HomeClubs & OrganizationsExcerpts from the E-Sylum: Wayne’s Numismatic Diary - January 18, 2015

Excerpts from the E-Sylum: Wayne’s Numismatic Diary – January 18, 2015


By Wayne Homren for The E-Sylum eNewsletter….

Each week, CoinWeek, in collaboration with the Numismatic Bibliomania Society, brings you a highlighted feature from the current volume of the E-Sylum eNewsletter


On Monday I received and forwarded several files of pages scanned from The Elder Monthly in response to John McMichael’s request. Many thanks to Rick Stroman for scanning his bound volume of The Elder Monthly 1906 – 1908!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 brought the latest meeting of my northern Virginia numismatic social group, Nummis Nova. Wayne Herndon was our host. I was among the last to arrive and took a seat next to Ron Abler. Soon Julian Leidman took the seat on my other side. Others in attendance were Steve Bishop, Gene Brandenburg, Chris Neuzil, Wayne Herndon, Eric Schena, Joe Levine, and Dave Schenkman.

We were back at Reston Town Center, this time at a French restaurant called Mon Ami Gabi. I was amazed at how packed the place was for a Tuesday night. The food was great and no one had any complaints. I started with French Onion Soup, something I hadn’t had in years. My salmon was excellent, as were the mashed potatoes, although I remarked that there must have been a full stick of butter in them, they were so rich.

Centennial Medal for the “President of the American Parliament”

Ron Abler showed me an amazing four-plus inch bronze medal struck by France for the Centennial Exhibition in 1876. It’s rare to see such a huge medal – impressive! Below is the catalog description, followed by a question from Ron for the E-Sylum readership. -Wayne Homren, Editor


In the center, a rendition of the coat of arms of America reminiscent of Dupre’s version on the Diplomatic medal:

  • The spread eagle head right with six arrows in its right claw and an olive branch in its left, bearing a scroll inscribed with the motto IN PLURIBUS UNUM.
  • On its chest the escutcheon, with 13 paleways (vertical stripes) and 14 stars on the chief (horizontal band above the paleways).
  • Behind, a cloud surmounted by a glory of 53 rays with two bands of stars–13 in the upper and 9 below.

The seal encircled by three rings: solid, rope, and bead; clockwise around from 8:30 in two lines: A MR. LE PRÉSIDENT DU PARLEMENT AMÉRICAIN / SOUVENIR DU CENTENAIRE DE L’INDÉPENDANCE [To the President (or Speaker) of the American Parliament / Souvenir of the Centennial of Independence].

Below, an ornate curved tablet with A.BUREAU . GRAVEUR BTE / LILLE• FRANCE • NORD [From the Bureau of the Mint Bldg / (city of) Lille, Northern France].

“• 1776 •” to the right and “• 1876 •” to the left.

The whole encircled by a bead chain inside a cove rim; on the edge: the bee symbol of the Paris Mint and CUIVRE (bronze).


In eight lines, the top and bottom curved: “AGRICULTURE . HORTICULTURE. / 1876 / EXPOSITION / INTERNATIONALE / DE / PHILADELPHIE / 1776 / ARTS . INDUSTRIE .”

Encircled by a cove border, outside of which is a dense wreath of oak leaves and acorns to the left and olive leaves and olives to the right, bound with a crossed ribbon at the four compass points.

The whole encircled by border composed of a single line and a rope border.

Cross-Refs: Not listed.

Diameter: 110 mm.

Edge: Lettered

Alloy: Bronze 2590bz

Ron adds:

One has to wonder for whom this medal was intended – for the Vice-President, who presides over the Senate, or for the Speaker of the House, Samuel J. Randall, who presides over the House of Representatives as well as joint sessions of Congress? Interestingly, the office of Vice President was vacant in 1876, because Henry Wilson died in office on 22 November 1875, so Randall would have been acting VP. Thus, the medal apparently went to Randall, but in which capacity?

To read the listing in Ron’s Centennial medals catalog, see (scroll to p6): Medals Struck in or by Foreign Countries.

August Dittrich Tokens

1875esylumDave Schenkman brought a nice group of Washington, D.C. tokens and provided the above images. He writes:

After being in business with his brother for a few years, in the mid-1860s August Dittrich opened a store at the address on his tokens. Both are brass, 24mm. The one with the 1875 Liberty head reverse is scarce; the other one is quite rare. They were struck by Dorman’s Stencil & Stamp Works of Baltimore.

I tried to mingle a bit and visit with others at the far end of the table, but it was difficult in such a crowded space. I did little more than say Hi to Chris Neuzil, whom I hadn’t seen in a few months. I did get a number of compliments from people on The E-Sylum, including “It’s the best publication in Numismatics today, bar none.”


Well, I try, and like the Beatles, I get by with a little help from my friends. Thanks to Dave Schenkman, Ron Abler and John Feigenbaum (see below) for their assistance with this diary entry.

Newman Numismatic Portal Meetings

Thursday night brought another numismatic dinner. After work I drove to D.C. and managed to find a parking spot in a lot next to the DuPont Circle PNC Bank branch, which I believe is an old Riggs bank. I walked over to Pizza Paradiso and put my name in for a table.

There would be five of us, and soon the others arrived: Len Augsburger, Roger Burdette, John Feigenbaum of David Lawrence Rare Coins, and Chris Freeland of the Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL). We’d converged on D.C. for the first face-to-face meeting of the Newman Numismatic Portal project.

Once we got a table and ordered our pizzas, the conversations turned to all of the great things we could do for Numismatics with this project. Tens or even hundreds of thousands of books and millions of images digitized and made searchable, starting with Eric Newman’s library, which holds many a rare volume.

Afterwards I headed home for the night but returned early Friday morning to get a parking spot. I killed some time working on The E-Sylum at the DuPont Circle Panera Bread (a clean and cozy place). A little before 9am I walked down Massachusetts Avenue. D.C. is a place like no other. Everywhere were foreign embassies, national organization headquarters, and important-sounding buildings.

The local office of WUSTL is in a building emblazoned “Carnegie Endowment for International Peace”. “How’s that working out for ya, Andy?,” I thought. Then I chastised myself for being so flippant. War and Peace aren’t to be taken lightly, especially in today’s environment. Our project is insignificant in comparison, but I was eager to start. I found my way to a conference room on the seventh floor where the others were already in place. John Feigenbaum took this photo to mark the occasion (thanks!):

Newman Numismatic Portal meeting, Washington, D.C.
Left to Right: Len Augsburger, Roger Burdette, Wayne Homren and Chris Freeland; photographer John Feigenbaum.

It was a very productive meeting. We worked through lunch and outlined team roles and responsibilities, project goals, and a timeline of intermediate milestones. I think we all came away more excited than ever about where the project could go. Afterwards I walked Len over to the Metro Station before going back to my car. I headed home and worked some more on The E-Sylum after dinner with my family. The rest of the weekend was taken up with basketball games and other family activities, some more E-Sylum work, and entering a bid on a medal on eBay. All in all, a good week.

‘Til next time.
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles on the Newman Numismatic Portal, see:




Click here to read the rest of this week’s issue of the E-Sylum eNewsletter.

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