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    May 06 2021

    John S. Dye and His Counterfeit Detectors

    Recently published on Newman Portal is Patrick Parkinson’s work John S. Dye and His Counterfeit Detectors. This study documents the history of John S. Dye’s counterfeit detectors, a task made difficult by the ephemeral nature of such publications. Because new counterfeits and new genuine bank notes were constantly being circulated, counterfeit detectors quickly became outdated and were discarded, leaving very few surviving copies. This book fills in the gaps, largely through advertisements and articles in digital databases of contemporary newspapers. Parkinson’s work is meticulous and will be welcome by anyone interested in 19th century counterfeit detectors. 

    Lianna Spurrier performed book design, graphics, and layout of Parkinson’s work under sponsorship of Newman Portal. The result is an elegant presentation, with the visual appeal matched only by the content. Newman Portal welcomes inquiries by prospective authors in need of the same services, and currently has similar projects in production, which will be announced in due course.

    Link to John S. Dye and His Counterfeit Detectors on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/599152.
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    Apr 29 2021

    Early Paper Money of America on Newman Portal

    We continue to update the NNP Edition of Eric Newman’s Early Paper Money of America. This online version incorporates additional images from the Newman paper money sales, in addition to edits contributed by collectors and researchers. Ray Williams, David Gladfelter, and others have contributed to this ongoing effort.

    One of the most iconic notes in this series is the marbled edge $20 from the Continental currency issue of May 10, 1775. This anti-counterfeiting measure is visually stunning, so much so that it was selected for the front cover of the fifth edition of Early Paper Money of America. The legislation for the May 10 issue, a resolution of the Continental Congress on June 22, 1775, contains an allusion to slavery: “That the propotion or quota of each colony be determined according to the number of inhabitants of all ages, including negroes and mulattos, in each colony.” This stands in opposition to the first article of the Constitution as ratified in 1788, which counted slaves at a rate of 3/5 for the purposes of determining the makeup of the House of Representatives. A broadside of the June 22, 1775 resolution is known (Evans Early American Imprints 42963) and is represented in a number of institutional collections. Owners of the $20 marbled edge notes may wish to keep an eye out for this compelling “go with” item.

    Link to Early Paper Money of America on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/imagecollection/513468


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    Apr 26 2021

    Condition Census Pitt Farthing Discovered in UK

    A Newman Numismatic Portal (NewmanPortal.org) user from the UK recently reported the discovery of a high-grade Pitt farthing, which researcher Chris McDowell ranks as the fourth finest known. Listed among colonial issues in the Guide Book of United States Coins, the Pitt tokens commemorate William Pitt’s efforts to repeal the 1765 Stamp Tax. The obverse legends read THE RESTORER OF COMMERCE 1766 / NO STAMPS and AMERICA, while on the reverse THANKS TO THE FRIENDS OF LIBERTY AND TRADE encircles the border. Little is known of their origin, which was more likely in Europe than America. 

    This piece was discovered by a UK dealer, Martin Kent, who operates a coin store in Lincolnshire. Kent located McDowell’s Pitt farthing census, published on Newman Portal, and in turn was connected by Len Augsburger, Newman Portal Project Coordinator, to McDowell. McDowell tells the story of the discovery in his updated census. 

    “Mr. Kent owns a small coin shop in Alford Lincolnshire, England. His store was closed because of COVID-19 for many months, and he reports that the first week his business was back open in April 2021, a ‘young chap’ brought this spectacular specimen into the store along with a grouping of modern British coins left to him by his grandfather. The hair detail is only matched or surpassed by the three Pitt farthings ahead of it on this census. All ten portholes are visible and it is well-struck with hard surfaces. There is an area above the foremast of the ship on the reverse that needs closer examination as it could be post-strike damage, but it is just as likely to have been present on the flan pre-strike as it has an appearance not unlike that seen on many other Pitt farthings. This specimen could not be observed in-hand because of Covid-19 and other restrictions; however, based on the weight, diameter and known details that have only been observed on authentic specimens , this Pitt farthing is authentic. It is a stunning addition to this census. The fact that it was discovered in England like so many other Pitt farthings, may put the final nail in the coffin of the belief that they were originally produced in America.” 

    Link to McDowell's Condition Census of all Known Pitt Farthings: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/569217

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    Apr 18 2021

    Glendining Auction Sale Catalogs on Newman Portal

    Important American numismatic material frequently shows up in European sales, as demonstrated by a 1935 Glendining’s auction sale catalog. This sale included 262 lots of American items including a good variety of federal and colonial pieces. Four plates will support pedigree research of the frontline examples. Newman Portal previously scanned the Glendining’s catalog run from 1901-1923 and is now proceeding with the remainder of these UK sales.

    Thanks to John Millensted of Bonham’s (successor to Glendining) for granting permission to scan these catalogs, NNP supporter Eric Hodge for working with Glendining, ANS Librarian David Hill for coordination with Internet Archive, and Lara Jacobs of Internet Archive who performs scanning activities at the ANS library. 

    Link to Glendining’s 1935 Catalogue of Early American Coins:  https://archive.org/details/catalogueofearly00glen/page/n5/mode/2up
    Link to Glendining’s auction sale catalogs on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/auctioncompanydetail/512958
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    Apr 04 2021

    NNP Symposium Video Posted

    Videos from the recently concluded NNP Symposium (March 19-21) are now posted on Newman Portal. Produced by Lianna Spurrier of Numismatic Marketing, this event featured a total of 37 speakers presenting on a wide variety of numismatic topics, including United States, ancient, and world numismatics. Among the presenters was John Brush, who provided a overview of the formation and evolution of the D. L. Hansen collection. This session included a lively question & answer exchange with the audience. Ken Bressett discussed his storied numismatic career, most notably covering the development of the Guide Book over the years. Shanna Schmidt delivered an overview of the ancient coin auction marketplace, noting a number of differences for those us more familiar with the largest U.S. auction firms. These are a just a few of the highlights, with the full list available on Newman Portal.

    Link to NNP Symposium videos, March 19-21: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/multimediadetail/539070?Year=2021&take=50
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    Mar 30 2021

    Steinberg’s Fixed Price Lists on Newman Portal

    The late William Fox Steinberg (1913-1995), dealer in world gold coins, founded Steinberg's in 1950. The firm is currently headed by Robert L. Steinberg (William’s son) and Michael D. Sottini (Robert's step-son). Steinberg’s has generously made available the historic fixed price lists of this firm, and these have been recently scanned by Newman Portal. The currently posted group covers 1974-2020 and we anticipate adding additional issues going forward. Although not typically illustrated, this material will enable the discovery of “needles in haystacks,” for example the offering here of a pair of 1811 pattern Haitian gourdes depicting Henri Christophe (today thought to be restrikes or fantasy pieces).

    Link to Steinberg’s Fixed Price Lists on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/541978
    Link to search Steinberg’s Fixed Price Lists: https://archive.org/details/newmannumismatic?and[]=creator%3A%22steinberg%27s%22
    Link to 1974 fixed priced offering of Henri Christophe 1811 pattern gourdes (Haiti): https://archive.org/details/steinbergsfixedp1974stei/page/56/mode/2up?q=gourd
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    Mar 26 2021

    Newman Portal Digitizes International Numismatic Council Publications

    With the permission of the International Numismatic Council (INC), Newman Portal has digitized the publications of this longstanding academic initiative. The first INC Congress was held in 1891 and has been conducted periodically ever since, currently at 6-year intervals. The organization’s charter is “to promote numismatics and related disciplines by facilitating cooperation among individuals and institutions in the field of numismatics and related disciplines.” Publications include the Congress Proceedings and the Survey of Numismatic Research, also published every six years, which serves as a bibliography of the most significant recent numismatic research. INC also issued Compte Rendu beginning in 1951, an annual update with organization news and a number of research articles, such as John Kleeberg’s “Treasure Trove Law in the United States” (2006). 

    An anomaly in the INC Proceedings is the collected papers for the 1967 Congress (no. VII, held in Copenhagen). ANS Librarian David Hill remarked to Len Augsburger on February 11 “By the way, we seem to lack INC #7 (1967) Copenhagen, which I can’t believe.” After considerable investigation, the answer was revealed in the October 4, 1967 issue of Coin World, which reported “Owing to the prohibitive cost of publishing the proceedings in full, it has been decided that the papers will be published by the normal numismatic journals of those countries in whose language the papers were read.” Eric Newman’s paper for this Congress, “Lessons in Modern Day Counterfeiting,” appeared in the November 1967 Numismatist.

    Newman Portal acknowledges Michael Alram (INC President), François de Callataÿ (INC Secretary), Ute Wartenberg Kagan (ANS President), David Hill (ANS Librarian), and Lara Jacobs (Internet Archive) for their assistance with this project. 

    Link to International Numismatic Council (INC) Proceedings on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/533904
    Link to Survey of Numismatic Research on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/541672
    Link to Compte Rendu on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/541673
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    Mar 14 2021

    Coinage of 1888 Designed to Avoid Speculation

    Recently added to Newman Portal is correspondence from the National Archives that reveals the rationale behind certain of the 1888 U.S. coinage. James Kimball, Mint Director, writes to Philadelphia Mint Superintendent Daniel M. Fox, ordering the additional coinage of 10,000 one-dollar gold pieces, 5,000 three-dollar gold pieces, and 10,000 three-cent nickels. Fox was instructed to put the coins directly into general circulation, so as to avoid speculation. Collectors by this time were already seeking out the scarce 1880s denominational silver coinage, as most of the Mint’s attention was diverted toward producing massive quantities of Morgan dollars under the directive of the 1878 Bland-Allison act. The 1888 coinage production, as directed by Kimball, succeeded in avoiding rarities, although the three issues mentioned here remain highly desirable to collectors today.

    Link to Mint Director Kimball correspondence on April 11, 1888 on Newman Portal: https://archive.org/details/coinsmallgoldtoavoidspeculation18880411/mode/2up
    Link to National Archives content on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/Library/Archives?searchLetter=U
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    Mar 06 2021

    NNP Symposium, March 19-21, 2021

    The NNP Symposium returns March 19-21, with a broad array of presentations. This is a free, three-day online event featuring some of the most compelling personalities in numismatics. Of particular interest to NBS members will be Kellen Hoard’s presentation “Building Your Numismatic Reference Library in 2021,” scheduled for 12PM eastern, Saturday, March 20. Our own Wayne Homren will be leading a panel discussion on “The Early Days of Online Numismatics,” with Jim Halperin, George Cuhaj, and Craig Whitford. 

    Of special note is a four-hour Young Numismatist (YN) block of presentations on Saturday morning, featuring speakers Jonas Denenberg, Garrett Ziss, Kellen Hoard, and Delmar Mineard, Jr. NNP Symposium speakers include Ken Bressett, John Kraljevich, Sarah Miller, John Brush, Shanna Schmidt, and a host of other prominent numismatists. Zoom links for the individual presentations will be forwarded to registrants shortly before the event.

    Note: NNP Symposium videos will be posted a couple weeks following the event.

    Link to NNP Symposium schedule: https://nnpsymposium.org/schedule
    Link to NNP registration: https://nnpsymposium.org
    Link to videos from the August 2020 Symposium: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/multimediadetail/539070

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    Feb 27 2021

    Crispus Attucks in Nummis

    Crispus Attucks (c. 1723-1770), per Wikipedia, is “widely regarded as the first person killed in the Boston Massacre and thus the first American killed in the American Revolution. Historians disagree on whether he was a free man or an escaped slave, but most agree that he was of Natick and African descent.”  Within numismatics, Attucks was most notably depicted on the U.S. Mint 1998 Black Revolutionary War Patriots Commemorative Silver Dollar, with the portrait of Attucks engraved by John Mercanti. The Eric P. Newman papers reveal two other examples. Attucks was featured in the American Negro Commemorative Society Series in August 1969, manufactured by the Franklin Mint in a 39mm silver proof format. Attucks also shows up in the American Patriots Series, these pieces were issued by the Beam Distilling Company and attached to Beam bottles. This piece is 32mm, in bronze, with Attucks included in July 1970. Again, these were produced by the Franklin Mint, along with many other Bicentennial-themed issues.


    Link to Newman file on the American Revolutionary Bicentennial Commission, detailing Franklin Mint Bicentennial issues: 
    https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/567391
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