The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 20, Number 49, November 26, 2017, Article 13


Query: Large Size Delaware Tercentenary Medal
Michael Sanders writes:

I recently bought a Delaware Tercentenary medal dated 1938. The design and antiqued matte finish are identical to Hibler & Kappen #697. However, my example is 70 mm in diameter. The version listed in H&K is 35 mm. "Medallic Art Co. N.V. Bronze" is incused on the rim. There are no designer's initials on the medal that I can find. I'm not the least bit surprised that Medallic Art struck a larger version, but I'm confused by the N.V. designation. The 38 mm version does not carry this (which I assume stands for Nevada).

Do you or any of your readers know the history and scarcity of this piece? Also, has anyone found a comprehensive reference on Medallic Art medals?

I don't know, but I forwarded the question to our resident Medallic Art expert, Dick Johnson. -Editor

Dick Johnson writes:

The 1938 Delaware Tercentennial Medal was indeed struck by Medallic Art Company, then of New York City, now of Dayton, Nevada. It is company catalog number 1937-003. It was created by sculptor Ulysses A. Ricci (1888-1960). Last name pronounced REE-she.

Dies were cut in two sizes: 2 3/4-inch and 1 3/8-inch. Generally we do not have quantity struck (records destroyed). However I do have quantity struck as follows:

2 3/4=inch (70mm) gold . . . . . 5
2 3/4=inch (70mm) silver . . . 100
2 3/4-inch (70mm) bronze . . 500
1 3/8-inch (35mm) bronze .5,000

Numismatic references: Hibler-Kappen HK 697, Rulau Q5. It comes on the market fairly often.

Both size bronze medals have the same finish: antique also called French Finish. Silver and bronze both can be treated with the same darkening chemical, it only takes seconds. Then the medal is relived with a pumice slury, washed, dried, and lacquered. Gold does not need to be treated other than, perhaps, lacquered.

I can’t comment on a specimen with ‘NV’ on the edge. This sounds like a restrike. The current company archivist, Cathy Swinburg, may have such records of this.

There is no printed catalog of MACO medals, no Red book. As company historian I have written extensively about the company and their medals. There are 140 blogs on the firm’s web site. Start at: Medalblog.Johnson.

To read Dick's Medal Blog, see:

Query: Engraver Robert Savage Information Sought
Ondrej Tucek writes:

I am trying to obtain information and photographs regarding the engraver Robert Savage. I am currently organizing an exhibition that will celebrate next year the artistic as well as artisan legacy of a famous Czech artist Alphonse Mucha. Mr Savage engraved two important Czechoslovakian banknotes - one was issued in 1919, the other in 1920. With both banknotes he followed the design of Mr Mucha. Also, both banknotes were - according to Czech sources - printed by the American Bank Note Company.

Can anyone help? Thanks. -Editor

Query: Allan Forbes Medal Identification Sought
Anne E. Bentley of the Massachusetts Historical Society writes:

I’ve got this to catalog in a cache of awards and orders given to Allan Forbes (1874-1955) for some time the President of State Street Corporation, Boston. His Order of the Auspicious Star (Nationalist China) came in a box that could be the cousin of this, although sturdier and covered with fabric, not paper, but I haven’t been able to find an example of this particular medal in any website featuring Asian decorations and awards. Perhaps one of your readers might recognize the award and language?

Mystery Allan Forbes medal

I reached out to reader Frank Draskovic of the Orders & Medals Society of America (OMSA). -Editor

Frank writes:

I have not seen this award before. It was issued by Republican China, during the Kuomintang period, post 1928, under their authority. The central inscription merely says "Merit Badge of Honor". Unless there is something on the back there is no indication of the issuing entity, date or class. The box seems old, 1940s-early 1950s, straddling the period when the KMT gov't. was still on the mainland and shortly after they evacuated to Taiwan. I'll check my "Mohler Notes" of Stanford's China Collection and if I find anything further I'll contact you.

Cataloging of the Imperial and Republican Orders, Decorations and Medals (ODMs) of China is in sort of the late adolescent stage, with much excellent research having taken place in the last twenty-five years, but there are many Chinese awards, likely hundreds more, yet to be discovered and attributed, thus the fun of it all for collectors.

Great, thanks! Can anyone else help with this? -Editor

PCGS Type 1.0 Holder Sold
David Schwager writes:

1943-S Half in PCGS 1.0 slab As described in a Coin World article, Great Collections sold a PCGS type 1.0 holder for $1,181.25 on November 12. This is $956 more than the PCGS Price Guide value of the enclosed coin, an MS65 1943-S half dollar.

The PCGS Museum of Coin Holders explains that the type 1.0 was used by PCGS only for their first few days in business in February 1986. You can tell the 1.0 by the serial number beginning with 1080, the smooth (not ribbed) label, and dot matrix printing with lower quality than the dot matrix used later.

I know the collector who bought this coin, and he told me that other slab collectors are building type sets, collecting as many different types of coins in 1.0 holders as possible. A Morgan, he explained, is more common (although all 1.0 holders are rare) and would earn a smaller premium. He also told me he has already received offers to buy the slab.

Prices for scarce coin holders continue to rise. The most famous, the NGC black holder used in their first few days of operation in 1987, went for $3,740 in a September 2016 Great Collections Auction. On November 14, 2017, Coin Rarities Online offered an NGC black with an 1898 Morgan to their mailing list for $4,975. When I checked their site November 19, it was sold.

If anyone has a PCGS 1.0 or an NGC black, I am interested in both.

The march of coin slab collecting continues. I think it's great to see this level of interest in the history of our hobby. Ephemera of all sorts is rare, including early grading service holders. -Editor

To read the Coin World article, see:
1943-S half dollar in first generation PCGS slab brings premium (

To read the complete lot description, see:
1943-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar PCGS MS-65 OGH (1st Gen - White Label Rattler) (

For more information on PCGS holder history, see:
PCGS Museum of Coin Holders (

Versions of Crosby's Early Coins of America

Don't forget that NBS has an Instagram account as well. Volunteer Kellen Hoard posted this image submitted by Frank Noel. -Editor

Frank Noel writes:

versions of Crosby's Early Coins of America I took this photo of several versions of Crosby's Early Coins of America for a presentation I made to my local coin club.

Included in the photo are:

1. an original 1875 Edition, in a 20th Century binding

2. the 1878 Estes & Lauriat edition

3. the 1945 "Green" Reprint

4. the 1965 Token and Medal Society reprint

5. the 1970 Burt Franklin reprint

6. the 1974 Quarterman Publications reprint

7. the 1983 Quarterman Publications reprint, with Foreword and illustrated bibligraphic appendix by Eric P. Newman

8. the 1983 Sanford Durst reprint

9. a paper back version that appears to be a scanned copy from an original in a Harvard Library, published by Kessinger Legacy Reprint

Thanks. Nice collection! See the earlier E-Sylum article for information. If you have some images of numismatic literature to share, please just email them to me as attachments and Kellen will put them on our account. If you or other collectors you know are on Instagram, please follow NBS. -Editor

To view the NBS Instagram feed on the web, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS) Creates Instagram account (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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