The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 24, June 11, 2023, Article 30


Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor

The Road to Germany's Common Currency

An article on the Künker site reviews Germany's path to a common currency. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor

  1835 Duke Ernest I Konventionstaler
1835 Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Duke Ernest I Konventionstaler

In the years between 1800 and 1914, Germany developed from an agricultural patchwork of countless separate territories into a unified industrial nation. If you are interested in German history, you will be familiar with the major steps of this development: from the student protests after the Congress of Vienna to the failed revolution of 1848, Prussia's three wars of unification and the founding of the German Empire.

So, was the German nation-state the result of patriotic sentiment combined with Prussia's high ambitions as a military power? That would be too much of a simplification, after all, economic factors also played into this. Customs barriers and the different currencies that circulated in a myriad of small states hampered trade and were increasingly considered medieval by citizens. Countries such as France and Great Britain had long become unified economic areas and were discussing free trade agreements. Germany still had a long way to go.

Therefore, German politicians in the 19th century endeavored to facilitate the exchange of goods and to harmonize currencies. Coinage treaties gradually paved the way for the common currency that was introduced in the new German Empire. We will illustrate this development with the coins of the Double Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, of which some rare and outstandingly preserved pieces can be found in Künker's auction 388. The sale will be held on 22 June 2023 and present a North German private collection under the title Taler and Mark.

  1872 German Empire 20 Marks
1872 German Empire 20 Marks

To read the complete article, see:
From Taler to Mark: The Long Road to a Common Currency (

Batman's Giant Penny

Something I stumbled across this week is Batman's Giant Penny. Can anyone fill us in on the backstory of the penny and the Penny Plunderer? Is one really big penny better than a million little ones? -Editor

  Batman Giant_Penny

When a criminal who called himself Penny Plunderer started operating in Gotham City, Batman deduced that he would strike at the local coin exhibition. The Plunderer was obsessed with Pennies and in the exhibition, there was a giant-sized penny, which was the Plunderer's target along with the first one-cent stamp in history. Batman confronted the Plunderer and used the giant penny to defeat the criminal and his henchmen. It is yet unrevealed how exactly Batman acquired the Penny, but after his victory over the Plunderer, Batman took the giant coin to the Trophy Room of the Batcave, where it has become one of the main features of the place.

  Batman Giant_Penny Crush

To read the complete article, see:
Giant Penny (

The Joan Rivers Card Catalog

The bibliophile/librarian in me appreciated this non-numismatic story about the 65,000 cross-referenced gags in the Joan Rivers card catalog of jokes. -Editor

When Joan Rivers died in 2014, ending one of the greatest careers in modern comedy, several groups were interested in acquiring her archives, which included a meticulously organized collection of 65,000 typewritten jokes.

Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, recalled a conversation with a representative from the Smithsonian Institution who wanted the catalog of jokes but said it would not be on permanent display. Her mind instantly went to the final tracking shot of Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which the golden Ark of the Covenant is locked inside a crate and placed in a vast warehouse with hundreds of other crates.

Instead, Rivers is donating the extensive collection to the National Comedy Center, the high-tech museum in Jamestown, N.Y., joining the archives of A-list comics like George Carlin and Carl Reiner.

Rivers, who wrote gags at all hours, paid close attention to setups and punchlines, typing them up and cross-referencing them by categories like Parents hated me or Las Vegas or No sex appeal. The largest subject area is Tramp, which includes 1,756 jokes.

  Joan Rivers chariot joke card

To read the complete article, see:
A ‘Crown Jewel of Comedy': The Joan Rivers Card Catalog of Jokes Finds a Home (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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