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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

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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 A dispute arose over the legality of some of the patterns and the collection was withdrawn from sale.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:
Link to J. W. Scott February 28, 1888 sale of the Linderman collection:
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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 Journal
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