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The E-Sylum (10/20/2013)

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This Diary's coming a week late, but better late than never. October 8th, 2013 was the night of my northern Virginia numismatic social group, Nummis Nova. Our host was Roger Burdette, and he'd chosen the Jaipur Royal Indian Restaurant in Fairfax, VA. For a change I was the first to arrive, and picked a chair in a cozy private room.

Next to arrive was Howard Daniel. I learned later it was his birthday. As it happened it was also the birthday of Julian Leidman, one of our regulars. Julian couldn't be with us, but others began arriving soon. In addition to me and Howard, attendees included Roger, Joe Levine, Eric Schena, Gene Brandenburg, Mike Packard, Lenny Goldberg, Aaron Packard, Jon Radel, Steve Bishop, Dave Schenkman and Tom Kays, who took a number of pictures for us.

Howard had with him a reproduction of a Ming Dynasty note produced some years ago by the American Numismatic Association. Even though it is greatly oversize, apparently some people have taken to scraping the ink off the back and peddling them as real.. This one was untouched. Howard had purchased it from Joe Boling.

Here are a couple menu contemplation shots, with Mike Packard and Joe Levine on the left, and me at the right, with Eric Schena and Roger Burdette in the background.

Mike Packard Joe Levine Wayne Homren and menu

Here's a shot of Jon Radel, who brought along a nice stack of recent numismatic literature, including Collecting Medieval Coins: A Beginner's Guide by Paul A. Torongo. It was the first chance I'd had to see the book in person, and it looks excellent.

Jon Radel

Schmeung Dave Schenkman brought this plaque of boxer Max Schmeling, who was heavyweight champion of the world between 1930 and 1932, and fought Joe Louis in 1936 and 1938.

Eric Schena writes:

Since the theme was numismatic exotica, I brought my collection of letters and correspondence from Virginia banks, the vast majority of which date from 1815 to 1860. What is particularly appealing about these is that each letter details a piece of the daily activities of an Antebellum bank in Virginia, from the mundane (such as receipt acknowledgments for deposits from another bank), to the fascinating (a draft proposal to provide the state a loan of $1.2 million to cover expenses incurred in December 1860).

Some are entirely handwritten, while others are part-printed form letters, while all are unique in their own way. Here are two interesting ones from my grouping.

One is an elaborately printed protested promissory note from the Bank of the Valley in Virginia at its mother bank of Winchester from 1841. What is interesting here is not only the elaborate engraving, but that it is almost entirely printed with only select portions filled in.

The second letter concerns the settlement of an estate in Dandridge, Tennessee in 1839. An attorney in Tennessee sent the Winchester branch of the Farmer's Bank of Virginia a promissory note from 1832 for $300 which was issued there inquiring as to whether or not the decedent had paid off the note. This letter is the reply to that attorney saying it had been paid and included the found promissory note with the letter - in fact the staining on the letter is that of the note. These are little capsules of banking history that are often forgotten.

Here are Eric's images. As always, readers can click on the images to be taken to our Flickr archive, where larger version can be viewed.

Bank of the Valley promissory note Letter to Farmer's Bank of Virginia

Farmer's Bank Winchester note

A number of other interesting items were passed around. Thanks again to Tom for taking pictures. Some are fuzzy, but only because I've tried to make some close-ups that stretch the resolution of the camera. Here's a token from the Nonpareil Association Social Club of Baltimore, MD (Rulau MD-Ba 80, Schenkman N60a)

Nonpareil flip Nonpareil flip side B

Here are some more shots from around the room. On the left is my view across the table of Gene Brandenburg, our local wine enthusiast, who picked some great selections from the menu. Next to Gene is Dave Schenkman, and again in the background are Eric Schema and Roger Burdette.

Gene Brandenburg Happy diners

Contemplating Roger's pay box Here are Howard Daniel and Wayne Herndon, likely scratching his head over one of Dave's jokes...

Here's an 1870 beer token from Petersburg, VA.

Beer token side B Beer token side A

And finally, an 1705 Russian Beard token (well, a copy of Brekke 6). Forgive me if I've gotten the orientation wrong.

Beard token side B Beard token side a

My fun was cut short when I had to leave early to pick up my son at basketball practice. The trip wasn't as fast as I'd hoped; one of Fairfax's Finest pulled me over to politely inquire if I knew how fast I was going. Sorry, didn't have a clue. Did I know what the speed limit on the road was? Uh, no. I figured 50, but kept my mouth shut. Correct answer? 35. Oh, well. I still managed to be on time to pick up my son, but had to mail in a check to pay the fine.

Oh well, the evening was still quite worth it. Thanks again to Tom Kays and Eric Schena for their photos, and Roger Burdette for choosing the restaurant and organizing the evening. It was a great evening!

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