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    Jun 13 2018

    Eric P. Newman's 1792 Washington President Gold Piece To Be Sold

    From a collection numbering many thousands of coins assembled over a period of nine decades, one coin stood head and shoulders above all others for Eric P. Newman: the 1792 Washington President $10 gold eagle pattern. Eric Newman (1911-2017) was the nation's foremost American numismatic researcher and author. His books and articles explored numerous and wide-ranging topics, but Colonial coinage and currency were his principal numismatic interests.

    How could anyone with such a vast collection, and such a long history of numismatic scholarship, point to a single specimen and call it his favorite coin? For Eric, it was obvious, for no other numismatic artifact of early America connects present day collectors and historians to our country's most foundational statesman more closely than the unique 1792 Washington President $10 gold eagle pattern. Eric acquired the Washington piece from the famed "Colonel" E.H.R. Green Collection in 1942. This piece, now graded Extremely Fine 45 by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, displays glowing original greenish-gold surfaces that show the gentle wear consistent with a pocket piece that has seen no actual circulation.

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    Jun 13 2018

    Dix Noonan Webb Auction Sale Catalogs on Newman Portal

    The auction catalogs of the UK firm Dix Noonan Webb, from 1991 to date, are now available on the Newman Numismatic Portal (NNP). While current catalogs are available electronically, sales in hardcopy form between 1991 and 2006 were scanned by NNP at the American Numismatic Society (ANS) library in New York. Dix Noonan Webb, a London firm, specializes in orders, decorations, medals, and militaria. Although not focused on American numismatics, this firm often handles material of interest to American collectors, such as Betts medals and Washingtonia. A July 2006 sale featured the ever popular Libertas Americana medal (Paris Mint gold restrike, 2000), which sold for £620 ($830 at current conversion rates).  Newman Portal acknowledges Peter Preston-Morley of Dix Noonan Webb, and ANS librarian David Hill for their assistance with this project. 

    Link to Dix Noonan Webb catalogs on Newman Portal:
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    Jun 13 2018

    Theodore V. Buttrey, Jr. In His Own Words

    In 1996, the American Numismatic Society (ANS) presented Ted Buttrey with the Huntington medal, its highest award for numismatic scholarship. The event included remarks from Arthur Houghton, Mark Salton, and William Metcalf, followed by Buttrey’s lecture on “Western American Gold Bars.” In processing papers from the Eric P. Newman library, a cassette tape recording of the event was found. This has been digitized and is available on Newman Portal or via the ANS library catalog. Buttrey’s lecture dates to the height of the controversy regarding the authenticity of gold assay bars sourced by John J. Ford, Jr. and Paul Franklin. In this presentation Buttrey speaks to a number of points, in particular the sudden appearance of this material in the 1950s. Due in great part to the efforts of Buttrey, Eric P. Newman, and John Kleeberg, numismatists today regard many pieces once considered “market acceptable” as forgeries. The Newman Portal acknowledges ANS librarian David Hill and publications director Andrew Reinhard for their assistance with this material.

    Link to Buttrey lecture on Newman Portal:
    Link to Buttrey lecture via ANS library catalog (DONUM):
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    Jun 03 2018

    Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society Donates $50,000 to Support ANA's Summer Seminar Program

    The Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society has donated $50,000 to support the American Numismatic Association’s Summer Seminar. The donation includes a “matching” funds campaign to supplement the proceeds of the Young Numismatist Benefit Auctions. The money also provides for the establishment of all-expense-paid scholarships for Young Numismatists (YNs) to attend the event. The “Eric P. Newman Young Numismatist Scholarship Program,” will help students who otherwise might not be able to attend the Summer Seminar, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

    The late Eric P. Newman, who became a member of the ANA in 1935, is widely remembered and respected for his work as an author, researcher and speaker. In 1958, he and his wife, Evelyn, established the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society (EPNNES), which is dedicated to helping fellow numismatists realize their own potential. As an ANA Summer Seminar instructor, Newman was an advocate for the program, which seeks to equip numismatists with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful in the numismatic community. Held annually on the campus of Colorado College in Colorado Springs (adjacent to the ANA), the Summer Seminar is a once-a-year opportunity for numismatic learning and camaraderie that offers students a varied selection of weeklong courses designed for discovery or continued study. For many students, the Summer Seminar is a life-changing event. It has catapulted the careers of several of the nation’s most respected collectors, authors and dealers.

    “The ANA is so grateful to the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society for its graciousdonation,” said Kim Kiick, ANA executive director. “This donation helps encourage numismatic study and enables young collectors to grow and advance in their numismatic journeys. We welcome that support.”

    The Young Numismatist Benefit Auctions are coordinated entirely by young collectors – everything from acquiring auction items and cataloging collected items, to organizing and conducting the auction. Last year, the auctions raised $27,519. The donation from the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society will double the amount raised this year by matching auction revenue dollar for dollar, up to $50,000. Anyone is allowed to bid on items. Proceeds support Young Numismatists scholarships and other seminar events. Auction items are still being accepted for the two-week event, which kicks off on June 16. For information about donating an auction item, call Amber Bradish at (719) 482-9865 or email

    Andy Newman, who is the son of Eric Newman and president of the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society, noted that his father was a huge supporter of young collectors. “Dad cared deeply about building knowledge and involvement in young numismatists. He loved giving numismatic badges to Boy Scouts and instructing at the ANA Summer Seminar,” he said. “He would be greatly honored by the association of his name with this fine program.”

    “The support from EPNNES for the Summer Seminar honors Eric Newman as a distinguished and lifelong leader in the field of numismatics,” said ANA President Gary Adkins. “It also allows the ANA to continue to offer high-quality resources and programs to its members, as well as enhance and grow these offerings. We’re very thankful for this support.”

    The  American Numismatic Association is a congressionally chartered, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging the study and collection of coins and related items. The ANA helps its 25,000 members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of instructional and outreach programs, as well as its museum, library, publications and conventions. For more information, call 719-632-2646 or visit

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    Jun 01 2018

    Selling Coins by Lottery

    A recent addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is Daniel E. Groux’s Grand Enterprise for the Disposal of the Best Collection of Medals and Coins in the United States (1855). Groux divided his collection into twenty “prizes” and offered raffle tickets at ten dollars each. Four hundred and fifty such tickets were to be sold, which valuation ($4500) was, according to Groux, much less than the total value of the collection. Groux’s financial problems are well documented (see Joel Orosz’s article on Groux in the October-December 2012 Asylum) and it is unknown if the sale ever took place. The collection itself was typical for an American numismatic cabinet of the era, with a heavy dose of European and non-federal content. Today Groux is known as the “fond old dreamer” as William Strobridge described him in an 1874 auction catalog – an individual adept at over committing and under delivering.

    Link to Groux’s Grand Enterprise…. (1855) on Newman Portal:

    Link to The Asylum (October-December 2012) on Newman Portal:

    Link to Strobridge catalog of the Groux collection, April 1874:

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    Jun 01 2018

    Newman Portal Search: 1719 Sede Vacante

    This week a Newman Portal user searched on the term “1719 Sede Vacante.” I have no idea what this is, but let’s find out. NNP identifies only 9 auction appearances, so it must be a fairly obscure item. The most recent appearance is from Stack’s Bowers January 2015 NY International sale, lot 3700, which identifies it as a German medal and catalogs it as follows: “Paderborn. Silver Medal, 1719. Sede Vacante. 44.67 mm; 29.2 gms. Zepernick-241. Charlemagne in a circle of shields; Reverse: Saint Liborius in a circle of shields.” Wikipedia tells us that St. Liborius is the patron saint of Paderborn – but the story goes deeper:

    “Miracles are said to have occurred at his [Laborius’s] tomb. In 835 Bishop Aldrich [of Le Mans, St. Liborius’s home in what is modern day France] placed some relics of his body into an altar in the cathedral, and in the following year, on the instructions of Emperor Louis the Pious, sent the body to Bishop Badurad of Paderborn, a diocese founded in 799 by Pope Leo III and Emperor Charlemagne that had no saint of its own. From this arose a ‘love bond of lasting brotherhood’ that has survived all the hostilities of the succeeding centuries and is considered to be the oldest contract still in force….In view of the power that veneration of Saint Liborius has had in binding peoples together, Archbishop Johannes Joachim Degenhardt of Paderborn established in 1977 the Saint Liborius Medal for Unity and Peace, which is conferred every five years on someone who has contributed to the unity of Europe on Christian principles.”

    The 1719 Sede Vecante is thus a medal that appeals to Eurpoean unity within the context of Christianity and French-German relations.

    Link to Stack’s Bowers January 2015 NY International sale catalog on NNP:

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    May 22 2018

    Newman Portal Search: Maris 66-v

    A Newman Portal user this week searched on “Maris 66-v,” using the NNP advanced search page and restricting content type to auctions. The Maris 66-v is a rare New Jersey copper variety, and Newman Portal locates only 48 listings in its database of over 5,000 auction catalogs.  The recent ANS publication on New Jersey coppers (2013, by Roger Siboni, Jack Howes, and A. Buell Ish) describes the popularity of the variety:

    “This distinctive coin has long been known among collectors as the ‘Braided Mane’ variety. The horse’s hair flows from the ears all the way down the neck in carefully engraved arcing lines that weave in graceful curves over and under each other. While the mane is gorgeous in its own right, the horse is beautiful as a whole. The name, the delicate engraving, and the slender, tapering muzzle make for a decidedly feminine appearance. A high grade specimen that shows the mane nicely will be a treasured prize in any Colonial coin collection.”

    Siboni, Howes, and Ish report no uncirculated examples. An EF coin appeared in the Stack’s Bowers Americana sale of January 2013 (lot 11401) and realized $8,225.

    Link to NNP advanced search:

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    May 22 2018

    Carolina Token Society Journals on Newman Portal

    CARTNEWS, published by the Carolina Token Society, has been digitized by Newman Numismatic Portal and is now online for the period 2004-2016. A recent issue (August 2014) describes a “good for” token of Profile Cotton in Jacksonville, AL, c. 1920, and relates how its proprietor William Ivan Greenleaf was hung in effigy, by a mob incensed with Greenleaf’s labor practices:

    “Finally, when the people were mad enough, they went after their tormenter. They fetched Greenleaf from a closet and bore him to Big Spring, to the hanging tree. He didn’t seem to weigh all that much for a big shot, and they slung him from man to man like a rag doll as they cursed, laughed, and hooted. When they slipped the rope over his head the crowd screamed, and women in faded flower-print dresses pushed children behind them, so they could not see. In the glow of a hundred torches, they raised him high, their scarred arms and mutilated fingers his gallows. His face was covered with a toe sack, but they hung a sign around his neck so everyone would know: GREENLEAF. Then they let him drop.”

    Newman Portal acknowledges Tony Chibbaro and Don Bailey of the Carolina Token Society for their assistance with this project. 

    Link to CARTNEWS on Newman Portal:

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    May 18 2018

    Newman Portal Search: Jeton

    A Newman Portal user this week searched for the term “jeton.” This is a term that most readers have seen, but can’t necessarily define. Frey’s Dictionary (American Journal of Numismatics, 1916) gives the definition “a counter which can be traced in France to the thirteenth century…the name is derived from the verb ‘jeter’ [meaning] to throw, to cast…they were first struck in copper, brass, and other base metals, but at a later period when they were intended as gifts, they were frequently made of silver and gold.” The standard reference today is Jean Lecompte’s Monnaies et Jetons des Colonies français (2000). A typical example is Lecompte-150, as cataloged in Stack’s Bowers 11/2014 sale (lot 3003, realized $235). This piece is dated 1755 and exhibits a bust of Louis XV.

    Link to Newman Portal Dictionary:

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    May 17 2018

    NASCA Sales Posted on Newman Portal

    The Numismatic and Antiquarian Service Corporation of America (NASCA) conducted a number of important numismatic auction sales in the late 20th century. Newman Portal has posted a group of 101 recently scanned auction sale catalogs, dated from 1976-1992. Martin Gengerke notes sales 1-53 (1976-1983) were conducted under Doug Ball (Herbert Melnick was the other driving force), and sales 54-56 (1984-1985) under the ownership of Jules Karp, after which time the firm was acquired by R. M. Smythe. NASCA attracted strong catalogers, including Carl Carlson who worked from there 1978 to 1982, and Paul Bosco, who consulted with NASCA from 1975 to 1987. NASCA also published Milton Friedberg’s foundational work on fractional currency in 1978. Newman Portal acknowledges John Herzog and Robin Majlak for their assistance with this project. 

    Link to NASCA sales on Newman Portal:
    Link to Paul Bosco’s recollections of NASCA:
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