wdhyder's Blog

25 Sep 2020

A delightful surprise.

Exonumia | wdhyder

I have been building a U.S. type set of U.S. coins, but it is not your usual type set. The 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago saw the introduction of a new novelty, devices to roll coins through a die which compressed and stretched the coin while leaving a new design commemorating the event. Elongated coins are common across the country with many businesses and destinations offering coin operated rollers to created your own souvenir, usually on a penny (yes, I know its a cent). I attached two images of one of my grandsons rolling a cent at the San Francisco zoo.But, back to the type set. Visitors to the 1893 exposition rolled a wide variety coins foreign and domestic for souvenirs. I am slowly building a type set of U.S. coins rolled at the exposition. Indian head cents are the most common and the practice eventually evolved over time to where cents are the primary base coin for elongated souvenirs. Special sets using other denominations can be found, but they are not that common. In 1893, visitors rolled what they brung (so to speak).I have included pictures of the four Liberty Seated pieces in my collection. It is the 1876 half dollar that was my delightful surprise. I try to save the pedigree of rare coins, medals, and tokens when I can. When my Ebay purchase of the rolled half dollar arrived, the packing invoice included a handwritten note from the seller. He wanted me to know that it came from his parents estate, Harry and JoAnne Peters of Fort Dodge, Iowa. Roger even included a wooden nickel from their coin shop in 1983/84. Harry was a past president of the Iowa Numismatic Association and his wife served as secretary for many years.The 1876 elongated half dollar is rare and it now carries the pedigree of Harry and JoAnne Peters in my collection. Their son's handwritten note was a delightful surprise.

13 May 2019

Arnold Numismatic Co. Ephemera

Exonumia | wdhyder

I posted a blog about store cards from the Arnold Numismatic Co. in January 2019. At that time I stated that I was looking for an example of the Arnold Numismatic catalogue to go with the tokens. I finally acquired a copy from Kolbe & Fanning's April auction. The Guide has the penciled date of 1914 on the cover, but if you look at my earlier blog, you will note that the advetisedprice was 15¢ in 1912. The various sales sheets tucked inside the guide indicate the sales price is 10¢. The cover indicates the catalog is the Fifth Edition. Their guide was first copyrighted in 1905, so I suspect this edition is from 1910. Early catalogs such as these provide tantalizing glimpses inside the hobby. An ad from A. G. Heaton in the back of the Guide caught my eye. Heaton published his monograph promoting collecting coins by branch mint, i.e. collecting by mint marks, in 1893. I was also interested to note that you could buy a copy of the Arnold Family Tree since they included their family coat of arms on their tokens.But back to mint mark collecting. The idea was still taking hold in 1910. In the Guide, mint marks are included in the definition of numismatics terms, but no by prices indicate any premium for rare mint marks. The Guide does note that 1878 silver dollars with 8 tail feathers do not warrant a premium. Heaton's ad caught my attention because I have an original 1893 copy bound in board covers. An ink notation on the inside cover notes the copy was purchased from the April 21, 1900 Lyman Low auction of the library of the Scott Stamp and Coin Co. Heaton was still selling his monograph in 1910 for the same one dollar issue price. My copy brought 70 cents in the 1900 sale. The monograph was issued with a paper cover, so I suspect the board covers were added by the Scott company. I do not know who bought the monograph in 1900, but at some point it was donated to the ANA Library and sold at the 1970 library surplus sale during the Second Annual ANA Summer Seminar. As an aspiring young numismatist at the time, I snatched up item for a whopping $1 to begin building my own library. And so began my interest in building my own library and ephemera collection.

26 Feb 2019

Who engraved these store cards?

Exonumia | wdhyder

I posted the story of acquiring the Hinchliffe Bros. brewery store card in an earlier blog entry. As I noted, I was attracted to the lettering style on the obverse. When I spotted a similar, albeit smaller, store card on Ebay, I had to have it. Both tokens were dated 1891, the brewery token from New Jersey and the concert hall token from New York. I am not going to go into detail about the concert hall token, courtesy Carl Richter, except to say it is listed in Rulau and I do not believe it is particularly rare.

22 Feb 2019

A most unusual acquisition

Exonumia | wdhyder

I am always on the look out for the unusual, mysteries to be solved, or something I can tell a story about. Now it can be said that I have literally bought a piece of crap, really a pressed facsimile of a buffalo nickel.

17 Jan 2019

Hinchliffe Brewery Stoe Card

Exonumia | wdhyder

I spent last week at FUN. I go to shows looking for additions to my collection, but I don't have dates or mint marks to fill so I keep my eye out for something interesting. I saw the Hinchliffe Brewery store card in a dealer's case and I asked to see it. The dealer, Dick Grinolds, said it was the only one he has ever seen. He collects brewery tokens himself and threw this in his case at the last minute. Yes, he named a price and I said yes. I particularly like the raised dots added in the lettering on the reverse, plus it is an early use of aluminum for a token. The process for producing aluminum was extremely expensive before 1891 and aluminum did not come into common use for tokens and medals until the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.

05 Jan 2019

Arnold Numismatic Co.

Exonumia | wdhyder

One attraction of exonumia (tokens, medals, things that are like money but different) is the wide variety of collecting themes available. I have many and varied interests and collecting themes that I wander among looking for items that catch my interest. When one dealer asked what I was interested in, I replied: "Anything I can tell a story about." Coin dealer store cards are one of my many interests.

09 Nov 2018

1853 New York Crystal Palace Electrotype Shell

Exonumia | wdhyder

Every month or so I catalog recent purchases and take some time to research the stories behind them. I often purchase something because it I don't quite know what it is and suspect there might be a story behind it.

08 Nov 2018

B. Max Mehl Sales Sheet

Exonumia | wdhyder

A new addition to my ephemera collection has an interesting back story. Although it is undated, I believe the B. Max Mehl advertising flier dates to the end of 1909, likely around the end of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. “Alaska Gold,” “Just Issued” refers to Jules Charbneau’s AYPE three gold token set released in early 1909. You can read more about the tokens in the January 2013 issue of The Numismatist in an article by Jeff Shevlin and myself, “Jules Charbneau’s 1909 AYPE Gold Dollars.”

01 Nov 2018

Pay attention to your medals

Exonumia | wdhyder

How many times do you handle a medal or token and not really see it?

21 Sep 2018

Matching Tokens with Numismatic Ephemera

Exonumia | wdhyder

The store cards, tokens, and medals of Thomas Elder are among my collecting topics. In addition to the actual pieces of exonumia, I watch for interesting ephemera items that relate to my collection. In the instance discussed here, I acquired the blank subscription form for Thomas Elder's proposed series of numismatic tokens devoted to the Colonial and Continental Coins of America. Elder states his intention that the series be limited to protect those who subscribe to the series. Each token would be limited to 10 in silver and 25 each in German silver, brass, copper, white metal, and aluminum. The issue would be limited to 135 examples of each token.


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