Chatter


Archive available at http://www.ChicagoCoinClub.org/
Volume 59 No. 11 November 2013


Minutes of the 1138th Meeting

The 1138th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held October 9, 2013 in the Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Downtown Chicago. President Elliott Krieter called the meeting to order at 6:45 PM with an attendance of 23 members and two guests, Ann and John Anaszewicz.

A motion was passed to accept the September Minutes as published in the Chatter. In the absence of Treasurer Steve Zitowsky, the Secretary read the Treasurer’s Report showing September revenue of $596.00, expenses of $1,534.59 and total assets of $22,139.47 held in Life Membership $2,390.00 and member equity $19,749.47. A motion was passed to approve the report.

The following announcements were made:

First VP Rich Lipman introduced the evening’s featured speaker, Gerard Anaszewicz, who spoke on Pictorial Images on Islamic Coinage. After a question and answer session, Rich presented Gerry with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club medal.

Second VP Marc Stackler introduced the evening’s 14 exhibitors. MARC STACKLER: gold plated 5-peso coin from Oaxaca, photographs of counterfeit 1915 centavos from Oaxaca. MELISSA GUMM: Columbian Exposition elongated 1893 Liberty Nickel, Keystone Watch Company souvenir, 25-cent Confederate Note from State of Alabama. EUGENE FREEMAN: 1910 Honduran 1-centavo. ELLIOTT KRIETER: new $100 note. JAMES DAVIS: images on Presidential dollar coins compared to recent celebrities. GERARD ANASZEWICZ: new book Russian Wire Money by Dzmitry Hulecki. DARREN HOOPER: PCGS graded Lincoln cents. JOHN CONNOLLY: celebration medals from Valley City, ND and Colorado Springs, CO. MARK WIECLAW: Canadian $8 coin in .9999 silver, 1928 bronze Safe Drivers medal, a Sicilian gold didrachm 405-367 BC, and a Carthaginian electrum tridrachm 241-237 BC. ROBERT LEONARD: 4 odd-shaped coins from Akragas/Agrigentum, plus the normal bronze coins; a range of Roman Republic As and half-As coins. JEFF AMELSE: 4 Artuquid, 2 Seljuks of Rum, a coin of Hephthalites (Huns), and a coin identified as Sabian. ROBERT FEILER: counterfeit notes cancelled with a branding iron, enameled English coins, and early Chicago checks and letterheads. RICHARD LIPMAN: interesting $2 notes, and international currency with interesting vignettes. ROBERT WEINSTEIN: Chicago-themed tokens.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:08 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary


Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Pictorial Images on Islamic Coinage

a presentation by Gerry Anaszewicz,
to our October 9, 2013 meeting

For the past 20 years, Gerry, a 32-year member of our club, has included the Islamic coins bearing pictorial images among his collecting interests. This program focused on the coins issued by the Turkoman tribes of Anatolia (modern day Turkey, Iraq, and Iran) and nearby areas, for about 300 years starting from 1100 AD — from roughly the time of the Norman Conquest of England, to use a handy Western historical reference.

Most Islamic coins show only elaborate calligraphy, because traditional Islamic belief forbids iconography. Prior to the rise of the Turkoman tribes in Anatolia, the area had been the eastern part of the Byzantine Empire — some influences from the Greek and Roman cultures still remained. The Turkoman princes respected western culture and art, and employed Christian artisans, including engravers.

Although the coins with pictorial images came from the areas controlled by a number of different tribes, most of these coins were civic copper issues — the localized city token coinage, usually in the name of a governor. The issued coins have a wide range of weights and diameters, and the contemporary coin denominations are not known. Some names were assigned by modern scholars, with copper coins typically called “dirhem” or “fals” (after the Byzantine “follis”). The bronze coins traded by weight — only a few of the bronze coins even used the word dirhem, and the bronze dirhems are not equivalent to the silver dirhems. These coins were not intended for commerce with other cities or groups; these served a local need.

A short note on terminology: while Islamic coins with script on both sides have the side with Allah’s name (or the ruler’s name) called the obverse, the convention among collectors of the coins with pictorial images has the side with the image called the obverse. The reverses of the pictorial coins usually have the Kalima, the ruler’s name, some lineage, the date, and the mint — but not always. Also, be aware that coins struck off center or on small flans will not have the complete reverse design from the die.

The first coins that Gerry showed us were from some cities of the Artuquids: Hisn Kayfa and Amid. The central motif on the first two coins was a figure of Christ; standing on one, and seated on the other. The next two showed a winged figure, but there is no concensus upon what it represents: an angel, or Venus? The next coins of this ruler from 1144-1174 showed more figures: possibly the ruler, the personification of the sun, and the ruler under a canopy and flanked by two figures — this had been a traditional way of picturing the ruler on coins from earlier times. The reverses of these coins have beautiful calligraphy. The sons of this ruler issued coins from 1175-1200; maybe the engravers had their own coin collections for reference, because the designs were influenced by classical motifs. We saw some angels, a turbaned face, and maybe the twin faces represented Gemini. The ruler from 1200-1222 used a double headed eagle on his coins, one of which has a face under each wing — could this also be a personification of Gemini?

The coins from the Artuquid town of Mardin and surrounding area were shown next. The three examples from 1152-1176 bore a bust in profile, with the bust’s style heavily influenced by Greek and Roman coins; the figure on one sharp coin was identified as possibly Constantine the Great, while a similar coin has a countermark from the son of the previous ruler who had issued the sharp coin. The coins from 1176-1184 included examples with a ¾ bust, similar to the style used at Rhodes, two busts facing each other, two faces that some believe represent Gemini, a facing bust in headress and regalia as found on a Byzantine coin, and a standing Christ figure crowning the standing figure of the ruler — this shows a strong Byzantine influence, lacking only the cross on the globe! The four shown coins from 1184-1201 were all different: a facing head; two figures that represent father and son; a figure holding a severed head; and a coin dated to the year of Saladin’ death — although many sources tie this piece to his death, Spengler and Sayles do not. Gerry mentioned that, with these coins, there is some astronomical or astrological tie-in for about 90% of the pieces. The shown coins from 1201-1239 continued the father and son motif, but also used a profile head within a square frame; the range in engraving quality over pieces of this design support the idea of dies engraved by a master craftsman and apprentice. The examples from 1239-1260 were crude renditions of earlier themes, but we also saw a prince riding a lion. Busts in profile and facing were shown, with the figures representing the sun; two coins with different crude round faces were shown, and it was mentioned that the references treat these as the same type because the legends and such are the same. The final shown examples of Mardin, from 1260-1376, were crude, with round faces and walking lions.

After the Artuquids, the Zengid tribes were the next big producer of coins with images. Gerry showed us pieces from more towns than with the Artuquids, but issued over a shorter interval. The busts, in profile and facing, on the three shown pieces from 1149-1180 Mosul possibly represent the Sun and Mercury. Some later Mosul issues, from 1193-1234, show eastern influences in the face, eyes, and hat; we also saw a “watermelon man” design, so named as the ruler holds a crescent moon, resembling a watermelon slice. Few coins with images are known from Aleppo, but Gerry showed a few, starting with one in a very Byzantine style from 1146-1174, with an Islamic design on one side and a figure of Christ, along with most of the ICXC typical of Christian coins, on the other side. Of the three shown Aleppo coins from 1174-1183, one had a Roman style bust in profile, while the other two had a double headed eagle — one design had fuller wings and detailed heads. From Sinjar of 1197-1219, one coin appeared to show the profile of the ruler, assuming the object in front of his face was a scepter; each of the other shown coins had a double headed eagle. Only one coin from Al-Jazira, dated to 1209-1251, was shown with an image — it is another watermelon man, but from a different era and by a different engraver than the example from Mosul.

The Artuquids and Zengids were the main producers of the coins with images, but such coins are known from a number of other tribes and dynasties to the east. The Begtimurids were a Seljuk offshoot located near Armenia; Gerry showed examples, from 1183-1193, that showed a ruler under a canopy and a cow with a suckling calf. In the twelfth century, the Seljuks of Rum issued coins in silver and bronze. The silver were bilingual coins for Armenia, and the images included a lion and sun as well as a rider on horseback — holding a bow and arrow on one, and a sword on another. The images on the bronze coins included horsemen, a prince on horseback, and a standing ruler in a Byzantine style. Some coins from the Great Mongols from 1206-1246 were shown, including one from Genghis Khan with a lion. In the late thirteenth century, the Ilkhans (Mongols of Persia) issued coins with a range of images: a silver coin showed a lion rendered in a Persian style, while bronze coins used such motifs as a sword-holding figure being trampled by a horse; lions, including one inside a hexagonal star; a rabbit; and a cow being milked by a person. Representing a more modern era, Gerry showed civic coins from Persia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: a lion walking in front of the sun one on, while a lion attacked an antelope on another.

Gerry concluded his presentation with a short Bibliography:
Turkoman Figural Bronze Coins & Their Iconography, by Spengler & Sayles. (Two volumes, concentrating on the bronze.)
Oriental Coins and Their Values: The World of Islam by Michael Mitchener. (Three volumes on coins; one on tokens.)
A Checklist of Islamic Coins, by Stephen Album. (No pictures, more of a checklist; but the book and author are wonderful resources.)


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Show and Tell

Items shown at our October 9, 2013 meeting,
reported by Marc Stackler

  1. Marc Stackler showed:
    1. 1915 Oaxaca (Mexico) 5 Pesos. It is a silver coin plated with gold (as made) — 17.5% gold in all. It was struck by the breakaway State of Oaxaca during the Mexican Revolution.
    2. Photos of 2 counterfeit, 3 centavos from Oaxaca, dated 1915. Both are modern counterfeits made to deceive collectors, not contemporary counterfeits. The coins are currently being offered by different auction houses, but are not indicated as counterfeits.
  2. Melissa Gumm discussed these items:
    1. Columbian Exposition elongated 1893 Liberty nickel.
    2. Keystone Watch Case Co. souvenir.
    3. 1863 25 Cent note, State of Alabama, where in the lower right is a portrait of a woman she found on a different note in her collection.
  3. Eugene Freeman showed a photo of a 1910 Honduras 1 centavo coin using dies from other coins:
    1. Obverse: from a one-half centavo.
    2. Reverse: modified from a five centavo coin, where the 1 was punched twice into the die without much care to obliterate what was underneath.
  4. Elliot Kreiter brought in the new $100 bill.
    1. It was noted that among its security features, when photocopied the result comes out red. But, the red did not appear when Elliott experimented the next day.
  5. Jim Davis delivered some humorous observations on celebrities who resemble presidents appearing on the dollar coins:
    1. James Monroe — Bobby Flay (celebrity chef).
    2. John Tyler — John Lennon (the Beatle).
    3. James Polk — Anthony Hopkins (Hannibal Lechter).
    4. Zachary Taylor — Charlton Heston (speak monkey speak).
    5. Millard Fillmore — Alec Baldwin (celebrity tweeter).
  6. Gerry Anaszewicz talked about a new book:
    1. Russian Money 1353-1533 (PYCCK?E MOHETbi), by Dzmitry Hulecki, on medieval Russian coins / wire money. Gerry is cited in the book.
  7. Darren Hooper described the first coins he has sent out for certification, all Lincoln cents:
    1. 1998-S close “AM” proof: PR65RD. (The close AM refers to those 2 letters, touching each other, on the reverse in the word AMERICA.)
    2. 1999-S close “AM proof: PR67RD.
    3. 1943 steel cent: MS65.
  8. John Connolly showed 2 medals, both of which he had certified by NGC:
    1. Colorado Springs Centennial 1872-1972: MS67.
    2. Valley City, North Dakota, Diamond Jubilee 1958: MS67.
  9. Mark Wieclaw presented 4 items:
    1. $8 Canada 1.5 oz / .9999 silver coin dated 2013.
    2. Bronze 1928 Safe Driving medal, with the accompanying letter that congratulated the recipient for having managed to drive one year without an accident in “modern traffic.”
    3. A gold didrachm from Syracuse (Sicily), 405-367 BC. On the reverse is the head of a gorgon. The coin weighs .66 grams and is about one-fourth the size of a Lincoln cent.
    4. An electrum (mix of gold and silver) tridrachm from Carthage, 241-237 BC. On the reverse is a horse, the symbol of Carthage. The ratio of gold to silver went down over the years from closer to 50:50 to about one-third : two-thirds by this time.
  10. Bob Leonard showed several odd-shaped coins:
    1. From Akragas (Greek colony in Sicily, renamed Agrigentum by the Romans), circa 440-BC, complete set of first bronze issues (4): oblong (crab and eagle design) and three tooth-shaped / triangular; also, a later flat, round coin of 420-406 BC.
    2. Bronze As (Roman Republic) and a one-half As found in Spain (Hispania), made by Roman soldiers cutting a different As in half to make a semis.
    3. Bronze As (Roman Republic) of Sextus Pompey portraying Pompey the Great, struck in Sicily 43-36 BC, and an As made by cutting another As in half, circa 27-20 BC. This technically is not a half As, because the coinage reforms under Augustus reduced the weight of the Roman As to one-half that of the Republican As.
  11. Jeff Amelse brought several Islamic /Asian coins:
    1. Four Artuquid (Islamic Turkey from the time of the Crusades).
    2. Two Seljuks of Rum
    3. A coin of the Hephthalites (Huns), featuring a phenomenal Hunnic portrait.
    4. A coin with a crude face drawing, identified by Bob Weinstein as central Asia / Sogdia, 7-8th century.
  12. Bob Feiler showed several items:
    1. Three previously shown counterfeit notes. He had showed them to Joe Boling at the recent ANA show; Joe said that the word COUNTERFEIT was impressed on the notes with a branding iron.
    2. Two enameled coins from 19th century England. Enameling was popular at the time.
    3. Four early checks from both pre- and post-Chicago Fire. (October 8 was the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire.)
    4. Three pieces of 19th century letterhead from Chicago companies:
      1. Republic Life Insurance Co. 187_
      2. Pullman’s Sleeping Car Lines 186_
      3. First National Bank of Chicago 186_
  13. Rich Lipman explained some items that you might encounter online or elsewhere:
    1. Notes with serial numbers that look like dates, but are not “birthday notes.”
    2. A note with an added star that is not a star note.
    3. Several $2 bills with unusual serial numbers.
    4. Three foreign notes with interesting vignettes:
      1. France: The Little Prince. 50 francs, 1992.
      2. Ireland: Lady Lavery (and on the back: river god). 20 Pounds.
      3. Switzerland: Danse Macabre (music by Saint-Saens). 1000 francs, 1956.
  14. Bob Weinstein showed four Chicago-themed tokens:
    1. Gilt-brass advertising token for S. D. Childs & Co., ca. 1880s. It has the bust of an indian on the obverse, and S. D. Childs’ address on the reverse.
    2. 50 cents — Brass token for Jefferson Park National Bank. The same indian bust is on the obverse, so this is the work of S. D. Childs for a commercial concern, which is hard to find. (Most S. D. Childs that seem to survive, or can be identified, are their own advertisement.)
    3. Brass token for The C. H. Hanson Co., maker of marking devices, ca. 1890s.
    4. 1933 Brass token for the Century of Progress — 1 MILL, by William F. Dunham, who was a Chicago Coin Club member.
    5. Aluminum token, “The U. S. Needs a 2 cent coin,” by Harry X Boosel, another Chicago Coin Club member.

Annual Member Auction

Here are the lots known to us by October 29, 2013. The auction will be held near the start of the meeting, after a short time for lot examination; consignments are accepted until the auction starts.

Donation from Robert F. Fritsch

  1. Medal: Portugal, King Duarte 1433-1438, bronze, 81mm, 189 grams, no date of issue, artist — Baltazar.
  2. Medal: Portugal, 400th Anniversary of the first edition of Os Lusiadas, 1972, bronze, 100 x 75mm, 316 grams, #97/500.

Consignment from Phil Carrigan

  1. ANA Co-operative Public Auction, August 31, 1922, F.C.C.Boyd, 800 lots, no prices realized. MB: $20. (the catalog is VG with several lot cut-outs with photocopies of recto & verso impacted pages), a working copy
  2. Stack's Oct 15 & 21-22, 1938, 2446 lots, photocopy PR [consignors include Senor Otero (Cuba)] MB: $20. (Baron Rattenberg (Denmark), M. Cibulske (NYC) and extensive large cents amounting to nearly 600 lots with all attributed)
  3. RARCOA's February 3, 1968 Public Auction, 813 lots older photocopy of PR, F cond. MB: $7. (sale offered US coins with early copper, Bust 50¢ thru Walking Lib, $1 1840 on, and Gold $1 thru comm, Calif, and territorial)
  4. Stack's Bowers Galleries, John J Ford Coll Part XXIII Coins, Medals & Currency Aug 14&16, 2013. MB: $10. (Canadian colonial tokens, US medals & tokens, etc. 963 lots and 1040 lots) PRL

Consignment from Carl Wolf

  1. Money — Ye shall have honest weights and measures, autographed by author by James E. Ewart, 1998, Principia Publishing, Seattle WA, 9”x12” hardcover, 325 pages, many color photographs of U.S. currency.
  2. The Art of the Market: Two Centuries of American Business As Seen Through Its Stock Certificates, by Bob Tamarkin and Les Krantz with commentary by George LaBarre, 1999, Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, NY, 11”x11” hardcover, 176, many color photographs of stock certificates.
  3. Historic City: The Settlement of Chicago, published by City of Chicago, 1976, forward by Andrew M. Greeley, 8.5”x11” softcover, 118 pages, includes six 17”x22” fold-out color maps.

Preview of Our December Banquet (1140th Meeting)

Date:December 11, 2013 (This is on a Wednesday!)
Time:6PM to 7PM Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres
7PM to 9 PM+ Dinner and Meeting
Location:foodlife Restaurant, on the Mezzanine level of Water Tower Place, 835 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60611. 312-335-3663. If public transportation is taken, it’s a few blocks from the Chicago Avenue subway stop on the CTA Red Line.
Menu:

The evening’s hors d’oeuvres and dinner menu will be detailed in the December Chatter. We will have unlimited trips through their 14 kitchens — here is their comfort food page. Who will start with their dessert kitchen?

The cost is $40.00 per person and reservations are required. Make your check payable to Chicago Coin Club, P.O. Box 2301, Chicago, IL 60690. If time is short, e-mail your reservation to carlwolfco@msn.com, or call 773-878-8979 during workdays and make arrangements to pay at the door.

Please make reservations as early as you can so we can plan for an appropriate room size.

Program:

Mark Wieclaw on Sculptures by U.S. Coin Designers Exhibited in Brookgreen Gardens

Agenda: Award Presentations

Our 1139th Meeting

Date:November 13, 2013 First session
Time:6:45 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. Nearby parking: South Loop Self Park, 318 South Federal Street; that is two short blocks west of our meeting site. Note: Their typical rate of $29 is reduced to $6 if you eat at the Plymouth Restaurant, 327 S. Plymouth Court (next to our meeting site at the CBA), show them your parking ticket, and ask the restaurant for a parking voucher. The restaurant offers standard sandwiches, burgers, and salads for members who want to meet for dinner. Another before-meeting favorite of some members is the Ceres Restaurant, located inside the Board of Trade Building, at LaSalle and Jackson.
Member Auction:

Although the deadline for listing lots in the Chatter is past, you can still bring your lots with you to the November meeting. In the past few years, club related material (and Chicago area numismatic items) have realized the best results. Please consider using the club auction to dispose of the numismatic items you no longer need.

You can place a reserve on each lot, and there is no commission charged to either the buyer or seller. Auction lot viewing will be held before the meeting starts, and again briefly before the auction starts.

Please find elsewhere in this issue of the Chatter a listing of all auction lots that were known to us by Tuesday, October 29.


Date:November 23, 2013, Second session
Time:1:00 PM
Location:At the International Currency and Coin Convention, which is held at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured speaker:Mark B. Anderson — The Swedish Private Bank Note Era 1824 to 1906, with Observations on its Influence on the Creation of the United States Federal Reserve System

The Nation of Sweden has a long and rich economic and numismatic history. Mr. Anderson’s tale begins with the massive natural deposits of copper found in the Stora Kopparberg mine, proceeding to the famous “plate money” made from those deposits and the Palmstrych notes inspired by their inconvenience, the world’s first true bank notes. Despite the failure of the Palmstrych Bank, paper money as an instrument did not fade away, and Sweden experimented with a variety of approaches, including the country’s unsuccessful first effort to centralize money issuance and control. The ensuing period of 1824 to 1906, during which 31 regional banks’ currency issues flourished and then end is illustrated with notes from the speaker’s collection. Lastly, an interesting connection to the 1913 creation of the Federal System in the U.S. is detailed.


Important Dates

Unless stated otherwise, our regular monthly CCC Meeting is in downtown Chicago on the second Wednesday of the month; the starting time is 6:45PM.

November 13 CCC Meeting - Club Auction - no featured speaker
November 22-24 PCDA National Coin and Currency Convention at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. Admission is $5 for Friday through Sunday. Details at http://www.pcdaonline.com
November 23 CCC Meeting - 1pm at the PCDA National Coin and Currency Convention, which is held at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - Mark B. Anderson on The Swedish Private Bank Note Era 1824 to 1906, with Observations on its Influence on the Creation of the United States Federal Reserve System
December 11 CCC Meeting - Annual Banquet - Featured Speaker - Mark Wieclaw on Sculptures by U.S. Coin Designers Exhibited in Brookgreen Gardens

Chatter Matter

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

CHICAGO COIN CLUB
P.O. Box 2301
CHICAGO, IL 60690

http://www.ChicagoCoinClub.org/

Club Officers

Elliott Krieter- President
Richard Lipman- First Vice President
Marc Stackler- Second Vice President
William Burd- Archivist
Directors:Steve Ambos
Robert Feiler
Dale Lukanich
Mark Wieclaw
Other positions held are:
Jeffrey Rosinia- Immediate Past President
Carl Wolf- Secretary
Steve Zitowsky- Treasurer
Paul Hybert- Chatter Editor
Robert Feiler- ANA Club Representative

Contacting Your Editor / Chatter Delivery Option

chatter_editor@yahoo.com

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