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    Sep 27 2023

    Newman Portal Scans D. T. Batty’s Catalogue of Copper Coinage

    Recently scanned at the American Numismatic Society is Batty’s Catalogue of the Copper Coinage of Great Britain, Ireland, British Isles and Colonies. This four-volume work was originally issued in parts, between 1868 and 1898. The October 1876 American Journal of Numismatics reported “Mr. D. T. Batty…is now publishing a valuable work…It is compiled from various sources, but especially from the author’s own collection of fifteen thousand varieties…”

    Volume one (nos. 1-2973) covers penny and halfpenny tokens, volume two (nos. 2974-4251) continues with halfpenny and farthing tokens, while volume three (nos. 1-6850) includes regal copper coins. Volume four, published by George Frederick Lawrence after Batty’s death, includes an appendix to the previous volumes (nos. 6851-8304) as well as coverage of the colonial issues (nos. 1-2133, primarily Canada). The ANS library further includes a typescript index to the first two Batty volumes.

    Sets of Batty are scarce. The Bass sale included a four-volume set, of which vols. 1-3 were large paper copies. This lot was acquired by Bill Burd. Charles Davis further offered a four-volume set in original cloth in the summer 1991 Asylum. A quick check of reveals only print-on-demand reprint versions, while the UK bookseller Galata offers a four-volume set in c. 1900 library binding for £540.

    Link to Batty Catalogue on Newman Portal:
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    Sep 17 2023

    U.S. Pattern Photo Sets on Newman Portal

    Saul Teichman continues to build the U.S. pattern photo sets on Newman Portal and has developed extensive census data on the most important patterns in the U.S. series. The Ultra High Relief St. Gaudens twenty (Judd-1907 to Judd-1909) represents the most artistic work in the entire U.S. coin and medal series, and the Teichman file on this coin enumerates two examples of the Judd-1907 (edge lettered with stars in between letters), twelve of the Judd-1908 (plain edge), and five of the Judd-1909 (edge lettered with stars in between words). Especially noteworthy is Augustus Saint-Guadens’ personal piece, currently in the Tyrant collection, with “ASG” etched on the edge. 

    Link to Judd pattern sets on Newman Portal:
    Link to Judd-1907 to Judd-1909 Photo File:
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    Sep 10 2023

    A Charles Steigerwalt Triumvirate

    This week Newman Portal announces the addition of three items related to the late 19th and early 20th century Lancaster, PA dealer Charles Steigerwalt. First up, we have a group of 110 Charles Steigerwalt fixed price lists, recently scanned at the American Numismatic Society library. As part of scanning, these items have been integrated into the ANS library catalog. This is a somewhat confusing series in that Steigerwalt left many issues undated. The Newman Portal already contains the Hamelberg (ex. Champa) set of Steigerwalt FPLs, which, combined with annotations on certain of the ANS copies, may serve to unsort some of the complications.

    Second, we have a group of four monographs contributed by Carl Waltz, including an important compilation of biographical source documents related to Steigerwalt. Waltz also contributed copies of Steigerwalt estate sales, to which he has added many illustrations. Finally, Waltz presented on the topic of Steigerwalt at the recent ANA convention, and this video, “A Glimpse of the Life of Charles T. Steigerwalt,” is now available. 

    Link to Steigerwalt FPLs on Newman Portal:
    Link to Waltz monographs on Newman Portal:
    Link to Waltz ANA Money Talks on Newman Portal:
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    Sep 01 2023

    NNP Adds Wayne Homren Library Video

    On April 8, 2023, Kellen Hoard and Jonas Denenberg visited the Wayne Homren numismatic library in Ashburn, VA, and recorded video of Wayne presenting an overview of his library. Wayne begins with the laws, a good place to start when it comes to numismatics – most modern coinage has a legislative record behind it, and researchers will do well to collect a few books in this area. From there we move into the core references for American coinage and paper money.

    The rare book case includes the rare 1846 Pledges of History, a bound volume of early auction sales including the 1851 Roper auction, and a set of the Scott’s Coin Collectors Journal (1875-1888). From there we move into Wayne’s extensive ephemera files. Key items here include an original printing of the ANS constitution and bylaws, and a 1792 newspaper that published the text of April 2, 1792 Mint Act. 

    Wayne presents Eric Newman and Ken Bressett’s The Fantastic 1804 Dollar as a case study in numismatic investigation, a veritable detective novel in Wayne’s view. Homren’s copy is signed both Newman and Bressett in addition to the volume’s “Associates in Research” Walter Breen and Lynn Glaser – the only such copy known.

    Wayne concludes with an inside view of the E-Sylum creation process and provides a glimpse into the weekly evolution of everyone’s favorite numismatic e-publication. NNP acknowledges Lianna Spurrier, who edited the final video.

    Link to Wayne Homren Library video on NNP:
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    Aug 24 2023

    Bill Groom Speaks on Counterstamps

    In Greg Bennick’s continuing interview series for the Newman Numismatic Portal, Bill Groom speaks on the history of counterstamps, particularly those associated with 19th century American merchants. Groom’s database includes over 2,700 counterstamp issues, and he notes that thousands more remain to be attributed. Bill speaks about his early collecting experiences in Jamestown, NY, including a rare Civil War token cherrypicked from a Gimbel’s department store. This interview further touches on Bill’s research on Civil War tokens.

    The video version of this interview incorporates images of several hundred pieces from Groom’s database. Illustrated here is a counterstamp of the Ford Motor Company logo, on a 1902 Barber dime. Gregory Brunk, in American and Canadian Countermarked Coins, quotes the March 1958 Numismatist: “The tale of the Ford Motor Company offering a new car in return for certain specified coins is an old one that crops up periodically….”

    Link to Greg Bennick’s interview of Bill Groom on Newman Portal:
    Transcripts of Greg Bennick interviews on Newman Portal: 
    Link to the Civil War Token Society home page:
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    Aug 16 2023

    The 60 Minutes Report on the Franklin Mint

    In 1978, the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes aired a report on private mint issues manufactured by the Franklin Mint and others, focusing on the resale value of their products. Morley Safer interviewed purchasers of Franklin Mint issues and visited New York City coin dealers to ascertain aftermarket values. This segment includes footage from the 1978 American Numismatic Association convention in Houston. Charles L. Andes, Franklin Mint Chairman of the Board, also appears. While it seems obvious that mass-marketed collectibles by definition must generate substantial margins to cover advertising and marketing costs, the public continues to have some appetite for such products.

    Link to “Limited Edition” on Newman Portal:
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    Aug 13 2023

    Newman Portal Adds Video Tour of the Numismatic Library at the Offices of NAC USA

    Opened this year in Chicago, the offices of NAC USA host an important and rapidly growing library maintained by Shanna Schmidt and her assistant Tyler Rossi. Overlooking Michigan Avenue, Millenium Park and Lake Michigan in Chicago, the views may well be the most dramatic of any such library in the country. Newman Portal has recently produced a video of the library, which debuted at the Numismatic Bibliomania Society meeting held at the ANA convention in Pittsburgh. The library focuses on ancient numismatics but includes substantial American content, such as the Harry W. Bass copy of The Numismatist (1888), which is easily among the finest known examples. Other items featured in the video include Haeberlin’s Aes Grave (1910), Dattari’s Monette Imperiali Greche (1901), and bid books from Felix Schlesinger’s sales (1933-1935) of material from the Hermitage. Newman Portal acknowledges Shanna Schmidt for facilitating our visit and Lianna Spurrier for producing this video.

    Link to video tour of the numismatic library at the NAC USA office:
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    Aug 02 2023

    Mated Pair Discovery Inspires Video

    First reported by the Numismatic News on May 2, the discovery of an 1867 Shield nickel mated pair error represents one of the more remarkable finds in the U.S. series in recent memory. The pair originated as two planchets, intended for a nickel 3-cent piece and for a Shield nickel. The 3-cent planchet was first struck with the Shield nickel dies, and then restruck after landing on top of a Shield nickel planchet. Collector Greg Bennick, who pieced together the whole story after purchasing the pair from Heritage Auctions in December 2022, tells the tale in this video produced by Lianna Spurrier.

    Link to Discovery of the Mated Pair Shield Nickels video on Newman Portal:
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    Jul 23 2023

    An Exploration of 1909 and 1910 Lincoln Cent Varieties

    Recently added to the Newman Portal is Shawn Tew’s The Rabbit Hole of the 1909 Wheat Cent, a work supported in part by a grant from the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. In this work, Tew synthesizes the current technical research related to this coin and uses material from the National Archives to provide context for the design changes made early in the life of the Lincoln cent, the most ubiquitous coin in recorded history. The interplay between Victor D. Brenner and Charles Barber is fascinating, as the efforts to bring artistry to the nation’s coinage come into conflict with the quotidian concerns of day-to-day coinage production. Tew summarizes the known varieties for the 1909 and 1910 cents, one of which reuses a reverse from 1909. Tew leaves no stone unturned and integrates test results from the Center for Advanced Microscopy at Michigan State University, in order to analyze the relief profiles of the reverse dies. The work concludes with analysis of a remarkable hoard of Lincoln cents put away in 1909 and not fully examined until today.

    Link to The Rabbit Hole of the 1909 Wheat Cent on Newman Portal:
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    Jul 15 2023

    A Pair of 1939 Radio Presentations

    If someone talked about numismatics over the airwaves in 1939, what did they discuss? Remarkably, we can answer that question, at least in a couple cases. Recently located in the Eric P. Newman papers are scripts for two presentations delivered by Newman in 1939 over St. Louis radio station WIL (the call letters predated the standard K-format now used west of the Mississippi). The June 11, 1939 script provided an overview of colonial numismatics, while the August 13 presentation related to Newman’s recently acquired 1861 St. Louis $10 demand note. This note ultimately appeared in Newman VIII (Heritage Auctions, November 2017), lot 28315, where it sold for $168,000. 

    The Newman biographical papers, now at the Missouri History Museum Library in St. Louis, fill in the gaps leading up to the August 13 presentation. Newman, almost certainly referring to this $10 demand note, wrote to his then fiancée Evelyn Edison on August 2, 1939, “Got 2 new Missouri banknotes which pleases me very much.” In further correspondence on August 4, Newman noted “I am going to make another radio talk on August 13 of the same kind I made before but shorter. So come home & help me write it.”

    Link to Eric P. Newman 1939 radio presentations:
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