Antique Coin Boards with David W. Lange – www.coincollectingboards.com …..
For Collectors of Antique Coin Boards
Number 56 — Fall 2020
COVID-19 DELAYS NEW BOOK
Yes, after being twice delayed at the printer by the ongoing pandemic, Volume Three in my trilogy of comprehensive books detailing coin album publishers and their product lines has finally arrived, and all existing orders have been delivered. Titled Coin Collecting Albums—A Complete History & Catalog, Volume Three: Whitman Publishing Company Folders and Albums 1940-1978, this beautiful hardcover and full-color book came in at 343 pages and four pounds! I’m delighted with the finished product, and the comments from buyers seem to validate this pride. Ordering instructions may be found on the last page of this newsletter and at my website, coincollectingboards.com.
The past quarter offered a fair selection of common variety Whitman coin boards, as well as other unremarkable entries for Lincoln, Oberwise, and Colonial. As of this writing, one seller has two very clean Oberwise boards for Shield/Liberty Nickels and Buffalo Nickels, respectively. The first is about half-filled with coins, while the second is nearly completed, and the inclusion of these coins has resulted in prices that make it difficult to calculate the net value of the boards after removal of the coins.
The one standout entry recently was a very rare example of the Lincoln Printing Company board for Lincoln Cents custom printed for Dave J. Malloy, Funeral Director. It was the more often seen of two known varieties, yet this is always on someone’s want list in any grade. The one sold in August is net graded by me as VG-F. It would grade higher if it were not for some very obvious moisture damage. As so often seems to happen when desirable boards become available, this one was spoiled for us board collectors by the presence of a complete set of the coins, including the keys. The board was accompanied by a second, partial set of Lincolns in a Whitman Second Edition board, the two enclosed within a decorated leather case. This lot brought $880 on seven bids, which is perhaps reasonable, assuming that the key coins are genuine, but there were just too many distracting pennies for me to buy this group solely for resale purposes.
We can only hope that the new owner realizes the value of the Malloy board and doesn’t toss it into the trash after tearing all the openings in his haste to remove the coins.
After something of a dry spell, one new variety has surfaced. The Oberwise board for Eagle/Indian Cents is now known with the “m” backing, but O1ȼAm is otherwise similar to its neighbors. Dozens of new Oberwise varieties followed the publication of my book in 2007, but the study of this series has matured to the point where any addition is truly newsworthy.
THE WAY COOL DEPARTMENT
My collection of coin albums includes a few one-off items that defy ordinary classification.
Illustrated here is one such product, the “RAIL-SPLITTER EDITION” coin album for Lincoln Cents that was produced in 1940 by a fellow named Arthur B. Low of Denver; he received a patent for it two years later. His patent drawing may be found online, and this accompanies photos I shot of my own example, which is the finer of just two seen to date. One can scarcely imagine what effect wooden pages had on the coins!
The cents are held within a fiberboard disc that is punched with openings of the appropriate size. A clear plastic window revolves around a brass grommet and has two ports that line up with the two rows of openings. By steering this window using the raised, red plastic tab the ports may be stopped over any desired date/mint opening to add and remove cents. Though a clever product, it didn’t allow for additional dates and likely succumbed to the wartime shortage of materials that played havoc with Raymond, Whitman, and other album manufacturers.
SPEAKING OF WOOD
Among the more attractive of vendor stamps seen on Whitman Second Edition boards are those of San Antonio coin and stamp dealer, Norman H. Brock. I’ve also acquired several examples of the wooden nickels that Brock produced. I believe these date from the 1950s, but they’re still a historic link to the earlier vendor stamps.
STILL ROOM FOR THE CAR
Presented here is evidence of what happens when one decides to become his own publisher.
An entire wall of books for sale is the inevitable result. This photo of the PennyBoard Press® order fulfillment center (aka Dave’s garage) may make one think twice before writing, publishing, and printing. Though I really like producing books of the very finest quality, it’s becoming increasingly likely that my next project must be published online, with a print-on-demand option. The hard copy edition will thus not be equal to what’s been produced with Volumes 1 to 3, so think about acquiring these superbly crafted books while you can.
I’ve spared no expense; really, these books cost a lot to print.
A new vendor stamp appeared recently on a couple of Oberwise boards offered on eBay. I bought one of the boards, paying too much for it just because I really wanted this stamp, so I hope you enjoy it.
The second item is an advertisement from the September 1944 issue of The Numismatist that I’ve been trying to include for quite some time, and now it finally fits. Evidently, a fellow named Koper produced a holder for Canadian coins that he called a “coin board”, though the written description better matches Wayte Raymond’s Unique or Rayway holders than it does an actual board. I’ve yet to see any examples of this holder, but I have one reader who is eager to obtain as many as possible, so I’m always keeping an eye open for this forgotten product. “Coin boards, eh?”
NORMAN H. BROCK
Brock was evidently quite prominent as a dealer, at least within Texas. Though overshadowed by Fort Worth’s B. Max Mehl, Brock’s San Antonio operation produced quite a bit of ephemera, such as the wooden nickels shown on the previous page. I’ll have more to report about him in another issue, but for now, just enjoy his attractive and oh-so-1930s vendor stamp printed in navy blue.
One photo that I nearly included in my new book about Whitman folders and albums but omitted at the last moment is a very personal image that captures a glorious moment in my childhood.
It was taken by my brother in May of 1967, shortly after he received a camera for his birthday. The fellow at left is Bob, who lived next door and was the neighborhood “collector of all things”. Not visible in the photo are my two Whitman folders lying atop the kitchen table, as Bob fills most of the missing dates from his forest of tubes. My father stands behind me, sharing in my joy, as he did so many times.
In August, Dad succumbed to COVID-19 at the age of 95, but I’ll always remember his unceasing kindness and patience while indulging my childhood activities.
—David W. Lange, coincollectingboards.com
The author’s desktop, featuring Gramercy coin boards as his computer wallpaper. Photo courtesy David W. Lange
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Latest Coin Board Book
Continuing his highly acclaimed series of books about coin boards and albums, numismatic researcher David W. Lange has written Coin Collecting Albums – A Complete History & Catalog Volume Two: The Library of Coins and the Treasury of Coins. In addition to providing detailed catalogs and photos of both coin album lines, this book provides a history of their publisher, The Coin and Currency Institute, and an entertaining biography of the company’s founder, famed coin dealer Robert Friedberg. Richly illustrated, this new book has 144 heavy and coated pages, including 64 pages in full color. It is a deluxe, hardcover volume that will last for many years. The price is $34.95, plus $5 for priority mail shipping in a rigid, protective box.
Also available from Lange’s PennyBoard PressTM are his two previous books:
Coin Collecting Albums – A Complete History & Catalog Volume One: The National Coin Album & Related Products of Beistle, Raymond & Meghrig.
Coin Collecting Boards of the 1930s & 1940s: A Complete History, Catalog and Value Guide, published at $39.95, is now just $14.95 plus $5 shipping.
All books purchased from David W. Lange will be signed, unless requested otherwise, and personalized inscriptions are available upon request. Payment may be made by check to David W. Lange or via PayPal to [email protected]. David W. Lange may be contacted at POB 110022, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211 or by telephone at (941) 586-8670. His website providing a history of vintage coin boards and from which he buys and sells such items, is coincollectingboards.com.