American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society



John Reilly, Jr.

John Reilly, Jr. papers, 1883-1935
3 cubic feet (5 boxes)

Biographical note
John Reilly, Jr. (1876-1931) began his career as an engineer, but his love of coin collecting became his primary interest, and he would eventually amass the largest collection of Far Eastern coins in the world. After becoming a member in 1910, he played an active role in the American Numismatic Society, serving as council member (1914-1931), treasurer (1915-1924), and governor (1916-1924). The son of a U.S. representative from Pennsylvania, Reilly was born in Philadelphia and was a graduate of Princeton (1898), where he went on to receive master of science (1899) and electrical engineering (1901) degrees. His interest in Far Eastern coin collecting was greatly influenced by the numismatist collector and scholar Henry A. Ramsden, who he first met on a trip to Japan in 1909, the same year he acquired a collection of Japanese coins from Neil Gordon Munro. Ramsden was a business partner with Japanese coin dealer Jun Kobayagawa of Yokohama. He was also Kobayagawa’s brother in law. After Ramsden’s death in 1915, Reilly purchased his collection. Reilly resigned as treasurer and left for China in 1925, eventually returning to New York City, where he died. His collections had been housed in the Society’s headquarters for about fifteen years before his death. In 1938, his daughter Frances formally presented the collection to the Society as a gift. The Society maintained a Reilly Room for decades where his collections were shown.

Collection
Contains correspondence (1911-1929) relating to the collecting of Far Eastern coins, particularly from China and Japan. Other topics include his investments and property holdings, the carrying out of American Numismatic Society business, and personal matters such as vacation planning and maintaining New York City club memberships. There are letters and other materials relating to the Japanese coin dealer Jun Kobayagawa and Henry A. Ramsden and efforts to buy Ramsden’s collection after his death; letters to and from American Numismatic Society curator Howland Wood, who worked closely with Reilly; two copying books containing copies of letters sent by Reilly (1911-1916); personal correspondence from his mother and his sister Marion Reilly, dean of Bryn Mawr College; a notebook with detailed notes about Ramsden, which mentions the Neil Gordon Munro collection and coins of the Far East (1910s); inventories of Ramsden’s coins (circa 1910s); 0.5 cubic feet of numbered rubbings from Ramsden’s collection; a notebook containing notes on the Chinese holdings of the American Numismatic Society; a notebook with the name Friedrich C. Jensen of Hamburg, Germany, that is labeled “duplicates” and contains a list with Chinese characters; an album of photographs of the Bombay branch of the British Royal Mint; two handwritten catalogs of Chinese coins by Howland Wood with the titles Manuscript of Sen and Index to Sen; glass and film negatives and photographs of coins, knife coins, plaques, and other materials; notebooks containing lecture notes from Reilly’s time as a student at Princeton, including one from a photography course that held film negatives of the World’s Columbian Exposition, or Chicago World’s Fair, of 1893; a manuscript coin catalog from A.H. Campbell listing coins deposited first in Mechanic’s National Bank and then in Bryn Mawr Trust (1893); various notes, drawings, and lists of coins. Also present is a small set of Chinese documents, including two pieces of Qing paper money; a broadside (bulletin number 6) issued by the provincial military governor Feng Guozhang (Feng Kuo-chang) and the governor Qi Yaolin of Jiangsu province regarding the issuance of three new coins (May 25, 1917); a coin case index belonging to R.A. de Villard of Shanghai (1896); and a copy of the first issue of the newspaper The Chinese American (1883), which was published in New York City by the journalist and activist Wong Chin Foo (alternately spelled Wong Ching Foo and Wang Qinfu).

Container list

Box 1 of 5

Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 1 – A-J, 1909-1922
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 1 – K-Z , 1909-1922
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – A, 1915-1917, 1927
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – B, 1914-1917
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – C, 1912-1917
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – D, 1914-1917
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – E, 1913, 1916
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – F, 1913-1917
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – G, 1912-1916
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – H, 1913-1916
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – I, 1915-1916
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – J, 1912-1916
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – K, 1911-1914
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – L, 1913-1917
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – M, 1912-1917
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – N-O, 1912-1918
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – P, 1913-1918
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – Q-R, 1912-1917
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – S, 1913-1918
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – T, 1912-1917
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – U-V, 1912-1917
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – W-X-Y-Z, 1912-1917
Correspondence – Miscellaneous – Set 3, 1914-1926
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – A, 1916-1929
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – B, 1916-1917, 1927
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – C, 1911, 1917-1918
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – D, 1918-1919
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – E-F, 1918
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – G, 1915-1919
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – H-I-J, 1918, 1927
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – K-L, 1917-1918
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – M, 1917-1919
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – N-O, 1916-1919
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – P-Q, 1916-1919, 1926
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – R, 1917-1919
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – S, 1914-1919, 1930
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – T-U-V, 1915-1919
Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – Y-Z, 1916, 1926
C. de Longueville Collection – Catalog and correspondence, 1893-1914
Yokohama Numismatic Society, Japan, 1909-1913
Income tax form, 1915
Correspondence, notes, and receipts – Miscellaneous, 1909-1926
American Numismatic Society affairs, 1914-1924
Yokohama Numismatic Society, Japan – Correspondence, 1915-1916
Correspondence – Miscellaneous, 1915-1920
American Numismatic Society – Correspondence – Miscellaneous, 1918-1921
Correspondence – Miscellaneous, 1919-1920
Correspondence, notes, and invoices, 1919-1920
American Numismatic Society – Financial outreach, 1920
Bement collection correspondence – Philadelphia, Pa.,1920
G.E. Raum collection correspondence, 1920
Potential acquisitions correspondence, 1917-1929
A.F. Schepens correspondence, 1919-1920
Correspondence – Miscellaneous, 1920-1922
Madame Albert Schroder correspondence, 1920-1923
St. Louis Stamp & Coin Company correspondence, 1921
T. Slingo correspondence, 1921-1922
Tong-Ji-Yao – Coin rubbings and correspondence, 1922
Bamboo money correspondence, 1922-1923
Chinese copper coins correspondence, 1924
Tay, G.N. – Correspondence regarding Chinese coinage article, 1970-1971

Box 2 of 5

Note and book covers
Constitution and by-laws of the Asiatic Society of Japan, 1915
Hunt’s Map of the Border and Southern States, 1864
Invoices and Elder auction catalog (1920), 1910-1921
China – Chi Hsiang (1862)
Chinese to English translations
Coin rubbings
Japan: Modern struck coins
Kansas City Museum: Images of Chinese Coins (1795)
Knives
Metrology
Ming City knives research
Mito Civil War notes on ANS talk by Ernest Clement in 1891
Gordon Munro – Notes and blank memo pages, circa 1903
Northern Ci’I Dynasty
Uchigata – Jun Kobayagowa invoices, 1911-1913
Yokohama Numismatic Society – Invoices, 1916-1919
Numismatist articles on Far East currency, April 1918
Rubbings of Silver Chinese coins, 1919
Numismatic Bibliography, circa 1919-1920
Taft collection of Asian coins, 1919
Souveniers, 1920
Knife coins, 1920
Tokugawa Shoguns, Japan, 1921
Bank of China, Peking, collection – Notes on rubbings, circa 1923
Sunglin collection catalog – Herbert Devine Galleries, 1930
Ramsden collection rubbings, R#1 – Early barter and uninscribed money, 1916
Ramsden collection rubbings, R#2 – Spade coins, 1916
Ramsden collection rubbings, R#3 – Square footed ku-pu coins, 1916
Ramsden collection rubbings, R#4 – Pointed footed ku-pu coins, 1916
Ramsden collection rubbings, R#5 – Miscellaneous ku-pu coins, 1916
Ramsden collection rubbings, R#6 – Large knife coins, 1916
Ramsden collection rubbings, R#7 – Pointed and kan-tan knife coins, 1916
Ramsden collection rubbings, R#8 – Ming knife coins, 1916
[no R#9 or R#10]
Ramsden collection rubbings, R#11 – Chinese coin charms and amulets, 1916
Ramsden collection rubbings, R#12 – Modern Chinese Copper Coins and Chinese openwork amulets, 1916
Ramsden collection rubbings, R#13 – Corean (Korean) coins and coin charms, 1916
Ramsden collection rubbings, R#14 – Japanese coins and coin charms (continued), 1916
Ramsden collection rubbings, R#15 – Siamese porcelain and other tokens, 1916
Ramsden collection rubbings, R#16 – Anamese coins, Japanese medals, etc., 1916

Box 3 of 5

Correspondence – Henry A. Ramsden, 1909-1910
Correspondence – Henry A. Ramsden, 1911-1912
Correspondence – Henry A. Ramsden, 1913-1914
Letter from Reilly’s cousin in Japan verifying Ramsden’s death, 1916?
Correspondence and other materials regarding Ramsden estate and the shipment of collection to ANS, 1916-1917
T. Slingo correspondence on collection of Chinese coins, 1921
Miscellaneous notes, 1916-1921
Ramsden collection inventory, R#1 and notes – Early Barter and Uninscribed Money, nos. 1-512, 1916
Ramsden collection inventory, R#2 – Spade coins, nos. 1-90, 1916
Ramsden collection inventory, R#3 – Square footed ku-pu coins, nos. 1-928, 1916
Ramsden collection inventory, R#4 – Pointed footed ku-pu coins, nos. 1-535, 1916
Ramsden collection inventory, R#5 – Miscellaneous ku-pu coins, nos. 1-272, 1916
Ramsden collection inventory, R#6 – Large knife coins, nos. 1-226, 1916
Ramsden collection inventory, R#7 – Pointed and Kanton knife coin, nos. 1-153 and nos. 1-100, 1916
Ramsden collection inventory, R#8 – Ming knife coins, nos. 1-668, 1916
Ramsden collection inventory, R#9 – Wang Mang Pu and knife coins, nos. 1-213 and Chinese bamboo money, nos. 1-173, 1916
Ramsden collection inventory, R#10 – Ancient Chinese round coins, nos. 1-1915, 1916
Ramsden collection inventory, R#11 – Chinese coin-charms and amulets, nos. 1-1119, 1916
Ramsden Collection Inventory, R#12 – Modern Chinese copper coins, nos. 1-428, Chinese openwork amulet coins, nos. 1-323, 1916
Ramsden Collection Inventory, R#13 – Corean (Korean) coins and coin charms, nos. 1-1659, 1916
Ramsden Collection Inventory, R#14 – Japanese coins and coin charms, nos. 1-1246, 1916
Ramsden Collection Inventory, R#15 – Siamese porcelain and other tokens, nos. 1-1217, 1916
Ramsden Collection Inventory, R#16 – Anamese coins, Japanese medals, and miscellaneous, nos. 1-316, 1916
Ramsden Collection Inventory, R#17 – Chinese round coins after Kai Yang, nos. 1-2698

Box 4 of 5

Photographs – Junj Kobayawa Co. interior and exterior
Photographs – Coins and statues
Photograph Album – Views, Bombay Mint
Box of glass and film negatives – Statue and coins
Two copying books – Jun Kobayagawa Co., etc.
Notebook – College - Astronomy and camera club, and Chicago World’s Fair photograph list, 1895
Notebook – College – Engineering – Strength of Materials, etc., 1897
Notebook – Chinese material in the Museum of the American Numismatic Society
Notebook – Presentation on Henry Ramsden and Munro collection for International Archaeological Congress, Rome 1912
Notebook – Duplicates
Notebook with coin lists – Reilly’s collection?
Manuscript of Sen, by Howland Wood
World’s Columbian Exposition Fair negatives, 1893

Box 5 of 5

Flat file: Chinese documents

Qing paper money
Broadside announcing new coinage, 1917
The Chinese American newspaper, 1883
Coin case index (bound), R.A. de Villard, Shanghai, 1896

Archival Collections