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    May 23 2022

    Linderman Collection Remnants?

    As part of the American Numismatic Society early correspondence scanning, Newman Portal recently processed a 1908 letter from M. H. Linderman to ANS President Archer M. Huntington, asking about disposing of a collection of 275 “one cent U.S. copper coins, of various dates and in various conditions or stages of preservation.” The Linderman name is well known among numismatic historians, as Henry R. Linderman served as U.S. Mint Director from 1873 to 1878. 


    Pete Smith notes In American Numismatic Biographies “Linderman was a coin collector. His position gave him the opportunity to have pieces struck to order. He had an 1804 dollar in his collection that came directly from the mint. It sold for $470 to James Ten Eyck. His collection included a number of patterns. It was cataloged for sale by Lyman Low June 28, 1887. A dispute arose over the legality of some of the patterns and the collection was withdrawn from sale. It was finally sold February 28, 1888.”


    The 1887 sale included a substantial offering of pattern cents, along with the note “the entire collection is here offered; not a single piece held back.” This entire sale was cancelled and offered again the following year, with a few pieces excepted.  The cataloguer noted “After mature consideration of all the questions of law and equity involved in the sale of trial and experimental pieces formerly classed as ‘pattern’ pieces, made at the United States mint, the government has allowed us to sell the celebrated Linderman collection…” Again, this catalog included a good-sized offering of pattern cents.


    Roger Burdette, who brought the Linderman letter to our attention, notes “The writer [of the Linderman correspondence] has the same initials H.R. Linderman’s brother.” If indeed these coins were from the Linderman family, one wonders if they were somehow more special than a random accumulation of pocket change.


    Link to Lyman Low June 28, 1887 sale of the Linderman collection: https://archive.org/details/catalogueofvalua00lowl_2
    Link to J. W. Scott February 28, 1888 sale of the Linderman collection: https://archive.org/details/catalogueofvalua00scot_1
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    May 19 2022

    Newman Portal Adds Decorah Numismatic Journal

    Through the courtesy of Joel Orosz, Newman Portal has added the Decorah Numismatic Journal, edited by Edward W. Holway of Decorah, IA. Remy Bourne’s American Numismatic Periodicals 1860-1960 notes four quarterly issues of the Journal from January to October 1875. This short-lived periodical came and went quickly, but the publishers get credit for sticking to their original commitment. The story is told in the January issue. “Coming into our sanctum one day, we found the following obituary posted in a conspicuous place: DIED / On April 1, 1875 / From lack of subscribers, / The Deocrah Numismatic Journal / Sorely lamented by the Editor, Foreman & Devil. / Success to its cremators, / Peace to its ashes. However, we do not believe in croakers, and, if we live, those malign predictions shall not be verified. This Journal shall be published a year – subscribers or no subscribers.” The publishers were true to their word, and the journal persisted through the end of the calendar year.


    Charles Davis, in his November 16, 2013 sale observed “Perhaps the rarest of American numismatic periodicals, one has to question why it existed in the first place, other than perhaps to eat up otherwise idle time on a press…Its content dealt primarily with the coins and medals of Germany, not a surprise as Decorah was the home to Luther College.” Holway also shows up in the American Journal of Numismatics, writing on a Swiss Reformation (Zwingli) medal in the April 1875 issue. Pete Smith, in the Summer 2004 Asylum, credits Holway with a single fixed price list, issued in 1875. Holway later appears in the Chapman brothers’ business correspondence at the American Numismatic Society – he wrote to the Chapmans on October 30, 1879, on the Winnesheik County Bank letterhead, asking for their ancient coin catalogs. The Chapman’s first sale, including ancient coins, took place on October 9 of that year, so this request was likely in response to an announcement of that sale.


    Link to the Decorah Numismatic Journalhttps://archive.org/details/newmannumismatic?query=decorah+numismatic+journal&sort=-publicdate
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    May 13 2022

    German Numismatic Musicians

    A Newman Portal user asked if we had the volume Musica in Nummis (1907) by Karl Andorfer and Richard Epstein. The answer was no, but we were able to locate it on a public domain site and add it to our collection. The work, in German, is a compilation of 984 medals with musical themes and includes 9 plates. The effort is obviously akin to Jay Galst’s Ophthalmologia in Nummis and other numismatic works that specialize in a single (non-numismatic) subject. In cataloging this item, we learned that Paul Niggl acquired the collection that formed the basis for the 1907 work and expanded it over time. Niggl published an updated version of the catalog in 1965, entitled Musiker-Medaillen and now including 2,349 items. Niggl’s collection was sold in a single lot by Spink and Son (July 14, 1998, lot 403), and appeared again, in multiple lots, in a November 2008 Baldwin sale. 

    Link to Musica in Nummis on Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/musicainnummis/page/n1/mode/2up?view=theater
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    May 01 2022

    The Well-Dressed Numismatist

    At the recent Central States show, a show attendee asked about a set of Brooks Brothers tokens in his collection. He had consulted the Brooks Brothers company archivist without success and asked if Newman Portal might be able to solve the problem. Indeed it was, quickly locating a reference to the tokens in the April 1979 issue of TAMS Journal. The Journal reported “Brooks Brothers, purveyors of clothing for men and boys, offered tokens in three denominations, which could be given as gifts and later redeemed by the recipient for merchandise of his choice. The pieces were an antiqued bronze $25, a silver finish $50, and a gold vermeil $100, which could be purchased in a gift box. Unfortunately, the company chose to call the tokens ‘coins’ in their advertising.” 

    The “coins” are, of course, more accurately referred to as “good for” tokens. A google search located a contemporary Brooks Brothers catalog with images of these pieces. The tokens were likely redeemed close to the time of purchase and are presumably scarce today. Indeed, even the $25 token, adjusted for inflation, equates to $99 in 2022. Brooks Brothers declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020, and current stores presumably would not honor these tokens.


    Link to TAMS Journal on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/515304
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    Apr 25 2022

    Newman Portal Adds Barrilla

    The Philippine Central Bank Money Museum issued Barrilla, a quarterly periodical, from 1974 to 1989, with the cooperation of the Philippine Numismatic and Antiquarian Society. The journal is primarily dedicated to Philippine Numismatics and includes occasional American content. The April 1977 issue, for example, presented “Die Varieties of the 1732 Pillar Dollar,” by Angelita L. Legarda. 

    The entire run of this periodical is now available via Newman Portal. Many thanks to Ken Berger, for loaning his set of Barrilla for scanning, and to Deputy Director Regina Mercedes C. Cruz, of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, for facilitating access to this publication. 

    Link to Barrilla on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/543561


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    Apr 25 2022

    Newman Portal Symposium Video Available

    Video from the recent Newman Portal Symposium, held April 8-10, 2022 is now available. The Newman Portal Symposium brings together speakers on a wide variety of numismatic topics, including U.S., world, and ancient numismatics. Our feature presentation was a behind-the-scenes look at the Dell Loy Hansen collection, which included comments from Hansen himself. Our next Symposium will be held this fall.

    Videos from all Newman Portal Symposia are posted at https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/multimediadetail/539070.

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    Apr 20 2022

    Loose Change for War Bonds

    The Pearl Harbor attack in December 1941 induced a patriotic fervor to support the government in any way possible. For ordinary citizens, one way to do this was to purchase war bonds. The Treasury Secretary Press Releases series contains several accounts of this activity. Nellie Tayloe Ross, Mint Director, issued a press release on April 22, 1942, noting that 97% of the Mint workforce was acquiring war bonds via the voluntary payroll deduction plan. The investment was substantial – at the San Francisco Mint employees committed more than one-tenth of their salaries. The Treasury Department suggested that all citizens do likewise.

    The early 1940s brought a coin shortage to the U.S. (not unlike the same phenomenon during the pandemic), and Mint Director Ross hit upon a two-fer, asking the public, on November 23, 1942, to scour their household depositories for loose change and to trade the coins for war bonds. She cited the case of a guard in the Mint Service who had done precisely the same thing and raised enough - $18.75 - to purchase a $25 bond (bonds matured after ten years).

    On October 13, 1942, Ross went to the well again and tugged at the public heart strings with this press release: “A three-year old child turned in 1,875 pennies in the purchase of a War Bond, and … the little girl had 500 more pennies saved toward the next one. Mrs. Ross said she was gratified by the return of the coins to active duty, but she wished the youngster had purchased War Savings Stamps with the other 500.”

    Link to U.S Treasury Press Releases on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/543206


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    Apr 13 2022

    Gold Coin Circulation in 1917

    Although not withdrawn until 1933, the Treasury Department discouraged use of gold coin as early as 1917. A December 2, 1917 press release recently added to Newman Portal outlined the talking points. Secretary W. G. McAdoo noted that circulation of gold coin caused “rapid” abrasion and loss of value, and that most people preferred to use paper money (in this case gold certificates) anyway. McAdoo felt that gold should be reserved for backing the certificates, or foreign exchange settlements, and only then when necessary. The Secretary castigated the use of machines for counting gold coins and considered it “selfish and unpatriotic” to demand gold coins in commerce. One can only observe that the eventual removal of gold coin from circulation, in 1933, was politically facilitated by first changing it into paper.

    Thanks to Roger Burdette for pointing out the collection of Treasury Department press releases available at FRASER, the online Federal Reserve Library.

    Link to Statement by Secretary McAdoo on Use of Gold Coin as Circulating Medium: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/543206

    Link to Treasury Department press releases on FRASER: https://fraser.stlouisfed.org/title/6111

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    Apr 09 2022

    Newman Portal Symposium Holds 4th Event

    The Newman Portal Symposium, launched in fall 2020 in response to the pandemic, and now held twice per year, recently presented its fourth such event, which took place April 8-10. Video from all Symposium sessions will be available in 2-3 weeks, with notice published on the NNP Symposium website.

    Our feature presentation profiled the collector Dell Loy Hansen, who, in a few short years, has nearly duplicated Louis Eliasberg’s goal of assembling a complete set of U.S. coins. This video includes footage of the Hansen vault in addition to comments from Hansen himself on the formation of this significant collection. 

    Mike Garofalo, author of Secrets of the Rare Coin and Bullion Business, also presented during the NNP Symposium. Garofalo and John Feigenbaum, CDN Publisher, graciously made 60 copies of this recently published book available for free to NNP Symposium attendees. A small number remain, Readers may send their name and address to NNPCurator@wustl.edu if they wish to receive a copy (delivery to U.S. addresses only).

    Link to Dell Loy Hansen video: https://youtu.be/I3CaNvMQjxA
    Link to Newman Portal Symposium site: https://nnpsymposium.org/
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    Mar 16 2022

    Early ANS Membership Records Digitized Under NNP Sponsorship

    Among the American Numismatic Society archives are a group of 1,700 file cards detailing early ANS members and their related activities at ANS. The group covers from inception (1858) to the mid-1940s. Occasional tidbits are present, such as this note on the card for Baltimore collector Waldo Newcomer, “had collection, stolen by F. Hotz.” Particularly active members have multiple cards, with the record for Edward T. Newell extending to six cards and noting ANS roles from “Active Member” (1905) to “President” (1918-1941). As a biographical aid, many of the records include member death dates.

    ANS Librarian David Hill notes that the management history of this file is not completely clear. Cards were clearly created retroactively in some cases. Additionally, some early members have been identified who do not have cards. Still, numismatic biographers will find this a useful resource.

    Link to Early ANS Membership Cards: https://archive.org/details/ansmembershipcar00amer/mode/1up
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