|Archive available at http://www.ChicagoCoinClub.org/
|Volume 60 No. 5
With the CSNS convention over, we have only three months until the next big show rolls into town. The ANA web site, http://www.money.org, has the application and rules for Collector Exhibits, giving a presentation, club meetings, and other events. Please take advantage of this opportunity — they will not be here every year!
Remember, August 5-9! Email any questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and someone from the local committee will respond.
Session I of the 1144th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held April 9, 2014 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 29 members and 1 guest, David Sunshine from Connecticut working as a PNG Intern for Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.
A motion was passed to accept the March Minutes as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky gave a detailed report on March revenue of $300.00, expenses of $664.62 total assets of $23,052.50 held in Life Membership $2,110.00 and member equity $21,942.50. A motion was passed to accept his report.
Under Old Business:
Under New Business:
The Secretary reported upcoming featured presentations including:
First VP Rich Lipman introduced featured speaker Bruce Perdue who delivered a program on Encased Coins. After a question and answer period, Rich presented Bruce with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club speaker’s medal suspended from a neck ribbon.
Second VP Marc Stackler announced the evening’s fifteen exhibitors. EUGENE FREEMAN: 1812 Mexican 8 reales, 1895 Zuid Afrikannsche Republik 2½ shillings, 1942 1 Chiao from Japanese puppet/provisional government in China, and 1933 Montana dollar used to finance the Montana exhibit at the Century of Progress; PHIL CARRIGAN: 1947 ANA convention medals in bronze, silver and gold; JEFF AMELSE: squashed cent with Kokopelli from Monument Valley, AZ, 2 varieties of “Lucky Penny” medals from the 1934 Century of Progress, wooden nickel from the same fair, and a squashed Indian Head cent from the 1893 Columbian Exposition; JAMES DAVIS: encased cents from 1934 Century of Progress, 1947 Elgin Lumber & Supply Co, and 1964 Illinois Numismatic Association convention; JOHN CONNOLLY: 100th Anniversary Medal of the Gotthard Train Tunnel; WILLIAM BURD: 1918 Illinois Centennial commemorative half dollar in a frame, 1819 British crown encased on a silver container, 1901 Indian Cent encased in a miniature frying pan, Caesar’s Place 20th anniversary 3 piece set of silver coins embedded in acrylic, and 1904 $1 McKinley gold coin set into a sterling silver spoon; ROBERT LEONARD: 12 coins from the Crimea, 325 B.C. thru 2001; HAROLD ECKARDT: 2009-14 encased cents in wood from the Elgin Coin Club shows; JAMES McMenamin: 1954 bronze Stefano Johnson’s Cristoforo Colombo medal; BILL RUMPH: 1909 U.S.S. Nashville Medal issued by the Chicago Numismatic Society; MARK WIECLAW: 1926 25 ore from Greenland (one with and one without a hole), 1840 British 4 pence with die clash, gold solidus of Justin I (518-527 AD), and imitation gold solidus of Justinian I (527-565 AD); ROBERT FEILER: “Nucky Notes” 1933-34 scrip, 6 encased coins, 1899-O and 1882 enameled Morgan dollars, 1876 French 5 franc coin knife, 1780 Maria Theresa thaler emblematic cut-out; David Sunshine: 1896-micro-O Morgan believed to be a contemporary counterfeit; DALE LUKANICH: £10 Operation Bernhard note; RICHARD LIPMAN: chocolate coins from Sees Candies, WWII gas rationing coupons, French bank notes, a packet of $2.00 notes slashed sometime after leaving the BEP; ROBERT WEINSTEIN: 7 pieces of silver bullet money from 13th-18th century Thailand.
The meeting was suspended at 8:53 PM and will be reconvened at 1 PM, Saturday, April 12 at the Chicago International Coin Fair.
Session II of the 1144th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held April 12, 2014 in conjunction with the Chicago International Coin Fair, Crowne Plaza Hotel, 5440 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL.
President Elliott Krieter called the meeting to order at 1 PM with 34 members and 10 guests in attendance.
President Krieter called upon different members to promote the upcoming American Numismatic Association:
First V.P. Rich Lipman introduced featured speaker, Dr. Constantin Marinescu from New York City, who spoke on Transforming Victory from Pagan Goddess to Christian Symbol. Following a question and answer period, Rich presented Constantin with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club speaker’s medal suspended from a neck ribbon.
David Lisot’s application for membership received a first reading.
The meeting recessed at 1:46 PM and will reconvene 1 PM Saturday, April 26, 2014 at the Central States Numismatic Society Convention, Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center, Schaumburg, IL. The featured speakers Donald Kagin and David McCarthy will speak on The Saddle Ridge Hoard.
Session III of the 1144th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held Saturday, April 26, 2014 in conjunction with the Central States Numismatic Society’s 75th Anniversary Convention, Schaumburg Convention Center, 1551 N. Thoreau Drive, Schaumburg, IL. President Elliott Krieter called the meeting to order at 1:00 PM with an attendance of 83 members and guests.
A motion was passed to follow an abbreviated version of the regular meeting. The membership applications of Gary Gunderson, Richard Burdick, Thomas Uram, David Crooks, Joe Paonessa, and James Taylor received first readings.
Jeff Rosinia, Carl Wolf, Mark Wieclaw, and Rich Lipman briefly spoke on planned activities for the American Numismatic Association, August 5-9. Points covered included: proposals for Money Talks Presentations, exhibit applications, call for volunteers, activities for pages, etc.
Second V.P. Richard Lipman introduced Donald Kagin, Ph.D. and David McCarthy who delivered the program The Saddle Ridge Hoard which covered the recent treasure find of over 1,400 U.S. gold coins in California! After a question-and-answer period, Rich presented each with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club medal suspended from a neck ribbon.
The meeting adjourned at 2:05 PM.
Carl Wolf, Secretary
a presentation by Bruce Perdue,
to our April 9, 2014 meeting
Bruce has a passion for collecting encased coins. There are many ways to collect these pieces, and for his collection, Bruce decides whether or not a piece is appropriate. The simplest encasing is a metal washer (commonly aluminum) into which a coin fits with maybe a little extra space; the washer is squeezed between two dies that impart a design to the washer and expand the metal so as to firmly hold the coin. The designs usually are for advertising, or wishing the holder Good Luck.
The earliest known encasements were from the 1901 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. Was that the first usage? Probably, but remember that the early days of this area are not extensively documented. Bruce started with a 1901 Indian Head Cent encased at this exposition. The obverse of the washer says GOOD LUCK and KEEP ME AND PROSPER, and shows a four leaf clover, a horseshoe, and a wishbone. The reverse identifies the exposition and states 20TH CENTURY PENNY; very appropriate as the first year of the twentieth century was 1901. Another round expo piece features a dust pan on the reverse — this is a pun, tieing PAN American and a dust PAN. Another PAN pun piece followed — it is not just a flat round encasement — it is a frying pan with a handle and upraised rim! That was followed by another round Good Luck 1901 exposition encasement, but here the cent is located offset from the center of the piece.
Still more 1901 Pan Am pieces reside in Bruce’s collection. A celluloid piece says I AM NEVER BROKE and LUCKY SOUVENIR on the obverse celluloid ring, around the obverse of the 1901 cent, while a photo of the expo’s Temple of Music appears on the celluloid reverse — the reverse of the cent does not appear, the photo covers the complete circular reverse. This building is historically significant, as President McKinley was fatally shot on its steps. Bruce broke the monotony of circular pieces by showing a wishbone shaped piece, still with a 1901 cent showing some red and luster. The last 1901 expo piece we saw was a round LUCKY PENNY POCKET PIECE with two horizontal wishbones forming the frame around the reverse of the cent, while the obverse was centered in a raised heart shape. With all these styles of pieces issued for the same event, is it any wonder that some might search for pieces from an earlier event?
Pieces have been issued in a range of sizes, shapes, and materials, with coins from many nations (but mostly the United States). Round pieces can vary from 20 to 50 mm in diameter, with 35 mm the most prevalent. Pieces made of brass, wood, plastic, and steel are known. With some searching, a wide range of shapes can be found — after showing some shaped as horseshoes, Bruce showed Teddy Bears, a Bee Hive, oval, a Bell, and even a loaf of bread. The Mead’s Fine Bread piece is from a large bread company located in the southwest part of the US in the mid 20th century; after it drove competitors from business, it lost a big anti-trust lawsuit in the 1950s. Bruce showed a list of about ten known Teddy Bear designs, most from the early 20th century, but a 2005 piece is from the UCLA Bruins. A beautiflly designed piece, in great condition and with an Indian Head Cent, is from Kolb’s Bakeries of Philadelphia for its “Teddy Bear” Bread. Bruce told us it seems that a descendant of the bakery’s owner recently found a box of these pieces, and they slowly appear on eBay for about $100 each.
After collecting these for awhile, or attending this talk, you can learn little, interesting characteristics. The majority of pieces from Washington, DC are horseshoe or bell shaped, and mostly state SOUVENIR — there are not many commercial pieces from Washington. A horseshoe shape encasement is not found around a foreign coin; must be a U.S. thing. If you are looking for humor, keep your eyes open and you might find a 5¢ from Netherlands Antilles (a square coin) in a round encasement bearing the legends SQUARE PEG IN A ROUND HOLD and THINKING INSIDE THE CIRCLE. Or maybe something else will catch your eye.
Condition of the encasement and the coin are important to collectors, as is originality — is this coin the original one? Hold the piece to a light source; if a sliver of light appears, the coin likely is a replacement.
When you decide what is or is not an encasement, you have the flexibility of adding to your collection neat pieces that others might not accept. Consider a Morgan Dollar on a money clip; if you accept the bezel as an encasement, add it to your collection. A pocket watch built around a Walking Liberty half dollar? A group of coins embedded in a plastic block? Collect it if it appeals to you!
by Constantin A. Marinescu,
presented to our April 12, 2014 meeting
In modern visual culture an angel is generally depicted as a young woman with wings. However, in literary sources angels are described as male, whenever they appear in human form. This paper explores the history involved behind our modern perception of angels, tracing the transformation of the pagan goddess of victory into a Christian angel.
Among the ideas the Romans personified with great enthusiasm was victory, the end result of the empire’s military prowess. Victory had for long been given human form, a beautiful woman with large wings, and this form was maintained and carefully developed by the Romans. In fact it is the goddess Victoria, victory personified, that becomes a great staple of Roman art, appearing virtually in every artistic context, from the imposing triumphal monuments, to bronze household statuettes, and very frequently on coins. The focus of my analysis will be a certain visual type where the goddess inscribes a shield, a type created and popularized in the early empire, and one that became so successful that it survived the transition to Christianity when all visual references to paganism where harshly rejected and disappeared from public view. Aspects of this problem have certainly been examined before, but I hope to offer an overall perspective on the development of this motif from Roman through Byzantine times.
It was during the reign of Augustus, truly a master of propaganda at every level, that Victoria appears in novel combinations on coinage. Perhaps the most popular association is Victoria with the clipeus virtutis, a round shield, generally inscribed either “CL.V” or “SPQR.” The clipeus virtutis was one of several special awards presented by the Senate to Augustus, a golden shield that enumerated the emperor’s much praised qualities of “virtus,” “clementia,” “iustitia,” and “pietas.” Closely associated with the clipeus virtutis is the corona civica, a military award given to a soldier for saving a man’s life in war. The corona civica has a specific symbolic meaning for Augustus as it was given “ob civis servatos,” “for saving citizens,” that is for bringing Rome’s bloody Civil War to an end.
Augustus’ successors remembered the clipeus virtutis well and it continued to appear on coinage, including a gold quinarius minted under Claudius ca. AD 41-42. The coin depicts Victoria flying left, the clipeus virtutis at her feet, almost as if she was engaged in a basketball match. Similarly, on a provincial emission of Nero from Caesarea in Cappadocia (a silver hemidrachm), Victoria adapts a new pose, standing with her foot on a globe, writing on a shield. There is a virtual anticipatory note to all of this, since there is nothing recorded on the shield, as befitting an emission for a new emperor with no military events to boast of.
It is during the Civil Wars of AD 68-69 that the motif showing Victoria inscribing her shield reaches great popularity. Attested in a very tentative way in Galba’s coinage, the type takes off under Vitellius when it is minted from January to December of 69 in great numbers. Here the image is coupled with the legend “VICTORIA AVGVSTI” — “the victory of the emperor” — and stands with her foot on a helmet, the shield propped up on a palm tree. The goddess steadies the shield with her left hand and writes on it with her right. The inscription is always the same, an abbreviated version of “ob cives servatos,” a combination of text and shield form that immediately recalls Augustus’ clipeus virtutis and its symbolism of rescuing the Republic from Civil War. Vitellius hence presents himself as a new Augustus, hoping to bring about the end of a new Civil War.
But that was not to be, as Vitellius was eliminated and replaced by Vespasian, the able commander of the legions in the East. Appropriately at the beginning of his reign, Vespasian makes the same claims as Vitellius, taking over the VICTORIA AVGVSTI type and in his turn also associating himself with Augustus’ achievements. Soon after, through a number of gradual changes, the type is altered by the addition of a mourning female captive below the palm tree and an eventual elimination of the shield’s Civil War-specific motto. The mourning woman, another personification, symbolizes the vanquished province of Judaea at the end of the Jewish Wars, and thereby alters the message delivered by the coin — the old victory in Civil War is replaced by a victory against a foreign people. The Judaean woman served as a sort of name tag added to Victoria to signal a specific victory over a specific people.
Ethnicity of the defeated as reflected in the shield motto becomes a norm in the Roman art imagery of the empire. Perhaps the most memorable are the emissions of Trajan commemorating his victory in two wars against the Dacians. Appearing on silver and bronze coins, Victory inscribes a shield that is manipulated in various ways. On silver denarii, she first appears with an uninscribed shield at the beginning of Trajan’s rule, then subsequently holds a shield on which DA/CI/CA is written. The DACICA coins begin to be produced after Trajan celebrates his first triumph in the Dacian Wars sometime in AD 103 and may well have been continuously produced through the remainder of his reign.
The large bronze emissions, the sestertii, introduce a new typological variant where the goddess stands upright, and is shown from a distinctly more frontal viewpoint. She is still stepping on a helmet with her left leg, but is no longer bent over the shield, nor is she writing. She has already finished the job, a point made explicit by her right hand that is now pulled back away from the shield. The motto inscribed is “VIC DAC” — “Victory over the Dacians.” The success of this image is confirmed by its presence on Trajan’s column where the goddess appears halfway up the spiraling relief, inscribing her shield. Large scale works of sculpture were also made, and the magnificent bronze figure of Victoria from Brescia is a case in point, suggesting that statuary may well have served as the prototypes for those engraving coin dies.
It is the last Antonine emperor, Commodus, who introduced something new to the design, namely a new shield motto. You see it here inscribed on the shield as “VO DE,” a reference to the vota decennalia, the successful completion of ten years of rule. In the Roman world custom dictated the taking of vows at the ascension to the throne. Known as the vota publica, these were promises to the gods which would be fulfilled at the end of a specific period. This type of celebration, a rather complex process, becomes extremely popular in the late Roman period, and this is the first instance where it is incorporated into the Victoria with shield design. It should be emphasized that the vota publica is a civic type of commemoration, essentially a jubilee of rule celebrated customarily every ten years. Thus it marks a fundamental change in the meaning of victory, moving away from a distinctly military achievement to a more political one.
During the second and third centuries both military and civic victories continue to be celebrated, sometimes even combined together into one type. It is during the early fourth century under Constantine that there is a resurgence of this motif not only on coins, but also on architecture. The Arch of Constantine, the last triumphal arch to be built in Rome, includes images of victories inscribing or standing by a large shield. On Constantinian gold solidi the motif is shown both with military and civic connotations. For instance, an aureus from Trier has victory inscribing VICTORIA AVG on the shield, while the legend of the coin makes reference to the vota publica: VOTIS V MVLTIS X. This formula acknowledges the successful completion of 5 years of vows and looks forward to the next round at the ten year mark. As such the shield becomes a mirror of dynastic success, a chronological link between what has been achieved and what is expected.
It should be underscored that there is absolutely nothing Christian about the Victoria designs on Constantine’s coins, and as the empire became more Christianized the image of a pagan goddess continued to be prominently displayed. Sometime in the 360s the design may have come to be regarded as somewhat “risqué” and during the reigns of Valentinian I (AD 364-375) and Valentinian II (AD 375-392), on solidi from Antioch, the imagery incorporates a Christogram floating immediately below the shield that still proclaims the vota. This is an awkward visual composition, the Christogram resembling something akin to a mintmark rather than an important feature of the design. As a result, shortly thereafter and appearing first on the coinages in the name of the ladies of the imperial household, the Christogram is moved onto the shield, with Victory carefully at work engraving it, while still seated on a pile of arms (such coins include solidi of Galla Placidia minted ca. AD 422 in Ravenna). The legend proclaims “SALVS REI PUBLICAE” — “the health of the state,” now assured by the Christian symbol on Victoria’s shield.
Sometime around AD 420-423, during the reign of Theodosius II (AD 402-450), the principal type of the gold coinage shows a standing Victoria facing left, fully draped and with her hair pulled up in a chignon, holding a cross, a design often seen as commemorating the jeweled cross erected by the emperor on Golgotha. Victoria inscribing the shield is now relegated to the semissis, and a standing, three quarters facing Victoria graces the tremissis. The entire parade of Victories on various denominations continues in Byzantine gold coinage and can be seen on issues from the reign of Anastasius (AD 491-518).
Suddenly, however, during Justin I’s reign (AD 518-527) a drastically new type appears, a winged figure, standing and fully frontal, looking straight out towards the viewer, wearing a closely cropped hairdo and holding a cross and a cross-topped orb (referred to as a “globus cruciger”). The legend proclaims — yet again — “VICTORIA AVG,” but visually the figure bears only a superficial resemblance to what we have come to know as Victoria. Generally shown as puppet-like, somewhat androgynous and with a schematic cartoon-like face, Justin’s beings are undoubtedly meant to be angels, as they resemble what are actual angels in other works of art, including an ivory diptych now in the British Museum (which is slightly later, possibly dating to the reign of Justinian). It may well be that the new figure, the “angel,” provided an easy transition from the well-established tradition of pagan winged figures into a more politically correct world of Christian beings. Although Justin’s angel is genderless, it is winged, it holds many of the attributes that were also held by Victoria, and it still is labelled “VICTORIA AVGVSTI” in the coin’s legend. It thus becomes a type of polyvalent image, one that could be interpreted in different ways, depending on the inclinations of the viewer. Ultimately, this was a very effective solution for coins, a medium that had to appeal to all in order to function properly.
Winged figures are for the first time removed altogether from coinage during the reign of Tiberius II Constantine, AD 578-582, being replaced by a series of cross based designs. On the solidus’s reverses is now a cross potent on a stepped base, perhaps a reference to the monument erected on Golgotha, while the semissis features a cross on a globe and the tremissis simply a cross. The legend on the solidus continues to be “VICTORIA AVG,” while the smaller denominations feature a variant “VICTOR TIBERI AVG.”
For a very brief period during the reigns of Maurice Tiberius (AD 582-602) and Phocas (AD 602-610) the angel returns to the solidus. The dancing Victoria is now upgraded as a device for the semissis, while a cross remains on the tremissis; Victoria with shield is entirely eliminated from the numismatic repertoire. After AD 610, the coinage of the Heraclii reintroduces the cross types and winged figures disappear from Byzantine coinage. Only after centuries do Archangels make a comeback, but when they do they are clearly identified as such.
I hope that in tracing the development of Victory inscribing a shield on coinage from the Roman world into the Byzantine era I have drawn attention to several important issues. First, that from the reign of Augustus onward, Victoria with shield was closely associated with the emperor and his persona. Second, that the shield itself became a very flexible visual format that could be readily adapted to manipulate the message that was presented — victory could thus commemorate a specific military campaign against an enemy, or represent a more general expression of the emperor’s military might. Third, that the imperial association and the flexibility of the design was such that it was preserved in Christian times and gradually adopted to include symbols of the new faith. And finally, perhaps most important of all, is that a winged figure is ultimately a winged figure and its interpretation could be determined to a large extent by the beliefs of the viewer, an interpretative process that in itself is very pagan. Today, when we look at popular culture images of angels it is the visual tradition of the pagan Victoria that we see preserved rather than that of the Byzantine world.
|Chicago Coin Company
|CPMX & CICF
|Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.
Items shown at our April 9, 2014 meeting,
reported by Marc Stackler
April 16, 2014The Sixth meeting of the 2014 Chicago ANA Convention Committee was called to order at 6:00 PM by Host Chairman William Burd on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 in the offices of Harlan J. Berk Ltd., 77 W. Washington, Downtown Chicago. The following members were present: Eugene Freeman, Paul Hybert, Richard Lipman, Elliott Krieter, Jeff Rosinia, Robert Feiler and Carl Wolf.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:54 PM with the next meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 21, 2014, in the offices of Harlan J. Berk, Ltd., 77 W. Washington, Suite 1320, Downtown Chicago.
Carl Wolf, Secretary
Chicago Coin Club
|Wednesday, May 14, 2014
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 $33 is reduced to $9 if you eat at the Plymouth Restaurant, 327 S. Plymouth Court (next to our meeting site at the CBA) — show the restaurant your parking ticket, and ask 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.
|— to be announced
We had three meetings with speakers last month, but finalizing the details for our one meeting in May is taking longer than usual. We will update the CCC’s main web page when the details are finalized, but plan to attend the meeting since you know you do not want to miss it. remember to bring your acquisitions from the CSNS show — you could show us part of your exhibits from CSNS, or maybe even part of your planned exhibits for ANA this August.
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.
|A Saturday CSNS Seminar in conjunction with the Hillside Coin Club. Speakers will be Bill Fivaz, Peter Huntoon, Cindy Wibker, and Norm Bowers. Registration is required — the $10 fee for CSNS members ($20 non-member) also covers breakfast and lunch. Registration forms and details available at the CSNS convention, and also at http://www.centralstates.info/
|CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
|CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Chester Donati on a security program, details to be announced
|CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - David Greenstein on Coin Doctoring and Conservation — The Great Debate
|PNG/ANA Numismatic Tradeshow. Admission by invitation or $6; details on the PNG Events Calendar at http://www.pngdealers.com/
|ANA in Rosemont, at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Admission is free for ANA members — for details, see http://www.worldsfairofmoney.com.
|Chicago Coin Club 95th Anniversary dinner, with members of the New York Numismatic Club, in Rosemont. This is not a full meeting — it is a social gathering for members of the two clubs (and their guests): reception starting at 6PM, and dinner starting at 7PM; not yet decided if there will be a speaker and program. Full details will be announced.
|CCC Meeting - 1pm at the ANA convention,
which is held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 North River Road, Rosemont, IL.
No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - to be announced
|CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
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
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|- ANA Club Representative
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