I'm traveling this week and Tom Kays is covering my diary with this account from Tuesday's meeting of our Northern Virginia Numismatic Social Group Nummis Nova. Chris Neuzil was our host at Thai Luang Restaurant in Herndon. Thanks, Tom!
Nummis Nova luminaries after a bit of musical chairs, from the left, are Mike Markowitz, Lorne LaVertu, Dave Schenkman, Eric Schena, Wayne Homren, Chris Neuzil, Mike Packard, Jonas Denenberg, and Tom Kays. Not pictured is Steve Bishop.
The May 2023 Nummis Nova bacchanalia proceeded in grand style at the Thai Luang in Herndon with help from a first-time visitor and longtime Second Consul of the Ancient Numismatic Society of Washington, Mike Markowitz. Mike holds degrees in history, social ecology, and has authored many books, papers, periodic Coin Week columns, and has given TV interviews and podcasts about ancient and medieval coins, bringing his broad knowledge of the world's money from before the beginnings of coinage, up to the time of Shakespeare and beyond, to our table.
Hearing so many numismatic luminaries talking at one sitting one can lose track of the gist of many of the threads of conversation at the far end of the table. As a tangible record of what folks were talking about, I often photograph items in passing to be able to recite what I saw with accuracy and completeness but may not fully understand why I saw these great things at these dinners. Reasons why folks brought these items and why they are of interest to the reader, is left in the hands of the editor, to extract more details from diners in the week after. Some items may have no special significance but came to dinner because they showed up in our collections today. Others are the most important coins in our collections. Can you tell which is which? Seen at the May dinner were the following eclectic grouping of numismatic who'zits and what'zits:
Gold Solidus of Constantine the Great – Marking the Foundation of
Constantinople, formerly Byzantium, presently Istanbul) on May 11, 330 CE from the Nicomedia Mint.
Proof-like, Austrian Holy Roman Empire – Maria Theresia Thaler of 1765 from the Hall Mint
Admiral Dewey Store Card for Engraver C. H. Hanson of Chicago
Admiral Dewey Store Card for Dr. Kings New Discovery for Consumption –
Electric Bitters - Chicago
‘One bit' (12.5 cents) Denver Colorado Mining Exchange Token of Daudel & Becherer
1703 Medal Commemorating the 80th Birthday of George Wilhelm – Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg
1778 Two Reales Hosts a counterstamp ‘Admit to the Model Artist, 127 Grand St. near Broadway'
William H. Harrison Medal
To Let – Possession Given in 1841 of his fabled Log Cabin, issued for the meeting of the Young Men's Convention of May 1840
Italian Decoration for Military Valor in the southern Italian Campaign of 1860 – 1861
Admiral Horatio Nelson Battle of the Nile silver Victory at Abu Qir (Aboukir) Bay on August 1, 1798 Medalette
Arriving the day of the dinner from Baldwin's Vault was this medalette of Admiral Horatio Nelson who famously declared
England expects every man will do his duty. The British Fleet fought the French Fleet anchored at the mouth of the Nile in Aboukir Bay about 12 miles from Alexandria, Egypt. Lord Nelson ran his ships in two lines of battle both before and behind the French lines close ashore, to defeat 15 French ships with ten captured, and two burnt as this medal shares. Officers who served in Lord Nelson's fleet received silver medals for victories. Perhaps a junior officer revered this small token of esteem. It has a small blob of tar or melted metal on the reverse perhaps attesting to hot action in the war with Napoleon.
This was the smallest item in a case of British military medals including a bronze George II British Victories Medal of 1758 (Louisbourg), bronze British Victories of 1759 (Quebec), a 1783 copper Admiral Kempenfelt Blockade of Gibraltar Medal picturing the sinking of the H.M.S. Royal George (it sank in 1782 at Spithead while under repairs, but would have helped provide relief to Gibraltar, really it would), a white metal, Sir J. B. Warren, Brest Squadron Defeated off Tory Island Medal of October 12, 1798 (His fleet attacked and defeated a French squadron off the coast of Ireland) and lastly, the large medal below.
Battle of Trafalgar Memorial – Death of Lord Nelson Medal by P. Wyon in White Metal of 1805 –
In Life Victorious, In Death Triumphant
Nelson's victories are listed as Bastia, Aboukir, Copenhag(en), and Trafalgar. In some small part, Nummis Nova gathers for action each month as we share stories about our collecting battles, victories and defeats. Wayne expects every diner will do his duty by sharing with the E-Sylum readers the latest news and goings-on within the numismatic community. May we have three cheers for The E-Sylum: Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!
Wayne Homren, Editor
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