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Volume 55 No. 3 March 2009

Minutes of the 1082nd Meeting

The 1082md meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held February 11, 2009 in the Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Downtown Chicago. President Jeffrey Rosinia called the meeting to order at 7 PM with 22 members present.

The January Minutes printed in the Chatter were approved as published. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky reported January income $540.00, expenses $86.66 and income $458.34, leaving total assets of $13,718.21 which is in Life Memberships $2,390.00 and Members’ Equity $11,328.21. Zitowsky reported $240.00 from the Life Membership moved into checking.

President Rosinia introduced featured speaker, Warren Schultz who delivered the program A Numismatic Mystery from Mandatory Palestine.

Second V.P. Elliot Krieter introduced the evening’s exhibitors. DON DOOL: South American tokens, medals & stock certificates; MARK WIECLAW: 50th Anniversary Medal of Will County Coin Club, “Ballistic Roll” of Jefferson nickels, several gold & silver pieces; SHARON BLOCKER: a Brazilian error note & 3 unusual coins; WILLIAM BURD: one of the 14 volume Benezit’s Dictionary of Artists; ROBERT LEONARD: NY Numismatic Club 100th Anniversary memorabilia and globular Ayyubid Dirham (1225-38); RICHARD LIPMAN: potpourri of coins from bulk bag; ROBERT FEILER: B. Max Mehl check to CCC, split dollar bill and encased silver granules paid out for a silver certificate; NICK WEISS: U.S. $1 and $20 error notes; and WARREN SCHULTZ: 3 Mamluk gold coins.

President Rosinia presented Honorable Mention 2008 Cabeen Exhibit award medal to Robert Leonard who was unable to attend the December meeting.

Under Old Business, Mark Wieclaw announced the next meeting of the 90th Anniversary Committee as February 18, 2009 at Connie’s 2372 S. Archer Ave., Chicago.

Under New Business, an announcement was made that a nomination form supporting Clifford Mishler for President of the American Numismatic Association was available for signatures. It was announced that member Joseph Boling requested the Club’s endorsement for ANA Governor. The decision was delayed until the March meeting.

Robert Leonard spoke on the giveaway project for the Chicago International Coin Fair. A motion was made and passed authorizing him to purchase a supply of trade beads and cowry shells for the next three issues. Steve Zitowsky announced that some members still had 2009 outstanding dues.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 PM. The next meeting is scheduled at 1 PM on Saturday, March 7 at the Chicago Paper Money Expo, Crowne Plaza O’Hare, 5440 N. River Road, Rosemont.

Sincerely Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
A Numismatic Mystery from Mandatory Palestine

by Warren Schultz,
presented to our Febuary 11, 2009 meeting

During curatorial work in the spring of 1996 a wooden coin cabinet belonging to the Mandatory Collections of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) was discovered in the vaults of the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem.

Thus begins an article by my friend and colleague, Robert Kool, one of three full-time numismatists at the IAA, and a specialist in the coinage of the Crusaders in the Holy Land. This cabinet, he went on to write, was full of many curiosities, including the subject of this particular article just cited (in INJ 14), the original cast sheets for the plates of the British Museum Palestine and Phoenicia volumes published in 1910/1914 by George Francis Hill.

How this cabinet ended up in the basement is unknown. There is evidence that it was in the coin room as late as the 1950s, when the museum was controlled by the Jordanian Department of Antiquities. It was moved to the basement prior to the 1967 war. There it sat until 1996. Over the course of 2003-4, it was moved to the Israel Museum, when the IAA department of Numismatics was relocated from the Rockefeller Museum. It is currently in the main work room of the IAA numismatic department.

But this cabinet also included many other things. Robert and his boss, the head of the Numismatic Office, Donald Ariel — who has spoken to this group — noted that several drawers contained several hundred miscellaneous coin casts. They could tell they were of Islamic coins, but they paid little attention to them as they were busy with many other projects. Robert poked around when he could, and eventually reached the conclusion that these were the remnants of a catalog project begun by the noted scholar L.A. Mayer during the Mandatory period.

Fast forward to October of 2007. I was in Jerusalem for six weeks working on a longstanding Mamluk numismatic project. About 10 days into my visit, Robert showed me this material, and we were off and running on a project of forensic numismatics. Here is what we have learned:

  1. L.A. Mayer arrived in Palestine (Ph.D. from Vienna in 1917) and begins working for the Department of Antiquities of Palestine.
  2. By 1925, he was publishing articles on Muslim Heraldry, using as part of his evidence Muslim coins, especially those of the Mamluk sultanate of Egypt and Syria (1250-1517).
  3. By 1926, he was curating exhibits of Muslim Coins for the DAP.
  4. In 1931, he published his first numismatic article.
  5. By 1933 he had clearly set himself the task of publishing Catalogue of the Mamluk Coins of the Palestine Archaeological Museum.
  6. Subsequent references to this project in works published in 1939 (1934) and 1938 (1936), but the project clearly changed to a broader Corpus of Mamluk Coins.
  7. Our project kept growing: we went into the IAA archives in the nooks and crannies of the Rockefeller, where we learned that requests for casts were made all the way up to 1947.
  8. We learned from letters and notes that a manuscript was prepared and typed.
  9. Then at some point between November of 1947 and May of 1948, Mayer was no longer able to access the Museum. At this point, the manuscript disappears.
  10. Post-1948, letters were sent inquiring about the manuscript, but nothing happened.
  11. In 1967 when Israel captured east Jerusalem and the Museum, no manuscript was found.
  12. In the meantime, the job of preparing a corpus of Mamluk coins was taken up by Paul Balog. His work was published in 1964. He knew of Mayer’s attempt, but there is no evidence he saw the work.

So, Mayer and his assistants were well on their way toward publishing a CORPUS of Mamluk Coins when war got in the way. The manuscript is lost, but records and more importantly, several hundred casts survive.

What we are doing: Sorting and identifying the casts; organizing and attributing the coin types found there-in.

Why are doing this?

  1. There is lost material preserved here:
  2. There are casts of rare Mamluk gold coins, preserved in Damascus, which remain unpublished.
  3. We are rediscovering the state of the field in the mid-twentieth century.
  4. And finally, it is fun.

[Note: Warren Schultz also mentioned a project with which he is newly engaged in Jerusalem. The southeast slope of Mt. Zion had its first preliminary excavations in the 1970s. The slope contains stratigraphic levels from the second temple period through the Ottoman period. Excavating on the site has been resumed by a team led by Dr. Shimon Gibson and Dr. James Tabor. As part of this project, they are working on digitizing and identifying the several hundreds of coins found on the site. As such, they are looking to recruit individuals familiar with any of the many fields of numismatics involved, from ancient Jewish and Roman through the Byzantine and Islamic periods. Anyone interested in participating should contact Warren at]

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our February 11, 2009 meeting.

  1. Complementing the featured speaker, Don Dool started with a fals given him by Bill Mills. Someone had cited a reference number for this Islamic coin, but the image Don found in a reference work looks nothing this piece; the audience offered no suggestions on this rough piece. Then, on to pieces from Don’s usual areas:
  2. Mark Wieclaw showed a range of piecs:
  3. Sharon Blocker showed some items from the FUN show:
  4. Bill Burd showed one volume of a 14-volume addition to his library, Dictionary of Artists by Benezit. First published in 1911 in three volumes, it reached eight volumes by 1958, and then 14 volumes in 1999. It was in French until translated to English in 2006.
  5. Robert Leonard showed souvenirs from trips:
  6. Richard Lipman showed stranger finds from searching a kilo of world coins:
  7. Robert Feiler showed some paper-related items:
  8. Nick Weiss showed two examples of U.S. error notes:
  9. Warren Schultz showed three Mamluk gold coins:

Chicago Coin Club 90th Anniversary Committee
Minutes of Febuary 18, 2009

The sixth meeting of the Chicago Coin Club’s 90th Anniversary Committee was held February 18, 2009 at Connie’s Pizza, 2372 S. Archer Ave., Chicago. Chairman Mark Wieclaw called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM with ten committee members present: Kevin and Sharon Blocker, William Burd, Elliot Krieter, Gene Freeman, Robert Feiler, Steve Zitowsky, Jeff Rosinia, Marc Stackler and Carl Wolf.

Medal production costs were reviewed:

Special Gift Packaging:

Following this presentation which included the new costs of freight and gift boxes, the committee decided to change the cost of the bronze Lincoln Medal to $25.00 pre-order, $30.00 after; pre-order only for sterling silver $295.00 (subject to market fluctuations) and gold (open to quote).

It was decided to set the closing date for pre-orders at April 10. Due to long production time for sterling silver, ask the mint to issue 25 (minimum) medals available at the April 25th meeting. The remaining sterling and gold pieces will be placed shortly after the closing date, but will not be available for distribution until May. Serial No. 001 in bronze will go into the Club’s archive. Serial No. 001 of the sterling and gold will go to collectors via a drawing.

A 6 piece bronze process set will be offered for $125.00 $150.00. The set includes a blank, 1 strike, 2 strikes, 3 strikes, trimmed piece and oxidized finished piece. (This motion arrived at the sell price based on the 5-piece process set stated earlier. The committee wanted the set to include a finished oxidized piece but neglected to add in this extra cost. When this error was pointed out on Monday, February 23, 2009, an e-mail poll of the committee found a majority in favor of increasing the price of the 6 piece process set up to $150.00.)

Sample gift boxes were circulated and the committee decided on the black pin stripe box with extra jewelers’ cotton and silver matte imprint.

After a discussion of the Anniversary Booklet chaired by William Burd, it was decided not to seek advertising. Burd assured the committee the project cost could be covered with donations. Burd was asked to include the latest version of the Club’s Constitution.

With the Anniversary date approaching and decisions requiring faster attention, Chairman Wieclaw made the following appointments. Eugene Freeman and Elliot Krieter are to work with Carl Wolf to approve and tweak details on the medal and gift box. Gene Freeman and Steve Zitowsky will work with Bill Burd on the booklet. Several committee members expressed availability to help proofread copy.

In an effort to blanket the numismatic community on our upcoming event, Robert Feiler, Publicity, asked every member to forward Club Press Releases to every collector they know.

Mark Wieclaw announced it is his intention to issue an elongated coin in celebration of the 90th Anniversary event. He also asked every Club member to inform him of their private issue plans so duplicate designs and projects can be held to a minimum.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:24 PM and tentatively planned to reconvene at the same location March 18th.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary

Our 1083rd Meeting

Date:March 7, 2009, First session
Time:1:00 PM
Location:At the Chicago Paper Money Expo (CPMX), which is held at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured speaker:Tom Casper and Fred Schwan - U.S. Government Bonds

Tom Casper will have a special exhibit at the show about U.S. Government Securities. Following this presentation by Tom and Fred Schwan, Tom will lead a sort of guided tour of the exhibit.

Date:March 11, 2009, Second session
Time:7:00 PM
Location:Downtown Chicago
At the Chicago Bar Association, 321 S. Plymouth Court, 3rd floor meeting room. Please remember the security measures at our meeting building: everyone must show their photo-ID and register at the guard’s desk. A few blocks west of the CBA building is the Ceres Restaurant (enter the Board of Trade building from Jackson at LaSalle, then enter the restaurant from the lobby) with standard sandwiches, burgers, and salads for members who want to meet for dinner.
Featured speaker:Robert D. Leonard Jr. - The Currency of Syria in the Seventh Century A.D.

The bloody seventh century saw the assassination or execution of three emperors, two Persian kings, and three caliphs. In 601, the currency of Syria (including the modern countries of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine Authority, Jordan, and the Hatay region of Turkey) consisted of coins portraying the Byzantine emperor and featuring Christian crosses as part of their design. By 700, they had been replaced by coins bearing only inscriptions giving the declaration of faith of a religion that did not even exist in 601. During this period, Syria was swept by three wars, and its change in status — incorporation into Dar al-Islam — still affects us in 2009.
Bob will show historical maps, coin catalogs, and coins of the Byzantines, Sasanians, Sasanian-occupied Syria, crude copies of Byzantine coins issued under Arab occupation ("Pseudo-Byzantine"), Arab-Byzantine coins with Greek and/or Arabic inscriptions, coins showing the caliph, and finally reformed coins issued beginning in 697 with religious inscriptions only. Some of these issues have only recently been studied and are not fully described in the standard English texts. A handout giving a chronology of the seventh century, with numismatic bibliography, will be distributed.

Important Dates

March 6-8 15th Annual Chicago Paper Money Expo (CPMX) at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. Admission is $5 for Friday and Saturday; free on Sunday.
March 7 CCC Meeting - 1pm at the Chicago Paper Money Expo, which is held at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speakers - Tom Casper and Fred Schwan U.S. Government Bonds
March 11 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Robert D. Leonard Jr. on The Currency of Syria in the Seventh Century A.D.
April 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
April 24-26 34th Annual Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF) at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. Admission is $5 for Friday and Saturday; free on Sunday.
April 25 CCC Meeting - 1pm at the Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF), which is held at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - to be announced
April 25 CCC 90th Anniversary Dinner Meeting — evening — at Giannotti Italian Restaurant, 4926 N. River Road, Schiller Park. Details not yet available.
Featured Speaker - David Hendin on to be announced
May 13 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced

Birthday and Year Joined

April 6 Wendell Wolka 2006
April 8 Jason Freeman 2006
April 12 Mark Wieclaw 1991
April 15 Robert D. Leonard, Jr. 1983
April 18 Leonard Augsberger 1983
April 24 Richard Hall 2006
April 27 Don Valenziano 1982
April 29 Robert Kulys 2006

Chatter Matter

All correspondence pertaining to Club matters should be addressed to the Secretary and mailed to:

P.O. Box 2301

Club Officers

Jeffrey Rosinia- President
Lyle Daly- First Vice President
Elliot Krieter- Second Vice President
William Burd- Archivist
Directors:Robert Feiler
Eugene Freeman
Marc Stackler
Carl Wolf
Other positions held are:
Carl Wolf- Secretary
Steve Zitowsky- Treasurer
Paul Hybert- Chatter Editor

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