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The E-Sylum (9/15/2013)

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On Tuesday night I was the host for Nummis Nova, my Northern Virginia numismatic social club. We met at Neisha Thai, a restaurant in Vienna, VA. I'd taken a leap of faith making the reservation, having never actually been there. The reviews, web site and pictures looked good, and when I called to make a reservation they sounded very busy.

I was able to avert disaster when I rechecked their web site and learned that they'd moved to a different address than I'd told everyone in the invitations. I quickly published an update. And midafternoon Tuesday I got an email from Howard Daniel, who (bless his well-prepared heart) had gone to scout the place out. It wasn't directly on Leesburg Pike as the address indicated, but on the side of a building facing the main road. To get there, you had to go onto an access road and around the side of the building.

Concerned, I sat in my car from 4pm to nearly 4:30 making phone calls to all of the attendees to make sure they got the updates. In the end, everything worked. I arrived a little early to find Aaron Packard already at our table. Other attendees were Roger Burdette, Julian Leidman, Jon Radel, Mike Packard, Chris Neuzil, Gene Brandenburg, Ron Abler, Dave Schenkman, Eric Schena, Tom Kays and Steve Bishop.

Journal of Numismatic Research
Roger Burdette handed me a new shrink-wrapped copy of the Spring 2013 Issue 2 of his Journal of Numismatic Research - look for more information in a future issue of The E-Sylum. Teaser: it's about Benjamin Franklin Peale. Thanks, Roger!

Farran Zerbe Medal
For me, the highlight of the evening was seeing David Schenkman's Zerbe medal, which was awarded to him at last month's American Numismatic Association convention. The organization's highest honor, it is well deserved. Dave is a tireless worker for the hobby and a fountain of numismatic knowledge. I had never seen the actual medal before, and it's impressive. Dave kindly provided these photos.

Zerbe-obv Zerbe-rev

Dave adds:

This is the bronze replica version with loop on top, which was presented in a Lucite dome. The gold one is identical but without the loop.

Wayne's "Starter Coins"
For a theme this month, I'd suggested "Starter Coins" - coins that caught your eye and helped start you along the path to numismatics. I dug some old friends out of the bank for the meeting. First, I had two Whitman folders - the Lincoln Cent Number One (1909-1940) and Canadian Small Cents (1920 to Date).

I'd found my 1909 VDB while searching rolls as a teen. I went to coin shows and bought several other Lincolns I needed, but I never acquired the three keys, and those holes are still empty.

I'd always liked the Canadian cents, especially the early ones, but never finished that series, either. Maybe I’ll start up again.

I also displayed some British coins from a box given to me by my step grandfather. Most were WWI-era European pocket change, but my favorites were these: an 1821 Crown with St. George slaying the dragon on the back, and a 1910 Maundy set of prooflike 1,2,3 and 4 pence coins. He never did tell me where he got these.

The last piece was also my step grandfathers, but he held on to it until he died. My grandmother gave it to me after his death. It's an 1851 One Dollar Gold piece. It had been given to him as a reward by his Sunday School teacher.

Aaron's Ford Sale Trophies
New purchases are also a common sight at our meetings, and Aaron Packard brought along several lots purchased in one of the recent Stacks Bowers Ford sales. He writes:

The Ford Auction enabled me to obtain several high-grade examples that I have been pursuing for years. Notably, acquisitions included high-grade examples of the Bernard S. Baruc (SC-2, Charleston SC), the WW Wilbur (SC-8B, Charleston SC), the City of Petersburg (VA-14), a silvered brass example of the J.E. Token (NY-405x), and a NY-238 Morsonic Amulet. The others, though slightly more attainable singularly, can be challenging to find in high grade -- much less all at once at the same venue.

Some of the examples of these specimens I do not anticipate encountering again. Having them to study, and include in the various numismatic research projects I have underway will prove invaluable.

Here are some of the acquisitions made at the Ford auction:

22043 New York--New York. (1820s). "J.E." Rulau-E NY 405. Rarity-7. Brass. 19 mm. MS-61 (NGC 2600302-017).

22206 New York--New York. (ca. 1835-1845) Clinton Lunch. HT-A240. Rarity-6. Brass. 19.5 mm. MS-61 (NGC 2600053-004).

22211 New York--New York. (ca. 1830-1845) Clinton Lunch. HT-B240. Rarity-5. German silver. 20 mm. AU-53 (NGC 2600053-007).

Lot 22480 Morsonic Amulet obverse Lot 22480 Morsonic Amulet reverse

22480 New York. Undated. Morsonic Amulet. Miller-NY 238. White Metal Obverse, Brass Reverse. 35 mm. EF-40.

22402 Virginia--Richmond. (ca. 1832-1844) Beck's Public Baths. HT-441. Rarity-3. Copper. 28 mm. EF-45 BN (NGC 2602864-014).

22576 Virginia--Petersburg. City of Petersburg. Miller-VA 14. Brass. 27 mm. AU-53 (NGC 2599903-007).

22444 Maryland--Baltimore. (1850) The Champaign Fountain. Rulau-Md 502. Silver. 16 mm. AU-50.

22604 Maryland--Baltimore. Lot of (5) Tokens.

Lot 22566 Bernard Baruc obverse Lot 22566 Bernard Baruc reverse

22566 South Carolina--Charleston. (ca. 1854-1856) Bernard S. Baruc. Miller SC 2A. Brass. 22 mm. AU-55 (NGC 2599898-011).

30023 Massachusetts--Florence. 1876 Florence Manufacturing Co. Schenkman-390-F5B, Rulau-Unlisted. Brown Rubber. MS-63 (NGC 3577484-001).

In addition, the following were acquired post-auction, from the winners:

22570 South Carolina--Charleston. 1846 W.W. Wilber. Miller SC 8 (type). German silver. 29 mm. MS-63 (NGC 2599898-014). (via Steve Hayden)

Lot 22047 J.E. obverse Lot 22047 J.E. reverse

22047 New York--New York. (1820s). "J.E." Rulau-E NY 405 (type). Rarity-8 [?]. Silvered Brass. 19 mm. MS-61 (NGC 2600302-015). (via ebay 190895098430)

Some interesting tokens there! I'll look forward to Aaron's research articles.

Before dinner I made sure to show Eric Schena a scan of a First National Oyster Bank note that Ron Ward sent me via snail mail. Eric had never heard or seen one actually signed and issued.

As always, it was an enjoyable evening. We began breaking up about the time I needed to leave anyway to pick up my son from his basketball practice. 'Til next month!

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