The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 12, March 19, 2023, Article 28


Thursday March 16, 2023 was a special day - after some morning meetings at my office I climbed back into my car and headed north to Baltimore for the Whitman Baltimore Expo. After parking and hiking over to the convention center I met up with Jim Haas for lunch. We walked over to the Pratt Street Ale House and were quickly seated.

Hermon Atkins MacNeil book cover Jim authored the new book on the designer of the Standing Liberty Quarter: Hermon Atkin MacNeil: American Sculptor in the Broad, Bright Daylight . We talked about our respective careers and research interests, and I filled Jim in on the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society (EPNNES) and the Newman Numismatic Portal.

On our way back in to the convention center the first numismatists I spotted in the lobby were ANA President Ralph Ross and Redbook Editor Jeff Garrett. It was Jim's first visit to a coin show and I walked him around. We went to the far back corner to the exhibit area. There were four exhibits set up and we enjoyed reviewing the material. Exhibit chair Simcha Kuritzky buttonholed me to be a judge and I agreed. It had been many years since I'd judged at a show, but figured it's like riding a bicycle. Simcha gave me the forms amd reviewed some of the changes in recent years, but the process was pretty much as I'd remembered it.

Jim and I split up for a while and I visited some of our E-Sylum supporters. At the World Banknote Auctions table Dennis Hengeveld was working with a customer, but I introduced myself the WBNA's new Consignment Director Ryan Baum and had a nice conversation. I also got to meet Chris Victor McCawley and we discussed E-Sylum advertising.

Over at Jon Sullivan's table the error dealer was talking with Dave Wnuck. We talked about The E-Sylum and some great error coins in Jon's inventory. One standout for me was a 50% off-center Morgan dollar - great coin. He also had a double struck Standing Liberty Quarter and I later told Jim Haas about it.

I hooked back up with Jim Haas and we found Len Augsburger at literature dealer Charlie Davis' table. Sharing Charlie's table as usual was Neil Musante and I introduced him to fellow author Jim and they had a nice conversation. Also there were E-Sylum contributor Greg Bennick and his coin-collecting father Dave.

Next Jim, Len and I went out to the lobby for a beverage and Jim and Len discussed potential projects for Newman Grants. Joining our table was Kerry Wetterstrom, and he and I discussed the recent arrest over falsified coin pedigrees.

Back on the bourse floor I met with other E-Sylum supporters including Doug Winter and Harry Laibstain. Jeff Garrett and I talked about the new PCGS designation of Confederation-era colonial coins (see the article elsewhere in this issue). Along the way I also ran into and spoke with Dave Schenkman and NBS Board members Dave Steine.

I caught up with Greg Bennick again at John Kraljevich's table, where he was examining a nice Houck's Panacea counterstamp on a Bust Half Dollar. I told Greg about some of the diagnostics I look for on counterstamps. The coin was from the Brunk collection and Greg later decided to purchase it.

  2023-03 Baltimore show Bennick at Kraljevich table viewing Polhemus counterstamp
Greg Examining a Counterstamped Half
  2023-03 Baltimore show Kraljevich Bennick
JK Examining a Coin

I could only wave to other folks like Julian Leidman who were busy with customers. I ran short on time and missed many others such as Wayne Herndon and Bob Rhue. At least I should get to see Wayne at my upcoming Nummis Nova dinner.

I stopped by John Dannreuther's table and he told me about his new book on proof nickels and showed me some nice hi-res images of photos taken at the Second Philadelphia Mint.

  2023-03 Baltimore show John Dannreuther 2023-03 Baltimore show John Dannreuther Mint photo
  U.S. Mint die room

Dies, Dies, Dies!
Back at John Kraljevich's table I sat down and spoke with NBS Board member Roger Siboni before meeting up with Heath White who'd come into the show with a rolling cart of heavy cargo - three boxes of dies! These large blocks of metal are HEAVY and we should have been wearing steel-toed safety shoes as we examined them at a nearby empty dealer table. But my morning pushups and arm curls served me well and nothing dropped to the floor. One after another I marveled at the amazing workmanship on these one-of-a-kind utilitarian works of art, some dating back to the War of 1812 and directly connected to some famous names including Joseph Merriam and Anthony Paquet.

  Paquet die for U S Army Regulation eagle belt buckle
Paquet die for U S Army Regulation eagle belt buckle

Heath writes:

"In 1851 the U S Army Regulation for their eagle belt buckle changed. This required the companies manufacturing these buckles to have new dies engraved. The William H Horstmann & Sons Company (Philadelphia) was one of the largest manufacturers of military goods at the time and they had two dies made. One by Anthony C Paquet and one by Frederick C Key & Sons. The die pictured is the die engraved by Anthony C Paquet.

"Horstmann's company records showing the purchase of this die from Paquet are at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The records show the die was purchased in December 1851 at a cost of $56.25; altered by Paquet in 1853 for $4; and the wreath design was added to the die in December 1854 for $12. Prior to 1854 the wreath was stamped separately and applied to the eagle buckle.

"The corresponding entries in Horstmann's company records are as follows."

  Horstmann's company record for Paquet eagle belt buckle die
Horstmann's company record for Paquet's eagle belt buckle die


When I couldn't procrastinate any longer I headed back to the exhibit area to begin my judging. There I saw my old friend and fellow judge Tom Uram of the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists. He was just wrapping up his work, and before he left we discussed the upcoming ANA convention in Pittsburgh.

After judging I made another pass by Charlie Davis' table as I hadn't actually gotten to talk with him before. Soon the bourse would close and I headed to the lobby.

After a short call to my wife I met up with Len, Greg and Dave. Greg pulled his car around and drove us to La Scala restaurant in Baltimore's Little Italy where we met with Heath White and his son Miklos. Dinner conversation included introductions, hobby interests, the show, Greg's recent interviews of numismatic personalities for the Newman Portal, The E-Sylum and more.

  2023-03 Baltimore dinner Len Augsburger, heath and Miklos White
Len Augsburger, Heath and Miklos White
  2023-03 Baltimore dinner Miklos White, greg Bennick
Miklos and Greg
  2023-03 Baltimore dinner Greg and Dave Bennick, Wayne Homren, Len Augsburger, Heath and Miklos White
Greg Bennick's Group Shot

Greg and Dave Bennick, Wayne Homren, Len Augsburger, Heath and Miklos White

It had been a great afternoon and evening. Greg dropped me off near my parking garage on the way to drop Len at his hotel. I made it home to Virginia by around 10pm. My feet and back were still sore, but it was all well worth it. What a great time visiting with numismatic friends.

E-Sylum Leidman ad03 coin

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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