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Excerpts from the E-Sylum: Wayne’s Numismatic Diary, November 2, 2014

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

Today, Wayne writes about the Whitman Winter Expo in Baltimore that ran from October 30 to November 2 this year….


This week’s numismatic activity was a visit to the Whitman Coin Expo in Baltimore. I went on Thursday, October 30, arriving at the convention center about 1:30. I first made a quick pass around the bourse floor and stopped to see literature dealer Charlie Davis, who was busy organizing his stock. Sharing the table was Neil Musante, who showed me the manuscript he’s working on for a new book on medals. It looks great!

Next I sat down to chat with Charles Morgan of CoinWeek. We talked mostly about my web site project, which was the reason for my next meeting. At 2pm I sat down with Len Augsburger and Mary Burleson of Whitman Publishing in the comfy trio of lounge chairs at the Whitman booth. We had a fruitful discussion, and Mary introduced us to one of the company owners, Charles Anderson. It was a pleasure to finally meet him.

Next, Len and I went upstairs to the Kolbe & Fanning literature auction lot viewing room. George Kolbe was there to greet us. We enjoyed having the opportunity to review such a great grouping of rare numismatic literature. I recognized a number of items that also reside in my own library, but the wealth of plated catalogs was far beyond my meager holdings. We both reviewed the Bathe book on Jacob Perkins, a great rarity which has never been reprinted. I’ve always wanted one for my library, but the price kept climbing beyond my reach. I congratulate the next owner on its acquisition.

David Fanning soon joined us with the coffee he’d gone out to get. Dave Hirt and his wife Emi also came by. It was great to see them both. Dave’s been a numismatic literature buddy of mine for years. We tried to remember when we’d met. Dave believes he met me and John Burns at a Lancaster, PA show one year, and that’s probably correct. We recalled the time John and I came down from Pittsburgh to see Dave’s numismatic library, and all of us visited Frank and Laurese Katen in Silver Spring and toured theirs. 

fanning1When I got back to the bourse floor I briefly chatted with Julian Leidman and Tony Terranova at their respective tables. John Kraljevich was busy with customers, as usual. I wandered over to the NGC booth to see Dave Lange, then sat down for a while at the Stack’s Bowers booth with Harvey Stack. He regularly laments that The E-Sylum isn’t seen by a larger number of regular readers. You can do your part by passing the word and encouraging your numismatic friends to subscribe. There’s always room for another reader. 

Next I went back over to John Kraljevich’s table, where, of course, he was still busy. But I enjoyed talking with Erik Goldstein, who was keeping John company behind the table. Soon Bob Evans arrived and chatted with me and Len. He had his famous SS Central America experimental wood block with him. He’d displayed it at the PAN show the week before, but I hadn’t seen it close up. This time I got to hold it. Originally a four-foot four-by-four, after 24 years at the bottom of the ocean near the wreck site, it had been eaten down to a 6-inch holey stub, as light as a piece of Styrofoam. Bob had placed four posts in the sediment as an experiment back in 1990.

I asked about the unsold artifacts from the first expedition to the wreck, and Bob informed us that they were still in the good hands of the receiver, and mostly well preserved. Someday an exhibit or museum may come together, but not until all the litigation surrounding the case is finally settled.

It was by now approaching five o’clock and I began heading over to the Sheraton hotel for the Coinage of the Americas Conference. When I arrived at the room and spotted Ray Williams, I knew I was in the right place. This year’s topic is Colonial Coinage, and an A-list roster of speakers was lined up. Jack Howes came over to say hello and we talked for a bit.

Soon, along came local Mike Packard and former local Bill Eckberg, now of Florida. They saved me a seat at a table while I phoned home to my wife. The room was filled with many familiar faces, such as David Gladfelter, Jim Neiswinter and Jeff Rock, whom I hadn’t run into in years.

I took my seat next to Bill Eckberg, and on my other side was E-Sylum reader Jim Glickman, who introduced himself. Also at our table was American Numismatic Society Executive Director Ute Wartenburg-Kagan.

Jim asked about my collecting interests, and I explained how I’d assembled collections of Civil War numismatics including Encased Postage Stamps, Civil War tokens and the Confederate Half restrike. Then we discussed my newer collections of Carnegie Hero medals and Labor Exchange scrip.

As the program began a number of authors were honored for their works on Colonial coinage, including Phil Mossman, Will Nipper and Chris Salmon. All were present to accept. As I’d never met any of them in person before, I waited until a break and introduced myself. It was wonderful to finally meet in person people I’d only corresponded with via email. This in-person interaction is the best part of a coin show, and no electronic medium will ever completely supplant it.

With a long drive to get back home, I was unable to stay for the presentations. Bill Eckberg informs me that “the talks were excellent!” But it was good to get home to say goodnight to my wife and kids, walk the dog and prepare for another work day on Friday. It was a short but delightful numismatic interlude with friends from across the country – the very best part of this hobby we share.



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


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