale was not printed in the July issue of The Numismatist and "Our $10. Has not been returned even").

The earlier numbers are largely filled with articles written by Edgar H. Adams and those interested in his numismatic specialties, U. S and pioneer gold coins, colonials, patterns, etc., will find it a source of useful information. Additionally, it contains a number of other interesting articles, along with seldom-encountered photographs of numismatic gatherings. All in all a fascinating publication, though relatively little-known due to its general unavailability.

Early periodicals and dealer house organs like Elder's are among my favorite types of numismatic literature. Here is some great reading and information to be found in these, yet they are often overlooked because of their scarcity. -Editor
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Wayne Homren, Editor

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